1228 Comments

Thank you. Eloquently put.

The zeal with which my Ivy League educated friends are endorsing this move against Parler and/or calling for the outright persecution of anyone who was legally at a political rally in DC or even just voted for Trump is frightening. They seem incapable of realizing that this power will be turned around on them and are treating it as a zero sum game where they will emerge victorious over the forces of evil. Those that disagree with them, even if it's simply over their means, are racists, troglodytes, or worse. The lessons of 2001 and unchecked power in the name of security are lost on them.

I fear we're headed for even darker times as these totalitarian measures will certainly inspire a reactionary wave that will then be used as justification to crack down even harder. It is an eminently foreseeable consequence, and therefore must be intended. Stay well everyone and stay safe, it's going to be a bumpy ride.

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Lee, I'm having the same experience. Virtually without exception, all my Ivy League pals are fully on-board with Democratic Authoritarianism. These are primarily high-achieving professionals who have sailed through 20-40 years of career success and personal financial expansion. They have solid family legacies in the form of trust funds and inheritances. A Marxist would call them "bourgeois." In spite of all their education and intellectualism, they're unable to recall that the "bourgeois" are always the first to go under totalitarian regimes as their critical thinking abilities and inside information (as direct servants to the elite) represent a serious threat to tyrants.

The psychology is complex and I'm trying to analyze it. These people have always studied hard and received Straight A's -- a reward for their ideology as much as intellectual effort. They don't understand failure; I recall that at Harvard Business School there was in fact a course in how to handle failures and mistakes. They have a deep investment in The System and have been handsomely rewarded by it. Tunnel-visioned, they have completely disregarded numerous recent "signal moments" like 9/11 and willingly parrot whatever the NY Times has to say.

Externally they celebrate success and achievement by posting happy family pics of expensive summer homes and exotic vacations. Internally things seem to be more complicated as they openly support "leftist" policies and positions that oppose their own class and the "dominance" of their ethnic group (almost invariably White), including gangs and groups that have publicly-avowed Marxist leaders. These achievers constantly shout against racism but live in a world entirely populated by people like themselves and would vehemently fight to keep a housing project or homeless shelter out of their own neighborhoods. They publicly sign on with the fantasy of "economic fairness" but pay high fees to accountants to shelter their incomes from taxes.

Is it guilt? I don't think so. I think it all stems from a complicated mix of enormous self-regard, entitlement (usually from birth), sense of moral authority, "head-in-the-sand" levels of naivete, a generally sincere wish to be "good," and deeply buried anxiety. The anxiety is rooted in the day-to-day moral compromises, big and small, that are almost impossible to avoid in banking, law, medical, journalism, and tech exec professions. It's also rooted in their inability to protect themselves at the most basic levels: personal body integrity, food production, wilderness hunting, fishing, etc. Even if they have a country house, they are truly "all in" when it comes to the dependencies of suburban life.

Also, for these people, *how they are perceived* is everything. They want you to think that they are Thinking Correctly and they signal virtue at every opportunity.

Basically they are all a lost cause and I've stopped talking to them on any meaningful level.

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Lee and Urban, you are both on point and I just want to add detail that I think is useful for understanding.

1) The impact of social media is huge in this - in the creation of the bubble these people are in. Watch "Social Dilemma" and realize that the movement leftward of the Dem party starting around 2010 was social-media driven. The fact that the media was affected first draws even people who aren't on social media in, because the social media bubble first took over all of those producing content for the MSM.

2) This is an oligarchic elite being created, which will not end in authoritarian monarchy but rather in oligarchy looking more and more like China. These people have no fear and are eager to head that way because they are "in". The people who should worry about the repercussions are the working class and poor minority voters who support them, they are the ones who will be abandoned when push comes to shove. In fact, they effectively already are abandoned as their votes are sought through continued grievance, rather than solving their problems to create their happiness and contentment in life.

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Succinct and accurate. The tribes that matter aren't L/R or R/D. They're authoritarian and libertarian. That's the battle, and the authoritarians are winning.

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I disagree with the last part. In the early 90s, you had "free speech" enough to run your jaw at the bar or the thanksgiving table. If you wanted to go further and speak to the masses, you'd have to persuade ABC to give you a half hour slot, which they wouldn't do unless you promised to keep it politically insipid AND no cuss words AND no blasphemy AND no titties AND nothing gay. Joe Biden wanted to make raves as verboten as marijuana, and the ideas you read were limited to what was on sale at the local book store or library.

In 2020 ordinary people can broadcast their voice to the whole world while smoking weed and swearing like a trooper. You can download more or less anything from the history of subversive books, and probably find it for free even if Amazon won't sell you a copy. If your editor won't publish your articles you can set up for yourself on substack. And at the end of a hard day, free porn is streamed into the home like tap water.

I can't square this with the idea that the authoritarians and moral ninnies are winning. They have been routed, no?

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Didn't Lennon write something about buying the peasants off with sex and tv?

They used to let the eunuchs wander anywhere in the castle, knowing they were harmless. Don't be fooled. They could give a rip if you marinate in dope, porn, blasphemy, subversive books and naughty words as long as you're harmless. In fact they may prefer that you're marinated as to better operate.

Authoritarians will move to end currency as quickly as they are moving to into censorship. Then they will monetize everything and privacy (read freedom) will no longer exist.

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Not yet. They are winning the battle, not the war. On August 9, 1974, the Republican Party's funeral took place. Six years later Reagan won in a landslide. In 2020 ordinary people still had internet access that hadn't been terminated yet for dissidence. Their dissidence wasn't subject to reporting by their kids. There was no mandatory national registration and monitoring. We have more authoritarian advances yet to endure before routing can begin.

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I don't believe you can blame social media for PMC love of status quo. I listened to a great rant by populism explainer-extraordinaire and Listen Liberal, The People, No author Thomas Frank on the Bad Faith podcast this week. He summarized all I know about elites going back to the 80s, when I met them in sororities, fraternities. Conformists to a tee, ready to look the other way if any of their tribe breaks the rules, always willing to throw lower classes under the bus, and that goes for Dems and Reps alike. Populism, working class consciousness, is our only hope.

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I did watch "Social Dilemma" but found all the millennial smugness so irritating that I couldn't take the geeks seriously. I still find it hard to believe that "social media" has shaped Generation X to this degree.

In the oligarchic context you propose, the Ivy Leaguers' "virtue" is the skin that covers the skull -- they are unable to empathize, morally compromised, and operating at an instinctive animal level. Also some of them have real *hatred* for Trump and supporters, another sign of moral fissure. The American Political Class is therefore divided from its own humanity and universal truth.

At least wealthy Trumpers don't make claims about virtue. They're just fine with enriching themselves on the backs of others without empathy nor concern. This is also a sad condition but at least it's refreshingly direct.

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I used to share a house with a starting football player for the NY Giants. He was a smart Midwest guy with an analytical mind. Everyone in the world was enamored with Lawrence Taylor at the time, but to me he was a beast who had one job in life....get the QB. There was no reason to aspire to be him, be like him, or even like him. When he put the uniform on, he was a one man wrecking crew. He won..we won...everyone won...until he crashed and burned by his own excesses.

I didn’t lose any sleep over his decline because I knew that he was a tool to be used by the Giants and by the state of New Jersey to excite and delight the masses. That’s Donald J Trump.

Am I ashamed I’ve used him the last 4 years to get done what needed to get done?

Am I shocked he broken some furniture and china in the West Wing?

Am I mature enough to understand that he puts his pants on one leg at a time just like Lawrence Taylor used to?

Don’t fall in love with the man or the woman promising you X, Y or Z...no matter how good they are at a particular task.

Always...Always...Always..... Think for yourself and own your own agency.

It’s the only think that separates us from 1984 and The Brave New World.

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The hate comes from social media and media. Same as Fox News making people hate the Clintons in the 90s. It becomes lizard brain, and the bubbles literally include separate sets of facts. Lesley Stahl asks Trump questions based on things that your Ivy Gen X folks believe to be true but just ain't. But the whole bubble believes them to be true (e.g. Hunter Biden laptop = Russian disinfo).

The forces at work here are the same. Many on the left, both these Ivy leaguers as well as antifa, get indoctrinated and brainwashed on one set of falsehoods. Many on the right, including the Capitol rioters, get indoctrinated on another. Antifa and the Capitol rioters have fewer jobs and less happiness in the middle of the pandemic and their hate moves them to violence. The Ivy Leaguers are moved to hate but not violence. But it's the same phenomenon, driven largely by social media and the media forces laid out in Taibbi's "Hate, Inc".

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Gen X are the 41-56 years old.

Millenials are the 25-40 years old. (aka Gen Y)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_X

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Thank you, I'm well aware of this. I'm Gen X and this is the group I was referring to in my original post about Ivy Leaguers at the top of the thread.

The Millennials are the public face of Social Media and these are the self-congratulatory types featured in Social Dilemma, grandiosely assigning themselves the awesome blame for "Destroying the World." I disagree with this perspective. IMO Social Media is a symptom, not a cause.

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Yeah, I wasn't completely sure, just in case. Yeah, something was off for me in «Social Dilemma» too, thanks for putting it into words !

However, note that the generations 'raised' on Social Media will eventually come in power, so we're far from having seen all the impacts yet…

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Nothing I've read in a long time says, "I have no idea what I'm talking about" quite as effectively as:

"the movement leftward of the Dem party starting around 2010"

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When Ned Lamont defeated Joe Liebermann in the Democratic Senate Primary in 2006, the strong leftward movement was already well underway. The internet (if not social media) played a large part in that movement.

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Here's a fascinating take: woke ideas can be understood as a type of Veblen good. If I'm a straight white male, embracing woke principles *should* be against my selfish interest. Therefore embracing these principles is a demonstration not just of how good and moral I am, but also how *strong* I am.

https://quillette.com/2019/11/16/thorstein-veblens-theory-of-the-leisure-class-a-status-update/

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This was a fascinating and insightful article. The thing I see missing among these Luxury Leisure Class types is “character”. The kind of character one learns while digging ditches or bailing hay. Perhaps the only thing that will save us is mandatory military service. At a minimum it would teach discipline and character by, at least for a time, putting everyone at the same level of worthlessness(in the eyes of a Gunnery Sargent).

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Commentor, dodging military service is one of the perks of being in the 1%. We haven't had a President with any military experience since Bush Sr. circa 1990 -- since the Pentagon is running that show there is no need from their point of view, but it would be better for the American People if this were a requirement for the Presidency.

I did sign up for Selective Service when I turned 18 and I'd do it again.

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Yeah, it would have to be a mandate without loopholes. No exceptions for any reason. Everyone gets treated the same way. This will build character.

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Almost everyone, the kids of the 0.1% will always find ways to avoid it. But it will still be good for the kids of the 9.9%

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That is awesome, thanks!!

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I think in terms of activism itself it must be said that you also need to be in luxury to devote the time to social criticism instead of assuring your own economic well being. You can be Laurie David or you can be an antifa chud living off a rich parent, but you can't spend time on woke activism unless you have the luxury of time.

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ON the flip side, racism correlates indirectly with economic status - less educated people hate the "other" not only due to ignorance but because of the direct loss of economic opportunity as equality improves.

Whereas you are saying Richie Rich is so next level untouchable that he shows he is all for the elevation of the other, who will remain several stations below him.

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Classically you describe it wellbut I don;t thinmk they are in any danger in this version.

This is a uniquely American fascism, it is an Oligarchic fascism without a visible Dear Leader hidden by a Potemkin democracy that shepherds voters to chose one or the other of the allowed candidates at the national level.

As for legitimacy, yeah, well, people get deplatformed for pointing at the studies of how quickly these voting machines can be owned onsite which then leads to the unanswered question of their system security knowledge on the actual tally servers.

Yeah, I don't question it, I just point at it so I don't get banned for pointing at the easily verifiable already highly public info.

In any case your friends, they should be just fine if they get on board with the sharks down at the country club.

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Country club membership is no guarantee. In the most extreme example, check the bond traders etc. that didn't make it out of the WTC. Some were lucky, others were protected...and a few others were neither.

I agree with Wally below. Many of these people are stressed around the clock and only as useful as their masters find them on any given day. You'd think they'd realize this and jump the track, but if SubStack Commentator 34 is correct, then they are up late at night praying to continue Insider status.

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"The "bourgeois" are always the first to go under totalitarian regimes"

Not always true : it was the middle class that put Nazis in power, and even reaped some of the rewards (except for the middle-class Jews).

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Early in Stalin's reign, he had a lieutenant that was very loyal. So loyal that he informed Stalin about a plot to kill Stalin and install him as the leader. What did Stalin do? Killed his perceived competitor. Loyal or not, he was a threat. Same thing will happen here.

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They think they'll be able to charm the socks for the dictators. It won't work; it never works. And as you said, they will be the first people led to the gallows.

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To make a complex argument crude, being sufficiently woke is as helpful as a moat when the pitchforks come?

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As a sad parallel to this: I worked with Newsom's team early in the pandemic on potential paths and responses. It became perfectly clear very early on that lots and lots of Latinos were going to die, and the reason wasn't only worse health and access to healthcare. Newsom's "diversity" on his staff consists of Latinx folks who went to Berkeley and UCLA and have very little to no understanding of what the life of a Latino in multigenerational living space in LA is like. They had no idea how to communicate to them, no idea how to help them, and no clue why they weren't simply magically doing the things all of their buddies from college would rationally do in response to the pandemic. 80% of the deaths in LA County are Latino, versus 48% of the population.

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I live in a semi rural area in San Diego county, and can attest to the truth of what you describe. Folks need to understand that California has the highest poverty rate in the US, while also having among the highest cost of living. Poor people in CA have no choice but to live 3 and 4 generations together

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"the highest poverty rate in the US, while also having among the highest cost of living"

Seems obvious put like this, doesn't it ?

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It does, but it's more than this. California is a very business unfriendly. The state income tax is, I believe, the highest in the US (if not, it's no. 2 or 3). The middle class grows smaller as middle income earners move out of state to places like Texas with better job prospects and cost of living, as do many retirees looking for lower cost of living. The poor stay either because of family or because they can't afford to move. It's also interesting that we are starting to the some large silicon valley business moving or expanding out of state, such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise an Tesla. I've lived here my whole life, and will be moving when I retire. The direction of California is toward two classes - the very rich and the poor. It causes me pain to see what my beautiful state has become.

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The big secret that no one is saying: HP, Tesla, etc are moving under cover of general issues with California, but the specific issue is Board diversity. CA already started requiring one woman on Boards, but starting end of 2021 it's a higher number of women and also need specific POC or LGBTQ. The people moving just don't want to change their boards just yet. Usually a CEO has been put in place by the board and Board changes put their job at risk. Board members obviously like their slots and don't want to lose them.

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I'm not sure that's much of an issue with the silicon valley companies,. The issue I recall as mentioned by most of these companies is cost of llivifor thei g

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Their diet plays a huge role. I lived directly next to a housing project for eight years (until quite recently) and saw first-hand how food stamps are spent. It should be illegal to use your food stamp allocation to buy more than 15% of sugar and trash foods, but it isn't. Therefore "food stamps" represent a transfer payment to Coca Cola Inc.

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An ER doc I know says he regularly sees kids these days come in with massive GI distress from eating too much Flamin' Hot Cheetos.

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I live in the Southwest and lived in SoCal. Latinos and Hispanics aren't living in housing projects in CA. They're living crowded into apartments and single family houses as rent is exorbitant. And many, esp elder, eat traditional staples. They are dying at higher rates all over the US, as are Native Americans and blacks.

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I would start by blaming the agribusiness and city planning for that. How do you expect poor people to be able to eat well without a decently priced farmer's market within biking distance ?

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Urban grocery stores have decent food, including some organic options, and it is possible to obtain a solid diet.

Farmer's markets don't take food stamps but there is a an urban farmer's market a 15-minute walk from the housing projects described above.

The problem is not access, it is policy. All these "progressive" mayors and governors really show their true stripes on this one. They don't care what poor people eat. If they did, they'd do something about it.

Meanwhile Coke and Monsanto keep raking it in on our tax dime.

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Hmm, I thought that you were talking about one of those "food deserts". Are they actually just not that common in the USA, or were your neighbors just lucky ?

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Thanks - and a question. Shouldn't we learn from China how to do fast mass Covid-19 (the "Trump" virus) vaccination? We are extremely slow -- it will take by new reports about 14 weeks to vaccinate priority groups. How possibly we can be so slow and disorganized. China vaccinates million plus people essentially overnight. Is anybody studying this -- how they can do it? Many thanks

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Great question. US and China use different practices. Step one in the US is for a private company to spend more than $2B over twelve years before the first clinical dose can be taken. That's a result of ever-increasing demands from the FDA, that Trump spent four years fighting to get only a lowering of cost and shortage of length of time to bring new generics to market. Step one in China is that a government lab develops a medication and the government orders is manufactured and used.

China's vaccine is carried on an adenovirus so that it can infiltrate cells to prompt making antibodies. Adenoviruses are common cold viruses just like COVID19, they are just less contagious but create complications regardless of age. China tweaked a biowarfare weapon, an adenovirus carrying deadly infections, to carry bits of COVID19. If the patient has adenovirus antibodies from a prior cold, they will kill the vaccine. If the vaccine works, the first sign is usually symptoms that look exactly like COVID19.

US vaccines rely on messengerRNA, having no viruses at all. Much more expensive than China's vaccine to develop and manufacture, but far safer. Project Warp Speed was the first time in history that the FDA was part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

Logistics of mRNA vaccines are the hardest part. The science is relatively simple, every scientist to whom I've spoken concurs that the logistics are the hardest part. Our Federal form of government lets the central government manage delivery to the states to centers identified by the states. The planning was intense, very difficult, and pulled off well until states took possession. No US President has the authority to order state health departments what to do with the vaccines, and some states - noticeably California and NY, fucked it up. The Coronavirus Task Force and the CDC issued guidance, not orders, to the states. No change of name on the Oval Office will make this any different. My state, Tennessee, is vaccinating quickly without any wasted doses; NY had to destroy nearly half its vaccines.

I'm not a Trump supporter, I am a now-retired physician, guided by evidence. The COVID19 response by Trump was better than I could have hoped for. I don't like the guy, never voted for him, but this was a real success. Too bad you'll never read about it on Facespace or Whastwitinstagoogletube.

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Thank you very very much. All in all -- US acted as a failed state. China has total of less than 5K dead -- we are now approaching that number daily.

After nine months we are still unprepared for mass vaccination. Moreover, we still don't information -- daily, weekly - by city, county -- how many people were vaccinated, percentage of total -- basic information. This is horrible incompetency for a country that wants to be "a shining example" and organizes coup after coup - to bring "democracy and freedom" (except in Saudi Arabia).

I never supported insane clown Trump but -- the rot appears to be MUCH deeper, starting with health for profit instead universal health care.

Once again, many thanks for your kind response. Stay well and my best regards, Boris

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Boris, the nature of a federation is not well understood even among most US citizens. In 1776 thirteen sovereign nations surrendered a small part of their sovereignty to a central government, and wrote a constitution to keep power at the state level, closer to the people. The constitution was never written for efficiency, it was written for individual liberty. It contained many compromises, including two chambers of congress and the electoral college, to prevent the tyranny of either the majority or the federal government.

My friends in Europe and Asia point to how compliant their citizens are with government orders, never recalling that the U.S. was settled by people fleeing over-reaching governments. We don't have the submission gene built-in; we do have the freedom-to-dissent gene.

Compare annual deaths COVID19 to annual deaths from medical errors. Then recognize that a diagnosis of COVID19 and a cause of death of COVID19 are both rewarded financially, and you begin to squint. The cost of China's achieved efficiency was as many as 150M dead at the hands of authoritarian government during the 20th century. We can have another 149M plus die before paying the same cost.

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Centralized control (like China) gets the details right and the big picture wrong. Democratic republics do the opposite. We have the big picture right but and drive the details off of profit motives or incompetent civil servants. Democracy needs to improve its candidate selection processes - right now it's resting on its laurels because it's good at its key innovation - ousting bad performers fairly quickly without blood, but it still hasn't learned how to pick good performers.

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Don't understand your response. I asked:

How China organize and do almost overnight vaccination of more than a million people in one city? They must have tens of thousands teams and superb organization to be able to do that. I thought that you perhaps know details...

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Occam's razor should make it obvious that the Chicoms didn’t vaccinate a million people in one city overnight and that they are simply lying about it. How would anyone know?

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It helped that the virology institute in Wuhan was the center for Chinese biowarfare at least until a decade ago when I stopped following it. A couple tweaks to an existing bioweapon and presto, you've got a COVID vaccine. Tell the population when to be where to get the vaccine, and there's 100% compliance. Efficiency is one measurement and it considers only elapsed time and resources consumed. The end result and the means to get there are irrelevant, which is why professionals measure more than one aspect of a program.

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I thought he answered it quite well...

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The answer at ground level is that they have tens of thousands teams and superb organization. The answer at 30,000 feet is what I said.

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US vaccinated almost 2 million with Salk's free polio jab and placebo, many of them kids, in one month in 1956. I think Americans under 40 have only seen our privatized, neolib systems. They cannot even envision a country with competent public logistics and citizen cooperation.

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Lee, I surmise this crack down is timed so to create a backlash. Then Kamala, the corrupt DA[Jow is gone soon] can crack down. The problem is the people who are victims of the crack down are well armed and will not go quietly into the night. The left has restarted fighting the Civil War recently. Hardly a coincidence.

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White supremacists have never *conceded* the fact that the union snd human rights won.

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It's not white supremacists that you have to worry about, comrade.

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Comrade yourself.

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Interesting, did that appelation offend you?

Make you angry?

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Oh no all two dozen of them are coming to getcha!

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Emergency!! Call the Southern Poverty Law Center with their $471 Million endowment! Since there's no Poverty in the South that needs their attention, they can use it to round up active Neo-Nazis!!

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spoken like an unreconstructed Confederate from a long line of Lost Cause Confedrates, Klan Kleages and Southern Democrat Jim Crow Enforcers.

Clearly it hasn't taken long for Parler's homeless to take refugee in Glenn World.

Give Ben health insurance now Glenn.

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LOL! Born and bred Connecticut Yankee. Oh..and the Klan "don't cotton fucking Eyetalians!" Your unbridled anger is something you should deal with soon. I'm a longtime fan of Greenwald. I'm a true libertarian, you are a knee jerk liberal. Glenn is intellectually honest. You are neither.

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Oh look it's TE again, hi TE. I hate Trump, and I'm not even American, but sure, all Trump supporters are KKK and all Democrats are communists.

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Maybe this power will be turned around on them, or maybe they can use this power to permanently entrench their own power. It's a high stakes game of poker, playing with freedom chips, and the eventual winner takes all.

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The true believers always end up on the receiving end with those they burnt down the forest of laws to get at, while the cynical opportunists end up in charge.

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As a cynical opportunist, I hope you're right.

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How? Who counts the votes, NoSuch?

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Funny, those Ivy League schools were thrilled to be endowed by the slave shipping fortunes of the 17th and 18th centuries. No reparations, no "sorry", nothing.

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Elihu who?

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Well, they did raise a bunch of Useful Idiots, so.....

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Scared is an understatement. Especially for liberals disenfranchised by their own party who voted for Trump. The only strategy is a bunker mentallity one. Stay low and incognito for the next four years or longer.

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I don't have - or keep - people who believe like that as friends.

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You need new friends.

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What we have is fascism and the melding of corporations and government is the very defining characteristic of fascism. Read Mussolini's chief theoretician's (Alfredo Rocco) works if you need more convincing. Great work again Glenn, and we civil libertarians are in deep trouble as I see it. They are going to make us pay and pay dearly.

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Seems like there are at least two kinds of libertarians - those who want liberty for people and those who want liberty for corporations, and you can't have both. If one argues for corporate freedom then one argues for the removal of personal liberty. No rules at all amounts to corporate tyranny.

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Meh, nah some of us have spines and plans. Nor have we ever relied on people whose obvious tact is EVIL.

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The deplatforming of Parler, mass calls to excommunicate those who basically supported a political opponent while being cheered by neoliberal zealots backed by an opportunistic corrupt class is the latest manifestation of the establishment authoritarians intent on burning dissent at the stake in the guise of protecting “Democracy. It’s the kind of thing that happened during the Spanish Inquisition where a corrupt Catholic Church backed by moneyed classes defined what were allowable views or not with dire penalties for those who blasphemed. (Today that could mean not just being robbed of the ability to speak freely on social media, but loss of livelihood, ability to shop, bank, travel...and even subject to violence.)

What the US Empire in the throes of its latest orgy of hysteria against its never ending enemies - now fully turned inwards, in a blowback of historic proportions - may be missing is the reaction this is having in the rest of the World where US Big Tech is already viewed with deep suspicion due to their monopoly on data and information. What is especially disquieting is the knowledge that the CIA/NSA have their hooks in these companies which operate under US laws and jurisdictions and increasingly not even that. Amazon brazenly broke its contract with Parler without even a chance of a stay order. Lawyers even quit representing Parler with erstwhile civil libertarians like ACLU - which had once defended the rights of actual Nazis to march as part of their First Amendment Rights - joining in on the feeding frenzy. Even a serial killer has right of representation but ironically a serial killer will have a better chance of justice in the US than having a view that the 2020 election was unfair (which incidentally was the exact same thing Dems yammered on to cheers for 4 years with Clinton repeatedly calling Trump “illegitimate” and the 2016 election “stolen”.

If a sitting POTUS and tens of millions of his followers could be hounded in the US by tech monopolies and corporations clearly allied with a party that has gained power, ignoring US laws and precedent, what protection is there for other countries where US laws don’t even nominally apply?

Countries such as China and Russia have actively started building out their own verticals - hardware, networks, domain nodes, data centers, operating systems, social media applications - that don’t rely on the latest whims and politics of an Empire in the midst of a civil war between Establishment and anti-Establishment ideologies. Turkey is already accelerating its move away from WhatsApp into a home grown app. There are active calls in India - with its giant population and ubiquitous use of digital services even among the poor - which is almost entirely reliant on US technology, that these latest shenanigans in the US - against around half its *own* people - are the wake up call for digital independence. (This is akin to the increasing call for independence from the dollar by various countries - including China, Russia, India which are parts of RIC, SCO, BRICS organizations - since basically the dollar under the Obama and accelerated during the Trump admin has become a tool of raw US power to dictate who sovereign nations may trade with and who not.)

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The left does have much in common with institutional religion these days — questioning dogma not allowed, excommunication and shunning for heretics, collusion with the governmental powers that be to eliminate dissenting views, etc. Ironically the ostensibly rationalist left are basically the new religious right — self-important moral busybodies who think it is their job to tell everyone else how they should think, feel and act.

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Absolutely. What’s amazing and disheartening at the same time is that many of my peers, many PhDs in hard sciences where questioning established theories in rational ways is not only tolerated but encouraged, and who are wary of religious dogma - generally a hallmark of the right, have become brainwashed into not only not applying the same dispassionate rigor to the obviously messianic and hypocritical stances of the neoliberal authoritarians, but immediately shrieking “blasphemer” to anyone who points out the clearly self-serving contradictions in the pronouncements of this era’s High Priests of Moral Order.

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I don't think think there is much correlation between intelligence and ethics.

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Your comment doesn't make me think "other countries have wised up and are avoiding working with US Tech giants, and the US needs to constrain them, too". Your comment makes me think "other countries are taking control of the technology infrastructure using centralized control from authoritarian governments, in the United States the same thing is happening but under the control of an oligarchic technopolitical elite."

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Best comment award. ☆☆☆☆☆

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Indeed. Please start your own sub stack Galileo ;)

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The elephant in the room is international net neutrality.

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You obviously have no idea what "net neutrality" even means.

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I am suggesting that assaults on neutrality (further commercial power grabs) are the logical progression of the events discussed here. I'm also suggesting that the most likely motivation for your reply is that you are an unhappy troll.

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No, the most likely motivation for my reply is usage that strongly indicates the user didn't know what they were saying.

Few people in the USA actually know what the expression means.

"Net neutrality" is the principal that participants of a network need to treat all data traveling on the network identically, without regard to who it's from, who it's to, or what the content is.

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That's fairly accurate. "Net neutrality" means that a private corporation can spend its money building infrastructure that then becomes de facto public property. The $20T plus cost of building the internet was paid for by private, not government, money. Now that others have spent their money, government feels entitled to lay claim to controlling it. It's the effective reverse of Obama's "You didn't build that."

Unfortunately, it isn't completely clear how this should be addressed. If ABC Corporation builds out a wired and wireless network for its use at a cost of $300B, why does it have to make the network equally available to its competitors? On the other hand, should ABC Corporation end up owning much of the nation's internet infrastructure, should it be allowed to deny use to others, or charge others different prices for the same services?

Reality is that, as almost always occurs, private money has built something and now government wants to appropriate it for its own use. Government can never be sufficiently nimble to do what private industry does, but it can always be sufficiently authoritarian to seize what it wants.

If access to food and healthcare are basic rights, isn't access to information a basic right as well? When philosophy hits reality, things rarely go well. I'm honestly not smart enough to know what to do here. I am smart enough to know that perhaps, as with roadways, the information superhighway must be made equally available to everyone, but not everyone is entitled to a Rolls Royce to drive on it.

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That's profoundly ignorant about computer networking - and wrong.

Anyone can build out their own network and keep it for their own use or rent it out as they may see fit, charge whatever they want, change packet rates however they want - pay per performance, give priority to some users and not others, etc. Knock your lights out.

What you can't do is provide for the actual flow of the actual internet to go through and have those special treatment rules apply on the same network links; that's the price you pay for having it be a part of the actual internet. Any given network link can be private or on the public internet, but not both at the same time, and that's the issue.

If you want special treatment, fine, do it, not any problem at all, and you can connect in to the actual internet at multiple points if you want - not a problem at all. Each link can be one, public, the other, private, just not do both at the same time.

So your complaints are simply false and are based on a failed understanding of what the internet actually is and what you can and cannot do with it or other "private" networks. ... It's a lot like air travel; you can either own or rent a private jet to take you from New York to Los Angeles, or you can go with a "common carrier" like United Airlines, and there are advantages to either, but it's up to you to choose.

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Zero bandwidth prioritization.

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Yeah, with organizations responsible for such critical Internet and Web infrastructure as top-level domains being based in the USA, there are risks to neutrality (see what almost happened with .org). IMHO these kind of institutions should be on their own or "UN" soil (like embassies), and be located somewhere more neutral, like Geneva, Switzerland (for instance).

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If Parler restarts on its own infrastructure, we still may see people go after them by preventing the backbone from pointing to them. That would be a calamity.

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In other news, one of the pirate bay founders mocked Parler (and… Gab??) for not being able to keep their website up.

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They might, but I can hardly see it succeeding, considering how thepiratebay or stormfront are still up…

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an apt description of Peter Thiel's deplatforming of Gawker settle a grudge.

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Wasn’t that by court order due to Gawker’s defamation? Was there a court order requiring that Parler be shut down?

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a court order resultant from Thiel's deep pockets financing the legal fees that authored the defamation suit and delivered the court order.

There is a legal system for the wealthy and one for everyone else.

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The strange thing, to me, of Glenn’s post is that AWS absolutely does not have a monopoly here. Sure, they only gave them a couple days to move their site to another service. But move it, they can. Of course, Parler then proved how poorly they were handling the privacy of their users, and how poorly the entire site was developed.

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All their back-up services who they thought they could move their code to dropped out virtually on the same day. It was a fairly coordinated attack. See eg https://deadline.com/2021/01/parler-ceo-says-service-dropped-by-every-vendor-and-could-end-the-company-1234670607/

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Those are not back up services. Those are other services that run things like “log in authentication” and “notifications.” They are complementary services, and again, there are plenty of alternatives.

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You seem to be implying that somehow it’s Parler’s fault that they couldn’t move their code and get them up and running in 48 hrs because of “poor code”. (It’s akin to blaming a woman for getting molested because she was wearing a short skirt).

It’s not easy to move a whole infrastructure, storage, servers, two-factor-authentication service providers etc in the best of times eg to create a fully functional hot back-up disaster recovery setup requires months though with providers like AWS, a lot of it is turnkey - which is why they are so popular.

Incidentally Gab had the same issue years ago when they were nearly erased. They apparently learnt from that and built a more robust big-tech proof infrastructure. Though as per latest rumor they may also be under threat of getting their domain name deregistered with ICANN in which case you’d have to find them via direct IP.

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I read it the same way.

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“It’s akin to blaming a woman for getting molested because she was wearing a short skirt”

My goodness. Good effort trying to score a quick point there. But that’s a poor analogy. And you misread what I was implying.

I agree that it was not surmountable to smoothly transition in two days.

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That's not the point and you know it.

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The point is that these private companies have decided it’s not good business to serve this customer. Now this customer can move to other services.

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There were times when real estate agents would not sell homes to black people in white neighborhoods because they would bring down prices. After all the black people could go elsewhere. It was simply “good business”.

Thankfully society realized that this “good business” was discriminatory and laws were passed against such activities.

We’ll await the lawsuit Parler has launched vs Amazon for breaching their 30 day rule (let alone any monopolistic collusion)

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AWS is not a monopoly, but they clearly exerted monopolistic power in conjunction with Apple and Google. Once the tech giants crossed that Rubicon, they have run afoul of the antitrust statutes. Unfortunately for Parler antitrust litigation is likely to take the best part of 10 years.

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As of today, I believe the CEO of Parler and his family are in hiding due to death threats.

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I and other early users of CompuServe recall how poorly the site functioned in its youth. Parler is today's CompuServe, except nobody was trying to destroy CompuServe while it got its act together.

AWS does not have a monopoly, but Amazon has shown it will muscle aside dissent and competition. Eventually nearly all web traffic flows through a server controlled by FAANG. It has become a self-appointed world government in control of information.

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" leading left-wing politicians" There are no such animals in DC. They are liberals and DemocRATS, not remotely of the left. It would help if very smart writers like Glenn Greenwald and Caitlin Johnstone would stop using "left" in their descriptions of these hacks.... unless in quotes... please.... otherwise, great article, as usual.

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I’m very careful about this distinction. But one of the most vocal voices demanding this Silicon Valley censorship was AOC, and she then praised them once they heeded her calls. I suppose you could say AOC isn’t really of the left but then we’re just into semantics land. In any event, I consciously used it here because of examples like that.

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I don’t think AOC is mature enough to understand her role in the larger ecosystem.

Right now she’s a campus rebel yelling slogans at a Sandinista rally, not knowing that Daniel Ortega right now is on 5th Ave in NY loading up on a million $ worth of US Goods so he can go back and be among the working class.

She heads up to her Watergate Apartment while guys like Paul Ryan used to sleep in a cot in their office.

End of the day, when it came to really spend her political capital to get what her supporters wanted, she sold out. Another cover of Vogue..though this time they left her keep the $30,000 in new clothes.

Which means Pelosi has sucked her into Pelosi’s vortex and now AOC is but one more Flying Monkey in the pantry ready to go do Pelosi’s bidding up on the witch’s command.

That’s the problem with $ and Leftists.

People in the Establishment will test to see if you’re truly principled or if mere $ will move you off your core values. And since there’s so much money in DC...it’s worth floating a $ figure or two first...just to see if they are really who they say they are.

Giving credence to the phrase “Young and Dumb.”

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Ortega is reportedly the richest man in Nicaragua. Not bad for a former communist ;-)

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Communism is attractive to people with little valuable utility to society that dream of riches. They all think they will be chosen but in doing so they need to appropriate those with valuable utility. For every socialist that thinks they will be chosen because they are faithful, YOU won't! Lenin and his cohorts all died because in the wings of every socialist movement is the worst arseholes on earth.

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communism has its roots in a broken antisemitic self hating Jewish narcissist who let his own family go to rot while creating his life works. Pretty appropriate.

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The curse of the left has always been "parlor pinks" who love the sound of their own voices.

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María Gabriela Chávez was worth a cool US$4.2 billion in 2015.

https://www.latinpost.com/articles/71424/20150812/maria-gabriela-ch%C3%A1vez-net-worth-hugo-ch%C3%A1vezs-daughter-richest-woman-in-venezuela-worth-4-2-billion.htm

Rumor has it she made it selling cat tacos after her father, in true socialist fashion, destroyed the economy of the country with the largest proven oil reserves on the planet.

Another triumph of leftism.

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Thats the kicker, the left cannot point to a single example of success. You may not like their methods but at least the capitalist dogs had success with America.

No one is fleeing capitalism to the safety of socialism and communism, even Oswald knew that.

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I think this is the best, most concise assessment of AOC I have ever seen. Bravo, good sir!

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I notice none of you who say "these aren't left" never give actual examples of politicians you consider left for us to refute as well. Odd.

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The words left and politician is a contradiction in terms. Bernie is the best we have for now. I'd love to see an interview with Bernie discussing his ideas and the reality of functioning in a snake pit.

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Oh dear - if Bernie is the "best we have", we are screwed - the best what, btw, the best D?

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Tulsi Gabbard is to the left of Bernie...

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It's a shame to see her selling out.

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Excellent! I could not agree more. AOC is history she sold out and it was predictable...

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I wondered if AOC is royalty somehow, through the Jamaica British upper caste....

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You say a lot of stuff here about AOC without any proof whatsoever of its truth.

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The vogue shoot was a bad idea but she went for it.

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Come on now.

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Bernie Sanders has had DECADES to put out meaningful legislation. Hes never done it. He has 2 bills in his entire career and one was naming a post office. He tweeted how SC spends 2x on inmates what they spend on students....VERMONT SPENDS 3X ON INMATES WHAT IT SPENDS ON STUDENTS, and ships its fucking inmates out of state. The dude is a bullshit artist. TO. THE. CORE.

Bernie is a southern hemisphere socialist, hes 100% full of shit when you look at the hard facts.

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He is not called the *amendment king* for nothing. Most of his meaningful legislation is tacked onto bills written by other senators. He is the reason why $600 checks (pittance as that may be) became part of the stimulus package. The for-profit prison system is a national disgrace and not particular to any one state, but Vermont's inmate population is quite low both in and out of state. We also lack the number of colleges and universities of many other states so it stands to reason that we spend less than some on higher education. Bernie is many things but a bullshit artist is not one of them.

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Right so hes not a bullshit artist hes just pointing at SC as a state for spending 2x on prisoners what it spends on students, while at the same time ignoring the fact his own state is worse and spends 3x? That's not being a bullshit artists?

What's he doing there then?

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Good points you bring up Marci about him not being the main sponsor, but that is another problem I have with DC as a whole and not Bernie specific.

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This is an outright lie:

"Bernie Sanders has had DECADES to put out meaningful legislation. Hes never done it"

He has authored more legislation enacted into law than any living politician in the USA. He's done it by amendments, riders and reconciliation.

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Another day, another one of your FALSE ALLEGATIONS refuted by facts.

https://www.congress.gov/member/bernard-sanders/S000033?pageSort=dateOfIntroduction%3Adesc&q=%7B%22bill-status%22%3A%22law%22%2C%22sponsorship%22%3A%22sponsored%22%7D

Thats Congress.gov's official record of the three bills he got passed, two were post offices, sorry. He still has 1 bill. Ever.

Or is congress also lying?

Also what fucking color is the sky in the world you live in?

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Standard uninformed right wing talking point about Bernie there. bernie's done a hell of a lot more than that, including how he's voted on pretty well on the bills of others that Dems promote over any Independent "socialist, but I'll let others correct you on that and the Amendment King stuff. If you're surprised that Dems didn't roll over to support his bills then tomorrow's sunrise will also startle you. Also not surprising: the the GOP doesn't embrace Bernie's agenda or bills.

Another thing the state of Vermont doesn't do is what Sanders demands as sole leader. They have a state legislature or that other part. He's their Senator, a tiny difference in your hard facts you imagined you know so much better.

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LOL - how many "Ind 'socialists'" ARE there in Cong.?

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From my understanding Ind Sanders had a deal with the Dems - he wouldn't cross them in Congress and they wouldn't run a Dem against him for the Sen - Obama and Schumer endorsed him when he ran.

When Conyers, et.al introduced their roughly 20 page M4A bill in the House, HR 676, Sanders, instead of slapping an S in front of it and introducing it in the Sen, introduced his own 200+ page bill - moved to have it read into the record, but after 1/2 hour or so of the Clerk's reading, when told that it was interfering with Sen business (no doubt naming more POs) withdrew the request - he sat down and shut up - his routine MO when told to do so.

There are so many more examples along the same line - he is tolerated in order to put a "prog" face on the party - to keep lefties from bolting and to keep them donating to Ds instead of 3rd parties whose actual platforms align with their principles - I can't help wondering what Stein could have done with the $200+ million given to Sanders in '16 ...

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My simple test proposal on who is progressive - “Left” versus “fake Left”:

- Defended publisher Assange

- Protested “Russia-gate” hoax and impeachment “entertainment” time waste - while citizens were collapsing into poverty

- Demand massive DNC and Biden family corruption investigation (e.g., Hunter’s laptops)

- Demand stop of sanctions against “godless” socialist countries

- (plus -- M4A, Trump virus $2K/mo, urgent action on climate change, police brutality, (in)justice reform, “defense” budget, etc.)

Who passes the criteria – TYT, Intercept, corp. media, Congress/Senate -- certainly NOT. Anything still missing on this list?

Interestingly, a rising star in DNC in 2015, who was “excommunicated” after declaring for socialist Bernie and not for corrupt queen Hillary (who brazenly named her “Russian asset” after Tulsi demolished Hillary’s protégé Kamala Harris), Tulsi Gabbard, passes most of my criteria. While most opponents of DNC cabal would meekly “bring chocolates” to Pelosi and Schumer here is the truly epic and exceptional Tulsi’s response:

Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton . You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why.

Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose. It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.

Dem Party of oligarchs is beyond salvation – a viable third (and fourth..) party is THE solution.

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I am always amazed that so many people think there is a huge difference between the Red and Blue corporate/political teams. They are so similar in policy that they are nearly indistinguishable. In favor of forever wars? check. In favor of massive wealth inequality and massive corporate mergers? check. In favor of the Patriot Act? check. Take huge donations from the oligarchs? check. Wars of regime change and staged CIA-backed coups in socialist countries? check. Endlessly increasing military budgets? check. You know I could go on like this for an hour, and it would be check, check and more check. They all agree on all major policy issues, and they pretend to fight over things like gun laws and abortion rights. I just wish everyone would pay attention.

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That is why I call them all "corporate-owned warmongers."

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Two wings one party.

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Nader, for whom I voted 4x, called it the "duopoly"

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I keep saying: when the protestors from DC and the protestors across all the major cities form the summer realize they have a common enemy, it will be a glorious revolution.

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You're describing tribalism. Unfair. My tribe good, your tribe bad.

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Tulsi Supporter here! MPP a viable option?

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As a liberal. I love Tulsi and her rational approach. Unfortunately, after she knee-capped Kamala in a primary debate, she was cutoff by the Democratic establishment by barring her from future debates ending her candidacy for all tense and purposes.

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Thanks and see: https://tulsi.locals.com/

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Thanks for that - I signed up! Looks BRAND NEW, as in only about three days old at this point!

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Before I do - is it "powered by AWS"?

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I totally agree about Tulsi Gabbard. She is a needle in the elite "democrate" haystack.

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Great response.

It's very unfortunate that AOC appears to have drunk of the neoliberal kool-aid.

AND it's very unfortunate that Glenn used left as he did; I agree with you. And no, it wasn't just semantics.

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The socialist states aren't sanctioned because they are godless. Why would you choose that one piece of PR to believe? You think we sanctioned Russia because of religion? Wow.

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You still believe in the Russia-gate fairytale? Basic fact: The entire anti-Russian narrative is a deliberate fabrication.

Clapper, Brennan & Hayden trio were among former 50 intelligence officials stating that Hunter-laptop is classical “Russian disinformation”.

- They were also key promoters of the three-year Russia-gate hoax.

- They were also key intelligence executives in Obama/Biden/Hillary government – the government which hunted Snowden (forcing Bolivian plane with Bolivia’s president to land to search it) and armed Al Qaeda (including “white helmets” hoax) and staged all chemical attacks in Syria to remove its government.

Trump’s utter incompetence in handling Covid-19 created the human and economic catastrophe that will be called - Trump-virus; he brought into government religious extremism and racism.

The Russia-gate hoax and Ukraine-impeachment “entertainment” was concocted by Obama/Hillary/Biden/Pelosi, Schumer, etc. and their intelligence and DNC executives on behalf of their Wall Street and military industry donors, i.e., the imperial War party

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/were-in-a-permanent-coup

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Im an anti-government conservative, in no way shape or form did I ever believe the McCarthyism the DNC was pushing.

Trump isn't incompetent in handling COVID-19, the Governors were. Look at the facts between NY and FL.

https://nypost.com/2021/01/10/florida-puts-new-york-to-shame-in-rational-pandemic-policies/

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Trump was not totally incompetent in handling epidemic which will enter the US history as "Trump virus"... After nine months of our suffering and soon 400,000 deaths. Because of human and economic catastrophe created by Trump's incompetency and religious extremism... You must be drinking again.

We now have, after nine months daily deaths reaching China's total number of deaths. Instead we have Pompeo's and Trump's endless accusations of China to deflect responsibility -- for which both should be impeached !!

We need to thank and congratulate China and its able government for acting speedily and rapidly containing what should enter US history as a Trump-virus. And try to figure out just how China is able to vaccinate a million city almost overnight -- they must deploy tens of thousands teams.

We can and should do the same yet we are still in 14 (fourteen) weeks estimates for just primary vaccination groups. This is nothing but the federal crime -- after nine months of "preparations"

The US is a failed state - a state that totally failed both its "left" and "right" citizens

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Upvoted for your pinpointing of the DNC's Russia-gate fable, but I disagree that Trump was incompetent in his handling of the pandemic. I had *expected* that he might join with the anti-vaxxers in a fit of his usual narcissistic denial of reality. Instead he promoted the quick development of vaccines and dubbed the unprecedented swift roll-out "operation warp speed."

This pandemic is working its way across the globe, and countries and states that escaped the first wave fell victim in later waves, regardless of actions taken by their governments.

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No, countries that did well with the first wave helped to dampen the second - Trump, from the beginning, in public, consistently underplayed the seriousness of the virus, though in private he admitted it was bad news - remember, it would be gone "by Easter" etc. and he consistently pooh-poohed masks, mocking Biden wearing one He could have used the DPA to ramp up the production of PPE enormously - by concentrating on masks instead of ventilators many lived could have been saved - I said early on what a shame it would be if we had to ration ventilators because we rationed masks. As someone said - if Trump had told his followers it was "Patriotic" to wear a mask and consistently modeled that behavior, many could have been saved - again, look at Taiwan, e.g.

And when Mr Macho got sick, and apparently he was sicker than was let on - he got whisked off in a helicopter to a mil. hospital, got all the best Rx - then came back, whipped off his mask on the WH balcony and with a big grin said "See, it's fine" (he was probably on a steroid high at the time - dexamethasone) Rx that were not available to the public.

I'll give him credit for Operation Warp Speed - got a vaccine developed but no plan for its delivery and distribution.

Sorry - when the chips were down, he failed miserably to "take care of the people" I thought Russiagate was indeed a farce and that Ukraine bit may well have deserved a censure (Gabbard, I think, suggested that) but Impeachment? Naw. I do think he deserved impeachment for his handling of the corona virus - "reckless endangerment and disregard for human life"

I think he, and many others, know that if it hadn't been for Corona, he would have been re-elected ...

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Thank you. My recollection is that initially he was among anti-vaxxers -- he quickly changed mind after he realized vaccine as a solution. Thanks again

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Don't forget Madeline Albright who was a basket of ideas to create wars. Add to shitlist.

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Just here to say thumbs up for Tulsi! I believe she will be president in an election of two.

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A simple test proposal on who is progressive - “Left” versus “fake Left”:

- Defended publisher Assange

- Protested “Russia-gate” hoax and impeachment “entertainment” time waste - while citizens were collapsing into poverty

- Demand massive DNC and Biden family corruption investigation (e.g., Hunter’s laptops)

- Demand stop of sanctions against “godless” socialist countries

- (plus -- M4A, Trump virus $2K/mo, urgent action on climate change, police brutality, (in)justice reform, “defense” budget, etc.)

Who passes the criteria – TYT, Intercept, corp. media, Congress/Senate -- certainly NOT. Anything still missing on this list?

Interestingly, a rising star in DNC in 2015, who was “excommunicated” after declaring for socialist Bernie and not for corrupt queen Hillary (who brazenly named her “Russian asset” after Tulsi demolished Hillary’s protégé Kamala Harris), Tulsi Gabbard, passes most and more progressive criteria. While most opponents of DNC cabal would meekly “bring chocolates” to Pelosi and Schumer here is the truly epic and exceptional Tulsi’s response:

Great! Thank you @HillaryClinton . You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain. From the day I announced my candidacy, there has been a concerted campaign to destroy my reputation. We wondered who was behind it and why.

Now we know — it was always you, through your proxies and powerful allies in the corporate media and war machine, afraid of the threat I pose. It’s now clear that this primary is between you and me. Don’t cowardly hide behind your proxies. Join the race directly.

Dem Party is beyond salvation – a viable third (and fourth..) party is THE solution.

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I see a tired mother at a bus stop waiting to ride home with a bag of groceries or a black grandmother being abused at a title loan joint while her grandchildren watch the ugliness of it. Or young people cramming into prisons for selling a little weed. For me, everything begins there. Little online about such people....not in "religion" or politics or economic whiz kids.

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Take 30% of the population who is Progressive Populist and marry them (temporarily) to the 30% of the population who are Patriotic Populists and you get an aggregate 60%...leaving the Establishment to fight over 40% of the vote.

The Establishment Left will offer trinkets for those Populists on the Left to sell out and come to the middle..and the Establishment Right will offer trinkets for the Populists on the right to sell out and come to the middle..and the Establishment Media and Tech will use their power to tell those on the Left and those not he Right now much they hate each other; using the age old tactic of FUD to cement their ability to constantly overlord over our this nation (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) from a Big & Powerful Oz (DC).

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At 73 I still associate 'left' with the working classes and unions before mobs got 'em. We need a new terminology for our new/old villains.

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It helps to look at the population in the aggregate within the construct of a Rubik’s Cube.

There is no “left” and “right” in a linear definition.

it’s a 3D construct and every individual is unique in their beliefs, values and principles...just like every other individual.

What we each have though..is a Reptilian Brain.

Thus...conservatives are more likely to draw morality from Reverence for Traditional Institutions with Moral Authority, Fairness, Tradition, Loyalty, and Sanctity...whereas Liberals/Progressies are more ap to view the world through the narrow construct of what they consider to be “Fairness or Ending Oppression.”

If that’s your whole moral construct and everything you see, read and hear comes through that lense...you end up in a place where America is unfair, unjust and inequitable..always has been and always will be.

It’s why liberals and progressives don’t get hair standing on their neck when Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA comes on or an old Paul Harvey piece about virtues and values and the American Ethic.

It’s helpful to read Jonathan Haidt to understand ourselves as well as others. It puts a more human spin on what comes out of people’s mouths before you judge them, lest ye be judged.

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This is the longest comment on this site I've read that says nothing. Everything in this entire statement is ambiguous book-speak and asking us to read some book by some scholar.

As someone everyone would call "on the right" its incredible tiring here a few of you college try-hards tell us how the "left" isn't what we think it is and only you know.

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Reads to me like they have something to say and backed it up. They're succinctly explaining why people on the left and right think the way they do and why they cannot understand one another. The vast majority of American voters are just people, not commies or fascists.

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Left does not mean communist necessarily, neither does right mean fascist.

It's best to understand political philosophy, and the negative roles of collectivism and authoritarianism.

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We can at least start by adding one dimension, that will make the left vs right model a bit less wrong :

"That is because the dominant strain of American liberalism is not economic socialism but political authoritarianism."

In a way similar to what happened to "conservatives" some time ago, it seems that you shouldn't name "liberals" without the quotes any more. As a reminder, liberalism is supposed to be *the opposite* of authoritarianism !

https://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2016

Or maybe the term "libertarianism" (that this compass uses to mean the opposite of authoritarianism, rather than of leftism) is indeed better, but right-wingers have kind of stolen that one too.

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My problem with the conservative moral codes is that forgiveness and unbending good will are missing. They depend on legalities and even scrupulosity, which in my church, are sins, not virtues.

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I was looking over on the left for some forgiveness and came up empty-handed. It's apparently in short supply these days.

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Here's yet another person who confuses or conflates neo-liberals as "the left." -ugh- You guys are innumerable. Get A Damned Clue; "the left" and neo-liberals are TWO DIFFERENT GROUPS and the only one you know anything about are the neo-liberals - the left is a true mystery to the right in the USA as reflected in hundreds - soon to be thousands - of comments under Greenwald articles.

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Both political parties try for the moral high ground. People forget about the christian coalition back in the early '90's where Republicans had to meet their litmus test in order to back their candidacy. And don't get it twisted that they used racial tactics to divide the country in an effort to incite rage in rural white voters to vote for them (The Southern Strategy) and surpress the black vote since the civil rights/voting rights bill was passed in 1964. The infamous Willie Horton ad was the most disgusting one that was approved by Lee Atwater who was none other than 41's campagain manager back in 1988. So both parties are complicit.

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You are so very wrong, and mostly opposite of the truth. About the only think that isn't opposite is that the those on the left in the US today have no moral code.

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Genuine liberals MUST have a strong personal morality. Immoral slob people are very severe on other people...abandoned lovers, pregnant girl friends, elderly parents. Quite ruthless! Their 'leftie' brand is for themselves, thank you very much!!!

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Again, you're talking about the neo-liberals, NOT "the left."

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On one minimum wage job in 1966 my nazi sympathizing employers had Harvey blaring from a radio all morning. It made me sick.

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I remember...virtue signalling mason of high degree. Little Christian mercy from those people.

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The reptilian brain references the part of the brain that is the most primitive, and is in control of instinctual behavior, that is, everything you do without thinking, like eating, sex, etc. It has to do with all those things we do to survive as a species. Nothing to do with morality, or higher thought processes.

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...or as my mother would say, "To hell with the 10 Commandments, this is serious." She had a great sense of humor!

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Good for her.

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Yours is the best post I've seen on the internet in a long, long time.

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Left and right are artifacts of one French parliament for a few weeks in the 1700s. It's not really a useful way of categorizing people. You need at least 2 axes. Most modern politicians are authoritarian statists of various stripes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pournelle_chart

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nothing like an old BIGLIE to confirm today's BIGLIE

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If this invokes the "No True Scotsman" stance, then so be it. Liberals, such as Glenn and Matt Taibbi, and I, recognize the rapid descent into stifling dissent, the necessary move before all others in authoritarians seize power and the jails fill rapidly. We probably missed the Portland Kristallnacht that should have warned us.

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Biden and the democrats will attempt to use the hyperbolized “insurrection” last week as an excuse to try to ignore the 2nd Amendment and confiscate guns. This will be in his “first 100 days” agenda. We will see what happens...

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He might lose the Senate. Joe Manchin is the only bluedog Democrat remaining, all others have been driven out along with the rest of the plebeians. If he switches parties, then the Republicans have 51 seats, then Biden's agenda is dead. If he's unwilling to switch parties, all he has to do is resign and his state's Republican governor appoints his successor. I suspect just the threat of that will stave off the bullies.

The "insurrection" is a fiction. I can't believe I have to say this again: Read the transcript. The words are plain. Go and demonstrate, be heard, do no violence. If that is now a disqualifying statement, listen again to the news broadcasts about peaceful protesters.

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Of course it’s pure fantasy; thus the quotation marks. There won’t be any legitimate elections any time soon.

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Mr Clueless Bill Heath here seems to not know that around 80% of elected Democrats are "blue dogs." They're fucking Republicans who just happen to prefer blue and the letter D on their jerseys.

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You need to go pretty far in the authoritarian direction in order to get to 80% of elected Democrats. In the Senate, "fucking Republicans who just happen to prefer blue" would include Sheldon Whitehouse who has suggested expelling Senators who dissent from the approved narrative, Chris Van Hollen, who has said "I know a couple of Republicans who aren't racists," as well as Sherrod Brown and Patrick Leahy, who should react unfavorably at that label.

In the House, bluedogs would include Maxine Waters, Adam Schiff and Joseph Kennedy. I'm sure they're all happy to discover they really don't mean a word they say because they're Republicans in disguise.

See: govtrack.us. I now have a clue, apparently. Thanks for clearing that up for us, the benighted.

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I disagree that Trump didn't have any intentions to do a coup, but yes, looks like that anyone arguing about it will need to suffer the Trump speech. And better in video, as a lot of nuance/context is likely to be lost in a transcript.

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Thanks for your reply, Glenn, long time reader and admirer of your work. I have to disagree. It is not just semantics to label political factions. AOC is rhetorically left, which does not make her a leftist by any stretch. She flirts hard with regime change coups and folds like a cheap suit in the face of her party's power. There are very few leftists in politics... Kshama Sawant is the only one I can think of.... perhaps a few others dip their toe now and again, but the term "left" loses all meaning when spread thin enough to cover any DemonRATS. Sarah Palin is to the left of AOC on the important issue of Assange's torture and imprisonment.... gob-smackingly enough! While (if) I have your attention, I wonder what you think of the fact that the DemonRATS sound so much like the Sarah Palin of yesteryear with all the Putin under their beds hysterics?

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Oh boy, Glenn, it really isn’t just semantics. The traditional position/ideology of the left - an opposition to hierarchical power and the control of the citizenry by either government OR oligarchs/corporations is being lost. In this thread you see the equating of “the left” with “communism,” and of course the Democrats have completely lost the idea of opposing corporate control that was understood in the 70s (and even the 80s). Likewise the opposition to imperialism and a military state that traditionally came from the left is rapidly disappearing if not already gone from what is getting called the “left.”

There is a reason Kropotkin split with the Bolsheviks and why “the left” does not simplistically equal “the communists.” Likewise, the left isn’t simply not-Republican. We need these distinctions and understandings or “the left” becomes defined solely in relation to an ever right moving right and center or it is just a pointless tautology where the left is just what the left does and it is just about cheering for teams and personalities.

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No, it's just semantics. The fact that you mention "traditional" interpretations and what Dems have abandoned just shows that interpretations of labels are malleable even over shorts periods of time and anything but universal. As they moved right over 3 decades it's a continuum, not a series of distinct level and even saying "they"is inadequate. Some were worse than others.

Without a common and precise vocabulary, it devolves further and precision ain't exactly popular. How many time shave you seen someone call anyone left of Goebels a Marxist? Nobody should care what artificial designation best fits AOC - just what her actions and decisions are relative to helping the population or their constituents

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You are actually making my point. The fact that words change over time doesn’t mean they are just willy-nilly to be changed as one chooses. And sorry, understanding etymology of words and history of ideas is what marks someone as smarter and more learned, not the opposite.

You write, “Without a common and precise vocabulary, it devolves further and precision ain't exactly popular.”

Yes, without a common and precise vocabulary it devolves further which is the point and I don’t give a fuck about having my, or any public discourse, about anything of substance based on how “popular” it is. This is the worst of pop-postmodernism (and I have no problem with GOOD postmodernism).

Aldous Huxley devotes a portion of Brave New World Revisited to precisely how authoritarians (soft or hard) utilize, and will utilize in (his) future, the destruction of word meaning to control the masses. (If I remember correctly, he also discusses Orwell’s recognition of this idiocy creating tool in this section as well. A point I make note of because I see a few headlines in my news aggregators of the sort, “You probably aren’t using the word Orwellian correctly,” which most likely means a correction of one set of dunces’ misuses with a seventh grade understanding at best and likely incorrect itself.)

It is pointless for anyone to discuss anything with this mindset. What’s the point if the Capital Building and leprechaun literally mean the exact same thing. (And yes, I know “literally” is literally in the dictionary as having the definition of “figuratively.” It is also noted as coming from a misuse).

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The article about the correct use of "Orwellian" couldn't have come at a worse time. I think typically "Orwellian" describes using rhetorical devices to construct an alternate reality.

The writer seems to be making a point that Orwellian opposed totalitarianism and that people making the accusation of Orwellian recently are actually in fact advocating fascism and totalitarianism and are therefore contradicting themselves. But what we're really seeing more and more is that the agents of Orwellian rhetoric are now often on the opposite side of the political spectrum.

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That last one is literally disgusting.

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At the end of the day AOC is an important voice. She is very young and I hope that she is reading everything she can including you, Glenn. I am reading Lofgren's The Deep State. Of course since my early anti-Vietnam war years and as an SDS member, today at 74 I have gained so much perspective. I've been a socialist since childhood when I realized that the playing field was not level. I was an outcast in the 4th grade. My mother would drive onto Mission Valley Road in San Diego when it was lined with actual farms before being destroyed by the developer Del Webb. Anyway, I wondered why she had to stop because I thought that if everyone went the same speed that traffic would be seamless. I wanted true equality. Now I realize, as one Zen teacher told me, that everybody's different. As a young adult living in poverty working minimum wage jobs I cried when I saw a beautiful Mexican shawl in a store that I couldn't afford. The Vogue shoot was a big mistake. But she is young. Let's work to keep her on the right path. She can't do it alone. It's exciting to have a good job and a boyfriend who supports her. It's so easy to be entranced by power and money. I would be fine speaking with Trump supporters and those who stormed the Capitol. I've spent my life as an ambassador for those who are different. I know where they are coming from and I'm not a snob.

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Suzanne, I'm glad Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is enjoying her life, discovering herself, having a supportive boyfriend, while being entranced by power and money. It's a privilege I wish could be afforded to all young Americans. Yes, she's young. I disagree that we need to keep her on the right path, because I see no evidence she has any idea where the path is, let alone the directions in which it can head.

She has an undergraduate degree in economics, and suggested we just "print more money." I was smart enough at age four to understand that money itself has no value, it is a proxy for value that has already been created. She was 29. She demonstrated complete lack of understanding of the difference between a pile of ready cash and a future forgiveness of taxes on income generated by business. When they were teenagers, my daughters knew the difference. She celebrated denying her constituents good-paying jobs. She's young, and I can forgive her ignorance. I have a harder time forgiving her attitude that she should be allowed to learn on the job while proposing and voting on legislation for the rest of us. My objection would be the same regardless of her political positions.

We don't let surgeons "learn on the job" by allowing them to operate on members of the public to discover that the toe bone is not, indeed, connected to the foot bone. We don't allow police officers to walk around with their weapons in hand, shooting randomly at people to practice. What Representative Ocasio-Cortez is doing is malfeasance of office, and those who protect her from the consequences of that are no better than physicians who allow incompetents to perform surgery, or chiefs of police who overlook "just a few unfortunate deaths of innocent people."

I'm a year younger than you. I flirted with socialism because my parents were lost somewhere in a haze between Marxism and the KKK. I demonstrated for Biafra, marched for civil rights, attended sit-ins, was thrown out of multiple venues, spit on, beaten, the whole works. I was completely on my own once I graduated college, and woke up to the fact that the world doesn't owe me anything. Eventually I found my way to libertarianism, social liberal and fiscal conservative, because I recognize that social liberalism is a luxury we can afford only if we are fiscally conservative. That doesn't mean throwing the poor to the wolves. It means that, unlike my friends who are fiscal liberals, I don't outsource my compassion to the government.

I and my family support the homeless, the ill, the hungry, those denied a decent education by politicians unable to free themselves from teachers union teats, the disabled and other marginalized groups. We are far from wealthy, yet we contribute regularly to specific well-run charitable organizations serving eating-disorder patients, patients with autoimmune disorders and needy active-duty military families. We support medical missions to Africa and the Caribbean. I put together a syndicate of college students, attorneys, food banks and undocumented aliens when serving as a volunteer translator for local courts. My biggest supporters were the police, because we finally established an atmosphere in which illegal drivers pulled over for police rather than endangering others with a high speed chase.

You're right, the playing field isn't level. Crony capitalism is no better than socialism at leveling the playing field. I find it ironic that a man who made his money through crony capitalism, a man I abominate, was the first president to work toward a real leveling of the playing field.

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