I am experiencing considerable inner turmoil at the spectacle of President Trump’s indictment, as well as at the almost animalistic glee that this spectacle has triggered in the solid bloc of Democrats that currently surrounds me.
I am extraordinarily sad — at the thickheaded ignorance of history that those who are celebrating tonight, reveal; and at what has become of our country.
Don’t people understand — much as they may hate this fellow — that this is exactly what coup leaders in every banana republic, do? Seek to imprison their political opponents?
Especially while the political opponents are on the campaign trail?
Another reason for my discomfort and misery is that I have a guilty conscience, because of what I experienced two decades ago and what I know — things that not that many people have experienced or know, and things that seem to be generally forgotten. These memories bear directly on current events…
I am having relentless flashbacks to where I was and what I was doing in late 2000, when I was a consultant for Vice President Gore’s campaign for the Presidency.
As I’ve written elsewhere — and as I am trying desperately to remind everyone who will now listen, on every podcast that will have me — I was advising from a distance, and looped in, intermittently, to discussions within the campaign that were both public and private, about exactly the same issues that are now apparently criminal offenses even to entertain, let alone to mention in actual words.
So were almost all of the lawyers, campaign consultants, advisors and staffers of Gore 2000. So was the candidate himself, visibly.
Uncancelled History | EP. 05 Winston Churchill
“Andrew Roberts joins Douglas Murray on this episode to discuss Winston Churchill. The two discuss the soldier, writer and prime minister in detail, leaving nothing off limits.”
Like MAGA, ‘fascism’ is only two syllables. President Biden can say both reliably. His caretakers took a risk, though, when they handed him “semi-fascist.” Leaving us all to wonder which parts of actual fascism were covered and which were not. Turns out not to matter, because he doesn’t know what the root word means.
AFAIK, he’s been getting that four syllable variation right so far, even if neither he nor his affirmative action press secretary have been willing or able to define it.
Willy-nilly throwing out the word fascist and vilifying half the population of the United States in a political speech is his idea of unifying the country: Last Thursday, our President could be found driving his message home by posing before shadowy Marines (Think about that. It was a political speech.) before a background of dim blood-red lighting shining on Independence Hall. Anyone see projection here? Or, an historical reference?
In keeping with the carefully constructed atmosphere, the President delivered a speech worthy of the Italian socialist who invented Fascism. Mussolini was a better speaker, and a more accomplished and erudite man than the President.
The President should ask Karine Jean-Pierre to read Angelo M. Codevilla’s 2020 article to him. Then they’d both have a better understanding of what they’re playing at:
I’d recommend reading it yourself. An excellent history lesson. A fantastic insight into how we came to have a President calling everyone who doesn’t vote for “Our Democracyts” a fascist.
A slice from Codevilla:
“Socioeconomic organization was fascism’s defining feature. Only employers’ and employees’ organizations approved by the government were allowed. They represented and collected dues from any and all in their category and territory, whether these had signed up with them or not. [Like taxpayers and student loans.] In 1925 these had agreed “voluntarily” to recognize each other as “exclusive representatives,” to subordinate interactions at the local level to central organizations, and to draw up procedures for their cooperation under government supervision. The Law of Corporations of April 3, 1926, codified this political-economic order. No longer would corporations be responsible to owners. Thenceforth, they would answer to higher duties as defined in the law. As Mussolini put it, “In a world of social and economic interdependence…the watchword must be cooperation or misery.” “Labor and capital have the same rights and duties. Both must cooperate, and their disputes are regulated by law and decided by courts, which punish any violation.” This resulted in the orderly servicing of interest groups, fascism’s daily preoccupation.”
What is the word to describe the fact that the FBI ‘advises’ Silicon Valley crony-capitalists on censorship, just days before a Presidential election, as news damaging to their preferred candidate is breaking? What is that word when the White House makes lists of “problematic posts,” then threatens those same corporations with: “Root out misleading speech or be held accountable?”
One might assume these left wing corporations are merely following their natural inclinations to help a sympathetic government suppress stories they both don’t want publicized. It’s “like minded” fascism: Simple cloth masks retard CCP virus transmission. The vaccine prevents disease transmission. Natural immunity is not as good as a vaccine. Hunter Biden’s laptop is Russian agitprop. Trump paid Russian prostitutes to piss on a mattress. Shutting schools won’t harm children. The United States didn’t fund gain of function research by the Chinese. Trans “women” are biologically identcal to males for every purpose, but especially sports and incarceration. If you disagree, you are a fascist. Ipso facto.
What do you call a government which seeds the same outlets they suppress with a fantasy dossier, and then uses the news coverage generated by that leak as a basis for secret surveillance warrants? Is that “like minded” fascism, “collusion” fascism, “conspiracy” fascism?
The White House and the FBI are prevaricating about these stories, but what do you call a government which tries to regularize corporate censorship at state direction by creating a “Disinformation Governance Board”
The Disinformation Governance Board was so outrageous an idea they had to rename it. Ministry of Truth had already been taken, so now it’s an ‘internet policy task force’ led by Kamala Harris, “with goals including “developing programs and policies” to protect “political figures” and journalists from “disinformation,” “abuse” and “harassment.””
Used to be that ferreting out “disinformation,” and “harassing politicians” was the job journalists did.
So what’s the word for this set of corporatist rules? Here’s a hint: it takes the ‘semi’ out of “semi-fascist.”
That Italian I mentioned provided the rationale in the 1930s:
The corporate State considers that private enterprise in the sphere of production is the most effective and useful instrument in the interest of the nation. In view of the fact that private organisation of production is a function of national concern, the organiser of the enterprise is responsible to the State for the direction given to production.
State intervention in economic production arises only when private initiative is lacking or insufficient, or when the political interests of the State are involved. This intervention may take the form of control, assistance or direct management.
The Fascist conception of the State is all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist State–a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values–interprets, develops, and potentiates the whole life of a people. (p. 14)
The Fascist State lays claim to rule in the economic field no less than in others; it makes its action felt throughout the length and breadth of the country by means of its corporate, social, and educational institutions, and all the political, economic, and spiritual forces of the nation, organised in their respective associations, circulate within the State.
-1- Benito Mussolini, 1935, Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions, Rome: ‘Ardita’ Publishers, (pp. 135-136), and -2- The Doctrine of Fascism, Firenze: Vallecchi Editore, (p. 41).
One more piece of Codevilla’s article is worth looking at in thinking about the history of Fascism in the United States.
The initial impetus came from a man who disdained the Constitution and got the transfer of power into the hands of the the Executive Branch rolling: Woodrow Wilson.
A cursory look at Wilson’s comments will demonstrate this, as well as the fact that he was a racist of the first water.
But the ball really got rolling under another President, a contemporary and admirer of Mussolini, Franklin Roosevelt:
“The view that the New Deal was “fascism without the billy clubs” was well-nigh universal among FDR’s opponents on the Left (e.g. Norman Thomas), as well as on the Right (Herbert Hoover). It could hardly have been otherwise since the essence of the National Industrial Recovery Act—the involuntary inclusion of all participants in categories of economic activity and their subjection to government-dictated prices, wages, and working conditions—was at least as detailed as those in fascism’s corporate law. The U.S. government had brushed aside the Supreme Court’s objections to the National Recovery Administration in A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States (1935). By 1942, in Wickard v. Filburn (still “good law” today), the Court approved regulation of all manner of enterprise with reasoning stricter than any Mussolini had used in 1926. Today, by the same token, Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s proposed “Accountable Capitalism Act” would also force corporations to enroll into a legal scheme in which the government would force them to service various stakeholders as government regulators would decide from time to time. Such tools are far more powerful than billy clubs.
Until 1935 New Dealers, though careful not to add to their opponents’ ammunition, did not hide their administration’s kinship with what the Fascists, Nazis, and Communists were doing to redirect the societies over which they ruled. Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes thought that “what we are doing in this country is analogous to what is being done in Russia and even under Hitler in Germany. The only thing is that we do it methodically.” FDR himself referred to Mussolini and Stalin as “blood brothers,” and spoke of having private contacts with Mussolini. “Mussolini,” he said, “is interested in what we are doing, and I am struck by how much of his doubtless honest programs to reform Italy he has accomplished.” Brain-truster Rexford Tugwell thought that the fascists had done…”
many of the things which seem necessary to me. At any rate, Italy has been rebuilt materially in a systematic manner. Mussolini has the same opponents as FDR, but he controls the press, which prevents them from daily spreading their nonsense. He governs a compact, disciplined country, despite insufficient resources. At least on the surface, he has achieved enormous progress.
So, for a man of limited intelligence, and even less erudition, tossing the word fascist about as if it were anything but a convenient epithet is a mistake. That is not to say that such men do not have a long tradition here. Mostly they are Democrats. Whose Blackshirts, Antifa, are anything but anti-fascist.
Think of fascism today as the administrative state. The “swamp.” Who are its standard bearers?
Gun control zealots tell us the Second Amendment is an antiquated relic from which we should not take instruction. Even if it were not utterly dépassé, it doesn’t include an individual citizen’s right to bear arms. And even if there is a trove of evidence that the Founders regarded gun ownership as an individual right, that doesn’t count today because the Second Amendment is an antiquated relic.
Besides, the Founders were bigoted/sexist/racist/colonialists. And they were white. ‘Anglo-American,’ if you will. We must tear down monuments, rename all the things, and obliterate their legacy.
Such bans were also commonly applied to blacks in the American south. At the behest of the Democrat KKK: Blacks Used Gun Ownership to Fight the KKK (Cato Institute). For some reason, blacks didn’t have confidence in Democrat Sheriff Bull Conner’s willingness to defend them.
So, some Colonial statutes, like bigoted/sexist/racist/colonialist restrictions on gun ownership, turn out to be “rooted in the historical tradition of “Anglo-American” gun regulations,” and justify “New York’s [present day] “good moral character” clause, which allows officials to deny [firearm] permits to those they don’t feel are good people”. Emphasis mine.
“Anglo-American” privilege? It’s not racist/colonialist/sexist/bigoted when we do it. ‘We’ being the same people who deny self defense is a natural right.
Democrats advertise gun confiscation plans as “common sense.” One wonders what they make of Thomas Paine’s pamphlet of the same title.
The so-called pink tax is an alleged tendency for products consumed by women to be more expensive than similar products consumed by men…
[E]conomists Sarah Moshary, Anna Tuchman and Natasha Bhatia have done a much more complete and careful study and they find that once you control for ingredients and compare like-to-like there is no pink tax. Indeed, sometimes men pay a bit more. Overall, there are no big savings from cross-buying. Women and men could save money by buying products primarily marketed to the opposite gender–like 2-in-1 shampoo+conditioner–but only by buying products that they prefer less than the products they choose to buy.
Cassandra in Greek mythology was the Trojan priestess who was cursed to utter true prophecies but never to be believed. Ideological environmentalism features a cohort of reverse Cassandras: They make false prophecies that are widely believed. Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich in his 1968 classic, The Population Bomb, prophesied, “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.”
It’s impossible to believe that the same British government that 1619 Project apologists insist was intent on ending slavery in North America would have obstructed efforts by American colonists to end or restrict the slave trade. This fact alone – the fact that officials of the British government obstructed efforts by some of the American colonists to end or diminish the slave trade – is alone practically sufficient to destroy the main thesis of the 1619 Project.
While no cause-effect conclusions could be inferred from this observational analysis, the lack of negative correlations between mask usage and COVID-19 cases and deaths suggest that the widespread use of masks at a time when an effective intervention was most needed, i.e., during the strong 2020-2021 autumn-winter peak, was not able to reduce COVID-19 transmission. Moreover, the moderate positive correlation between mask usage and deaths in Western Europe also suggests that the universal use of masks may have had harmful unintended consequences.
Typically, any attempt to apply George Orwell’s warning novel 1984 to U.S. politics is reflexively dismissed as hyperbolic: a free and democratic country like the United States could not possibly fall prey to the dystopian repression Orwell depicts. Yet it is quite difficult to distinguish this “Disinformation Board” from Ingsoc’s Ministry of Truth. The protagonist of Orwell’s novel, Winston Smith, worked in the Ministry of Truth and described at length how its primary function was to create official versions of truth and falsity, which always adhered to the government’s needs of the moment and were subject to radical change as those interests evolved.
That the Board will be run by such a preposterous and laughable figure as Nina Jankowicz — a liberal cartoon, a caricature of a #Resistance Twitter fanatic who spent 2016 posting adolescent partisan tripe such as: “Maybe @HillaryClinton’s most important point so far: ‘A @realDonaldTrump presidency would embolden ISIS.’ #ImWithHer” — has, in some sense, made this board seem more benign and harmless. After all, how nefarious and dangerous can a board be when it is governed by a person as frivolous and banal as this, calling herself “the Mary Poppins of disinformation”?…
Far worse than Jankowicz’s fixation on censoring those with whom she disagrees — now a staple of liberal politics — is the fact that this new Disinformation Czar has herself ratified and helped spread virtually every disinformation campaign concocted by the union of the Democratic Party and corporate media over the last five years. Indeed, the only valid basis for calling her a “disinformation expert” is that she has spread disinformation with such gusto. The most notorious of those was the pre-election lie that the authentic Hunter Biden laptop was “disinformation.” She also decreed falsely that the origins of COVID were definitively proven to be zoonotic and could not have come from a lab leak, was a frequent and vocal advocate of the fraudulent Steele Dossier, and repeatedly pronounced as true all sorts of Trump/Russia collusion conspiracy theories which Robert Mueller, after conducting an intense 18-month investigation, rejected as lacking evidence to establish their truth.
Greenwald wrote this before Jankowicz floated the idea she should be empowered to edit other people’s Tweets.
Her mindlessnes is not the core issue, though. The very idea of idea of a Homeland Security Disinformation Board is a litmus test. Any person who defends the idea is a slaver.
What is happening in Canada is dreadful, not least because should Justin Trudeau remain in power it will show Canadians are not who they thought they were, do not have the institutions they thought they did, and are uninterested in recovering either their culture or representative democracy.
Is there some flaw in the British parliamentary system that has been exposed by the pandemic and changes wrought by social media? I wonder because, while serious authoritarian overreach can be alleged in most neoliberal democracies, Australia and New Zealand seem more up front about it than most. This most certainly includes the United States.
An hour. If you need an incentive to watch the whole thing, Here is a 5 minute summary. What goes before explores why it’s true.
The Other Club was first published February 19, 2005 on Google’s Blogspot.I have included a first day post below. It celebrated a display of American valor and courage that had taken place 60 years earlier.
In 2005 “valor and courage” would have been a nearly universal opinion. The memory would have invoked reverence and gratitude. Seventeen years later, I wonder…
As the post went up, Myspace was the largest social networking site in the world. The first ever Tweet was 13 months in the future. Facebook would not open to the general public for almost 18 months. YouTube had come online 4 days earlier. Ask Jeeves was still a thing. Google Maps had just been launched on February 8. Pandora was to be launched on August 25. Tumblr was 2 years in the future.
Surveillance capitalism was just booting up.
If you wanted to be notified of a new post at any given blog, you would subscribe to its RSS feed. If it supported one. To find other sites you might find interesting, you depended on blogrolls and word of mouth.
Content wasn’t targeted at you based on deep learning analysis of every search you conducted, every website you visited, every cell tower you passed, the content of your emails, every person you “followed”, every purchase you made, every app you used, or a comprehensive summary of the computer make and model, browser, OS, graphics processor, IP and MAC addresses… etc., you used while volunteering that information.
It was more likely than not you didn’t “google it” in 2005. Google processed a bit less than 37% of searches then. Ranked 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively; Yahoo, MSN, and AOL handled 54%.
Now Google attracts more than 90% of internet queries. Reading more than Twitter’s 140 280 characters before concretizing your righteous outrage has become passé. Facebook has gobbled up the open discussion space by strategically monetizing polarization.
Add TikTok, Instagram, Tumblr, LinkedIn, etc. etc., and you get a cultural petri dish where narcissistic moral-superiority contests flourish, and “mean girls” of both sexes actually make a living by practicing their sociopathy.
“We show that individuals with Dark Triad traits-Machiavellianism, Narcissism, Psychopathy-more frequently signal virtuous victimhood, controlling for demographic and socioeconomic variables that are commonly associated with victimization in Western societies.”
A popular way to monetize victimhood is complaining about cultural appropriation. Hoop earrings, for example. As if persons of ‘Latinx’ persuasion invented hoop earrings. And, in their cultural purity, refuse to use anything invented by, say, a dead white British male. Like vaccination.
An environmental impact study would find “the better angels of our nature” an endangered species in a shrinking habitat. Gossip, maliciousness, and reputation savaging, you see, scale and can be monetized. And it works just as well if you can appropriate victimhood.
Well, this turned into more of a rant than a ‘happy anniversary to me.’ Enough.
TOC documents some bits of the last 17 years. Of topical interest, there are 109 posts tagged ‘canada’ as I write. The first is from February 25, 2005. I just tagged it. There are certainly more. Blogspot didn’t have tagging for a long time and I have only partially updated them. Now I’ll have to complete ‘Canada.’
I have made TOC’s ~2,900 posts into a ~2,100 page PDF. About 1.1 million words. Electronically signed copies can be made available. ;)
I think I managed to meet the level of Theodore Sturgeon’s adage: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.” ;)
Anyaway, here’s that first day post I mentioned above. Blogspot didn’t provide for images then, so I’m adding what I would have used.
Original inks have rotted and are replaced from web.archive.org.Saturday, February 19, 2005
Flags of our Fathers
John Bradley, Franklin Sousley, Harlon Block, Ira Hayes, Rene Gagnon and Mike Strank are the Navy corpsman and Marines who, on 23-February-1945, raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi. It’s a famous picture.
Still, Suribachi’s island wasn’t declared secure until 26-March, and it was 7-April before American fighter planes took off from the refurbished runway so many had died to secure.
Describing the Americans who fought this battle, Admiral Nimitz uttered the words that appear on the Arlington Cemetery monument to that flag raising: “Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue”.
Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal said that “the raising of that flag on Suribachi means there will be a Marine Corps for the next 500 years.”
Thank you Marines. Semper Fi. 440 years to go; though I expect you’ve extended that a bit in the interim.
Today is the anniversary of the beginning of the death-struggle for Iwo Jima, in which over 2,000 Marines died in the first 18 hours of fighting.
In the next 36 days Marines had a casualty every 2 minutes. 6,821 Americans and over 20,000 Japanese died. Of 353 Medals of Honor awarded during WWII, 27 were given for heroism on Iwo Jima; 13 posthumously.
And this was not the end of the Pacific war. In fact, it was just the first battle on Japanese soil.
My appreciation of this battle, and my gratitude to those who fought it, grew immensely when I read a book given to me by a former Marine. That book is Flags of our Fathers, by James Bradley.
Bradley discovered that his father, a Navy corpsman who survived the battle of Iwo Jima, had not only been awarded a Navy Cross for his efforts there, but was one of the men in the famous picture of the flag raising on Mt. Suribachi. He discovered this only after his father had died, as he sorted through his father’s papers.
Danielle Girdano is another person belatedly aware of her father’s contribution on Iwo Jima.
What she learned from her small gift resulted in the Legend of Heroes Memorial. A monument in glass, metal and wood; it has the faces of 10 Iwo Jima vets engraved on it. Her father is one of them. It is beginning a 49 state tour this weekend.
It is inscribed, “Boys became men, men became heroes, heroes became legends.”
I am cowed by the modesty, even self-effacement, of men like Bradley’s and Girdano’s fathers; though it is typical of those WWII vets who saw soul-wrenching combat. Part of it is certainly the modesty becoming of a different era, but I think most of it arises from the pain their experiences brought. (Note to John Kerry – your eagerness, sustained for 30 years, to capitalize on your experiences of “atrocities” in Viet Nam is one of the reasons you were not credible.)
Herman also invokes contemporary issues via a perspective on the doubt and debate surrounding WWII strategies that most of us now think of as uncontroversial. # posted by Hershblogger @ 2/19/2005 06:46:00 PM