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

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

Steve Bannon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The results of the work I do, like this article, are free, but food isn’t, so if you value my work, please DONATE or SUBSCRIBE.


Quick Hit: France Is Just a Giant Greece


Open Thread


  1. Arash

    Spot on and sobering commentary. A disheartening week for those of us who voted for Trump based on a hope that he’d reverse years of neoliberal and neocon policies

  2. Mallam

    If you can’t admit that Trump is actually worse on foreign affairs and more pro-war than Hillary Clinton would have been, then you’re still not being honest here. Bannon is most certainly pro-intervention — he dreams of a holy war. Bombing ISIS when Assad is (largely) responsible for their existence isn’t anti-intervention either. It is pro-intervention in favor of genocidal dictators. Not that neocon foreign policy is any good, but the entire point of being anti-war is to pump military funds to social spending, which Bannon has not advocated for.

    I’ve also seen no evidence Bannon is an economic nationalist who cares about economic inequality. I’ve seen a lot of evidence that Bannon is a white supremacist who hates (((globalists))) (meaning “Jews”) and blames hippies and “bureaucrats” of the administrative state for workers’ plight. So his ideas of helping are complete deregulation of the financial and energy sectors, banning brown people, reshaping demographics through ethnic cleansing, and privatization of government and increased military spending. Bannon can say all he wants how he was against the health care proposal, but notice he was still onboard with it because he wants the other parts of this agenda. He didn’t push for actual proposals to even help people.

    You say he’s “not Hitler” — it’s been less than 100 days. He wants the camps, Jeff Sessions would not be Attorney General under any other Republican, and police are empowered to act with more impunity than ever before under his regime. Sessions was always the danger, and he’s still in power.

  3. Tom

    Russia is to blame for the missiles on Shayrat. They should never have backed Assad, and amplified his war crimes and genocide, instead they should have been first in line to eliminate him.

    Now Putin owns the mess of Syria, and he will lose it because he jumped on the side of dictators rather than democracy.

    China watched all this and now realizes if they want to control the Korean Crisis, they need to be first in line on ending the Kim Dynasty and getting ahead of the US on ensuring the Kim Dynasty ends and is reunited with the South Koreans who aren’t batshit insane and who can conduct business with them as well as bear all the costs of cleaning up the North.

    If one lesson should be clear to all here. Never back fucking dictators over the people, be first in line to pop them in the head, and do it quickly, then eliminate their state security apparatus and put in place a new police force that isn’t tainted and swiftly smush the various militias and get them under a single command answerable to a civilian agency. This is how Turkey is policing the areas it liberated from Daesh and the SDF Terrorists and its working, the cities liberated are now under the control of the FSP which answers to the SNC and are organizing elections while keeping the militias of the ESF, excepting air defense, out of the cities unless they disarm beforehand. The various groups are under a single command and answer to the SNC which is gearing to appoint a General Staff and get these various groups under a better central command while Turkey re-equips them.

    Intervention done right can be decisive, the trick is to swiftly get central civilian control in place and get services back up. This is where the US fucked up in Afghanistan and Iraq, they overthrew the Taliban/Saddam and then just let chaos bloom.

  4. Ian Welsh

    I guess the bloom is off the Turkish/Russian detente. It’s useful having Tom around, so I know the Turkish party line.

  5. Hugh

    Personnel is policy, and Bannon is the sole populist, albeit a deeply problematic one, in the Trump Administration. What this means is that Trump’s “populism” which was highly marginal to begin with, and even then mostly verbal, is disappearing faster than dew in a Saharan summer. Again all this was predictable and predicted.

    I guage Trump and the Trump Administration keeping the following three things in mind. So far it has been very useful.

    1. Trump is the most ignorant and intellectually lazy President in nearly a century, and this includes Dubya. He has all the resources of a huge federal government at his disposal, and he doesn’t bother asking it anything. Instead he derives his info from the foilier types at Fox News.

    2. Trump is deeply conservative. I have always thought it was funny how idiot pundits swear that Trump ISN’T CONSERVATIVE because he wasn’t a fully vetted member of their club when from Pence to his Cabinet and agency picks to his choice of Gorsuch to his anti-environmentalism to his support of Ryancare to his warmongering to his desire to push tax cuts for the rich to his war on Planned Parenthood and women, his is the most conservative Administration anyone can remember –but somehow he’s not conservative. What we are seeing is the paper thin veneer of populism is peeling/peeled off and the billionaire kleptocrat underneath.

    3. His remains a hollow Administration. While he has named people to most of the top jobs, an incoming Administration needs to hire people to fill positions about four levels down into the bureaucracy. Lots of Deputy thises and Assistant thats. All told around three to four thousand people. And this simply isn’t being done. In addition, many of the second tier people need Congressional approval. Again not happening. This is one of the reasons that Trump depends so heavily on nepotism. Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are about all he has for senior advisors and staff.

    4. As a bonus, I could add Trump’s clinical narcissism. Bannon certainly has run afoul of this, but he would be on his way out anyway. At least so far, it has been largely tangential although annoying. I mean everything is always about Trump, and the man has a really impaired linguistic faculty where he can’t articulate an actual sentence, let alone string several of them together. Instead we get noun phrases peppered with overblown adjectives: amazing, phenomenal, very successful, etc. I guess the one area where Trump’s narcissism has a substantial impact is his ability to lie without any hint of self-reflection or awareness. So NATO was obsolete last week but not this week. And Ian’s list: China was a currency manipulator but now it’s not. Russia was going to be our friend and now it’s our enemy, etc. Trump simply declares one of his failures, screwups, or flipflops a wonderful success and moves on –in the opposite direction. No matter how I look at it, it is going to be a very long four years.

  6. V. Arnold

    Trump is a strutting egoist who never had to grow up. Pampered all his life; “…hell, why not run for president; I never did that before…”
    His inability to deeply articulate much of anything, leads him to use glittering generalities and sophomoric phrasing of adjectives, nouns, and verbs.
    I’ve known 10 year old’s with far better command of the language and speaking abilities.
    Well done you (those morons who voted for him).
    And yet, there are actually people out there, who ardently believe they can organize a movement to get back their America (U.S.A.); good luck with that…not going to happen…
    There is nobody out there who can save you, nobody, not Bernie, not Tulsi, nobody…

  7. The alt-right’s anti-warism is only opportunistic and skin-deep. Their idea is to create a reconciliation with Russia in order to form a unified bastion of white “Christendom”. (Regardless of whether Russia itself sees it that way…) That bastion of Christendom is supposed to keep the master race — obviously, by force — from being overrun by the brown hordes.

  8. Mallam

    Mandos sees it. Also, Bannon is only inside the administration because of the Mercer family, particularly Rebekah Mercer. I don’t think they’re billionaire populists who advocate solutions for the poor and middle class — even the white ones. However, they are definitely racist bigots who hate blacks and Muslims. Bannon likes to tell weepy stories about how his father got screwed in 2008, but his story neither makes sense nor adds up. The Mercer’s owning large stakes in Breitbart and pushing a certain agenda that wouldn’t have voice without Bannon, however, makes far more sense.

  9. The Stephen Miller Band

    I never thought Bannon was POTUS. I did think Putin was, but maybe now he’s not. Never say never, though. Not with Trump. Right now, Mattis is POTUS and his Mad Dog rabidity is showing. Trump has given the American Military carte blanche to do whatever it takes to win in all theaters and new theaters to be announced any day now.

    Anyway, the Mother of all Bombs was impressive, wasn’t it? Donald likes bombs. They’re like big, giant exploding dicks. Wee!! What fun!!

    We have MOAB and MOAP.

    What’s MOAP, you ask?

    Mother of all Presidents, of course!!!

  10. The Stephen Miller Band

    And to think, they could have ended the Opioid Epidemic by dropping that MOAB, and maybe a few more, on the Poppy Fields, or in the least, some Agent Orange considering Trump’s emblazoned & youthful skin tone. Nah, Agent Orange isn’t a Chemical Weapon. What a crazy notion.

  11. Ché Pasa

    Repent. The end is nigh.

    It appears His Nibs is not in charge, not even close, and Our GoverWnment is being both playful and threatening about it. The military and police are more or less free to do whatever they will, the congress is stalemated, the presidency is neutered, and Bannon is (for now) an irrelevancy.

    That sweet young couple, Jared and Ivanka, are not ruling, but they are being allowed to play as if they might be taken seriously… one day.

    The problem, of course, is that this situation is inherently unstable and potentially catastrophic. Of course. Those who rule us don’t seem to mind very much, though, do they?

    I notice that Trump is using Mar-a-Lago as a Winter Palace. The room where he held the bilateral discussion with Xi was all white and gold and crystal, just like Putin’s many palatial meeting rooms in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Well, it was smaller, but still the parallels were obvious.

    Bannon was there at the table.

    The White House cannot compare in grandeur.

    That little crypto-Nazi gnome Stephen Miller has been showing up at White House meetings looking crabbed and forlorn. I imagine nobody even speaks to him anymore.

    And of course, the neoLibCon program is actually accelerating, not slowing down at all. Anyone who thought the Trump regime would shatter the ruling paradigm once and for all was a fool.

    Ah well…

  12. Brian

    “he is the only person in the administration genuinely angry about what happened to the WHITE working and middle class in America”

    Fixed that for you.

  13. Brian

    And yes, Trump is going to end up an “establishment” Republican, just dumber, meaner, and less competent than usual.

    On foreign policy his decision seems to be to let the generals do what they wish. “Total authorization” as he said. I don’t know what that will entail but I suspect nothing good.

    He still has Sessions at DOJ and seems personally motivated by a lot of xenophobia and racism, so on immigration, civil rights etc I expect most of the same policies Bannon would have advocated. He and his AG seem to believe in them (and Ivanka and Jared aren’t personally affected) so they will probably move ahead.

    If anything, these measures will become even more important as they will be the only thing he still offers many of his supporters. They won’t get changes in trade, better health care, jobs, etc, but a lot of them will still stick with them as long as they feel he hates the right sort of people enough.

  14. V. Arnold

    April 14, 2017

    Your closing paragraph pretty much summarises the reality on the ground.
    Usaian’s have no idea what they have done; but will learn soon enough.
    The horror, the horror…

  15. EmilianoZ

    In the end it was Bannon who was Trunp’s blunt instrument.

  16. highrpm

    my vote for trump was my vote against the political establishment. now I see it as useless, as the establishment bought trump before he could do them harm. oh well, f*k the collective nation-state. in fact, f*k collectives. Arthur Koestler correctly described the collective mind. insane. i’ll attempt to stay close to my rabbit hole ’til death. (and I live in a co-op. as such, a collective mind and even with a pretty decent set of by-laws seems more often than not nibbing at some member[s].)

  17. The Stephen Miller Band

    Remember people said Dubya was the kind of guy you could sit down and have a beer with?

    Well, Bannon is the kind of guy you can stand up and have twenty fingers of scotch with from across the room.

    The guy’s a real looker. Polished. He presents well. Charismatic. Gregarious. Loquacious. Amiable.

    Just an easy guy to like if you like dog shit and find it appealing.

  18. Webstir

    Been saying it for months now. Trump is nothing but a loose cannon neoliberal.
    Good lord, the stupidity of those that elected an Ivy League educated capitalist oligarch thinking he would champion the little people. PT Barnum is giggling his ass off

  19. Willy

    The mistake was made way back when conservatives weaponized Jesus first. There’d be nothing scarier for congresspeople, even presidents and corporate dibs than the unionized armed pofolks mob on a mission from God. But that’s water under the bridge.

    I quit judging others by what they said long ago. And it’s not all about what they do, but the discrepancies between what they say and what they do. Of course, there are those who do as they believe but their stuff is all a buncha BS. I don’t think they don’t get elected much, preferring instead to work as useful tools.

  20. (P = NP the problem 2

    Yes, this is sane. it only looks like it is not, but according to this I would be to link up the walls.)

  21. S Brennan

    Ian; good post.

    Along those lines, I offer this read:

  22. Peter

    The first few sentences of this post shows how weak liberal conformity handicaps those stuck in that box. The Red Queen was bringing the fawning, incompetent divine right to rule cult to the WH while Trump was the insurgent outsider master of the boardroom and media snake-charmer. Trying to characterize Trump’s WH using metrics from failed political parasites is easy but leads to the apparently retarded behavior of depending on the NYT or WaPo for information to parrot.

    The Clintonites and their deep state thought they could poison him with their unrelenting venom, fake news and fabricated palace intrigues. Some of them may still think he will just quit from the pressure, he’s so weak. This is the guy who spent thirty years in Atlantic City fighting an uphill battle to keep his promise of jobs and progress. He managed to provide a whole generation of resort/casino workers with work even though it cost him about a billion dollars of his fortune. So long as Trump has his golf days he should have the energy to confront these clowns as long as necessary.

    I don’t know if there is any truth to the rumors about Steve Bannon, they’re just rumors from unreliable sources. While this intrigue draws attention Bannon is probably continuing with the large scale plans for dismantling of the administrative state that we are already seeing at the EPA and State Department. The list of agencies marked for reduction or elimination is impressive and a long overdue task to attempt.

  23. S Brennan

    Ian Welsh Says: “It’s useful having Tom around, so I know the Turkish party line.”

    So much pain…for such useless information

  24. Willy

    Trump spent thirty years battling to keep his promise of jobs and progress?

    I’ll think I’ll be needing that one credibly sourced. Meanwhile, the Red Queen remains unlocked up.

  25. StewartM

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

    At least some of Trump’s base is seeing the light and turning on him for his many betrayals:

    Mind you, Trump could still rescue his presidency, the same way that Schwarzenegger rescued his governorship, by pulling a 2010 Obama and handing the other party Congress*. If he does that, then he actually might be able to do things with Democratic majorities that would actually honor his campaign promises to improve the lives of all those working-class stiffs who put him in office. He could become once more the Trump of the 1990s or early 2000s who was not against abortion or defunding Planned Parenthood, who was not for vouchers for private religious schools or other parts of the Christian right agenda, and be in favor of single-payer healthcare. This tack would also be an analogy with those who have been comparing him with George Wallace, who ended up appointing African-Americans to his cabinet and to offices and winning with their votes.

    (And yes, I think Obama really wanted that 2010 result, in order to achieve his cherished dream of having a SS- and Medicare slashing lovefest with his “Republican friends”, as he calls them–a result he thought he’d never get as long as the Democrats ruled Congress. Recall that at Harvard he disappointed the Left there too and chummed around with Federalist society pals. Obama spent most of his presidency trying to elevate “bipartisanship” as a virtue in its own right, to convince righties that “I”m really one of you” (he did that early in January 2009!). The reason SS and Medicare were saved was that the Tea Party believed its own propaganda, that Obama was the Great Librul Satan, and no matter how often Obama put SS and Medicare on the chopping block and how little he demanded in return for that (by the very end, just the mere *promise* of some unspecified tax increases in the future), you don’t make deals with Satan. Just like Monica Lewinsky saved SS from the “pact” being worked out between Clinton and Gingrich in 1997, the Tea Party’s irrational intransigence meant they couldn’t take a deal that even Cantor admitted was “97 % of what we want”.

  26. realitychecker

    Trump, as a perceived outsider, was never anything more than a fervent last hope to avoid the need for revolution as the only means of escape from the corporate oligarchy agenda.

    For those now pissing themselves with glee over their perception that Trump will not deliver on that Hail Mary hope, are any of you cowardly sheep ready to go and fight for your freedom now?

    Or are you celebrating your now-inevitable surrender to livestock status under the corporatocracy?

    This inquiring mind would really like to know.

  27. Duder

    I don’t think Bannon’s ouster will result in better treatment of immigrants and foreigners under Trump. Those actions are staying in place (other than the blanket visa ban which is the action of the courts, not the Trump admin). But the arbitrary power of border agents and ICE raids (a continuation of Obama) are here to stay.

    This is the worst of all possible outcomes.

  28. StewartM


    Trump is deeply conservative. I have always thought it was funny how idiot pundits swear that Trump ISN’T CONSERVATIVE because he wasn’t a fully vetted member of their club when from Pence to his Cabinet and agency picks to his choice of Gorsuch to his anti-environmentalism to his support of Ryancare to his warmongering to his desire to push tax cuts for the rich to his war on Planned Parenthood and women, his is the most conservative Administration anyone can remember –but somehow he’s not conservative.

    I actually think that Trump, given his earlier positions and campaign rhetoric isn’t natively conservative. Lisa has it pegged, the disaster began when he for some inexplicable reason thought he needed the Cruz vote to win and picked Pence. He barely won the presidency and lost the popular vote to an incompetent candidate who made YUGE tactical and strategic blunders during the campaign. With Clinton ditching the “practical progressive” ruse she adopted during the primaries against Sanders to become “the smart Republican” and courting every rightwinger and neocon and Republican neoliberal she could to come onboard and endorse her, she gave Trump an opportunity to tack to her *left*, to steal Bernie’s free college plank and more. Any Cruz voters he lost would have been more than made up for by winning Indies and Democrats who didn’t vote (because Clinton’s candidacy and rhetoric was in effect actively suppressing Dem vote, that shows in the vote totals). He might have won the popular vote this way too.

    If Trump had taken that tack, then when he won there would be no Pence, no Preibus, no Munchkin, no DeVos, and no Mulvaney, and that’s huge. Remember, when Trump cut the Appalachian Regional Commission, Trump was completely ignorant about what it did, and just took the world of Mulvaney that “it’s not cost effective” (but apparently even more tax cuts for the rich are, in defiance of everything known about the effects of fiscal policy). I agree that Trump is intellectually lazy, which is why having him not surrounded by the likes of Mulvaney is so important in limiting this bad advice.

  29. StewartM

    @ Duder

    I don’t think Bannon’s ouster will result in better treatment of immigrants and foreigners under Trump.

    You know, it baffles me to think that we are “easy” on foreigners coming into the US. The simple fact is, we’re hard as hell. We’re cruelly, viscously, stupidly, unnecessarily hard as hell.

    Let’s say you’re a foreigner from a non-visa waiver country. You want to visit the US–maybe you want to sightsee here, maybe you have relatives you want to visit, whatever. Let’s say you have in your travel history an established record of visiting other countries, and have never overstayed your visit there but returned to your country of origin. No problem visiting on a tourist visa, right?

    Wrong. It’s very likely you’ll be denied, unless you’re already quite rich or at least reasonably well-off. You’re out the money you spent for the visa, and while you can re-apply, you have to again pay for the visa fee. You have no right to appeal save in certain cases.

    Let’s say that after paying for visa after visa, you finally gain admittance. You can stay up to six months, but let’s say you are going on a 90-day trip. When you arrive, you present the customs officer at the US airport you arrived in you airline tickets showing your arrival and return flights. But the US customs office doesn’t think you should stay 90 days, so he says “I think you should only stay 45 days”.

    Then what? You have to scramble to get the date on your return flight changed. Maybe you can do that, at the cost of a additional hefty fee, or maybe you can’t. In the latter case you have to book an *additional* one-way flight back because said customs official maybe was having a bad hair day, or didn’t like the way you looked when you arrived. Once again, you have no right to appeal.

    Let’s say after all of this, you loved visiting the US, and you want to come back, to see other tourist sights. Or maybe you have relatives or friends here, maybe you have a grandmother who has cancer and may not live, so you’d like to see her as much as you can while she is still alive. Let’s say you did everything as you were told, broke no laws, and never overstayed your visa. You have now an established record of good behavior in the US. No problem returning, right?

    Wrong yet again. No matter how good your behavior, customs looks at visiting the US too frequently or staying too long unfavorably too. So it’s likely if you visit your ailing grandma for 3 months each year you might be denied a return visit at some point.

    Mind you, this is all to prevent people from other countries with an established record of good behavior and who are spending their money in this country, and boosting our economy, from doing just that. Whatever you think of immigration it’s attacking the very people who aren’t the source of whatever problem we have. As I remind you, these same people can go to Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, or elsewhere with nowhere near the same issues, and moreover all these countries have far less illegal immigration than ours (typically 1/6th of our rates, in many cases, 1/10th). Of course, part of the solution can be a tamper-resistant hard-to-counterfeit national ID card, which would be required to get employment in the US, but many of the very people who scream about illegal immigrants are against that too–because that in essence would be giving people ID cards that would allow them to vote, and they don’t want “the wrong people” voting.

    What I wrote above is not hypothetical, I know of instances of this personally. Nor does this include all the other indignities and hassles that foreigners visiting her experiencing here undergo, one friend of mine had the customs official seize his cell phone and throw it in the trash can, just because they have arbitrary power and don’t have to justify exercising it. We need a bill of rights for both foreigners visiting here and also American citizens returning from visits overseas. One obvious thing is no seizure and searching of laptops or cell phones without a warrant for citizens, and reasonable cause for foreigners. You can also allow what other countries do if you’re worried about people overstaying their visits, which is to allow an American citizen to take legal responsibility, under penalty of law, to make sure they don’t overstay. There are any ways to make this more sensible and less stupidly and needlessly cruel.

  30. S Brennan


    You’ve got it right, the Hillary apologists are “now pissing themselves with glee”. Hillary apologists, having been wrong all day…finally, their broken hands are finally pointing at the right numbers. In baseball, that translates to a batting average of .0014, yeah, they’re clairvoyant all right.

    And the Hillary apologists efforts will have results, just not what they expect. In the process of going after Trump supporters 24 hours a day, the Hillary apologists have made sure that the Democratic party is seen for what it really has become, an enemy of working people.

  31. Other countries aren’t hugely better about visas. The effort to get a Schengen visa for a non-waiver country is also quite difficult and capricious, and the liability declarations do not really impress the authorities that much. One of the reasons why Europe has such a hard time getting North African countries to accept deportees is that it’s not willing to offer the North African upper and middle class easier visa access, but thinks that monetary aid is all that’s required. This is very much not how the political class in those countries see it. I know of demonstrably very rich Africans getting denied tourist visas with letters hinting that European authorities are afraid they’d go on welfare or work illegally.

  32. NoPolitician

    I was for Bernie Sanders. I see the elimination of Bannon and the economic populism he brings to the Trump team as a good thing, because that now throws those voters back into free agency, and will show them True Republicanism (remember, although both Republicans and Democrats supported NAFTA, it was 27-26 Senate, but 102-156 House. Republicans were 34-12 Senate, 132-43 House.

    Clearly Democrats are more inclined to support fair trade deals, not unfettered trade deals.

    I agree with the idea that the US has to temper its trade agreements to be better suited for all Americans. I agree that we should be less interventionist. However I could not agree with the basic Trump philosophies that we need to purge our country of foreigners; that we had to massively lower taxes on the rich; that we had to eliminate most of the federal government. I think that True Republicans are still in favor of stuff like intense removal of immigrants and bans on Muslims.

    Without Bannon, Trump is going to be more True Republican. I think that will let America see what Republicans are really about: they don’t care about the little guy; they want a country where people are hungry and will do whatever they are told, under either fear of starvation or fear of governmental force. He will lose the people who were really interested in the trade stuff. I think that losing Bannon is a win for the Democrats who are in the Sanders camp.

    For Libertarians, I have a suggestion for you. Instead of siding with the right on “eliminating regulations” and “shrinking government” which then increase the strength of large corporations, how about siding with the left on fighting global corporate dominance, which will then make such regulation unnecessary?

    Honestly, I think that if every employer personally hired every employee, we wouldn’t even need such a thing as a minimum wage because few people are going to intimately screw over another human being to their face. But when you wrap decisions in a corporate flag, people are willing to do some pretty wicked shit.

    I don’t think anyone likes a lack of freedom or intense regulation just for the hell of it. I think that the difference is that Democrats who support this kind of regulation are doing so because they see the widespread abuses that are typically being pushed by dominant global oligopolistic corporations. When you can shop at 20 different grocery store chains, then some can decide that having prices on the items is a good thing and others can decide that it is bad, and the consumer can decide. When you are limited to 2 different global-sized chains, you need a government as large and dominant as the corporations to keep them in line.

  33. StewartM


    Other countries aren’t hugely better about visas.

    I can’t speak directly about other countries, just saying that the people I know had no problems getting into the countries I cited. This includes people with no job, or marginal incomes, such as visiting students (not attending school in the country they are visiting, mind you, not a student visa issue) and the like. They could and did go to Germany, or the UK, or Austria, or New Zealand, or even Japan, but would be (or would likely be) denied the US. There is simply no reason to punish people who are playing by the rules, and moreover the system should reward, not punish, good behavior. Why would one want anything else?

    What I noted is that I’m far better treated by other countries when I arrive than my own. I have my stuff searched, by body groped, and while I’ve not had my laptop or phone seized and searched, that could happen–for no reason whatsoever. And I’m an American citizen! Other countries seem to respect and trust me based on my record than my own!

  34. S Brennan

    NoPolitician says:

    “I see the elimination of Bannon and the economic populism he brings to the Trump team as a good thing, because that now throws those voters back into free agency, and will show them…”

    ..that voting [D], no matter how far they venture into fascism, is the only way forward. Fascism[D] is ever so slightly less evil than fascism[R]…now that Flynn & Bannon are gone…yeah!

  35. Willy

    FTR, after the Bernie ruining I like so many others, I left POTUS blank as a sort of protest vote. Little good that did. But what was the alternative? Hillary apologists can either feel no economic pain, or they prefer their slow and certain death to taking what certainly reeked of snake oil. I’d start by identifying apologist blogs and playing there for a while to see if there’s anything else useful to learn about these people.

  36. Peter


    I’ve just finished reading Winston Groom’s new novel El Paso about Poncho Villa leading the last armed revolutionary forces onto US soil. A fictional story of actual events in northern Mexico just before the US entered the war in Europe. I didn’t know that the Germans were plotting to convince the Mexican government and Villa to go to war with the US. They offered lots of gold and the whole SW US as a prize for keeping the US out of Europe.

    The Mexican government didn’t take the bait and the rest is history. Villa’s attack on Columbus NM was quickly answered by the US military incursion but it was approved by the Mexican government. The US forces used trucks and touring cars for the first time but never got close to Villa’s main force. A young lieutenant named Patton did shoot and kill one of Villa’s lieutenants while riding on the running board of a touring car. He was an aide to general Pershing and they both got to fight the Germans directly a short time later.

  37. Hugh

    StewartM, I am not really interested in what Trump might have done. I have seen that film too many times. If only Bernie Sanders had . . ., if Obama had . . . Obama ran on change. Clinton even claimed she was progressive. But again, personnel is policy. There wasn’t a single progressive to be found in either the Obama Administration or the Clinton campaign. No one and no circumstance forced them to exclude progressives they did it because they wanted to. Same with Trump. You could call the choice of Pence for VP a strategic choice. But Pence wasn’t Cruz. He was a non-entity from Indiana, and could have been consigned to NoWhereville the moment the election was won. Trump could have filled his Administration with populists if he had wanted to, but like Obama and Clinton with progressives, he didn’t want them. It wasn’t: discard the conservative whackos once he won. It was: discard the populists. He’s the President, the most powerful person on the planet. No one forced him to fill his Administration with hardcore conservatives or pursue a hardline conservative agenda. He’s chosen to do that. With Trump, the veneer was always populism and the substance was conservatism, not the other way around.

  38. Hugh

    Also it being Good Friday, here is a strangely still relevant yarn that begins on that day with one of the most famous intros in literature:

    “Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
    mi ritrovai per una selva oscura
    ché la diritta via era smarrita.”

    In the middle of our life’s journey
    I found myself in a dark wood
    where the right way was lost.

  39. different clue

    Well . . . at least Trump drove the Bush Dynasty out of elective politics for a while. And he has opened up a chance for us to drive the Clinton Dynasty out of politics before it can get itself firmly entrenched.

    Trump’s fast decay into Washington Consensus neo-whateverism is being noted and followed in granular detail over at Sic Semper Tyrannis.

    The Racial Stormtrumpers will accept all of it as long as the Trumpadmin retains its anti-Mexican and etc. border security orientation. The Downwardly Mobile Deplorables may be bitter. Can they get bitter enough loud enough in enough numbers to pressurize Tea Party Republican officeholders into obstructing certain parts of the Ryan-Trump domestic agenda? The Trumpie Yuppies ( the kind of stylish suburban Republican voters which the Clinton campaign was courting so fervently) will remain satisfied with Trump as long as they retain their money and position. Bitter Berners for Trump ( like me) are surprised at how fast and furious Trump has 180’d on all his Counter Clintonite promises. Attacking Assad was a totally Clintastic thing for Trump to have done, and it is not the kind or target of attack that I expected from Trump. Apparently Trump is just as much a piece of jihadi-loving scum as Clinton itself is.

    As for expert political amateurs telling me how stupid I am for having voted for Trump in expectation of anything different . . . I have to wonder why they think they are any smarter, given that they supported the Clinton actively by voting for it, or supported the Clinton passively by voting for some Vanity Third Party candidate or oh-so-fastidiously leaving the “president” line blank.

    But Ian Welsh is exactly right about how Trump is being trained. I can hear the Wall Street / World War Clintonites even now praising their good little Trumpuppy Dog . . .

    ” Good boy Donnie! GOOD BOYYYY!! Who’s a good little Donnie Dog? You are.
    YOU ARE! Here. Have a cookie.”

  40. Webstir

    Bannon was never anything more than a prop to attract the far right mouth foamers. Now, Trump is where he wants to be. Why does he need him? Bannon isn’t gilded kleptocrat like Trump and his lil acolyte Kushner. So? Out the door he’ll go.

  41. realitychecker

    I’ll repeat my query from above: Now that we’ve seen apparently conclusive evidence that we can’t escape the globalist corporate oligarchy agenda by voting, should we think about fighting for our freedom and the future, or should we just meekly accept that from now on we are livestock?

    As I’ve said, I’m on my way out, with no children, so I’m just an observer and an analyst at this point, but really, folks, does anyone with a future have the guts to say where they stand on this question? Even philosophically?

    (Even geniuses like the Clinton-clappers need to answer some hard questions sometimes. Otherwise, people may think they are only interested in posturing and propagandizing.)

    Are y’all just gonna wait for some magic to happen, or what?

  42. different clue


    What is a “Clinton Clapper”?

  43. realitychecker

    @ DC

    LOL New term I just coined, to denote those who take every Trump setback as cause to celebrate because . . . . . Clinton!

    IOW, the Terminal Lesser Evil Freaks. Whose strategy always and inevitably leads us deeper into the global corporate fascism paradigm, where a future is being shaped for mankind that will leave no room for individual human freedom or dignity.

    My query: Is it worth fighting against that, or should we just meekly acknowledge that we are already past the point of no return and that our destiny as regular humans is to be as livestock to our Masters?

    IMO, that is worthy of a spirited debate. A HYPOTHETICAL, PHILOSOPHICAL, GAME THEORY, political science-type debate, if you please. (I hope that’s clear enough for all the paranoid panty-twisters lol.)

    (I’ll be on the road today. Very interested to see if anyone rises to the occasion.)

  44. Ché Pasa

    I pointed out years ago — c.1999 or thereabouts — that if there were to be a revolution in this country it would come from the right not the left. And so it has been.

    The lawless intervention of the Supreme Court in the election of 2000 wasn’t an opening salvo, it was a culmination of years of rightist agitation and determination to overthrow the previous established order — not just the Clinton regime (which faced terrorism, armed insurrection, and eventually impeachment) but the entire “liberal-leftist” paradigm by which the nation had supposedly been governed since FDR.

    Even Reagan was a “liberal” according to the feverish fantasies of the rightists.

    The installation of Bush 2 was supposed to correct that once and for all.

    What it did, of course, was set in motion the current Endless Wars, crash the economy and inaugurate the Endless Recession (for the Rabble, oh yes!), and develop an unstoppable Police State, forever and ever, yay.

    That’s among the rightist legacies of the Bush years. Obama did nothing substantive to correct any of it, and actually made some of it worse. No leftist, he. Regardless of his accusers and mouth foaming opponents. But his defenders were as much into excuses for his failures as any current Trump defenders are intent on excusing his errors of judgment and failures.

    Trump is carrying on — indeed, accelerating — the neoLibCon program which was and is at the root of the rightist pre-revolution we’ve been suffering under for decades and have been oppressed by since their seizure of the government apparatus — thanks to that lawless intervention by the Supreme Court in December 2000.

    Steve Bannon and such, were they to achieve their power-objectives, would merely carry on the rightist revolution, directing it toward their favored interests like crypto-fascist authoritarianism, white nationalism, “Christian” male domination, yadda yadda, but they seem to have run into a brick wall known as the permanent government (sometimes called the Deep State) that won’t go along with them. Not yet, anyway.

    What appears to be happening instead is that Trump has been convinced — who knows by whom — to turn over most of the external governing apparatus, at least with regard to the wars –to “his” generals and leave the rest to the most rightist, disruptive and destructive corporatists and authoritarians he can find, while he plays at presidenting and golf at his Winter Palace in Florida.

    It’s all a charade with him.

    Fools will cast this as a Clinton v Trump contest, but they have no idea what we’re dealing with. Clinton and Trump are on the same side when it comes down to it, and that’s the side of the rightist, corporatist, imperialist, warmonger gangsters who have ruled us without let up since Reagan — we could say long before that, but Reagan marked a break from previous operations, just as Bush 2 did.

    There is no populist uprising against it.

    There is no leftist political center in this country.

    The Revolution has already come. The People lost.

  45. Webstir

    RC said: “Now that we’ve seen apparently conclusive evidence that we can’t escape the globalist corporate oligarchy agenda by voting.”

    Apparently, our resident “genius” is unable to recognize when he’s employing the straw man fallacy. SAD!

    Well here RC, I’ll counter your straw man with a straw man:
    There is no need to resort to violence because the system will collapse under it’s own weight.

    RC wins the Dunning/Kruger effect poster child contest.

  46. djrichard

    “The year they found somewhere else to go”. That’s the title of a chapter/afterward that Thomas Frank added to his book “Listen Liberal” after the election.

    I guess he’s going to have to add a correction: “They still have nowhere else to go”.

  47. “We have received your submission, Mr. Kepler. Unfortunately, submission is for how many epicycles does Mercury has. Since the selection, you have sent is how ellipses – rather than circles, it is hereby rejected.
    The Editorial Board of the Suncentric Universe”

    “Dear Mr. Kepler, I have read with interest your piece on the orbits of the inner planets. But I am afraid I cannot believe that each planet has one Pythagorean solid at it is heart; so I cannot take equally seriously the matter of having ellipses – rather circles. It is the 2000-year-old tradition which holds astronomy together. Sincerely Yours G Galileo”

    Remember this when I am talking about P = NP.

  48. StewartM


    There is no need to resort to violence because the system will collapse under it’s own weight.

    If history be any guide, if it comes to violence, the only way that way wins is that the old order has bankrupted itself and the entire country to a degree that the PTB either can no longer afford to support the tools of repression of they lose control of them. Not really much difference then between “everything going down the shitter” and a successful armed revolution; the first is a precondition for the second.

    I never voted for Trump. Even at his best, like Ian, I couldn’t condone his advocacy of torture, and I doubted him on the ME (how could we be disengaging from stupid ME wars while still stealing “taking” their oil, which he also advocated in the campaign?). I voted for Jill Stein. For their to be even a slight chance for hope of American rejuvenation, Clinton had to lose. At least one of the parties in the duopoly had to end up standing for the people. I was hoping that either (best case) the Sanders supporters could wrest the Democratic party from the Obamacrats and Clintonistas, or (second best) that Trump could drag the Republican Party kicking and screaming to be more liberal on economic issues and social issues. With Trump throwing in the reform towel as soon as he took office and appointing a host of deplorables to his cabinet (and no, that wasn’t as much Bannon as it was DeVos, Munchkin, Mulvaney, Price, Prebius and others) and the Obamacrats/Clintonistas holding on to leadership positions in the Dem party (Russia! NATO! Syria!) we got the worst possible outcome. Note that the feckless Dem leadership is still clueless about what is really effective against Trump, it wasn’t their outcrys about “Russia! NATO!” that moved his unpopularity any, but him backing Ryancare and ramping up yet another ME war and breaking his campaign promises on things that were actually, well, popular.

    Trump’s failed Presidency (no, a combination of Jeb! and Cruz isn’t what his supporters wanted) does show how difficult achieving real reform would be. In the miracle that someone even as modestly progressive as Sanders (who is nothing more than a neo New Deal candidate) had somehow won—unlikely because the DNC types would do everything to sabotage his candidacy—the talking head/security state pileon that you’ve seen on Trump would have been amplified at least an order of magnitude. The only way that the elites would even tolerate substantial course changes is if the old order was melting down in such an undeniable fashion that also threatened them. That’s the real reason Obama was such a disaster–when the elites were scared shitless about losing everything in 2008-2009, he not only bailed them out but didn’t even attempt to extract any concessions from them for doing so.

  49. Webstir


    You’ll hear no objection from me on your line of thinking. I don’t necessarily believe that the system collapsing under it’s own weight will solve anything. I was simply pointing out our resident genius’s logical fallacy. Every now and then RC needs to be knocked off his high horse or else his delusions of intellectual grandeur get away from him.

  50. nothing but the truth

    the j00s are back in power. It lasted two weeks.

    Bye Bye Bannon.

    Hello Tribe.

  51. different clue


    I wouldn’t refer to Trump’s appointees as “Deplorables”. I would refer to them as “Despicable”. The Despicables.


    You might want to be careful about your steady and constant suggestions that people other than yourself get violent. People will start to remember the old rule of thumb: the Undercover Cop is always the first person to suggest violence. You wouldn’t want people to begin wondering who you really work for . . . would you?

    As to suggestions of violence in its own right, physical cowards like me are not going to get violent unless cornered like rats in the basement. There are ways to inconvenience and degrade and attrit a ruling elite in this country other than violence. Of course these ways only work if tens of millions of people practice them in a leaderless way. And the existence of the internets and social medias make possible the kinds of information exchange which make possible such forms of Leaderless Mass Obstruction.

    Some people are in a better position to apply those methods than others. In a world where the Econosphere is now a very important Battlespace, and Every Dollar is a Bullet on the Field of Economic Combat, the Next 9 % ( the well paid service and support people who do the specialized management of power and money on behalf of the One Per Cent which the One Per Cent are not able to do themselves) are in a better position to wage Economic Warfighting than the Deplorables are, because the Next 9 Per Cent have more money and leisure than the Deplorables do.

    Perhaps we will see a leaderless form of economic rebellion happen as we watch. People who have watched the United Passenger BeatDown on social video media venues are getting upset. If enough of them decide to avoid all possible future bussiness contacts with United, will they be able to exterminate United from existence and wipe United off the face of the earth? A few hundred million people in China in particular are disturbed by this video and while they can not be sure that United picked Dr. Dao for the beat down based on antisinitic racist antisinism, they wonder if it would be irresponsible not to speculate. If they all decide to Boycott United, would that destroy enough of United’s bussiness to be able to destroy United right there? If not, would it come close enough that a few million more extermicotters in Europe and America would be able to push United over the edge into extermination?

  52. GH

    “the Next 9 % are in a better position to”

    The 9% (which is really the “salaried class”) prefer a lifestyle centered on opulence and diminishing ones “skin in the game” (reducing the chances and severity of risk/harm at all levels). They will not lose wealth/status gracefully and that means they will not back the changes you speak of.

    For decades they have benefited from the “low cost of labor” (the only thing that makes their lifestyle possible) while others (the “wage class”) have been utterly ruined by it. And they refuse to acknowledge any of it let alone change it.

  53. S Brennan

    different clue;

    To your comments listed below as 1 & 2:

    To #1, can you give me 3 examples of your claim, because I haven’t seen it?

    To #2, in my life, moral cowards have always been physical cowards. Brave men & woman are not always morally courageous, but physical cowards are always morally corrupt.

    1] “You might want to be careful about your steady and constant suggestions”.

    2]”physical cowards like me are not going to get violent unless cornered like rats in the basement.”

  54. BlizzardOfOz

    @realitychecker – It’s an interesting question. Your wording makes me question your premises, though, but I understand you’re a boomer so that’s just how you think. But this “livestock” condition, whereof does it consist? A slave in the antebellum South – livestock? A Chinese factory worker at Foxconn – livestock? A rust-belt former factory worker now on disability though of sound body – livestock? A well-paid Western IT drone – livestock?

    Is a cow in a miserable mass-production slaughterhouse livestock, whereas a happy cow on a spacious country pasture not?

    If we define it materially, then we like the happy cow are better off than 99.9% of people that ever lived, including most royalty of old. If we define it spiritually, then we’re probably worse off than a medieval serf.

    In any case, anyone who’s commenting here has a limited sphere of action. The conditions for prosperity (spiritual first, then material) have been undercut; so strife, revolution and war are coming. None of us is going to resist the US government, or even be able to understand what’s going on. The best any of us can do is to strive to think, speak and act within our character and station as honorably as possible.

  55. Willy

    It’s the idiocracy factor, with the trend line increasingly going down. As a kid I could never have imagined how stupid my society would wind up being.

    Instead of world peace we have multi-trillion dollar endless wars. Instead of moon bases and missions to Saturn no human has gotten out of orbit since. Instead of a cure for cancer doctors can’t even get my ear infection right (and god help me if really get sick). Instead of flying cars I have an expensive new clutch hydraulics system where parts fail in weeks. I do have a brand name flat screen smart TV, but after three short years the electronics are failing, as are everybody else’s owning the same set. Having an incompetent boss young enough to be your child, only being there because of the nepotism, is considered normal. Nobody trusts governments regardless of level, national or local, because the results are usually expensive and usually poor. Yet despite all the idiocracy everybody still promises you the moon.

    Maybe realitychecker is the last sane person left and knows the way out of this mess. But if it involves penis cars, you may have to count me out.

  56. EverythingsJake

    Seems like Bannon completely contradicts the story Trump’s head tells itself now, so his usefulness is nil. He may not discover he was really always a servant like Lee Atwater (if ever a guillotine sang for heads, the Bushes would satisfy any thirst), but he’s definitely in the way of Trump’s id.

  57. Willy

    Thanks, tsisageya. I never appreciated realitychecker calling the rest of us cowards or safe space snowflakes unworthy of his time, etc….. without ever first offering advice or even encouraging ideas about how a successful revolution could be managed. IMHO, his sniping at others (for example feminists), instead of trying to figure out how to ally with them under some kind of big tent agreement, disqualified him for consideration as any kind of revolutionary life coach.

  58. @RC — great comment above “…we are livestock?”

    My hope is that the upper reaches of government can remain irrelevant to me. The future lies in community — making a better world right where we live with the people immediately around us. Back in my days at the School of B, they kept our class size to around 300 – so that everyone would know everyone else. Democracy works at that level, but gets dicier the bigger you get thereafter. Our future raced forward for 100 years on cheap energy, but with those days over the clock will now run backwards. We can borrow from the past — not to relive it, but to live it *better*.

  59. Tom W Harris

    @nuthin’ but chit,

    Back atcha, guy.

  60. The best any of us can do is to strive to think, speak and act within our character and station as honorably as possible.

    How limiting! I’d like people to act honourably outside of their “character and station”. Especially their station. Ugh, station.

  61. zotter

    I’m loving the Bannon ousting. IMHO the gravest threat to us from Trump was a false flag event designed to fully shut down the last gasps of free speech and move the US to full police state. Bannon had the stones and the desire to pull such a stunt off, the Trumps do not. Choosing the elites over the fascists means more of the same economic strangulation, just crueler and with less lipstick on the pig.

    As a Progressive, this feels like a lighthouse found in the midst of a storm. Conservativism will take a huge hit under Trump, and when people reach for another solution hopefully the populist left will be there. Desperate times are a race to who can solve the issues and bring back prosperity, Trump just dumped Conservative hopes in a ditch. Good riddance.

    If he refuses to fund the ACA in the next few days and tries to blame the Dems, it’ll be all over except for the orange tinted tears…

  62. V. Arnold

    Why post?
    What do you think you’ll gain?
    Posting; purpose? Result? Change?
    Years and years and years of posting; to what end?
    It’s worth thinking about if one is serious.
    Action is the missing ingredient; but action is little understood…
    Hope you’re happy with your slavery…

  63. Ché Pasa

    Now wait.

    Our Antifa friends mixed it up in the streets of Berkeley with the advocates of Trumpocracy yesterday. From the video, it looks like it was pretty rough, and some observers are justifiably skeptical about it, as police apparently sat and watched the “sides” go at it with one another until they got word from on high to break it up.

    Trumpocracy declared victory over Antifa.

    In Berkeley.


    At any rate, the violence RC and some others have been advocating has been taking place in the streets and at rallies for one or another candidate or cause for some time. Some of it is potentially pre-revolutionary, but if another revolution is to come, it is unlikely to be anything like advocates say they want.

    The mix-it-ups in Berkeley and elsewhere in California between anarchists and authoritarians are particularly interesting because they seem to be taking place entirely outside a political framework. Anarchists have no political presence in California or anywhere else in the country, but they’re very active (as Antifa, especially) in California and all along the Pacific Coast. They’re not afraid. They’re no cowards. The will and do put themselves in harm’s way over and over again.

    They fight. Even if they lose, they continue fighting.

    Because they are so active and willing to physically confront and engage fascists and Trumpists and authoritarians of all stripes, many skeptics believe they are mostly police-aligned provocateurs. Maybe. I doubt it. But maybe.

    On the other hand, the authoritarians in Berkeley and elsewhere cry foul whenever they are confronted – violently or not. The demonstration in Berkeley was supposedly over “Free Speech” — yeah, right. And the Antifas were trying to suppress “Free Speech”. This was supposed to evoke the Free Speech Movement of 1964 on the Berkeley campus, and Mario Savio and his speech from the steps of Sproul Hall, but it didn’t.

    As someone pointed out yesterday, the hoo-hah in Berkeley yesterday plays right in to the hands of the elites by getting one faction of the Rabble to fight another. We’ll see more of this as the ratchet tightens. Much more.

    And no matter what Our Rulers will ensure their own safety.

  64. Duder


    “the gravest threat to us from Trump was a false flag event”

    You mean like staging a false chemical attack on children? Using it as justification to start world war 3? And calling anyone who questions the official story or asks for a shred of evidence a crazy, loon, or traitor?

    It you feel more secure in the world now with Bannon out of center stage, a relatively small matter, given what is happening, I think it is we who ought to question your sanity.

  65. different clue

    @S Brennan,

    Since I am not the only person here who has seen Reality Checker’s calls to violence by others ( never himself) I think your #1 can be dismissed. It was right there in RC’s post in this thread and it has been in prior threads. Che Pasa sees it, which means you see it too, even if you pretend not to.

    As to your #2, In my life, those people who speak of moral courage have none. The more they speak of moral courage, the more utterly zero moral courage they have.

    There. What did I just show you? Was it a window? Or a mirror?

  66. Peter


    I haven’t seen any sigh that Bannon is out of anything yet so this may be another snowflake fantasy that crashes.

    I am loathe to accept US IC claims blindly and the media I mostly ignore but the IC seem to have done their fieldwork and have a near complete breakdown of this latest Sarin attack in Syria. In their direct public release of information they showed that they had been monitoring the players involved in this crime long before this incident. They had identified the pilot/general who was observed and noted by spotters to have been the pilot that was delivering the multiple chlorine munitions used in the last few weeks. He was assisted by a group of technicians, gas men, with the Sarin attack and on earlier chlorine bombings. They have his radar track from the airbase to the target and back.

    The Russian fantasy scenario about an Islamic State lab or storage being hit was preposterous and most all the Assad protectorate have spun their stories to aim at rebel weapons storage now. This Ted Postol clown seems to be on call whenever Assad needs an expert to try and divert attention from the reality that has finally caught up to him.

  67. highrpm

    planting seed of change. perhaps/ hopefully someone sometime reads the old post-of-past and it precipitates personal taking action.

  68. Hugh

    As Ian says, Bannon is a nativist. It gets tricky how much this makes him a populist. I guess you could call him a populist for some particular segment of the white middle, or more accurately once middle, class. Trump isn’t a nativist although he plays one on TV. He also isn’t a populist. He’s a billionaire kleptocrat, and as I said above, a very ignorant and lazy one at that. He’s been golfing something like 18 times and flown down to Mar-a-Lago seven and he isn’t even through his first hundred days. Trump wants the power and the prestige, especially the prestige, but he doesn’t want the work or the responsibility. His idea of America First is quickly turning into dropping as many bombs in as many places as he can. Originally, it was more about making American billionaires riched rather than Chinese or Mexican billionaires. Some of this would then trickle down to the rubes, including those Bannon represented. But that’s hard and would require a lot of work. So we are seeing Trump drop most of his populist pretense and along with it Bannon. It allows him to revert to his traditional hardcore conservativsm, which is more in line with the Washington groupthink, bomb and threaten to bomb people (which is easier than coming up with a serious plan for anything), and the clincher gives him more time for golf.

  69. Peter

    This fixation on Trump’s golf time just shows the snowflakes are running out of memes to paste over their resistance to keep it from being completely ignored. Trump needs this exercise and it may be the only time he can speak candidly with friends and guests.

    This malodorous anti-Trump dirge being repeated by Hugh and others doesn’t seem to do anything but make their life look endlessly bleak.

  70. Willy

    Memes? Without Bannon it’s just another bunch of kleptocratic cronies. But wait… There must be a double secret susan sarandon strategy at play only insiders like Peter are privy to.

    Crap. Did I just use the “i” word?

  71. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Should we just start calling him “Baghdad Peter”?

  72. Tom W Harris

    I think it’s Ivanka in drag. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  73. Willy

    So it was Ivanka I saw volunteering down at the union hall. The bib overalls fooled me. Speaking of being fooled, whenever I want to golf too much, I usually bitch-tweet about others doing it too much. Works like a charm and fools everybody every time.

  74. Tom

    Turkish Referendum passed, becomes law in 2019 election year. As expected, the Kurdish Vote was decisive and Erdogan’s ability to rally Kurdish support vs the CHP and HDP tipped the tide. There was also 86% turnout of voters.


    Both President and Parliament are elected at the same time by popular vote and serve 5 year terms

    Limit of two terms for both parliament and president members

    If early elections are called, both must run again

    Prime Minister eliminated and Vice President established

    Cabinet Ministers can’t hold a legislative seat, and they serve under the president

    50 new members of parliament can now be added bringing the total number of seats to 600

    Parliament can override Presidential Decrees which they don’t have the power to under current law

    The Courts can override presidential decrees which they don’t have the power to under current law

    Age eligibility for government seats drops to 18

    The military can longer sit on the supreme court and all military courts except disciplinary courts are abolished

    The President can be impeached for any violation of the Penal Code

    Essentially, it gives checks and balances to Turkish Politics it never had and greatly expands the democratic means of the people to participate. And that is a good thing.

  75. Peter


    Thanks for the accurate description of the new Turkish constitution with its check and balances.

    We can now wait for the Sultan Erdogan rants to begin.

  76. markfromireland

    @S Brennan

    You’re wasting your time. The comments section of this site is now overrun by those whose first mode of argument is to lie. You and I have had, sometimes quite severe, differences of opinion I’ve always found them instructive not least because when somebody I deem to be both truthful and honourable disagrees with me it forces me to stop and think about why I hold that particular opinion. That’s no longer the case on Ian’s site which is why I visit far less frequently than I used to and comment even less.

  77. Tom W Harris

    Not that anybody cared, mf. And that’s no lie.

  78. Tom

    @ MFI

    No the comments section has been filled with conspiracy theories that make no sense what so ever. Especially with the attempt to deny a chemical weapons attack took place and slander a humanitarian organization as terrorists.

    When Turks demand democracy, they get a referendum and abide by it. When Syrians demand democracy, Assad flattens their cities and double taps the funerals.

    Erdogan has not passed one sharia law and AKP is a secular party, yet Erdogan is labeled an Islamist.

    Assad has sharia law on the books, passed dozens more, and is called a Secularist.

    See the massive disconnect here?

  79. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    I wish Cheetolini’s fake tan would turn him red instead of orange, so I could make a reference to “In the Court of the Crimson King”.

  80. > so I could make a reference to “In the Court of the Crimson King”.


    ( P = NP, btw large people are thinking about this… but have not wrapped the brains around recursion.)

  81. Mallam

    Tom it is disheartening that you can be so correct on Syria and yet you’re a propagandist for Erdogan and Turkey — making your motives wrt Syria become suspect. Erdogan jails his opposition, and the election on this referendum was not free and fair from what I’ve seen. He will have no political legitimacy in any of the population centers, and will lead by dictatorship like his neighbor in Egypt. Erdogan, Sisi, Assad, they’re all the same. May they all rot.

  82. DMC

    And its telling that you agree with the most obvious troll on the site.

  83. S Brennan


    Sadly true, just yesterday I was thinking that the site has been overrun by Clinton propagandists…which is just another way of saying; dishonorable falsifiers.

    I hope you had a good Easter celebration and that, other than this site being overrun, all is well. BTW, thank you for the compliment.

    Here’s an article by a woman I have been reading. I don’t agree with everything she says, but I find her criticisms of “liberals”[1] spot on.

    Russiagate Is Finally Dying, But For The Wrong Reason



    [1] “Liberals” as opposed to genuine liberals are people who wish to appear humane, but in fact have found wearing a mask allows them greater cruelty…without the social consequence of being seen as fascist in nature. The vast majority of Hillary supporters here are by this definition, “liberals”.

  84. Willy

    Lies? Lies… there are no lies in blogging. There are only opinions placed on shoulders like a Robert Conrad battery (assuming one goes back that far) that people try to knock off with points given for credibility and creativity. Maybe people quit linking to sources backing up their opinions, because a few bad apples kept linking to 900 page textbooks and college courses and commenters just didn’t have the time to spend weeks or even years before responding. Or it came from a Steve Bannon blog.

  85. Ché Pasa

    In Trump-world propaganda-speak, everyone opposed to Trump is by definition a “Clintonite” or “Obamacrat” (the same thing). Binaries. Two possibilities only. Choose one. If it is the wrong one, to the ever-lasting fires of hell with you.

    It’s absurd. But that’s the “reality” Trump defenders and loyalists are drowning in and which they seek to drown the rest of us in.

    It’s little different than Republican radical reactionaries calling everyone who has a different view “hard left” (what nonsense) or friends in the so-called alt-right insisting on their meaningless new speak to describe opponents.

    This form of propaganda is rarely effective for long — or at all.

    But you never know till you try, right?

  86. Peter


    I doubt anyone will take pity on your depressing state of mind because most of the feelings of victimization are self inflicted.

    Clintonites are supposed to be these decades hardened political activists who have become helpless in facing defeat instead of something better and the snowflakes are the rube voice of that failure.

    Clintonite and snowflake are perfect inclusive brands. Why waste time sorting through all the identity distractions when their behaviors will be near identical.

  87. realitychecker

    Two days on the road, and a day to recuperate, and I’m back to see that not a single person has chosen to directly or honestly address the query I posted on Friday. Distractions, label-mongering, ad hominems, straw men, but no direct response to the guts of the issue, i.e., At what point, if ever, has the “consent of the governed” concept been so betrayed that violence is justified in an effort to make things right, and, secondarily and separately, could such a fight succeed in modern times?

    Everybody seems terrified of that discussion, but that is all I have ever asked for, here or anywhere else. I am not “advocating” anything, as I do not have final answers myself to those questions, but I think if we can’t even dare to talk them out, then we need to recognize that we have ALREADY lost much of the freedom we had only a few decades ago, and the future trend seems very clearly tilted in that same direction.

    Fine. So, now the question becomes, what do you think about being so scared to speak of things I studied openly in political science classes 40 years ago?

    What does the word FREEDOM mean any more?

    Where is the dividing line between what used to be considered “freedom” and the point where it is only fair to refer to us as “livestock”?

  88. realitychecker

    I have noticed in the past that it is particularly difficult for regular people to know about tactics and resources that might be available in an actual revolution.

    For help with opening your mind to that concept, and certainly without saying I endorse every aspect of the book, one might want to check out a work by an old Firedoglake regular, writing under the name of Jess Money, and self-publishing an ebook at Amazon entitled “Public Enemies.”

  89. Ché Pasa

    Not to worry, RC.

    Your hero will solve these dilemmas one way or another, won’t he?

    That’s all it really takes, doesn’t it? The right man at the right time in the right office, and we don’t have to do anything because somebody else will take care of it for us.


    Everything will turn out just the way you always wanted. Wait and see.

  90. PeteM


    I wonder if an old liberal blog is the best place to find violent armed uprising being discussed or even contemplated. If you are referring to organized armed violence then you need young recruits to fill the ranks led by dedicated and at least somewhat military trained commanders . Then you need real leadership to tie this together into a force that can actually threaten the existing order.

    None of this exists today because who would want to follow the wankers we have today spouting revolutionary rhetoric. They’re asshats and worse for the most part but without real leadership you’ll end up with gangs of shotgun toting wife-beater wearing boobs and nutters setting off IEDs. If large parts of the military either refused to put down the insurrection or joined it the status quo might collapse but the question then becomes what will replace it.

  91. realitychecker

    @ PeteM

    I come here because FDL died, and I have found no better place for thoughtful people, of which there are some here. I enjoy intellectual conversation, believe in the marketplace of ideas concept, and this is a conversation that I think is worth having. Have thought so for a long time, and the evidence just keeps piling up.

    I understand it is difficult for liberals, but, frankly, it’s difficult for everybody to contemplate a time when they might have to experience concrete risks to their body in order to sustain conceptual values like freedom. I have given full disclosure that I will not physically participate, and my reasons, but I still think it is the most important philosophical discussion for our time. It is obvious that all our systemic change tools have failed us, and we must decide if we want to have a future ruled by corporations, or continue being something like “free.”

    As to tactics, you have shown you don’t “get it,” as do most lefties fail to “get it,” so I refer you again to the book Public Enemies for a primer. One can’t reasonably approach this topic without understanding what is possible. That book can open a lot of eyes.

  92. Willy

    Freedom doesn’t just reward the courageous, but most often the cunning and ruthless. But then, so does authoritarianism. If anybody’s played, observed, or been victimized by power games they’ve come to see who it is that usually wins those games – the ones with the most weapons. And integrity is only a weapon when your rival cannot convince your allies and followers that you are corrupt.

    I’d hope that power concepts are scaleable. What works in the smaller new corporation might work globally. If you’re a top performer being bullied by the boss, because he thinks you’re a political liability or a threat to his position, whatever.., but you know that you’re better for the bottom line as well as the employees, how do you fight a guy who will use anything he can against you, and your peers are mostly “snowflakes and rubes”, and yeah, he’s in the power position? How?

    Does everything come down to being able to somehow educate the snowflakes and rubes about why you’re better? Can they even be educated?

  93. Ché Pasa

    A much better source book for what is/has been going on among a segment of freedom-lovers (as opposed to poseurs) is David Graeber’s “Revolution in Reverse.”

    On the other hand, fascists, authoritarians in general and rightist reactionaries figured out many years ago that they could seize and/or control the apparatus of most western (“democratic”) governments without a lot of fuss or bother (oh, there would be some, but it could be ignored) simply and efficiently through strategic agit-prop (media) and control of money flow to and through political parties. Piece of cake.

    Crises have to be created to keep the Rabble dazed and confused, of course, and they have to be taken full advantage of. We’ve seen it transpire for decades.

    Through these means and others, successful rightist (neoLibCon) revolutions have captured nearly all supposedly important “democratic” governments everywhere. The rightist populist reaction has failed nearly everywhere it’s tried (which says to me it never was a genuine movement). We’re seeing it fail in the case of Trump — who always was a con man anyway — day by day.

    People who stick to an anachronistic view of Revolution generally can’t see what’s really going on. They see things through such a narrow lens that revolutionary actions on many fronts simply go unnoticed.

    I think it is interesting that the white rightists have announced the streets of Berkeley to be the epicenter of the Civil War — which they have declared — for the soul and spirit of America. One has to laugh. But that kind of thinking and the spectacle of it all does serve as an entertaining distraction.


  94. Willy

    PeteM, I don’t want to ever be forced to wear my underwear on the outside (Woody
    Allen). All we’ve really got to judge leadership is their past history.

  95. The Stephen Miller Band

    RC, if we join will we get nice white Toyota pickup trucks with gun turrets in the bed? That’d be cool and a nice gesture. Molotov Cocktails are so yesterday.

  96. tsisageya

    Full disclosure: I follow Jesus Christ. I trust Jesus Christ. (Yes, I’m banned, I know.)

  97. tsisageya


  98. Peter


    You may be right that I don’t ‘get it’ but you need to demonstrate what ‘it’ is. I won’t be reading Money’s book and I don’t recall him from FDL so a brief summation of his possibilities will have to do.

  99. Hugh

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

  100. Willy

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

    Darwinians. God damn you all to hell.

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

  101. highrpm

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

  102. realitychecker

    @ not sure which Pete or Peter lol

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

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

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

  103. Peter


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

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

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

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

  104. oversocialization


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

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

  105. Peter


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

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

  106. oversocialization


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

  107. Ché Pasa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  108. BlizzardOfOz

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

  109. The Stephen Miller Band

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

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

  110. Ché Pasa


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

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

  111. Peter

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

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

  112. Ché Pasa

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

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

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

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

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

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

  113. realitychecker

    @ Che Pasa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  114. Willy

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

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

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

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

  115. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  116. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

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

  117. The Stephen Miller Band

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

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

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

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

  118. The Stephen Miller Band

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

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

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

  119. Willy

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

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

  120. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

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

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

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

    The Hubris of Ignorance

  121. The Stephen Miller Band

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

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

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

  122. Ivory Bill Woodpecker


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

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

  123. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

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

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

  124. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

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

  125. The Stephen Miller Band

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

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

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

  126. The Stephen Miller Band

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

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

  127. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

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

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

  128. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

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

  129. The Stephen Miller Band

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

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

  130. realitychecker

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  131. The Stephen Miller Band

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

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

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

    Of Mice And Great Men

  132. realitychecker

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

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

  133. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Aaaand the flogging of the dead cayuse continues…

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

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

  134. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

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

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

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

  135. Willy

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

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

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

    Great man indeed.

  136. realitychecker

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

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

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

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

  137. Willy

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

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

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

  138. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Perhaps I am an unserious schmuck.

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

    Should I be dismayed–and if yes, why?

  139. BlizzardOfOz

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

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

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

  140. Willy

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

  141. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

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

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

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

  142. Willy

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

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

  143. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

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

    *cue sad trombone*

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

  144. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Oh wait, not “drama queen”.

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

  145. realitychecker

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

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

    Very self-limiting, IMO.

  146. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Well, not an exact repeat.

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

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

  147. The Stephen Miller Band

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

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

  148. Willy

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

  149. realitychecker

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

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

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén