In the age of “Active Measures”, widespread trolling, government-funded disinformation campaigns, a sad bump in east-west rivalry with Beijing and Moscow pitted against democracy, and extraordinary agitation and propaganda, the business of shamelessly lying to the American People should be treated no differently than speech associated with conspiracy to commit crimes, libel and slander, and incitement.
As Facebook responses — this one appeared on the Bukovsky Center page — and blog presentations differ, I have opted to let the blogging system work by adding URLs to the original text and allowing importation as commercial interests (Amazon’s) have made possible.
While Lloyd Billingsley has got right the description of Communist Totalitarianism, it just does not follow that the American Left and main portion of the Liberal Community has some Stalinist bent. Even the fashionable “far left” — short of the armed-up separatists who do fit Billingsley’s description from the “Far Out Left” and “Far White Right” (my terms) — places some premium on frank discussion and reporting with integrity. Some, unfortunately, have made alliance with the Soviet / post-Soviet remains of Communist Group Think and will swallow old Kool-Aid like the Boycott Divestitures and Sanctions (BDS) malarkey, but on the whole will report with integrity.
I have found enough in Patrice Cullors (“Marxist Trained” is part of her self-promotion) to both validate a number of race-related and systemic American issues.
The truths may be uncomfortable, but raising points in an open society undermines efforts to install a more deeply pernicious totalitarianism in America’s own open society — and by extension the still open (or remaining) democratic societies of EU/NATO. IF we in the West should wish to live in authentic (as opposed to Potemkin) democracies, we bear the burden of listening to earnest complaint and testimony and finding appropriate and best ways of responding to it and associated public and private realpolitik.
“Accusation in a Mirror”, a term derived from Kenneth L. Marcus’s eponymous essay (PDF) befits the hothouse atmospheres of both strident conservatives and edgy liberals as each accuses the other of attempting to established a communist or fascism totalitarian state in their areas of influence and operations.
Aside: I have long ago picked up on the idea that both communism and capitalism over-emphasize material well-being in their otherwise opposite philosophies, and if it’s true that such bipolar conflicts comes down to “owning the pie v sharing the pie”, the nation has other spiritual challenges. Personally, I would endorse the development of carefully constructed public-private compact with basic environmental and human interests and related principles and values foremost.
I would suggest to Lloyd Billingsley that he take in a less divisive and more magnanimous and realistic approach to an adjusted 21st Century politics; to Patrisse Cullors and others, black or white or other: let’s hear stories told with integrity while querying systemic shortcomings. Color — brown eyes or blue? — may be a “discriminator”, but what is one to do with hazel or flecked or green — or with skin cafe au lait, caramel, ochre, bronzed, freckled, eggplant, milky, peachy or with body types and facial features innumerable?
In my experience, nature more appreciates or favors variety than it does mono-cultures too isolated and too rigid to respond to the natural proliferation of antagonists (for the political portal associated with related science, see the Convention on Biological Diversity and its List of Parties).
For the time being, we’re having issues with perceived political power and empowerment and related injuries, injustices, jealousies, and resentments. While not everything may be repaired, we might choose to look ahead toward what needs may be diminished (starting with our own rancor) and what may be improved, better integrated, more loved, more appreciated.
The bill builds off existing state laws, which generally prohibit workplace or school discrimination based on religion, gender, sexual orientation and race. But the CROWN Act expands the definition of “race” to include “traits historically associated with race, including, but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles,” like braids, locs and twists. These and other styles known as “natural” looks do not involve processing to straighten the hair.
The greater part of the forces of conformity and order would seem to come from the control freaks of the private sector, who, well, foot the bill for their corporate look — and so they would seem entitled regiment employee appearances — but that regimentation may no longer fit the look of America, which has become naturally . . . natural, color filled, and creative and wild in personal expression and representation.
Thus has it been since at least the tumult of the 1960s and the race in commerce and finance to capitalize on the greater institutionalization of broadest inclusion (e.g., see United Colors of Benetton).
Of course, there’s more to contemporary racial discomfort than fashion.
And there’s more to it than this day’s hideous Far White Right angst-inspired hatred, the impersonal qualities of national course correcting quotas and programs (so that – and so I heard one academic leader proclaim long ago in relation to his institution – “our numbers look right”), Russian Active Measures (designed to disinform and enrage us in every way possible), and, sadly, incarceration rates.
There’s The Money — who has it, who produces more of it, who gets it, and how — and America’s future in its cultural, economic, spiritual development, evolution, and realpolitik.
Do we really believe in our ideals?
Have we the insight, will, and vision to construct what needs must become a Greater American Dream and Reality?
The latest to-do about hair, that most intimate and universal signal about how we roll, as it were, whether young peacocks or tigresses or balding old men, black as well as white, and haloed older ladies, may be more affirming in relation to America’s meta- and political cultures than challenging except near the separatist fringes where the most malign of narcissists insist that their own image and legacy define the world around themselves.
Of the few things a person may control in life, the body — and, as part of it, the haircut — would seem the most primary.
Make an appearance.
If good, if lawful, if broad in outlook and of generous spirit, well then — welcome aboard America.
I am not a Jewish American but for anti-Semites, tribal wranglers, and the boundaries of my own concessions.
I am not a German American, and not a word of it.
I am not a Polish American although I may appreciate the Polish tradition in tea cup and pot design.
I am an American who admires and appreciates the world, its myriad cultures, races, and religions but returns always to a pale-to-black nation separated from alliance with any one acknowledged church, life way, or god even though I may acknowledged the presence of an All that becomes the idea of God.
I am an American free to watch baseball or porn, to catch the world’s news or none at all, to reflect on my nation’s Constitution — or not worry over it, for it’s a strong thing by itself, and I am free and secure to fall asleep beneath clouds or stars, to read or write as spirit moves, to seek company or seclusion as my self sees fit.
I am an American aware of the effects of American Natives, the currents of European history, and the presence of ruthless and sadistic Puritans on the cultural outlines within the spacious boundaries and potentials of the now modern state.
I don’t know if the groups and leaderships attending what the SPLC might refer to as “Neo-Confederate” and “Neo-Nazi” are authentically homegrown perennials or stylish annuals that keep seeding themselves from year to year, but it has occurred to me that world always moves on around its hotheads, especially the archaic and romantic who may wish to hold on to what they believe they once had. So from the awesome conversation with the world at my desktop, here’s a note on all of that.
From the Awesome Conversation
I would think the Southern Far White Right in part the great-great grandchildren of settlers and the last of the pioneers, invariably white and looking for their place in the developing New World and who bore with them from one generation to the next the legends of the settling of the west. Farms, ranches, railroads, trading posts, towns, cities, dirt tracks, and highways. Where are they now? Ill-educated, some; overrun, for sure, and no longer the law and the outlaw with a few Mexicans around for decoration. They’re working for their hires; the children of slaves are bosses (some, I’m sure); John Wayne’s a foggy memory; Denzel’s more the memory for America’s middle aged; Bond’s partner is a black woman . . . .
The cities may be cool or mildly restive with all while the rural lanes, whether real or just winding through the heart, may be still what they were and now surrounded by an alien colorful all-inclusive all-tolerated multi-gendered multicultural powerful hypermodern New American political and lifestyle culture.
Bureaucracy, law, and technology may support American domestic security, but it sure can’t solve cultural issues involving birthrights and expectations about how the world should work. It’s understandable that we would have some disappointed-struggling sons of old white sons for whom official favor might seem (by themselves) deserved.
Who would stop history?
The processes attending conquest and the establishment of sovereignty across geopolitical space and time give way, inevitably, to periods of Administration either, Genghis style, for sustained plunder or, alas, for The Good, i.e., for renewed husbandry, shepherding, and stewardship of all that may be valued in peace. These days, bloody expansions needs must give way to community care, development, and trade, mere avarice proving insufficient for the defense of sustained new wealth.
My correspondent accused me of holding hackneyed views in relation to what I’ve labeled the “Far White Right”, a term invented for Donald John Trump’s not-so-colorful base. Members of the FWR, I was told, were also highly educated and wealthy and enamored of the American Dream, so I was told. My response –>
If “They both believe in and live the American dream”, wherefore the racial angst and want of (renewed) privilege?
Wherefore the want of racially-based political ascendance and dominance?
I’m inclined to publish my own words, but, as always would be interested in seeing what a true political topology looks like for those now deeply resenting the darker hues along with Jews.
Here’s the thing about race and white boys and black boys and girls and all the shades and stances between –>
As a species . . . .
Hitchhikers thumbs, cars, old shoes, planes, ships, and trains and legions of defenders, traders, and raiders — we sure do “get around” and have gotten around, and there’s nothing to undo it.
The mentalities of criminals and extremists seems always archaic, self-adoring, and self-aggrandizing as if humiliation and mortification somewhere near has compelled repair and some former perceived noble state of affairs may be found forward with an heroic defiance of the future.
Among the slashed and burnt of The Great Liar’s One-Term Presidency, John Bolton stands out for greater backbone, discretion, experience, and integrity.
I believe Bolton when he suggests he leveraged his experience in national security to participate in the Trump Administration in order to produce his — not Trump’s — brand of guidance. As Trump required greater sycophancy, Bolton would also leave the malignant narcissist’s den.
The Republican Party, once the Party of the visionary Abraham Lincoln, has in the 20th Century seen equally embarrassing and shamefully self-centered days. That has become something for critically reasoning and independent Americans to take into consideration as the West with its ideas about compassion, freedom, goodness, and real human productivity faces an anachronistic, feudal, and implacable enemy in Moscow and, in post-Cold War association with it, Beijing and Tehran as well.
Tehran, worn by its own conflict-promoting behaviors over time and by sanctions, has shown no signs of retreat in relation to its nuclear missile and warhead programs nor its will, repeated with dulling frequency, to see Israel and the west destroyed for its own marauding and politically absolute ends. Where has the Republican Party (with its increasingly familiar white supremacist attachments) really stood on the Moscow-Tehran relationship? Where has it stood with regard to the rise of the proto-fascist New Nationalism in the United States as well as within NATO (have a look into authoritarian and feudal urges in Hungary, Italy, Poland, and Turkey)?
Here is a junction in time in which the United States, once leader of the free world — the modern open democratic world, either stands firm against politically retrograde but technologically sophisticated states or slips backward itself into some system of immense power and wealth lording over a hapless constituency whose political voice becomes so much noise to those working the levers for their own enrichment according to class and degrees of ruthlessness.
I’m not inclined to leap far into conspiracy-think. However, wind turbine technology appears engineered and manufactured by transnational corporations and firms well aware of freezing weather, so this nonsense about renewable energy failing in Texas (why not on the North Sea? Why not in Germany?) just doesn’t hold ice water.
Super conservative angst, disinformation (received or sent), and viciousness get in the way of the public’s more cool-headed gathering and perception of variables contributing to disasters. That discomforting aspect of our collective national psyche notwithstanding, I would ask news (and weather) editors and readers to simply consider the full suite of possibilities in the unfolding of dramatic stories. In this one, finger pointing at wind-generated energy overlooked frozen instruments (!) in other energy systems. Well Whisky Tango & Foxtrot, where is Homeland Security on the Big Dallas Freeze? And may the investigative journalists be all over the possibility, just that (!), of external meddling involving massive critical — and technologically delicate or vulnerable — systems.
Of course, there are other possibilities, much including the architecture and engineering in a region better known for heat than cold and successive building generations in a political environment resistant “global warming” the potential for coming extremes in the known environment.
Still, has the drama been only about old engineering and new weather?
I may be tilting at windmills.
While some wind turbines did freeze, failures in natural gas, coal and nuclear energy systems were responsible for nearly twice as many outages as renewables, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (Ercot), which operates the state’s power grid, said in a press conference on Tuesday.
Frozen instruments at gas, coal and even nuclear power stations were among the main problems, Ercot director Dan Woodfin said, according to Bloomberg.
Last March—if not before, as a report by the threat-intelligence firm ReversingLabs suggests—a hacking team, believed to be affiliated with Russian intelligence, planted malware in a routine software upgrade from a Texas-based I.T. company called SolarWinds, which provides network-management systems to more than three hundred thousand clients. An estimated eighteen thousand of them downloaded the malware-ridden updates, which were embedded in a SolarWinds product called Orion. Once they did, the hackers were able to roam about customers’ networks, undetected, for at least nine months.