Re: How Wide Is The Rubicon, Anyway?

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A wise man who used to hang out here posted at the other place about how Bannon can roll out illegal orders faster than the courts can respond to them, especially if they're not running them by any WH legal counsel or agencies. TROs are very limited in scope, even for obviously illegal orders it takes months to get a court date to permanently enjoin things, and they can spit these out every week. And that's before Trump judges start infesting the judiciary who will be totally ok with this bullshit. The only power lies with Republicans in Congress, so basically we're fucked.
The other scary Godwin-tempting aspect is that without any legal or agency guidance it's left to law enforcement individuals to interpret EOs and they're heavy Trump supporters. A CBP officer telling a Congressman he won't release a detainee and if there's a problem, "Take it up with Donald J. Trump"? That's straight up fascist shit.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 7:39 AM
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General strike.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 8:05 AM
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Can they really roll out illegal orders faster than the courts can issue injunctions?

Maybe this is a crazy idea, but I think we need to start assembling dossiers of wrong-doing by individual officials, and make clear that Trump won't be President forever.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 8:07 AM
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General Strike. Rushing to quench every fire, condemn every outrage is what Bannon wants.

In revolutionary/counter-revolutionary conditions, you have to make the cops and military choose

Now I think street protests are the wrong idea:1) because it exposes leaders, organizers, and followers, identified on camera, 2) because it provides the spectacle for Trumpkins, and distracts from policy, and 3) because ten cops surrounded by a thousand protestors will get scared, react, and get committed, cross their own rubicon, 4) because people will get hurt

Stay home, sickout, stop as many of the economic wheels and political machines from turning as possible, and as acceptable to your conscience

Let Trump drag electrical workers from their living rooms.

We can communicate electronically, but remember they are watching, and will want to attack network nodes. And put it on the show.

Disaggregate. Disorganize. Counter chaos by removing energy from the system.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 8:44 AM
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So... stay home and keep bullshitting on the internet? Definitely, you should play to your strengths, Bob.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 8:59 AM
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3- Not TROs, but TROs are limited in scope. The only people protected right now are the few hundred lucky enough to be in the air or landed at the time of enforcement, because it's a habeas order that people on American soil can't be unlawfully detained by EO. The thousands of people with legal permanent residence can't return for at least the next 90 days, and the courts probably won't get around to addressing it before then. Addressing the legality of the full impact of illegal EOs will be impossible for the courts to keep up with.
As with most things Republican, it's pure projection- "Obama is a tyrant using his executive powers- now let me show you how it's really done."


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 9:00 AM
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So, what's to be done?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 9:02 AM
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I agree that Bannon wanted the chaos and confusion, and stepped in to make sure that was going to happen by giving the harshest possible interpretation. But I don't think he counted on so many compelling and photogenic refugee stories. The Iraqi interpreter who put his life on the line for US troops, the five year old kid separated from his mom for hours, the elderly blind woman, etc.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 9:04 AM
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A general strike presupposes unions and/or a party. You have neither. So...

On the other hand, organisation building is important. You can't beat these people without organisation. How do you build a nationwide, unified, interwhateveryoucallit organisation in about a year? What do you want it to look like? What do you want its program to be (keep it short and obvious)? Think fast, you don't have much time.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 9:13 AM
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7 should never be said in Bob's presence.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 9:14 AM
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5: not so much "As Soon As This Pub Closes" and more "as soon as this browser window closes".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 9:17 AM
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Trump won't be President forever.
Well, about that...
People seem to find Trump's bitching about three million illegal immigrants voting comical. I don't find it the least bit funny. He is inculcating, in his supporters and the general populous, the idea that brown people voting is a massive problem, or at least that controversy exists on this point. One side says three million, the other says none, surely the forthcoming legislative "compromise" will be reasonable.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 9:34 AM
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Did you see the thing where he already filed for 2020 and the implications for NPGs thereof?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 9:38 AM
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National Portrait Gallery? Nature Publishing Group? Negative Population Growth? Nuclear Planning Group?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 9:42 AM
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Don't read Kevin Drum for political analysis.


Posted by: David the Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 9:43 AM
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Non-Player Grenades.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 9:43 AM
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Actually, I've heard the general strike idea too. Doesn't seem doable now or in the near future, but who knows how things will change.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 9:45 AM
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We joined the O'Hare protests last night, and that felt necessary,

Thank you.

...but it also felt a bit like I was being played by Steve Bannon.

This is probably overthinking it.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 9:46 AM
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There's a protest in a hour and I have nothing else to do
but it would be kind of boring to go without knowing anyone else there.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 9:47 AM
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Any real resistance in America I think is going to have to emerge from the cooperation of civic organisations/advocacy groups, grassroots, and unions. I'm close to certain at this point that the Democratic party as presently constituted will either do nothing of consequence or - more likely - undermine anything potentially of consequence attempted by someone else.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 9:51 AM
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Non profit groups. Forgot which 501(c) it applies to.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 10:04 AM
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Bannon's a Leninist. He knows he can win with 5-10% of the population, a vanguard. He has a huge success already. It's not about numbers or resources, it's about energy and commitment.

The center, moderates, normals will hesitate or refuse to take or inflict casualties, take or inflict damage. What's the WWII finding, 90% of soldiers fire into the air if they shoot at all?

To win this, the center will have to sacrifice hostages.

You got a strike, damfino why general strikers always gathered and created targets, but 100 electrical workers outside the power station. Cops kill two beat up ten, the rest go back to work. Even if the strikers are armed, the cops have machine guns and tank equivs. Late 40s GTs always ended that way. But if the cops have to drag workers from their homes, it is the classic story of a cop not knowing what is on the other side of the door. Blowing the place up defeats the point of getting people back to work.

Refusal to work is all we got.

Exactly what authority are you going to appeal to?

You're taking names of the CPB workers? Oh, that'll work. The guys who said they answer only to Trump now know that only Trump can protect them. The same as the cops or Nat Guard confronting protesters. You want to avoid forcing enforcers to commit, to become dependent on Trump/Bannon.

My guess is that the center will not take casualties, will count on the law to protect them, and will lose.

Night of the Long Knives was nott about getting rid of Roehm and Brownshirts so much as making the Party complicit in capital crimes. Then it's kill or be killed.

We aren't there yet? By the time we are there, it will be too late.

General strike probably takes the least casualties.

Mosques are going up in flames. This is very very likely not on orders from above. This may happen very very fast. No, we don't have time, and it will be counterproductive, to organize and communicate. On our own, just park outside a mosque instead of going to work.

I think we will lose.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 10:05 AM
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Oh, Bannon and Kushner on National Security Council, Joint Chiefs off?

Can't fucking imagine what is coming next, can you?

They are going to generate a crisis, an attack, a war...maybe Iran. Or SA.

These people are fascists, the real fucking thing.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 10:17 AM
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But I'd love to hear suggestions about the best course of action, for private citizens...

How about not listening to the counsels of fear and half-assed historical analysis?

It's certainly going to get worse before it gets better, but making sure everybody who might do something thinks it's too late is just ensuring victory for Bannon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 10:26 AM
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Yeah, Democrats are fucking worthless. They can't even not symbolically vote against Trump's cabinet nominations. I'm sick of Very Serious People (TM) telling us how to be reasonable. They've been fucking wrong on everything, repeatedly, in very harmful ways, and now if ever is the time for radical action.

A German friend of the family's parents were seriously involved in the resistance. They ran a vocational school for the developmentally disabled in Northern Germany, and after the Nazis rounded up and murdered their pupils, they ran their school as a hub for smuggling Jews into Denmark. They saved the lives of hundreds if not thousands of people. After the war, they resisted any sort of attempt to be called heroes. The father said something along the lines of (quoting imperfectly from memory), "it's not heroism to exhibit the minimum of human decency. Real heroism would have involved collective action to prevent the Nazis from ever taking power or turning Germany into a fascist state. As an individual, I'm just as responsible for collective the collective failure to prevent fascism, and thus it's impossible to be an individual hero in this situation."

I've always considered this to be quite a profound statement and it's had a big impact on my moral outlook.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 10:26 AM
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I had the distressing thought also that they might be relying on outrage fatigue. I do basically nothing politically productive (I send money, but I don't have the hours in a day to show up and I live at least 2 h for a major airport), and I don't think I can keep up this level of outrage for 207 weeks. So, when folks can't continue, what will follow? I think the protests are good as a signal to other countries and immigrants here and abroad (and to the useless Democrats in Congress), but really, in the end, the buck stops with who has the power.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 10:28 AM
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Who's ever won with a Leninist strategy when there wasn't already a pre-existing crisis to take advantage of? We don't have 20% umemployment, we're not trapped in a world war that we're losing.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 10:29 AM
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I think Trump's trade policies are designed to produce 20% unemployment.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 10:30 AM
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One of the long games the Republicans have been playing to build up an airtight system of disinformation. Between terrible public education and Fox news, there are a nontrivial amount of people who seriously believe US unemployment is at 40%, Chicago is worse than Aleppo, and Obama held ISIS training meetings in the Oval Office.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 10:33 AM
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Ah, yes, the Democrats are fucking worthless. Let's give up on the only thing standing between us and total fascism.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 10:40 AM
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White people wetting the bed: The political consequences.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 10:44 AM
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the only thing standing between us and total fascism

On the one hand, I'm assuming, for the sake of my sanity if nothing else, that the Democrats have some strategy in place, and that they're voting tactically in order to save the ACA or Medicare or to secure a win against DeVos or Pudzer (I think Sessions is a lost cause*, which is a measure of how bad things have become), who are anathema to the Party's core constituencies. But on the other hand, it's been dispiriting to hear leading Democrats say they'll vote for overtly incompetent hacks, including Carson at HUD (betraying another of the Party's core constituencies, by the way). And I do wonder where the fuck President Obama, that seasoned community organizer and gifted speechmaker, is these days.

* Comedy gold (standard).


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 10:50 AM
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"it's not heroism to exhibit the minimum of human decency. Real heroism would have involved collective action to prevent the Nazis from ever taking power or turning Germany into a fascist state. As an individual, I'm just as responsible for collective the collective failure to prevent fascism, and thus it's impossible to be an individual hero in this situation."

I admire what this guy and his family did, but this analysis seems to be wrong-headed. Risking your life repeatedly for the benefit of others is heroism whatever the political situation. He seems to be preaching a sort of moral Donatism where no one with any less than heroic act in his past can ever commit a heroic act, which is a perverse attitude to take. It also has the unintended effect of legitimising acquiescence - oh well, now the Nazis are in power it is impossible to do anything heroic so we're all as bad as each other.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 10:54 AM
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By 2024 the last elected Democrat will be Alan Colmes sitting in a corner of the Oklahoma state legislature with a dunce cap on, and there'll still be people arguing, hey, he kinda sucks, but he's the only thing holding back the deluge.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 10:56 AM
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I'm feeling pretty helpless as far as finding a good way to resist. I'm overseas, and constrained by my job from being overly political, so about all I've been able to do so far is shitpost on conservative forums.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 10:57 AM
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By 2024 Kirsten Gillibrand will be cruising to re-election victory.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 11:05 AM
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LB's remark about the anthill of lawyers got me thinking: is there any organization well-placed to turn the swarms of in- and under-employed recent JDs into a force for good?

I'm on my way to Battery Park right now. Sporting my OSU gear to make it harder for Fox News to pretend all the protesters are coastal elites.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 11:06 AM
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Go Buckeyes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 11:07 AM
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37.1 I would donate to that.

And speaking of swarms of lawyers. I could use just one I think.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 11:08 AM
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I've gotten a surprising amount of O-H already from fellow subway passengers. Starting to wonder how effective this could be if all the NYC Big Ten alumni did the same thing.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 11:14 AM
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Not really, as he in fact did risk his life when many Germans did shrug and go about his day. He just considered it the minimum of decency, not heroism. But the larger point, that a few people doing something when it's too late to prevent tragedy doesn't outweigh the collective failure of everyone doing nothing when tragedy could still have been prevented. We're at the stage where tragedy can be prevented, but it's going to require not going along. Pot, frog, boiling water, and such.

Let's give up on the only thing standing between us and capitulating to total fascism because lets save our political capital and we don't want to be seen violating norms of decency and all.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 11:17 AM
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When we elevate individual heroism, we are simultaneously undervaluing collective action, which we're already prone to do because we are storytelling apes. People are more drawn to "the regime was evil but this one guy was super brave and saved 100 lives" than "and then we voted the regime out of office and collectively did the right thing and it saved 1 million lives", even though the latter is unequivocally the more righteous choice.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 11:40 AM
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Things are moving so fast it's hard to keep up. According to the Guardian, Trump's chief of staff is now saying that the order no longer applies to greencard holders. Also, apparently Mitch McConnell said he "would not defend the White House's order" adding that "it's going to be decided in the courts as to whether or not this has gone too far."


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 11:40 AM
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43 Does Reince actually have any real say? If you had a greencard and you were waiting to go back to the US would you trust that? I wouldn't.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 11:43 AM
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Mitch McConnell said he "would not defend the lynchings" adding that "it's going to be decided in the courts as to whether or not this has gone too far."

What a fucking coward.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 11:43 AM
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McConnell is scum, but the fact that he and a handful of other GOP senators have said mildly critical things about the order makes me wonder if there might be future cracks in the united front. It's probably too much to hope for.

Paul Ryan, on the other hand has gone public with full-throated support.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 11:47 AM
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It's a norm that the Republicans didn't violate, and violating it wouldn't prevent anybody from being confirmed. I think they should have voted against most of the nominees across the board, but it's not exactly the high-water-mark of Democratic perfidy.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 11:52 AM
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Paul Ryan, on the other hand has gone public with full-throated support.

He has? I'm not doubting you; I'd just love to see a link.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 11:53 AM
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I think one thing that might be effective is calling our senators and telling them that any vote for a Trump cabinet nominee gets them primaried from the left. Line in the sand.

Civil disobedience at airports (thanks everyone who participated!) seems like the way to go. Airports are vulnerable choke points where shit can get disrupted fairly easily. Taxi drivers refusing to pick up and drop people off (as they did in NY), gate agents refusing to check people in, and pilots refusing to fly. If any pilot with a person being deported refused to take off, I bet this would be shut down quickly. I feel bad asking this level of personal risk from others, but it would really help.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 11:53 AM
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they might be relying on outrage fatigue
One side says three million, the other says none, surely the forthcoming legislative "compromise" will be reasonable.
I'm beginning to think your last ditch will be a Tahrir Square situation, where there are so many people on the street that the security forces refuse to disperse you. To that end, I think you need to be sure that your marchers aren't fatigued when that moment comes. Which is tough, because it cedes initiative, and demands that really close attention be paid to political machinations. And I agree it's really vital for elected Democrats to loudly delegitimize this administration.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 12:00 PM
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47

There are times when substantive norms have to take place over procedural norms. Seriously. The German army leadership hated and despised Hitler, but they valued the procedural norms of doing their jobs and not committing mutiny/staging a military coup. OTOH, that's deeply admirable. Military coups aren't things people should just undertake willy nilly. On the other, it gets you situations like WW2. There's a point when any sort of complicity is still fucking complicity.

My godmother's grandmother was a deeply religious southern German Catholic and strongly opposed Hitler on religious grounds. She was arrested for handing out anti Nazi pamphlets and sent to Dachau, leaving two teenagers at home. After 2 years as a political prisoner in Dachau, she was released after signing an oath of loyalty to the Nazi party under the condition that if she told anyone about what she had experienced or witnessed, she and whoever she told would be sent to Dachau and killed. She came home, a walking, lice-covered skeleton, and died of Typhus before the end of the war. She told her children about the horrors she had seen, under the promise of absolute silence. Her teenage son was recruited to fight on the Eastern Front, and was told that if he refused his mother and sister would be sent to Dachau, so he did.

My godmother grew up knowing none of this, just feeling deep shame that her father was a German soldier on the Eastern Front. In her early 20s, when she started to really learn about the Holocaust and question her parents' generation, her aunt told her the story of her father and grandmother. When she confronted her father as to why he never told her, he said, "I didn't want you to think that you were exempt from feeling guilty. German war guilt is a collective guilt, and there's no personal circumstance that can justify what anyone ended up doing."


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 12:01 PM
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48: From the Guardian today:

"A spokeswoman for Ryan said on Saturday that he supported the order and does not consider it a religious test."

That might have been from before all hell broke loose, though.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 12:04 PM
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52 was me.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 12:06 PM
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51

TL:DR

Ultimately, it doesn't matter if you're a German soldier on the Eastern Front because you're a hard core Nazi or because you're saving your mother and younger sister from Dachau. You're still a fucking soldier on the Eastern Front, and you're still murdering Jews and Slavs.

Likewise, it doesn't matter if you're voting for Carson or Sessions or DeVos because you're an unhinged sociopath or because you're playing 11th dimensional chess in your head or because you like being liked by your Republican senate colleagues. You're still voting in Trump's picks and doing Trump's bidding.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 12:12 PM
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It's not a credible threat. You're going to primary Warren? Sherrod Brown? You think you're going to get Democratic primary voters to go along with that?

And I swear to God this points to the essential difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. The Democrats worry about symbolism -- you, the senators, everybody -- while the Republicans understand that what matters is power. You complaining that the Democrats are losing the wrong way is not different from the Democrats saying they don't want to win the right way. You're comparing a meaningless vote with a coup. Coups are generally not best construed in terms of their symbolic meaning.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 12:18 PM
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I'M SO TERRIFIED. Now off to read the thread.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 12:22 PM
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I've been predicting we would be arriving at this point for about 27 years. Frankly, while I am encouraged, in the final analysis, I think US civil society is mainly going to either knuckle under to whatever the regime wants, or put up very token protests. Why did all those Democratic senators vote for Mattis? Because they want business as usual, and if people don't put them in fear of getting kicked out, they'll happily play along with any genocide, so long as they're still assured cushy jobs and relative liberty for themselves.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 12:22 PM
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Gotta shut down the hotels. That's the protest that matters.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 12:30 PM
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It's not just symbolism, it's showing backbone, and it's important. And I'm not sure why Warren, Brown, etc can't be primaried. It takes work, but it can be done. But importantly, you don't have to primary everyone, one upset gets other people to take getting primaried seriously. Taking on power never works until it does. Giving up before even trying because it won't work means your movement fails 100% of the time.

But also, speaking out has power, and prevents a bunch of people uneasy about doing bad things from doing bad things. Complicity at the trivial level does matter. We've talked about this, but all it took for Horthy to change his mind about sending 200,000 Jews to death camps was criticism. All it took for Nazi Germany to NOT send Danish Jews in Germany to concentration camps was the Danish government telling them not to. When people are doing shit they know is evil, pointing it out and refusing to budge even a little bit can make a difference. The reason Danish Jews could be smuggled to Sweden was because the German leadership in Denmark helped negotiate a secret deal with Sweden and looked the other way. They did this, at great risk to their own lives, because the Danes never shut up for one moment about how murdering Jews was wrong. It wasn't about who had power (the Germans had 100%), it was about never backing down about pointing out how evil people were acting.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 12:34 PM
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What? Mattis is the only non-Trumpster. He already got Trump to back down on removing the torture ban. The party won't really get started until he's gone.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 12:36 PM
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And I know mentioning WW2 is supposed to make you automatically lose the internet or something, but as a Northern European the moral dilemmas and failings of WW2 in Germany and Scandinavia are the ways through which I was taught a moral framework. If I grew up hearing about people resisting Stalin or the Khmer Rouge or French Colonialism or something those would be the analogies I'd be making.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 12:38 PM
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60 to 57.

59: We're talking about appointing Ben Carson as head of HUD, not sending Jews to death camps. When we moved 2% of the way towards death camps -- this executive order -- elected liberal Democrats went ape-shit. Warren's at an airport. Brown's at an airport. Both Pennsylvania's governor and Democratic senator are at an airport.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 12:42 PM
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Has there been a conversation in the last month that hasn't referred to WW2? I must make Nazi analogies 20 times a day. My brother and I were discussing today where we thought we would end up in terms of "years in the life of the Third Reich". I think we agreed on 1938 Germany as the most likely outcome.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 12:46 PM
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I'm at an airport.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 12:50 PM
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"When we elevate individual heroism, we are simultaneously undervaluing collective action"

What? No, we aren't. It is perfectly possible to elevate both at once and, in fact, we do.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 12:50 PM
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I'm not actually worried about incremental death camps. I'm worried about irrevocable seizure of power: election-rigging, assumption of emergency powers, parallel military structures. That's why I was talking about about recognizing your Tahrir Square moment. Not to say any of these protests are wrong. I think they're creating useful habits. But really, you can't keep this up for four years, and you'll need to pick your battles.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 12:51 PM
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You can have shift work. Not everybody has to do everything. You can still keep up huge numbers protesting all the time if only one in a hundred is protesting at any given action


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 12:55 PM
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32: On the one hand, I'm assuming, for the sake of my sanity if nothing else, that the Democrats have some strategy in place, and that they're voting tactically in order to save the ACA or Medicare or to secure a win against DeVos or Pudzer

Al Franken has said as much regarding their strategy, so yes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 1:12 PM
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Here's a spreadsheet tracking Senators' responses (mostly based on Twitter, it seems). All but two Democrats have come out in vocal opposition, as have a few Republicans.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 1:14 PM
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Cory Booker went to Dulles last night and tried to negotiate with the CBP agents to let lawyers in to see the detainees in accordance with a court order. He failed. I think Senate Democrats have been making a lot of mistakes lately, but on this specific issue they're doing okay so far.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 1:18 PM
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The whole airport thing is looking up. Lots of protests and I have an empty seat beside me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 1:22 PM
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The revolution always presents opportunities for the agile mind.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 1:33 PM
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70: Agreed they're doing OK, but where ARE some of them? MI has two Democratic senators (Stabenow, Peters) and a huge immigrant population. DTW is a major international hub. Why the fuck are they not at DTW? What are they doing today that is helping? Yay for the higher profile senators who are at BOS, IAD, SEA, etc., but I can't believe how few are coming out with more than a statement. What is Dick Durbin doing? Haven't seen Ben Cardin linking this to medical researchers at the NIH or Johns Hopkins.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 1:50 PM
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Maybe they need to hear those questions loudly from their constituents.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 1:52 PM
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The UK Foreign Office statement this afternoon seems to show a real climbdown in addition to Priebus's previous announcement that it won't apply to Green Card holders.

The Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has today held conversations with the US Government and as a result we can clarify that:
The Presidential executive order only applies to individuals travelling from one of the seven named countries.
If you are travelling to the US from anywhere other than one of those countries (for instance, the UK) the executive order does not apply to you and you will experience no extra checks regardless of your nationality or your place of birth.
If you are a UK national who happens to be travelling from one of those countries to the US, then the order does not apply to you - even if you were born in one of those countries.
If you are a dual citizen of one of those countries travelling to the US from OUTSIDE those countries then the order does not apply to you.
The only dual nationals who might have extra checks are those coming from one of the seven countries themselves - for example a UK-Libya dual national coming from Libya to the US.

Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 1:57 PM
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70 has been making me think today Booker is likely the next dem nominee. He's really good at this kind of "man of action" stuff, like when he was mayor and literally saved someone from a burning building, and with Trump there's going to be more opportunities for this kind of thing.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 2:07 PM
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76: He definitely seems to be trying to position himself that way. Like, why was he at Dulles? He doesn't represent Virginia. (Presumably the reason is that he was in DC and Dulles was the most convenient airport for this stunt.)

On the other hand, on substantive policy matters his voting record is very centrist and pro-corporate, and he seems to be having some trouble adjusting to the mood of the base with his recent votes.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 2:13 PM
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Yeah, I think this is going to blow up in their faces.

This, for example, is just plain weird: "I cannot carry the Constitution without a permit?" one protester asks. "Correct," the officer replies.

I'm pretty sure even Trump supporters are going to balk. If they hear about it. Media coverage is an issue: Fox is slow-walking coverage about this stuff.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 2:17 PM
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"saved someone from a burning building, and with Trump there's going to be more opportunities for this kind of thing."
I don't think Trump will go full Reichstag fire, but if he does Booker's the guy you want around.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 2:41 PM
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Bannon having some form of crisis or tension strategy in mind does not necessarily mean Bannon is the Palpatine-like mastermind he evidently imagines himself to be. The EO could have been drafted and prepared to create just as much chaos and protest without also drawing a rebuke from the courts and a spectacle of protest as empowered. It could have been set up and readied and all the associated agencies coordinated to make the protesters look like an irrelevant nuisance and the theatre of demagogic spectacle for the racist base far more effective, albeit equally malevolent.

None of that happened because the whole process was incompetent. You are not insects caught in the web of some omniscient Shelob who can anticipate your every move. The demonstrations are important shows of force by the majority of American civic society and accompanied by organized political pressure are the best shot at denying them legal cover for what they want to do on the domestic front, and bringing pressure to bear on their foreign policy decisions.

Remember that the Trumpist faction are not heading up a fully united Republican party, much a less a nation united behind their ideas. The Alt Reich factionalists' hold is disturbing, but also more precarious than they're willing to admit; that's why Conway is always puffing up like an adder with threats about all the lists of names they're keeping. Don't look for reasons to be demobilized and silenced.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 2:54 PM
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Here's a good resource for finding out which reps and senators to call on specific issues based on your zip code. It even has pre-written scripts on all of the issues, if you're not the sort of person who's comfortable cold calling people.

https://5calls.org/


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 2:54 PM
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80 is right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 3:00 PM
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79: I'm now imagining the Trump administration staging a Reichstag-fire equivalent, rubbing their hands together in glee at how they were finally going to achieve unchecked power. But then Booker rushes in to save a baby, and is instead made President by acclamation.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 3:03 PM
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Castock is absolutely on the money in 80


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 3:06 PM
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Then he eats the baby and everybody says at least he's an improvement.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 3:07 PM
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When it breaks it's going to come all crashing down. Hopefully that's sooner rather than later.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 3:07 PM
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I remember the 2002-2003 protests, maybe the largest in history before J20, and how they absolutely terrified Bush and Cheney and stopped the war. Wait...

I think Trump must be deposed in about thirty days, before he gets the nation into war. The National Security Council changes should be terrifying.

Remember, even if he bombs Iran, conventional or otherwise, it would take a year to impeach him, with violence in the streets, other nations attacking back, and other excuses to go full on Fascist State (with all the tools Bush and Obama have bequeathed him.)

Bannon wants to pull back into White Fortress America, and wouldn't mind becoming a pariah state for a while.
Trump knows the 1% will always do bidness.

General strike now. And minimize public targets.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 3:27 PM
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O'Hare is very calm on the inside. At least no worse than the usual.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 3:40 PM
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To me the only interesting question is who or where they are going to attack. It's gonna happen, and fast.

Brains, numbers, organization, logistics, somebody who keeps Mein Kampf by his bedside probably believes the only important factors are

speed and audacity.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 3:41 PM
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85: Vegetarians don't eat babies.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 3:47 PM
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Bannon is not a supergenius. He's probably done some strategic thinking, but I suspect mostly he's just trying to do everything he can, and regardless of ten-dimensional chess, there's a good chance that the combination of mobilization, demonstrations, legal action, etc. can grind it all to a halt.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 3:57 PM
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91 before reading 80.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 3:57 PM
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If 75 is true (and I can see it being true to get around the legal isssues), it makes the national security justification even more farcical than it already was. All a terrorist has to do is take a layover at Heathrow to get around it?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 4:05 PM
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80 and 91 are right; but Hitler wasn't as smart as he thought he was either.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 4:10 PM
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90: Not even with cheese?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 4:12 PM
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Cheese is baby cows starving.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 4:13 PM
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I guess that's why cheese burgers aren't kosher.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 4:15 PM
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At least Holocaust Remembrance Day wasn't all-lives-mattered into the blood libel.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 4:21 PM
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94: Absolutely. But the main takeaway for me is, conventional opposition through mobilization, demonstration, legal action, etc. is not misguided.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 4:26 PM
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I was recently at the church that was the origin of the blood libel. Surprisingly they weren't advertising this, a tour guide had to tell us about it, and I wasn't able to get into the church to see the inside.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 4:33 PM
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If the chair will permit it, I'd like to move that we (1) stop treating every Republican political adviser like Sauron and Machiavelli sharing a turtleneck and (2) try to keep some vague façade of composure when said Republican political advisers (or Twitter dipshits or young racists or Nigel Farage fans or what have you) invoke the names of famous leftists or, for God's sake, the slang of critical theory. If teasing hippies by dropping obscure names assured personal or professional success I'd be wearing a solid gold top hat right now.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 4:35 PM
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Something strategic we could do, alongside everything else, is lay the groundwork for _not_ letting up an inch at the next terrorist attack, or whatever they seize on as a proximate excuse, and avoid giving him a W-like halo with the non-activist public. Not sure how that concept translates into action though.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 4:52 PM
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Noisy inquiries into the presumably criminal mismanagement of national security?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 4:57 PM
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101: point of information, Mr Chair: Sauron was a terrible strategist which is how come he ended up being beaten by a pair of barefoot gourmand toddlers.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 5:03 PM
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Could've fooled us.


Posted by: Opinionated Númenóreans | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 5:07 PM
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I like 103. Also making noise about how blatant racism increases the probability of attacks.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 5:10 PM
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103: Aha. I was worrying about how minute an issue the NSC committee membership thing being bandied about was, but downgrading the DNI's representation seems relevant for that purpose.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 5:12 PM
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Bannon's full divorce proceedings were just released.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 5:12 PM
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Link?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 5:29 PM
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Trump/Bannon is not Bush, Obama, Clinton. They do not want Empire anymore, they want to pull out of NATO, maybe the UN, maybe the WTO, IMF etc. They don't want to pay for or manage the 1000 bases and all the overseas assets. As global warming all those become liabilities. They definitely do not all the imported manufactures from China.

But how to get out? Get kicked out.

So no, this won't be like Bush's War or Obama's many Wars. Trump doesn't want to move a half million troops somewhere. This must be an offense that makes the US a pariah state and a target. Omigod, the military will resist like hell because all those overseas assets become targets, with lots of losses and lots of damage pulling back.

Just a couple hundred kilotons on Mosul might do it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 5:29 PM
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And after the whole world embargoes us there will be plenty of jobs.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 5:33 PM
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Also making noise about how blatant racism increases the probability of attacks.

John McCain took that line on NBC today (or yesterday, I'm not sure), saying that Trump's order was providing "propaganda for ISIS".


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 5:33 PM
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Wow, what, 200-300 is way more than necessary. 10-20 kilotons. We have those laying around all over, Turkey, Germany. And just one loyal Colorado Springs grad.

And of course, they can deny it, claim Iran did it, and since y'all think its impossible, you will support them?

Better, because contradicting them in time of war will be high treason.

At that point see, Bannon can go all Korematsu. I'm thinking the immigration thing is preparation for things to come, like those seven countries are about to get really mad.

I'm just nightmaring. It'll all be okay fine.

Protests will work on people like this.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 6:03 PM
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Now we've got ground troops in Yemen, apparently. Allegedly 3 Al Quaeda leaders killed, a bunch of women and children, and one American KIA.

Apparently the operation had been planned for months. Which may mean "it was on the books, but Obama said no."


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 6:09 PM
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108, 109: Yeah, which one? Lots to choose from.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 6:18 PM
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115 to 100.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 6:27 PM
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Did you know there's no alcohol for sale in secure area of the Pittsburgh airport after 8 p.m. on a Sunday? Fortunately for me tonight, there is a bar just outside the security line, but that's no use to somebody waiting for fly out of better.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 6:42 PM
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Better s/b here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 6:46 PM
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117: Is that not the saddest bar?


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 6:56 PM
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109: I now see the post is from December; the tweet I got it from implied it was recent.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 6:56 PM
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||
Which will piss off Trump more in the coming term: the NYT or the Washington Post?"
|>


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 6:58 PM
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119: Not as sad as the one in the Lincoln airport.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 7:09 PM
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Which I also had a beer at today.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 7:14 PM
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The airport bars at MSP used to be pretty sad, but then they started in with the microbrews and stuff, and now not so depressing.

I really, really, really wish I could still drink.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 7:21 PM
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Wonder what the market's going to do tomorrow. This all seems bad for tech, bad for airlines and bad for finance too, probably. Any assurances the regime makes about H1B visas now are going to ring pretty damn hollow.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 7:32 PM
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It'll be a fun day to work for the flight-search component of a big tech company, that's for sure.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 7:42 PM
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Canada, WTF?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 8:05 PM
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A Machiavellian figure would be cleverly dividing and conquering his enemies, not uniting them. Bannon is a moron, as is everyone else in the White House.


Posted by: Disingenuous Bastard | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 8:09 PM
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121 is a serious question because we're trying to figure what institution to patronize alongside the aclu (Which got our bux earlier today) and PP (which will soon, either nationally or state chapter). I'm not convinced about, e.g. pro publica vs a paper, so asking advice.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 8:17 PM
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129 NILC? CAIR?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 8:26 PM
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WaPo is the one he has an ongoing feud with, so that's probably the best choice.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 8:46 PM
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Barry, thanks, focusing out civil rights related donations on the ACLU. (Actually double what I was expecting given the needs we've seen, but Bonsaisue acted decisively!).


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 8:49 PM
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Thank you, Castock.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 8:53 PM
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You won't give him his title even though they are perfectly legal for Canadians to have?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 9:06 PM
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131: Huh, from reading his twitter (which I admittedly stopped a few days ago because god he makes me angry) I would have guessed he hated the Times the most. At least, he's built up a deep history of hating them in Manhattan. You probably can't go wrong with either paper, though.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 9:26 PM
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135: I had the impression he has this weird love-hate relationship with the Times, denigrating them but also constantly seeking their approval for most of his life. He's been pretty generous in giving them his time and speaking to them on the record, for example.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 9:45 PM
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The assurances in 75 don't seem to match reality at all. Have I missed something?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-29-17 11:14 PM
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Have I missed something?

Yes, but so has everyone else.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 12:45 AM
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Well? Don't just leave us hanging, it's cruel.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 1:44 AM
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139: We're in purgatory. This is the final season of Lost.

101 is pretty great, particularly "Sauron and Machiavelli sharing a turtleneck".


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:02 AM
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Is casting open?


Posted by: Michael Fassbender | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:10 AM
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Relevant.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:30 AM
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142: Do you see yourself more as a Sauron type, or as a Machiavelli type?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:36 AM
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I feel I can deliver on both aspects of the character. For instance, my criminally underrated performance in Steve Jobs brought the high-foreheaded schemer archetype to life; while I created in my even more underrated performance in Macbeth a doomed tyrant for ages; the latter performance even culminating in a tormented death scene in an apocalyptic rain of smoke and ashes.


Posted by: Michael Fassbender | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:47 AM
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134: it is perfectly proper when addressing a peer of the realm to use simply his title. The Duke of Denver can be addressed as "Denver", as Wimsey fans will know; similarly we, who are by courtesy Castock's peers, can address him simply as "Castock".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 3:02 AM
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136: It sounds like significant parts of the government were left out of the loop on what was in the EO that Trump was about to sign. So I'm wondering if what assurances one gets are dependent on who one talks to in the government, with lots of people having different understandings of how the thing will be implemented going forwards.


Posted by: Dave W. | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 3:58 AM
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Now we've got ground troops in Yemen, apparently.

Yes - the Pentagon announced it publicly last May. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/06/yemen-al-qaida-us-troops


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 4:02 AM
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Here's some tinfoil hat stuff, since everything is possible now. In the Steele dossier, it claims that Trump will receive 19% of Rosneft for removing sanctions. Last week, Rosneft sold a 19% stake to an unknown party.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 4:10 AM
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||
Do any academic authors here know if an academic book is considered commercial or non-commercial? Unfortunately we no longer have a copyright librarian on staff who I can ask.
|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 4:21 AM
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148 Jesus.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 4:25 AM
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148: Exxon tried and failed to buy a stake in Rosneft in the early 2000s. BP eventually won out instead, also with a ~19% stake. Exxon owns and operates gas fields in Qatar, IIRC the biggest foreign firm there. Per 148, the biggest player is Qatar, followed by mystery finance from the Caymans. Qatar and Russia are on opposite sides in Syria; but these times, they are interesting.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 4:30 AM
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149: I can forward that to friends of friends, but they'll want more detail. Mail mypseudatyahoodotcom if you want. It would take a while, too.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 4:33 AM
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152 is like the least welcoming offer of help ever written. I'll help if can Barry! Smiley face!


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 4:36 AM
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77. Booker probably went to Dulles to check the reports that people were being moved to a black site in Jersey. Whether or not it was true he was probably right to follow it up.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 5:55 AM
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100. I thought the blood libel started at Lincoln Cathedral, where they make no bones about it (sorry). There's a whole exhibit on little St. Hugh. Where were you?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 5:58 AM
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re: 149

Do you mean in terms of how you might license content to someone publishing an academic book?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 6:42 AM
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I actually think that McManus is right that any generalish-strikes that could be organized would be a good idea. Large, peaceful, ongoing protests that make business difficult to conduct would have much the same effect. I agree that without a party or other mass national organizations, it's difficult to have a general strike that works (and I think it's worth considering the UK general strike of 1926, which failed pretty spectacularly, IIRC). I think the only thing we've got is making it difficult to normalize the political situation, and working on local politics. The US is large and various, and the harder it is for particular states or regions to roll over for Trump, the better.

This is all really terrifying, honestly, and I admit that this morning was the first morning I began seriously to consider whether I am too old and poor to get out of here. We had a long conversation about that just the other night and my feeling was that no, it would be silly to abandon the house, friends, etc, but now I'm not so sure.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 6:56 AM
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Any kind of general strike is going to come after and because of large protests, not instead of them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 6:58 AM
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158: That's why I said "general-ish". I hear on the activist grapevine that there's some push for "sorta like a general strike if it were fairly local and geared toward putting pressure on our politicians", and I think that would be more like a large protest than anything else, and would hopefully lay the groundwork for a larger effort later.

People are getting organized faster than I'd thought they would, and Trump is not popular around here. I went to the airport protest yesterday (MSP - not like we're majorly affected by this, but we do get international flights) and there were only a few negative interactions. Positive (honking and waving) slightly edged out neutral, even. Minnesotans are a sentimental bunch and we have the advantage of having actual Muslims here - not that this isn't a racist state with problems, but an awful lot of people have at least some vague sense that Muslims are regular humans who might be your neighbor/coworker/classmate/etc. (My sign was "Muslims are my neighbors, colleagues and friends". Which in addition to conveying this sentiment is literally true.)

My sense is that on the one hand, we are getting played by Bannon, on the other hand Bannon is kind of an idiot, so actually "I will sow chaos mwa hahaha I am Lenin" (also I think his understanding of Leninism leaves something to be desired) may not really work as well as he thinks.

God, this is all awful. Too much science fiction has led me to have a vivid mental picture of the continuum where Hillary won splitting further and further off from ours. Also, it was very foggy on the bus ride to work this morning and everyone was having all these really strange conversations and I kept thinking that maybe we just broke the world somehow and all those giant monsters from Stephen King's In The Fog would break through.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:06 AM
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MSP is a much nicer connection to Nebraska than O'Hare, but the ticket prices haven't been cheap enough lately.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:08 AM
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But then you have to go to Nebraska! Surely that's a bit of a drawback, no matter how nice MSP is. (I recommend the Surdyck's in the main shopping hall, also - they do a very respectable pâté de campagne if you ask me.)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:13 AM
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I have an overdeveloped sense of anxiety and issues in Nebraska.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:15 AM
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I will look for the pate though. I've never eaten airport pate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:16 AM
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Its true that we don't have the institutions to support a general strike, not like we used to. It remains to be seen if a broad network of interests loosely connected through electronic means could fill that role. The closest analogy I can think of is Cairo 2011.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:18 AM
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164: The way things ultimately played out in Egypt is, um, not encouraging.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:20 AM
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I thought he was referring to 2011 BC, because pharaoh did let them go.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:21 AM
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The way things ultimately played out in Egypt is, um, not encouraging.

No. No it is not.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:23 AM
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166: So we need to rustle up some plagues?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:27 AM
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163: The airport tuna nicoise is also pretty good. (To be totally honest about provenance, I don't think either one is actually made at the aiport - Surdyk's is our swipple-approved, artisanal-pickle-promoting posh liquor store and deli.)


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:27 AM
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165: Yes. But I think the projected scenario is demonstrations to prevent a putative one-party state from displacing an existing two-party democracy, rather than a basically nonexistent civil society trying to displace a decades-old one-party state.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:28 AM
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The airport sushi in Pittsburgh maybe tasted a bit like it was sushi from an airport in Pittsburgh. I didn't try the sushi at the grocery stores in Nebraska.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:28 AM
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170: Yes. Civic culture in America is under attack like never before (since Reconstruction), but still like (like what I feared for the bacterial culture in grocery-store sushi).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:30 AM
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That doesn't make sense. Maybe one of the "like"s should be "strong"?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:31 AM
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Only you can construct your truth, Mobes.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:33 AM
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But I think the projected scenario is demonstrations to prevent a putative one-party state from displacing an existing two-party democracy, rather than a basically nonexistent civil society trying to displace a decades-old one-party state.

Different context for sure, but I'm considering methodology. I recall around that time there was a lot of credit going toward social media as a driving factor in the Arab Spring. To what extent is that true, vs. the extent to which the West wanted to take credit for the power of its awesome technology?

And would it even work in a context where the other side is far more sophisticated about these things than Mubarak regime used to be?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:34 AM
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169 to 168.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:38 AM
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This is very informative, historical-context wise.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:43 AM
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Trump is putting Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in charge of the new commission on vaccination. Plagues might be easy to come by.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:45 AM
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Not that it matters, but this post isn't a "supergenius" argument, it's just that once you realize that Bannon is in charge, and he wants to smash and troll domestically, and wage a bloody war with Islam internationally, the "oh my god, how could they?" falls away, and what they're doing makes sense.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:46 AM
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And oh look, pro-Russia forces are escalating in Ukraine. What a surprising and unexpected development.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:52 AM
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I think the only ones who can pull in the reigns here are Congressional Republicans, but they have shown little inclination because they expect to receive everything from the bucket list of shitty policies they've been shopping for the past 30 years. Paul Ryan really wants this to work.

I sense some discontent from the libertarian end of the party, though. Perhaps an alliance could be struck.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:55 AM
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175: No idea. Barry? I've assumed the role of tech is hugely overblown, on the grounds that you had things like the Carnation Revolution, Hungarian revolt, February Revolution, etc. etc. etc. in the past, and the tech just makes it move faster. You're right that both Republicans and the US intelligence state are vastly more formidable than Mubarak.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:56 AM
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I think that kind of alliance would be very dangerous.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 7:56 AM
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I think that it may be more important to not provide political cover (by letting them claim something is "bipartisan") to total shitheads than whatever could be gained in a bargain from a position this weak.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:00 AM
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I think the problem with such an alliance is that there are like 20 actual libertarians in the US, but they're just really loud.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:01 AM
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20 libertarians and 5 principled conservatives. And they want liberalism to bargain with them because they are better than Trump.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:02 AM
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Trump is putting Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in charge of the new commission on vaccination. Plagues might be easy to come by.

Is this confirmed now? Last I saw they were denying it. Obviously that doesn't mean much, but still.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:04 AM
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Anyway, I would bet the Bonapartiste faction (in the U.S. or France) is bigger than the group of Republicans who would act to restrain Trump unless and until Trump becomes electoral poison.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:05 AM
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What's the number of Democrats plus libertarians in the House of Representatives?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:06 AM
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193.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:08 AM
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Are there any congressional committees on which Democrats + libertarians form a majority?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:08 AM
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No. Paul Ryan's main job is to not let that happen.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:09 AM
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I'm convinced that some of Trump's picks for senior officials are motivated by "let's piss off the SJWs" rather than any evaluation of merit. DeVos and Kennedy come to mind.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:10 AM
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There are elections in 2018. The only restraint at all on Republicans in Congress is the extent they are afraid of losing those. If it looks like they might lose big, there will be all sorts of Republicans who say they are really more libertarian. If it looks like they are going to win, there will continue to be effectively none.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:12 AM
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I'm thinking of people like this guy. Libertarian Republican from the third district of Michigan. He doesn't seem happy at all. How many are there like him?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:12 AM
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Crazy Rand Paul is another, from the other side of the building.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:13 AM
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Thanks for 177. Takeaways, to the good: Republicans don't have any pool of thugs to draw on remotely comparable to war veterans in 1920; blue/red geographical segregation means that putative squadristi would mostly be operating in environments alien to them; Democrats at this point can very much assert ownership of public space in the cities; it is much harder for information to be suppressed (unless the NSA is cooperating, in which case you're done). To the bad: the internet makes local knowledge much easier to come by; trolls have new and effective ways of harassing people; and Vladimir knows some guys who can help out there.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:16 AM
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It is indeed a blessing that most of their thugs are old/diabetic/Russian/otherwise not available to beat people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:19 AM
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On the whole social media/revolt/Arab Spring/ etc etc etc front, Zeynep Tufekci has been very good for a while now.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:19 AM
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197, 198 apart from the police & other law enforcement unions anyway.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:21 AM
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electoral

Well done Moby! Your best joke this year!


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:24 AM
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200: But most blue voters live in blue cities with (hopefully) police answering to blue governments. Efforts to federalize local law enforcement should be something to watch for.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:28 AM
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Such as withholding federal grants money to law enforcement in cities that don't assist in deporting immigrants?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:29 AM
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The border patrol union has me particularly worried. There was a piece a wile back in Mother Jones that exposed an unfortunately comfortable relationship between them and the crazy militia people.

And who really knows how many crazy militia people there are?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:29 AM
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Bannon, probably.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:31 AM
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So, I just checked the composition of the House Oversight Committee, and we are even more fucked than I realized. The guy I linked to in 195 is on it, sure, but the overall balance is 25 Republicans to 14 Democrats. That's a 36% representation of Democrats, vs. 44% overall in the House.

Sometimes it really impresses me how rotten our institutions are.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:40 AM
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The House moves by party and party only. The Senate is different, but not by as much as it used to.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:42 AM
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The Rules Committee, which basically runs the entire House, is 11 Republicans to 4 Democrats.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:43 AM
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Hmm...according to the Guardian today, there's another climb down. Priebus is saying that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of intelligence will remain on the National Security Council after all.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:50 AM
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177 about the squadristis is why I said resistance should disaggregated, disorganized, distributed, anonymous, not geographical and what I meant by not providing the enemy with targets.

And yes, I think the Internet makes this more possible.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:55 AM
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The climb down and all that is just part of the wall of bullshit. Whatever else happens with the NSC, it's clearly Bannon's game now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:56 AM
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209: Per this, the CJCS and DNI were always going to be on the council, but wouldn't be required to attend if the meeting concerned domestic matters only; basically a result of merging the NSC and HSC, not necessarily pernicious. What is pernicious is the presence of Bannon.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:59 AM
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True libertarians are rarer than true Christians and I've only met three or four of those.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:03 AM
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They throw ten pounds of bullshit on the wall, we manage to scrape off three. That's not a win.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:05 AM
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Not a win, still necessary.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:06 AM
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true Christians and I've only met three or four of those.

Me too, and they were good liberals, each one.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:07 AM
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This place might be an example of what could be done.

If I were to say everybody here go out and break a stoplight, how would the pigs respond? Where are we, who are we? Sure with great effort they could find out, but by then the work was done.

And then a different collective in a different blog with different nyms could be established. The internet makes things easier than old cell theory.

There is actually theory about this.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:07 AM
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Not a win, still necessary.

Necessary, not sufficient. But I think we all realize that.

How the fuck do we get to sufficient?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:09 AM
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212: Right. The announcement was that they walked that back and now the CJCS and DNI will attend all meetings.

215 is right. As shitty as things are, them backing off on this (or anything else) is better than them not backing off.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:10 AM
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2018/20.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:10 AM
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If I were to say everybody here go out and break a stoplight, how would the pigs respond?

Presumably they would arrest us when the moles tipped them off. Like what happened with J20 at the inauguration.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:10 AM
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217 Let's try to contain Black Bloc activity to punching Richard Spencer in the face. We need the broadest possible coalition to win this. And that includes a load of bourgeois and other respectable types. So don't go scaring off grannys.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:11 AM
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2018/20

Bannon is also aware of that timeline. What does he have in store by then?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:12 AM
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US embassies now saying dual nationals barred regardless of country of departure.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:12 AM
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209, 219: All meetings, or all "NSC" meetings? IMU the change was not about the Council proper, whose membership is statutorily constituted, but the council's "principals committee," which is apparently a critical sub-body, the last hurdle before items come to the president's attention.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:13 AM
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Even the online petitions don't count for much (I've been making phone calls as recommended), I just signed the petition of scientists condemning the immigration ban.

Looking on the bright side: if the Trump administration decides to vindictively block my ability to get federal grants funded, I don't think I would notice the difference.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:13 AM
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I'll cosign 222, but also note that the Nazis were over the moon about the punching thing, because now we are playing their game.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:13 AM
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217: There's also practice about this. Traffic analysis lights up your cell clear as day, unless you mask it using Tor or similar; and Tor is only good until one of your endpoints gets compromised. Humans are the weakest links in the chain, it's cells and operational security all over again. And NSA and JSOC have spent the last 10 years or so practicing this.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:14 AM
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To be fair, punching people pre-dates the Nazis by several decades.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:15 AM
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||

OT:reading comments at LGM, bianca steele says:

"No, Alexander Herzen, who AFAIK is reasonably fairly described as the godfather of theoretical mild ethnonationalism."

I thought there was a Herzen fan around here. Wasn't he cosmopolitan as fuck? Does she mean Herder, Johann Gottfried, who is an origin of ethnic nationalism?

|?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:19 AM
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traffic analysis lights up your cell clear as day

Hell, they don't need traffic analysis, they just need to check Facebook to see who your Friends are. If one of them breaks a window, you will be suspect. If not in the NSA database, than in Cambridge Analytica's.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:23 AM
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Bob wants you to break windows and get arrested and discredit Trump's opposition. He's paid by the Republicans. This has been obvious for some time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:27 AM
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Oh, I'd be perfectly willing to believe he was saying things for free, in a spirit of malicious mischief. You're perfectly right about what he's hoping for, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:29 AM
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Also, I'd prefer the stoplights work even though I almost got ran over this morning despite crossing with the light.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:33 AM
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If I were to say everybody here go out and break a stoplight, how would the pigs respond?

It's pretty difficult to think of a more pointless form of protest than that. The pigs would not have to respond because no one would do it.

232: Combined with 110 and 111, my belief that bob is a diehard Trump supporter and has been since 2015 is now firmly supported.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:36 AM
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Yeah, busting windows and stoplights seems pretty useless to me as anything but a political statement. If you are going to wreck infrastructure, find some infrastructure to wreck that would actually frustrate the operations to which you are opposed. Go monkeywrench cement plants at the Wall, or something.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:39 AM
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230.2: You're right about Herzen, bob.

230.3: Can't read her mind, but that seems like a good guess.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:40 AM
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There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part! You can't even passively take part! And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels...upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to...uh...um...got to bust a stoplight!


Posted by: Opinionated Mario Savio | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 9:58 AM
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Stupid stoplights.... telling us when to stop. What about our FREEDOM, man?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:04 AM
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Well shit, of course the stoplight example was deliberate nonsense, I am not exactly going to propose destruction serious and meaningful in this forum at this time.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:09 AM
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I couldn't imagine a more feckless form of protest than that.

I like where we are going with the protest movements. They've been specific in their grievances while general in their mobilization. Vets, many of them Republicans, came out in support of Muslim immigrants because of this. BigLaw will help us fight this in the courts. Families bring their children to protests. We need this, all of it. A bunch of broken windows would threaten the very heart of it and scare away those people. I've never been more sympathetic to ajay's provocateur accusation than now.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:12 AM
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Looks like Hillary Clinton is mulling a 2020 run. Is Martha Coakly not available?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:13 AM
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In any case my first more serious proposal was way up above:

General strike, stay home* and sickout, cost the people with money and deadlines and orders

*General strikes after WWII, longshoremen and Minneapolis etc hit the streets and got shot down. Literally. I don't understand why they provided a shooting gallery.

PS: One of my assumptions, or hopes, that as three people go missing in an office for a week, others will join them, without creating the targets and leaders for the pigs to use for demoralization.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:15 AM
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242. Seriously? It's Easter Bunny time.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:19 AM
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242 Good god no!

If it comes to a general strike let it flow organically from the forms of resistance building up before it. Now Muslims, soon Mexicans, we'll have environmental issues (DAPL and others, reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, etc.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:20 AM
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I notice, bob, that you personally are comfortably retired.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:20 AM
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You are all being silly, playing with each other and for each other.

This is why, no matter what y'all do on the streets, you don't deserve respect or support. Mostly, y'all want a restoration, Corey Booker of Gillibrand, same ol same ol, Wall Street and Virtue signaling. Which was the last subthread, wasn't it?

No more popular fronts.

Lessons From the Resistance

"In 2006 Republicans lost control of the House. The Netroots had helped with that, and we had hopes and expectations.

They were quickly dashed: the House caucus had taken our help, sure, but they had no intention of seriously opposing Bush's wars or his vast over-reach on civil liberties and executive power.

So Obama got in power, he bailed out the banks, he fucked over ordinary home-owners, he increased deportations and ramped up drone assassinations. He was far harsher on whistleblowers than Bush had been and he re-signed all the bad bills when the time came, like the Patriot Act and the AUMF, which had given Bush massive executive power and carte-blanche to spy and assassinate and go to war.

Obama institutionalized Bush. Oh, he drew back on some things, but he advanced others, and he left the basic power structure in place and the legal structure. Then he went to war with Libya, which while it killed less people than the Iraq war, was the exact same type of war crime as Bush had committed: aggressive war on a non-threatening country. This is what the Nazis were hung for in Nuremburg.

Note that the Democratic controlled House and Senate of 09/10 was no better than Obama, they did not push him to be better."


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:23 AM
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Marxists say they hate fascists but have never actually done anything about them when there's a liberal they can attack.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:25 AM
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225: It is indeed the principals committee they're talking about. The latest is that the CJCS and DNI will be attending all of its meetings, as opposed to "only the ones where we think they're needed", which was the official word last week.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:25 AM
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"Virtue signaling"yet more right-wing talking points. I dunno, man, I'm really starting to come around to ajay's line of thought here.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:26 AM
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242 What makes you say that? Is it her tweet about this not being who we are or some such? It's kind of the bare minimum I'd expect from her but I'd hardly read into it thoughts for a 2020 run.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:27 AM
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Uh, I would not be in favor of an additional run by Hillary Clinton for President.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:28 AM
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A general strike would also be a ludicrous idea. Far too vague, far too wide-reaching, far too much collateral damage. It makes sense if you're bob, or Bannon, and trying to create chaos in order to impose your dream of an authoritarian state.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:28 AM
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252 is right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:30 AM
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Not just right in the sense that Walt knows what his own opinion is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:30 AM
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Marxists say they hate fascists but have never actually done anything about them when there's a liberal they can attack.

Well, that's not fair. Marxists have a proud history of selling fascists arms and other vital materials and helping the fascists to conquer and brutalise other countries, while undermining the efforts of the liberals and socialists to stop them.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:30 AM
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250: "Hey, you know this under-educated white male Texan retiree who hates women, especially feminists, despises academics and liberals, and supports violence without ever participating? I think he might secretly be a bit right-wing!" is one of those things that sounds really obvious only after you see it written down.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:33 AM
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Marxists say they hate fascists but have never actually done anything about them when there's a liberal they can attack.

More liberals than fascists, and as Ian Welsh shows in 247, and as we are currently seeing, they aid, abet, enable, and foam the fucking runway for the fascists.

Also, Marxists might be able to pull some liberals away.

But you don't kill liberals, you just yell at them. Woody's guitar has other targets.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:35 AM
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Boris now claiming that the UK has a special deal on dual nationals, and it does not apply to all Western countries, as the government previously said.

Regardless of the legality/morality, this whole thing is a ridiculous clusterfuck.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:39 AM
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Putin has won so big even the English guy is called "Boris".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:41 AM
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||

During the farewell, Carter turned to Soviet interpreter Viktor Sukhodrev and said with his famous smile: ''Come back to the United States and bring your President with you.'' Six months later, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan.
fucking Marxists.
|>


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:41 AM
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Just repeat this from Welsh

"So Obama got in power, he bailed out the banks, he fucked over ordinary home-owners, he increased deportations and ramped up drone assassinations. He was far harsher on whistleblowers than Bush had been and he re-signed all the bad bills when the time came, like the Patriot Act and the AUMF, which had given Bush massive executive power and carte-blanche to spy and assassinate and go to war.

Obama institutionalized Bush."

Where were you people then? What can I expect of you under President Booker?

This party creates fascists.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:45 AM
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What makes you say that? Is it her tweet about this not being who we are or some such?

No, just some shit in my Facebook feed. It may very well have been fake news, but I had a visceral reaction against it.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:45 AM
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262: You keep putting it up so that the bullshit portions have to be rebutted again and the parts of it that are true get aired again. You've repeated that same set of charges ad nausea since 2015. Which is why I am very much not joking that I think you are a paid Republican operative. It's not argument. It's propaganda.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:50 AM
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This party creates fascists.

I like my version better.


Posted by: Opinionated Woody Guthrie | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:51 AM
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so that the bullshit portions have to be rebutted again

Or people ignore them, which I realize gives the implication of approval but at least means there's only the one comment rather than letting a million reiterations bloom. I don't know that there's a best way to deal with this and I've thought about it a lot.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:53 AM
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Yes. Or that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:54 AM
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Bob is our own iteration of the general phenomenon by which various right-wing actors have shut down, impeded, or clouded discourse in America.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:56 AM
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That's why we've needed you, Moby, to cloud discourse in entirely different directions.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 10:58 AM
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I've so far been willing to ignore bob's bullshit as the price of his occasional insights and novelties, but the ratio of former to latter has become far too low.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:02 AM
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270 This. And I'm content to make fun of it when he goes to far. He doesn't shut down discourse though, IMHO.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:10 AM
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various right-wing actors

Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson... there really aren't many.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:10 AM
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I'd ban him if I didn't think it'd start fights that I'd rather not have. I don't want to badly enough that I'd lose any other commenter to make it happen, but the last time I found anything he said insightful or novel was a very long time ago, and I think he does derail conversations that would have been more interesting in his absence.

Mostly, he's a fountain of irritating and sometimes abusive bullshit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:14 AM
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Marxists haven't sold or given any weapons to anybody for 25 years, except maybe NK to our favorite dictators in Saudi Arabia. FLN? Get serious.

Obama otoh set the alltime fucking record for arms sales.

Nah, this usually gets to this disorder when that fucking Melnyk Bandera ajay pops up


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:14 AM
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271: He prevents discourse from beginning in the first place, at least for me. There are times I start typing something and decide it's not worth talking to anyone else if it means getting a response from him.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:15 AM
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275 That I did not know. Hmmm.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:19 AM
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Come to think, is there anyone left who'd actually mind if we banned him? I've thought about this in the past, and always decided that I was pretty sure there were at least a few people. By now, though, I think he may have burned through everyone.

Sodom and Gomorrah time, guys. If people actively want to argue that bob makes this a better place for them, you should probably do it now. Otherwise, I think it's time to raise banning with the other front-pagers.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:21 AM
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And it all really started when I started criticizing Obama in 2008, if you can remember that far back.

At that time, the rejoinder that I had to be a Puma and Hillary supporter, even though I denied it.

Now eight years I criticize Obama, Clinton, and Democrats and y'all call me Republican

From my side, it is ridiculous, but the other side is mostly about Obama-worship and liberal guilt-throwing.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:21 AM
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Frankly, I have been here for 12-13 years and I'll be damned if I am going to let the likes of ajay force me to runaway.

And I am never been the one to swoon at the waycool banker's tools and atrocity committers in the Democratic Party. I have been consistent, y'all just want somewhere you can bury your consciences.

You'll have to ban me, delete me, whatever.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:27 AM
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277 I would actually mind. But I feel like I have to process Thorn's point. Also wonder if it broke down along gender lines which would give me even more food for thought.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:27 AM
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The time for banning was l'affaire Tweety/Blume, but whatever. You have to count commenters we lose because of Bob's presence as well.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:31 AM
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I'd prefer to keep bob.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:37 AM
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Banning would sadden me, but I would be in favor.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:38 AM
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Yeah, that's the problem -- it's always either too early or too late. Bob was absolutely filthily abusive then, and has been on a bunch of other occasions, and I think he's done a lot of damage to the community.

I sympathize with people like Barry who enjoy things about him -- way back when, I did too. And I was pretty sure that there were enough people in that category that banning him would fuck up the community more than not banning him. But not banning him has been a slow, steady drain of energy as well over the years. (I don't think this is strongly gender based. I know men as well as women who post less or not at all because they're sick of bob.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:38 AM
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281 Oh fuck yes, I'd forgotten. Damn good and valued commenters too.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:41 AM
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I mean, I wasn't sure whether to bother sat anything this time because I don't want people to think it's because he hurt my feelings with his stupid attach on me, which he didn't. But half the people here can VTSOOBC to confirm I've been consistent for years and think 281 is right. But I also understand LB's position.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:42 AM
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Chill the fuck out bob.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:42 AM
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I think I argued the other way at the time, but I've come around to Tweety's thinking.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:43 AM
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280: Yes, you must protect the fragile flowers. That's men's jobs, right? And they will like you for it.

If anybody wants to claim my attacks or criticism are consistently gendered, try. I never hit the guys?

Therefore if there is a problem, it is the reactions and responses that are gendered, in various ways, ways I frankly think are sexist, patriarchal, and patronizing.

Women are taught not to fight or argue, or to fight in kinder gentler ways. This blog used to be a lot rougher than it is now.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:51 AM
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It's not a sufficient excuse for my inaction at the time, but that was several years closer to the last time Bob had said anything worthwhile.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:51 AM
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Women are taught not to fight or argue,

Sure are, cupcake. Keep blathering if you like while we decide whether or not to pull the plug on you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:53 AM
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287: Fuck off, weathervane. You go back and forth on this every day.

You think I'm gonna gain friends by becoming invisible?

I only ever wanted fair treatment, not determined by cliques, personalities, and tribalism.

I have never gotten it, and have always taken 100 times more abuse than I have given, and everybody knows it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 11:56 AM
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291: You baiting? Hoping for something probative?

Surprised I know that word?

I have ignored you for years. Lawyer.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 12:00 PM
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Dude, this isn't a court. No one needs to prove anything. And nothing you say today means much of anything compared to everything you've said over the time you've spent here.

The only question is if getting rid of you does more damage to the conversation than letting you keep drivelling.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 12:03 PM
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I chime in roughly once a week so my opinion isn't worth that much, but here it is. At this point (in this thread, and roughly since the election) he's acting for all the world as if he wants to get banned, because he enjoys a persecution complex and proving that we're close-minded.

So, you know, I say go for it. It would make both him and us happy.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 12:09 PM
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See, the discussion is mostly people thinking about who they want to piss off, and whether the excluded marginal abject can be sacrificed and excluded to score points with the popular set.

Does everybody agree with LB that I haven't had anything worthwhile to say for years? Freed? Mossy?

If you disagree, what does that say about LB?

That you despise me does not make you good people. See I know in RL how little harm I have done, and how few people hate me.

I know my politics, though less effective in, are morally defensible. I don't even have to think very hard about Obama or Clinton. They're terrible. I know I have a lot of people outside the blog agree with me.

I know the way the centrist Democratic blogs circle the wagons, and call Jacobin and Counterpunch wrong and evil people, while supporting oligarchs, billionaires, and warmongers.

Take a good look at your associates after you flip me off on the way out.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 12:10 PM
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Cyrus, why go for it on the way out?

LB decided for everybody already, and they're not gonna piss her off.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 12:13 PM
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296.2: Yes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 12:13 PM
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I'm a woman and I have not found bob as irritating as others, but I have a thick skin in some ways and I'm good at just skipping his comments if I don't want to read. I also find he varies a lot by thread or topic. He's usually fine on anime or anthropology, terrible on feminism, and with politics he's really gone off the deep-end. I'm agnostic on banning, but it's not my space to make the rules. I know CT does thread bans or author bans, but I don't know how much work that is for the moderators.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 12:16 PM
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298: Drunken drone clown.

"Make them laugh, and you'll at least get a blowjob" is what I was told fifty years ago.

And after I couldn't do it anymore.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 12:17 PM
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||
Assad rumored dead of stroke.
|>


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 12:17 PM
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296.2: No. See 270.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 12:17 PM
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Man I missed a chance for a good NMM/stroke joke there.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 12:18 PM
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I don't despise you bob, but you're acting abusive. You need to stop but I'm afraid Cyrus in 295.1 is close to the truth of it.
I would miss bob and don't want to see him banned. I want to write that I think this place would be poorer for his absence but with the abuse and the kind of trolling he does that's at the very least a very debatable point.
Sorry for my weak-ass defense. Bob, I think you'd do well to take a breather.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 12:19 PM
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We are all going off the political deep end now.

And I have been really fucking pissed off since 2008, have been expecting what we are seeing, and I was fucking right.

And you can't stand it.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 12:21 PM
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284: "I know men as well as women who post less or not at all because they're sick of bob."

I've been in the "bob can fuck himself" column since he took to talking about Obama like he was the accession of Hitler. Now that the US faces real authoritarianism I'm not surprised to find he has nothing constructive to say.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 12:28 PM
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Oh, hey, that's good to know. I don't remember why, but I mistakenly had you down, mentally, as in the "Let bob be bob" camp, and that was part of what was holding me back.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 12:34 PM
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Yeah, bob doesn't particularly bother me or interfere with my coming to the site or anything, but no, I would not mourn his leaving. I've never thought his Weeaboo obsessions justified his toxicity.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 12:38 PM
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Obama like he was the accession of Hitler. Now that the US faces real authoritarianism

No, with Obama and his popularity we obviously had a form of democratic financial imperialism.

The people voted for and loved the oligarchic warmongering banker's tool. Or at least the right kind of people.

Watch, Obama will stay pretty silent until he gets his 8-9 figure book advance and puts it in a hedge fund.

But god keep that dude away from voter registration and redistricting. Consider this my constructive contribution.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 12:48 PM
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305: no, you were expecting Obama to engineer a recession in 2011. You were expecting him to swap parties in 2012 and run for reelection as a Republican. You were expecting Jeb Bush to resurrect his campaign and take the Republican nomination and the presidency.
If we can't stand you, Bob, it's not because you keep getting stuff right.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 1:02 PM
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310: Yes, bob's main appeal to me has been that he predicts horrible things that I can be assured won't come true.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 1:05 PM
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Most bombs dropped, most arms sales in Presidential history, black wealth decimated in 8 years while the rich got richer, little anti-trust, seven simultaneous wars, party destruction at all levels, etc etc followed by a pure-d fascist and I am the crazy one not to love Obama.

Not Obama's fault!

Hey why don't we take a vote to see if we kick out ...no the country shouldn't work that way.

I am getting bored and tired and may not check back in for a month. I don't even know how to change or hide my IP. And everybody yelling about Manning and saying not Obama's fault will just piss me off again.

First they came for the socialists. I should probably lay a little lower anyway.

And it's dog walking season in Texas.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 1:06 PM
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Is the email linked from your name good? If so, I'll give you an email to tell you if you've been banned.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 1:10 PM
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My problem is that the rate of bob comments to non-bob comments has gotten all out of whack as his frequency seems to have gone up, and the number of regular commenters has gone down. I don't mind like 2 bob posts out of 100, but when it's 2 out of 10 it's a real problem.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 1:16 PM
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Maybe the season in Texas where the dogs shit in the house was the problem?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 1:17 PM
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313: I never get anything but spam, so I never check the other computer. Whatever makes you happy.

It isn't any martyrdom that craves confirmation, it's the damn misanthropy.

Aggregate and global misanthropy can be pretty easy, but the mark of an honest man is to seek and find it interpersonally, anthropologically. Even Nietzsche had Paul Ree and Lou-Andreas Salome. Weakling.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 1:28 PM
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I second 314


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 1:33 PM
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Second 317.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 1:35 PM
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I second 317 but not 318. Because I'm a feminist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 1:37 PM
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314: So, the alternative to banning Bob is for the rest of us to comment more.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 1:56 PM
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I still enjoy bob. He's not the main reason I come here, but he's one of them.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 1:59 PM
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Watch, Obama will stay pretty silent until he gets his 8-9 figure book advance and puts it in a hedge fund.

Record time!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:12 PM
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257: He loves dogs, which Twitter eggs tell me is a socialist position.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:12 PM
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If it was just my personal preference, I'd vote for keeping Bob around, but I recognize that my commenting style and the fact that I am (sadly) not much of a real-time commenter these days makes it easier for me to avoid arguing with Bob.

I like some of his weirdness, and I'd miss him if he was gone. But that doesn't mean that I feel like I should ask other people to put up with unpleasantness on my behalf. I remember a recent thread in which Bob claimed that the only people one should trust are those who explicitly say they don't care about you, and then followed up by being randomly abusive to people, which didn't seem like a good time.

But he did have a recent summary of politics which I appreciated and might try to look up.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:13 PM
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I don't think the issue for anyone is arguing with Bob. He's incoherent enough that there's no way to argue with him. The problem, as I see it, is the volume of nonsensical blather, with the occasional sentence in it that can be interpreted as something interesting if you do all the work of the interpretation, combined with the nasty abuse.

I like people who argue. Can't stand Bob, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:17 PM
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I strongly anti-enjoy Bob. I would not miss him. I would find his absence an improvement. In addition to all of his many, many nasty, insincere, and tedious qualities, he is also so prolific that his posts genuinely drown out potentially interesting conversations that might be/have been happening nearby. However, I haven't been around much for a while, so take my opinion for what it's worth.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:17 PM
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Here was the comment I liked -- nothing completely new, but I appreciated Bob's phrasing, http://www.unfogged.com/archives/comments_15761.html#1930672

I also though the exchange with him in comments 510/513 on that thread added something to the conversation (this is in response to LB's comment that it had been a long time since she found Bob insightful, not an argument against 284 etc.)


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:20 PM
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Yeah, the thing is there is real value in a good 10-15% of what he posts. I second 317 and 318 but not 319 because, I don't know, JOHN CENA! which is what my kid says when he can't come up with anything actually creative.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:21 PM
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I suspect Thorn's 275 is a common response. He's mentally ill, and participating in conversation with him or taking the time and effort to learn to ignore him is not for everyone.

Drives some reasonable people away, makes things worse in the aggregate IMO.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:22 PM
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there is real value in a good 10-15% of what he posts

"Why are you eating that dogshit?"

"Look! It's frosted!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:24 PM
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If less bob buys more 330, the choice is clear.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:28 PM
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Tweety!


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:28 PM
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I skip all his comments. Usually I can recognize his posting style within a line or two so he could be saying horrible things but I probably won't see it. That said, I'm pro-ban because he does seem to be posting a lot in certain threads and drowning out normal comments.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:30 PM
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Yeah, I do that too, mostly, but it's a knack not everyone has.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:33 PM
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333 encapsulates what I would have written.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:39 PM
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His posts are not responsive to what others here express-- he writes as if he cannot read anything else that is written here. So, feeding everything he has written here into a script that excludes sentences containing abusive words but which rehashes say 2-7 random sentences from his previous posts once a day would keep the "benefit" of his non-sequiturs and diction but omit the abuse and shouty streaks.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:42 PM
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Cosign 324. Also, I'm not a big fan of banning people for being unpleasant and incoherent. For reasons.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:43 PM
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Sharona does.

Anyhow, yeah, I just skim at this point. I guess the bummer is that I feel like someone could be a great interlocutor for bob but it's not us. And the abusiveness on his part, obviously that is not good. Of course, sometimes others of us, including myself, have been pretty abusive, but most of us know when to let up.

I'm working on forgetting about all my intra-left/intra-anarchist scene feuds these days. So I'm trying not to talk shit about anyone, except for the fascists, obviously.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:44 PM
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I have to admit that there is a certain bleak humour value in Unfogged's own proto-Jill Stein -- the very variety of useful idiot to whom distinctions and details were inconvenient, and who helped propel Putin's pimping of the far left that has now landed Bannon in the WH, with Trump as his pawn -- now trying to adopt the line that he was "right all along" and boy howdy if only we'd listened to him. But it's pretty fucking limited.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:50 PM
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330 is funny.


Posted by: Lord Castock | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:51 PM
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337. Everyone chooses for themselves obviously, but I see only unpleasant and incoherent above his name for quite some time. I see that as quite different from some but not all contributions being angry or poorly executed.

My feeling is that the conversations here thrive when new people feel something like welcomed and sometimes decide to stick around, and that's less likely with his presence.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:53 PM
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banning people for being unpleasant and incoherent.
others of us, including myself, have been pretty abusive

Neither one of you ever come close to bob levels of abusive unpleasantness. No one else, barring the TOS, ever has either.

Also, Eggplant! You haven't been around lately.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 2:55 PM
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new people feel something like welcomed and sometimes decide to stick around, and that's less likely with his presence.
Very good point.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 3:01 PM
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For what it's worth, I think Bob's comments could and should be replaced by a bot. It's always sad when someone's purpose in life is automated away but a Marxist will understand that sometimes it's progress too. Just a random interjection of "but Obama was worse" when a protest in wheelchairs was machine gunned on Pennsylvania avenue would remind us of all we were missing.


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 3:46 PM
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I don't think I've ever read bob's comments on purpose. I try to just skip them all, but sometimes I start reading one on accident and then get frustrated that I wasted my time.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 3:50 PM
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Neither one of you ever come close to bob levels of abusive unpleasantness. No one else, barring the TOS, ever has either.

There were times when read got close.


Posted by: lambchop | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 4:16 PM
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Not really. Think just about comparative volume of comments.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 4:17 PM
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Fittingly, I'm toggling between this thread and a history of the Soviet Union. I've reached the Gorbachev years.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 4:37 PM
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277: I don't know what happened with Tweety/Blume and bob.

I thought Tweety had an app to filter out bob. I recognize the formatting of his comments and never read them unless someone else says that he said something insightful.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-30-17 8:59 PM
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kittens are cute.


Posted by: UNOPINIONATED BOB | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 12:38 AM
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I feel a weird sort of loyalty to bob, just because I remember reading his comments from day 1 of reading blog comment sections (back in Yglesias' original comment section). It's clear that he doesn't reciprocate the feeling, but eh, I'm a moron. I do think "Shut the fuck up" to about 90% of his comments.

It would have no impact on whether I keep commenting.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:44 AM
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349: Bob started randomly insisting that Tweety was abusing Blume. It was fucked up.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:45 AM
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351 I feel the same having been a member of that commentariat back in the day. I especially fondly recall bob's back and for the with zizka as he was known back then.

352 was beyond fucked up.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 3:04 AM
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Forth with.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 3:05 AM
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Argh


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 3:05 AM
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we approve 333 in email


Posted by: the lurkers | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 4:43 AM
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"approve" s/b "support", obviously. Damn lurkers, not being aware of all internet traditions.


Posted by: the lurkers | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 4:46 AM
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351, 353: Yeah, I don't remember where I noticed Bob first, but certainly as early as I was commenting anywhere. That was back when he still sounded convincingly like a batshit leftist rather than a batshit Republican operative, and I'm very fond of crazy leftists.

He's been nothing but mean and unproductively crazy for a lot of years now, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 5:27 AM
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Mostly a lurker and late to this conversation, but I would be strongly in favour of banning bob.


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 6:21 AM
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I wouldn't miss bob much, if at all. I didn't know 352, and it's awful.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 7:10 AM
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That was back when he still sounded convincingly like a batshit leftist rather than a batshit Republican operative, and I'm very fond of crazy leftists.

Last time, because I really doubt that you are capable or willing to get it, although Castock by comparing me to Stein shows a little sanity.

From 2003 to 2008 I viciously criticized Bush and Republicans, and y'all thought I was a batshit leftist.

From 2008 to 2016 I viciously criticized Obama, Clinton, and the Democrats, and you thought I was a Republican.

The change also of course moving from insider to outsider, to being part of the team to being a troll, but I am not the one who changed, and I am not the one who is crazy, and I am not the one who lost understanding of what the left and leftism means when power shifted from Republicans to Democrats.

This was predictable and predicted by Glen Ford, Adolph Reed, Sterling Newberry, Ian Welsh, Stoller, David Dayen, most of the Firedoglake crowd who famously became enemies and crazies in 2009, etc.

That it was predictable makes it no less appalling.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 7:42 AM
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Went from here to Ian's, and first comment there linked Jane Hamsher from 2011

Sanders to Primary Obama Don't Make Me Laugh

"Whenever the talk of a primary comes up, I always ask "who is going to do this?" The answer is always someone like Bernie Sanders or Jan Schakowsky, the same people whose job it is to put the Good Liberal Housekeeping Seal of Approval on whatever piece of neoliberal shit the White House cooks up to please the bond vigilantes. The people who suddenly become okay with war when the White House says so, who shake their fists in the air with outrage right before they fold, the people you can count on to always be there when there's nothing they can do...and are nowhere to be found when they can.

There were 173 Democrats in the House -- including Dennis Kucinich and every single member of the Progressive Caucus -- who voted for Reid's Catfood II Super Congress yesterday. The one that is designed to cut Social Security and Medicare. That's what it's there for. That's the only reason it exists. To allow Congress to fork over the power entrusted to them by the citizens who elected them to an elite body that stands above congress itself, and escape electoral retribution for doing something that 82% of the country does not want them to do."

If you want to have power, stop slobbering all over abject failure. And stop dreaming that you'll ever have any influence at the top by elevating people whose only systemic function is to serve as an opiate for liberals when they're getting screwed. Good lord, Mitch McConnell ran circles around the Democrats these past few weeks. Even as you watched him orchestrate the American decline, you had to marvel at his political skill -- and acknowledge there was no one on the left who could do that.

How can you hope to challenge the established order when your leaders are nothing more than serial losers?

New leadership will not emerge until you make room for them by taking out the old, corrupt order. And that job starts with the enablers. The ones who will be rolling out any minute now to placate liberal outrage and whitewash the piece of shit they voted for yesterday. The ones who will wrap themselves in the flag and mewl that they "had to do it for the country."

Jeez, I am not even that rough.

Jane Hamsher from 2011. And people were calling her a Republican operative.

Take a look in a mirror for a change


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 7:57 AM
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This is fair: http://glineq.blogspot.com/2017/01/is-liberalism-to-blame.html


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 8:11 AM
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It lost me at the whole dogmatic political correctness bit. That's just pure projection or red pill.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 8:16 AM
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and yeah, under those circumstances, under that kind of pressure, as an embattled fucking singularity, sometimes I lost my temper, went too far, was mean maybe cruel.

I suppose everybody thought there was a lot at stake.

And there certainly was.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 8:17 AM
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364- I think it is just oversensitiveness. Certainly if you fail to adhere to ever stricter political correctness you are going to be criticized as racist sexist homophobic or what have you from time to time.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 8:27 AM
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But the thing about 362 is that, like so many of your prophecies, it turned out to be completely wrong.
Did Obama and Reid really smash Social Security and Medicare? No.
Did the Tea Party really succeed in forcing the Republicans to hold firm to their threats on the debt ceiling? No.
Were thousands of old people really cast into poverty and denied healthcare for the sake of the 2012 election? No.

The whole thing is based on a completely false foundation, and continuing to post it is flying in the face of reality. Any wonder that we think you (and Hamsher) are crazy or worse?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 8:30 AM
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Right, but that's free speech for whoever is calling you whatever.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 8:30 AM
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363: It's idiotic. It's accusing liberal members of the 1% of personal hypocrisy, and then attributing that kind of hypocrisy to liberals generally. One notable thing about the very rich is that there are very few of them, and so they're not representative of any broad political group.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 8:32 AM
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Well I guess the "high priests" in the media are part of the 1% To whatever extent they are thought leaders they can communicate their hypocrisy to their followers. The examples given: "supporting the troops" while being "against the war" or giving enormous donations to private schools (in order to get their names emblazoned in classrooms) while "supporting public education".

I'm not sure I would call these things out as hypocrisy exactly, but trying to have things both ways can be damaging to your message.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 8:45 AM
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Most people aren't giving enormous donations to anything, because they don't have the money for it. Any argument that is primarily about very rich people isn't about liberals -- not because there are no rich liberals, but there are very few compared to the mass of the population.

To whatever extent they are thought leaders they can communicate their hypocrisy to their followers.

This doesn't mean anything comprehensible to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 8:54 AM
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I don't see how you have to be rich to support the troops while opposing the war.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 8:56 AM
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363 starts with a straight-up lie.

"It championed, especially under the Clinton-Blair duo, financial liberalization, much smaller welfare state, and so-called "meritocracy" which essentially meant the ability of the rich to place their kids into the best schools out of which 90% would graduate and thus "meritocratically" claim later in life huge wage premiums"

What a load of crap. "Much smaller welfare state" under Blair - no. The numbers on this are not hidden, they are out there in the public domain. Overall public spending rose sharply during Blair's second and third governments, after a first term in which Labour held itself to Conservative spending limits. Education spending went from 4.34% to 6.07% of GDP. Health spending went from 4.9% to 8%. Pension spending went from 6% to 8%. Welfare spending went from 5.5% to 8.2%.

Now, you can say that some of this was due to demographics, and it was - there were more pensioners as a share of the population in 2009 than in 1997. And some of it was exogenous - of course welfare spending was higher in 2009, there were more people unemployed, there was a crisis on. But none the less, whatever the reason, the welfare state was larger, not smaller.

They make this stuff up to further their own ends. They assume that most people won't go to the trouble of checking, and that the loudmouths of Zero Hedge and FDL and Jacobin will circulate it to their dim followers. But at the heart it's simply a lie. And they'll keep quoting it again and again, even when the article is years old.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 8:56 AM
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372: I don't see how you can ask people not to support the troops. They are following orders from the U.S. government which, we the people and all, I have to take responsibility for even when I have opposed the action taken.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 9:02 AM
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372: You don't. This sentence, describing how Milanovic thinks that works, is also nonsense, however:

They were not embarrassed by contradictions, nor accepted trade-offs: you could support soldiers killing civilians "because soldiers protect us" and be against the war and killing of civilians at the same time;

You can say that people didn't care enough about killing civilians, sure. People generally don't care enough about anything they should be caring about. But no one was out there actively supporting soldiers killing civilians because soldiers protect us while also opposing the war -- Milanovic is not describing an attitude that any significant portion of the population ever held.

The whole post is nonsense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 9:05 AM
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Whenever a leftist pops up, ajay is always quick to jump in and defend the neoliberal Democratic "center" You might ask yourselves how a really smart Republican operative would act, and whether alienating the crowd or flattering and affirming the crowd is in the playbook.

ajay might claim that neoliberal Democratic "center" and Obama have been marvelously effective over the last eight years? Y'all agree?

Well, the FDL, Bop, OpenLeft crowd has been effectively driven out of the blogosphere or marginalized during the Obama administration, just in time for the 2016 election coincidentally.

Everybody's jumping on the Trump outrage and existential crisis of the week, pushing the likes of Booker, Schumer, Gillibrand to the front of the "resistance"

Since 8 years of Bush was followed by 8 years of Obama (without effective resistance or protest to push to the left) I can be confidant that what follows Trump will be worse than Obama, and what follows that...

...if there is anything left.

Ian Welsh is almost gleeful, so bitter than he doesn't mind seeing this corrupt Empire and its compromised opportunistic citizens burn to the ground. Shouldn't speak for him, but y'all don't care, you don't read him. Klein and Yggles, those effective advocates are your style.

The Counterpunch crowd is pretty amazing to keep it up for decades. Louis Proyect. Mark Fisher.

Whatever. Enjoy your self-righteous solidarity.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 9:08 AM
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Ian Welsh is almost gleeful, so bitter than he doesn't mind seeing this corrupt Empire and its compromised opportunistic citizens burn to the ground.

That's what Bannon wants to. He and Welsh are the same problem, not different ends of a political spectrum.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 9:12 AM
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375: I think that is partly just clumsy writing by Milanovic. By

you could support soldiers killing civilians "because soldiers protect us"

He means

you could support soldiers, even though they were killing civilians, "because soldiers protect us"

not

you could support the killing of civilians by soldiers "because soldiers protect us"

I mean, it's still faulty reasoning, but I think you're reading it as even wronger than he intended.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 9:13 AM
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You might ask yourselves how a really smart Republican operative would act, and whether alienating the crowd or flattering and affirming the crowd is in the playbook.

Well, I don't think anyone ever accused you of being a particularly smart Republican.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 9:14 AM
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Pretty sure Milanovic didn't say this: People... support(ing) soldiers killing civilians because soldiers protect us while also opposing the war.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 9:16 AM
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Right. I quoted what he said, and then rephrased it in my own words. You can tell that from the typographical conventions I used.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 9:20 AM
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Sure but the way you rephrased it wasn't equivalent in meaning. If I had a habit of rephrasing your arguments to make mine seem stronger I don't think you'd like it.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 9:27 AM
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If we're worried about what things mean, 380 isn't really helping me understand.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 9:29 AM
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If you think it's an unfair rephrasing, explaining where you see the unfairness would be helpful. So far we're stuck on Contradiction, and haven't gotten to Argument yet.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 9:32 AM
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So far we're stuck on Contradiction, and haven't gotten to Argument yet.

We've got abuse covered, though.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 9:37 AM
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I really shouldn't wade in here but this is one thing that drives me crazy:

From 2003 to 2008 I viciously criticized Bush and Republicans, and y'all thought I was a batshit leftist.

Because it was like fucking Powerline blog here back then, right? Remember those good old days where no one here was criticizing Bush and Republicans except bob?
This purer than thou God's own leftist howling in the wind schtick is beyond tired. It's false, exclusionary, delusional, and offensive.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 9:56 AM
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" But no one was out there actively supporting soldiers killing civilians because soldiers protect us while also opposing the war."

During the war Vietnam a pretty large share of the American population held essentially this view. That we shouldn't be there but that given that we were we should win at all costs. Most Republicans were down with thanking Lt Calley for his service.

I guess what is new is that now Democrats do it too.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 9:58 AM
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On that, he's picking up my language. There was a period when I thought he was a leftist, and liked him for it, and also thought he was batshit. Not because he was overly far left for my taste, but because of the batshittery. I referred to him as a 'batshit leftist' in 358'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 9:59 AM
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Great, well how about "LB thought I was" not y'all.

And with that I think I should retire from the field.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:06 AM
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387: So, now you're good with my rephrasing, you just think that supporting soldiers killing civilians was common among Democratic opponents of the Iraq war? We've probably come to an impasse, then -- if you think that's true, I can't think of how to convince you differently.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:07 AM
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I think supporting soldiers, who are killing civilians is still common among Democrats. Some Democrats oppose the war. The overlap is not a null set. If you have evidence otherwise I'd be interested to see it.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:10 AM
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Well, now we're getting into 'what do you mean by support?' When my cousin Timmy joined the Army in 2003 or so, I thought it was a really poor decision, both morally and and for his own welfare. He probably didn't kill any civilians himself, as a medic, but I don't know, and he was certainly part of an organization that did. I still sent him baby-wipes and skiing magazines, though, and was glad that he got home uninjured.

That's certainly support, but it doesn't in any way seem to me to be in conflict with opposition to the war. But I think it's pretty typical of the sense in which any Democratic opponents of the war 'supported the troops'.

If you want a real conflict, you need to find someone who both opposed the war and was simultaneously wishing the troops success in killing more Iraqis, and I don't think there was any substantial amount of that out there. If you think there was, I don't know how to convince you differently.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:19 AM
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I think supporting soldiers, who are killing civilians is still common among Democrats

That's some interesting phrasing. The peculiar comma use is particularly artful. Because what he's saying is that a lot of Democrats support soldiers (true) and that some soldiers are killing civilians (regrettably, also presumably true), but what he's trying to imply is that therefore a lot of Democrats are supporting the killing of civilians. Which is false.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:22 AM
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I have often wished that Bob fucked off (and said it a few times). I do support him following Shearer. Even though I try to skim his entries I do abandon threads when I see lots of his stuff.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:26 AM
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I'm giving it another day or so in case anyone else wants to speak up. Final decision, say, Thursday.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:29 AM
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During the war Vietnam a pretty large share of the American population held essentially this view. That we shouldn't be there but that given that we were we should win at all costs.

I would be very interested to see some evidence for this assertion.
There was certainly a very large body of opinion, especially in the first half of the war, that the US was not doing enough to win the war - majorities supported an increase in the war effort, some even at the risk of provoking war with the USSR. Though note that "we should do more to win" is not the same as "we should win at all costs, including the deliberate killing of unarmed civilians", which is what you're talking about here.

Gallup actually polled "do you think going into Vietnam was a mistake" throughout the war, and a majority said "no" right up to 1969.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:31 AM
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392-1 I think it is pretty clear here that you recognize a tension here that you were pretending to be oblivious to before.

I feel like we've discussed this particular example enough. Lets talk about how Liberals drive cars and ride in planes while objecting to global warming next.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:34 AM
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394. Did Shearer get banned? Shearer was awful and a racist, but I thought that sometimes he genuinely added value. Bob's ratio of interestingness to obnoxiousness isn't anywhere near as high.

(I don't really enjoy the idea of banning anyone, but I'm a very infrequent commenter so I shouldn't get much say. Also, I almost never read bob's comments -- I find them very easy to skip over.)


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:36 AM
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Lets talk about how Liberals drive cars and ride in planes while objecting to global warming

No liberal has ever done this. For a start, there aren't any planes big enough.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:36 AM
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I feel like we've discussed this particular example enough. Lets talk about how Liberals drive cars and ride in planes while objecting to global warming next.

I'm deeply confused, at this point. I haven't read the linked article (and expect to object to it at this point), but I thought the entire point of "Liberals drive cars and ride in planes while objecting to global warming next" was that it was a generally meaningless charge of hypocrisy. If you think that's comparable to whatever claim of hypocrisy that you're making, I'd assume that your claim is generally meaningless as well.

Perhaps I'm missing an intended irony.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:39 AM
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I take the bus when I can. Because catching Pokemon while driving is dangerous.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:39 AM
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Nope, I don't recognize a tension there -- I didn't see any contradiction at all between wishing Timmy (or any other solidier, he's just the one I knew well enough to send stuff too), personally, well, and wishing we had not attacked Iraq and that, having attacked, we had ended the war long before we actually did.

363 remains nonsense.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:39 AM
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I don't read Roger as suggesting that a majority was in favour of civilian atrocities, even among Republicans, only that significant numbers were unconcerned about them. The Battle Hymn of Lt. Calley got into the Billboard Top 40 in 1971 so somebody must have been buying the fucking thing, and I imagine ne or two of them identified as Democrats.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:41 AM
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399: Golf carts, maybe. But those are electric so they don't count.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:41 AM
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I thought the entire point of "Liberals drive cars and ride in planes while objecting to global warming next" was that it was a generally meaningless charge of hypocrisy.

It is pretty much a verbatim repetition of a very popular right-wing radio meme from about 2006. Except that it was normally Al Gore in particular. Made me feel quite nostalgic to see it come up again.

I feel like we've discussed this particular example enough.

I am totally stealing this for next time I get caught talking rubbish. Much better than "now, now, let's not get bogged down arguing about who stabbed who".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:43 AM
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403: Roger is drifting all over the place. The blogpost he linked to was incoherently accusing liberals of hypocrisy in relation to the Iraq war, which was a different political environment than Vietnam. For one thing, Democrat/Republican lined up much less well with conservative/liberal back then.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:43 AM
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Liberals who drive cars inside planes while supported soldiers killing civilians; those are the real monsters.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:44 AM
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Supporting.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:45 AM
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405.last: A partner at an old job of mine had this wonderful way of saying "Let's put that (miming holding a box about a foot square) to one side (lifting the box and putting it off to his left)" before changing the subject away from whatever he'd just defaulted on to a happier topic. I still reach for that in difficult moments.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:46 AM
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404: I suppose that's possible. But I can't think of much more stereotypically right-wing than driving a golf buggy up and down the hold of a C-17, combining as it does so the right-wing totems of the military, laziness, conspicuous consumption and golf, so I'm sticking to my belief that no liberal has ever done so.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:46 AM
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Generally true. Specifically, try to visualize Bill Clinton in the golf cart. Could have happened, right? I think we have to give Roger that one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:47 AM
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Liberals who drive cars inside planes while supporting soldiers killing civilians; those are the real monsters.

So the soldiers (and civilians) are actually on the roof of the car while all this is happening? That sounds most unwise.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:47 AM
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Specifically, try to visualize Bill Clinton in the golf cart.

No thank you. I have my own fantasy life.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:50 AM
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No liberal has ever done this. For a start, there aren't any planes big enough.

What were the political affiliations of the gang in Fast and Furious 7?

The Battle Hymn of Lt. Calley got into the Billboard Top 40 in 1971 so somebody must have been buying the fucking thing, and I imagine ne or two of them identified as Democrats.

Do you imagine any of them identified as anti-war?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:50 AM
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What were the political affiliations of the gang in Fast and Furious 7?

Come on, Wikipedia, don't fail me now.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:51 AM
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I guess we know they were big on family values.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:56 AM
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Am I the only person who hasn't seen one of those?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:58 AM
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You and I, Moby.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:58 AM
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Nope.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 10:58 AM
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I just stopped going to movies about ten years ago.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:00 AM
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Neither have I. I did see the Gone in 60 Seconds remake, though. Does that count as basically the same thing?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:00 AM
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And me makes four.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:01 AM
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And I thought you were the guy who went to all the art movies.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:01 AM
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422 make that 5.

Just saw The Family Fang which I highly recommend.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:02 AM
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On TV, that is, not in the theater.

Although I did see the original Gone in 60 seconds in the theater.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:02 AM
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The first one is best, and it isn't bad. But it's not very good, either.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:02 AM
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423 Well I did go see the new Resident Evil movie the other day. That one I don't recommend.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:04 AM
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The series is interesting to the extent that a random forgettable mid-budget crime movie developed into a multi-billion dollar franchise seemingly by random mutation.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:06 AM
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Have you seen the new Scorsese?


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:06 AM
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The first one is best, and it isn't bad. But it's not very good, either.

The franchise is, really, pretty good. As far as which one is best, it depends on what you're looking for.

#1 actually feels like it has some slight connection to a real sub-culture.

#2 is bad

#3 is irredeemably bad.

#4 is my second favorite in the franchise. The movie in which it's just starting to tip over into "completely over the top" action absurdity. Probably Paul Walker's best performance in the franchise.

#5 is my favorite. Completely over-the-top, but with two genuinely fabulous action sequences (the train sequence, and the final Rio chase).

#6 is a step backwards; I personally found the action sequences boring and hard to follow

#7 is better than 6, and genuinely pretty good, but not as good as 1/4/5.

Nick


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:09 AM
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I'm giving it another day or so in case anyone else wants to speak up. Final decision, say, Thursday.

Is there a specific comment or set of comments that a commenter should read before weighing in on this? I take it the question is whether bobs should be banned. I read back about 100 or so comments but I'm not seeing the source of what's causing this question to be asked at this particular time. I'm familiar with much of the history and the prior askings of the same question. I've historically been in favor of bobs, or at least in favor of tolerance of bobs, although there have been plenty of individually indefensible moments.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:09 AM
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I don't even own a Furious.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:10 AM
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429 No, it hasn't come around here. I may go to a bit of the Berlinale, so if it's playing there I'll try to catch it. Did you?

Speaking of which any commenters here in Berlin up for a quick meet-up mid-February?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:13 AM
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I love the Fast and the Furious movies, even though so many of them are terrible. They're probably the most genuinely multicultural mainstream movie franchise out there. Also, the first F&F movie is completely awesome. The rest declined precipitously in merit, but they were still fun, and in a strange way, very sweet and sentimental.

Also, I totally disagree with 430 that #3 was "irredeemably bad". That song is so good!

I did think, sometimes, watching the movies, that they were probably doing irreparable damage to kids' intuitive understanding of basic physics.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:21 AM
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433.1: No, trying to decide if I'll take the trouble.
430: Agreed on almost all points (I think 4 is just bad). I think the series suffers from incoherent morality. #1 is IMO best because it sets up a moral conflict and a real character arc (and we see the extension of that arc in #4, and I agree Walker gives his best performance there, for that reason), but from there on it gets increasingly messy. The level of destruction in that Rio chase is appalling, for instance.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:23 AM
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I'm not seeing the source of what's causing this question to be asked at this particular time.

Nothing special. I'd been thinking that in an ideal world, Bob would not be commenting here for a very, very, very long time, but hadn't done anything about it because I thought there were enough people who I thought had some significant positive value who would strenuously object that banning him would be more damaging than letting him keep blithering.

I had the same thought yesterday, and then it occurred to me that he'd been so uniformly, pointlessly, meaninglessly awful for so long that he probably could be banned without terribly bad results.

So, just thinking about his commenting globally is all you need -- you could read this whole thread, but there's nothing special in it. This is completely not "This time, Bob, you've gone too far!" He went too far, repeatedly, long, long ago (the Sifu/Blume thing was one, I'd have to think about it to come up with other really bad moments. He's said some filthy things about von Wafer too, hasn't he?) This is an arbitrary and capricious decision that the community sense of what he's worth has shifted enough that I don't need to tolerate him anymore.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:25 AM
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Where does Bob stand on the Fast and Furious franchise? I think that should be the deciding factor.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:29 AM
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He has said some filthy things about Von Wafer, yes. And I'm bitter because that spurred me to lash out, which may or may not have been the right choice but I don't think it even matters anymore.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:29 AM
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436: This would have been a perfectly-titled thread for "This time you've gone too far!", though...


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:31 AM
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they were probably doing irreparable damage to kids' intuitive understanding of basic physics.

At this point I think that's more or less every action movie. The couple times I've watched a modern superhero movie, I've gotten actively agitated at the physical nonsense. Semi-recently I saw some old action movie, and it didn't do that to me at all. Just bodies following the rules set by the universe, not some weird extrapolation of Hong Kong martial arts movies.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:35 AM
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Shearer was much more irritating than bob.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:44 AM
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Ah, ok. Personally, I think he's often insightful, but just as often he's distracting, inflammatory and abusive. Usually within the same comment. although I would agree that the balance seems to have shifted more towards the latter in the last half-decade or so. He doesn't bother me enough that I'd be looking to ban him, but if he's bothering others, in ing you, then go ahead and ban. I'd miss some of his insights, but it's not as if he hasn't been given plenty of warning (measured in years!), plenty of explanation of why the style and some of the substance of his comments is unwelcome and at times offensive and hurtful, and plenty of opportunity to dial back the tone. He's chosen not to do that.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:51 AM
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442 to 436.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:53 AM
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Tastes differ. Shearer was straight up racist, which meant that shooing him off was kind of a moral issue (and should have happened sooner than it did.) But I kind of liked having him around; it was useful insurance against saying badly supported things. I said something actually dumb or wrong, Shearer would guaranteed find the weak spot.

Bob just annoys the hell out of me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:54 AM
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I love the Fast and the Furious movies, even though so many of them are terrible. They're probably the most genuinely multicultural mainstream movie franchise out there.

Agree completely, and part of my objection to #3 (in addition to it being a bad movie) is because the one white character is such a lunk and is nevertheless the focus of the movie (_and_ the movie kills Han).

I think 4 is just bad

4 was the first one I watched, so I may have some sentimental attachment to it. But I re-watched it recently, scared that I wouldn't like it, and actually still thought it was decent. It's not a _good_ movie (and the action scenes aren't particularly good), but it's watchable, and the Paul Walker / Vin Diesel relationship works well -- you get a sense of the way in which the two characters respect but don't trust each other and are genuinely competitive and jockeying for position in interesting ways.

The level of destruction in that Rio chase is appalling, for instance.

Well, yes, but I actually prefer something like that which has all the moral weight of a cartoon, to a movie is more "gritty" but still doesn't care about any of the innocent bystanders.

Semi-recently I saw some old action movie, and it didn't do that to me at all. Just bodies following the rules set by the universe, not some weird extrapolation of Hong Kong martial arts movies.

I still remember the final fight in Mission Impossible II for having some genuine physicality. Watching a couple seconds right now, it isn't a _good_ fight scene, but the bodies have actual weight, and the moves are labored in a way that was unusual at the time the movie came out and is even more unusual now (in mainstream action movies).

Nick

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE53x4puJYY&t=117s


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:56 AM
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Totally messed up the HTML on that one.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:57 AM
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444 Shearer was a stone cold racist. No platform for racists.

444.2 Strikes me as reason to approach taking the step of banning with caution. It shouldn't be a matter of personal distaste or irritation.

The abusiveness really has to stop though.



Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 11:58 AM
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447.2 Sure, but LB is being very cautious indeed.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 12:02 PM
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447.2: In general, true. In practice, I've been musing about it for five years or more. Caution has happened.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 12:02 PM
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448, 449 Of that I am well aware. It's the personal irritation aspect of it that I'm objecting to.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 12:05 PM
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445.1: Universal has been muttering about making a whole bunch of spinoffs, which opens the possibility of a proper Han/Japan movie.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 12:07 PM
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I think I've seen FF 5, 6, and 7, all on airplanes. Airplanes do not necessarily have the best selections (though I did see "Tree of Life" on an airplane).


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 12:09 PM
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Noted. Trust me that that's not the motivating factor, though -- just, in terms of banning people, I kind of liked having Shearer around (who was shooed rather than actually banned), and don't like Bob. The one of those I liked having around, we got rid of years ago.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 12:10 PM
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Well it looks like Silence will be playing in the UAE this weekend and I'll be there on some biz. Will try to fit in it.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 12:11 PM
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If you're looking for votes either way you won't get one from me. The man drives me mad, but I've seen good people go down that particular rabbit hole before and it's hard to admit you can't do anything about it. The toxic culture of the American left in the 60s/70s has a lot to answer for.

On the other hand he gives Marxism a bad name.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 12:13 PM
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400,402,406- The fact that an instance of hypocrisy seems minor to you, doesn't make it incoherent to point out that it undermines your message.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 12:33 PM
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Haven't we discussed that particular example enough?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 12:40 PM
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I thought so but you didn't agree.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 12:47 PM
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442/447/etc: Just because someone annoys you doesn't mean that they're right or worth listening to. They may just be annoying.

Maybe they're trying to troll, maybe they just can't help it, but if they have no desire to change their ways does it really matter?


Posted by: Jake | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 12:52 PM
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Geez, if we have to keep on talking till I agree with you, we'll be here all week.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 12:53 PM
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I don't have any way to mandate that you keep talking. Nor would I.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 12:57 PM
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456: You are doing is the exact same thing as the Republicans who want Muslims to denounce Islam at every turn and it is just as endearing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:02 PM
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That is who want Muslims to denounce the Islam at every turn because a given terrorist was a Muslim.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:03 PM
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I don't see it. I'm not demanding LB do, or denounce anything.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:05 PM
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You're demanding that Americans distance themselves from their troops because some of them kill civilians, aren't you?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:06 PM
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I'm just guessing about LB, but I think both of us are just arguing to pass the time.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:07 PM
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465- Nope. I've thanked troops for their service myself before as well as been thanked.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:08 PM
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Some troops kill civilians. Therefore anyone who isn't killing troops themselves is objectively pro-killing civilians.
QED


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:09 PM
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400,402,406- The fact that an instance of hypocrisy seems minor to you, doesn't make it incoherent to point out that it undermines your message.

Okay, you answered my question. There wasn't an intended irony, you do see it as an example of hypocrisy which undermines the intended message. I disagree, and can happily go on without reading the linked article.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:09 PM
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I always hover over links here so I can see the url before I open it. This was originally intended to stop me from opening herpy.net links while at work, but it is useful for other reasons.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:11 PM
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I just thought the link in 363 made some worthwhile points. I can see traces of hypocrisy in myself or others without having to freak out about it.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:11 PM
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Why are you hitting yourself, roger?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:17 PM
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Anyway, this, from jms, caught my eye: They're probably the most genuinely multicultural mainstream movie franchise out there.

I'm not sure I know what "genuinely multicultural" means there. The cast? The audience? Something else? Regardless, I tend to believe that "multiculturalism in service of market penetration" probably isn't genuine, but I still think the implied question is interesting.

Maybe Pacific Rim? I guess it's not a franchise. Yet.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:20 PM
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I don't think it is hitting yourself to look for areas where self improvement is possible.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:21 PM
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I'm pretty sure that crashing cars is a very good route to genuine multiculturalism.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:23 PM
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473: They have a very multi-racial working class vibe.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:40 PM
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Elitist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:44 PM
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I'm glad it's not my decision to make about whether to ban Bob. On the one hand, these days I do pretty uniformly skip his comments and if a thread is really full of them, then probably the thread too. It wasn't always that way, though; I used to find interesting things there from time to time. Something said upthread is key, though -- it's true that he doesn't seem to actually engage with the conversation, just interrupts it constantly with suggested reading lists and tossed off proclamations. I don't think that would be missed.
And I didn't realise about the abuse, though (I guess because I mostly skip the comments). I always thought the Tweety/Blume stuff came from read.

But if it were up to me, I don't know if I could pull the trigger. Maybe just from the sheer volume, I have to assume that he gets something out of his participation here, such as it is, and I might be too much of a softy to take that away from someone. Unless they really pissed me off.


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:48 PM
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Yeah, if you get in the habit of skipping his comments, it's very easy to miss him viciously attacking other commenters. Who also get something out of their participation here. Or don't, given that he's around.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:53 PM
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473, I mean the casting and the story. Not so much the first movie (i thought it was pretty dumb to have a movie about street racing set in LA without any Asian people) but in the subsequent films they made a real effort to have a diverse cast and stories that reflected that diversity.

I don't even care that the diversity is a marketing ploy. Most Hollywood movies don't want my money or else expect me to pay to watch movies that either insult or ignore me.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 1:59 PM
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Well, if this is supposed to some kind of fair vote, I think it should be accompanied by a simultaneous named and open vote as to whether Lizardbreath should be banned on not. If that vote ends up over 65% Lizardbreath stay, I think it would be fair to assume some sort of bias and/or intimidation on the part of Lizardbreath and her faction.

Uhh, remember Lizardbreath is someone who admits to really really liking Shearer, an admitted white supremacist.

Am I supposed to like, campaign here? Is this a HS Student fucking Council election?

Do we do this in neighborhoods? The annoying crank/black/jew/white guy on the corner who doesn't mow his lawn gets approved or gets burned out by the new entries?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 2:00 PM
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I just thought the link in 363 made some worthwhile points. I can see traces of hypocrisy in myself or others without having to freak out about it.

Over time, I've read a number of links that you've posted, and found some of them interesting and some of them infuriating. But, in this case, I would just have expected you to either excerpt or paraphrase the parts of the linked post that you thought were worthwhile. The fact that you haven't is what makes me assume that I don't need to read it either.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 2:00 PM
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478/479: It seems likens ideal compromise might be for a blog admin to integrate sifu's bob-comment blocking script directly into the blog itself. So, bob could go on posting whatever comments he wanted to post, and getting whatever benefit he gets from doing that (bob usually doesn't seem to mind his comments being ignored), but no one else reading the blog would see them. I don't know exactly how the script works but I'm guessing we would see blank comment numbers or something, whereever he commented, which would be a nice reminder of his quiet presence.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 2:03 PM
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Well, if this is supposed to some kind of fair vote,

It really isn't.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 2:04 PM
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I don't even care that the diversity is a marketing ploy. Most Hollywood movies don't want my money or else expect me to pay to watch movies that either insult or ignore me.

Totally fair. It's easy to forget how much popular culture has changed in a very short time. People of color and gay characters now routinely show up on screen, whereas that used to be a big deal. I wonder if the Fast and the Furious franchise helped drive (forgive me) that change or was just along for the ride.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 2:05 PM
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Come to think on it, why don't we openly vote on everybody, rank us all in order of popularity, and the bottom vote getter and the top vote getter both get banned.

In a search for egalitarianism and avoiding cliques.

We can make it a monthly affair. Some new corps actually do work that way, I think.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 2:05 PM
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484: Well, if this is supposed to some kind of fair vote,

It really isn't.

Ahhh

Then it is something like a ritual of public cruelty and humiliation. Just fun for Lizardbreath.

LB my kind of folk, and gets my vote to stay!


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 2:08 PM
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I'm not sure I know what "genuinely multicultural" means there. The cast? The audience? Something else?

Wesley Morris*

The "Fast and Furious" movies, by contrast, are free of this angst. They're basically a prolonged party for a ring of street-racing urban car thieves. The leader of the ring, Dom, is a big, racially ambiguous mechanic played by Vin Diesel. The hero of the movie's first installment, in 2001, was Brian O'Conner, a blue-eyed, blond LAPD detective played by Paul Walker. As a classic white-cop hero, with a surfer-boy vibe, he was presumably meant to be the audience's point of entry into the movie's multiracial car-racing world.

That world, however, was the star. It was a place the movies had never precisely seen before: gangs of young people of different races unified by automotive exhilaration. There were blacks, Asians of all kinds, Mexicans, Michelle Rodriguez, and whatever Vin Diesel and Jordana Brewster are. Friction exists among the factions, but it's just the organic sort you expect from a bunch of marginal kids engaged in a variety of illegal hobbies. It's funny and almost touching how well Detective O'Conner fits in with these gearheads and speed freaks. He ends up feeling so at home among them that he helps his new blood brother, Dom, evade arrest.

* Apparently that article was one of the pieces which was part of his pulitzer win.

Morris was nominated for an outstanding year of writing and ten pieces in particular, all of which can be found at Boston.com. They include his superb obituary for Sidney Lumet, a thoughtful analysis of Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life," and articles on the portrayal of race in "The Help" and "Fast Five." His celebration of "Fast Five" and the entire "Fast & Furious" franchise is an outstanding piece of film criticism, and one that really reshaped the ongoing discourse about the wildly underrated series and its impact on popular culture:

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 2:08 PM
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473, 476: and audience. I mean, I guess most blockbusters , in order to bust blocks, need to appeal to more than just white teen boyspeople, but from what I understand, the broad fanbase of FF movies tends to feel represented in a way that most action movies don't make them feel. In particular, that it isn't "This is the Marvel movie for black people" or whatever. I guess authentically multicultural, whatever that might mean.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 2:10 PM
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I wonder if the Fast and the Furious franchise helped drive (forgive me) that change or was just along for the ride.

From the same article:

[I]t's true: The most progressive force in Hollywood today is the "Fast and Furious" movies. They're loud, ludicrous, and visually incoherent. They're also the last bunch of movies you'd expect to see in the same sentence as "incredibly important." But they are--if only because they feature race as a fact of life as opposed to a social problem or an occasion for self-congratulation.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 2:10 PM
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487: No. I think I raised it. I'd really like to see you go, not just because you're a shithead, but also because I think you will drive the blog into disuse.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 2:11 PM
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482- I don't know that you do need to read it. I didn't think it was all that special, just above average.

That said you got me to take another look. He seems to believe it is worth looking at liberalism for reasons why there is a backlash against liberalism. This could be and I think is to some extent blaming the battered wife, but not entirely.

He then sees 3 major sources of that backlash.

Economics- the usual condemnation of neoliberalism.

Corruption- I thought this was pretty good, I can't see a short excerpt though.

Pensée unique- This is basically about how insufferable we are, preaching to everyone all the time, but not setting an example. I suppose I was pretty insufferable in the thread or at least LB and Moby found me so. So you could consider me exhibit A1.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 2:21 PM
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491: Always the gallant aren't you Moby, laying on the mud puddle for the ladies to walk over you without dirtying their petticoats.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 2:26 PM
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So I can physically beat them, if you believe what some people say.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 2:28 PM
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You're literally red pilling this place. If you look above, you'll see that I'm just stating what happened. I got fed up with you, with more that sufficient reason.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 2:29 PM
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449: Ample consideration.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 2:38 PM
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Late to the conversation, and not around much these days, but FWIW I'm on team Ban Bob. He's been screwing up too many threads, and too many good commenters, for too long.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 2:43 PM
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496 made me laugh, and yet was somehow inspiring.

Okay, so for argument I have been...barely...tolerable for 13 fucking years, and suddenly became unbearable?

Could it be that I have drastically changed my approach? I am no longer posting anime reviews or snippets from critical theory. I somehow doubt I was kinder or gentler 5 years ago, I have been a sarcastic troll since birth or at least since the borderline syndrome kicked in.

Or could it be that the audience has changed, not externally or in composition, but internally in a sense of how they understand (or not) themselves and their world. Could there have been some sort of recent precipitating event?

Has there been any observable patterns, like a wide-ranging some might say desperate search for scapegoats and external causes for an internal and systemic failure?

Comey, Putin, Assange, electoral college, voter suppression, media...jeez innumerable.

Bob. We all like ourselves better when he's gone.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 3:04 PM
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Okay, so for argument I have been...barely...tolerable for 13 fucking years,

You really haven't. That no one took action against you does not make your behavior acceptable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 3:09 PM
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499:Retcon!

I think we may have different definitions of the word "acceptable."

Although the word I used was "tolerable" Roger called you on that upthread, didn't he, lawyer.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 3:16 PM
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Sure. If you mean that because we haven't banned you before, your behavior until this point was definitionally tolerable because it was tolerated, you could say that. The first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club, after all.

I wouldn't use the word tolerable as any kind of a natural description of your past behavior, though. You've been incoherently, viciously hostile to people I'm fond of for years now, without adding anything positively useful to the conversation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 3:22 PM
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This is horrible. Can I change my vote from 'indifferent' to 'immediate ban'?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 3:25 PM
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...without adding anything positively useful to the conversation.

Because the conversations are really really boring.

Top fucking post, are we really gonna get 500 more comments about "Look here's a new way Republicans are just awful"

Rather than using the twitter thread to discuss the work of Mary Douglas, whom I have read and admire?

Do I really have to reach out to the fucking circle jerks?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 3:30 PM
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The "Wall of Shame" from my local dive bar:

http://stmedia.startribune.com/images/1000*668/divebars+gal010216+38.JPG


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 3:31 PM
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502: Oh jeez, urple did you expect a "Ban Bob thread" to be sweetness and light? Go fall on the Fainting Couch.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 3:32 PM
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I've seen the Fast and Furious movies many more times than one would expect (unless one knew I was married to a muscle car guy, who, btw, was not fired from his job this week). I find them all mostly tolerable, aside from the second. Previews for the latest looked terrible enough that I've put my foot down and will not be going to see it.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 4:18 PM
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LB I don't think you want to ban bob because he is mean rude insulting and drives off people who would otherwise stay. Rob Halford was way more prone to all that behavior than bob. You want to get rid of bob because you don't like him it really is that simple.


Posted by: roger the cabin boy | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 4:22 PM
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Your input has been noted.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 4:24 PM
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Dropped my name there -- that was me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 4:30 PM
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Halford would calm down if somebody said he was out of line.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 4:44 PM
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I sign onto 333 and various related comments.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 5:02 PM
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Er, put me down for anti-ban, if this is really being considered. Like 333, I recognize bob's posts within the first sentence or two, and skip them altogether for the most part, unless someone who has been reading them notes that a link he's provided is good or interesting -- this is often NickS -- and it's often true that those links are indeed interesting.

I haven't followed the (long!) thread to see where bob has gone overboard here ... as he did way back when regarding Sifu & Blume. Not sure why this has come up now for the umptieth time, other than that this place has become far less contentious/argumentative/snotty than it once was. Personnel have changed, and the collective understanding of its gestalt, for lack of a better word, has changed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 6:33 PM
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Because the conversations are really really boring.

Then why are you here?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 8:05 PM
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506 Doubleplusgood!


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 8:14 PM
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LB in this thread reminds me of Eddy Murphy in the "Larry the Lobster" episode of Saturday Night Live. And I mean that in a good way.


Posted by: Salty Hamhocks | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 8:55 PM
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Link fixed.


Posted by: Salty Hamhocks | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 8:58 PM
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I've put my foot down and will not be going to see it

That may not be the right metaphor for the situation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-31-17 9:04 PM
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506 is excellent news


Posted by: NW | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 1:10 AM
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Yes, glad to hear it, JR.

(I don't want to get too involved in the bob discussion, but I'm a definite yes for banning.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 1:14 AM
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Yay 506! Also 470 is just good practice in any environment.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 3:02 AM
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I found myself awake in the middle of the night, thinking about bob. So, some approximately 4 AM ramblings follow. When Shearer was banned, I never gave him a second thought after he was gone. If Bob is banned, I would think about him and miss him, and I want to explain why.

But, first, I would say that I freely acknowledge that banning him may make sense. I have plenty of experiences of times when I read a comment on unfogged that annoys me, but I don't have time or energy to respond. In those cases I'm deeply grateful, when somebody else does challenge it and pushes back. Given the number of people that find Bob trying (for obvious reasons) it's easy to see how having him around could push them away.

That said . . . I'll begin with a story

I was recently talking with a friend about dealing with exhausting crazy people at work. I said that, for me, I tend to look at them and think, "the character traits that are driving me batty cause even more problems for them in their personal life." and that makes me less annoyed. On one level that's a silly response; they fact that they may be a mess on their own doesn't make it any more reasonable for them to be a jerk to me. But, it does make a difference (and, I realize, as somebody who tends towards earnestness I am probably too willing to take the baseline assumption that people are behaving in good faith, and to underestimate the frequency with which people are petty, perverse, and arbitrary).

Part of the reason is my own experience. I had many years when I found school painful and difficult. Not necessarily because of the academic demands but because I found it hard to motivate myself to do the busywork. I didn't just flake out, I could spend hours looking at a piece of paper or a computer screen with two sentences written on it thinking, "it would be so much easier to just finish this and get it over with; why can't I bring myself to do that?" I accepted that the assignment was legitimate (if pointless) and that I had some obligation to complete it, I just . . . couldn't make myself.

In that experience of beating my head against my own internal barriers it was sometime a relief to just shrug my metaphorical shoulders and think, "I have no idea why my sub-conscious is so dug in on this one, but I will just accept that I'm not going to get this done, that I'll take the hit to my grade, and just move on and hopefully do better next time." It makes me more sympathetic when I see other people acting out in ways that reflect self-defeating but deeply rooted impulses. The personal costs are a sign of commitment, of a sort.

It is on that basis that I appreciate Bob.

In the exchange that I linked in 327, I ended up saying to Bob, quoting Hamilton that "who lives, who dies, who tells your story" is political, and is worth fighting for.

I think of Bob's comments here as, on some level, fighting to tell his own story. Not a narrative of his life, but a performance, over and over again of somebody who is unwilling to do the simple things to fit in. I feel like the subtext of many of his comments is, "when you see that my obvious intelligence is directed at odd personal obsessions, and my writing skills are neither used to charm nor persuade, do you still accept me as human and as having value?"

Perhaps that description flatters Bob too much. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and somebody making an ass of themselves is just an ass. But I have always felt like there is a genuine personal core to Bob's persona, and I respect that.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 9:59 AM
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521 was very movingly told and reflects so much of what I feel as well.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:12 AM
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I don't think he's making an ass of himself or experiencing a deep person conflict. I think he's deliberately trying to drown this blog in bullshit for political purposes, the same way various operatives have done the same thing to the general discourse in the U.S.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:18 AM
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I definitely hear what NickS and Eggplant are saying about what banning means about community norms and community acceptance and appreciate how personal and generalizable it can feel, but it works in other ways too.

Like a lot of people who've been in abusive relationships with someone who wants to control the definition of reality, I'm having a particularly hard time with the current political situation some days. It has also been hard for years to see people here engage civilly with someone who has been abusive to people I care about deeply. That doesn't mean I reject Bob's or Lee's or even the fucking president's humanity, or I hope that's not what it means. I'm someone who's in favor of civil engagement, I swear, and of listening to people's narratives. I feel guilty about being one of the people who started this particular push toward a ban, but I'd feel more guilty about saying definitively that no, it's fine, I'm fine with accepting this behavior.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:19 AM
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525

I feel like the subtext of many of his comments is, "when you see that my obvious intelligence is directed at odd personal obsessions, and my writing skills are neither used to charm nor persuade, do you still accept me as human and as having value?"

But we are not deciding whether to deport or assassinate him. We are just deciding whether or not we want him around on this blog. I sincerely believe that bob is a human and that his life has inherent value. But that doesn't necessarily mean I think we should keep having to put up with his contributions here, which are numerous, often unpleasant, frequently horribly insulting, and rarely helpful or responsive. I don't think he has a particularly remarkable intelligence or particularly evident writing skills, for that matter.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:19 AM
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I second 522 and 521. I am not against banning Bob as abuse is abuse and there's a limit of what people should have to tolerate, but there seems something really cruel about it too, at the same time. Also, I wonder what other outlets Bob has besides unfogged, and I worry that being kicked out might push him over some ledge (whatever that might be). Again, bob's not the only one whose mental health and sanity should be thought of, but...it doesn't seem like there's an easy or an obviously compassionate answer here.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:19 AM
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527

Posted 526 before seeing 523-525


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:20 AM
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I didn't see all this... I'm no longer a very interested party, but I think I'd vote for a temporary ban, in part for bob's own good. Bob, you have been spectacularly self-destructing since the election, and indeed your comments about scapegoating seem to accurately describe how you've been treating the commenters here, who have for whatever real and imagined reasons become an almost daily focus of anger over the election results and the direction of the country. Asperger's (right?) can be a bitch as well as a superpower, and it's hard to get out and engage with people and do anything meaningful, as we all know, but you are in a dark fucking place of misdirected effort. You think you thrive on contempt, but you don't. You're obviously choking on it, and it's fucking pathetic. This is my last word on the subject.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:22 AM
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529

Nor do I think, for that matter, that he's mentally ill. I've read stuff by people with various mental illnesses (depression, bipolar disorder, paranoid schizophrenia) and it doesn't read like bob's stuff. It is perfectly possible to be entirely sane and just a nasty person.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:23 AM
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It has also been hard for years to see people here engage civilly with someone who has been abusive to people I care about deeply

And very much this too. I feel like in defending bob I'm defending a serial abuser and that makes me feel ill.

Naive optimistic me thinks it could all be solved if he'd recognize the humanity of others and stop with the abuse.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:25 AM
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531

There's treatment for borderline personality disorder. As far as I know, serial blog commenting isn't it.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:27 AM
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I also write with the caveat I am able to tune Bob out completely. In a way, the people who take him seriously enough to be offended are being much kinder to him, in a way, and maybe taking him seriously enough to ban him (I like the temporary ban idea) is treating him how he'd want to be treated.

I could also see a thread ban, as in bob gets one warning and then a ban, as CT does with certain commenters. That might be too much work to ask though, and certain a blanket ban is not unwarranted.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:30 AM
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533

I also like a temporary ban idea (a breather).


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:35 AM
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For the record, I think 524/525/530 are all valid.

But I also thought that, knowing that Bob may be banned, I wanted to say something first.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:36 AM
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Hey, why don't I quote all the comments and phrases I think have been abusive to me? Fact is, the vast majority of times, I am simply defending myself or responding in kind from gratuitous and unsolicited abuse.

Start bottom up:

531: Why Thorn? Why do you feel a need for that condescending, patronizing suggestion, that implies, no states that I have been irresponsible toward my own health and the needs of others? That also implies that I am ignorant of mental health facilities and available care.

So, Thorn is calling me irresponsible, ignorant and selfish.

Now why the heck do I have to respond to Thorn's insults in the same tone or manner in which she insults me? Why does she get to set the discourse rules and terms of engagement? I might choose to respond in a voice I choose myself, either escalating or de-escalating the level of vitriol and cruelty.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:37 AM
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It matters not a whit to me at this point but ban that fuck and enjoy the hell out it, is my advice.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:37 AM
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Now why the heck do I have to respond to Thorn's insults in the same tone or manner in which she insults me?

You don't, because you'll be banned! Yaaaaay!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:38 AM
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I don't really think this is a huge deal, guys, and I'm not around much, but I've been on Team "you don't have to let the guests pee on the mountain laurel" for what, a decade? You need another one to go by? It's a fucking blog. There are many other places to comment. There are many free platforms and probably many more congenial potential audiences. This is not actually a free speech issue or god help you, a mental health therapy session. Pretty low stakes.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:39 AM
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524.last: I hear you; I'm just not sure that every commenter being fine, just fine with accepting someone's commentary should be the measure of whether s/he should be banned. (See 447.2)

Also: Shearer was actually banned? I thought he just finally decided he'd had enough of the increasing vitriol coming at him.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:43 AM
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540

Cripe, 539 before seeing the last handful of comments.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:45 AM
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Shearer was shooed, rather than being actually banned. His absence was in response to action by the FPPs.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:50 AM
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539.last Shearer was a stone cold racist. He deserved every last drop of vitriol directed at him.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:51 AM
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530: Serial abuser?

Well, when you have a thread that accuses, insults, and demeans by well over what, one hundred different people with no defenders, responding to each might look like "serial abuse" especially if each and every abusive comment directed at me is ignored, discounted, or even communally approved and applauded.

It would be confusing and nearly useless for me to respond top all abusive comments directed at me at once especially since such imaginative efforts are made by individuals to make their own insults and abuse unique and creative.

Therefore, I think it is only respectful to respond to each individual insult, and each unique insulter, in kind, with a response crafted to the special form and content of the commenter's insult.

Actually "serial abuser" has too many connotations connected to such things as sexual, physical, and child abuse and I assume you left out the "verbal" on purpose.

"Makes me feel ill" ...try pepto bismol

"Naive optimistic me" ...false humility and sarcasm

"recognize the humanity of others"

You do know the literature on torture, that it is precisely that torturers do recognize and acknowledge their victims subjectivity that gives the relationship its force and cruelty. And earthquake or the flu isn't cruel, by most meanings of cruelty, empathy is required.

So if those I supposedly gratuitously and without cause abuse are simply objects to me, I cannot be accused of cruelty or malice, no more than I could be when kicking a telephone pole. Are you sure this is what you wanted to say?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:52 AM
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Yes. Verbal. Point taken.

But no, I'm actually hoping against hope that you'll apologize for acting like an ass and chill the fuck out because I actually do like you and value your contributions when they're not, you know, verbally abusive and accusatory.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:56 AM
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529:It is perfectly possible to be entirely sane and
just a nasty person.

Insult: "Nasty person."'

Bob not allowed to respond in any way, not remark on the gratuitous (using that word too much, but it is appropriate jumping in and piling on.

Why? Since I am getting banned anyway, exactly why does everyone feel a need or desire to join in and insult once more? Do you even think about it?

Is it just a joy in cruelty, and a pleasure in communal punishment and pain infliction on the outsider?

Why don't I recognize your humanity?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 10:58 AM
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If I were making the decision, I would consider S. Tweety's view -- and those like Thorn who are similarly situated -- to be dispositive.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 11:00 AM
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I would consider S. Tweety's view [...] to be dispositive

Oh geez, don't do that. I'm not really around.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 11:01 AM
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547: I'm sorry. I miss "seeing" both you & Blume here. (But I don't blame you.) Good wishes though.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 11:05 AM
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542: He deserved every last drop of vitriol directed at him.

Oh, I agree. I contributed to it myself.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 11:09 AM
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529:It is perfectly possible to be entirely sane and
just a nasty person.

Insult: "Nasty person."'

Bob not allowed to respond in any way, not remark on the gratuitous (using that word too much, but it is appropriate jumping in and piling on.

Why? Since I am getting banned anyway, exactly why does everyone feel a need or desire to join in and insult once more? Do you even think about it?

Is it just a joy in cruelty, and a pleasure in communal punishment and pain infliction on the outsider?

Why don't I recognize your humanity?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 11:10 AM
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545: exactly why does everyone feel a need or desire to join in and insult once more?

Hey, bob, not everyone is.

But I second 544.2: generally when a person has become over the top in his/her comments, said person is going to have to just say "Man, alright, I'm being an ass here I guess. Tough day at the office, allow me to retire for a bit." That's just how this place works. Remember when people used to declare "I ban myself!" ?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 11:17 AM
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I feel like the subtext of many of his comments is, "when you see that my obvious intelligence is directed at odd personal obsessions, and my writing skills are neither used to charm nor persuade, do you still accept me as human and as having value?"

Ok this is perceptive if too flattering. Make no mistake, I am no martyr, and do not intend to provide any service. More like as I said, confirmation of my misanthropy in a micro and interpersonal setting.

But what, cosmopolitanism has to be easy? "Accepting the other" only when the differences are very marginal and not discomfitting? Or even self-flattering?

Does it really impress yourself when, as in the old stories, the bedraggled beggar shows at the door, you shelter and feed him, and turns out to be Zeus and Hermes? Is it really such a stretch to help the Samaritan on the road?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 11:20 AM
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Bob is doing nothing but intentional disruption again. If he can't disrupt by repeating Republican talking points about how liberals fail, he switches to disrupt by turning the conversation into one about how we're failing him. As long as people come to think of talking here as burden, he's achieved his goal.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 11:25 AM
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I go through something like the "Smash" thread above and watch how you treat Chris Arnade, you're not fit to lick his shoes, and I am supposed to like you? I am supposed to be nice?

Like I said, "confirmation of my misanthropy"

It isn't I want you to like me or forgive me. I want y'all to stop liking and forgiving yourselves and each other despite the constant contempt and hate and spite and malice you show toward people (not me, not only me), join me in my misanthropy and shut this fucking hellhole down.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 11:25 AM
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Usually I don't get proved right so soon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 11:27 AM
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17 Pages of Celine

Enjoy.

I am not wrong. Hate and delusion and flattery, circle-jerking, is how most humanity gets through its days.

Compassion, according to da Buddha, is pointing this out.

Or sometimes just hating in an contrapuntal way.

May y'all see the light and learn the truth in the Trump administration.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 11:38 AM
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Exactly what Bannon wants.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 11:39 AM
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"People don't deserve the restraint we show by not going into delirium in front of them."

― Louis-Ferdinand Céline


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 11:40 AM
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Halford would calm down if somebody said he was out of line.
Bob usually goes away for a bit if someone tells him to fuck off.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 11:56 AM
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Well, you know, it gets finalized on Friday and I am not clear as to why I should fuck off now, in this thread, knowing these are my last Unfogged words.

Would I gain Brownie points, posthumously, so to speak?

Love Celine.

Don't get me wrong, it is not Imitatio de Christus (sic), or that we shouldn't defend ourselves, or create closed communities, or do horrible and indefensible acts in the process of gathering together. That is not my problem. Human frailty and weakness deserve compassion. The problem I have...

..is thinking we are still good while committing sins. (and refusing to see them as sins)

Call it intellectual honesty or hygiene. Or misanthropy.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 12:43 PM
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Thursday, actually. See 395.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 1:11 PM
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Nick S: I think of Bob's comments here as, on some level, fighting to tell his own story. Not a narrative of his life, but a performance, over and over again of somebody who is unwilling to do the simple things to fit in.

Wait, my reading and admiring Celine and Emile Cioran is some kind of cry for help? Had a therapist. She killed herself. Had another that was a junkie.

Torment, for some men, is a need, an appetite, and an accomplishment. Emile M. Cioran

The French, and I know he wasn't French, have developed some kind of refined taste, don't ya think.

It is not worth the bother of killing yourself, since you always kill yourself too late. Emile M. Cioran

Story of my fucking life. Suicide, why even bother?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 1:32 PM
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Céline and then Cioran? That's pretty sly. I can't decide whether the finale should be Japanese, American 60s counterculture, Mao, or (and I guess this would get my personal vote) the Marquis de Sade.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 3:04 PM
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Well, if its anything, Bob, I like you. You are long winded and a lot of your theories are bonkers and you don't engage well with a lot of people here and sometimes you are an asshole, but you are also smart and perceptive and in many cases you aren't wrong about the neoliberal bullshit, and I respect that you don't hide from being you.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 4:18 PM
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Endorsing 564 FWIW.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 7:20 PM
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I guess, if bob's going to be gone, you know, maybe it'd be nice to touch him one more time, you know? Just stroke his cheek. Just... connect.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 1-17 8:27 PM
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Not sure why this has come up now for the umptieth time, other than that this place has become far less contentious/argumentative/snotty than it once was.

I lurk only occasionally these days, but this line of parsimmon's opened the dreaded channels of nostalgia and regret which are so often causative in my case. I hope you all are well and feel kind of bad for Bob. Towards the end of course I went insane but the disemvoweling, I hope, was at least fractionally amusing to others as it was for me.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02- 2-17 12:16 PM
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I hope sanity is treating you well once again.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 2-17 12:25 PM
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Thanks Moby. It ain't all roses, but I'm living in the real world, it's fairly certain. Wishing you all much happiness throughout an eventually successful resistance.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02- 2-17 12:53 PM
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I'm living in the real world, it's fairly certain.

Just to check: If things seem to be not-awful, you may not be in the real world.

Please bring us with you.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 2-17 3:03 PM
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Text!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02- 2-17 3:41 PM
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