1559 Comments

“If they keep this up, liberals and conservatives may start talking for real, and maybe even fix a thing or two.“. Well said Matt. I’m of a conservative bent; and I love reading what you have to say. I know we would absolutely not agree on a lot of things, particularly when it comes to specific policies; however, we do have common cause on this recent journalistic absurdity! We SHOULD talk and maybe fix a thing or two 🙂

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I'm on the right too, But the way I see it, we're in a fight now to save basic constitutional liberties and try to get control of the national security state, now completely run amok. Therefore, I think we need to set aside our differences on things like taxes and spending and unite with anyone who will join to preserve freedom, much as the Tories and Labour suspended their economic battles to form their unity government in World War II.

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Exactly-the “right” and not GloboCaps both have an honest stake-and belief in-basic bedrock principles of American civic religion-the 1st Amendment, trial by jury, sanctity of an honest (and mouthy) press, etc, etc.

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So you're opposed to Republican efforts (in Texas and many other states) to suppress voting, correct?

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Almost every advanced nation requires voter ID, if that's what you're referring to. The ID should be free and easily accessible; if it's not, I'd push to make it easier. Vote by mail without verification is also not safe and not accepted globally. And no, not every effort in this direction is "voter suppression." Thanks for playing.

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Vote by mail (not "without verification) has worked extremely well in Oregon for a couple of decades now. I recommend it highly.

There is one proviso: Oregon is a "clean" state; there is no tolerance for scandal, probably because not so long ago the state was very corrupt. If your state has a corruption problem, then vote-by-mail probably won't be any cleaner than what you have.

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The ID is most definitely not "free and easily accessible" in the very states where efforts are underway to suppress voting.

Don't be a fool. The Republican fascists know exactly what they're doing.

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There is nothing more racist then believing a person of a certain race is incapable of obtaining an ID. An ID we literally require to do everything from drive a car to buy alcohol to fly.

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Indeed. Every person I know has an id. I have no clue where these people assume that minorities are unable to get one. They really think minorities are just that incapable. It is insane. That’s why I say they’re just lemmings repeating the Cathedral. Unless they’re really just that racist. I’d hate to believe it but maybe it’s true.

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He didn't mention race...but you did. Telling.

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Absolutely no one says that "a person of a certain race is incapable of obtaining an ID". No one has EVER said that!

It's a total straw-man argument.

But if you're POOR, you can have problems, like the dude in Houston I already posted about.

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It's not race, it's economic status. And buying alcohol and flying are not rights guaranteed by the Constitution that you no doubt claim to believe in (but actually do not).

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Are you capable of arguing your point factually rather than with Democrat talking points? Are you aware that the new Georgia voting law is in some ways less restrictive, and others no more restrictive, than the law already in place in Colorado? Just because red states are passing laws to make sure only legal votes are cast does not make them automatically "voter suppression."

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They are designed to suppress the votes of non-citizens and the dear departed.

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Revisions to voting laws have to be considered in context of existing law. If Georgians are used to certain voting procedures, and then find those procedures have been changed when they go to vote, their votes will not get counted.

I'm totally in favor of a nationwide system to eliminate these discrepancies.

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Found the lemming who follows whatever the Cathedral tells him to regurgitate. You are not the resistance. You are just a useful idiot.

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Nothing but fact-free insults. What a surprise.

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Your employer requires an ID in order for you to work but that's not racist.

You need an ID to drive but that's not racist.

You need an ID to have a bank account but that's not racist.

You need an ID to collect welfare but that's not racist.

You need an ID to get married but that's not racist.

You need an ID to get a hotel room but that's not racist.

You need an ID to fly but that's not racist.

Considering how much more necessary these things are to living life, how come all of the sudden it is racist when it comes to voting?

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You do understand that what Matt has been writing about is that it is Democrats who are behaving as fascists, not Republican's? Can you explain how censoring speech on big tech about the lab leak possibility or Hunter's laptop is not fascists?

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The knee-jerk accusation that cleaning up voting registration rolls and ensuring that the vote is honest means one is a racist who wants to suppress the black vote is one of the stupidest arguments put forth by the party that prides itself on how smart it is. The overwhelming majority of blacks already can vote without any problems, and BTW, they also approve of voter ID by something like 80% . If you want to suppress the black vote, I cannot think of a more useless method for doing it. This is so darn lazy of you, try another conspiracy theory with some credibility to it.

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Is there anything more racist than assuming darker skinned Americans are too stupid to get an ID for which they cannot live in society without?

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they are free and accessible.

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I can't speak for every state, but I live in Georgia, which of course just passed one of these laws, and it is indeed free and easily accessible to get a state issued ID here. So what you're saying is false, at least here. Are you referring to other states? If so, can you point me to which one(s)?

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Multiple problems with your argument:

A) A lot of the developed world has vote by mail: Canada, the UK, Germany, Austria and Switzerland all have vote by mail, and they work.

B) It is voter suppression though. It'd be one thing to pass strict voter ID requirements, but the GOP is doing so much more to suppress the vote, not just constraining mail-in ballots: curtail early voting on weekends, prohibiting election officials from accepting grants from non-governmental organizations, banning “line-warming” activities such as passing out water and blankets to voters standing in long lines, eliminating straight-ticket voting, and in Texas, before it was cut out, a provision in the Senate bill would have strictly regulated where Texas’s largest counties — the ones that include big cities dominated by Democrats — are allowed to locate polling places. Had this provision passed, it was expected to shut down many polling places in Democratic areas with a large share of minority voters.

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founding

So it's voter suppression to preclude an election official from accepting a "grant" from "non-governmental organizations?" That may be one bit of graft we don't yet have in Illinois. People actually pass out blankets to voters on election day? Who cares if election officials hand out stuff; just not your "non-governmental organizations." Not having straight ticket voting is suppression, because, what, people are only supposed to vote for the best Party, not the best candidate?

At what point does a voter have some minimal responsibility in this process? So what we need is the federal government running all elections, not local authorities. Yeah, that will make things better. This whole vote suppression theme is a scam, at the least.

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It's voter suppression if I don't get a foot rub while casting my ballot.

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none of that comes close to voter suppression.

"curtail early voting on weekends" do you know how much and why? or did the talking point suffice?

"prohibiting election officials from accepting grants from non-governmental organizations" - aka, "avoiding corruption," also nothing close to voter suppression. (this one is a Doozy!)

"banning “line-warming” activities..." - this silly talking point again. it known as electioneering and it has been prohibited forever. election workers CAN hand out water. campaign representatives cannot. because common sense.

"eliminating straight-ticket voting" - consider how preposterous it is to think that the inability to vote straight ticket automatically will keep a single person from voting.

your list of examples consists of nothing it is supposed to support.

I am sure you can do better.

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MarkS, doesn't it seem reasonable and fair to consider legislation that affects voting procedures individually, and on the merits? There are certainly bad faith legislative efforts to reduce the numbers of votes Democratic candidates receive in future elections. There are also bad faith legislative efforts to increase the number of votes Democratic candidates receive. And there are good faith efforts to improve the integrity and workability of elections. If you start by characterizing all tradeoffs with which you happen to disagree as "voter suppression" then you are doing the exact thing which you claim to abhor: slandering any position on this subject with which you do not personally agree as deplorable. Stop doing that please.

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Perhaps you are confused. The emergency policies put in place by blue states disenfranchised many American voters. When a scheme is put in place to eliminate chain of custody and signature verification and thus make it nearly impossible to audit the election except by a forensic audit--bad faith can be imputed to Democrat politicians as well as establishment Republicans. Changing voting laws in the middle of a pandemic, and ignoring the legislative branch, is dictatorial.

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Also -- nobody seems to bring up the fact that the CDC released a statement saying that "regardless of whether you have COVID or not -- it's okay and encouraged to show up and vote". So...what were all those laws for? I thought the whole point was to keep people from showing up and spreading COVID?

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What an extraordinary claim! Where is your extraordinary evidence?

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>"There are also bad faith legislative efforts to increase the number of votes Democratic candidates receive."

Specific example please.

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It's a well-known fact that Democrats in New York state purged thousands of votes from the rolls.

It is a well-known fact that DNC fucked Bernie over.

It's a well-known fact that the DNC chair at the time (I won't even use that witch's name here) presided over shenanigans in Tim Canova race.

It's a well-known fact that DNC argued in court that they don't have to abide by voters' wishes.

Your move, Mr. MarkS.

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The quote was "There are also bad faith legislative efforts to increase the number of votes Democratic candidates receive."

Nothing you have written provides an example.

And Hillary got 16.9 million primary votes to Bernie's 13.2. Please tell me what the DNC did that swung 2 million votes from Bernie to Hillary.

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I love how you don't even give a shit about proving the other statement he made because it lines up with what you already believe. 😂 I'm going to try to help -- I would strongly encourage you to re-examine the things you assume to be true and do a deep introspective dive into why you believe what you believe. Because people like you are so transparent in your ignorance -- you're honestly just hurting yourself at this point.

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Which means you don't have a specific example either.

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https://www.gp.org/hr1

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Darn! How could I forget to add the Green party suppression by the Democrats?

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Guess you're not the go-to lib who's gonna set aside differences. You're actually exactly what this article is about.

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No, I'm not going to "set aside" my commitment to DEMOCRACY, which requires easy voting FOR ALL CITIZENS.

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Bring it up with New York before Texas. NYC's voting laws are much more restrictive than those recently passed by Georgia and Texas. Why don't we hear about that more?

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This is a fact. You cannot obtain an absentee ballot for convenience. You have to represent, under penalty of perjury, that you are either unable to travel to a polling location or will be out of town on election day. And there is no early-voting period. I continue to be confused by the firmly-held view of low-value commenters like MarkS that somehow restrictions on absentee voting favors Republicans. It's not impossible that it's right, but there's no evidence of it. The more organized a campaign's get out the vote machine is, the more it ought to favor restrictions on absentee ballots. Also, permissive absentee balloting ought to favor voting by old people (leans Republican), mildy-interested employed people (who the hell knows) and out-of-state college students (leans Dem). Why would anyone be confident they know which party would truly benefit from these changes? What seems clear to me is that restrictive voting laws favor incumbents and candidates with political machines. I know NY school boards sure as hell don't want easy voting. They don't even want to be forced to publicly communicate the dates votes are held.

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Because that would be like supporting Trump and stuff. And like Cuomo clan is like the best. Can't say a bad word 'bout them.

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Whataboutism again. Do better.

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Dead or alive, huh?

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lol

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You spin me like a record, round, round, round....

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OK. then no ID for drivers licenses, alcohol, flying, entrance to concerts. Let's abolish ID for everything else too.

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No one wants to abolish ID, but if one is required to vote, then it must be FREE and EASY to obtain one.

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No, just as the courts must find a balance with evidence requirements to both minimize the innocent people found guilty and the guilty people found not guilty, voting systems must find a balance between maximising accessibility and minimising fraud. There is never a perfect answer and trade offs are ALWAYS necessary

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What actual evidence is there that requiring a photo ID is voter suppression? I've heard this many times but never once have seen the slightest evidence. You have to have a photo ID to get on a plane or (if you look young enough) even buy cigarettes or alcohol. Yet not to vote?!

That's like saying the majority of voting age minorities don't even have a driver's license. It's absurd.

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And don't even look at that totalitarian state of Germany, where one even is required to register the place of residence.

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:)

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You actually don’t need a photo ID to get on a plane. My wallet got stolen a few years back and I needed to visit my dad, who was dying, several times before I was able to visit the DMV to get a replacement. All I needed to board my planes was a couple pieces of mail with my name on it and my temporary replacement debit card, which didn’t even have my photo on it, like a “real” debit card does.

Also, requiring an ID is absolutely a way to discourage people from voting, if not make it outright impossible. My ID’s been expired since December 2019, but I didn’t even know it because, seriously, who the fuck pays attention to when their ID expires? The only reason I even realized it was expired was because the COVID shit started and I needed to order something online in March 2020 that required a current ID. I’ve made two appointments to get it replaced, but had to cancel both appointments because something came up that I had to deal with that was more important than getting a new ID. So, yeah, if there was an election happening in the next few weeks or maybe even months (not sure when I’m gonna make it to the DMV) and I needed an ID to vote, I wouldn’t be able to.

Not to mention, there’s overwhelming evidence that voter fraud in the form of people who aren’t who they say they are voting, or casting more than one vote, is virtually nonexistent (certainly not to the degree that it would affect the outcome of an election); AND that things like voter ID laws do discourage people from voting. “Discourage” isn’t even the right word; it makes it impossible for people who don’t have an ID (like me) to vote.

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Those studies of voter fraud were done prior to Covid and the beginning of mail in ballots. The potential for a lot more problems are there and someone else who sees this is Jeff Bezos. I read a couple of months ago there was some kind of balloting (sorry, don't remember what it was for) within Amazon and he would not allow mail in votes b/c --- too great a risk for fraud.

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LOL! That was for a union vote - and Bezos didn't want mail in for the same reason the Rs didn't - he wanted to stunt the vote ...

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If you look at the GA election law, you don’t need an ID, just a piece of mail, similar to what you’re describing.

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These new laws are being brought about because of what?

Rampant fraud?

A lot of fraud?

Some fraud?

A little fraud?

All this new legislation to "protect our democracy" when one man cried fraud and couldn't prove ANY. And THAT is what has violently shaken our democracy, not Americans cheating, but Donald not accepting defeat.

The Fraud Genie is out of the bottle and a lot of Americans won't trust our elections. The thing is: there are no such things as a Genie. Trump took the loyalty and trust of good Americans and used it to fuck up my country.

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Nobody in their right mind should trust any American elections. A quilt-patch of legislation and rules and voting machines without a paper verification trail. The rest of the world must be laughing their asses off at the 'Merican Democracy and Freedumb.

Gerrymandering on both sides. Disenfranchisement on both sides. Polling locations reductions (mostly on the Repugs side).

And this is the shining beacon on the hill of democracy? Makes me wanna puke.

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There's a simple audit one could do in Fulton County. Ask everyone who "requested" an absentee ballot if they "voted" in the last election. My guess is that there would be a non-zero number of people who received and returned ballots who answer "No."

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You can build trust. One way to do that is to run a meticulous, understandable and auditable process. Then you can say "you don't have to trust me: check for yourself".

If you trust you run an auditable system well, your response to challenges should be "bring it", not fervent insinuations that nothing happened just trust me.

Even if the election was legit, if your concern is trust, audits are good. The Dems are so in the grip of some kind of must trample Trump in every avenue possible mania that they don't get that: the trust-building processes must be attacked because they cast doubt on the Party and that should not be allowed to happen.

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This is a bit dramatic...we will heal from this easily and quickly.

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A bit dramatic? I don't know what you were doing between November and January 6th, but I was watching an assault on our process culminating in a takeover of our Capitol building where our congress was in danger and a woman was shot and killed. All of that was dramatic and every bit of that was because of Trump. He tried to overturn the election results and got waaaay too close to pulling it off. I hope you are right about us healing easily and quickly, although state legislatures answer to the coup attempt is to make voting harder and to give themselves power to declare winners ( in Georgia at least).

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For some reason the US does not believe in ID cards for its citizens.

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'cause they don't need them. They have all the information they need on us in Langley.

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Your phone is in your pocket more than your wallet anymore.........

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Voter suppression is just the latest shiny object put forward by the Dems to distract from having opened both barn doors at the southern border. As Matt's piece illustrates, that's how they, and their media enablers, roll.

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Right, all those NEWLY PASSED LAWS in more than a dozen states are just inventions of the MSM! They didn't REALLY get passed and signed into law, the MSM just made it all up!!!

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But lets just ignore all the new laws that were passed -- unconstitutionally in some cases -- BEFORE the election. Nah...that would make your point seem stupid and trite.

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Such as...

Not aware of any voting law changes that were ruled unconstitutional. The Texas AG did file a silly case which the SCOTUS refused to take due to lack of standing.

Grandstanding as it were.

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founding

“Seem”?

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Those laws were all reviewed and approved by the Republican-controlled Supreme Court of the United States. Which you know perfectly well.

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so they're bad because they're NEWLY PASSED ?

what makes new laws inherently bad?

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Voter fraud is just the latest shiny object put forward by Republicans to distract from how unpopular they are, and to help keep them in power by specifically targetting groups who don't vote for them with new voting restrictions to keep them away from the polls.

Matt's piece has zero to do with this. But if you weren't suffering from confirmation bias, you would know this.

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Oy. Anyone who talks about shiny objects and confirmation bias... go back to Ezra Klein's JournoList. Please.

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It's OK if you can't follow along, I'm sure you'll figure it out eventually, once you sort out your logical fallacies.

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Voting security is not voter suppression - making voting easy and cheating very hard - everyone has access to a picture I.D. You must believe people of color are incapable of performing the simplest of tasks - the bigotry of low expectations plays a central role in Democratic Party public policy, and, it's finally falling apart.

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There is basically zero cheating in US elections, so all we are left with are solutions in search of a problem and the motives behind them.

A minority party -- Republicans -- is certainly motivated to promote the idea that there is election fraud causing them to lose.

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assertion doesn't make the case with people who think. you'll need to be more specific how these efforts would suppress votes. as it is, Georgia codifying and formalizing pandemic year measures is less restrictive than many blue states with early voting and voting by mail, yet it was called "jim crow on steroids." you'd have to be a fool to take the same liars' line on Texas without a shred of proof.

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founding

I live in Texas and I missed the suppression part. Please define.

Here, I'll spot you one No Sunday voting till 1pm.

WOW!!! Jim F***** Crow!

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MarkS

If you believe that these laws that require voter ID or other methods to verify a person's US citizenship, voter registration and legitimate right to vote in that particular election is somehow voter suppression then either you're

1 Brainwashed by leftist propaganda and haven't bothered to check the validity of those leftist Lies

2 you're a person who believes "By any means necessary" including cheating, noncitizen voting and multiple votes by a single person and other means of voter fraud is the right thing to do if it means your side wins

If you think that voter ID is Racist against black people because they have trouble getting ID, then you're just a Racist as most black voters will tell you

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Like when the GloboCap-woke Ds forced MLB to move the All Star game to a state that is whiter and has similar voting laws to Georgia?

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Quack conspiracy believer alert.

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MLB is a private business which made a private business decision. Don't like it? Don't do business with them.

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MLB made a private business decision to move it's signature midseason event to protest racism... by moving the game into a stadium named after a racist family. Do some research on Joseph Coors. It's obvious that MLB didn't.

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Who owns Coors these days...those evil Canadians!

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So you believe that black people don't know how to get an ID, correct? What does that say about you?

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I'm pretty sure there are instances and people for whom obtaining an ID *today* is problematic. That's why the state should bend backwards to help such people.

If the state doesn't do that, that's a problem.

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founding

Serious question. Is there any person in need in this country not able to get a cell phone? (Don't mean to be confrontational here; just asking a question) Or an abortion? Jim Crow on the voter ID. Right.

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I suppose there could be. I certainly don't have any data one way or another. Often it is not a matter of obtaining a cell phone, but rather a continuous obligation to pay for it/data plan.

Regarding abortion, I think there are states with just one clinic providing the service. I would be very surprised if there weren't people who couldn't afford a trip...

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When did you suffer your traumatic brain injury? Do you have an appointment for a weekly blunt head strike?

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founding

This is a video of interviews of people on the street. It proves only that most people are the street (of all races) are poorly informed.

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author

To be fair - on this issue, voter ID tests historically have been used in this way, and college students especially might be going off what they just learned about that.

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Yes, in the South there were laws in place such as literacy tests, poll fees and other requirements that were aimed at black voters. Those are gone (thankfully). A simple driver's license is hardly a reinstatement of Jim Crow. And many businesses and college campuses require ID to even get in the buildings.

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Matt I am a subscriber and I would like to print out your articles (especially this one}

to share with others. Your website has a mechanism that prohibits printing. Why? I am not doing this for profit and the people I share might actually become paid subscribers.

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Yes, I can imagine it would have mattered 200 years ago. Dark history similar to minimum wage laws.

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But you couldn't POSSIBLY be one of those people who are slightly misinformed -- right?

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Skeptic wrote; "..we're in a fight now to save basic constitutional liberties and try to get control of the national security state,.."

What do you mean by that? Please be specific.

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For example, the FISA court and FISA warrants need to be abolished or very rigorously reformed. Restrictions on domestic electronic surveillance should be strengthened. The CIA is a rogue agency with a horrendous track record on both effectiveness and respect for human rights and civil liberties; I'd like to see downsizing, elimination with functions spread to military and other bodies, or at least rigorous reform. The FBI has also racked up a horrible record, from their corrupt forensic lab onward; ditto for them. No time for a treatise. Overall, both federal law enforcement and intelligence services need a huge rethink, restructuring, and probably hefty cuts in finding.

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We need a new Church Committee. ASAP.

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I sympathize with the sentiment, but we ain't got no more Frank Church. Even he didn't get the job done. Ron Wyden and Martin Heinrich have made moves in the right direction but I'm not sure how far they are able or willing to carry the ball.

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Wyden (one of my Senators) makes some good noises, but he's gutless when it comes to action.

He's certainly no Wayne Morse, or even Hatfield.

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Thanks!

I'm glad it's not a "grab yer guns" level of fight you're referencing but policy and overhaul, rethinking etc. Our current political process of bad faith leading to fruitless non-negotiations, leading to ramrodded legislation, makes it seem very far off.

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Specificity.

Here’s a piece by Matt you appear to have missed. https://taibbi.substack.com/p/a-biden-appointees-troubling-viewsf

The Aspen Institute wants to restrict “information disorder” — from one side, and require what it calls “foundational” changes down the line. Fleets of people fired for expressing mild opinions, or for insufficient enthusiasm for the Word. Congressional hearings in which the Democrats hectored Big Tech to censor speech.

There’s also Matt’s piece well, today.

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You are so far above my intelligence level that I can't even see the point of your reply to my request for specifics. It's a legitimate ask and it was well answered.

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That's a gracious response. Nothing to do with smarts-- I simply pay attention to speech and a press, mainly because both are no longer free.

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Glad to know you AMWL! Let's make common cause against finance capital. Leave this dreary culture war distraction behind and see what we have in common: The government should serve people, not capital. Yes?

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Yes. Of, by and for the people; Consent of the governed. There is a place for capital, but what we have today is a gross monstrosity that has taken over the government and is robbing the people of prosperity while accumulating vast wealth unto itself. Certainly not promoting the general Welfare, nor securing the Blessings of Liberty for all.

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I've no problem with markets. And to do big things we will need capital. But excessive private capital accumulation is a problem.

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AMWL, you're of the conservative bent. Go fuck yourself. Now let's talk. I'm sure we have a lot in common.

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Thank you sir, may I have another.

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The Beatles were more popular than Jesus.

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Well they did write most of their own songs, well except for Ringo.

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Is this satire?

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Taibb's said not to lose our humor. I though it was funny.

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The indication would be you have already lost yours, then. Cursing people is not funny.

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Not funny TO YOU. Or do you believe you're the official arbiter of what is and isn't funny to all human beings?

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It made me smile.

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What a thought provoking, brilliant framing of our current horrendous clusterfuck. I love supporting you here on Substack, but it sure seems like this would do a lot of public good if it were more widely disseminated.

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author

I’m unlocking this piece. Taking a lot of heat for it, but that’s okay.

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The reactions on Twitter are truly scary. A lot of folks are now equating old school ACLU liberalism with fascism because it means defending the constitutional rights of folks whose views you find odious.

A lot of these so-called socialists on Twitter are the shitlibs they love to hate.

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If you are taking heat, it means it's working. White-hot, baby!

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Absolutely, flying low directly over the target always does that

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It sucks when you get shot down though.

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But all the flack indicates the flight path is true and on course.

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No heat, no light. QED

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I believe this is a conscious and organized trolling effort to discredit you. You are a unique and a huge threat. A lot of power and money depends on the woke industrial complex. You're one of the few people with the credibility to speak to both left and right. They're trying to cut off your left flank.

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It is unfortunately little known that "TK News" -- despite Taibbi's coy pretensions -- in fact stands for "Taibbi-Klendathu Newswire."

The efforts to smear him as a Russian agent have been an elaborate double false-flag operation designed to deflect attention. He has been working for the Bugs -- a far more dangerous adversary -- all along.

https://youtu.be/JiI7UaW6Rkc?t=140

Would you like to know more?

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I shouldn't have doubted that the Starship Troopers would be applicable in any situation.

The Bug is scared.

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it's spot on. nailed it!

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With much of the heat coming from a newly-formed army of Team Blue trolls. I saw a bunch of them dog-piling onto an article about Greenwald recently. It seems Team Blue has learned from Team Red and now employs its own army of trolls.

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You're "taking heat" because you are making sense, and exposing the "elephant in the room" that Mainstreamers are so busy talking past. Just throwing this out there, but I had a piece published @ the Dissident Voice website in December, "Whose Afraid of Glenn Greenwald?", which was inspired by Mr Greenwald's escape from The Intercept, and also hit pieces on Glenn by writers @ The New Yorker, The Daily Beast (of course!), and CounterPunch. Regardless, very impressed with your tenacity on this issue...

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That's how you know it's true!

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anyone giving heat not already on the a-hole list?

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Tech-oligarchs are one thing. Does Jeff Bezos count as one? I guess. But I still like Amazon, so good on him.

The newspaper he sponsors though, and the ever-burgeoning fanaticism of the people who operate it... that is quite a different animal. Indeed, I think it's unprecedented in human history. The utter, hysterical nonsense that one must now imbibe and regurgitate in order to gain access to the information-flows of modern power would shame the most obsequious priest of simpler times.

To justify his King's Divine Right, all he had to do was scare superstitious peasants with the prospect of famine:

"Ye doubt this inbred moron was blessed by the Almighty to rule? Ye doubt the Almighty? Must ye then also doubt His benevolence concerning your harvest? Shame! Trust in God! And your King!"

That sort of thing. A simple trick, but one can see how it would work.

Now though... If you want to advance up the (N)GO ladder, you must join a hermaphroditic mystery cult. You must believe---not just think, but *believe*---that sex roles are a modernist conspiracy, and that hormones shower people willy-nilly like mana from heaven. Indeed, if you *really* want to ride the power train, you ought believe that the modern scientific state knows *better* than heaven, and ought to correct the latter's hormonal mistakes with injections and whatnot.

This is insane, obviously; yet only scratches the surface of the delirium engulfing our modern clerisy.

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Unprecedented? Hardly. Imagine how a Roman pagan might've felt during the rise of Christianity, or what things were like in collapsing Weimar or revolution-era Russia or China.

You can paint a picture of the Russian intelligentsia that feels very familiar:

https://www.firstthings.com/article/2020/10/suicide-of-the-liberals

How about this bit from late 300s Rome? Familiar, no?

https://twitter.com/Sturgeons_Law/status/1321293684470591490

There are theories that the Islamic Golden Age ended when religious fanatics started gaining power. Mad clerics have always been with us, and if Eric Hoffer is right, the mass movements they inspire will eventually calm down (often once they've attained power or been crushed violently, mind).

But not all of the clerics' religions are made equal. I don't cherish the idea of 70 years of lite Sovietism.

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What's unprecedented is not the wackiness of the ideas---but the technology that spreads them.

Modern Americans are subjected to a bombardment of State propaganda such as the world---including the old Eastern Bloc---has never seen. It taints every work of popular art, every professional promotion, every conversation between strangers (even if they're of the same race). And it foments its mad lies in its most prestigious institutions.

"There will never be a female Navy SEAL." I said this in an undergraduate seminar a few years ago, when the topic of 'integrated' special forces came up. And the looks I got from all those young, aspiring fanatics...

I might go back to school just to see it again.

P.S. It's adorable you imagine this "lite Sovietism" may only last 70 years.

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<<"There will never be a female Navy SEAL." I said this in an undergraduate seminar a few years ago, when the topic of 'integrated' special forces came up. And the looks I got from all those young, aspiring fanatics...>>

Clearly you did not see G.I. JANE or STARSHIP TROOPERS (both 1997).

In the USA, perception is reality, and has been for quite some time. Washington and New York are both great powers, but Hollywood is the greatest power.

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Outstanding! 👍

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I think a possible interpretation of the authoritarian phenomena you mention is not that the ruling and leadership classes are increasing their power and tightening their grip, but the opposite: they are losing control, and they are _trying_ to tighten their grip as in fact they are losing it. The problem is that a dispersion of certain kinds of wealth and power into the lower orders has been occurring. I'll give just a few examples. 100 years ago, if wanted to spread one's opinions about and lacked a radio station or a printing press, you were stuck with individual conversations, letters, or leaflets. Today, everyone has access to very high-powered social media which predictably has become the focus of ruling-class concern. The opening shot was the exposure of Kennedy-Lewinsky; that could not have happened without the early stage of social media it occurred in. Another is the development of terrorist-usable weapons like drones, and "cyberterror".

The trends.... Broad revolutionary movements and events are not brought about by ideology but by objective, material facts. The proles are acquiring the power to take part in history. Going by 1914-1945, it might be a rough ride.

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You mean "Clinton/Lewinsky" I'm sure.

I'm happy though that someone has a some-what positive spin on events.

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Yes, Clinton. It's probably no surprise that I was thinking about the Kennedys, however. Imagine what the social media could have done with JFK.

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Kotkin is a rare example of an honest observer from the political center (which is pretty much center-right in the US).

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The far left isn't a part of the alliance in the first graf. That portion of the alliance is clearly center-left. The actual left in this country has no part of this; it's tiny regardless.

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I am familiar with her from the profile in Politico last February. This is related to Karl Rove's central insight: elections are decided by motivating the base, not by targeting swing voters.

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Kotkin? Kotkin, Kotkin, Kotkin---yes, Kotkin! Joel Kotkin. My old friend from new geography.com. A good numbers man, somewhat excitable, but eminently certifiable to the good burghers of the local Chamber of Commerce. When I last checked in with Professor K, he was still sifting through old census reports, trumpeting the moral worth of freshly mowed lawns and two-car garages.

He was once more than an occasional blip on my radar screen back when I was up to my ears in all things urban, but then suddenly, for no apparent reason, I said the hell with it, and beat a hasty but much needed retreat to the sticks, and thus lost track of the New Geographer.

Professor Kotkin is not only a solid B-lister of the nation's commentariat, over the years he's also been willing, with bullhorn in hand and dressed in a seersucker suit, to reassure the nation's Babbitts that all is well, pay no attention to....wait! Apparently new alarms are sounding and battle flags are being raised down at the hardware stores and beauty parlors.

So Professor K has dusted off Coleridge's old clerisy and dressed them up as the "new" clerisy. As an old hand in the book publishing world, a hat tip to the professor for this clever intellectual refashioning and regurgitation. One presumes there's not a lot money in tracking migration rates, and a fella's gotta get paid!

In brief: Apparently, this "new" clerisy , composed of the upper-middle-class global elite, Phds and those hauling in six to seven figure salaries, let's call'em the 9-percenters (the Professor will, hopefully, find utility with this "new" numerical coining for his census-taking); these people, as Kotkin reassess, are the butlers and handmaidens who oversee the propaganda and balance sheets of the one percenters (those people again). What Marx designated the '"bourgeoisie" will find themselves or will find themselves---it's not clear what tense we should be shivering about---awash in society marked by, composed of, threatened by, wait for this one...neo-medievalism. Huzzah!

Kotkin classifies this new "clerisy" as the creme of the old middle class. Remember them? And the one percenters, and especially 0.1 percenters, are feverishly eyeballing the newly annointed clerisy's freshly mowed lawns and two-car garages, with the desire of reducing them to the current state of neo-medievalism that the 90- percenters currently enjoy. Now, this sort of warmed-over hand-wringing at this juncture in our on-going national and global breakdown is sure to excite the minds of the young denizens who have erected permanent camps on the platforms of the internet, and who like to imagine themselves as senior analysts at the Rand Corporation, as they continue to make sense of a world that they have analyzed almost exclusively through their phones and computers. But I cavil here.

But this is merely a reading of the Professor's web-posted summary of his longer work. I intend to acquire the Professors book, "The Coming of Neo-Medievalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class" and hope to profit by this new take on an old theme, about 10,000 years old in fact. But I cannot refrain here from cautioning the good Professor himself. We've been forewarned for some time now about the aims and actions of this so-called "new" clerisy.

And now that we've been warned anew by the good Professor, what action(s) do we take to battle this Gothic elite? Indeed, I look forward to reacquainting myself with the thought and theories of Professor Kotkin, with the hope that he has for us not just a strategy and outline of tactics for the coming battle, but a remedy or two for curing our current social and political divisions.

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Lots of words, big words, that failed to add anything to the discussion or make a point that should have been made in 100 words or less:

"The conflict between classes has been ongoing since humanity first existed. Perhaps it is time to determine which side, of many sides, you are on."

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John, is that you? Oh, Zwiebel. Thought you were another John. Discussion? I failed to detect a discussion when I wrote this. I sometimes get lost in all the boogaloo/deep state bullshit in this comment section. And also, what passes for discussion typically is childish logrolling and fevered whispers of the coming and goings of far left ghosts and goblins.

Booh! It's me, the deep state. But please, explain what was being "discussed." And I should note that not all expository writing seeks to "make a point."

I certainly wasn't trying to make a point. Please explain the discussion, and then explain why this "failed to to add to the discussion."

You accuse me of not adding to the discussion, then slyly hint that 100 of my words would have sufficed to add to the discussion, but then I still don't know what's being discussed! And for that matter, these 100 words---are they my 100 words? Or somebody else's 100 words? If they are mine, which 100 words would you choose to make the point I wasn't even trying to make? You see where you've gotten us?

And do you really want to be seen sneering at another commenter for using "big words." This is the taunting of a 6th grader. Or an adult dum-dum. I sincerely trust you're neither of these, but frankly, given the general run of the comments here, well, we can't discount that possibility, Mr Zwiebel.

Hey everybody, don't forget to dumb it down for Mr. Zwiebel! He likes his words somewhat smallish. And you damn well better "make a "point" with them words. Zwiebel likes his words "pointy." Evidently, all of our big words clash with his small ideas! Probably over a hundred words here, wouldn't you say, John?

But I've think I've made my point here, hopefully to John's satisfaction. My point here? I think I'll use big, no even gigantic, words whenever I like. And hundreds and hundreds of them. So there. Good to hear from you, though. Write again and often. Don't be a stranger.

A "point" well taken is not a "point" well shaken...

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You can buy the book at Amazon. Only. Amazon.

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What makes you say this? It's freely available wherever they sell books, save used bookstores, of course.

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McWhorter has been killing it over the last several months - if you didn't catch him, he mopped the floor with Michelle Goldberg on the NYT's The Argument in May. It was an absolute pleasure to read, and he has multiple protection devices that can thwart the woke mob - because he's Black, no one can use the racist card on him. Because he's a very well-credentialed academic, they can't use use the education card on him. It's delicious.

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Here, I fixed it for you. First paragraph works much better, I believe, as a parody of an Ezra Pound poem.

Enough! Flatulent, bloviating gibberish

It could fill a large hot air balloon.

and send it into the stratosphere

For an around-the-world trip

You seem to be saying

That you are uninformed

Which explains a lot

As the cultural-left continues to marinate and rot

A toxic echo chamber of lies and emotional manipulation

There is a market for criticism of anti-liberals

O’ Taibbi......O’ Greenwald!

These are examples of how

to be successful in that market...

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James Lindsay! Kid, you're too much. Exotic indeed. It's unclear, however, what strain of "exotic" we speak of here:

This kind of exotic? --"The hoax got the attention of Michael O’Fallon, a conservative activist and president of Sovereign Nations, a conservative Christian nationalist group. O’Fallon, who also has organized cruises for tea partyers and Calvinist Christian nationalists, has long been a critic of liberal causes and critical theory.

He has claimed that evangelical and Catholic leaders have been bought off by the Open Society Foundation led by philanthropist George Soros...."

"Lindsay and O’Fallon have close ties."

Or this kind of exotic---"The grievance studies hoax transformed Lindsay’s career. Before the hoax, he was a massage therapist who ran a business called Twisted Roots Bodywork, which combined massage with martial arts.

"On social media, he’s joked about his lack of credentials in critical theory.

“Looks like the story finally broke too,” he wrote on Twitter last summer. “The guy who pranked all those academic journals was a massage therapist too. LOL lol LOL.”

You know the old saying---once a massage therapist, always a massage therapist...

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"Speaking of regurgitation, there is nothing in what you said that wasn't said by Marcuse: a deep, snobby, pretentious loathing of the suburban working class and small business owners."

I kid you not---in an argument once with my father when I was in high school, he responded with precisely these words when I declined to work an extra shift at one of the hardware stores he owned. Prescient. Very. "You and your Marcuse, I would mutter back to him, you and your Marcuse."

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But the skeptics here also recognize your word salad nonsense about the left, parroting the usual right wing blather about culture.

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e.pierce19 hr ago

the "left" invented word salad.

You should extend your reading to certain previous eras.

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So, who do I oppose?

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I agree.

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“Huffing horeshit into Headlines”.

So true, so perfectly stated. Sums up our mainstream media today.

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Huffington Horseshit... how is it any different than Daily Caller Horseshit...

Matt's indepth reporting is limited only to the left while all but ignoring the glaring PROPAGANDA model on the right that has produced such non sense as Stop the Steal and Tax cuts to the rich trickle down.

Give me a break. What Matt has proven is that Right Wingers can handle the truth if it told on their enemies but will take their ball home and sob if the truth is told about the media they believe... Right?

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author

First of all I don't think the mainstream press is "the left." Neither am I, for that matter, but despite some superficial overtures to leftism, particularly in the op-ed pages, the mainstream press is basically corporate. Second, Fox is no longer a standard-bearer for institutional power. It plays to an enormous audience of people, as entirely red as MSNBC's audience is blue, but its influence is limited to whipping up passions in that population. The rest of the press, which incidentally is much larger in terms of bandwidth and reach, with many more outlets in both print and broadcast, is much more intimately part of a larger system now, practically an outpost of the security agencies on some issues. So my focus lately, as opposed to, say, the Bush years (when Fox was a leader of the political consensus driving us to war and I wrote a lot about that channel), is on that other "side." As I wrote in Hate Inc., Fox invented a lot of the commercial techniques that got us into this mess, but the behaviors we're seeing now in outlets like the New York Times and CNN -- with almost constant errors and deceptions, many fed to them directly from security sources, while they're all cheering on censorship -- to me is far more dangerous than Fox. The difference between "Stop the Steal" and Russiagate is that the latter was and is an officially approved attempt to re-shape reality. "Stop the Steal" to me is just Donald Trump's personal crusade. Add the fact that I guess I expect the New York Times to be better, and that's why I'm not as interested in the foibles of red media lately.

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That’s exactly correct. Stop the Steal is online nonsense that Trump pushes but has almost no impact.

CNN’s misleading chyrons and gaslighting and the Times’ deceptions are in fact much more problematic. We need them to be better and right now they’re not.

Just one example- we’re going thru this odd almost Maoist like cultural revolution

with schools and institutions resegregating and declaring themselves racist and purging and where is the reporting? The only reporting you see from the Paper of Record is largely a reflexive defense of CRT and an effort to delegitimize the critics.

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If it quacks like a duck....

1) Oswald didn't act alone, else why was he immediately assassinated by a mid-level Mafia operative in a sharkskin suit?

2) Epstein had help, else why were all the video cameras turned off, for the most high-profile prisoner in the U.S. incarceration system?

3) The virus came from the Wuhan lab, since the coincidence of the initial outbreak being right next to the virology lab is... about 1 in 1 million.

4) The election was flawed, else why do 4 simultaneous swing states simultaneously go dark (2 with "plumbing problems), kick out poll watchers, then re-emerge hours later with a 6 point swing to Biden? (Look at the PA court proceeding where the judge had to incredulously ask 2 times what the vote counts were during the blackout.... more than 100x1 for Biden).

About #4, I remain agnostic, but certainly a full forensic audit is warranted, if for no other reason than to restore faith in the elective process (50 million Americans currently think the election was stolen, which is a dangerous situation).

As a wise person recently told me, "There wouldn't be so many conspiracy theories if there weren't so many conspiracies".

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5). The Clinton foundation is perhaps the biggest money laundering scheme in American history and one doesn’t need to be a genius to figure out that the donations from despotic regimes throughout the Middle East were not made because the philanthropic heads of state wanted to alleviate world suffering and thought the Clinton foundation to be the best vehicle through which to deliver aid.

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Hunter Biden is running a close second and closing the gap

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Donning a sharkskin suit just makes you immediately want to assassinate someone. No reason for it. No point in looking for one, either.

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Grand Theft Auto:Vice City

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Excellent. You sound just like me. :)

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So the Marxists are willing to destroy the economy, fund our nation’s enemies, allow an invasion of our borders of destitute foreign welfare leeches, remove all incentive for these foreigners to assimilate, outlaw all non-emergency vaccine remedies killing tens of thousands of people, destroy decades of civil rights and race relation advances, along with dozens of other actions just as evil and destructive to our country BUT they would NEVER cheat to win an election. THAT would just be too much? Seriously???

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Yes, basically.

Of course, they tried. They knew that universal mail in would benefit Biden and so they pushed it hard. That’s not cheating. It’s malpractice by Trump’s team to not have an answer. And his own last minute blunders and gaffes sealed his fate.

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But it is fair to ask "If there was no cheating in the last election, why such pushback on the part of Democrats for a proper audit of election results?". The MSM argument against widespread chicanery is something along the lines of 'that is living in Crazy Town, man; only wack jobs believe that.'

Ok, fair enough. Then help with the audits.

And one more thing: remember that the chief engineer at Dominion may have been a member of Antifa who reportedly said 'Trump is not going to win. I made f***ing sure of that.' (https://en-volve.com/2020/11/16/anti-trump-engineer-of-dominion-voting-systems-said-i-made-sure-trumps-not-gonna-win-in-secret-call-with-antifa-claims-man-who-infiltrated-group/ ) This little tidbit surfaced in mid November but was quickly memory holed by the usual suspects.

So it is not all 'out of thin air' paranoia. Especially when audits are so strongly opposed.

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A much simpler argument to that effect: If you actually believed your opponent was a fascist or worse, why on Earth would you play fair?

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Wait 'till we seize power. At the top of the agenda: we're gonna kill all the puppies and outlaw ice cream.

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I agree, much of what we are seeing today actually reeks of the steps of subversion that Yuri Bezmenov—disclaimer: I don't know exactly how I feel about him, but do find his steps of subversion to be compelling—talked about after "defecting" from the KGB.

I also want to clarify that I am not asserting that Russia is principally involved in the direction we are seeing today, but that our own KGB would likely come to similar conclusions about how to control society en masse and therefore would employ similar techniques to retain control.

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How is "Stop the Steal" just "online non-sense with no impact? It's a major campaign from the most popular leader on one side of the political isle in a two-party system that inevitably cycles through partisan changes in power. It also lead recently to a riot/insurrection or whatever you want to call it. I get that some of that gets exaggerated, but why respond by downplaying it completely?

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Because they’re indulging the worst impulses of Trump. It may have some people online hyped up about it but I don’t see it going anywhere.

I watched Jan 6 live. Seemed to me - a few bad people mixed in with some ignoramuses amped up by a crowd of thousands. Some rioted and others tresspassed. They’re being charged as is correct. To try and shoehorn it into a 9/11 or a White Supremacist attempted Coup is simply not true. No matter how many times CNN says it. It just isn’t true.

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The worst damage caused by the attempted (in a rather lame way imo) insurrection is that people now equate GIVING PEOPLE MORE OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE due to the pandemic, with STEALING THE VOTE. The two are not the same, but it's useful to conflate them if you want to keep people from agreeing that the populace should find voting so easy that it's shameful to not vote.

I hate that conflation. It's evil and dresses the worst illness of our civic body (non participation) in the false premise of righteous indignation.

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it's believed by the majority of a major political party and it is the product of the most influential politician in that party. How is that not a relevant topic for institutional critique?

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I call it a protest that got out of hand. Or, if you prefer, "a slow day in Portland".

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"Stop the Steal" is a simile that means what people want. You seem to interpret it as large-scale hard-core ballot fraud, which hasn't been shown conclusively. Some see "the steal" as publicly documented changes to absentee voting that favored Biden while being of questionable legality.

Beyond what "the steal" really means, the necessary standard of evidence is also open to debate. Should it be "beyond a reasonable doubt", "a preponderence of evidence", or "arguably true if you look from a certain angle", i.e. good enough for sports fans.

You won't understand people if you're unwilling to see things from their perspective.

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RWK - A huge chunk of a democracy thinking that the presidential election was RIGGED in the voting booth is far more damaging to democracy than the FBI investigating one of the most corrupt campaigns of all time and their possible ties to Russia. Absurdly hyped by the press yes. But thinking an ex president got pee'd on in a Russian Hotel room is not going to rally people to storm the capital.

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Piketty- stop worrying and obsessing over what some people think and say online. Who gives a fuck. Let them be. And let your side believe that Putin won in 2016.

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This is so well put.

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Piketty learns that details are the enemy of joy.

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FNR - Truth is the enemy of those that value something more than truth ... St. Paul.

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I for one, value truth over being right all the time.

give it a try some time. admitting you’re not always right is good. for example, earlier this year I (like millions of others) was fooled into believing CPO Brian Sicknick was murdered at the Jan 6 riot with a fire extinguisher. when it became clear that wasn’t true, I admitted I was wrong. didn’t have a scratch on me. it won’t kill you.

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FNR - That is like someone saying i was wrong once. I thought i was wrong and then found out i was actually right.

Give me a break.

I am a former Republican, President of college Republicans and worked at RNC and on several elections. I now reject all of the corporate BS the Republicans have pushed for decades. From voter suppression to cutting taxes to the rich promising it will trickle down to refusing to put in place a health care system that costs LESS than we are paying today and insures 100% of Americans like every other industrialized nation.

And i made all of those pivots within months of watch Trump and his Misinformed, Lying, corrupt ass float down that Elevator in his heavily mortgaged building with his pathetic name on it.

I spent 30yrs raising kids and saving for my future and barely paid attention to what my party had morphed into while i was working and raising a family. Trump and his charm got the people in my party to reveal what they really cared about and it was not doing what is best for the entire country. In fact is was a strong desire to burn this thing down rather than not have it tilted to them.

I missed the anger because i was in a world not destroyed by 2008, not destroyed by technology or globalization. I got lucky.

That is called admitting you were wrong. Your sorry excuse for admitting you were wrong is nothing more than a tesstment to your ego. Right?

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Fox is the loyal opposition now that the media has abdicated that role

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Perfectly stated.

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Matt - "Stop the Steal" is a LIE that was 'officially approved' by the sitting US President, Many in the White House, Congress and the Senate and then pushed endlessly through right wing media channels that also took corporate advertising money.

How is that any different than the corporate funded NYT pushing State Department lies? They appear two sides of the same coin but you only report negatively on one side of that coin.

Your boards are filled with messages that push right wing Political Leaders lies which are then pushed through corporate sponsored right wing media outlets. Yet i have almost never seen someone on your board claiming Trump colluded with Russia or kente clothed Schumer and Pelosi represents true patriotism.

And since joining your sub stack after reading Hate Inc i have only seen you attacks Democratic leaning corporate media with lies pushed by Democratic leaders.

Is correlation causation? I think so... Your readers trust you and since you no longer attack the right wing media lies they freely repeat and thus believe them.

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Then why do the Democrats so strongly oppose election audits? Why was Parler shut down when the Jan 6 miscreants almost exclusively used Twitter and FB to collaborate/coordinate (remember the Jan 6 shitstorm was cited as a prime reason for destroying Parler) ? And why doesn't CNN or anyone ever mention that Trump actually tweeted out, just before the shit hit the fan, that everybody needed to calm down, remain peaceful, and go home... only to have Jack and co. DELETE HIS TWEEET? Just a lot of weird questions that need answering before the skeptics among up will trust the gubmint.

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Matt - Thanks for the response.

Understood.. your focus is on corporate/ main stream press not just 'the left". And i understand you and Greenwald are particularly focused on security broadly as was Chomsky in framing the the Propaganda Model. Being a mouth piece of the security agencies is Bad. Totally agree!

But for those of us that follow you today and were not following you in 2004 or 5 in the build up to Iraq your writing reads as if you only see these issue in the same media that pushed Russia Gate and no State Sponsored lying in the media that claimed brown people were storming the southern boarder raping and stealing from Americans. Is that your intention?

If you look at posts on your own board you can consistently see "errors and deception" that is pushed by the larger media universe but in particular by the right wing side of the isle (Daily Caller, NewsMax etc...). Sure "Stop the Steal" is not state sponsored. Totally agree and excellent point. But does it get even a nod from you to how misleading the media that endorses this lie is? I don't think so.

You are building a dialog with this community, i would assume, and not a monolog like your pod cast. So if you have your community routinely scoffing at things like Russia Gate and then turning around pushing right wing media lies (state sponsored or not) then you are in essence validating their views.

Let me give an example. "The State" pushed Trumps tax cut through right and left wing and corporate media. That despite virtually every single major economist in the US stating explicitly that the cut would not accomplish what it was promising. No, that State Sponsored lie may not warrant a book but perhaps some consistent references to what a lie it was. But it seems like Trump administration State Sponsored lies get a pass from you despite you having shown great expertise in financial reporting. It is confusing to me.

Your audience are not as fired up about Trumps countless State sponsored lie as they are about Lab Leak, Steele Dossier etc... Nor do you point those out despite a wealth of examples.

So you're building an audience that believes the lies they hear from right wing media, and you sending almost zero contradictory scolding while endlessly (and accurately) scolding corporate media for lies about Trump. Is that intentional? It sure seems that way?

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Why this obsessive need to have Matt Taibbi validate your worldview?

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