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

Open Thread

Use the comments for discussion.


Americans Have Found the Enemy, and It Is They


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – January 10, 2021


  1. Twitter has permanently banned Trump. I’m glad, because now Trump will do what he should have done earlier, say from a year ago. And that is, lead Americans off of Twitter.

    Actually, I’m not even confident of that he will so do now, given his gross lack of strategic capabilities.

    If Trump were surely exiting the Presidency, this would also amount to a strategic blunder by Twitter. Surely, they could have waited till the 20th, no?

    Perhaps they have had private chats with Kamala Harris, who, according to wikipedia, is still in the US Senate. Doesn’t look like she’s 100% confident that she’ll be sworn in, does it? Obama resigned his Senate seat by Nov. 18, according to

  2. Here’s a different angle of the shooting incident, that clearly shows Babbit from behind, attempting to go through the window.

    I had the impression from the other video that the swat guys were only 2-3 feet away, say before she hit the floor.

    From this video, it’s clear that would have been the case, had they actually maintained their position. (Though it’s more like 6 feet. And the closest did not have SWAT type guns or uniforms.) From which they could have grabbed her before she got shot.

    If, in fact, she was shot. I find it strange that there’s no apparent bullet exit. Certainly, no blood spray.

    What is also strange is that the police all turn around, at about :25 into the video, and start going AWAY from the barricaded doors. They seem to be looking intently, for what I assume is a visual signal, since there’s apparently no verbal communication. At :32, some official looking civilian say “good job, guys”. One wonders what good job they have achieved, as the rioters are still present. At :43, 11 seconds after their “good job”, the shot rings out. Somebody thought it was a flash bang.

    IIRC, the House Select Committee on Assassinations used auditory evidence to conclude that there was more bullets fired than the official Warren Commission admitted to. Should not a bullet passing through somebody’s neck hit something, and make an identifiable sound when doing so? And if no bullet exited Babbit’s neck, should not the bullet be easily found in an autopsy?

    Maybe it was, but I’m not aware that our cracker jack media, which still hasn’t figured out the JFK, RFK, and MLF were all assassinated via means other than the “official story”, are probably not going to jump on this incident, either, ya know?

    The RFK assassination is the most relevant, as eye witnesses (I don’t recall how many) clearly indicated that the kill shots were from BEHIND RFK, at close range. (Sirhan Sirhan was basically in front, I think) And the RFK assassination was done in a crowded place, so the Deep State has worked this kind of scenario, before. In the RFK case, RFK was definitely killed. In the Babbit case, well, I’d like to know the status of the body, and autopsy results.

  3. bruce wilder

    I got some so-called friends
    They’ll smile right to my face
    But, when my back Is turned
    They’d like to stick it to me
    Yes they would

    Oh no no, oh no no
    There’s only one thing I need to know
    Whose side are you on?


    Paranoia strikes deep in the heartland
    But I think it’s all overdone
    Exaggerating this exaggerating that
    They don’t have no fun

    I don’t believe what I read in the papers
    They’re just out to capture my dime
    I ain’t worrying
    And I ain’t scurrying
    I’m having a good time

    Have a good time

    Maybe I’m laughing my way to disaster
    Maybe my race has been run
    Maybe I’m blind
    To the fate of mankind
    But what can be done?

  4. @Metamars — blood spraying from an exit wound is a Hollywood creation. As a hunter who has killed numerous deer, often in snow where blood is readily visible, I’ve never seen it. While blood is present in flesh and organs, it’s relatively sparse and only accumulates in quantity after the flesh has been damaged.

  5. Eric Anderson

    Ah, Paul Simon. He can turn a word.

    Serious Question:
    Has the gross increase in speech enabled by the interwebs been a net positive, or negative?
    And, if a net negative, what is the problem with it not existing?
    Nobody was protesting in 1968 that they’re internet speech was being censored and we seem to have got on just fine.

  6. nihil obstet

    @Eric Anderson

    net positive. Unless you lived near a real time info hub like a university or a large city, all you knew about what was going on came from sources which, in Herman and Chomsky’s words, manufactured consent. It got awfully lonely. I don’t think people got on just fine.

    Communication depends on both parties having the same means. In 1968, nobody had the internet. Now, everybody uses it. If you speak as you did in 1968, not even the universities and cities would hear it.

  7. Eric Anderson

    Oh, I get the “manufactured consent.” But, hasn’t it increased?
    Social media has made billions of more eye balls consent to the manufacture of BS. All the little blogs like Ian’s in the world haven’t pushed it back an ounce.
    We, who frequent blogs like these, are among an infinitesimal minority.

  8. Eric Anderson

    I mean, what is the point of all this free speech if it’s by-product is living in a “post-truth” world? When there is so much speech that ‘meaning’ can no longer be discerned from the words, what’s the point?

  9. Z

    Another positive to this hapless insurrection, besides instilling some much needed fear into the cretins in Congress who casually pimp out the interests of over 300M people in the U.S. and billions all over the world, is that Trump is more unlikely to cede to the demands of the U.S.’s illegitimate papa, Bibi, and attack Iran before he leaves office.

    GOOD! The Iranians deserve a f*ing break.


  10. Z

    Has the gross increase in speech enabled by the interwebs been a net positive, or negative?

    Net positive. It’s raising the population’s overall consciousness and intelligence about the dishonest games our rulers play while the negative effects of the internet as far as using it to incite mass stupidity were still available to our rulers using other tools in the past.

    Essentially, it’s a simple procedure to incite desperate populations to rage against “enemies” by spouting resonant one phrase lies while to destruct our rulers’ bullshit requires more explanation and overall knowledge. The interaction on the internet, and even the isolation of it, enables much more intelligent discourse than shouting at each other in a city square.

    It’s just one example, but ask yourself this: could Hitler have done what he did if there was internet back then? I’d say no. There wouldn’t have been an Auschwitz, at least not to the extent there was, with an internet.


  11. nihil obstet

    There are a lot of problems both with “free speech” and with the internet. I don’t think the technology is the issue. Look at what people read and you can want to get rid of the printing press. Very little can be done without communication, so a powerful government can pretend to be supporting free speech while in fact promoting its own interests. The Supreme Court has declared that bribery is simply free speech protected by the constitution. On the other hand, material aid to terrorist organizations is illegal. Since positive reporting on organizations that the government doesn’t like can be viewed as material aid (helps with recruiting and fund-raising), the government can prosecute any reporter who isn’t totally negative about them. To me, that’s prosecution of free speech.

  12. @David Veale

    Ah, thanks. Don’t own a weapon, never shot anything except a target when I was a Boy Scout.

    I’m aware that car crashes don’t result in fiery explosions of the gasoline. Except in Hollywood.

    Do you know if “dum dums”, which probably weren’t used (many people said capitol police use 9 mm), typical exit the body? If such bullet did, don’t they rip a largish crater out on the exit side, and thus would, in fact, be propelling some blood outwards, though not necessarily as “spray”.

  13. Eric Anderson

    Well, count me as a net negative.

    All it’s done is enable a lie to run around the world three times before the truth gets it’s pants up — instead of once.

    The fairness doctrine, it can well be argued, limited free speech. It should be applied to the internet, in my opinion, as well.

    Are we arguing the abolishment of the fairness doctrine was a good thing?

  14. Eric Anderson

    This is the debate that needs to be had right now, and I’m not hearing it.
    Guess why? You’re addicted. And, addicts never blame the source of their addiction.
    These corporations aren’t selling speech. They’re selling dopamine.

  15. @ David Veale

    I just clicked on your link. You might want to check out one of my websites,

    I was hoping that small businesses, which are going extinct, as well as churches and other faith organizations would educate the public about vitamin D; eventually other low cost therapeutics and prophylactics. The purpose of my website, which doesn’t have a lot of information, was to facilitate the distribution of a flyer. I’ve also made some printable documents that can be glued onto posterboard, to make a sign that is readable at a distance. However, I haven’t uploaded that, yet, or made any edits, yet, to the original website.

  16. Ché Pasa

    Communication via intertubes = much more with strangers than in 1968.

    That has consequences: we’re hardwired to attribute to strangers esoteric knowledge we otherwise wouldn’t have. Some of us are primed to believe what we learn from strangers over the information/knowledge we gain from those we know. But we don’t have objective means to discern whether what a stranger tells us is true or false or somewhere in between. This is how so many people have come to believe complete falsehoods.The interwebs provide plenty of other falsehoods for them to believe which they take as truth and the victims get blamed for not being “smart enough” to figure out that they’re being lied to.

    How exactly are they supposed to figure it out? Why by believing and adhering to other falsehoods, of course! Genius!

    This situation has always been with us but rarely if ever to the extent it exists now. Nihilists love it.

    I’m not sure anyone else does.

  17. Eric Anderson

    For crying out loud, when was the last time someone commenting on here actually used their “free speech” where it matters? For example, in a grassroots manner at your local county commissioners meeting or school board.

    Talk about kicking the public sphere in the nuts. Seriously? Who on here regularly participates in their local politics? I sure as hell do. That, is what free speech is for in this country. But do we use it? How successful has that facebook campaign been to petition your local government for redress of grievances, while they pass whatever they want because you’re arguing with someone that doesn’t matter online?

    This whole project is just a giant black hole sucking everyone’s agency out of the room and inserting in the form of dollar signs in oligarch’s pockets.

    The hypocrisy breaks my brain.

  18. Recovering Addict

    This is the debate that needs to be had right now, and I’m not hearing it.
    Guess why? You’re addicted. And, addicts never blame the source of their addiction.
    These corporations aren’t selling speech. They’re selling dopamine.

    Eric, denial is not a river in Egypt. I understand what you’re saying and am here with a simple reminder that all “you” statements have two fingers pointing right back at the writer or speaker. That holds true for all of us, including our host.

    Another world awaits people once they come to understand this simple truism. Those who realize it with every fiber of their being never come back. We never hear from them again.

    The secret is that while Orwell’s proles have no use for Marx, they have no use for Orwell either.

    Go live dammit!

  19. bruce wilder

    @ Eric

    Early in online days, I participated in discussion forums about the American Civil War. Many of the people who came to some forums in the early days did so from a base of industrial-strength reading, often of both secondary and primary materials — they knew stuff! And, they knew how to sort fact from fiction and drill down in documents to confirm or disconfirm a fact.

    The people who are attracted to controversy about the American Civil War range across the full spectrum of American nuttiness, with over-representation by people loyal to the Confederacy, sure that slaves fought beside their masters for magnolias and moonbeams, and include a lot of libertarians sure that Lincoln with his income tax was a tyrant and the Constitution enshrines a right of secession the vicious abolitionists ignored. But, though it would be a hard slog through a lot of repetition, it was possible to win an argument, prove a point, change minds.

    I first thought about those forums because I remember a historiographically informed argument about how well informed the citizenry was, back in 1850-60 as the controversy and constitutional crisis rose to the crescendo of civil war. The answer was that they had little to work with. Newspapers were typically printed as two broadsheets folded together to form 8 pages came out weekly or twice-weekly, though there were a lot of them competing even in small cities — all but a handful of metropolises were small towns of a few tens of thousands or just thousands. Daily papers were just emerging in the biggest cities. Telegraphs and railroads meant news and a few newspapers-cum-proto-magazines were national. Sports scores were already popular though professional games and even definite rules were still emerging. There remains controversy about how literate a spottily educated people really were, but people who could read, could read at an advanced level. Newspapers then were written for two or three grade levels higher than newspaper websites today, using modern measures of language complexity. The consensus is that vast numbers were engaged with the issues that led to the Civil War and engaged at a high level of sophistication of argument and depth of feeling.

    People are people, and I would not want to leave the impression that the high-minded debate over constitutional issues of secession, states rights and slavery took place in a cultural paradise. Racial prejudice could be extreme and find expression in violent riots against abolishnists and free african-americans. Some antislavery political views were founded on racial prejudice and demands for separation of the races. The immense popularity of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” — a major factor in generating antislavery political passion — had as its legacy a 60 year tradition of minstrel shows performed in blackface.

    One thing I see in the last ten years is the predominance in the news of projection and counterfactual speculation. What actually happened is given much less weight that the meaning of what happened and that meaning is distilled from speculation almost exclusively, with little respect for serious fact-checking of narratives offered for the emotional purchase. Even science is subverted now into reports of what “a new model shows”.

    In 1850, they may have had only an 8 page newspaper but they focused and really read those 8 pages. Even a mere 25 years ago, a common notion of the primacy of fact and a capacity to verify to some standard of objectivity remained in the mainstream.

    The assault on “objective fact” has come from many quarters and accompanied a flood of disinformation. The ratio of journalists to pr hacks has swung hard in the wrong direction. As politics has become less local and more a matter of billionaires herding the sheep across the globe, the trusted gatekeeper role has disappeared. Much of academia is untrustworthy for a variety of reasons, economic and philosophic.

    I have noticed here in Ian’s comments that people rely more on their moral commitments and have less to bring by way of factual understanding regardless of topic. Moral commitments are important, but relying on them to reduce the cognitive load that practical understanding imposes is questionable.

  20. Eric Anderson

    RC, thanks.
    Yeah, I fully understand the hypocrisy of my own position in all this.
    I fully acknowledge it’s the addict that brings me back.
    But, like old timers in the program, it takes sharing experience, strength and hope with others still wrestling to spread the word.

    I’ve walked into bars and talked more than once person off their stool and into AA.

  21. Ché Pasa

    The thing is, Eric, ranting and screaming at public officials — because of something you learned on the Free Speech Internet Platform of Your Choice — accomplishes nothing but a notation in the Big Book that you’re freaking out of your mind and no one need pay attention to you. With a police watch on you the next time you show up for a public meeting.

    If you participate on a policy making level as I and others here have, then you’re considered part of the Hated Elite or Deep State, at least by the ranters and would be insurgents who learn Troof! on the Internet or the Cable TeeVee.

    The struggle at the top now is for Power, preferably Absolute Power, and everything else right now is set aside. What we do in our local communities is essentially beside the point — right now. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter or that we should stop. It means that those who seek to rule us from on high are in a death match, and who or what comes out on top will matter more… at least for a while.

  22. Recovering Addict

    But, like old timers in the program, it takes sharing experience, strength and hope with others still wrestling to spread the word.

    Yes. Sharing personal, lived experiences. No ideology in that, although the institution of AA is actually quite ideological.

    I’ve walked into bars and talked more than once person off their stool and into AA.

    Thereby promoting a program that boasts it’s “based on attraction rather than promotion?

  23. Sans the Orange

    Would the Trumpers follow him so ardently if they knew what he really looked like? I suspect they would.

  24. nihil obstet

    Here’s a simple, wrong model of dealing with public officials: “I once signed a petition and the officials did nothing. That proves our speech means nothing.” I’d say the right model is more along the lines of “A lot of people that I’ve joined have been pushing for these things for decades and we’ve lost most of the battles. We’ve won a few for things that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.”

    Different people have different decision rules. For some, what they see and the futility of addressing the bought Congress as detailed in the Gilens and Page study clearly show it’s futile, though I’m not sure why these people spend time writing about it on the internet. I mean, what do you get out of writing over and over and over again, “You’re all stupid for thinking anything can be done.” For others, it’s making sure that the solutions at least float around until the opportunity arises. And others are Charlie Brown and the football. This time it’s different.

    The last time I spoke in front of an elected body was late fall of 2019 when I spoke in person in a city council meeting.

  25. Thomas Golladay

    Pelosi just asked the military to stage a coup. They told her no. In fact it angered them and confirmed the political system is utterly broken.

    So much for Trump being a fascist.

  26. Impeccable Logic

    Pelosi inquired about something and the military responded, hence Trump is not a fascist. Doctor, I’m not feeling well.

  27. NR

    Impeccable Logic: You’re clearly exercising something called “critical thinking,” which Thomas is incapable of. That’s probably the source of your discomfort.

  28. Z

    Nobody was protesting in 1968 that they’re internet speech was being censored and we seem to have got on just fine.

    Yes, the wonderful 1960s when the CIA and FBI were involved in a covert war against left wingers here and abroad. The 1960s with the suspicious murders of JFK, MLK, RFK, Fred Hampton, and Malcolm X. The CIA probably even had a role in the Manson family murders that was given the tagline, probably with the help of the CIA and FBI, of ending the hope of the 60s. We could have used a Wikileaks in the 60s, back when people weren’t basically monitored 24-7 by surveillance cameras and completely enslaved to their jobs as a means to survive and had the economic power and freedom to effectuate change that we simply don’t have today.

    Mind you, isolating the modern internet and dropping it into past societies without all the other technology that made it possible and came along with it is an exercise in science fiction.

    – Our societal problems have more to do with cellphones than the internet IMO. If the internet was confined to the home we’d be much better off. We wouldn’t have lost our societal rhythm and cohesiveness as much and people still would have had to leave their homes and the internet due to our species’ innate social needs. Now we have people out in public with their attention and their minds not often enough on those outside of their social circle, which they carry around with them even when they’re not physically there.


  29. Eric Anderson

    “ranting and screaming at public officials — because of something you learned on the Free Speech Internet Platform of Your Choice — “

    Really, Che? The straw man? Argue with what I’m saying please, not some manufactured guy in your head.

    Back to real world: I’m well respected attorney in small, conservative, rural town, who is constantly called to public service in a variety of public interest capacities. Yes, I put M.S. in bioregional planning and community design to good use, as well as my JD. And I do it all, intentionally, local. The real grassroots.


    And RA … I’d like to think you’d do the same for a friend.
    Both of them are still my fiends and still sober 10 and 12 years later. Continue to sponsor one (well, we kinda sponsor each other). Pretty sure they’re both grateful I sat down and told them I’d walk into a room with them if they wanted.
    Take the high minded snark elsewhere. This is the real world.

  30. Eric Anderson

    But Z, argue whether all the extra “free speech” generated by the tech bro revolution would have made it better or worse.

    That’s the question.

  31. Recovering Addict

    Eric, perhaps it should have been obvious to me that you were already well acquainted with those you were trying to help. I misunderstood. I am sorry.

  32. Ché Pasa

    What’s happened was not caused by the Internet, but it has certainly been facilitated by it. And what’s happened represents an existential threat to the survival of the Republic. The oligarchs who dominate the Internet do. not. care. Or rather, they like it like that. A Republic on the edge of survival can be made to do certain things that enhance the oligarch’s power and wealth and therefore, keeping the Republic dangling between existential death and bare survival — on oligarchic terms — is beneficial, no?

    Honestly, I don’t see any likelihood that the national government as currently constituted and operated will survive much longer. What happened on Wednesday was a body-blow to Congress from which it will not — cannot in fact — recover.

    For years I worked on a project with others to envision and start to codify something better than we had — perhaps a different form of government, a radically revised and updated constitution, a different (and better) approach to economics, law and justice, etc. etc. Everything was on the table. Ultimately it came to nothing, too few could agree on more than inconsequentials. But the idea that there was something deeply, mortally wrong with the governing path we were on, and something had to be done about it — and would be done sooner or later, for good or ill — drove the project. That we couldn’t reach consensus was an important insight. It’s much more difficult to do than most of us think.

    In the current context, decisions — often very bad ones — are being made for us, and we are left to go along or… take matters into our own hands as happened with the White Bois at the Capitol on Wednesday. No, they didn’t do it for the sake of Orange Man Bad. The real bad actors in that shit show don’t care a whit about him or any other prancing demagogue. They were out for themselves. Alone.

  33. bruce wilder

    One reason the politics of cultural change has accelerated is that mere, repetitive communication among strangers can be effective. It always could be — hence the power of slogans and bumperstickers and jokes. The wearing out of hot buttons becomes an important part of the dynamics. The opening of subcultures to the outside world — i am following three brothers (3 separate accounts) on Tiktok who are answering questions about growing in a polygamous FDLS family (1 patriarch, max 27 wives, 150 children, guesstimated 2000+ cousins). It is interesting and obviously liberating for them.

    The hardening of the PMC into a low-performance mode, immune to democratic influence from “below” but still oddly responsive to public shaming is a different set of phenomena. The PMC are generating a hard-shell of jargon, cultural norms and credentials even as their legitimacy erodes rapidly and the performance of the governing institutions they run — private and public — declines. This is where our commentariat is struggling to find its viewpoint. The instinct of several self-regarding commenters is to defend the establishment-swamp’s by pretending some are less fetid without actually finding a criteria for distinguishing differences — Hugh crying “false-equivalence” is deep into that sort of agnatology.

    As Ché Pasa observes, the PTB in our overly-centralized polity are contending among themselves for power and we do not matter to their Ragnarök. I draw attention to his wisdom on this point, because a lot of the social and politic problems we are experiencing have something to do with communication technologies forcing excessive scale on human activities that require judgment and human judgment does not scale. So, instead we are getting rules or algorithms in place of judgment and the displacing of judgment results in declining institutional performance.

    That is a very abstract way of expressing the basic idea, but that may be the fundamental problem emergent in many contexts: banking, news, higher education. It is especially evident where Big Tech’s scale is most excessive — banking, Amazon, Facebook, Google.

    Amazon can ruin a small business in an instant. A credit score can ruin your life.

    I want Trump to shut up as much as the next guy, but it is scary that Twitter can actually silence a President of the United States. And also scary that they can silence pretty much anyone else, too, and are completely unable to explain their criteria. An algorithm is not a judgment.

  34. Ché Pasa

    Eric, try reading my entire comment rather than responding only to what triggers you. I was not accusing you of anything untoward. I was merely pointing out what doesn’t work in public meetings. Which I’m sure you understand.

  35. bruce wilder

    Thanks to all for a comment thread that is reflective. Got to go live, now. Won’t be back for a while.

  36. someofparts

    “The assault on “objective fact” has come from many quarters and accompanied a flood of disinformation. The ratio of journalists to pr hacks has swung hard in the wrong direction. As politics has become less local and more a matter of billionaires herding the sheep across the globe, the trusted gatekeeper role has disappeared.”

    It changed when Reagan struck down the Fairness Doctrine. Before that there was no hate speech on the radio, nothing like Fox anywhere. Playing fast and loose with facts could end careers and the private lives of politicians were never discussed. Tabloid did not bleed over into the regular press.

    I don’t know what it must be like to have no memory of that, but it is sad that so many people don’t.

  37. kråke

    Republics represent a state of unresolvable tension between elites. When elite factions cannot negate or subsume each other, especially in the contest for control over geographically captive subject populations, republics are the truce that binds those subject populations to a captive state, while the elite factions vie for control of wealth, farmable subjects – and the tipping point.

    Republics also represent one of the few public arenas in which the plebs, the proles and the lumpen might capture both the machinery of state and the agencies of government; government is as most of us know distinct from the state: the state is the sum total, including land, subjects, capital and culture; government is disciplinary apparatus of control, the war machine within the larger body. One needn’t control the state, or even respect it, to seize the agencies of government (which is why we’re always being shown the state and having the workings of government obscured).

    Republics allow for the capture and, very importantly, spending down of elite wealth and power, but only if the various corpuscles of non-elites can agree or tolerate wide distribution to members of the populace they themselves consider undeserving. Only if they stop caring about the State.

    Which is why our elites spend not inconsiderable loot making sure we’re focused on who deserves what, who doesn’t deserve, and how much this might “cost”, when really the only thing that matters is using the balance-of-force that is a republic to grab and spend as much of their loot as is possible.

  38. Jack

    Reinstating the Fairness Doctrine would absolutely help, but remember that Bob Grant never let the Fairness Doctrine get in his way.

  39. Z


    I suppose you are talking about platforms … twitter, facebook, etc. … and again I believe their worst aspects are amplified by cellphone usage because people don’t generally like to type long form on a cellphone, but read a single twitter comment on their small cellphone screen, get triggered and write something in reply to it and their communication and thought process becomes a chain of emotional reactions. Disclosure: I hardly use my cellphone so this is an opinion based almost purely on observation and intuition.

    The cellphones have made us more impulsive and, as you noted earlier, the platforms are designed to tap into and enhance that impulsivity with dopamine pings.


  40. S Brennan

    In trying to verify NR’s point that, paraphrasing – “their have been dozens upon dozens of evidentiary trials/hearings on the election” [I hadn’t heard of any, I thought they had all been dismissed without trial or evidentiary hearing].

    My google search turned up nothing but hundreds opinion pieces that made it clear there was no fraud of any kind, only lunatics think there could have been election fraud. For those who have been following the claims put forth by CIA/NSA/FBI/DNC/NBC/CBS/ABC/NYT/WaPo on Russia “hacking” the US election in 2016 for the past four years today’s sharp narrative reversal induced severe whiplash.

    How could something so pervasive, so easily accomplished in 2016, be completely eradicated in four short years? By this narrative, Trump’s team performed their duties better than all presidents combined !!!

    Of course, Trump did no such thing, but that’s the problem with ridiculous narratives, they lead to ridiculous conclusions if…you follow them down their rabbit hole. No, what I was witnessing was massive censorship.

    The overt massive censorship by Google Search and Google’s subsidiary, Youtube has become truly Orwellian. And to the polite applause of today’s “liberals” who generally call for greater censorship of material that challenges their world view; only information that confirms their bias should be allowed.

    Just the other day newcomers to this blog were calling for editorial censorship and failing that, they called for the comment section to be closed. Since I started commenting on blogs [circa 2,000 primary/election, briefly, (Bradly then shifting to Gore)], a minority of commenters have always tried to “work the ref” to gain advantage in what they view as political gamesmanship.

    But what we see now is new, we have an entire political demographic advocating for tyranny in the name of freedom. Orwellian, but not driven by the state, driven by prole “thought leaders” seeking to fellate state power to gain position. Yes, it worked for Ezra Klein, but that was then…there are just too many willing now, no matter how supine your stature, somebody will always be willing to humiliate themselves further.

    Back to Google, either you say what pleases Google or you are the proverbial branch falling in the deep forest. Back in the early 00’s there was a CIA office inside Google staffed by some 16 members how large that has grown I do not know but, it’s fair to assume, all news on Google now passes through the 3-letter agency’s “Ministry of Truth”. Dark Times these, the good news is, the people are ready for it.

    No man on horseback Ian, Tyranny will come from the castle’s deep well and whatever it’s form, it will be welcomed by the proles. 16 years is a long time to give gilded-age-economics welded to neocolonialism free reign but that is what must pass.

    adjective: liberal; adjective: Liberal

    1. willing to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one’s own; open to new ideas.

    2.relating to or denoting a political and social philosophy that promotes individual rights, civil liberties, democracy, and free enterprise.

  41. Z

    Well, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m sure glad that they apprehended that dangerous criminal who STOLE FEDERAL PROPERTY and not only that but a lectern that was used by one of our most haloed whores in Congress: a doped up 80 year old idiot who is too far gone and addicted to have the decency and good sense to enjoy the rest of her life spending time with her husband, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren and instead uses Congress, and as an extension our country, as a platform to extract dopamine pings from while legislatively imposing a good ol’ ass kicking on the vast majority of the citizens the lowlife purports to represent.


    Damn right! That bastard from Florida deserves to be raped in jail for the disgrace he brought upon this great nation and its deliberative body that is the inspiration to the rest of the world!

    I feel so much safer now …


  42. anon y'mouse

    bruce wilder–thank you for always providing thoughtful comments.

  43. Chicago Clubs

    >It’s raising the population’s overall consciousness and intelligence

    Precisely the opposite.

  44. Willy

    It sounds like bruce is frustrated because he has difficulty reaching beyond the 10% of people who are wired to follow logical leaders, regardless of the current technology of communications.

    Sadly, 50% of the population is wired to follow traditional leaders. If you don’t waddle and quack like a traditional duck, you might as well be a spoonbill. And traditional ducks ‘know’ that spoonbills “are not us”, and are therefore wrong and possibly even evil. Maybe that’s why con artists (and successful duck hunters) try to emulate their prey.

  45. Jack

    Just the other day newcomers to this blog were calling for editorial censorship and failing that, they called for the comment section to be closed. Since I started commenting on blogs [circa 2,000 primary/election, briefly, (Bradly then shifting to Gore)], a minority of commenters have always tried to “work the ref” to gain advantage in what they view as political gamesmanship.

    Bill Bradley. My god. This country doesn’t produce the likes of a Bill Bradley anymore. Maybe it’s as simple as that.

  46. Hugh

    Well, the five minutes Wednesday where McConnell and even Graham acted like the drugs had worn off and sanity returned passed. McConnell is doing everything he can to deep six or render irrelevant Trump’s impeachment. Graham arguably the biggest Trump whore on Capitol Hill reached out to Biden to stop the impeachment which he worried could tear the country apart. I mean for four years Graham had no problem with Trump tearing the country apart. Now he cares ? Laughable.

    And let’s look at the real victims of this last week, Josh and Ted. Here were a couple of hardworking guys who were just trying to grandstand, exploit Trump rubes, and undermine US elections. You know the usual. And unfairness of unfairnesses, it blew up in their weaselly faces. Josh even lost a book deal which was supposed to be part of his roll out as the next Trump. You rubes may be dying from covid and being in the middle class is a distant memory to you. But you’ve got it easy. Try being a crossed politician on the make.

  47. NR

    “their have been dozens upon dozens of evidentiary trials/hearings on the election” [I hadn’t heard of any, I thought they had all been dismissed without trial or evidentiary hearing].

    S Brennan, I do not say this in a nasty way, but you need to stop getting your information from whatever right-wing “news” sources you are currently getting it from, because they are lying to you. This page has a good summary of all the court cases Trump and those suing on his behalf have lost, and you can see that in many, many of these cases, the judges heard the evidence and rejected Trump’s claims.

    And it’s not just court cases; legislative hearings have looked at the supposed evidence of fraud and found that it’s not substantive.

    There are other sources you can consult for accurate information.

  48. Hugh

    It is interesting to see how Washington and Republicans are detaching from Trump and/or scavenge what’s left. More consequential is social media’s belated disconnecting from Trump. It makes it much harder for Trump to drop bombs on his way out. It keeps him on the defensive. And that is really the name of the game now. Trump is the first President that I know of who has to be contained on his way out to prevent him from doing more destruction. This what you get though when you elect someone with a serious mental illness.

  49. Joan

    @bruce, I echo other readers who thanked you for your thoughtful comments.

    @Eric, I think the future is both analog and local, but that future won’t happen until the decline of the west continues for quite a while, maybe by the end of the century.

    That’s why it’s important for people alive now to preserve what they value for those future generations to pick up: parliamentary procedure, systems of local governance and land management, fraternal organizations like the Masons, efficient small-scale gardening and animal husbandry, taking important information found online and rendering it in printed form if you want it to be accessible when most people can’t afford internet anymore, etc.

    I myself shop only locally. It took a couple of years to get there, but I treated it like Lent. I gave up one global company, let that solidify in my habits for some months, then gave up another. All of my eating out and other things are purchased from local small businesses. There is only one purchase each year that my husband and I have shipped in from another country.

    I was working on a two-pronged next step in my project when 2020 slowed things down. 1.) I’m trying to find local clothing rather than fast fashion, but I don’t like the tailor in my neighborhood (haha) and I am overwhelmed by thrift stores, and 2.) I had planned to take lessons with the local book-binder, the city farm, and my favorite restaurant, all of whom offer classes for relatively cheap.

    I am not currently involved in local politics because I am not a citizen, but I’d eventually like to help out and hopefully volunteer locally (I’d really like to help anyone who is figuring out a way to paint over graffiti super fast and not get mugged by a gang or whatever).

  50. S Brennan

    So NR, I spent some time going through your evidence of “their have been dozens upon dozens of evidentiary trials/hearings on the election” you presented as proof positive.

    REF: ”

    And what did I find, mostly the opinion of the “journalist” and the number of cases that were not allowed to proceed due to various legal arguments. No cases mention in the article you cite were of an evidentiary nature, all were dismissed without any evidence being examined in the slightest, all were rulings that forbade any discovery or trial. Exactly as I stated.

    Assuming you are not being a DNC hack, [and based on your postings, that’s a stretch]; please make a greater effort to comprehend what some one who disagrees with your “blue no matter who” world view is actually saying before, arguing a reply that is not germane to the speakers point.

  51. My understanding is that there were either no cases that had evidentiary hearings; or else possibly the one that Trump won. I can’t remember, clearly.

    My understanding also is that Supreme Court cases can’t be evidentiary, only constitutional. And this also applies to the level just below them (either district or circuit, can’t remember).

    Note: I’m not a lawyer; and don’t know much about lawyerly stuff, say by self-study.

    This reminds me about the account of a meeting by Fauci with AIDS activists, back in the day, and saying that they had failed to find efficacy in any of the therapeutic drugs that the activists were pressing him on. What he didn’t tell them is that they hadn’t actually done the tests.

    This is called lying by omission. Now, some people aren’t capable of disambiguating, say, “court cases” and “court cases with evidentiary hearings”. But others are. In order to avoid casting one’s pearls to a pig, one should try to figure out if the person is even capable of disambiguating. If not, they are effectively a pig, even if they have no malicious or deceitful intent.

  52. NR

    S Brennan,

    Obviously you didn’t read that list of cases very carefully. As I said, there are many cases where the evidence was examined.

    The campaign sued in yet another federal case to stop Philadelphia County from counting votes without Republicans present. The judge dismissed the case after Trump’s lawyers said Republican election watchers were, in fact, present.

    A lawsuit in Bucks County filed by Republican congressional candidate Kathy Barnette on Election Day made a technical challenge on the county’s method of organizing ballots before counting them. She withdrew the case two days later and lost the election.

    The Trump campaign appealed that Bucks County case soon afterward, but a judge rejected it and pointed out in his ruling that fraud wasn’t an issue.

    “It must be noted that the parties specifically stipulated in their comprehensive stipulation of facts that there exists no evidence of any fraud, misconduct, or any impropriety with respect to the challenged ballots. There is nothing in the record and nothing alleged that would lead to the conclusion that any of the challenged ballots were submitted by someone not qualified or entitled to vote in this election,” he wrote. “At no time did Petitioners present evidence or argument to the contrary.”

    The Trump campaign and the RNC filed a lawsuit in state court asking to stop ballot counting in Clark County — a heavily Democratic area — until GOP officials could observe the process. A district judge rejected the request on the grounds that the plaintiffs did not have evidence to back up their allegations. Republicans appealed the case to the Nevada Supreme Court, which said on November 5 that the campaign and Republican officials had reached a settlement that allowed expanded ballot observation. They later withdrew the case.

    The Trump campaign filed a different lawsuit in Carson City District Court alleging multiple irregularities that the campaign claimed, without providing specific evidence, would be enough to overturn the election results in Nevada and flip the state to Trump. It failed.

    A judge in Chatham County denied the Trump campaign’s request to toss out 53 ballots that a GOP poll watcher said arrived after polls closed at 7 p.m. on November 3. The Washington Post reported that the poll watcher presented no evidence in court that the ballots came in late and that county officials testified that they were received in time.

    A poll challenger named Sarah Stoddard and a group called the Election Integrity Fund filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the certification of election results in Detroit, claiming that absentee ballots were improperly reviewed. Judge Timothy Kenny denied the motion on the grounds that there was no proof that election oversight protocol hadn’t been followed. Kenny issued another ruling later denying other motions, including a request for an additional audit of the election.

    The Trump campaign filed a lawsuit in state court alleging that Maricopa County was improperly rejecting ballots cast by some voters. The lawsuit was dismissed after an audit found no problems with the votes.

    Arizona’s Supreme Court unanimously rejected a case from the state GOP chair Kelli Ward, saying the facts she presented were incorrect and that she “fails to present any evidence of misconduct.”

    Wisconsin Voters Alliance, a right-wing group, sued the state elections commission and asked the state Supreme Court to throw out votes and have the Republican-controlled state legislature select the electoral college winner themselves. The state Supreme Court rejected it, saying it had little basis in fact.

    There are even more examples. In the future, you should at least read sources provided to you, rather than just dismissing them out of hand.

  53. @metamars — looks like we’re of similar mind when it comes to covid, though I’d peg our government’s performance more on willful negligence rather than vanilla variety bureaucratic incompetence. They’re a wholly owned subsidiary of pharmaceuticals and banks (and the MIC, oil companies, etc…), and as such have a vested interest in keeping the proles relatively unhealthy and clueless. Their bosses (corporations) are all psychopaths, afterall 8^)

  54. Z

    It’s been a taxing week for internet addicts …


  55. @David Veale was started mainly to distribute the flyer, which ultimately is a pointer to much more informative websites, like

    The flyer begins with:

    “J’Accuse” (I accuse) the US Federal Government, as well as the federal agencies NIAID, NIH, and FDA of civic incompetence, where such incompetence is understood as subsuming the ‘regulatory capture’ flavor of corruption. The cost of this civic incompetence, in the context of covid-19 response, has been avoidable death, sickness, massive transfer of wealth, upwards [1] and economic destruction, especially of small businesses. These will have further reverberations in disaster capitalism style looting (see: The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, by Naomi Klein), decayed mental and physical health of the populace, an enlargement of a permanent underclass, despair, and possible loss of civil rights. The United States is on a trajectory of becoming a 3rd world nation.

    I am soft-selling the conspiratorial aspect of things, because I want to reach a broader audience (ha ha). Similarly, I didn’t go into any great detail about hydroxychloroquine, which millions are brainwashed to believe that it can’t work, because Dr. Trump prescribed it.

    In point of fact, the “Medical Mafia” is transnational, though our “tax” here in the US is much greater than a typical 3rd world country.

  56. Hugh

    It’s actually a nice quiet day today. No insane President tweeting out his lies, BS, and threats. His whacked-out fascist followers taking a day off to reflect on their legal exposure for their recent “patriotic” activities. All in all not a bad day.

  57. someofparts

    Checking the wiki page, Grant got to air his combative conservative show because of the Fairness Doctrine because, believe it or not, before Regan being right-wing wasn’t fashionable.

  58. anon y'mouse

    earlier, i swore i tried to post a link to a hearing in Georgia about their elections (Georgia State Senate holds meetings on 2020 election fraud 12/30/2020) just for viewing and interest. they discussed potential problem points, and had some good expert testimony although some of it was “i saw a woman saying she voted twice and was trying to vote again a third time”.

    odd how that disappeared….

  59. Eric Anderson

    Yes, thanks Bruce.
    I’m with you, I think. Back to the basics for a while.
    These machines, man. They’ve got a class 5 glamour that’ll steal ‘my’ face right off ‘my’ head if I’m not careful.

    You too, Joan.
    Much appreciated. I think I miss my garden and have a tendency to be more online in the winter.

    I should probably focus its more on actually writing instead of random commenting.

  60. someofparts

    Twitter starting to shut down progressive sites.

  61. mago

    Boys boys boys—not to exclude Joan or whomever—there you go again, getting all bunched up and into it.
    In 1970 at age 18 in freshman debate class I went up against a ROTC dude and argued that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was a fabrication and oil was behind it. I backed it up with facts. I don’t know where I got that info nor do I know how local and national anti war protests were organized. But it happened. Truth circulated about the Kennedys and King. Info was there for those seeking it.
    The internet’s here now. Stay or go, who knows? Doesn’t matter.

  62. Jason

    @ Eric:

    “such a long, long time to be gone and a short time to be there”

    Peace be with you my friend.

  63. Ché Pasa


    I’m not familiar with that particular victim of Jack’s perversity, but it seems to me that all kinds of progressive users have been suspended over the years. Pretty much randomly, too. There’s long been little rhyme or reason behind it. It’s one reason I don’t use Twitter. Or Facebook or the other Platforms. Not worth the aggravation.

    (Note: back during Occupy, I was introduced to Facebook and Twitter and briefly joined, as they were then the primary means of obtaining and sharing information about the occupations. Came to realize that Occupy was in part being generated and sustained by the Platforms for their own pecuniary interests. Whocouldaknowed?

  64. Willy

    I remember the story of the attractive young black man who was at work, when a few workplace peers remarked out of the blue that they didn’t know his politics were so conservative and that he was a Trumpist.

    They showed him a Facebook page where somebody had pasted his own Facebook picture onto a fake profile. He then went online and commented on the fake page with his real name and that real picture of himself, telling them to remove his picture immediately. He then watched in horror after nobody commented about it and the fake Facebook page continued to accrue thousands of likes. Trumpists are just that cultish. He did get results from Facebook management. But it’s likely somebody else’s picture was probably stolen for the creation of fake page.

    A lot of Youtubers complain about the inconsistent and unfair policies and algorithms. Why does one guy get suspended for weeks and another far worse guy ignored?

    I equate Twitter silencing somebody, with a restaurant telling an unhinged customer to leave. Trump received many warnings, both subtle and obvious, just like a restaurant manager would do. It’s a business. Keep an unhinged customer with 90,000,000 followers around for too long and you’ll probably be losing serious business. So you make them leave.

  65. Stirling S Newberry

    Mitch McConnell is saying it was only a small insurrection by good old whyte people. No need to impeach.

  66. S Brennan

    Apparently NR confuses summery judgement with a fair trial.

    Using NR’s standard of justice NR, Julian Assange has been given a full measure of justice. It happens, most neoDs just can’t see the difference nowadays; that’s how we got to where we are. NeoDs destroyed any semblance of political discourse to disguise the fact that they pimped out the Democratic party to Wall-Street & the 3-letter agencies. JFK was the last Democratic President every President [D] since has been a strutting street walking whore.

    Thank you once again NR for displaying your “clever” insincerity. You’re a political hack and I was stupid [as I noted in my response] for treating your bullshit as having any trace of sincerity. Thank you again for reminding me that your presence here is purely to serve the neoD’d DNC. Now that we understand each other, go fuck off.

    Studied ignorance, it’s what passes for “liberalism” these days..ever since Al From purged the Democratic party of FDRism.

  67. Thomas Golladay


    Philadelphia case, the Challengers were kept back from the ballots and could not see what was on them. Therefore they could not verify the ballots or challenge them. This is a violation of the law. Not only that but rural counties did not keep Poll Challengers back at all and they were right next to the poll workers. This was an unequal application of law and violates the 14th Amendment. They were then thrown out. The Judge didn’t care and dismissed the case without a full hearing.

    Bucks county was the same issue especially with Ballot Curing with unequal application of law. Judge did not care and threw the case out without hearing the evidence.

    Clark County, excluding Poll Challengers is a violation of law, any votes counted without their presence is illegal.

    Carson City, the Judge did not allow evidence to be presented.

    Chatham County Judge ignored the evidence with time stamps.

    Detroit’s own Canvassing Board found 75% of the Ballot Boxes were unbalanced and the Judge ignored it and SoS ignored it.

    Maricopa County did not do signature verification and continues to block it.

    Arizona’s Supreme Court refused to look at the evidence and now the State Legislature is finding their own investigation getting blocked.

    Wisconsin, same issue, the Court would not look at the evidence.

    You are deeply misinformed or a troll.

    Ballots are public documents and people have a right to full and transparent elections and audits.

    The fact is the Establishment launched a Coup against Trump who would not lick their boots like Bernie Sanders would. They are blocking signature verifications and polling machine audits, and shutting down audits that start to reveal errors above the margin of victory.

    You are a useful fool of the establishment.

  68. Hugh

    Stirling, for McConnell to push impeachment, he would have to get off his bony white_ss and do something –even stand for something. It’s much more in his character to slither back into his lair and obstruct. It’s all he really knows how to do.

  69. Hugh

    NR, you missed all those Martians rigging votes. You could see them everywhere on election day, or you could have seen them if they weren’t sneakily invisible, but they were everywhere.

  70. NR

    Apparently NR confuses summery judgement with a fair trial.

    Apparently S Brennan lacks the honesty required to admit when he is wrong and prefers to move the goalposts instead.

    S Brennan, you said that all the cases “were dismissed without any evidence being examined in the slightest.” That is a direct quote from you. I gave a bunch of examples of judges hearing evidence (or lack thereof) that Trump’s lawyers and other lawyers presented. The judges ruled against them because the evidence was insufficient to prove their claims.

    If you had a shred of honesty within you anywhere, you would admit that you were wrong when you said that all the cases “were dismissed without any evidence being examined in the slightest.” But it seems you completely and utterly lack honesty. What that means about anything and everything else you say I leave as a conclusion for others to draw themselves.

  71. NR

    Philadelphia case, the Challengers were kept back from the ballots and could not see what was on them. Therefore they could not verify the ballots or challenge them. This is a violation of the law.

    Not according to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which I’m going to go out on a limb and say knows the law better than a random internet troll.

    “We conclude the Board did not act contrary to law in fashioning its regulations governing the positioning of candidate representatives during the precanvassing and canvassing process, as the Election Code does not specify minimum distance parameters for the location of such representatives,”

    Keep making up bullshit though, it’s all you have left at this point.

  72. Thomas Golladay


    A person 20 feet away can’t read a ballot. A person 6 feet away can’t read a ballot. It is an unreasonable interpretation of law for Poll Challengers to be kept 6 feet away while other counties had them right next to poll workers.

    You really are an idiotic troll. Covid-19 is not an excuse to throw out election procedures and change laws and procedures without Legislatures’ Approval in accordance with their constitution.

    No matter, in 2022 the Establishment Republicans will be primaried out and the Republicans will retake everything. The squad will licks the boots of the Democratic Establishment and do jack shit.

    In other news, the EU has ended recognition of Juan Guaidó.

  73. Willy

    MAGA conservatives are easy to spot. Low emotional intelligence, low facts, and consider lying and shaming to be legitimate tactics. Dissembling common.

    Meanwhile, there are videos of Romney and Graham getting hammered by MAGAs. I can only imagine what McConnell and Pence are gonna have to deal with.

  74. Chuck Mire

    Regarding all social network apps:

    Some know how to use social networks intelligently by using logic and investigating and countering with facts for spurious claims. However, the masses – for the most part – fail when it comes to deep literacy. In short, they no longer read long form articles, essays or books. Therefore they decide with their gut – not with their brain – because in our busy world, they lost or never developed this discipline as a necessary condition for their education in our increasingly complex world. There is no solution to anything – except trivia – that can be solved in the short form format of social network apps. Instead they become echo chambers that rally around shared opinions – many not based upon truth or reality – rather based upon their raw emotions.

    With social media, everybody becomes an “expert” with nothing more than their opinions. True expertise requires specialized knowledge of the particular that is accumulated, In many cases, over many years of study.

  75. nihil obstet

    @Chuck Mire

    We are where we are because of the failure of the experts. Our expert economists have supported the impoverishment of the country, our expert military hasn’t won a major war in 75 years despite being in the field for most of that time, our expert policy makers and implementing administrations have brought us a lack of public health, a crumbling physical infrastructure. As wrong and irritating as much of the social media are, they can’t hold a candle to the damage done by the experts during the lifespan of most of the users.

  76. Eric Anderson

    Juries decide facts. Judges decide the law. If there are no facts in contention, all that leaves to decide is the law, and summary judgment is the vehicle by which judges decide the law when there are no facts to dispute.

  77. anon y'mouse

    ahh, now i see it didn’t disappear. i am simply going blind with age.

    considering the spew on these comments, that may be a good thing.

    media induced hysteria is not exclusive to those many of you are “analyzing”.

    Ian was more correct than he may have been indicating with his post here: the enemy really is U.S./US.

  78. Most hopeful thing I’ve heard in quite a while. And by somebody who sings the praises of trial lawyers! (I generally think of lawyers negatively, though I had a relative lawyer who never took a case that he thought was phony. And his daughter did him proud, becoming both a lawyer, then a judge, who is just as honest as him. Meanwhile, while in law school, her superior (forget the title) stole credit from her for research she had done. I’ve never asked her what she thinks of lawyers, generally….)

    For those of you who think all will become sweetness and light if Western societies clamp down on their populations, even if they have to kill all their small businesses and create medical allied tyrannies that probably won’t go away, ever, this is not the video for you.

  79. edmondo

    I find it hard to condemn anyone who attacked Congress. I want it to happen more often. If a couple senators need to hang from lampposts, well, then certain sacrifices need to be made.

  80. Thomas Golladay

    Amazon in coordination with Big Tech is shutting down Parler. It will be back up at noon Monday.

    This is further proof that Biden is the fascist and with Big Tech in his cabinet intends to implement a crackdown on free speech.

    Civil War is inevitable, and as Tim Pool has pointed out, it will make odd allies of Antifa and Trumpists against the establishment. The military will not step in, they saw what happened in Syria and knows stepping in will result in units turning on each other.

  81. Ché Pasa

    It appears the only “norm” our rulers are willing to defend is the norm that you don’t physically attack elected and appointed members of the government. Well, except for the fact that they aren’t really defending it.

    If the Capitol can be attacked, overrun, occupied and trashed with no real defense at all for hours, then the government (such as it is) has been effectively taken hostage and shown in no uncertain terms that it’s powerless in the face of both the mob (literal and figurative) and those who own the members lock, stock and barrel.

    Now we’ve seen this demonstrated in no uncertain terms.

    Congress and the government is not acting on their own behalf. Nancy has delayed impeachment 2, Pence is stalling invoking the 25th, all the insurgents in Congress (House and Senate) are still seated and will likely face no consequences, and the (in)Justice Department is exercising a very light hand on the rioters, turning loose many of those arrested on their own recognizance. See how scared they are? Huh.

    The prime directive of any government is self-preservation. My own sense of what’s been going on for a long time now (at least since the assassination of President Kennedy) is that the ability of the Federal government to continue has been weakened to the point where its survival is questionable.

    Of course, there are plenty of people who would eagerly cheer the collapse and extinction of the Federal government, and many within it have been working toward that goal for generations. It’s no longer about taking it over to operate on behalf of this or that faction or constituency. It’s about demolishing the entire edifice.

    We’ve had our Maidan Moment. What’s next?

  82. Hugh

    Trump et al in public alleged widespread voter fraud, but in court in the lawsuits that were filed by Trump or on his behalf virtually no instances of that fraud were given. There was a very good reason for this. Lawyers who submit false facts in a suit can be disbarred. They didn’t actually have any facts so they didn’t include any in their lawsuits. As Eric notes, this left judges with no facts in contention, because there were no facts. Some judges remarked how poorly put together and supported these suits were. Many simply fell back in rejecting them on broader procedural issues. The complainants lacked standing or timeliness/they had filed too late, or the remedies sought were out of all proportion to the alleged violation. Judges were not going to throw out millions of votes because a plaintiff alleged a dubious violation, which even if true, would not have changed the result. Nor did judges buy into the argument of OK, so we have no facts, but if you empower us to carry out a fishing expedition, we will find them. Or in some cases the violation alleged wasn’t a violation. And on and on.

    I am also reminded of a wonderful news conference, I believe it was by the Georgia Secretary of State, thus a non-judicial venue, post-Trump’s infamous phone conversation, where he spoke for a half hour on all allegations made. There were dozens of different ones. He stated this is the allegation, the number of votes supposedly affected (some in the tens of thousands), the actual number of votes that fell into this category (a handful), and whether after investigation, any of these votes were challengeable (zero to one or two). This after multiple audits.

    Something like 60 or more of these suits were filed and virtually all of them were thrown out for the simple reason that wanting something to be so doesn’t make it so.

  83. Astrid

    A country that does not have hand marked and hand counted ballots opens itself to claims of fraud.
    And given the indisputable evidence of electorial fraud and “mischief” in the 2020 primaries, why shouldn’t every election be subject to monitoring by, say, Iranian and Uruguayan election monitors? Why shouldn’t by they be looked with equal suspicion to those conducted in the USSR or China?

    Trump is terrible. Republicans are terrible. Both lie more often than is convenient, so often that it backfires on them sometimes. So what? Are Democrats actually better in anyway that matters? Did they block Trump’s judicial appointments or his massive corporate giveaways? Somehow Republicans could manage to block Democrats from giving us nice things, why didn’t they manage to turn the tables? Did they lift a finger to support M4A or UBI? Did they end any of the wars that Obama won his Nobel prize for expecting to have ended?

    Did they do anything in the last four years other than further weaponize idpol (#metoo destroying academic and professional careers on false claims before dropping it completely for Joe Biden’s mountain of evidence), redefining BDS as antisemitism, and do everything they can to push Russia and Iran into China’s waiting arms? Oh, and deny much needed financial relief to millions of its own citizenry because Larry Summers said so.

    So for Hugh and all the others who fixate on the bad Republicans, just look at what you’re supporting? Yes, you might make a complaint but then it’s back to fixating on the GOP big bad and equating anyone who doesn’t support your team as giving aid and comfort to Trump/GOP/Hitler. I wonder, are you useful idiots or intelligent operatives?

  84. Ché Pasa

    Needless to say, this kind of discussion is impossible at places like NC, even when “Yves” and “Lambert” allow closely monitored comments.

    No matter what we may think of another’s point of view in comments here, I think it’s true that in nearly every case, we can learn something which may be useful either immediately or somewhere down the line, or may simply help us recognize and understand what we otherwise might not encounter in real life or on the internet.

    Note to Astrid: Hugh has by no means spared Democrats from criticism, and this goes back a very long way. As it happens, however, Republicans are — at least for the moment — still in power.

  85. NR

    You really are an idiotic troll.

    Oh look, you’re projecting again! Remember, everyone, when it comes to right-wingers, an accusation is always a confession. Because this:

    change laws and procedures without Legislatures’ Approval

    is absolutely one of the stupidest things I’ve seen you say, (and believe me, that’s saying a lot), since right there in the part of the court’s ruling I quoted is the fact that Pennsylvania law doesn’t specify a minimum distance for campaign representatives. The law was not changed, it was followed, and none of your idiotic raving changes that fact. Sorry.

  86. S Brennan

    NR is not a troll, he’s a political hack, a neoD minion, willing to deceive and lie to serve his [in his mind] divine master[s].

    NR’s “hard evidence” is a link that when you read through does not support his contention in the slightest, but, since he knows most people won’t read through the article; he thinks that’s clever.

    And when you think/say Trump=Hitler then you are morally excusing yourself to engage in any type of evil… ’cause he’s Hitler don’t you know. Vilification of everybody who disagrees, silence them, lock them up, murder them…yes, when those who disagree are portrayed as Hitler…everything on the table including mass murder. Indeed that’s how Hitler accomplished his evil…silence them, lock them up, murder them. Now I am not saying neoD’s are Hitler but what I saying is, they are using his techniques, will it lead to mass slaughter, can’t say, but the first step down that road is to silence opposition…and Hugh up-thread is gushing with pride that the neoDs have accomplished the first step. And isn’t amusing that Hugh regularly accuses commenters here of being Nazis. Achtung baby, achtung

    Meanwhile, Biden is already laying the groundwork for destroying Social Security to the polite applause of our resident neoD political hacks.

  87. Willy

    Astrid, black and white thinking. Sometimes comes with the territory of black and white text. Might want to watch that. Hugh’s position is far more nuanced than you’re implying.

    The GOPs official position is to call Dems socialists. Is this true in your meatspace world? If you think there’s common ground between “woke” progressives and “patriotic” conservatives, then please elaborate.

    Personally, I think anybody who goes to a MAGA rally wearing a Bernie shirt is gonna get his ass kicked, literally.

  88. Willy

    NR reasons rationally, with actual facts. You reason in black and white terms, either all good or all evil. You might want to work on that.

    Again, I suggest you go to a MAGA rally, full of people like yourself, wearing your Progressives! shirt and see what that gets you.

  89. Hugh

    It is interesting that a lot of people will attack the idea of American exceptionalism and then turn around and act like the US is immune to something like fascism. They will say that Trump is not a fascist. Why not? If Trump were the leader of some other country, would they be taking fascist off the table then? A hypernationalist leader, mobilization of supporters into a strike force, recovery of national glory, little use for elections they don’t win, Manichean divisions between the good believers and the bad everyone else. Fascism is as American as apple pie. It’s just for a while it was banished to the margins. Trump brought it back into the mainstream.

  90. Willy

    Everybody has known that couple going through a messy divorce. From a distance it looks like two idiots committed to eternal disagreement. But up close, there’s usually one incorrigibly self-entitled asshole and one average person trying to get through to the other in their own way who doesn’t know what else to do. They only appear to both be irreconcilable fools.

    This isn’t how the GOP/DNC are. Both are being pulled in the rightward (and fascistic) direction by plutocratic donors for decades now. This doesn’t mean the DNC aren’t still to the left of the GOP. The DNC operates more like the moderate republicans of old. SB’s solution is to weaken the DNC, leaving only a fascist-ready GOP. Not much of a strategy.

  91. NR

    NR’s “hard evidence” is a link that when you read through does not support his contention in the slightest,

    More lies from S Brennan. The link I provided explicitly disproved his statement that all of the Trump/right-wing lawsuits to overturn the election were dismissed without courts looking at any of the evidence, and yet he still persists in trying to pretend that what he said was true. Even in the face of clear evidence to the contrary.

    Fortunately, evidence doesn’t just go away because a right-winger claims it doesn’t exist.

  92. Willy

    He got angriest at me after he thought I’d called him a liar. Not so strange how the human mind works now, is it?

    I call them “missionary trolls”. Whether paid or just plain mentally incompetent, dissembling isn’t beneath them. They’re on a mission to spread the word. As much as they try to imagine, this isn’t some primitive tribe with primitive technologies which the conquistador’s priests can bully into submission. Facts and logic are required here.

  93. NR

    By the way, it’s worth pointing out that S Brennan, Thomas, metamars, and the other trolls here think all of you are complete morons. They actually think you’re going to believe that the courts dismissed all of the Trump/right-wing lawsuits to overturn the election without looking at the evidence, even though links and excerpts are provided right here proving that courts did, in fact, look at the evidence on many different occasions.

    They really do think you’re that stupid.

  94. Willy

    Dunning Kruger. I’ve been accused of that many times, by brainwashed idiots. Apparently, give them a useful phrase, and they’ll abuse it to cliche status. It’s almost too easy to mock them.

    Go to places like Gateway Pundit or Dr. Steve Turley, and note the headlines and predictions. Again and again they’re proven utterly wrong. Yet the fan base is maintained. Obviously, the fanboys aren’t there for anything factual. Hoft and Turley are also ugly, so I assume it isn’t that either. Something else keeps them addicted.

    I’m still waiting to see how we and they, can all just magically get along just because we both hate the status quo.

  95. S Brennan

    “S Brennan and the other trolls here think all of you are complete morons” – NR- permalink- January 10, 2021

    Unlike the election year political hacks like yourself NR, I’ve been posting here for +/- 12 years or so. Your vilification of me should have preceded your Vatican-like pronouncement by at least a decade…sadly you are, if truthful, a decade late. But surely, your vastly “superior intellect” will more than compensate for your completely implausible

  96. Astrid

    Che, that claim of who is in power only makes sense if Democrats were a real opposition. Even a badly flawed but real opposition might be worth supporting. Instead, we very recently seen them collectively shiv Bernie Sanders in the back by voting to override Trump’s NDAA veto and ensuring that the $2,000 checks won’t be coming. The Dems and Reps are an uniparty controlled by the elite psychopaths. Supporting one brand versus the other won’t get you any different results, though I guess lots of people still feel strongly about their brand decision.

  97. Willy

    So Mr. Wisdom, you said we have 85% in common with the MAGAs. In that world Biden is a “socialist”, who must be destroyed. If you were paying attention, you saw the media having equipment smashed with some being beaten by the MAGA mob.

    And that was just the media. In this world Biden isn’t far enough left for us. How do you propose we get along with them?

  98. different clue

    The “stolen election” hoax is just as fake and artificially constructed as the “Russia collusion” hoax. All the layers of paranoid schizophrenic detail are crafted to create a velcro tarbaby for people to get stuck to by spending all their brain-cell bandwidth analysing every little detail for fakeness or trueness.

    I have better things to occupy my beautiful mind with than a “stolen election” hoax or a “Russia collusion” hoax.

  99. different clue

    Jackie Gleason once said . . . (

    “I’m no alcoholic. I’m a drunkard. There’s a difference. A drunkard doesn’t like to go to meetings.”

    And in the same way . . . I’m no blogoholic. I’m a bloggard.

    But seriously, net positive or negative? Net positive for some, those who can use it right. Net negative for others, who get time-sucked eyeball-sucked in. There is a lot of good information and pointers to sites and books and etc. full of more good information on the interwebs.

    Suppose a hundred million Americans made a hundred million separate decisions to find some of that good information and apply it in their own lives. They would achieve some good, even if only for their one hundred million separate meatspace analog selves. As long as they don’t get screentime-addicted along the way.

    And a lot of the negativity has been injected into it by the new big Lords of Profitech. Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. are propelling the negativity with their dopamine feedback reward amplification amplification amplification hamsterwheel skinnercage. These black hat perpetrators colonized an internet they did nothing to invent or improve.

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