October 21, 2016
“Our first priority on every episode like that was to reverse-engineer the show to make it look like his judgment had some basis in reality. Sometimes it would be very hard to do, because the person he chose did nothing. We had to figure out how to edit the show to make it work, to show the people he chose to fire as looking bad — even if they had done a great job.”Reality television, folks.
October 18, 2016
Just to be clear, this demonstrates one of two things about mainsteam Democratic Party supporters:
Despite months of hysterical rhetoric, they never genuinely believed Dogtrumpet* is a fascist.
If fascism ever comes to America, they'll roll over for it like a spaniel wanting its tummy rubbed.
(*Because he's too stupid to dogwhistle like his GOP colleagues. And a few Dems, for that matter.)
October 16, 2016
Sarah Smarsh in The Guardian:
Based on Trump’s campaign rhetoric and available data, it appears that most of his voters this November will be people who are getting by well enough but who think of themselves as victims.I mention in passing this article cites a Gallup poll which, among other points, notes that "[p]eople living in zip codes with greater exposure to capital income sources rather than wage and salary income are less likely to support Trump", which counts, a bit, against my theory that Trump supporters are more likely to be petit bourgeois than working class.
One thing the media misses is that a great portion of the white working class would align with any sense before victimhood. Right now they are clocking in and out of work, sorting their grocery coupons, raising their children to respect others, and avoiding political news coverage.
To be sure, one discouraging distillation – the caricature of the hate-spewing white male Trump voter with grease on his jeans – is a real person of sorts. There were one or two in my town: the good ol’ boy who menaces those with less power than himself – running people of color out of town with the threat of violence, denigrating women, shooting BB guns at stray cats for fun. They are who Trump would be if he’d been born where I was.
Media fascination with the hateful white Trump voter fuels the theory, now in fashion, that bigotry is the only explanation for supporting him. Certainly, financial struggle does not predict a soft spot for Trump, as cash-strapped people of color – who face the threat of his racism and xenophobia, and who resoundingly reject him, by all available measures – can attest. However, one imagines that elite white liberals who maintain an air of ethical grandness this election season would have a harder time thinking globally about trade and immigration if it were their factory job that was lost and their community that was decimated.
Affluent analysts who oppose Trump, though, have a way of taking a systemic view when examining social woes but viewing their place on the political continuum as a triumph of individual character. Most of them presumably inherited their political bent, just like most of those in “red” America did. If you were handed liberalism, give yourself no pats on the back for your vote against Trump.
Spare, too, the condescending argument that disaffected Democrats who joined Republican ranks in recent decades are “voting against their own best interests,” undemocratic in its implication that a large swath of America isn’t mentally fit to cast a ballot.
Whoever remains on Trump’s side as stories concerning his treatment of women, racism and other dangers continue to unfurl gets no pass from me for any reason. They are capable of voting, and they own their decisions. Let’s be aware of our class biases, though, as we discern who “they” are.
August 30, 2016
If you enjoyed this twitterspasm and would like to know more about the siege of Fort McHenry and the war of 1812, why not go here or here if you can't find the giftshop.
Cockburn, delighted with his recruits, noted happily that they excited “the most general & undisguised alarm” among the populace. He was certainly correct. “Our negroes are flocking to the enemy from all quarters, which they convert into troops, vindictive and rapacious — with a most minute knowledge of every bye path,” wrote an American commander in early August. “They leave us as spies upon our posts and our strength, and they return upon us as guides and soldiers and incendiaries.”- "Washington Is Burning: Two centuries of racial tribulation in the nation’s capital" by Andrew Cockburn, in Harper's.
Ironically, while Key was composing the line "O'er the land of the free," it is likely that black slaves were trying to reach British ships in Baltimore Harbor. They knew that they were far more likely to find freedom and liberty under the Union Jack than they were under the “Star-Spangled Banner.”- "Where’s the Debate on Francis Scott Key’s Slave-Holding Legacy?" by Christopher Wilson, at Smithsonian Magazine.
Oh dang, Snopes beat me to it.
August 29, 2016
Go here and have all possible fun watching Americans argue about what "hireling and slave" might mean.
August 12, 2016
The racism of the upper class is never, ever the focus of newspaper article or thumbsucker pieces. So much is it ignored that it is as if it doesn’t exist. If it does exist, then perhaps one should ask questions about that class – but to do that is to impugn, even tacitly, the owners of the media. So … look over there, some fat white woman who works at Walmart is showing a confederate flag!
August 10, 2016
But by far the greatest irony in all of this is that Democrats have now explicitly adopted the exact smears that were used by the Far Right for decades to demonize liberals and the left as disloyal Kremlin stooges. For the entire second half of the 20th Century, any Americans who opposed U.S. proxy wars with Russia, or advocated arms control deals with them, or generally desired less conflict, were branded as Useful Idiots of the Kremlin, loyal to Moscow, controlled by Russian leaders. Democrats have taken this script – one of the most shameful and destructive in American history – and have made it the centerpiece of their 2016 presidential campaign.Of doubtful educative usefulness (as the fingers-in-the-ears-screaming-la-la-la self-delusion of decent neo-liberals this election season is off the scale), but a nice overview of the history of this bit of Americana nevertheless.
This is why lesser-of-two-evils arguments are so unconvincing: there’s only one evil, it suffuses everything we see, and while one might do less harm than the other, each of its warring parts is still fundamentally the same thing. Donald Trump’s frenzied populism couldn’t exist without the suffocating liberal condescension of a Hillary Clinton; nobody would ever vote for Clinton if it weren’t for the looming threat of a Trump.In The Baffler, Sam Kriss' neo-Kantian refutation of the witless dogma of lesser-evilism, thinly disguised as a review of Suicide Squad. Perhaps not the most fun part of the piece; although it's all good, the opening four paragraphs eviscerating Jared Leto's idiotic method approach to his three minute turn as the Joker are a particular joy.
August 08, 2016
If Trump ascends to the presidency or lays the groundwork for an even fouler creature in 2020, it won’t be because liberals have kneecapped themselves through their venality, lack of vision or mocking the youth as hopelessly naive, it will be the work of a network of corrupting agents. It is easier to assume that Trump is a foreign agent than confront the fact that he is squarely within the tradition of American politics and preying on the Democrats’ class treachery. This also nicely augments the Democrat blackmail that the left has to support Clinton to defeat not only fascism but also Putin’s evil empire.This piece by Olivier Jutel at Overland on the Democrats' regular as clockwork "It's Us or Fascism!" grift is an excellent read, despite the Lacanian debris you'll have to clamber over in the process. Enjoy! (*cough* my little joke)
The hysterical Russophobia that has gripped the Democrats, the policy establishment and the liberal media is a form of fetishist disavowal and a collective liberal nervous breakdown. American democracy is now said to be fundamentally under threat, not from any internal corruption but from Russian interference looking to install a puppet regime and subvert the polls in November. This affair has elicited the usual shrieking headlines from liberal HuffPo but the star of this oeuvre is Franklin Foer who, when he could not find a brown paper bag to breathe into, wrote a piece entitled ‘The DNC Hack is Watergate, but Worse’. Foer, whose analysis has been cited by the Clinton campaign, argues that the hack reveals nothing of any news value. Apparently the public should not be surprised about the DNC’s attempts to Jew-bait Bernie Sanders but be ‘appalled by the publication of this minutiae’ for the benefit of a foreign despot.
July 31, 2016
They might not think as I do. They might not know that she has demonstrated the willingness and the predilection to go to war more quickly than her Republican counterpart. They might not believe, as I do, that money in politics and the slow transformation of this country into an oligarchy is as insidiously dangerous as the lump-headed racism of the alt-right that is drowning the Republican Party.Michael Harriot states the blindingly obvious. Oh, boy, is he gonna get yelled at.
The first instinct of many in the US press and political class is to treat Trump as if he’s some foreign entity, an exotic outsider who can only be referenced with regard to Less Civilized Countries. This tic was again found in President Barack Obama’s speech Wednesday night at the DNC, when he called Trump “un-American.” Several pundits followed suit, praising this sentiment as clever and effective. Trump was something foreign, without precedent, that could only be understood in the context of things outside The Greatest Country on Earth.FAIR on the usual boilerplate, linking to Grandin, Greenwald and quoting Robin (see also.)
But, as some on the left have noted, Trump is as American as apple pie.
July 30, 2016
Social Justice Warriors
On Friday 4 August 1939, while members of the Queensland State Labor Caucus were having their morning meeting in a room in Parliament House in Brisbane, a group of 37 men, calling themselves the ‘Social Justice League’, entered, making threats, carrying batons, coils of barbed wire, hammers, knuckledusters and other tools. Barricading themselves in, they demanded a 40-hour week, lower taxes and tolls, unemployment relief, cooperative ownership of primary industry, and a ‘stabilised price’ for farmers.This vignette about your grand-daddy's SJWs comes from Liam Hogan's potted history of the nutty Social Credit movement at Overland.
It was, unsurprisingly, a dramatic scene. ‘I refuse to be instructed by you’, Premier William Forgan Smith told the group’s leader, and went on, in his strong Scottish accent, to lecture the men. ‘This is a display of Fascism and I will not countenance such an outrage in Queensland. We refuse to be intimidated by you, individually or collectively, and I ask you to withdraw’. When a leader (perhaps Richard Newton Boorman), claimed to be a rebel in the Jacobite mould, making reference to the 1746 battle of Culloden, the premier told him that if he was a rebel he ‘would have to take the consequences of being one’. In the excitement, one Minister slipped out to call the police, who soon arrived, and took everyone to jail.