1014 Comments
Mar 13, 2022·edited Mar 13, 2022

1984 indeed. Some people might laugh at this, but I really hope that free-speech-oriented companies like Rumble, Gab, Substack, Gettr, and even Truth Social succeed -- as much for people on the left *like me* as for people on the right.

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“The real division is not between conservatives and revolutionaries but between authoritarians and libertarians.”

― George Orwell, The Lost Orwell: Being a Supplement to The Complete Works of George Orwell

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Case in point, Robby Soave (editor at Reason magazine, an ostensibly libertarian magazine), if you've ever heard of him. But that's why it doesn't matter what we label ourselves. I don't know many liberal "liberals" anymore either.

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Please allow me to introduce myself . . .

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I'm a classic liberal, favoring social liberalism and financial conservatism. The financial conservatism is necessary, because without it we cannot afford the luxury of social liberalism otherwise.

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Soave is a dolt. He says the most inane things on The Hill. He's an opportunist, nothing more, nothing less. He's got nothin' on Benny Hinn.

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Or Benny Hill.

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I listen to Robby on Rising. I haven't heard him take any grossly authoritarian positions. Do you mean Reason itself is taking such positions and Robby is at least in part responsible due to his position?

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He is only libertarian when it comes to government, which would work just fine if we didn't have such huge corporations that government doesn't have to be authoritarian. They just have the corporations do it for them. Someone who doesn't recognize the danger of fascism, which is government and corporations working together to control a population, is not a libertarian. Robby Soave does not recognize that.

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Robby Soave is libertarian when it comes to the government, but when it comes to businesses he thinks they can do whatever they like, never mind that our corporations are so big and so entangled with the government that the government doesn't need to be authoritarian to turn this country into a dystopia. They just have to tell the businesses to do that (think vaccine mandates, censorship--all that's just fine with Soave as long as corporations are making the demands). That's my problem with Robby Soave.

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I'm thinkin' you should take a hard look at what you can expect to happen if you start letting some ill-defined "common good" trump any individuals' personal freedom. It's more like a base jump with no bungee cord than a "slippery slope".

Besides, the libertarians at Reason have, taking a cue from the wokeians, re-defined libertarianism to suit themselves. They've gotten it down to one unquestionable and invariable principle: INFINITE IMMIGRATION! Open borders, and any attempt to ensure that immigration is beneficial to the country is as evil as asking someone to have a valid ID to vote.

It's really quite remarkable..

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No, those are not libertarians.

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The libertarian ideology views individual freedom as the height of the common good. That personal freedom necessarily extends to women, gay people etc. If it doesn't, you are not libertarian, full stop.

I'm literally listening to him right now complain about the authoritarian strain in the Republican party that is expressing itself via the anti-CRT laws for what that is worth.

You may disagree with the libertarian philosophy of course, but the fact that you disagree doesn't make them all opportunistic, despicable hypocrites.

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No, there are people in ALL parties and persuasions who are now authoritarian and that's why political lines are being redrawn. But libertarians are no guiltier than liberals. Less, actually. But there are people in all parties, elites, and globalists that believe in noble lies, in their ability and the necessity to control narratives and thus humans. With short or no memories.

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What if they're doing it *for our own good*?

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Um yes, that's the elitist garbage they are getting away with, and all parties seem to be snowed by this to some degree.

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I hope it too but it’s unlikely. Pressure will be placed to shut down their servers. Really the only hope is someone will invent a technology truly impossible to control, but that’s a slender reed to hang hope on.

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Tech will never solve this problem. For every leap in cryptology there will be a bound in hacking. No, the only real answer is to create an expectation of free speech. It needs to be ground into each and every person that the right for others to speak their piece is what ensures my right to speak. And what we should shame anyone who feels differently.

And this needs to start at the most basic levels. Transparency in local gov't. Force anyone who feels a need or has the ability to shame you for asking questions and speaking, the two basic building blocks of a free and civil society, to feel the shame of the public square.

When people feel that they need to silence other people for having a different opinion, we, all of us no matter the political stripe, need to come to their defense. And, yes, this applies equally to BLM as to MAGA.

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founding

The distinction being that the MAGA movement has never tried to shut down anyone's freedom of expression, while BLM and the rest of the radicalized Left are incessantly working to violate the First Amendment rights of anyone who dares express any "unapproved" words or ideas. They screech "silence is violence!" in your face while demanding that others be silenced. Then proceed to label everyone white supremacists.

The sin of MAGA is that it exists at all.

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That distinction is a matter of power differential, not moral differential. Remember that it used to be the Republicans, the “moral majority” that represents the historical “great America” to which MAGA refers, who posed the greatest threat to free speech. They’re the ones who wanted to ban rap and video games. The MAGA advocacy for civil liberties is every bit as shallow and self-serving as Dem advocacy for such causes was during the Bush years. Both sides use civil liberties as a tool when they’re on the defensive, only to sing a very different tune once they’ve obtained the upper hand. Don’t trust any of these assholes.

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founding

What you are referring to was an unholy alliance of the small government libertarian wing (what used to be called Goldwater Republicans) and the Bible thumpers. This partnership, often referred to as the "Reagan Coalition", pretty much defined the late 20th Century GOP platform. Neither side shared much common ground but they needed one another to counter the big government, endless handout juggernaut of the ruinous Democrat party.

Bush II marked the end of this fading alliance. The hill which the holy roller club chose to die upon was the same sex marriage battle. While eking out a few early victories such as CA's PropH8, they lost once and for all at SCOTUS and pretty much haven't been heard from since. None of their dire predictions of the End Times ever came to pass.

Recall the 2016 GOP primary where all of the 37+ candidates were tripping over one another in lock step professing their undying commitment to overturning marriage. All but one that is, and he went on to claim the nomination and the throne and launched the MAGA movement with a proclamation that "Marriage is settled law". While heresy for a Republican, recall that Black Jesus was elected on a platform of "One Man, One Woman" then proceeded to regress race relations by a half century in his first term alone.

The script has been flipped ever since.

The only demand of MAGA is love of one's country and a desire for its needs prioritized over the needs of other nations. Just like other nations prioritize their needs above ours. And that includes secured and defined borders.

p.s. I seem to recall the jihad to censor music and video games in the 80's being driven by the wife of a future Democrat Vice President and eco-warrior. What Frank Zappa referred to as "A bunch of bored Washington housewives".

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I disagree. The Falwell right still lives and breathes. They just decided that money was more powerful than god!

The Falwell right was brilliant. They realized that very few Americans vote in the non-national election cycles (when School boards and local governments are put on the ballot), and mobilized the Liberty University grads to move to new locations and run. They took over the places where things actually happen in this country and nobody truly cares.

Everything else is just theatre. Most of it egged on and escalated by government actors.

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You practically write the definition of fascism in respect to MAGA: "The only demand of MAGA is love of one's country and a desire for its needs prioritized over the needs of other nations. Just like other nations prioritize their needs above ours. And that includes secured and defined borders."

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Once I read Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals I gained insight into what’s happening. That of course led me to Derek Bell and Kimberly Crenshaw and papers on CRT from Harvard Law Review in late 90s early aughts. I RE-read Marx and Engels. I also went back to The Constitution and The Federalist Papers.

Among other things that’s when I accepted the fact that what had happened to me and so many others is not a conspiracy theory it’s that people blindly accepted what seemed to be a well-meaning message I mean who isn’t for everyone getting along right? And then they were committed to the narrative and the more the media called out “racist” and “white privilege” and pols were saying violence is okay the more committed they became and they were validated. There’s no way they could back out even if they wanted to.

When riots went on for months and lies and gaslighting became the norm I realized this was not like 1968 or LA or even Occupy.

I also became convinced at that point that even if Biden’s election was free and fair he is not in control.

His aging and/or stupidity just made it easier for him to fit the suit and the men and women behind the curtain are in charge. It all just seems like a bad dream or Alice In Wonderland.

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It is important to read the interpretations of social theory, of James Madison and the Federalist Papers, along with many sociology papers. What you never read from these writers however are bald assertions without explication. However, somewhere along the line, you have learned and imitated the outlandish practice of making bald assertions without evidence or reasoning. For example, your remarks about Biden, about rioting, about "behind the curtain" are obscure and lack detail and sense - you are unhistorical and inaccurate. Are you talking about the communist regime in Russia or the Wizard of O? Comments like yours are not helpful and simply regurgitate crap through your party machine.

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Im not sure what you’re trying to prove but “unhistorical” is completely incorrect as I AM part of history.

You stated my failure to provide supporting evidence of my thoughts and opinions while You provided no qualified counter-argument Only lots of words, several of which are used incorrectly.

I’m not spending any additional time on this when you can go and actually do some work to “fact check” my original IDEAS, OPINIONS and POSITS

FACT: this President has consistently made accusations and threats alienating large numbers of American citizens. These are just 2 examples.

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/09/10/biden-pandemic-vaccination-effort-511157

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/bidens-2022-pitch-target-trump-acolytes-woo-swing-voters-2022-01-09/

if more than 30% of the population disapproves of your performance even when you have a media machine excusing, rationalizing or ignoring bad policy you’re not doing well. And he doesn’t even have angry tweets.

“Klain is responsible for shaping the president’s domestic agenda...”

https://www.mediaite.com/politics/biden-chief-of-staff-klain-calls-out-nyt-for-hypocrisy-after-editorial-pushes-for-a-moderate-agenda/

And the NYT of all outlets was called “red-pilled” when they ran an op-Ed in which the Biden (Klain) domestic agenda (BBB plan) was too far left.

Susan rice:

https://thefederalist.com/2020/12/15/failing-upwards-biden-picks-susan-rice-to-lead-domestic-policy-after-years-of-foreign-policy-disasters/

It might not be too big of a stretch to compare Benghazi to Afghanistan (the last thing the Biden administration wants to hear)

https://www.worldtribune.com/why-afghan-catastrophe-seemed-familiar-obamas-benghazi-team-is-back/

Why do you think Rice (a foreign policy EXPERT with zero domestic policy experience) was passed over for VP in favor of Cackling Kamala?

Maybe its better for her to be out of sight pulling levers w The Amazing Bewildered Blinken at the podium

What’s in her wallet?

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/susan-rice-vice-president-clients_n_5f2c2319c5b64d7a55f01b47

Were 2020 riots not validated by those in power? And anyone who spoke out against them was immediately labeled a racist or Trump supporter.

https://independentcitizen.com/maxine-waters-incites-violence/

Even the WaPo had to spin this one

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/09/03/kamala-harris-tweeted-support-bail-fund-money-didnt-just-assist-protestors/

did I say Biden was not elected? My statement was a counter to the “election was rigged” idea. I don’t know whether it was or not. Do you? Can you prove it either way?

I’m not sure what party you think I belong to but let me help you. NONE. Former Occupy participant, Iraq war protestor, Salon reader, MSNBC watcher.

NOW: observer of insanity, libertarian-leaning independent

Your reply has no useful point. If you’re actually interested in sharing ideas here that would be great. Or you can continue to scroll through posts and make random pointless comments.

Good day.

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How is calling for the banning of books that address basic American historical facts not shutting down freedom of expression?

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your right to dissent hasn't been silenced, so what are you talking about?

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He’s talking about the “demand that others be silenced” by labeling “everyone white supremacists.” It was right there in his comment.

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All this thread reminds me of one of my favorite Orwell quotes: "IF LIBERTY MEANS ANYTHING AT ALL, IT MEANS HAVING THE RIGHT TO TELL SOMEONE SOMETHING THEY DO NOT WANT TO HEAR"

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Good point - and just look at how far school boards, particularly in Virginia last year have been willing to overstep

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Another Good point, Scott. We're moving further away from transparency than ever. I've been trying to get copies of FFX Co. School Board's annual review of our Superintendent (under my VA FOIA rights) for years now. Denied every time; on the grounds that a seeing how my School Board views the annual performance of it's highest paid executive (almost $1/2M) is "personal" information.

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It's one thing to address the outrageous salaries of administrators, a reason why property taxes are out of control, and another thing entirely to complain about the social studies curriculum as if historical facts should not be taught! And, then, to organize a political campaign on false stories about curricula is another lie from the Republican machine!

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Can you explain the alleged false political campaign being organized by the Republican machine in public schools? I find the premise laughable.

To my knowledge, all school board members in my County are aligned with the Democratic progressive political platform. As an example, please note that Fairfax (FFX) Co. tax payers were obligated to pay Author Ibram Kendi $20,000.00 to give a 45 minute video virtual presentation on Aug. 6th, 2020 to FFX Co. Public School officials titled "Cultivating an Anti-racist School Community". This presentation was officially sponsored by the FFX Co. School Board. Add to that mix the fact that there is only 1 District supervisor in FFX Co. that is Republican with the remaining 9 members being registered Democrats--- and your premise appears to crumble.

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Saul is that you?

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So it sounds like some are referring to CRT curriculum? I'm sure everyone realizes that the word "history" is not part of CRT.

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Tech has solved lots of problems at least temporarily until it is superseded by other tech. Perhaps that is the best we can hope. Freedom of speech grew out of the movable-type press, which made broader dissemination of more ideas faster and easier until very, very recently. Democracies arose when the weaponry available to citizens was roughly equal to the weaponry available to the state. Workers were strongest when tech was advanced enough to make them immensely valuable to capital but advanced enough to make them irrelevant. Dialup made centralized control of the internet impossible until it was replaced by broadband. And on and on.

Either someone invents an end run around big tech, and pro to, or the world is screwed.

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"Dialup made centralized control of the internet impossible until it was replaced by broadband"

Not quite sure I follow that one.

"Either someone invents an end run around big tech, and pro to, or the world is screwed."

Perhaps. But it's worth recalling that big tech had a very different culture in the recent past - or is that another fact we're all collectively memory holing so we have convenient targets to hate? Cultures can change with time. I'm not old but in my life I've seen:

* Twitter go from the "free speech wing of the free speech party" to what it is today.

* Microsoft go from being the Evil Empire to a rehabilitated, productive and (mostly) respected member of the software community. Certainly the most recent generation of programmers would think you're a bit weird if you engaged in a 90s style Microsoft-as-the-great-satan rant.

Yet, they are the same organizations, with a great number of people who were there in both phases. Cultures can change, and quite fast too.

A lot of what's going on here are symptoms of bigger problems that aren't tech specific - wokeism is a universal plague, it's not something specific to Silicon Valley. The need to constantly virtue signal speaks to a deep seated uneasyness with the world, an uncertainty about what a good person is and how you become one. In the past religion fulfilled this role, and religion of course was constantly trying to cancel heretics, control language, and gave its adherents lots of formalized ways to virtue signal. A nice friendly turn-the-other-cheek Christian might seem preferable to a woke person *now*, but again cultures change and it wasn't always so.

The ultimate solution to this doesn't lie in cryptography or peer to peer networks, and I say that as a programmer with expertise in both. They might buy time or opportunities, at best. But ultimately this is a meme war, and the mightiest weapons are ideas. Wokeism is ascendant at the moment because it's a set of ideas that meet needs people have, even if maybe they can't explain why or don't want to explain why. The solution is not to try and run from people with those ideas but to fight for their minds, with better ideas.

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founding

This.

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Really well said.

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we need telepathy

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The Men Who Stare at Goats ;)

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or go dox and f*kc up all the woke techholes. old school style. gasoline and pitchforks.

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Go look up a hacker named Gummo. He's done some "interesting" work.

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Agree, Swagman. But, knowing what should 'be' and making it actually 'be' is hard. I think most of the comments to Matt's article are lamenting that what you suggest is NOT happening. Most of the comments don't sound (to me) all that optimistic that it will be happening anytime soon.

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It's absolutely astonishing how many liberals right now simply do not understand how crucial it is that we live by the "I may hate every word you say, but I'll fight to the death for you right to say it" thing--because right NOW, their policies and people are in power. Glenn Greenwald talks about this all the time -- they can't see the principal --ends justify means.

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It's probably going to be a distributed technology like IPFS, or something hard to track like TOR hidden services. Problem is, non-technical people can't easily get to those.

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The tech impossible to control is the hand-written letter. Perhaps made fool proof if hand delivered.

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OR...a super-massive Coronal Mass Ejection Event that wipes out the comm satellites. We're due for one as large or larger than the 1859 Carrington Event.

There will be some minor side-effects, like a shortage of cute pics of cats and grandchildren, and the collapse of civilization, but hey: No Twitter Blue Checks! Nothing worthwhile is free.

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Happened in "Dark Angel"!

LOL

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Perhaps a derivative of Crypto-Currency systems? I've read Bitcoin, et al, very hard to trace. Piggyback technology of some sort? I agree with Mr. Bob below on TOR. TOR a long way from point-and-click. Intercept News site had extensive article on how to use TOR. Not light reading. For me anyway.

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Here's a thought. The National Farmer's Alliance, the highly successful workers' movement of the 1800s that almost created a third party strong enough to challenge the duopoly until it was infiltrated, had more than 1,000 newspapers and periodicals available free or at low cost, and 40,000 traveling lecturers to speak to the populace and educate them on the real causes of their pain. The only way those can be stopped is overt action by government entities. What if going retro is the answer?

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I find this side discussion of Crypto illustrative of the fact that money is not real. How we have built a whole world's economy on something that is an illusion is just fascinating.

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Bitcoin is rather easy to trace. Some alternatives like Monero aren't.

I believe there are already some experimental programs for storing data on a blockchain in an immutable way. Problem is I don't know how well it will scale. Storing transaction records for Bitcoin is already getting pretty slow. Now consider how much data videos would require. I don't know if there's a way to optimize that that makes sense.

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Ugh. And, of course, lurking in the shadows is that 'advertising' and all its associated activities are what actually pay for the infrastructure of Social Media. And, Merchants like to NOT be associated with 'unpopular-ness' these days. Unwinding well funded monopolies always hard.

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I read somewhere that it’s only easy to trace if you buy on an exchange. And less so if you buy independently and store in your own wallet. Is there a difference?

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Going a little more into educated guess territory here, but... not buying it from an exchange might make it harder to connect to a real name, but it's still fairly easy to connect it to a wallet address. The blockchain is public, and anybody can see who sent coins to who, when, and how much. I'm also not sure how much network information could be gleaned from this (connecting an IP address to a transaction/wallet, and at that point you're pretty much got).

In order to counter this, you need to obfuscate the transaction trail in some way, which is what Monero (and I think Oxen) do.

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There are several privacy-centric altcoins that make it very difficult to trace transactions. Monero is one such project, but so is ZCash (https://z.cash/) and MimbleWimble (https://www.mycryptopedia.com/mimblewimble-explained/). They do require some work to understand and use properly, but are viable alternatives for those willing to learn how to use them.

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LPT: LIVEPEER for encrypted videos. There might be others that are better.

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That's pretty much the way I see it too.

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There is no more "left" or "right". There is only authoritarianism and anti-authoritarianism. We have to let go of the old political frames if we're to survive the coming authoritarian onslaughts

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We won't survive this.

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It depends. If we hold our own government to account - and not eat the daily dog food of American exceptionalism, put pressure on power's grip in the media and find real ways to resist that show the rest of the world that they are not wrong to want a multi-polar world (maybe we have a chance).

However, the counter-argument is that we have treated so many across the world so poorly (see Venezuela as one example), that it would not take very much for the Chinese, the Russians, the Indians, the Vietnamese, or the Iranians to seek revenge in this kind of world and get their decades long pound of flesh they have been wanting --- so we are not only bad actors in this hegemony, but really shitty teachers of democracy/capitalism. One could see this coming around as blowback.

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Sorry, but that's "Affluenza" talking. Anyone under 50 has literally no idea how fucked-up the late-Sixties and Seventies were. When you literally can't find a menial job, like stocking or dish-washing, to feed your family, THAT's bad times. When your national industries are turning out new "cars" where parts fall off, THAT's a problem, etc.

I'll be the first to say we've got to deal with the New Fascism, but...we will.

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I remember in 2015 or 2016 Hillary Clinton saying that we need to "get rid of" Drudge and Rush Limbaugh. Well, they did, one by buyout and the other of natural causes. They also put an end to uncensored commenting on The Daily Mail and ended it entirely on Yahoo - all before the 2020 election. But truth keeps cropping up, here and on other sites, and the authoritarians are forced to play whack-a-mole. Left and right unite. Keep the faith. Never give up.

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I think there are two groups of people on the 'left' nowadays. Those who adhere to traditional leftist principles (less income inequality, universal health care, suspicion of big business, advocacy for free speech, etc.) and those that are reflexively against whatever conservatives might approve of. Unfortunately the latter group, which was precipitated out during the Trump years, predominates these days.

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There aren't two groups on the left nowadays. That's your imagination searching for logic where there is none. BTW, what does "predominate" add to your point vs. dominate? Look up the definitions, they are virtually identical. As the late, great George Carlin said: ": Pre-suck my genital situation".

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ChesterView is right, and the proof is out there for anyone to see. The latter group they identify, those who are just reflexively opposed to anything from the Republicans, have been at war with the first group ever since Sanders announced his bid in 2016.

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There is never proof in opinions.

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Mar 15, 2022·edited Mar 15, 2022

Are you disputing that there has been internecine conflict on the left between the moderates and the progressives, or are you disputing my (logical, natural) conclusion that there are, in fact, two camps on the left? Because it seems to me that your original comment is mostly just a flimsy excuse to paint the left with a broad brush.

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Appears to be typical infighting in same "camp". Happens on both sides of the isle. I don't see that as different camps. Your effort to paint shades of grey as black and white is folly, in my opinion. As for Bernie, he caved to the camp leader(s) twice. By definition (and logical fact), he is not in a separate camp.

BTW, I'm all for new camps outside of Donkeys and Elephants. Personally I think the People would be a lot better off with as many camps as possible. As George Carlin also famously said, "And I can dream, can't I?"

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Agreed. But I would classify the latter group as media-led sheep. Unwitting cheerleaders for a neo-lib establishment which is even more morally bankrupt than the neocons.

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Gold.

"Now free speech and peace advocacy are universally understood to be stalking horses for fascism."

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Mar 14, 2022·edited Mar 14, 2022

Modern attitudes toward speech control basically amount to "shooting holes in the *other* end of the boat is fine, because that's where the bad people are".

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This is hilarious and well-put!

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As what's left of the REAL Left comes together, expect them to be pilloried just as the populist Right is.

We're sleepwalking into a nuclear holocaust.

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You think Truth Social is about free speech?

Since we're on the topic of Orwell, how Orwellian is it for Trump (an infamous and shameless liar) to put "Truth" in the name of his product?

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President Trump lied a lot less in 4 years than "President" Biden has in one year. In fact Trump was generally correct because he relied on people who actually gave him correct information. His reputation is excellent for asking for and using advice from the right people in his statements. The Central Park Ice Skating Rink is a great example of this, but it is a fact for all of his adult life.

He was correct on almost everything about COVID, from shutting down travel from China in January 2020 (and getting hate from Democrats for that), and reporting that hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin were helpful in treating early cases (proven by the fact that African countries where these two are used daily have very low death rates from COVID), to arguing that schools should reopen and people get back to work. The book by Scott Atlas, A Plague on our House, which is the standard reference on the U.S. actions in 2020, reports how President Trump was an excellent listener to actual experts like him, but was stuck with Birx and Fauci, who were poorly informed and gave bad advice, but were loved by the media.

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Trump asked good questions, often highlighted and framed problems correctly, but his 'implementations' were not at all good. Generating results thru a gargantuan bureaucracy does require strategy and planning. He did not transition well from managing the Trump companies to 'running' the Federal Gov't. Implementing change requires consistency over a longer time frame, and he did not demonstrate that. And, yes, the MSM/press did all they could to disrupt his every action, most notably the ginned up the Russia Narrative. But, he needed some good 'Chief Operations Officers' to fill the 'gap' for day to day activities he did not really like or was not particularly good at.

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Well, you have identified the problem he faced. But he couldn't get rid of the people who opposed him. Fauci, Birx, and Collins were disgraceful, but if he fired any of them the Democrats and their press would attack him mercilessly.

Despite all the problems, President Trump is objectively rated good to very good, much better than Obama. He got the economy going well, focused on the middle class (blacks had their lowest unemployment on record in 2019), the tax reform law benefited the lower 80% of earners and only raised taxes on the top level.

His foreign policy was very good +. He focused on the major opponents of freedom, Iran, Russia, and Communist China, in his actions. As we know, he was the first President who came into office well-informed about Communist China. And he was really tough in his actions on Russia, unlike Obama.

His actions on human rights were excellent. Her was the first President to be a supporter of LGBTQ rights (and was for a long time before becoming President). He was the strongest supporter of religious freedom of all of our Presidents. He took effective actions to support women's rights after the disastrous Obama Presidency (the Iran deal was the worst U.S. attack on women's rights of our lifetimes, maybe ever, given Iran $50 billion, almost all of which was used to expand their attacks on women).,

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He was not the first president in support of gay rights, were you high when you wrote this?

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The money that Iran received for making the Iran Nuclear Deal was merely an unfreezing of overseas assets around $300-500B. The Deal was made with the approval of the UN Security Council. The idea that Trump rejected was to stop Iran from making the bomb. Now, that Trump is out, Biden is trying to restore the Deal because the world does not need any more nuclear weapons. But, how can we expect Trumpish Republicans to understand?

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Yeah the US really believes that the world doesn't need any more nuclear weapons, which is why they signed off on a TRILLION dollar nuclear weapon modernization plan back in 2016 rather than working towards nuclear non-proliferation:

https://theintercept.com/2016/02/23/obamas-new-rationale-for-1-trillion-nuclear-program-augurs-a-new-arms-race-with-russia/

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Obama's money allowed the Iranian government to increase its uranium ore by 70% and its number of centrifuges to enrich the uranium by 50% by the time President Trump put an end to the funneling of money to them. The deal places no permanent limits on Iran's continuing to use these resources after 2025. And thanks for the compliment! Trump's supporters are much better informed than those with TDS!

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You're fairly accurate. The problem was, and remains, that Trump was temperamentally unqualified to be President. Everything had to be over the top, a disagreement was always taken personally. One cannot be President with exceptionally thin skin.

He was rude and crude, offending the sensibilities of the "sophisticates" who today constitute the leadership of the Democratic Party. If he runs again, he will have great difficulty winning. Yes, we got rid of an alleged authoritarian and replaced him with a real one.

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Mar 16, 2022·edited Mar 16, 2022

How was he "rude and crude"? He listened carefully to people who had genuine knowledge.

Read Scott Atlas's definitive book about President Trump's activities on COVID during August through October 2020. For example, Dr Atlas arranged for four of the world's leading epidemiologists to come to Washington in the hopes of meeting with President Trump. A five minute meeting was set up. It actually lasted almost an hour, as President Trump asked them questions and listened carefully to their answers (pages 215-218).

There are many other examples. The correct statement about President Trump would be "cordial and informed".

Now he was sometimes "crude" in dealing with the Democratic Party media, but they deserved it for publishing so much fake news over RussiaGate alone, and regularly not listening to his answers to their questions.

In fact President Obama had a much thinner skin, recognizing he was ill-prepared to be President and had to cover up numerous major scandals.

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Trump was a routinely disinterested and unorganized businessman, not a deep thinker or planner but more a BS'ing bluster boob, who used his art of BS to con people. He did know one fundamental of interpersonal relations and that is to never explain yourself, merely carry on with the BS and use that great fat filled face to merely stare down whoever was opposite him.

Which is why he fit so well into the cesspool of our political elites.

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I think you meant "Biden" as your first word.

Trump was in fact very organized and focused on getting the best advice from the best-informed people. His success in getting the right people and listening to their advice in the Central Park ice rink renovation is a great example from the early 1980s (he asked the NY Rangers management and they told him to get a specific person with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and he did so, and let that person run the project and it worked great) and his purchase of Mar a Lago became a success thanks to his listening to his attorney in Palm Springs, who told him not to divide the property up and sell for people to build houses, but to construct a club. There are many other examples.

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No, I meant Trump, the man who couldn't make money running casinos, a feat that requires some monumental incompetence. Last I recall, he had 11 business bankruptcies.

One of the reasons I doubted the Trump/Russia collusion farce, besides the fact Trump was more confrontational with Russia and its allies than any US president since the collapse of the USSR, was the Donald is incapable of concentrating on anything requiring detailed knowledge/planning. Simply put, he doesn't have time for details.

Biden. like his predecessors, is just a stooge for the US political/economic/military elites whose absolute belief in US exceptionalism/hegemony is one of the factors that resulted in the push of NATO eastward and going a bridge too far, first in Georgia and now Ukraine, needlessly confronting a nation with nuclear weapons right on its border. Their invasion of Ukraine was unjustified even as it was provoked by us, though, in comparison with our 20 year folly in the ME, it was understandable.

One day, our absolute inability to forsake US hegemony will see us confronting the PRC, a nation whose economy will become the world's largest sometime this decade.

In the meantime, rising gas prices, perhaps food shortages and increasing inflation are just the opening showcasing the real cost of US hegemony, which is headed towards ultimate failure.

Freedom isn't free, but it's cheap compared to US global hegemony.

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Frenkle, that I think, sums up the issue. Words matter. Had Trump said 'using mouthwash can help, and perhaps help a lot in battling this virus thing' would have been exponentially better than "injecting a disinfectant". I saw his comments on You Tube, and he was sort of thinking out loud when making that comment. But, as President of the United States, have to do your "thinking out loud" in the shower, like Reagan is purported to have done. And yes, what a waste of time, talent, money, lives (mostly Afghan lives) our "war" in Afghanistan was.

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Mar 13, 2022·edited Mar 13, 2022

But if you watched his comments then you should know that he never did say “drink bleach” or “inject yourself with bleach” or anything remotely close to it.

If anything this episode proved that words don’t matter at all…at least not if you happen to be on the right.

Only the narrative and your party affiliation matter. The powers that be will make up words to put in your mouth to match their preferred narrative.

He was posing a question (“Is there a way we could…?) to an advisor/doctor at the very end of a long press conference.

He mentioned that they were seeing great results with UV light and various types of disinfectants in laboratory settings.

Then he essentially asked…Is there a way to replicate these results inside the body? I don’t know…we’ll have to get doctors on that…but I think it could be interesting to look into.

Obviously I’m paraphrasing greatly and reducing the comments down…but that’s the essence of what was said.

In a normal, non-toxic environment…the response to a question like that might be: “That could be interesting to look into” or “Actually we’re already doing something similar with UV light therapy” or “That’s unlikely to work because…”

In other words…a conversation between reasonable people talking about an important subject.

Instead…what we got was: “Trump’s a Dangerous Psychopath Who Wants You to Drink Bleach!!!!!”

Ironically, in an effort to warn the public about dangerous misinformation that maybe 3% of the population would have seen without media amplification…This nonsense was plastered across hundreds of papers, mentioned in hundreds of minutes of air time, and memefied thousands upon thousands of times.

You know. Because the media cares about us so much and really needed to protect us from the bad dangerous man who was about to have millions of people swallowing gallons of bleach. Obviously, the media has to step into the gap and unequivocally tell us hundreds and thousands of times NOT to drink bleach.

Whew. That was a close one. I’m so glad the media was there to set the record straight and shout very loudly for weeks about NOT drinking bleach.

Who knows if I’d even be alive today otherwise.

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Thinking out loud shouldn't be a reason for your political opponents to twist your words and take them out of context. But, hey, 'Murica.

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Afghanistan's population in 2001 was around 24M, today it is around 40M, all throughout the "war" the Afghanistan people continued to pump out millions of babies. So, hold the tears about all the dead Afghan's because we finally left. But, when we left, we left them with trained up police, a new regime and plenty of equipment and infrastructure to defend their state, but they immediately capitulated and did not defend themselves. The pathetic Trumpers believe this is horrible, but what is horrible is defending a population which will not fight for their freedom.

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If you really believed words matter you would delete your post. Your representation of Trump's comment is childishly inaccurate.

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You’re so right, shooting bleach into your veins is exactly like gargling with mouthwash! Why did I I never think of this brilliant defense against what those hateful Woke Liberals say about our Dear MAGA King, the Best President Who Ever Presidented, may the Lord Baby Jesus bless him!

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Bit early in the comments for this deep satire.

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Trump filed for bankruptcy 6 times! Trump feared revealing his tax statements!

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You’re arguing with a disruptor troll.

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McConnell to Trump “ it’s a very small, private club in which you will never be welcome.” That’s it in a nutshell. And always be … because as Matt said, “we” are dangerously malleable.

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I read Dr. Atlas's book and was not surprised by one word. I remember the smear campaign that was launched immediately and his every recommendation was attacked.

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“Trump was an excellent listener” unbelievable

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They are so deep up Trump’s ass that they’ve appeared out the other end and have bent back around to kiss said ass. An ouroboros of ass-kissing.

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The last time I posted this comment (on a different Substack) I was called an anti-Semite, but here goes. Jared Kushner apparently believed either: that Birx and Fauci were MAGA supporters OR that they were beloved as Rfhirsch states. Thus politics, one way or the other, determined Trump's response to the pandemic. He indeed do and say the things Rfhirsch outlines above. But he listened to Jared on Birx and Fauci, and thus bears partial responsibility for the ruinous pandemic response that was amplified by Biden. And Trump is still touting the vaccines.

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But Birx and Fauci were frauds. Just read Scott Atlas's book, "A Plague on our House". Atlas is one of the world's leading specialists on public health policy, and Trump asked him to come to DC to help get correct policies in place. Atlas reports how Birx, who had no background in public health policy, kept reporting meaningless numbers at the Task Force meetings and then advocating policies that were wrong. Fauci constantly changed his mind on what should be done, and he too was ignorant in public health policy. If Trump had fired them, the policies would have been much better.

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We have to find ways of talking about our problems that de-emphasize the individual, the fetish of personality, and the irrelevance of the messenger --- and find a way to talk about systems, institutions, and the underlying networks which lead us to the same outcomes predominantly regardless of which twat is President.

From LBJ to present, we haven't had a decent leader of this country who could think, communicate, mobilize, and assist the majority of Americans for a safer, better life that was not born on hegemony, pay to play corruption, and deceit/fraud.

In fact, with JFK, we only had a small window - a year or two, and then it was shut (most everything before that and everything after the window was owned by the tripartite state of Corporations/Business, Military, and Covert Intelligence institutions). The key to solving any problem is knowing exactly what it is, so that it can be changed.

No one individual can or will change these networks. No President. No religious leader. No Musician. These networks are designed to withstand the cult of personality or groups/blocs of a few. Then again, I am sure you know all of this.

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JFK’s claim to fame is that he was short in the head. He was a lousy president.

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President Ronald Reagan certainly fits your definition: "a decent leader of this country who could think, communicate, mobilize, and assist the majority of Americans for a safer, better life that was not born on hegemony, pay to play corruption, and deceit/fraud." He also is considered one of the best informed Presidents on taking office.

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I have read Atlas' book. I know and understand Birx and Fauci were/are frauds. I agree they should have been been fired. that they were not was SOLELY due to politics. So Trump bears some responsibility for our two year nightmare.

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Mar 14, 2022·edited Mar 14, 2022

I can't seem to find any reference in here from supporters of 45 and his conversations with Bob Woodward about how bad the virus was and how he admitted playing it down. His press conferences during the daily briefings were campaign speeches. The fact that it didn't disappear in spring or after the election as he said shows his lack of knowledge. Saying he did all the economic gains is BS also as they started during the Obama years and there are charts that prove that. Why is it that republicans drive the car in the ditch every time they are handed one that is working. Why is it oil prices jump so high with Dems in control after the wrecker pulled the economy out of the ditch. I consider myself an independent who leans to the left socially and in the on middle economic issues. To hear someone say 80% tax break went to low income and middle-class is double speak. Facts show otherwise as does my tax return since 2017 when it passed with no debate in the middle of the night. The republicans don't want to govern or don't know how to do anything to help anyone but the 1%.

As a sidebar,how do you think Americans would feel if they saw the daily bombings in Iraq like we see know in Ukraine. The country looked like Florida with its concrete homes. When we go after Putin for war crimes does Cheney and the WHIG get the Hague treatment too? I left out George,not that I liked him,but because the invasion of Iraq was decided by PNAC before W was given the presidency by the Scotus decision to stop the counting 4 days early in Florida with the bullshit Equal protection decision.

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The revisionism you are practicing here is deeply amusing, I’m almost convinced you believe it. Correct on almost everything about COVID, you say? Like injecting bleach to treat it, or how it’s all going to be gone by Easter 2020?

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It's ironic that you talk about revisionism, and then you have that last sentence. If you provide here links to the actual statements he made with regards to those two examples, I challenge you to then demonstrate how you're not the one practicing revisionism.

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You’re right, he doesn’t say bleach, but rather “disinfectant.” I was wrong. I think most reasonable people who listen to this, though, would find the President’s remarks to be silly and deeply misinformed:

https://youtu.be/33QdTOyXz3w

I was also wrong that he said it would specifically be gone by Easter, though he did say many times that it would go away or was going away pre-Easter 2020:

https://youtu.be/r8yOv4PwttM

He also had this press conference where he all but declares victory as he talks about opening up by Easter:

https://youtu.be/qV6b_8gD_bg

Apologies for conflating Trump’s ill-informed statements like that.

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Thank you for at least partially acknowledging the ways that your statement was misleading, most people wouldn't have the honesty to do that. Of course, you did still continue to misrepresent the content of what he said, as those links you provided make clear, so you only get partial credit.

I'm not at all arguing for how well or ill informed Trump is, I don't really care. But I do strongly agree with Matt Taibbi when he said that Trump is both the most lying and the most lied about president in history, and it bothers me when people invent bullshit or misrepresent him when there are actual real things to criticize him on.

Your statements belong in the same bag as the "good people on both sides" Charlottesville lie that are standard go-tos that people bring up endlessly, so commonly used that they are a pretty good indicator of whether the person you are talking to actually knows about the topic at hand or have only ever heard the misrepresentation and are parroting what they heard without ever bothering to look into it for themselves.

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Thanks for this example of Republican Trumpishness - every single claim you made here is false!

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The left controls the mainstream media, hollywood, K-12 education, the social media moderators, academia, publishing, the administrative state, and corporate HR and PR departments.

The left's point of view is the hegemon. Yet, it still feels threatened if a couple nobody social media platforms don't sing in its preferred hymnal.

I know, OMB, but...

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The left has zero power in this country. There is noting left about the Dems, other than some meaningless cultural posturing.

Absolutely the dumbest political question I've these last thirty years is "Where did all the moderate Repubs go to?", when the answer is they took over the Dem party in the 1990's.

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And by "the left", you must mean "the liberals" right? Liberals are not on the left.

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Orwell's (and Matt's) point entirely. Left/Liberal/Progressive/authoritarian/fascist/conservative/right/transphobe/homophobe/islamophobe/arachnophobe... all meaningless words getting more meaningless every day.

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I think we need to re-understand the definition of “left.” We (and I include myself) continue to conflate the new left with the traditional liberal or Democrat. I think This is where we keep getting hung up and disoriented.

For the left the labels “right” “conservative” “Republican” have always been pejoratives. This left continue to use terminology to maintain the veneer of their familiar brand of the 20th and early 21st century.

Meanwhile those of us who have been turned off and away creating a whole new pool of “the other” Anyone not with them is the enemy. Those who don’t want to risk being excommunicated have no choice but to go along.

These people are a whole new breed. this ideology seems to be an amalgam of globalist-Marxist using identity and the promise of social, economic and environmental utopia thru diversity, inclusion and control. Control the media control the language control the narrative control behavior. The tactics and the motives are familiar

I don’t know what to call them other than dangerous.

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founding

Left/Right and liberal/conservative have become meaningless in terms of modern politics. For awhile I used 'Team Red' and 'Team Blue' but even that doesn't fit anymore. Either you're aligned with the globalist religion or you're not. I suspect refusing to bend the knee will carry an increasingly heavy price tag as time goes on.

The semantics are not all that important, but I would describe them as Globalist-Fascist. They are basically fascist minus the nationalist aspect that was so important in the 20th century. They use idpol/neo-Marxism as a tool to keep people divided, but it doesn't seem to be one of their animating principles. As you said, it's all about control. My guess is they're looking at economic and demographic trends, and they see huge risks of instability looming in the future. The increasingly aggressive measures to exert control may be an attempt to get ahead of that.

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Personally, I don't see how the current alliance between the people you're describing with Big Tech/Business, Media, and the Academy CAN'T be called Fascism, but people go crazy when you do, so Totalitarian works as a substitute

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In reality, "left" just means "people who sit on the left side of the legislative assembly". Seriously. Look it up.

It's a lot more useful to think of "left" and "right" as centers of power.

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Liberals control that, not the left. That's why they largely backed Biden against Sanders.

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I refer to the "left" as the Democrats, liberals, neocons, the mainstream media, the identity politic groups, the administrative state, collectivists and the cultural left.

I know that term triggers a lot of people, but the differences between Sanders leftists and liberals is not big enough IMO to distinguish.

Bottom line, "democrats" and "liberals" do not represent the breadth that is the Borg. And the Borg needs a name. It has been named "the left"

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This is an inaccurate usage of the left. It groups Matt Taibi & Glenn Greenwald in with Biden & neocons. "The left" does not mean "everyone I don't like."

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I understand. But Matt and Glenn share most of the same philosophies of Biden and the neocons re social issues, government spending priorities and tax policy. They are more similar than they are different.

And ultimately, that is the bucket they are put in. I know left-lefties have issues, and the term is not perfect, but it is the name the Borg has been given.

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Yes, Truth Social censors content, but censoring Truth Social is censorship as well.

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So you're shifting the goalposts, then?

Describing Truth Social as free-speech-oriented is simply false. It's Trump-speech-oriented.

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isn't that whataboutism?

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Mar 15, 2022·edited Mar 15, 2022

I'm not sure if this is sarcasm or a serious question (given that, in the article, Matt portrayed the word "whataboutism" as a modern day Orwellianism), but in the interest of civility I'll assume you're really asking.

It's not whataboutism. OP described Truth Social as a "free-speech-oriented" platform, which is obviously not a truthful characterization. If I had brought up Truth Social as a contrast to some complaint about Twitter or Facebook censoring people, that would be a fair criticism.

The key component of whataboutism is the arbitrary introduction of some new concept to try and rebalance a discussion in one's favor. It's more like a sub-species of strawman argument, where you take a specific criticism of one thing and convert it into a comparison between that thing and something else - implying that criticism of one requires approval of the other.

edit: a word

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LOL.. c’mon, you know that’s silly… you don’t think the DNC is trying to figure out how to market their candidates style as more Trumpiam? Hillary was a lesson in “ how not to run a campaign”

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Facebook censors lots of content. I suspect Truth Social will not be censoring more than Facebook.

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True story….. when the Energy Tsar ( they might want to drop that title) recently suggested that “ investing in green energy can end inflation” … I commented in a friend’s post “ Monsieur Kerry should be hung by his Hermés ties” ( French silk, $225) … FB sent me a notice that my language is threatening and dangerous…..😂😂😂😂😂 such pansies with no sense of humor..

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Now there’s a classic example of Zuckerberg, Dorsey , Google etc can shut down Trump but Trump starts a social network, follows their lead and 3,2,1… heads explode!! “ I can even” which my daughter demands I stop saying…

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Okay, if your veins are still oozing with TDS bile at this point…. You really don’t understand how complicit the media has been in vilifying non politician Trump and giving Biden a 24/7 pass… what lie did Trump tell that’s worse than Biden lying about the innocent truck driver being drunk and killing his first wife?? And milking this bold faced lie on the campaign trail… for decades…..

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I did not and still do not like Trump, but I do agree that you are right about the difference in coverage. Biden is far worse on so many levels and he gets nothing but cheer leading by the MSM.

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I agree, but to me, an Independent who lived in Europe long enough to not jump into the binary fold, I found it most curious and telling how adversely most people reacted to his nerve to enter the political arena… “ he has no experience, he’s not a politician “.. ME: yea, so?? And also ME: “ why do I have to belong to a party to vote?” And PS.. I have my own personal Biden highly inappropriate story from 48 years ago, so, his badmouthing Trump about the “way he treats women…” .. please, they are all such liars.

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"And PS.. I have my own personal Biden highly inappropriate story from 48 years ago, so, his badmouthing Trump about the “way he treats women…” .."

OK then! When are you going to dish?

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I’m not, because the two times my story began to get traction, I received a threatening email and FB message with my grown kids addresses and cell#s. The second time when Tara Reade and other women had come forward, I received a text advising me to not “proceed “…. This happened in the 70s, drunken ass grabbing male passengers were a dime a dozen, “ HR” as we know it did not exist. I was not traumatized by the actual incident…I was however certainly rattled when contacted by apparent Biden goons…and was told by one media contact that this is SOP to scare accusers. Mission accomplished… and no, I was not about to hire an attorney. The lesson I learned : like everybody else, don’t assume journalists to be honest in their intentions.

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Trump and Biden are both pathological liars and yes, the MSM covers for Biden. But it does little good arguing about which is worse.

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That’s not my argument. My argument is that the majority of DC and the media will never give a non politician a fair chance. Like that song “ Don’t Rock the Boat, Baby” Look what they did to Bloomberg, what the heck was that all about ?

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founding

Same thing happened to outsider Sanders

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Yup, I don’t agree with Bernie on everything , but I would gladly voted for him .. so I took a pass in 2016…

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Hey, thanks for the insults…I’ll only respond that on a global level, maybe Trump doesn’t see the value of endless military involvement… like where we go in and destabilize third world countries so our MIC can continue to be a cash cow for vendors and keep politicians $$ re elected… maybe it’s time to consider being “ frenemies” so everyone understands where the lines are drawn… and we are not always having a global DICK OFF over who has the biggest arsenal? Maybe re direct some of those obscene amounts of money to our societal woes that now especially with COVID are doing years of collateral damage. And lastly, and I’m breaking my own rule here… when I was a rather cute 24 year old stewardess , newly minted widowed Senator Biden let his fingers do the walking under my uniform while serving him cocktails… inquiring about “the Mile High Club.” And when my story got traction, I and my grown children got threats via texts and emails. So stop ASSuming. There may be so many private sector people who could be incredible leaders for this country.. but DC made sure that won’t happen. George Carlin “ it’s a big private club and you ain’t welcome.” I truly believe this paradigm needs to go. We are doomed to mediocrity and Jerry Springer theatre.

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Are there any of our great leaders that aren't psychopaths? And once again we have allowed them to take control of our world. The blame game is a distraction to keep people fighting each other. The answer to "Which one is a fault? Who is the worse?" is "Yes."

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Ronald Reagan certainly wasn't a "psychopath". Nor was Calvin Coolidge, or Dwight Eisenhower, … .

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I think Coolidge and Eisenhower lived in a different world, so it is harder to discern their qualities. Nor do I think I know much about Reagan. He was, after all, an actor.

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To quote a well-known rabbi, 'By their fruits you shall know them.'

The problem for any aspiring great leader is the essential nature of the game which they're trying to get into, which some have called Realpolitik (although the word has been given different meanings). In Realpolitik, "Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing." What matters is power. That is the political version of psychopathy -- a lack of concern for others (unless they serve the purpose). There are, of course, other moral frameworks, but to the committed believer in Realpolitik these are fluff, what matters is what you can make other people do. Benevolence, affection, humanity, even leaving people alone, do not further the aims of Realpolitik / psychopathy except to the extent that those who prefer them can be tricked. I would think this would be obvious.

It is true that one great leader may do more damage than another, but that seems to be a matter of opportunity rather than a difference of intention.

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President Trump is ranked as the third toughest President on Russia and the Soviet Union, behind only Truman and Reagan. He took at least 10 actions against Russia. President Trump is the only President so far to be fully informed about Communist China, and he was extremely tough on them with his actions, as well. Unlike Biden (and Obama) President Trump knows how to negotiate. He says nice words about people, but he is extremely tough in his actions. It is how successful negotiating is done.

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Talking or posting about individual personalities in an entire series of political networks of power is like taking a single granule of sand and saying hey look at this desert.

It polishes up the profile of spectacle, and de-emphasizes all of those mechanisms of the deep state that have been fucking us for so long (networks, political alliances, boards of directors, contracts, partnerships, lobbying, NGO's etc..).

When will people learn that arguing over who is President (bad or worse) in this country is a legitimate waste of time and a construction of the wealthy to get you distracted over matters in which they control both parties? All of them are idiots and controllable - that's the entire point. We do not live in a democracy, just a sacrifice zone of illusion.

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Well, there's 'Orwellian', and then there is 'laughable' and 'comical'. As with many things Trump, usually a tossup between any of those three categories.

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Your comment is a little ironic in that I find this isn’t a left or right thing anymore. In fact the left/right argument is a cornerstone of that same book. It’s just manifested in the oceans war. Matt’s closing thoughts do a good job of putting a point on this. And I agree with your sentiments at their core. Isolation of one’s perspective is the worst vantage anyone can take or promote.

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Nah, they'll get shut down eventually.

It's easier to plant false flags on internet media platforms that only a small percentage of people visit. You sell some crazy story to the out of touch elites in the NYT, and to the yokels who consume Fox News and since neither target market cares about the freedoms of people deemed "outside the group", it's as simple as a 24 hr news cycle and subsequent bans.

Probably it'll be a relief when the nukes start flying.

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If that's the kind of thing people might laugh at, then either they have strange senses of humor, or I do. Because I agree with that sentiment and don't understand why it would be funny to anyone. I'm worried about the long-term future of those platforms, though, given what happened to Parler.

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If I were to express my opinions freely, I would risk social and material consequences and not just for myself. So I don't. This is the outcome for someone committed to an anti-establishment and skeptical frame of reference. I find it very stressful. I get one or two good nights sleep a week. I think I'd suffer less if I were a natural double-thinker, i.e. an unselfconscious double-thinker, unlike Winston.

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When I was a young man, I studied in the Soviet Union. I felt so bad for the Russians I knew that lived in fear of expressing their true opinion about events, politics or anything. I couldn't imagine ever needing to do that. I did my part to protect my freedom, like joining the 1980s ACLU. Now I live with the same kind of fear. Say what you think and you could lose your job, your professional standing and the simple ability to participate in society.

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This is so true. Everything that we learned was bad about the USSR and China is now part of our so-called "Democracy." Many of us are old enough to see this.

Years ago, I knew a Soviet Refugee who was returning to Putin's Russia because he saw that the US was quickly becoming what he remembered the USSR was. Many of us saw the pattern, even before 9/11, but the masses are more and more entranced by the MSM twisting of "facts." Lately, because of the recent Corona crisis, many former Soviets had noted that modern Russia had once again become what the Soviet Union used to be. It seems we get all the bad parts of Communism and all the bad parts of Capitalism and we are set against one another to fight about it.

Time to take the best of what works - which is not what the WEF has come up with. They themselves admit that their might be a yet unheard of solution to modern day problems...but their 4th Industrial Revolution is the best they can do and they will use current events to implement the agenda without our complete knowledge or ascent.

Everyone should take the time to read about the 4th Industrial Revoultion - something that Putin and Biden alike support. This conflict is to once again keep us distracted while we continue to give up our rights in the name of "freedom" - a freedom totally controlled by AI and techocrat forces who have no room in their world for the actual human heart. None of us, in Ukraine or elsewhere should be willing to shed their humanity for this misguided 4th Industrial Revolution.

It is time for the WEF to have honest talks with the suppressed voices. Let the people actually decide and it will be that some will truly want to live in the WEF future. But many will not and given the track record of previous industrial revolutions, none of them worked out well in the end for the earth or the actual people - but they always make the elite more and more powerful.

This it is time to say, not no, but wait! More discussion needed. The WEF has been one sided in its approach and needs balance. Full disclosure is the best way forward. Most wars come about because of lies and lack of full disclosure - which result in the hoi polloi taking up arms. War is a racket.

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Good Lord--the only thing ordinary people should do with the WEF is pray that the whole confab be vaporized by an Act of God. "Honest talks"? WTF?I?

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Yeah and a very good very short book by USMC General Smedley Butler which should be taught in public school world wide.

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The elites will NEVER ask what we want or think. They believe they know best. After all, they are all wealthy, well-educated, powerful and successful - all of which points to their superiority. Interestingly enough I believe most if not all of the players are white. I guess DIE isn’t so DI at the top

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Mearsheimer would say that is not how great powers behave. They do what they want when it serves their interests (military, corporate and intelligence being the three most powerful).

And I might quibble with your characterization slightly. They do know what we think without having to ask (they read our e-mails, get our texts, read our social media) and have programs/models designed to capture all of the relevant data - so that they do not have to ASK us anything. This is much worse and probably what you are referring to (they NEVER have to engage us) but they know what we want and what we think thanks to technology companies, the media propaganda, and the desire to avoid domestic blowback.

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Of course, they're mostly sociopaths and controlling personalies. We, unfortunately are vulnerable to their stories.

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Define "we". Honest question

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Ooh, do tell LorriAnn. Is it all whites who are guilty by association or just a certain subgroup? Any religions you want to blame specifically? Come on, spill the beans! Who are you targeting?

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"Oligarchical Collectivism"

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while the hoi poloi argue about right and left, the fascists and socialists took over everything.

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I agree 100%. I went to the USSR in 1971 on a 3 week HS trip. While we were not permitted to have much contact with the people, I know how stifling the atmosphere was and felt bad for the people. Today my kids know not to speak their minds except with family and very close friends. Very sad…

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This system won't let me "like" your comment. but the points you make are so cogent and necessary.

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Why I can't 'like' when I see other likes? is that a glitch?

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It appears across all Substack comment sections.

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There appears to be a time delay for the system to respond. Calm down, click the heart once, move on, ✔ back later and the heart will probably be ❤.

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I made a similar trip in 1984. I can see where the "atmosphere" could be considered less than inspiring. However, as a lower middle class scrub I will say that I felt safer there (Moscow, St. Petersburg, etc.) than on any of my "sightseeing" trips to N.Y.C. I can also say I feel bad for people I have seen sleeping regularly on (and under) cardboard in D.C., San Diego, and L.A. for the past 40 years. Not sure what the situation is in the Russian Federation today, but I can honestly say that I never saw anyone sleeping on the streets in the U.S.S.R. while I was there.

Like anywhere, it depends on what socio-economic class level you experience a city---as well as what parts you visit. If you're living on the high end of the hog, then I doubt any metropolis would be perceived as stifling.

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Why would you teach them to be so fearful? The U.S. is not remotely like the U.S.S.R. in the '70s. It is only because U.S. Progs have so enthusiastically embraced suicidal self-censorship that one might even consider such a far-fetched comparison. If you want to hide in the shadows, fine--but don't pull your kids in with you

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"I did my part to protect my freedom, like joining the 1980s ACLU."

Yeah, back when it made sense to join the ACLU.

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Hah they still have me on their mailing list to renew my membership. I stopped doing that when they stopped fighting for civil liberties.

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If your boss would fire you for expressing an opinion, you are working for a fascist. Is that something you want to continue doing?

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So are people supposed to shop for new employers based on their politics? I suspect you are well heeled, as most of us can't afford to do that.

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That's why nobody likes you.

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You're cute when you're angry...

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If you were working for me, for sure I would fire you; and tell you to get off my lawn - for posting this utter filth.

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They want to algorithmically ban and censor in real time. Good idea? Am I troll? Have you "analysed" enough of my comments yet?

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I feel like what sets this moment apart from many of the forgotten/fading panics Matt mentions is that the globalist-billionaire-tech-Pharma cabal are so close to realizing their dream of total surveillance and control of everyone. Not just the USSR bloc, not just China, but the entire world.

As Matt had pointed out many times, the left and the right in the U.S. have flipped sides in 20 years’ time. It was never about Dems vs GOP. The real battle has always been the rich fucks who pay politicians to write the laws in their favor and use the police and military to enforce those laws (or “mandates”).

The consequences of letting these creeps get their way on a global level will be so much more devastating than losing one’s job or social standing — collectively, yes, and for future generations but also for most of the individuals reading this column.

If enough people realize this — soon enough — this moment could change the entire course of human history. Because there are way more of us than there are of them and their power resides chiefly in the kind of trickery Matt is talking about here. If enough of us break out our pitchforks and call “bullshit” all at once they have to back down.

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It's not obvious to me that the Western globalist oligarchs will emerge the winners from this war. Idk what's going to happen but the global schism now starting to unfold _may_ partition the world so that Iron Curtain 2 surrounds Nato, not Russia, as the rest of the world dedolarizes their trade and reserves. The US$ may end up being the reserve currency of Nato, not of the planet. This would deliver unprecedented power and wealth to certain Western industries by removing the competition from exports from Russia/RoW from the Nato market. But it does not deliver planetary control. In a sense, this scenario is the end of global hegemony of $-based economic liberalism.

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Sadly, I think the American Empire would take the world out before losing this battle — and it has the fire power to do it. The “last” empire might be our Great Filter.

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Takes organization and courage. A number of people were angry about what they perceived to be a fraudulent election. A disorganized disturbance destroyed many of their lives.

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founding

Yep, my first thought reading the above was the Canadian truckers. It actually looked like they might succeed for a minute.

One side has a legal monopoly on force. One side controls all the money. One side controls the flow of information. And they have secret police to disrupt or subvert any threats.

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Succeed in what, exactly?

Most of them were not even truckers.

Did you read their insane and deluded MOU?

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All those things are true. Does that mean we should just let them kill us?

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Actually, the truckers succeeded. Canada dropped the vaccine mandate. It was not done without risk or pain, however.

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Oh bullshit. All that was already on the way.

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If it was "on the way," why did Trudeau attempt to seize their bank accounts? You are a rube if you think that this is the behavior of a government that intends to go along with their demands.

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I don’t know about that. I was listening to the Winnipeg/St Louis game yesterday broadcast on a Canadian radio station. They ran a PSA about proof of injection to cross the border. Also did you know you can’t get into CA if you have a DUI on ur record? They included that in the same announcement which I thought was a pretty interesting mix. LOL

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It works the same in the opposite direction.

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I am so with you - though I can’t help but ask myself everyday: “How can we build a counter-Revolution when we can’t even manage to mobilize a truck convoy?” We say “we can fight this.”

I forgot who said this but it was something like, socialists never say “how,” they’re going to accomplish their objectives. I feel like those of us who want to fight are the same. Right or wrong I think one of the reasons I don’t walk away from the corporate cesspool is there isn’t a larger plan. I sure don’t have one. And it feels like we’re shouting into a void.

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That’s because you are. See you and people like you are like spark plugs in a car. In this case the driver is trying to start the car with the wrong fuel mix. You have relevance but it’s like that old trope about the broken watch. I am not trying to put you down, I’m just saying that you need to understand and learn patience. Keep your powder dry.

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People don’t stand up in any meaningful way until they no longer care whether they live or die. That takes a long time, decades perhaps and by then everyone will have long since been disarmed.

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