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

The Free, Diverse Internet In America Is Coming To An End

Matt Taibbi’s been covering who is being censored, and his latest is worth a read.

But basically the internet now runs thru a number of major content aggregators: Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc… (many of these are owned by the same few firms.) Most people go to the major sites and find their media there, and those who don’t use Google as their search engine.

These platforms are private and thus, as we are told over and over again by fools, are not subject to the first amendment, which they seem to think means “it’s not censorship.” But when almost all of the media consumption on the internet goes thru sites owned by five or so large companies, the commons are owned private firms, and all that has happened is that private firms are doing the censoring.

These content aggregators are aggressively banning outlets, and there is effectively no appeal. The content producer Taibbi talks to had live-streams of events taken down because “guns”, but YouTube left up streams from large media outlets of the same content. They took down his stream of the Jan 6th protests beccause it included a bit of Trump lying about election fraud, but left up clips from large media outlets with that speech.

This all really took off after 2016, with RussiaGate hysteria and concerns over Cambridge Analytica’s program of targeted propaganda. It is now about to enter a new phase, and sweep internet aggregators of a vast number of independent voices.

Both the right and center are to blame for this. The right has been putting out straight up lies, in large quantities. Q-Anon was a funded operation, no one with sense will pretend otherwise. Lies are flooded into the discourse, and have led to real, and nasty effects, like the January 6th capitol attack, which as I pointed out at the time, was the right thing to do IF the election had really been stolen. (It hadn’t.)

The center wants only the discourse they approve of in the media. It’s not primarily about lies: after all, they aren’t pushing for the people who lie all the time in the mainstream press to be de-platformed; no one is screaming for the heads of those who spread the ridiculous Russian bounties on American soldiers story.

So the internet of free ideas and diverse ideas is about to take it in the neck. Some stuff that seems diverse will remain; a lot of identity politics, for example, because elites really really believe that women and minorities and gays and trans people should also be in boardrooms and oppress everyone else. It is important that representatives of every group bomb foreigners and so on. You can see this in the constant stories about people weeping in corporate meetings about how their company is about to publish someone nasty.

A lot of this won’t effect me much. When Google changed its algos after 2016 I lost a lot of traffic (aim right, hit left), but I don’t get much from any social media outlet. I’m glad that I never really engaged, except on twitter, which I don’t spend time on for traffic.

But the internet of truly diverse voices we dreamed of and, to some extent, created in the late 90s and early 2000s is dying; being strangled before our eyes. And it’s going to get worse.

The internet was a nice idea. Now it’s just a few large firms controlling most of the meaningful traffic. Some good remains: the vast information available without going to a library; email, and so on. But diverse politics and controversial ideas?

That time approaches dusk.

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  1. someofparts

    The people around me in real life will not care about any of this. The rich ones are dancing with joy at the prospect of more wealth for themselves. People like me matter more to them than insects, but not by much. The ones who are better off than I am, but still far from wealthy, really do think that Biden is their deliverance. When things for them keep getting worse, they have no idea why is happens, or who did it. I guess that makes them ripe for being manipulated into outrage against whichever scapegoats the politicians choose to frame.

  2. Joan

    I hope people switch to mailed newsletters before they get shut down. Sounds hokey but I’d enjoy the heck out of getting something from Ian and my other favorite writers twice a month (for a paid subscription of course).

  3. Chicago Clubs

    You should stop engaging with twitter, too. Nothing good can come of it, just an enormous font of liberal brain rot.

  4. bruce wilder

    Another side to this is that lots of people defer to authority — cultural norms even for interpersonal interaction will reflect a willingness to see individuals associated with reason and dissent bullied and isolated. Assange’s treatment reflects the new reality.

  5. Ché Pasa

    Ponder the pre-Internet days and understand how effective samizdat and such could be and were in fomenting political resistance, change and at times revolution. In other words, the Internet is what it is and has plenty of uses, but in the end it is not and cannot be the organizing tool for upending the status quo some leftish folks came to think of it as. Why? Because it’s owned and operated by some libertarian billionaires who have no interest in and would gain nothing for themselves from these leftish folks. They can and will shut down anything they want. Just watch.

    During Occupy, for example, Facebook and Twitter were the main organizing and news tools for the Occupations. Many of us were well aware that they were also the primary informational tools for the authorities, that arrests and actions against Occupations were being planned and targeted based on Internet posts, and that leadership was often specifically targeted on the basis of Facebook and Twitter posts. Livestreams were closely monitored as well, particularly those of Tim Pool — who was eventually recognized as an informer/spy for the authorities. (Long story I won’t go into.)

    Communicating via mimeographed newsletters and other hard copy is slower, certainly. but that very slowness may be an advantage as it gives time to discuss, think through and to plan more thoroughly.

    As it was happening, I referred to the Capitol Dustup as “the Storming of the Winter Palace” redux. That action came about after numerous meetings, much written propaganda distributed clandestinely and in the streets, and extensive planning. Nevertheless, the Bolsheviks were surprised at their success in overthrowing the Provisionals. The Winter Palace was only lightly defended, and many — most — of the defenders did not fight. Despite Eisenstein’s glamorous and romantic version of events in his film “October!” according to reports at the time, there was almost no resistance to the Bolsheviks, very little fighting, very few people died, and the takeover took an hour or so, as the Provisional government (such as it was) simply gave up.

    That’s what I imagine the insurrectionists thought/believed would happen at the Capitol on January 6, and it didn’t.

    We can be certain they’ll try again. And they will do so with much more clandestine planning on the various non-public platforms and everyone will be shocked and surprised. “How could they do that?”

    Yeah, right. How indeed?

  6. gnokgnoh

    Che, you seem to be arguing that the Internet would not be an impediment to a well-planned, clandestine uprising. I agree.

    Even with all the aggregator sites and surveillance and likely knowledge of what was coming; the 1.6 uprising encountered little resistance. This had nothing to do with the communication platforms and likely much more to do with all sorts of other contradictory factors, a few benign, most sinister or dark. Benign reasons include the understandable reluctance on the part of the military to repeat what they did with Trump in front of the White House during the BLM protests, but this likely was not the driver.

  7. gnokgnoh

    Regarding Ian’s thesis, using an aggregator to spread and share “free and diverse ideas” is the equivalent of trying to fight the Vietnam War and advocate for civil rights on NBC, CBS, and ABC in the ‘60’s. Eventually (’68), Cronkite came around on the war, but these were never the forums for the free exchange of diverse and non-mainstream ideas.

    Taibbi’s arguments are much more focused on the issue of aggregation and corporate control of media and dissemination, not on free speech. His multiple examples were about YouTube shutting down video streams of content that violated their rules. The journalists could have simply taken the videos and published them on other platforms, but their goal is to gain an audience and to compete against the big media outlets.

    Same as it ever was, but at least we have the Internet today. Back then leafletting and pamphlets might reach a very small audience. Most people do not have the inclination or time to focus on a fairly mainstream view of reality. If we’re advocates for long-discarded regulations like the FCC fairness doctrine, and we view these aggregators as public resources, aren’t regulations important? I cannot figure out whether I’m supposed to be for regulating or deregulating Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. Let them be free, but then don’t let them censor, but then, don’t do anything, but then do something. Taibbi is not making a free-speech argument against censorship. He’s making an argument for removing corporate control of aggregators functioning as editors for independent journalists.

  8. gnokgnoh

    Most people do not have the inclination or time to focus on “anything but” a fairly mainstream view of reality.

  9. Ché Pasa

    Taibbi has almost always been a good reporter, but he’s also almost always been an incoherent ideologue. His narrative constructions almost always fall apart in the end because he can’t hold a strong position about much of anything for more than a few minutes. As here, you don’t know what he wants, except for the fact that what exists (wrt to the various platforms and aggregators and how independents are to make money) isn’t it.

    OK fine, sure, come up with something else. Nobody’s stopping you.

    Buuuuut they are so fricking dependent on the Big Guys and monetizing their content thereby.


    I guess substack is supposed to become the main alternative outlet and monetizer for folks like Taibbi and Greenwald and such, but if it does become a high-profile one, guess what? It will turn, just like all the other platforms, into a tightly controlled outlet for certain types of content only. That’s what happens. It’s the nature of the business, and these guys have been around long enough, they should know that by now. (Taibbi certainly does.) But complaint about it is also inherent, so complain away.

    Doesn’t change anything. And they know that, too.

    I’m confused about what Ian and others want the privately owned aggregators and platforms to be. And particularly how they are supposed to meet your expectations without government (or some other?) intervention.

  10. John

    Time to go back and read Chomsky’s Manufacturing Consent and then try again to internalize the whole neoliberal/all life ruled by the market place thing. The history of the East India Company creating and ruling a country out of the decayed Mughal empire has been useful for me to understand what is going on. That and a lot of dystopian scifi novels. William Gibson’s Neuromancer trilogy really sums it up. The FANG algorithms are early days precursors to rogue AI’s. Things will really get interesting if they manifest.
    However, I also think Mother Nature has another algorithm that can overide the silicon ones.

  11. KT Chong

    Some words about “Status Coup” and Jordan Chariton.

    I knew the YouTube channel “Status Coup” well enough before Ian Welsh wrote about them in this article. I found Jordan Chariton to be abrasive, offensive and – which I shall explain below – blatantly dishonest.

    I used to watch Jordan Chariton’s live chats and shows. During a live stream, he constantly pestered viewers for “likes”. Like, NON-STOP. Every 30 seconds or so, he made demand or begged:

    “Hit the like button!”

    “Everybody hit the like button!”

    “I see 200 people in the chat, but we don’t have 200 likes. I want to everyone to hit the like button!”

    He kept begging for and demanding likes, in a testy tone and unpleasant attitude, to the point that it got on everyone’s nerve. I thought of him as he begged/demanded likes, “NO, a-hole, not everyone is gonna like your video. How about YOU let people watch your video FIRST and then let US decide if we like your video or not?” Just for his bad attitude, I always hit DIS-LIKE for his videos.

    Then Status Coup released what Jordan Chariton claimed was an “exclusive” report on the Flint water crisis, he claimed that nobody else had talked about or done an exclusive report on Flint. When I heard that BS, I immediately knew: THAT WAS A LIE — because just a year earlier I had watched Michael Moore’s documentary “Fahrenheit 11/9”, which focused on the Flint water crisis. That was when I turned extremely negative towards Status Coup and Jordan Chariton.

    I completely stopped watching Status Coup and Jordan Chariton’s BS afterward. I also found the scorched-earth tactics of Jordan Chariton, who is the archetypical “Bernie Bro” bordering on alt right, to be counterproductive, disingenuous and subversive. I would put him in the same category as Krystal Ball, Jimmy Dore and Kim Iversen, i.e., the so-called “leftists” for whom you want to be wary and watch out.

  12. Plague Species

    It’s for the best, I suppose. The Net has only made things worse, not better. It’d be a blessing if the entire thing was shut down. We’d all be better off for it. Humans ruin everything.

  13. Ché Pasa

    Re: Tulsi and others lamenting turning this country into a Police State

    You guys are so, so late to the party. History really, really did not begin on January 6, 2021. Yanno?

    This country has effectively been a police state for most of its history. Brennan and the others are not “turning” it into a police state. At best they are attempting to make public what’s long been in effect.

    If you really want to stop or change what’s been true for so many Americans for so long, you need a bigger perspective and and a better plan, because what you’ve been doing doesn’t work.

    You’re welcome.

  14. S Brennan

    SOP, it’s nice to see someone else recognize that Tulsi Gabbard was the only true Democrat/American in the neoD primary.

    If Gabbard could modify her view on rifles she would win the R nomination, her views, on most matters, though different, are well received in the countryside largely because she is seen as a truthful person. People also see she has been repeatably vilified by the media/DNC & neoD voters.

    That’s how out of step McConnell [et al] is with the”deplorables” of this country. Fortunately for the rump Republican party, neoD’s have no intention of returning to the party of FDR.

    It’s interesting to think that if Gabbard won the R primary and ran against Harris in 2024 that almost all “liberal”, “progressive” and “lefty” voters would gladly vote for the right-wing-candidate[D] over voting for somebody[R] who embodies boilerplate FDRism. The DLCed DNC has managed to create absolute brand loyalty through vilifying those who don’t vote as they told by the media outlets. And as long as that creates 95% turnouts with 95% voting Shit-Sandwich[D] in crucial districts it’s, as we used to say, “in the bag”.

    And frankly, I look at what is said by “liberals”, “lefties”, “progressives”, media, DNC et al and I realize nobody who doesn’t have regular direct contact with this nation’s untermenschens has the slightest clue as to what ~50% of this nation actually thinks. That 50% has words are put in their mouths and then…they are then dismissed in a manner reminiscent of Versailles courtier addressing a peasant.

    Sadly, I believe the next shiny light we will be told to follow will be Lexi Cortez, or, since she likens herself to the second coming of FDR…AOC. The rank arrogance of Lexi Cortez self-proclaimed FDR-like moniker should inform you that nothing but lies and deceit are to be normalized under her banner.

  15. Thomas Golladay

    Ian, everyone is going to Gab these days and switching to open source, block chain systems, and thus can’t be shut down, people are even developing their own payment systems. Big Tech is on the way out.

    And the Election was stolen, a simple Benford’s Law test would tell you that and we have thousands of affidavits from both Republican and Democrats attesting to the fraud and now archived on Gab as Big Tech actively censored the evidence including State Legislature Hearings. Jovan Pulitzer even demonstrated on live TV how easy it was to hack Dominion Voting Machines. The evidence is overwhelming and unlike the Democrats, the Republicans will destroy the Establishment Wing that aided the steal. Are you even doing basic research anymore?

  16. Willy

    Yeah, Rockefeller monopoly oil just went away because of the system. History never happened because I can wish it away.

    As for tech consolidating concentrated power (including “free speech”), wouldn’t it be worthwhile to try and remind the lower-taxes-more-freedom types that this is always the inevitable end game? And that if they want their freedom and capitalism, they’re gonna have to manage those things better?

    No? Come to think of it, I’ve tried. The standard Real Republican (not “RINO”) response has been that liberals are satan, and if we get rid of all leftism that the golden flower of true competitive capitalism shall grow.

    The problem isn’t having solutions. It’s being able to get the cult mob to realistically discuss solutions.

  17. NR

    I’m glad Ian is telling the truth about the election in the face of the torrent of lies from Thomas and people like him. Benford’s law cannot be applied to elections, and those “thousands of sworn affidavits” the right has been trumpeting are so flimsy that Trump’s lawyers never submitted most of them to court and the ones they did were thrown out because they didn’t provide the evidence the right claims they did. The simple fact is that Trump lost a free and fair election, and his cultists simply cannot deal with that fact.

  18. different clue

    A hundred million Leftard WokeNazis just in America fervently support the anti-internet developments which Ian Welsh is noting with sorrow. The Leftard WokeNazis fervently support de-platforming, just as described here.

    Those who want the mainstream internet to remain a free ideas-and-information-exchange place will have to conquer the government thoroughly enough to be able to use it to force that approach. Including regulating the big private internet gatekeepers like public utilities.

    In the meantime, the various protocols and methods by which individual computer-machines can “reach eachother” still exist. That means people who can figure out how to reach a computer from their computer will still be able to do so unless that too gets functionally banned.
    The “internet” will divide into a Mainstream InfoCommercial Super Sewer for the low-functioning dull-normal majority, and a thousand tiny little clear springs, brooks, streams and creeks for the high-functioning sharp-normal minority. In essence , there will be an Internet of Shit for the majority and an Internet of Shinola for the Minority who want to preserve some better. A “Majority ShitNet” and a “Minority ShinolaNet” if you will.

    So members of the Shinola-seeking minority will have to start right now learning how to find the Shinola, how to keep it open, how to guide other seekers to it. And keep using it using it using it for all the Shinola purposes the Shinola people can think of.

    And in the longer run, we may go back to hundreds of millions of standalone Desktop Computers with their own stand-alone hard drives and everything else standalone. And people will have to move the samizdata by hand from computer to computer to computer. Maybe thumb drives or memory sticks or whatever those things are called can be transported around by carrier pigeon, for example.

  19. different clue

    Oh, and . . . . a hundred million Shinola Users should set up little desktop printers attached to their ShinolaNet-attached machines while there is still a ShinolaNet to attach to. And they should get acid free paper which will last for hundreds of years, and they should all make their own hundred million separate choices as to what they think is the “best of the Net” which they would like to see preserved for after Computers themselves go extinct, and start printing off millions of pages of material onto acid free paper.

    They should view themselves as the Irish Monks preserving what written works of civilization they could before the Dark Ages raging all around them destroyed EVERYthing. That’s how Shinola Internetters should approach the Internet of today. Preserve what is worth preserving before it is finally erased once and for all in the New Digital Dark Ages we are entering into.

  20. Hugh

    Typical Matt Taibbi. There us a problem somewhere. So is the problem with independent online journalism? Big Tech? Traditional media? Is Big Tech doing this because they’re monopolies or scared of anti-trust action? Did Taibbi interview anybody from Big Tech about online journalism? And does Taibbi or any of his online journalists have any solutions to any of this?

    As Trump and his supporters show, the country has a big fascist problem. We also have a big problem with super-corporations and corporatized media. Taibbi manages to get through his whole piece without really addressing any of these.

  21. Chicago Clubs

    Taibbi peaked with his vampire squid analogy (which was only slightly hampered by being scientifically incorrect).

  22. gnokgnoh

    Leftard WokeNazis
    Mainstream InfoCommercial Super Sewer
    Majority ShitNet
    Minority ShinolaNet
    Shinola Internetters

    I clearly need an Internet lexicon.

  23. Willy

    Slightly OT: Using something obscenely obvious like climate change as an example, I can tell the flavor of the conservative by the style of their argument. I assume others here can too.

    If they worry about government controls and the immediate economic impacts of mandates, then they’re educated Lincoln Project types and/or neoliberals (≈30% GOP voters). If they’re professional deniers, then they’re quasi-educated libertarians (≈10% GOP voters). If they angrily deny no matter what evidence you provide, they’re blind-faith evangelical suckers (≈60% GOP voters).

    Feel free to disagree with or enhance the “≈ x%” part. I’m sure there are other flavors which have been specifically targeted by conservative operatives. Whether reasoning, persuading, or deprogramming, it seems that radically different techniques are required to get each type to start considering reality honestly.

    I think it was Dinesh D’Souza who proclaimed that fascism was only ever a leftist thing, because governmental authoritarianism could not possibly be a conservative thing. Obviously and based on historic fact, libertarianism creates concentrations of power which degrade society to the point where blind-faithers demand relief from a sanctioned authoritarian demagogue. Happened in Germany, Iran, Mongolia and to the Aztecs. So anyways, Willy paid attention to Dinesh and diagnosed him a grifter who actually just believes in taking advantage of a good thing for the cash.

    Feel free to call a Boogaloo Boy or Proud Boy or NeoNazi boy a socialist and see what that gets you. Conservatives created the monster of Big Tech. Anybody remember Linux or shareware? Yeah, me neither. For whatever reasons, destructive monopolies are far easier to have naturally occur then are self-checkingly competitive little companies.

  24. different clue


    These are mostly new “words” or phrases which I am coining in hopes that they might prove useful to others. If any of them do, or are; they may be uptaken and used by others and perhaps spread around like memes. If they don’t, then they will all fall by the way and die in the ditch.

    Leftard WokeNazis seems pretty straightforward to me. No lexicon needed.

    Mainstream InfoCommercial Super Sewer was inspired by Al Gore’s phrase, oh so long ago, to describe the Internet he envisioned even as he was busy inventing it. That phrase was ” Information Superhighway”. And immediately there leapt into my mind the phrase “Infommercial SuperSewer.” I changed it to ” Infocommercial SuperSewer” to make it even more clear , even though more clunky. And why not add “Mainstream” to it?

    “Shit” and “Shinola” come from a long-ago time when people wore leather shoes and polished them with shoe polish. Shinola was a famous brand of shoe polish. Brown Shinola was made for brown leather shoes, and its color was similar to the color of many feces. Whence the phrase ” he doesn’t know shit from shinola”. I know it is obsolete, but it still makes sense to me.

    If a critical tipping-point mass-load of people find these words and phrases to be cromulent, then the language will be just-that-much embiggened.

  25. nihil obstet

    Before mass social media sites, there were list-servs. A lot clunkier than blogs, but not controlled. The problem, of course, is still how to support the writers producing valuable content.

  26. S Brennan

    Wandering off topic a bit…

    Interesting thought [to me], 3 parties would benefit either the neoD’s or the rump-R’s and since both suck, that’s not a good thing and I can’t see anybody liking that..however…

    4 parties, with 2* coming into being simultaneously could create the electoral mayhem this country so desperately needs. A pair of titans to crush the vile leadership of both parties…oh, so delicious.

    I can hardly wait to hear our resident lickspittles go ape-shit trying to set me straight, oh the whiplash from following their twisted logic explaining why Al From’s neoDs must rule for eternity >>> TINA !!!

    *one to split neoD’s from FDRist and one to split rump-R’s from IKE-R’s.

  27. Ché Pasa

    Unless it’s a version of the status quo ante in support of the Overclass, you don’t get what you want thru elections. Parties be dambed. Iron law.

  28. different clue

    @nihil obstet,

    The answer on how to support journalists via listserve or email or any other primitive internet vehicle would be paid-for subscription. No pay? No get. No pay? No access.

    Perhaps offer a standing free 10% mini-version of what the maxi-version charges for. Make the 10% mini-version good enough that some readers would decide to pay for the other 90%.

  29. S Brennan

    Historically Ché, “Iron law[s]” have been shown to be repeatedly wrong. BTW, an awful lot of people thought FDR’s election, which ended the first gilded-age changed the “status quo” rather significantly. Yes-yes Ché, I get it, you’ll be the judge of that.

    Now admittedly Ché, no election is going to enact the utopian revolution of your youthful dreams…and that’s a good thing. The world has had more than enough of utopian dreamers insisting “their” vision is the only path to nirvana. An awful lot of death and destruction has come from “utopian” visionaries fulfilling their revolutionary dreams.

  30. different clue

    A few years ago here in Michigan we had an initiative on our ballot about making marijuana state-legal in Michigan. And enough of us voted yes that it passed. It seems to me that was a difference made. Other examples could be cited here and there.

    Did the Trump election not make a difference? I think it did. It was a difference not to everyone’s taste, but it sure was . . . ummm . . . “different”.

  31. Ché Pasa

    Of course there are different flavors of supporting the Overclass, just as there are different factions within our Overclass, but in the end, elections in the United States are conducted to ratify policy decisions that have 1) already been made, and 2) which support the interests of those on top first and foremost. No matter which party you’re voting for or against.

    FDR was a pragmatist which allowed him to do things that, for example, an “idealist” like Hoover couldn’t do. FDR was a moderate progressive; so was Wilson, so was Teddy Roosevelt. But they were, like most progressives of the era and afterwards, primarily engaged in saving the Overclass (“capitalism,” if you will) from itself. Protecting and defending it in many ways. The masses gained something in the process, but here we are nearly a century later still struggling to gain a modicum of dignity and security and… guaranteed healthcare. And still being thwarted by the forces of reaction.

    I will say this: pressure from outside the electoral process is what makes the difference, not the elections themselves. It can come from any direction. Note well, the shock of the Capitol Dustup is making a huge difference already and the repercussions will continue and probably grow, for good or ill. It failed to change the outcome of the election but it moved the players in directions they might never have gone had it not been for the insurrection.

    Lessons learned, eh?

  32. Stirling S Newberry

    I move to change “neo-liberal” to “neo-stupid:”

  33. Synoptocon

    Please, Dog. Faster.

    I yearn for the day “diverse” isn’t interchangeable with “stupid backed by nothing better to do but propagate it”.

  34. bruce wilder

    The tweet from Tulsi Gabbard

    Was bracing. Hearing from one, marginalized voice what I wish I heard from a chaos.

    The echo chamber is deafening and I suppose that is by design.

  35. Temporarily Sane

    The “free and diverse” internet ended after 2007 when Facebook and tech/social media monopolies became ubiquitous and replaced the World Wide Web as the main online portal. What’s happening now is a mopping up operation that seeks to return the information monopoly to the state and its corporate “partners.”

    If they are successful, the internet that remains will be a highly controlled shopping mall/entertainment portal and offers little of substance outside of the mainstream. It might force people to interact face to face again and that could be a silver lining. Besides, when one leaves aside governments finding new ways to impose draconian laws on the citizenry, all this talking on Twitter, podcats and on blogs has almost zero impact on policy and is basically just a form of entertainment anyway.

  36. Stephen

    ‘The Democrats don’t matter. The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.’ – Steve Bannon.

    If the zone is full of shit, who will miss it?

  37. Thomas Golladay

    For those who want access to how we can secure our elections unlike Hugh, et al who refuse facts. No matter, their fascist ideology will be crushed in 2022 as the Establishment Republicans are crushed and booted out.

    Oligarchs moved against the Plebs who used their stimulus to stick it to the Hedge Funds and were winning. Now the SEC is announcing action to stop this from ever happening again.

  38. Hugh

    Thomas, why do you have to be such whiny crybabies every time one of yours loses an election? And repeating a bunch of wingnut charges of election fraud is so lame. Whether you accept it or not, you are a fascist, and Trump, your fascist guru, lost fair and square.

  39. S Brennan

    This comparison is horseshit.

    “FDR was a moderate progressive; so was Wilson” – Ché

    WTF…if you are going to deceive like that…why not attach Mussolini ? Mussolini’s shared Wilson’s view of the 1st Amendment, that makes him progressive right? And Mussolini’s was far more progressive than Wilson on eugenics, indeed Hitler looked to Wilson for inspiration on the subject of genocide through forced sterilization. But then, Hitler was more progressive than Wilson on American Negroes so shouldn’t he make your list of “progressives?

    Oh that right, you disregard what a man does, believing the sole focus should only be his words? Not really. You lied just to see if you could fool somebody, because you enjoy the ensuing mayhem.

    Ché, you are a acerbic deceitful old man…you couldn’t sell the utopian revolution of your youthful dreams and now you sulk in public. The world has had more than enough of utopian dreamers who upon reaching old age realize that their proselytizing has been in vain and in their bitterness, seek to tear their corner of the world apart.

  40. So-o-o-o-o-o-ooo….
    the internet is becoming more and more like the rest of the mainstream media (radio and television mainly).
    The censors are taking over, and now even the interwebs must abide by the ethos of social mores and collective consensus dogmas and stigmas, just like television and radio. What next? “Fines for using profanity online”?
    The problem with censors (and authority in general) is that anything that doesn’t resemble what they or the majority are familiar with, or have, do, or think themselves in their everyday life is viewed by them as either being “defective”, “delusional”/”crazy”, or “possibly evil”. Even the most innocent application of certain words/phrases can be misconstrued by them as having “ulterior motives” (think “some radio stations banning John Denver’s ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH due to the word ‘high’ also being a term used to mean being in a state of inebriation from illicit drugs”)
    It’s the xenophobic mindset that anything/anyone unique, different, or offbeat is/are somehow “inappropriate”, “suspicious”, “potentially psychopathic/dangerous/conspiring/menacing”.

  41. S Brennan

    “Thomas, why do you have to be such whiny crybabies every time one of yours loses an election?” – Hugh

    Says the man who just finished four years of being a whiny crybaby. The blatant hypocrisy of Hugh/NR and the rest of the neoDs on this board never ceases to amaze.

  42. Hugh

    Fascism is America’s big open secret. There are a lot of fascists here. But like SB and Thomas, they hate being called fascist. In any other country, calling Trump a fascist would be a no-brainer. But in the US, it’s considered out of bounds. What this has created here is a culture of license where American fascists don’t have to own or take responsibility for anything. So Trump completely f–ed up the response to covid and hundreds of thousands of Americans die: not his problem, it’s a hoax anyway. Trump loses re-election, even in a system with an electoral college that favors the right: not his fault, just throw out the votes of black and brown voters until Trump wins. Oh, that fell through? Then start a resurrection, and if it falls flat, blame it on the left. But no matter what they do, how they lie, don’t call them fascists. It hurts their ittle-bitty feelings.

  43. different clue

    There are still the computer-reaches-a-computer protocols. There are still all kinds of separate distinct channels for intercomputer communication. The Undernet is still here.

  44. Beef

    if this blog is from a leftist perspective, why are so many of the commenters right-wing libertarians?

  45. Willy

    Because they believe that if one repeats the same debunked nonsense over and over and over again, it’ll eventually become unbunked nonsense? I keep telling them that the hard part might be getting somebody else to believe their “theories”, but I’m realizing that this may not be the point. It appears to be some sort of coping mechanism.

    Where rational folks may repeat calming mantras in private, these people seem to enjoy repeatedly smashing their head against walls in public. Me, I’m finding that rhythmic head smashing rather calming, mostly because it’s so rhythmically predictable.

  46. different clue


    I think the best word for the exact opposite of debunked would be rebunked. That isn’t a word yet, but it could become one if enough people like it enough.

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