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

Protect Yourself from Political Violence in the Age of Facial Recognition and Doxxing

We’re seeing a rise in right-wing militia violence, condoned by police. Police themselves are already using facial recognition to identify protesters.

American authoritarianism is likely to follow the Latin American model, which Americans taught in the School of the Americas, and which they have backed for over a century in many countries. It will be combined with elements of how Israelis treat Palestinians, because Israelis train American police departments.

In this model, most of the beatings, “punishment” rapes, torture, and murder are done by militias. The police never catch them (and some are members, as they are already), and, of course, co-operate with them.

This is similar to what’s already going on; various law enforcement seizing people off the street without showing ID, into unmarked vans and cars, except that it’ll be private citizens doing it.

Then, they’ll do to you as they please, and no one will help.

Don’t think that if you’re a squishy liberal rather than a left-winger that’ll stop them. They hate feminists and so on just as much as the left, and all my life I’ve read their screeds about how they want to rape them or hang them from lamp-posts.

They’re increasingly being given the nod, and at some point, this is likely to start happening in earnest.

Don’t think Biden will save you. He might slow this down slightly, but he and Harris are extremely harsh on public disorder, and their administration will only make economic and political conditions worse, creating the grounds for the next authoritarian right-winger, who will learn from Trump but be far more disciplined.

The US’s only real chance of avoiding this future is a “Hail, Mary” — something like AOC winning the presidency in ’24 or ’28.

Might happen, but don’t bet on it.

So, some simple guidelines:

  • Wear a mask when protesting, always.
  • Don’t bring your phone with you.
  • Don’t take pictures of protesters without masks, so they can’t be identified and doxxed. The ability to do both doesn’t just belong to cops — private individuals can do it just fine, and in any case, cops will pass on information to their buddies in the militias.
  • Use a pseudonym online if you’re seriously left-wing or liberal. This is especially important for women.
  • Make some efforts to manage your digital footprint, so you’re harder to dox.
  • Take some precautions in your physical life to secure yourself, possibly including living with people who will fight for you (and you for them).
  • Prepare to leave where you are and go somewhere else. Somewhere else in the US, perhaps, or somewhere outside the US. Remember that what is actually mostly untraceable is cash.

Perhaps I’m overly concerned or even alarmist. I hope so. But I’d rather give this warning, have some people take extra precautions and not need them, than not give the warning, and see people hurt or killed who might have avoided the fate.

I don’t like what I’m seeing. The right has been itching to really punish the left and liberals for a long time, and all it really requires is that authorities give them the nod and step aside.

That process has begun. It may be walked back, it may not.


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Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – August 30, 2020


The Simple Way to Fix Law Enforcement in British-style Systems (Like the US)


  1. Ché Pasa

    This is a very timely warning.

    Of course, the people who have been in the streets for months or years already know the danger, and most have taken steps to mitigate the risk to themselves to the extent they can — which ultimately isn’t much. They are mostly mentally prepared for what comes.

    Practically everywhere the police have made clear that they and the rightist pseudo militias are aligned, and the police will not intervene in whatever violence the rightists choose to commit against perceived enemies (such as The Dreaded “Antifa”). The shooting death of the rightist in Portland the other night has already resulted in a straightforward “crush the left” reaction by police, their allied irregulars, and elected officials. (The young man who was shot has been identified on Twitter, but not officially; the shooter has not been identified, but collective guilt has been applied to everyone who has opposed police and their allied irregulars). How quickly the focus shifted from the killer of protesters in Kenosha to the death of a rightist in Portland. We’ll likely see more of this.

    Vengeance is difficult or impossible to thwart once it gets going.

    Of course the principle here is “Let’s you and him fight.” Isn’t it always? Most people aren’t going to play, but enough will to support a proto-civil war scenario. It’s pretty obvious who has the arsenals of weapons. And who is most prepared to use them.

    No one really seems to be doing much to stop the violence and the spiraling into chaos. Apparently the people who matter believe in the cleansing power of literal and metaphorical fire.

    Staying out of the way may not be possible, especially in cities. There’s so much pent up rage. On the other hand, Ian’s advice for self-protection is useful. The end may not yet be nigh, but tread carefully as if it were.

  2. Plague Species

    We’ve reached the expiration date of nation-states. Nation-states are now spoiled rotten milk and soon enough will be rancid if they already aren’t. Civilization is in the midst of evolving into a short period of oligarchic feudalism as it descends into full-blown collapse. Russia is the blueprint, but even Russia will transform further once nation-states dissolve altogether. Russia is a mafia of oligarchs with Putin as the oligarchic mafia don. Putin is able to prevent the rival oligarchs from destroying one another by virtue of focusing their predatory malevolence on the various nation-states that remain. Once the remaining nation-states dissolve, the oligarchs will turn on each other and soon enough murder Putin or whoever takes his place if he expires before the nation-states dissolve. That is the next step for the planet. It will be a short-lived period, but it will be tremendously bloody and brutal. Life expectancies in the next twenty years will drop precipitously during and after this transformation. By 2040, if you live to fifty, you are a geezer. Technology will not save civilization, it will polish it off.

    Considering this, an AOC presidency is impossible. Yes, impossible. Humanity is well past the point of reformation or rehabilitation or social evolution.

  3. Chiron

    I think we’re going to see a big change in the world by the next decade, the boomer generation will finally leave politics and economy, positive change can finally happen now.

  4. GlassHammer


    The U.S. is a big country, it might seem like violence is everywhere but it’s not.
    Even in cities that have reported unrest, the conflict isn’t everywhere in the city and it isn’t constant. Also, there are protests happening in various places in the U.S. which are totally uneventful.


    Our media sells violence (easiest story for them to cover) so you can never be sure if it’s as bad as it seems.


    The media relays what is on social media (because it’s easy for them to do) when covering this stuff and social media is 90% garbage. Sure there is an occasional worthwhile piece of information but you are reaching into a dumpster, don’t expect to find it often.

  5. krake


    Ww2 killed Westphalia. It’s taken a while for the rot to consume the corose.


    What next?

  6. GlassHammer

    Now I said the above to convey that it’s hard to know the current spread and severity of violence in the U.S.

    But if you feel unsafe, trust your own instincts not mine.

  7. krake


    How does ‘boomers’ dying restrain Bezos? The coming brutal triage? Ecosystem collapse? The next influenza pandemic? The chaos-engine that the severing of coastal from interior Han China will bring? The drowning of Bangladesh? Bolsonaro or his successors in Brazil?

  8. someofparts

    Saw this earlier today and then I came here …

    In this country, the people who do not want to murder people like me are clustered in the cities, so moving to the countryside is a dangerous idea. Maybe the best place to be if leaving the country is not an option (as seems to be the case) is to be in a large-ish city with a big, activist black population. Like Ian said, if leaving is not an option try to find people who will fight back and join that community.

    It is so hard to get motivated to do even ordinary chores when there is this much occasion for dread and dismay.

  9. anon

    My generation came of age when social media was brand new, and we were naïve to post all of their thoughts on the internet. Lives and careers have been ruined with one tweet or photograph. I deleted Facebook years ago and do not miss a single day on that site. Maybe I’m just an introvert but I felt extremely uncomfortable sharing personal details with acquaintances and former friends I had not seen since high school or college. We weren’t really friends. We had not spoken to each other over the phone or met in person in years, but they knew where I worked, where I lived, and where I went on vacation.

    I have seen people report other people to their employer because of an “offensive” comment that was made to an online article, Tweet, Facebook post, etc.. All they do is click on the person’s name and it takes them to his or her Facebook page where they see the person’s place of employment. They then contact HR with a screenshot of whatever was said. It’s as simple as that to get someone investigated or fired for making a political or controversial comment online. Protestors have a lot more to worry about because online info can land them in prison or worse. Being cautious doesn’t make you an alarmist. It makes you smarter than most people.

  10. GlassHammer

    “In this country, the people who do not want to murder people like me are clustered in the cities, so moving to the countryside is a dangerous idea.” – someofparts

    I live in the countryside, what you just said is not true.
    The majority of us do not want conflict and are pretty passive.
    Also, even if we don’t like you it doesn’t mean we are okay with someone harming you.

    No one likes violent scum in the countryside, no one is okay with murder.

  11. Ché Pasa

    Country dweller here myself, and I can testify there’s greater tolerance here, greater sense of community, and greater generosity toward others than I ever witnessed living in cities. It’s not paradise or perfection, no.

    People around here are aware of what’s going on, of the protests, of overbearing and sometimes murderous police, of the out of touch political class. Some of the sketchier white folks have been getting together almost every day in a local park — almost adjacent to the police dept — primarily to socialize, but also to discuss current events and what to do about it, how to prepare for the worst, and how to protect themselves and the rest of the community when everything goes to shit and the mass exodus of urbanites reaches us. The urbanites are already here, in fact, more every day.

    Out here in the country (at least where I live) the population may be small, but it’s surprisingly ethnically and racially diverse. More so than some of the urban neighborhoods I lived in. I’ve witnessed little friction. There is a definite class division in that the ricos have their own very separate and apart lives, and unless it’s necessary, they don’t mix much with the rabble. On the other hand, they usually aren’t hostile, either.

    A former governor lived nearby, for example, had huge ranches, and he and his wife were some of the kindest, friendliest and most generous folks around here. Of course, he was a politician and they could afford to be what they were. But for the most part, their example is still maintained.

  12. Willy

    There’s a small group called “Riot Kitchen” which was taken in by police in Kenosha. Despite having a peaceful mission statement with good intentions, that organization appeared to have made all the mistakes which naïve integrity tends to make. For starters, I might’ve settled on a more innocuous name.

  13. S Brennan

    “Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances” – Hillary R Clinton

    se·di·tion: speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state


    Biden wins, no violence, we change governments. But Trump will refuse to leave the White House !!! Please, spare me your pearl clutching routine, D’s said the same thing about Bush the 2nd, “he won’t leave” but, he did and now? The Obama’s and Bush’s are best buds and the hacksters that talked that shit are working at Vox.

    Trump wins, Hillary seditious speech pretty much guarantees violence if…and it’s a big if…

    If Hillary can convince plebeians into becoming cannon fodder for her blind ambition. And many here seem eager to help Hillary by having [someone-not-them] fight for the glory of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Me? No, not me…”I’ve got better things to do”.

    Hillary used her organization to insure a Biden nomination after Hillary’s plans to have President Kamala Harris* met voter resistance in the primaries [Kamala couldn’t get a single delegate]. So taking to the streets means what? Your sacrifice benefits who? I can see it now:

    Hillary: “I pay good money so that I might profit from your death. And I shall be there at your end just as I was for my good friend Gaddafi [hyena’s laugh]”. And when you die your transition will be to the sound of…[polite hand clapping]…losers, I salute your sacrifice…[cackling laugh]”

    *Hopefully, folks here can remember that before the primaries, I predicted the DNC would nominate Kamala ’cause she was Hillary’s fav. Not exactly the way I thought it’d happen but, the prediction was correct, power does what it wants and the people suffer what they must. The choice isn’t between Biden and Trump. Biden is a dead man walking, should Trump lose, Kamala Harris will be President and by extension, Hillary. Biden will be gotton rid of after mid-terms. My reading of the the 22nd Amendment would allow for Kamala to have, with careful planning, almost ten years in the White House. The witch Hillary must be cackling as she stirs her seditious brew.

  14. Olaf Rucker

    @Ian Welsh

    Odd how the focus is on right-wing violence with all those burning buildings in the background. Opting for a Baghdad Bob look, huh?

    Oh, and none of that Kindergarden OPSEC is going to help if everyone is carrying around a smart phone. LOL!

    ZDNet? Really?

    This is why the left is doomed.

  15. Willy

    Why is Hillary being respected as a divider? Trump has proven that he’s just as good, probably even better at these things.

  16. @S. Brennan, “Biden will be gotton rid of after mid-terms.”

    He will be gotten rid of much sooner than that. Resignation for health reasons or Article 25.

  17. Hugh

    There are many ways of looking at this. My way is to look at it, much like krake above, through wider lenses: climate change, overpopulation, and massive wealth inequality. For a few years now, I periodically check 1950’s population levels for various countries and regions around the world (as a very rough and ready measure of a sustainable population), and I assign a probability based on the population increase and trend, political stability, and strength of political institutions. When I started, I gave the US around a 70% chance of survival, not unchanged but essentially intact. That is now down to about 40%. I have to say most of my probabilities for survival have been declining in face of the willful ignorance and denial in face of these three existential crises. The US still has room for a turn around, perhaps in a post-Trump era, but time is running out. I am talking about less than 10 years, and again currently I am not seeing any positive movement.

  18. Dan

    I’m thinking of getting one of those Amazon Ring things. Seems to be all the rage…

  19. someofparts

    Glass Hammer & Che Pasa – Interesting that your experiences of people outside of the cities are so different from my sense of things. If I may ask – are you in the South? Also, assuming that both of you are guys, do you have families? I’m wondering if differences in our circumstances might be causing us to have different experiences in rural communities.

    Being female, solitary and quietly unconventional seems to limit the communities where I will be accepted pretty massively. Hence my need for cities, where the population is large enough to allow unconventional niche communities to spring up. I depend on those niches to have any social connection at all.

  20. someofparts

    Dan – really made me happy that you enjoyed the music.

  21. GlassHammer


    Well I guess you would say I am a Northerner living in the northern countryside. (Why people think the countryside only exists in the South and the West is beyond me.)

    I am a man and I have a family.

    There are plenty of people you might find irritating around where I live (and a few you might like) but that’s the extent of it, unless they are drunk or high no one is going to physically harm anyone.

    I figure the ratio of good, obnoxious, and violent people is about the same in every part of the U.S.

  22. S Brennan

    Bill H,

    To; “He will be gotten rid of much sooner than that. Resignation for health reasons or Article 25”

    If Biden is pliable [and let’s face it, he’s not mentally competent enough to resist] Hillary et al would probably prefer to wait until just after mid-term that way Kamala is eligible for two full terms. If Hillary et al dump Biden before the mid-terms, Kamala will be a lame duck during her first full term. Nope, I’m pretty sure Hillary et al will have the 22nd amendment fully scoped.

    Hillary’s motivations for this machination is pretty clear, the Clinton Foundation has not been getting it’s share of the lucre that the selling of this nation generates. With Kamala playing Dick Cheney in drag for two years and then pushing old senile Biden down the elevator shaft as she giggles…the Clinton Foundation will see a steady stream of lucre for ten more years. The Clintons, grifters through and through.


    “America’s only real chance…is AOC winning the Presidency”

    Ian, c’mon, not another pony? Alexandria Cortez? Really?

    She grew up in a 93% white neighborhood with a median income of $137,580, until recently her number one issue was supporting massive immigration…’cause getting a cheap housekeeper takes precedence over a living wage for blue collar workers. And those pesky STEM graduates need to be brought to their knees, last I checked we, the USA takes in more STEM immigrants than the rest of the world combined…but that’s not good enough for Cortez, we need more. We need to keep wages down and profits up!

    He next biggest issue has been implementing gun control modeled after Brazil & Mexico’s, where gun deaths exceed the USA’s by multiple factors. In Mexico, gun laws that Cortez advocates for have resulted in a firearm homicide rate six times higher that the US in 2019. And in Brazil with gun laws that Cortez advocates for, in 2017, had ~43,000 firearm homicides compared to the US which had ~15,000.

    Confiscation of all legally owned modern firearms will not, even after all the violence of federal agents tracking down formerly legal owners is over save lives, legally owned firearms are an extreme rarity in homicide. 80% of firearm deaths are with an illegal weapon. Somewhere close to 90% of murders are gang related…gun control has nothing to do with violence, it’s about compelling total social control.

    Cortez next biggest issue is Sexism, which she brought up at the convention…

    These are all elitist issues and Cortez falls squarely in the elitist camp…nothing for the average worker just more word sauce pablum

    Is “America’s only real chance…is AOC winning the Presidency”? Yeah sure, just like Bernie [folds like a cheap suit] Sanders.

  23. Guest

    2028? I doubt we even have until 2024 for that Hail Mary. from the moment he got sworn in, I knew he would never leave, he can’t, he’s too dirty. How do so many still not see this?
    At this point I don’t even understand what the protests are about. The DNC have shown they are the ENEMY. They are not just imperfect or inadequate. They are working AGAINST us.
    What is the point of protesting Trump and the racists and fascists? They welcome it. It is a trap. They’ve shown the world how brutal and corrupt the cops are. Point taken.

    Time to change the strategy and focus on the real enemies within the party who have been accommodating the rich/right and sabotaging the rest of us for half a century now.
    Now it’s time to focus on Pelosi, Neal, Schumer, Hoyer, etc. make the lives of every dem politician miserable until they get these dinosaurs out of leadership and put in someone who will fight for us and our lives. If we had half decent pols on our side, we wouldn’t be talking about killing each other. Before we bring out the guillotines, maybe first let’s stop electing Speaker Antoinettes.

  24. Hugh

    Trump has killed 150,000+ Americans so far with his non-response to the coronavirus. He and McConnell keep hundreds of millions of us immiserated each and every year. So what should we do? Talk Hillary obviously.

  25. js

    “Leftist” who don’t acknowledge the problems with Trump when Trump is actually President (fine to talk about Obama when he was President, but he’s not anymore, and Hillary wasn’t even) have pushed me more and more into the liberal rather than “leftist” camp. Because with friends like that who needs enemies. And I find I agree far more with a liberal critique of Trump than with yet another lame “leftist” “but Obama” or “but the Dems” boredomfest. I mean the converted know the problems with the Dem party, at a certain point bringing it up for the 10th million time is just willfully changing the subject.

    However truth be told I know such opinions don’t ACTUALLY represent the present left in any real sense, whatever they want to call themselves. For one thing the future of the left is younger and more diverse, it’s not a bunch of white baby boomers.

  26. Feral Finster

    @Plague Species Russia is not the blueprint.

    Brazil is.

    Russia is a much better run and more cohesive country than you seem to think.

  27. someofparts

    I don’t think I would be in danger from my neighbors if I moved out of the city. I just think I would be isolated. This has made me an easy target in the past when I risked it.

  28. NR

    Hugh: Did you know that all you have to do is think to yourself “Hillary would have been bad” and you can give yourself permission to excuse every single catastrophic thing Trump has done, and you even get to act smug about it?

  29. cripes

    Chiron permalink
    August 31, 2020

    “I think we’re going to see a big change in the world by the next decade, the boomer generation will finally leave politics and economy, positive change can finally happen now.”

    Sure, that’s what the kids said in the 60’s, and then they became the monsters.
    So, I guess you can sit on your ass doing nothing and wait for the Youts, as Joe Pesci sez, to fix if for you.

  30. Willy

    I feel the need to correct a one of S Brennan’s cherry picks about AOC.

    She grew up in a 93% white neighborhood with a median income of $137,580

    Actually, that’s family income. I once owned a home in a neighborhood like that, working as a grunt engineer with a full-time employed wife. We never considered ourselves rich.

    Not that it would matter for AOC. Her father died of lung cancer when she was a college sophomore and she learned the hard way about the greed of probate lawyers. After college she worked as a bartender to help her mother, a house cleaner, fight the foreclosure of their home. I’ve heard her name being associated with the Green New Deal and the plight of the “lower 50%”, far more than I have the other issues he mentions. Maybe I need to be spending more time at conservative websites. If I have the time, maybe I’ll look into those things as well.

    Interestingly , despite all of his “reasoned or scientific thinking”, S Brennan has never offered up another political name for our consideration. Surely they’re out there.

    So while S Brennan is out scouring the countryside for log cabins which might be housing our next humble Abe Lincoln, I’ll be trusting my gut. AOC is no Nancy Pelosi. And she’s light years from Clinton or Trump.

  31. Willy

    Sure, that’s what the kids said in the 60’s, and then they became the monsters.
    So, I guess you can sit on your ass doing nothing and wait for the Youts, as Joe Pesci sez, to fix if for you. Dummy.

    I dont think the 60’s boomer kids knew much about Bernays or Machiavelli. I have many nieces and nephews (24) entering adulthood. They’re far more advanced with the street smart arts than I ever was at their age. I do have a bit of concern about those polls which suggest that more young adults than ever are coming to distrust representative democracy in favor of something far more authoritarian, though.

  32. S Brennan

    Somebody is either lying or has a debilitating reading comprehension problem.

    “S Brennan has never offered up another political name for our consideration.” – Willy

  33. S Brennan

    S Brennan permalink
    February 23, 2019

    I don’t really want to comment here anymore but, I have been on the public record, with my own name, for over 18 years so, to make it short:

    I support Tulsi, I have followed her doings since ~ 2013 and believe her to be genuine.

    Bernie is going to do what he did in 2016, suck the air out of the room and then fold like a cheap suit. Bernie’s run will clear the path for Hilla…uhm..uh..Kamala…both women having something in common…they slept with detestable men for the sole purpose of gaining power.

    As I said in 2014-5, if [D]’s insist on running a Hillary/neoliberal, I will vote for the person most likely to defeat them.

    The lessor of two evils is…the evil of two lessors.

  34. S Brennan

    S Brennan permalink
    February 23, 2019

    Congresswoman quits Democratic National Committee, endorses ……/congresswoman-quits-democratic-national-committee-end…

    Feb 28, 2016 – WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Tulsi Gabbard resigned from her post on Sunday to endorse Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, following months of rising tensions within the group. … Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, is competing with …

    Same link as above

  35. S Brennan

    S Brennan permalink
    February 24, 2019

    TULSI GABBARD dateline November 2, 2017, Aaron Maté interview:

    “It’s not about me, Aaron. This isn’t about me or my feelings or what impact they’ve had on me. I think the important question here is what has the impact been on our democracy. That is the critical point. That’s what we should all be concerned about. I don’t care who you supported in the presidential election, whether it was Hillary or Bernie or somebody else. The point here is about strengthening our democracy and coming together to enact real reforms that will actually do that in a real way. I think the time for kind of pointing fingers and infighting and bickering is long past. There is so much at stake here. I’m just encouraging people whether you’re involved with Democratic politics in a very direct way or if you’re not involved at all, now is the time for us all to stand up and raise our voices and say this is the kind of democracy that we want and actually fight for those changes to make it happen.”

    As any reader with the wit of a wet noodle can see, “Ponderer” by quoting out of context, without a timeline or, something as simple as a link hopes to sell a falsehood against Tulsi. Too bad such behavior works because it degrades all who come to argue in good faith.

  36. Ché Pasa


    We live in an area sometimes called “Far West Texas” partly because it was once claimed by but not granted to Texas, and partly because plenty of Texans have settled in the area. But neo-Confederates and Big Hair/Big Buckle Texans get the stink-eye and usually don’t stay.

    Native Pueblo peoples abandoned the area in the 1670s because of a long drought, starvation and disease, as well as abuse by the Franciscans, and they didn’t come back afterwards. The land was claimed by an old Spanish family and disputed in the 19th century by a Boston/California family. There was a wild west shootout, but the matter wasn’t resolved until the Supreme Court said neither family owned the land and opened it to homesteaders in the early 1900s. Very few of those who live here now have ancestors who go back to the early homesteaders/ranchers. Most of the Old Timers go back only to the 1950s.

    We (MsChé and I) are retired. but until the pandemic, young people by and large had to leave the area because there was no work outside the farms and ranches (mostly worked by family) and the traveler services along the Interstate. But the virus has forced people to return, and many households are now several generations living together when last year that wouldn’t have been the case. We know some single women who choose to live out here because they feel safer than in the city. They live alone but are connected to their neighbors, churches, and community.

    Also this is a very Republican area (as are most rural areas) with a considerable admixture of Libertarians and some Dems. For the most part, they aren’t at each other’s throats simply because there’s no point. Agree to disagree, live and let live, etc. It’s overwhelmingly Catholic, but again, non-Catholics don’t get mistreated or even particularly disparaged.

    I know it could change very quickly if things really went to shit, tho. Or much more to shit than they already have.

  37. Dan

    Pesci said “yutes” not “youts.” Herman Munster was none too pleased.

    Herman Cain may have laughed. But he’s dead, so we’ll never know.

  38. S Brennan

    And here’s that proves Willy is a liar:

    Willy permalink
    October 19, 2019

    I though Tulsi resigned her VC of DNC post before any DNC/Hillary decisions were made, to work on Bernie’s campaign?
    Common voter polls demonstrate that if during a (sadly unlikely) presidential candidate debate with Trump, she suddenly exclaimed: “I wouldn’t touch you for a billion dollars you crazy, corrupt, creepy old fuck”, and only ever thereafter addressed him as “Mr. Crazy”, “Mr. Corrupt”, or “Creepy Old Fuck”, that she’d be seen as not only winning the debate, but would likely win the election as well. It’s a sad state of things, our common culture.
    S Brennan permalink
    October 20, 2019

    Willy, you not only “thought” incorrectly, it seems, you are unable to even perform a rudimentary internet search…fine, let me do it for you…sheesh.

  39. Dan


    Yes I did. Thank you for sharing it. And I should have said “jams” not “jam” as it wasn’t one long continuous jam. Good stuff.

    I hope you find what you’re looking for as far as a place to live is concerned.

  40. S Brennan

    So to the bullshitters prey; I hope there’s enough evidence that Willy’s claim that I’ve only ever supported Trump is debunked….and as to the inevitable charge that Tulsi is a Right wing goon…

    S Brennan permalink
    November 20, 2019

    [Assange] didn’t act like one of the club….Assange did their job and did it better than most of them, and oh, they [reporters] hate him for it.

    I feel sorry for him, he went well beyond his duty as a citizen of this world.

    Compare & contrast.

    “Bernie Sanders silent on Assange”
    “Tulsi Gabbard says she will drop charges against Assange”

  41. Willy

    Okay, more play time with S Brennan.

    I support Tulsi, I have followed her doings since ~ 2013 and believe her to be genuine.

    My apologies. I don’t have anywhere near the time to read and remember every single last comment, and by chance have only happened on the comments where somebody else has asked the “So who else is there, Brennan?” question and I never saw an answer. Maybe you did answer, but I didn’t see it.

    Bernie may be a fool, but I’m unconvinced that he’s a willing sheepdog.

    they slept with detestable men for the sole purpose of gaining power.
    Sure. But so did Melania.

    As I said in 2014-5, if [D]’s insist on running a Hillary/neoliberal, I will vote for the person most likely to defeat them.

    Trump isn’t normal. Nowhere close. Too many of his people keep going to jail. Sure all politicians lie, are misinformed, screw up… but Trump is special. He’s proven to me that he’ll burn it all down for his own personal benefit. And amusement. Yes, I am personally biased because I’ve dealt with his kind out in meatspace, trusted them, and been burned.

    I don’t have an answer to these crappy candidates, so I come here.

    And here’s that proves Willy is a liar:

    I guess you’d have to scroll down on that thread to my subsequent comment.

    “Here’s the timeline.
    Gabbard resigns as DNC vice chair on February 28, 2016
    Hillary is presumptive nominee: June 6, 2016
    Hillary is official nominee: July 26, 2016”

    Prove me if I’m wrong. I’ve been wrong before. But I didn’t lie. I’d just be wrong. And you’d be wrong about calling me a liar.
    So anyways… aside from learning that you’re a Tulsi fan (not a bad thing, sorry that you’re still angry about all that went down…), you still haven’t answered me about why you cherry picked your fun facts about AOC. I’m not that cynical about her yet.

  42. different clue

    About Hillary’s ” Biden should contest the election” statement, I didn’t hear anything seditious there. I just heard her to say that if the result remains questionable, or questionizable . . . that the Biden Group should keep working it through all the relevant courts till an undisputable result is undisputably known. I didn’t hear Hillary to be saying that even if Trump clearly legal-systemly won the election, that Biden should still refuse to concede.

    Maybe I am under-interpreting what I heard.

  43. Benjamin

    Adios, then. The left doesn’t need you.

    I’m sorry that attempts at providing context and pointing out that about 90% of what Trump is doing was already happening (and that liberals were okay with it and silent) bores you. What you find annoying, the constant bringing up of Obama and how shitty the Dems are, is merely pointing out the fact that Trump is part of Obama’s legacy, and a symptom of a longer term systemic decline.

    So go away, hang out with your liberals. You’ll end up voting for Biden, voting for being punched in the face, and the decline will continue. you’ll discover that in fact Orange Man was not the root of all evil, and things will not magically turn around.

    You’re right about one thing though: whatever future the real left has will be younger and more diverse. But it won’t view mere diversity as inherently some major virtue. If it wants to be an actual left, it’s going to have to look beyond identity politics, which I suspect is going to be much easier to achieve as BLM and other goalless idpol movements conspicuously fail to accomplish anything significant in the months and years ahead. If the left is going to have a future, it’s going to have to start listening to dissenters like Adolph Reed (who is decidedly not a white baby boomer).

  44. Willy

    You’d need to be a wingnut to see it as seditious. In that world Trump can do any damned authoritarian thing he wants to but the Clintons aren’t allowed to because they’re Marxists.

  45. Hugh

    Back in 2000, Gore received a lot of criticism precisely because he did not contest the election results in Florida strongly enough. The need to make sure the Republicans don’t steal another election has been repeated every election cycle since. I do not see why this time is any different, even if Hillary Clinton is the one saying it.

  46. bruce wilder

    I see very clearly why Hillary Clinton prattling on about how Biden should be prepared to strongly contest the election results stinks.

    Hillary Clinton showed what she cared about when she bought control of the DNC many months before the 2016 primaries. She showed what she cared about when she circumvented campaign finance limits while draining away money from the Party into her campaign. She showed what she cared about when she encouraged faithless electors in 2016. She showed what she cared about when she pushed the Russiagate narrative.

    Stop making excuses for her.

  47. different clue

    Back to the subject at hand . . . . some time ago on Naked Capitalism, someone offered a little article with charts and pictures about how certain kinds of face-paint, certain kinds of hair-over-the-eyes haircuts, etc.; would spoof and/or jam the best facial recognition software known to the author at the time of the article.

    I have no idea how to find one article among the millions of words which pile up over there, but if someone knows about links to such articles and cares to bring them here, that might be welcome.

  48. Hugh

    Don’t shoot the message just because you don’t like the messenger, especially a message that’s been around 20 years now.

  49. S Brennan


    Just because your brainpower falls below Biden’s doesn’t mean I am obligated to give you a reply on all the things you forgot…buck-up boy, learn enough to ask the 3-letter agencies what you said yesterday…

    And hey numbnuts, Melania ain’t running for office, so go google my comments on Michelle Obama and you will find nothing, even though Michelle’s father was highly political in Chicago, I leave spouses/children alone…as decent people are wont to do.

  50. Thomas B Golladay

    Neither AOC or BLM are our saviors.

    Vote a third party. Don’t care which, just stop legitimating the Ds and Rs with your vote.

    And BLM needs to be declared a terrorist organization and crushed to stop the looting and burning of cities which are affecting working class livelihoods and small business owners, many of whom are black. Then the records need to be set straight about their “Martyrs” who with few exceptions broke the law, resisted arrest, and committed forcible felonies requiring them to be put down for public safety.

    And all of this is on video as well. If you have a problem with a cop, get a lawyer, fight it out in court. You do not resist arrest and commit a forcible felony, a cop will then have all the justification to put you down with lethal force. Play a stupid game and win a stupid prize.

    Take from a Black Cop who lays it out. Comply, don’t resist, hire a lawyer.

  51. Thomas B Golladay

    Fentanyl overdose, George Floyd was dead before the cops even showed up. They are all getting acquitted and even reinstated after they sue. Had Floyd complied with arrest and admitted to taking fentanyl, Naloxone could have been given and he would have lived.

    He played a stupid game, won a stupid prize.

  52. someofparts

    Che Pasa – Thanks for that thoughtful answer. Your community sounds nice. You and Glass Hammer have me re-examining how I developed my attitudes about this.

    They don’t come from actually living in the country.

    I worked a lot of pretty crappy jobs in the last twenty years that I worked at all. Along the way, I met a fair number of women that I could barely work with because our outlook and experiences were so different there was precious little common ground in our thinking. I extrapolated from those problems to the idea that I would be out of place in the communities where those women lived. Some of them were from the country although more of them were from the suburbs.

    It’s not that I fear that those women or their neighbors would actually hurt me if I lived in their communities. I just think I would be isolated for the same reason it was so hard to work with them, because there seems to be no way to bridge the differences in our thinking. If I could barely manage to work effectively with them on job sites, they would not be the people I would want to have as neighbors in a crisis.

  53. Plague Species

    If only the Carter Center broke precedent a year earlier and monitored the Democratic Party primaries, not that Bernie cares, or would have cared, one way or the other. Either way, he’s all good. Oh well, what the hell, it doesn’t matter any or either way. It’s just different routes to the same place ultimately, and ultimately is nearly upon us. Kenosha or bust. When Trump is there he should visit Blake in the hospital and nudge nudge his misogynist comrade in an accommodation for Blake’s finger-forced-up-the-pussy play. It trumps grabbing pussy. Trump can say to Jacob, “how come I didn’t think of that?”

  54. nihil obstet

    It still startles me that American citizens now believe in subservience to armed agents of the state. Once upon a time that was a characteristic of totalitarian societies. What made America a free society as opposed to those Nazis and Commies is that we had the freedom of our streets and of our autonomy. Now many of us seem to believe that a cop is justified in gunning down a person because the cop says he feels disrespected? Or in fear for his life? Is cowardice a prime requirement for the job?

    In recent years, before the recent round of protests, groups have pressured the city council to reduce the number of police killings. The groups ranged from BLM to ACLU. I participated as a long-term advocate for human rights and a representative from our local group of Amnesty International USA. Shilling for the cause, I’ll try to get you to go to the AIUSA project background and advocacy. Anyway, the city council held a series of “conversations” with citizens. The main purpose of such a governmental response to pressure, I have found, is to claim the government has done something and to glean language to use to claim that they’re doing more without actually doing anything. One of the participants at my table carried on about the police course for civilians that the city offers. You learn about how they do their job, and how hard and dangerous it is! Every citizen ought to take it! And all I could think was, “We put people with weapons on the street and authority to use them, and then for the whole system to work right the people supposedly being served and protected have to take courses in how to deal with the roaming armed forces? What the f***!!!

  55. someofparts

    I don’t think Carter’s people could have stopped the crime scene aka the recent Dem primaries, but it would have been good if they had tried.

    Spotted this just now, linked to at Automatic Earth. I’m not sure what it is or how I feel about it, but it raises an interesting perspective that strikes me as valuable.

  56. Hugh

    BLM stands for Black Lives Matter. Yet a surprising number of comments maintain the opposite in ways a white supremacist would be proud of.

  57. Willy

    S Brennan, you’ve lost it because your bias was called out.

  58. Willy

    Yes Hugh, it’s a need for cognitive closure. People feeling helpless and powerless impulsively try to herd everything they know and see into nice neat boxes which can be pointed out to their whatever authorities for destruction. It’s hard to maintain a focus that reality can be complicated and messy.

    One positive about the BLM experience is all the personal videos being posted where people show the racial abuse they have to put up with in their daily lives.

    Thomas B Golladay, if you want a Judge Dredd society then vote for it. But good luck to you if your own judge just happens to be a psychopath.

  59. Plague Species

    Here’s a couple of black guys (taking the video) commending Kyle Rittenhouse and his brave white males friends for beating up a girl/woman. This is Trump’s Militia. This is what Trump has commended as a patriotic American. You can’t make this shit up. The black guys in the video are laughing at this girl/woman getting her ass beat because she has the temerity to talk back. I’m sure Jacob Blake would have been laughing with these black guys and commending Kyle Rittenhouse and his brave boys for a job well done. Jacob didn’t take no sass either but he did take the keys to his various girlfriends’ cars and their debit cards and he did shove his finger up their you know whats to let them know he owned them.

  60. Plague Species

    My bad, upon further review and watching and listening closely to the whole thing, the black guys exit the car to take it to Kyle for punching a “bitch.” Kudos to the black guys for having their shit straight. Kyle is sucker punching her, no less. Yes, Kyle was, maybe he still is, on the fast track to being a great cop. He is definitely cop material. The same law firm that defends Rudy Giuliani is defending this cowardly turd blossom provocateur. According to Trump, Kyle represents the best of America. Kyle is the heartbeat of America. He’s replaced Chevrolet. I’m guessing Trump would look at this video and say she deserved it — that Kyle should have grabbed her pussy and raped her too just like he and his buddy Epstein would have done and have done to numerous women, and girls, over the decades. Trump wishes Kyle well. In all his endeavors, whatever they may be.

  61. different clue

    I agree with someofparts up above. Carter Center concern at this point is a beautiful gesture signifying nothing and offering zero opportunity for the advancement of anything.

    Carter Center scrutiny during the treacherous and deceitful Caftood Democrat primaries would have been timely and useful. It might have prevented the Catfood Clintonites and then the Obozo Bidenoids from fraudulating the entire primary process against the chosen-for-liquidation candidates. Sanders, Gabbard, etc.

    One thing I can promise is that the Carter Center won’t have a single discouraging word about the digitization of ballot casting.

  62. Willy

    So Trump is in Kenosha, talking about Christian love and American unity and the need to focus on a Rule of Law which knows no race, creed or wealth colors. But nobody is listening.

    Maybe We The People are simply unworthy of such moral, intellectual, and selfless greatness from such a chaste man. I’d suggest that Trump ride through town in the Popemobile with Francis, four raised hands bobbing out blessings to the divided crowd.

    But the pope is a Marxist, in league with the Democratic Party and their BLM antifa riot henchmen.
    Satan is indeed powerful.

  63. someofparts

    diff clue: Thanks for the credit, but it was actually Plague Species who mentioned the primaries.

    “If only the Carter Center broke precedent a year earlier and monitored the Democratic Party primaries, not that Bernie cares, or would have cared, one way or the other.”

    So, I was responding to that with my disclaimer.

    Now, for something completely different, a link at NC led me to this thought-provoking post at Benjamin Studebaker’s website.

    “The Republican Party has become what it is because of Democrats like Joe Biden. These Democrats are pushing the Republican Party further and further right, and a Biden presidency will make the Republican Party even more dangerous going forward.”

  64. Hugh

    These are all adults. Democrats and Republicans became what they are because that’s what they want to be.

  65. Willy

    Studebaker suggests that Trump is too much the pratfall fail to be a good authoritarian. But he neglects the one thing which Trump is pretty good at – creating and enhancing division. It the worst case he’d need the military to restore order. Plus he’d probably step on an IED in front of the cameras and then we’d have Pence.

  66. StewartM

    Don’t think that if you’re a squishy liberal rather than a left-winger that’ll stop them.

    A 75 years old white peacenik.

    Don’t think Biden will save you, he might slow this down slightly, but he and Harris are extremely harsh on public disorder, and their administration will only make economic and political conditions worse

    I think the pause button will be hit; but the basic infrastructure will be left in place. Because a US president should be restrained by “traditional norms”, not by dismantling the ability to do things like this, nor by the setting up a real system of checks.

    As for making the things worse; the Republicans should also be blamed, as right now they’re willing to see hundreds of thousands die and millions lose become homeless without even throwing them crumbs because, as everyone can see, the “economy” (TM) is doing fine. Isn’t the stock market just dandy now? If they have any Congressional power, then they will block everything just like during the Obama years. Maybe the Dems won’t, but Biden has campaigned on his ability to bring back the good ole days when Democrat and Republican can work hand in hand in slashing SS benefits.

  67. different clue


    Pence would be just fine with the Catfood Democrats. He was a Senator once, just like many of them. He is “in the club”.

  68. S Brennan


    Excellent article that gets history right…excellent !!!

    The Left Case Against Supporting Joe Biden in the General Election
    by Benjamin Studebaker

    “Democrats are pushing the Republican Party further and further right…It wasn’t always like this. Franklin Roosevelt forced the Republican Party to adapt to him. Before Roosevelt, Republicans had little regard for the government’s ability to step in and protect its citizen’s fundamental economic rights. But after Roosevelt, the Republicans became the party of Eisenhower. They became a party that was comfortable building interstate highways with public money and wouldn’t dare raise a hand to Social Security.”

    Predictions are hard; especially about the future, particularly, if you don’t have an effing clue about the past…

    …hell, some commenters here claim that they never heard you say something when a quick google will show they argued with you over that same point. Un-effing-real.

  69. bruce wilder

    Studebaker makes a case for the ratchet. As if rotation in office between the mama party and the daddy party was the driving force in politics.

    Part of the appeal of Studebaker’s argument is that it restores a sense of agency to the leftish voter, rather than emphasizing the reality of powerlessness and being carried along by the operation of forces beyond any ordinary individual’s control.

    Studebaker also mentions in passing the dominance of careerist political operatives in the Democratic Party, but without inquiring into how they came to be where they are.

    I find StewartM’s expectation that a Biden Administration would hit “pause” on the slide toward authoritarianism. I couldn’t tell, honestly, whether the reference to “traditional norms” was a joke.

    Putting Biden up there is pr00f-positive to me that the powers-that-be in the Democratic Party are supremely irresponsible and reckless. As if the Russiagate hoax was not already plenty of evidence — or the whole Obama Administration.

    It is not even that I disagree with Biden about everything, but it is so obvious that Biden is not capable of doing the job and on top of that he does not differ from Trump on any dimension.

    We cannot do any thing at this point but tell the truth. Do not get drawn into the maelstrom of the ridiculous propaganda-saturated “discourse”. Don’t take sides — at least not partisan sides. Stand for justice if you can, but consider carefully what justice requires. And, keep your head down.

  70. Hugh

    bruce wilder, so much depends on distinguishing between the general uses and meanings of language and those that are appropriated or laid claim to by some person or group. Biden is Establishment and for members of the Establishment returning to “traditional norms” means returning to Establishment rule.

    Trump and Trumpism are not an alternative to this, but just their own particular kind of incoherence. And they engage in their own appropriations of language, as when Trump who has been a crook all his life runs as the “law and order” candidate.

    I am curious if you see Biden and Trump as very much the same and if you agree with Biden on some things, what are those, and what do you agree with Trump on?

  71. someofparts

    Well, for me, understanding the rachet may have improved my understanding of some larger political forces in play, but I feel as devoid of agency in these matter as I did before I read the post.

    Reading what Stewart M wrote, I think he put the phrase ‘traditional norms’ in quotes for the same reason any of us here would, because he knows exactly how empty and lame it is.

    If Biden runs an Obama 2.0 administration and embeds careerist Vichy Democrats to the exclusion of real socialists, as Studebaker describes, then he will feed the rachet. If that leads to a Trump 2.0 I’m starting to have a bad feeling that Josh Hawley will be the one to watch.

    Saagar Engetti is a real fan of the guy, so the name is on my radar. With that in mind, I spotted a long post about him at American Prospect just now. He sounds shrewd and capable. Reagan showed us that Americans adore a fascist if he is folksy and Hawley has that going for him. If a Biden administration reminds everyone why we hate the Democrats and causes a backlash vote against zombie neoliberalism Hawley may be the one who steps in to carry on where Trump left off.

  72. Mark Pontin

    I can’t believe it. A moment of sanity and intelligence from the CDC and, of all entities, the Trump administration —

  73. bruce wilder

    Do I “agree with” Biden? Do I “agree with” Trump?

    They each say a lot of stuff and in each case, a lot of stuff is said characterizing what they have said, much of that interpretative stuff wrong or unfair or deceptive or foolish, for good or ill.

    Biden has a schtick as a guy connected empathetically with the working class. Biden gave a speech at Brookings — kind of famous because he said, I am not Sanders, I do not think 500 billionaires are the problem — and there is a transcript online. Go read it. You are meant to agree with it. He says a lot of stuff about what is going wrong with the country, about what is unfair, about what Joe Biden has learned travelling the country and the world. About what “we” have “got” to do. The audience is meant to “agree with” Joe. See him, somehow as caring and insightful and knowledgeable. See him as agreeing with me, his listener or reader. Reasonable. Thoughtful Joe.

    Taken as a philosophical whole, like most political speeches, it is deeply contradictory and inconsistent beyond the point of incoherence. He is sounding themes. Not committing himself to a policy program or a political struggle. In fact, he is very big on themes of “coming together” and nice talk about including people. Most especially, he admits no responsibility for the results of his roles in public life making policy.

    Joe Biden can make a word salad speech like that because the audience is just as incoherent in their political and economic “thinking” as Joe. “Agree with” ? !

  74. GlassHammer

    “These are all adults. Democrats and Republicans became what they are because that’s what they want to be.” – Hugh

    You know, there is a survivor problem when talking to party leaders (and party loyalist). They lasted because they adapted to what is awful in their system far better than most people could. So they can’t tell you what in their system doesn’t work and why.

    You run into the same problem in companies and other large organizations. Leadership is blind to certain problems because they adapted to not seeing them.

  75. Plague Species

    I’m currently watching Hulu’s The Looming Tower where Jeff Daniels plays the FBI agent John Patrick O’Neill who allegedly, and ironically, perished in the twin towers on 9/11.

    It’s a mix of disinformation and misinformation for sure, but the whole charade strikes me as laughable because the premise is that both the CIA and the FBI care so deeply about American lives and about America’s safety, that they dedicate their hearts and souls (figure of speech since they have no souls) to protecting both. Hence their overblown concern with a bunch of goat herders from Afghanistan who kill a few people here and there with their crude, stone-age efforts.

    Fast forward 20 or more years and we have an orange, obese Osama bin Laden on steroids in the White House who has quite literally murdered over 180,000 Americans now and counting, many of whom supported him in one form or another (old folks love Trump). Donald Trump has murdered in cold blood more “innocent” Americans than Osama and Al Qaeda could ever have hoped to have murdered. It’s not even a comparison. And he’s done this with the complicity of the CIA and the FBI because despite murdering over 180,000 “innocent” Americans, he’s good for Wall Street. Osama was good for Wall Street too. Wall Street has made huge bank on the War On Terror just as it has made huge bank on the War On Drugs. Wall Street likes wars of all kinds. Any kind will do.

    The FBI and CIA don’t care about America’s future or Americans’ lives, they care about profit. They are in place not to protect America or Americans, but instead to protect Wall Street and transnational profits. This pandemic proves it beyond the shadow of a doubt, American lives be damned.

    If Biden were to miraculously win in November, he won’t and Moore agrees, and the Dems control the White House for the next 8 years and the pandemic is ultimately managed and quelled, should we not have a commemoration of it just as America commemorates the tragedy of 9/11 where a puny 3,000 lives were lost compared to 185,000 from the pandemic and counting? Shouldn’t Trump be hunted down like Osama was and dispatched with extreme prejudice? His body can be dumped in the ocean like Osama’s, except maybe in the Atlantic off the southeastern coast of Florida versus the Indian Ocean considering Mar-A-Lago.

    Osama bin Trump.

  76. Ché Pasa

    I was watching some of the livestreams from Kenosha last night. Not a lot of people out on the streets, but those that were often wanted to speak their piece and got into discussions and arguments with others, but for the most part, they were civil, direct, and focused. “What happened,” the shooting of Jacob Blake, the riots, the destruction, the shootings by the killer boy, all of it was wrong, and the underlying problems in Kenosha that led to these events run deep. From the discussions I heard, Kenoshans want to find ways to solve those underlying problems. They want justice for Jacob, and they want police who do that kind of thing to face consequences. They don’t want no police, but they do want good police, whatever that may mean. Black and white Kenoshans were able to speak their minds with one another and express both their own pain and respect for the other’s pain.

    There was apparently a fight between some Kenoshans and a Proud Boy which ended with the Proud Boy being “escorted” out of the area rather forcefully.

    People who said they had been defending property the night that the killer boy went on his mission were horrified at what happened, for the ones who spoke last night claimed that they had no intention that anything like that would happen. They didn’t want more burning and looting, but they also didn’t want to just go shooting people up.

    The police kept a very low profile — they were thought to be nearby but didn’t show up until curfew, and then there were just two, they were not in riot gear, didn’t threaten anyone, spoke calmly and reasonably, asked people to keep the street clear, but said they weren’t going to enforce the curfew and people could assemble in the park if they wanted, or really anywhere, as long as they kept the street clear and weren’t being violent.

    Some of the most spirited discussion was over where to get the best food in Kenosha.

    The problems haven’t been solved, not by a long shot, but there is an effort to mitigate what’s gone wrong in Kenosha. It was clear that the shooting of Jacob Blake derailed what had been underway, and the shootings by Kyle Rittenhouse turned everything upside down again. Now it looks like Kenoshans most affected by these things are on a path to make some progress, but they are facing two unpredictable factors: a chaotic and divisive president and a law enforcement sector that doesn’t believe it did anything wrong.

    I noticed there was no discussion of Trump’s presence in Kenosha yesterday, nor was there more than glancing reference to the police and sheriffs.

    This strikes me as an example of what happens to people when they’ve been through a series of shocks and they want some better outcomes. They look for solutions, both within themselves and among others of (apparent) good will. Prejudice doesn’t disappear (there was plenty of it on view last night) but it doesn’t dominate. People may revert soon enough, but for the moment, there is an opening for discussion and change.

    It’s quite a contrast with the rigidity of those who rule us.

  77. S Brennan

    Someofparts; just getting the history right is the main thing.

    Somebody from the today’s left understanding that there once was a Republican President who was an FDRist [FDR brought competent leadership to the US Military…and Ike was part of that team].

    Getting today’s left to understand that there once were Republican Senators that passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964:

    “…the final tally stood at 71 to 29—27 Republicans and 44 Democrats joined forces to support cloture. They were opposed by nay votes from 6 Republicans and 21 Democrats.”

    So, of 33 Republicans, 27 voted for closure, of 65 Democrats, only 44 voted for closure, does that mesh with today’s image of D’s? No, no it does not. The most important piece of legislation since the New Deal, taking place during an election year and, Republicans overwhelming put Democratic legislation over the goal line.

    In Fact, just this past June [2020] Republicans on the Supreme Court used the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to finally insure all American Citizens their rights. Roberts assigned Brett Kavanaugh to right the opinion that finally gave transgendered peoples full protection under the law.

    That’s right, finally, we all are equal under the law, thanks to the work of Brett Kavanaugh. Yes, that Brett Kavanaugh, a man whose nomination to the Supreme Court was blocked by Democrats because he was nominated by Trump wrote the opinion guaranteeing the rights of the Transgendered, the minority group that is subjected to the most murders [by 2-3 times higher than young black men], has the highest unemployment [by 2-3 times higher than young black men] and so on…

    Even today, D’s are not always to the left of R’s.

    Recall, Rep. Barney Frank (D), a prominent wealthy white gay man, a gay man who had repeatedly man-blamed the transgendered for not being fully accepted in the ranks of upper society, that Barney Frank (D). Barney Frank (D) as a congressman repeatedly struck out ANY provision* that included rudimentary employment protections for transgendered persons.

    So there you have it, when push comes to shove, Brett Kavanaugh is farther to the left than Barney Frank on the subject of sexual minorities. Barney Frank, a gay man only wanted his rights! Eff everybody else, I got mine. Brett Kavanaugh, a straight man, saw an injustice and clarified that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 included everybody. One decent man and the other…a weak sociopath whose self-interest was the only thing that mattered. People who think the D or R label mean anything are out of touch with reality.

    *10 years later, firestorm over gay-only ENDA vote still informs

    Nov 6, 2017 Protests against gay former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) deliberate exclusion of…

  78. nihil obstet

    S Brennan, getting the history right is important. So don’t cherry pick. We’ll all tend to regard facts that play into our narrative as more important than facts that don’t, but it is rarely accurate to limit ourselves to what we want to see, and rarely persuasive to be quite so interpretively challenged about it.

  79. Willy

    If Brennan was selling that AOC is an alien robot awaiting invasion orders from the mother ship, I’d buy it if all of his facts were comprehensive and they all cohesively jibed regardless of what angle we were trying to view them from. He does have that pathway towards persuasion.

    That’s where metamars loses me with climate change. I point out flaws in his argument and if he’s right then I’d think he’d be able to quickly fill in any gaps, or at least debate honestly. Instead he goes into ad hominem gaslighting mode, which somebody like me is going to take as a red flag. I say we leave that behavior to the wingnuts.

  80. S Brennan

    Nihil Obstet, when you say

    “getting the history right is important. So don’t cherry pick”

    You are being rhetorically clever but, intellectually dishonest. I mean, if people were to stop and think for moment they’d realize, you are either a complete idiot or a con man who thinks the readers here are complete idiots.

    EVERY HISTORY EVER WRITTEN, unless it’s trillions of pages long, is “cherry picked”.

    I don’t know Nihil, maybe your right, maybe people here are too stupid to see through your vapid witticism.

  81. nihil obstet

    I’m sure plenty of people have stopped and thought long enough to realize the complete idiot issue. Thanks for calling attention to it.

  82. StewartM


    It was a joke. I really do expect Biden to hit the “pause” button, but not to do anything meaningful to actually dismantle the apparatus that makes our or current (or coming) fascist fuehrer possible, nor to instill a true system of checks on such a power grab. The current DLC position essentially is that all these enhanced presidential powers are good and necessary, just that a president should feel restrained to abide by ‘traditional norms’ in using them. I thus expect Biden to keep all these powers, just be more restrained (not necessarily use them for good purposes, mind you, just more restrained) in their use.

    But Trump is showing that ‘traditional norms’ are no protection. Right now his administration is just ignoring court orders on, say, immigration.

  83. Seattle Resident

    Trump to my view, and to some lefties I know that have never voted before but will vote for Biden, is that Trump is a whole new level of bad that we’ve never seen in recent history from past Presidents, particularly the more conservative ones like Reagan and Bush II: Neither of those republicans used federal police power to pluck demonstrators off the streets and drive them away in unmarked vans/cars to be held indefinitely as they do in dictatorships. Neither of those Presidents utilized an alliance of police power and white nationalist groups to destroy their opposition, e.g., the left, BLM, the way Trump has. If he wins re-election, I believe those elements that Trump has enabled will escalate their actions for the purpose of eliminating the opposition from the national scene through violence and outright murder. The next four years, if Trump wins, will make President Wilson’s Palmer raids look like a game of tag.

    Studebaker doesn’t get out enough, he’s got his head up his butt.

  84. Ché Pasa

    As we’re seeing and should have known all along, courts have no enforcement powers of their own beyond the courthouse itself. Courts rely on the executive branch through the police and prison systems among other means to enforce their judgments and orders. If the executive demurs, the courts have few or no recourses.

    Supposedly, the executive has no authority to appropriate funds on its own but must rely on legislative action for funds. But surprise! That check on executive authority is somewhat less absolute than we may have thought. And there is little or nothing the legislative branch can — or chooses — to do about it, either.

    Our tripartite arrangement of authority can be easily subverted when those in power decide that norms and agreements don’t matter any more. That’s where we are right now, and there’s no way back to the way things used to be or should have been.

    What we do from this point is an open question.

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