We are literally negative dozens of days into the Trump administration and people are blaming everything from arrests to pipelines on him. Yes, he’s appointing all sorts of — in the liberal parlance currently in fashion — “dumpster fires” to his cabinet, probably, and for some of us life will get marginally worse and for others of us marginally better. That’s usually how a change in president and party at the same time goes. As it goes for citizens of the empire, so it goes for the rest of the non-US-aligned world but usually to far more horrific results.
In my last post I had a lot of fun saying I hoped Vladimir Putin literally changed the votes in the recent election so that the putrid Hillary Clinton would lose. Of course, he didn’t. He probably didn’t truly even exert much more influence than RT America, the Russian state-owned news channel targeted to the US audience, ever did. It’s likely negligible.
In recent days Facebook has been alight in outrage over “fake news.” To an extent, I agreed, because I thought they meant bullshit like “meme” propagators who over-distill complex issues into typically very stupid, factually incorrect gotchas. Think “Being Conservative” or “Occupy Democrats” Facebook groups. But while this was the original thrust in some quarters, I was wrong. There are segments of the commentariat calling for broad sections of the web to be censured as literal Russian propaganda.
So, in their hands they hold a list of this Lying Press, and on it is basically every good Left site, some libertarian sites, and a smattering of Nazi sites. Now they’re not explicitly saying it’s all the same but… well, they’ll leave the same reader/voter they consider to have been easily duped by Russian agents to decide that. The same people who would hit “Share” on a probably pretty good MTV clip about why “reverse-racism” isn’t a thing are now equating Black Agenda Report with Daily Stormer. I’m not exaggerating. And amusingly, they seem to be real mad about a website called HangTheBankers. Huh. Wonder why.
This jingo scum must know that the United States government and its many MANY intelligence agencies run all manner of news and “information” outlets, both openly and secretly and the gray areas between. But you don’t have to go far or analyze too deeply to realize, as Arthur Silber did today, that, well — what in the fuck is Voice of America if not propaganda aimed at the enemies of Washington?
Here’s the danger, the real in-your-face in-practice Actually Existing Fascism. Not some swastikas drawn by people who…. well, sure seem to have been paid to inflate hate-crime statistics. But US liberals, those nasty little fucks who think they’re the very end of philosophical history despite adhering to no discernibly coherent set of moral rules, all the while claiming to oppose fascism simultaneously propagate anti-Russian (you absolutely can read “Soviet” in there) allegations in the form of the silencing of critics. See, where these snakes will slither their scaly way out of any Serious talk of fascism is that they’re not calling on the government to ban these websites. Why, they’d never! That would violate their Voltairian notions of absolute free-speech rights. No, they simply want a market-based, voluntary rejection/ nullification/ dealgorithmization/ disappearance — in the active sense, as in, when they made people disappear in US-backed South American dirty wars — of every news site that ever criticized Hillary Clinton. Yup.
This includes Wikileaks, naturally, even though Silber noted in his recent piece
I assume it must be distant history since it appears that everyone, and most particularly those who mercilessly attacked Wikileaks several years ago, has failed to grasp that the views of Wikileaks have been reversed in this latest episode. We can therefore conclude with full confidence that neither the liberals nor the conservatives hold their positions vis-a-vis Wikileaks on the basis of any kind of principle. How old-fashioned and quaint such a concern would be. Can a principle fix your broken leg? No. Will a principle buy you dinner? Of course not. Will a principle help the candidate you prefer get elected? No siree.
The List also more disturbingly for me includes Antiwar.com, where I worked for ten years and still consider my former coworkers dear friends. Before there even was a Trump on the horizon, before there was even a fucking Dubya in the running, there was Antiwar.com opposing the war in the Balkans. Yes, that venerable website has been spitting at all the wars and other murderous thieving intrigues perpetrated by this Death State since, potentially, some of the interns who cobbled together The List were even fucking born. But it was itself born to oppose the Clintons, and for that it is verboten.
On a lighter note, please enjoy this spoof of The List by roasty, who makes his own list of Fed-paid actual fake-news sites to “watch out” for. He plucks from the original perhaps the most telling line: “Support them by subscribing, if you can!”
I always thought the goofy 80s movie about a Soviet invasion of the US, Red Dawn, appealed more to Republican types but it looks these days like it may be saved more on the liberal’s Netflix queue. That, and wide-open McCarthyism. The most threatening part of a Trump presidency may not be the man himself, but the newly, nakedly revealed fascism of his opposition. If they can’t be the Left, then nobody can.
2016 is the year of the dead cool celebrity.
Make Fidel not be dead, that’s all I ask. This year was a heavy price just to be rid of the Clintons.
You know what’s always disgusted me? The people who nod their heads and agree with all this liberal fascism. If you challenge them on it and explain that Russia is in a cold war with NATO, not some bogeyman ready to take over the world, they’ll agree with that as well. Liberal fascists seem to be most aggressive online, where they are paid agents of the state etc. Ordinary, everyday Americans don’t have enough politics to be fascists. They are just blowing with the wind.
My tribute here. Nothing more liberal than listening to Pete Seeger as the Love Me, I’m a Liberal song says. But it’s all I could think of. I found some other stuff, too, doe. Uff, my heart is breaking a little tonight.
Fidel enjoying the song written for Chavez’s funeral.
Let’s have it a little up tempo for Fidel’s sake. He won everything, after all !
Compay Segundo Guantanamera
Wow your blog is low commenter counts. I’m flooding it without much.
Here’s da thing.
Voice of America’s charter is to provide accurate and truthful reporting. The present and former communist and socialist regimes where it broadcasts commit censorship and propaganda and America can be a force for exposing truth over there even if it practices censorship at home.
Let’s take that idea at face value as true. If there are enough capitalists in those countries, then news of all the problems in their country and of the power of profit, can serve to stoke the people and a movement that will tear down those communist regimes. That doesn’t make it the right thing to do or the right (as according to Jesus) outcome. However, whose fault is that? The factions in the country who actually fought for freedom to run private businesses under the protection of the state ? Or the US who merely gave them some help?
Then there is the issue that U.S. news is selective, as Chomsky says, and creates one sided propaganda by such omissions. Same result.
Then there is the outright lies that U.S. media publishes. Same result.
It is possible to do the right thing abroad, even as you do the wrong thing at home (and a bunch of crimes abroad, too). RT is much like Voice of America and undeniably provides a stronger leftist voice than is broadcast in Russia itself. Voice of America, furthermore, doesn’t even pretend to be concerned with poverty or the people or war. They broadcast a blantantly Human Rights Watch type of concern for specific political repressions against capitalist and right wing ideologies. Oh, look at private business advocates being suppressed. Oh, look at one guy in jail for sabotaging a sugar cane field.
Now, there is a lot of pretending like this matters among the journalism class. So you will see journalists who promote some good human rights issue and then suck up to the establishment by broadcasting all of its Voice of America selective or outright false crimes of foreign regimes and selective critiques of politicians who oppose the chosen one. For example: pointing out how racist Trump is, while ignoring how racist Hillary and Obama are.
I was thinking that maybe that is the price to pay for promoting at least one good issue. If you serve the masters, then they will be open to negotiations on some subset of concerns. Upon reflexion, I don’t see how that works without honor. If the establishment needs people to adopt its messaging, then their messaging matters. It can’t be excused as a compromise. Of course, the latest thing is to pretend like you don’t matter so you can play any game and your hands are clean, and you will be rewarded for “not mattering but playing along” with access, meetings, concessions.
To take but one example.
Jill Stein is a virtual non-entity in American politics. She is not making America xenophobic or anti-Russian or Clinton Foundational. Therefore she can play the game, mouthing cold war level red scare lines, and promote the idea that Hillary had it stolen from her by the Russians, without causing any damage. But then, why is she doing it, if it doesn’t matter, in the greater scheme of things? If Democrats would have given her money for a recount no matter what, she could have said, “Hillary is a blood soaked war monger and a hater of black people and the poor, but give me money to help her try and win by recount, you know you want to”. Yet that is exactly what she did not do.
Likewise, liberals will say and do terrible things and expect everyone to agree with them. Questioned, they prefer to change the subject. So liberals assume that their position is unassailable, yet they back down from any fight because they also feel they can’t win any honest argument.
Either we should forget about politics altogether or we should up our game and demand from politicians and journalists what they will currently ALL fail: integrity. I mean ALL, even the ones you might have a soft spot for. That includes people like Ajamu Baraka. No excuses.
I want to be objective about Castro but I find the only people who call him an authoritarian monster are either right wing nutjobs who love authoritarianism, militarist liberals or leftists who don’t have any plan and hold a bunch of capitalist, private property, weirdly sex crazed views (think pizzagate and grab them by the pussy obsessives). It’s true that Castro imprisoned dissidents and that any state is a police state and certainly Cuba is no exception.
I feel like a hypocrite saying that if a government is better than the alternative, who cares if it imprisoned people who would pick the worse alternative, but I just can’t find a single opponent of Castro who would actually care if Cubans ended up diseased and dying under a capitalist regime where free speech was the rule so long as you paid your bills on time. The anti-authoritarians today sound like they’d just shrug their shoulders and say, “oh well, not my fault it didn’t work out”.
So Imma stick with Viva Cuba Libre, gusanos eat shit. Cuba is win win in its future. If Trump reenacts sanctions, that will protect it from McDonalds imperialismo. If Trump does business, Cuba will still survive as Cuba. Unless all the state apparatus is made of greedy cronies who want to sell Cuba off for the highest bribe.
That said, let’s not forget that Castro did some pretty evil shit. I mean, if it wasn’t for Castro’s policies,
Miami wouldn’t be infested with gusanos, neither would right wing politicians have anything to spew.
2. Politicians pandering to gusanos
3. everyone else’s consequent gusanophobia
You can’t point to Cuba’s historic homophobia as the fault of the Revolution. Everyone in the world is homophobic as fuck even today (except young women with their gay man friend) and the problem of homosexual discrimination in Cuba is the problem of a state. I can’t stand this concern troll that people lost journalism jobs for being gay and ended up janitors or drivers or gardeners. Every person pointing to Cuba’s homophobia is homophobe themselves.
I’ll go further too. It smacks of whataboutery of the fakest kind. Homophobes and careerists pretending to be SJWs conceding that communism can veer into authoritarianism all too easily, and the American left needs a different hero, because if we go commie, that way lies a return to old ways of homophobia.
God they make me sick, all these self important journalists and politicians with their fakery and fuckery about objectivity.
There is no lower form of life than people who condemn Cuba’s authoritarianism and homophobia but then speak of the importance of the institution of the army and speak of Chelsea Manning’s treatment as a special aberration of queer/trans/homophobia that otherwise does not define American institutions, especially the military. A pox on all their houses.
Wannabe gusanos. “Honorary gusanos”.
All the good anti-imperial blogs and media in that blacklist are fifth-rate when it comes to marketing and getting their message out so I don’t see the loss exactly. It’s more of a McCarthyism among neighbors. Black Agenda Report, Truth-Out, globalresearch are great and I love them but they could fold tomorrow and nobody would notice.
So much anti-imperial, left wing media is basically fifth-rate careerism for no purpose I can see. Just look at the balanced, extremely anti-Castro response, or the calls for the Electrical College to elect Clinton, coming from all the media to the right of BAR. Anyone who even tried to network or be more relevant to the larger media scene is now outed as a shameless careerist with no ideas but to retweet David Frum and Mother Jones articles. I guess anyone who didn’t make the list has no right to deny that they were just a careerist. That list should be a resume attachment for anyone on the left or the right who wants to prove they ever had an opinion that the deep state opposed.
If you are not on that list, you are a joke. Which, I suppose, means this blog is a joke. It obviously can’t be getting a smaller audience than voltairnet or off-guardian, so.
That site has a twitter account
It is literally a Russia bashing, pro-Ukraine bag of shit. Or an impersonation of such by some very bored trolls. They are pitch-perfect in their objective Russia hysteria which is now a requirement to maintain credibility in the professional left wing journalism circle jerks.
Do you get anything as a Mother Jones contributor, if you suck the deep state’s dick about Russia and Cuba, or is that just a habit among the professional activist journalist class. They are more dignified than paid protestors only in that they’ve made a career for themselves that they don’t need to be embarrassed to tell other people.
“I shuffle around carrying a sign because some rich people pay me $20 an hour to do so” is pretty repulsive thing to admit outside of vagabonds and the college children of the upper middle class whose parents are paying their downtown rents.
“I report on health care / Guantanamo / employment with a Patreon” is both guilt inducing and just shameful enough to evade being vomited on by middle class people with 9-5 jobs who think these people are suffering from Peter Pan syndrome and getting away with murder.
I feel like the lack of innovation in left wing journalism parllells the lack of innovation in internet businesses. Anyone could invest in building an alternative to Amazon that offered some better deals or gimmicks, lord knows there is enough excess capital floating around, but nobody wants to.
Left wing journalists morphed from depressingly earnest ramblers to bad twitter networkers and skipped the professional development courses on humor and meme-ing. You can send someone a link to a joke but to send them a news link from these outsider, communist blogs is too dull and plodding a read. It’s as if the professional left investigative reporter is only writing for the most obsessive political news audience. Because they only have this type of horrible, pedantic audience, there is never any criticism that their writing is only of interest to other journalists and obsessive activists.
You can put a meme on twitter and get a hundred, or a thousand others disseminating your message, but if you report on imperialism, which is already a dank meme area in terms of how niche it is, that it’s an unwritten rule every story must be a boring as hell plod through the “facts” and nothing but stale truisms about how wrong it is that the rich are privileged. I think this is a disservice to the causes we care about. It gets overlooked only because everyone who reads critical anti-imperialist theory and reporting are so plodding and boring themselves that they don’t notice.
So when a journalist reveals that they think Russia is mind controlling the electorate and sabotaging all our technology, or that Castro was the downfall of the left, or that it’s important not to close Guantanamo because the Democrats would lose votes, it seems like a big deal. This is only because suddenly turning into McCarthyites is the only sign of life that Patreon SJW journalists have shown. THere they were, reporting so assiduously on some little issue that is irrelevant to 99% of people, as if they had no idea their life was passing them by, and now we see that they do have motivations and drama and schemes. And it’s all we can do to keep from gasping “oh my god, what has happened to them?”
Watching all the liberals who were so sure Clinton would win, turn into screaming babies about the Russians, after holding out and leaving that story to the DNC to try, has been the most entertaining, engaging thing they’ve ever done. Why can’t they be fun when it comes to issues that really matter?
Even the exposure of state agents posing as left wing activists, which is ususally the most entertaining writing in left circles, is always on a bender of outrage and earnestness. This reporter is a fake. This figure is co-opting the left. But all these operators are only showing up because the earnest or mildly useful organizers and reporters have no personality. They are these completely joyless hard workers.
The BlackLivesMatter is a great example. Deray and Shaun King co-opted it so easily. Their politics are aligned with what the ruling class would use to provide dead end alternatives. Yet, even clear eyed detractors have to admit that Deray, with his blue vest, or the bizarrely creepily groomed King, who seems to be a 25 year old white guy with 5 kids, are a welcome addition to the drama of Black Lives Matter. The original activists in Ferguson, if I recall, who have come out to say it was originally an anti-police set of protests which became fixated on Blackness and then found media figureheads who don’t seem to be even sincere, were some godawful boring people themselves. They would be that depressing, pill poping wreck of a classmate you had in high school who was always standing up for things, never cracking or getting a joke. Never relaxing. Everything so important, from their opinion when they raise their hand to the movie they’ll go to, to their pride and joy, their term paper on the book or the history period they read.
When a blue vest can be an memorable brand, that tells you how everyone else is bland.
There was a lot of talk about the very obvious point that Hillary Clinton can not be described as a feminist in any historical sense. She is the worst of symbolic identity politics victories. Like Thatcher is called a feminist figure. As if everyone feels that the oppression of women is about the highest levels of power rather than how the majority of women live. I have never met a woman who actually said life is sexist because we don’t have a woman President. Never. It’s a media narrative and a DNC propaganda piece.
But you will see feminists like Jessica Valenti and feministing (I believe that is her blog) writing that Hillary is a feminist.
Even though Valenti is an pariah among left radicals and activists, seen as a generic DNC operative, she suffers from the same boring, plodding earnestness in her false narratives as sincere activist journalistss do in their honest projects. Some young women will of course buy her booik, “Sex Object” but these young women will be the most boring, plodding, uncharismatic young women you could ever meet. A boring audience for a boring writer.
I guess it’s good luck for the proletariat that their more dedicated enemies are so darn boring they can’t reach an audience, either.
Sharon really really had an amazing natural voice.
Wow les I think maybe you need your own blog instead of using the comment section here as a stream-of-consciousness political diary.