Trump’s hysteria-creating message begins, “Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups are running through our streets and causing absolute mayhem,” and it ends with this appeal: “We’re calling on YOU to make a public statements and add your name to stand with President Trump against ANTIFA.”
No problem for it seems that with the exception of brief coverage in Mother Jones of street gang bullying and payback (August 29, 2017), “ANTIFA” may be more of a computer-distributed idea taken up chaotically by actors inclined to “play” into their roles for a moment of political action without creating an organization. The “enemy” Trump points to — and wants you to join him in fighting — may have at best a (so far) chimeric existence. On the anti-organization organization concept that isn’t an organization 🙂 but has the Administration’s attention as at least a figment of its imagination substantial enough to promote into a quick two-minutes hate — or a sign-up with the Trump team –>
Trump’s opposition hasn’t hesitated to transform the Trump Team’s action symbol into an object for editorial comment –>
When Trump’s Presidency stepped off with broadsides against the “Fake News!” and proceeded to tear down key missions and personalities in every quietly accepted or admired national institution, he laid the groundwork for his Administration’s own discredit as well as the inspiration for a new spectrum of resistance to authoritarian behaviors and claims. The earlier spectacle of impeachment and the sight of Trump associates being marched off to jail as felons could not have helped in that regard. This latest brouhaha may well cement the impression of an Administration trying mightily to create its own reality to sell to a perhaps confused faithful who believe they have been fighting “globalists”, “libtards”, and “socialists” that actually exist in the manner described to them.
Disciplined observation with integrity accompanied by empathy, logic, and reason may be more difficult than casually imagined, but those are the best tools we have for defining issues and answering with appropriate and progressive policy.
The Stanford philosophizing referenced above may not lead to the most cogent or helpful of references for approaching legal or policy issues, but for those two regions, any may start with the idea that mere perception is not reality, and it is generally good to investigate how things really work when on the way to making decisions or plans pertaining to them.
Peel the onion; turn over the rock; have another look; put it to a test — language has many cliches and tropes related to investigation and the methods of arriving at conclusions — “truths” one might call them — in which one might have confidence on the basis of other than ambitions, agendas, pleasant delusions, and personal interests.
We are sitting ducks for either external aggression or continued self-immolation.
More than 41 million Americans are jobless. In the coming weeks temporary eviction moratoriums are set to end in half of the states. One-fifth of Americans missed rent payments this month. Extra unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of July.
What is Trump’s response? Like Herbert Hoover, who in 1930 said “the worst is behind us” as thousands starved, Trump says the economy will improve and does nothing about the growing hardship. The Democratic-led House passed a $3TN relief package on 15 May. Mitch McConnell has recessed the Senate without taking action and Trump calls the bill dead on arrival.
It’s an unpleasant reminder but let’s go with it: you are looking at policeman Derek Chauvin methodically, professionally even, take a knee to the life of small time criminal George Floyd. The world would interpret this image in racial terms–just like that, we’re in South Africa when power was white and slavish labor was black.
However, these two knew one another as bouncers in the same bar. Could something else have been taking place?
Also, Floyd’s wife, now divorcing him, was not white but Asian from Laos. Might we be witnessing an expression of sadistic dominance on the part of a bouncer and cop with a track record involving the applying of excessive force?
Call that 2020 hindsight and in philosophical rather than political sense, conservative (forensic) reason.
China’s Democrats, Russia’s Republicans?
Oh, the accusations — and each the reflection of the other!
Biden & the Socialist Far Out Left Democrats: everybody stay home (unless your importance and wealth justifies the hop to a good dinner somewhere else). We’ll shutter your business, put your employees out of their jobs, and worry about repairs later.
Sure they will.
Trump & the Fascist and Strident Far (White) Right: everybody back to work, but we’re not going to cover your losses (why should we? We’re wealthy and comfortable and take care of ourselves: what the hell happened to you? And sorry to hear it. Tough luck).
And the colored girls sing . . . .
So, white girls, black girls, transvestites, LGBTs in general and all other Americans who might wish to be as God made them — or they chose to make themselves — what has happened to muscular Christianity in the U.S.A. Is it running the show? Is it losing the show? Has it found the secular humanist design of American democracy overrated and in need of a good strong power fix? America’s fear of America’s Old Money and its Puritan and other of the nation’s Christian cultural pillars seems at times in the mix as well.
Has the Great Society failed?
Regarding Biden : China and Trump : Russia, there should be no question that each has both a posture and relationship opposite the other on China and Russia. For the skinny on Trump and Russian entanglement, one may pick up Craig Unger’s findings here: https://www.amazon.com/House-Trump-Putin-Untold-Russian/dp/152474350X . Both China and Russia have made perhaps superficial moves toward the west in recent decades but have also reverted to their civilizational souls in regard to governance, power, and pride plus vanity.
China’s Communist Totalitarianism may be linked by the American Right to the latest edition of the nation’s Far Out Left (those socialist, communist, weirdo rebels!).
It doesn’t make much sense but suits for demonizing the Left.
The Left’s case against the Far Right and President Trump’s temporarily phantom (off-stage) relationship with Russia has more meat to it in blood-and-soil (white) nationalism planted in Christian conservatism and flag waving militarism. The formula established in Russia by Putin that has had a resurgent Russian Orthodox Church (funded by alcohol and tobacco revenue) beside an active military (capable of bombing undefended Syrian hospitals to smithereens) hasn’t really worked for Russians in any broad and modern sense: the might of church and state power may serve for some superficial pride in earlier grandeur and spirit, but the same, on the whole, would seem to serve Putin and his preferred company and not general and national economic redevelopment.
A “New Nationalist” United States may work differently by way of the long-term managing of the nation’s development in ways that have been over time culturally and geographically comprehensive and inclusive. One might say the pork barrel distribution of defense and development funds worked, and as long as tax revenues recycled through the nation’s economy, people worked too — and in both civilian and defense industries and downstream enterprise.
In any case, the return to feudal political absolutism in the three superpowers is something BackChannels will have to tackle in the future. For now, the felt insult of an authoritarian handling of Americans seems to be producing both the impression of a magically-thinking Left and a boot-in-the-face American Right, neither of which seem very American at the moment.
American Police Shooting at Journalists
I cannot remember a day — never! — in which American police, any, took aim at the faces — or cameras — of journalists, well marked, to inflict harm in the crowd control process.
What’s that like, being shot at by your own fellow Americans?
This infamous event involved the Ohio National Guard and produced a national conscience and passion opposite intentions to quell protests. Unknown to the students, the Soviet Union had put $1 billion dollars into funding their anti-war efforts.
How all of the above looks today, a part of the plastering of culture-altering dramas — “The Pandemic!” — Remember that one from, like, you know, a week ago? and now “Race Riots!” How long before the Next Big Thing sweeps this latest news into dimming (and crowded) memory?
The police appear to be taking and following orders.
However, given the glimpse of the above violence shown an accredited reporter and photographer, however casually dressed, are they defending America’s Constitution — or making the first small violent motions in the process of killing it?
We wouldn’t be here sick — and sick about being sick — as well as dependent on our government for bailouts and tide-me-overs and driven apart, largely by drivel, were it not for the mediocrity of some of our most powerful politicians.
On Facebook, I just ran a series of Trump Authoritarian pieces from the Mainstream Media that also informs us about Trump’s popular — or not so popular — image. These were the URLs (in order of posting):
Like no other President in history, Trump has so inspired quintessential American passion in his own opposition that even when he strives to do the right thing and speak honestly (as I believe he has with COVID-19), he’s neither believed nor trusted. 😦
HE (Caps intentional) has brought this on himself, and we — all of us who are part of the American constituency and who have lived beneath the umbrella of our extraordinary humanist and secular Constitution all of our lives — deserve much, much better.
From the Awesome Conversation
Of course I scan and cherry pick these pieces for whoever may be around to glimpse history as it passes from the present.
IMHO, Americans — all of US — need a new class of earnest, high-integrity, honest local and state leaders and statesmen. This bouncing between peacocks – some criminal and shady; some living between The People and the upper stratosphere of power and wealth – where does that leave us?
Today we have a Far Out Left apparently incapable of digesting and independently analyzing CDC data, and as consequence we have the hijab of health fascism with few to zero lives saved in a pandemic that largely mirrors our own popular contempt for our common fate — death is immutable — and to some extent our own health (as we drink and eat too much and stay up too late). 🙂 COVID-19 takes advantage of our vulnerabilities and, perhaps, our passivity. (Do you want to fight back for real: pay attention to diet and go jogging, and, toward the end, accept ageing and increasing frailty as part of your humanity).
Regarding too many politicians, their narcissism and related nepotism and complete loss of personal and public ethics and principles: shame on them — and shame on us for letting them get away with what they do!
The arch note has come to mind: “Democracies elect the governments they deserve.”
Is all of this — from the “Helsinki Moment” to so riven a society it seems unable to remember its own mission in the world, its sense of itself, its better expression of the western civilizational ethos — what we — all of us — have come to deserve?
Our nation really panicked and blundered on C19, a briefly alien presence for which neither our public nor private sectors were evidently ready with emergency treatment or burial facilities and services. We’re paying a high price for public (and partisan) responses to it. In defense language, “reflexive control” — I don’t want to ask whether the virus has been a blasting cap, the thing that sets off the greater explosion, but the results would seem to point that way.
Fast correspondence aids brevity.
C19 Lessons Learned Since January
Be Prepared, Be Ready. C19 may bump America’s annual rate of morbidity from 2.813 million dead souls to 2.9 million. We were not prepared to respond with emergency facilities or, sadly, or basic carnage related to holding or burying the dead.
Don’t Panic, Stay Calm. The Great “Killer Virus” has taken some older and health-imperiled lives or younger and not so well, but, by and large, it has been a bust for those yet healthy enough to fend it off.
Think (and think again) about the consequences of hasty public policy, especially episode the shutting down of the base and much of the soul of our nation’s economy and related vitality.
Time to get back to work?
In 2020 hindsight, of course, the hours, days, weeks, and months should not have been lost in the first place but voluntarily as the degrees of risk became known.
Americans have been braving the Devil a long time.
What are China’s authorities hiding or trying to hide?
It’s remarkable watching the hiding of shame (or guilt) play out on the global stage.
There are people who believe — and when they’re leaders, they may be the worst of people — that any show of damage, fear, or sentiment weakens them in relation to public perception when, in fact, it is their own “inner eye” (the way the may be forced to view themselves) that cannot stand being seen as weak. In that may be the soul of “malignant narcissism” and related “civilizational narcissism”.
Such types embarrass and shame themselves, for what seems right to them looks wrong to everyone else.
Dogma may no longer serve to cover or excuse less savory designs.
Our species evolves not only physically but psychologically, and we have reached an age with sufficient global and open communications in which authoritarians, criminals, and dictators may no longer brush aside or suppress essentially truthful criticism and data. The same may not stop “black programs” and conversations “behind the curtains” — that kind of feudal and medieval egotism and power may be always with us — but by and large BackChannels believes the world evolves toward greater complexity, interdependence, and freedom. The global public may still be misled, but not for long provided the journalists have integrity and do their work.
Perspective: Related Online and With the Truth About COVID-19 in the United States
This first preliminary description of outcomes among patients with COVID-19 in the United States indicates that fatality was highest in persons aged =85, ranging from 10% to 27%, followed by 3% to 11% among persons aged 65–84 years, 1% to 3% among persons aged 55-64 years, <1% among persons aged 20–54 years, and no fatalities among persons aged =19 years.
Between the people of the United States and the nation’s most prominent authority on infectious disease and pandemic, the Centers of Disease Control, hide nothing, sugarcoat nothing but report accurately, plainly, clearly, empirically, completely–and that may be the best cure this editor might know for panic and state-driven perceptual control of “the masses”.
In America, at least, democracy has just become more directly responsive and responsible to the People.
America’s “Far White Right” Republicans, who haven’t had much to do with reality either these days, have scraped up the mud mixture to attempt to splatter the Democrats thoroughly in the old Soviet zeitgeist and call their opposition “Un-American!”
Times of Israel blogger Fred Maroun asked on his Facebook page, “Is Netanyahu racist, as Sanders claims?”
After taking care of the Netanyahu question — not racist! — Maroun went on to defame Sanders. Here’s what he said:
Sanders, on the other hand, is an antisemite. He’s using the antisemitism of many on the left to gain support, and he has no problem associating with virulent antisemites like Linda Sarsour. He’s never apologized for any of it, on the contrary, he only gets worse. His accusation against Netanyahu is part of his game to attract those people. If he wants to criticize Netanyahu on the settlements, fine, but he knows that wouldn’t distinguish him from other Democrats, so he accuses the leader of the Jewish state of being a racist, code word for Jews being racist. His antisemitic base loves it. He uses exactly the same tactics to attract antisemites that Trump uses to attract right-wing racists.
Those who support Sanders are engaging in the the exact same moral acrobatics as those who support Trump. Shame on them.
My response to the accusation: Sanders — anti-Semite!
Sanders has the frameworks of the New Old Now Old Far Out and Lost Left — a term I used to use as I arrived here a conservative, and, sigh, the Left of my youth seemed to have drifted toward Noam Chomsky and Chris Hedges on the barricades. That could have been just the way I arrived and “channeled” into Facebook.
Judaism’s Orthodox–>Conservative–>Reform Spectrum has had a last note pinned to it in the figure of Felix Adler.
— In 1876, Adler at age 26 was invited to give a lecture expanding upon his themes first presented in the sermon at Temple Emanu-El. On May 15, 1876 he reiterated the need for a religion, without the trappings of ritual or creed, that united all of humankind in moral social action. To do away with theology and to unite theists, atheists, agnostics and deists, all in the same religious cause, was a revolutionary idea at the time. A few weeks after the sermon, Adler started a series of weekly Sunday lectures. In February 1877, aided by Joseph Seligman, president of Temple Emanu-El, Adler incorporated the Society for Ethical Culture. —
One might imagine, easily, that those promoting and living a strongly behavioral view of Judaism and Jewish Law bound into Jewish Obedience to the Commandments and related codes (“613 Commandments”) were not too happy with Professor Adler.
Sanders may have that ethical-humanist strain of ultimately Jewish thought in him, but he must also know as a Jew that he is not part of Russo-Soviet complex on the left that spread the “Protocols” throughout Russia and conveyed the same through White Russian emigre into Germany. America’s “Far White Right” Republicans, who haven’t had much to do with reality either these days, have scraped up the mud mixture to attempt to splatter the Democrats thoroughly in the old Soviet zeitgeist and call their opposition “Un-American!”
Bernie’s a liberal Jew. (I’ve been part of Reform Judaism — and Ethical Society much, much earlier — but am tired now “of all that” and prefer a quiet supper in a good restaurant on the Sabbath). Regarding Sanders’ political and social views, I would bet his position similar to Adler’s and what I without study would refer to as “Jewish Humanism”.