"If history has taught us anything..."

THURSDAY, JULY 14, 2022

...it doesn't seem to have taught us this: "If history has taught us anything," Al Pacino once famously said.

Pretending to be a mob boss, he continued his famous statement. With apologies for the ugliness of the sentiment he expressed, here is the fuller quotation, straight from The Godfather 2:

“If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it is that you can kill anyone."

We apologize for the sentiment Pacino expressed. That said, we disagree with his assessment of the one thing we've been taught.

Has history taught us any one thing? Almost surely not. But if we were to nominate a candidate for this honor, we would nominate this:

If history has taught us anything, it is that it's very hard to hold a large continental nation (or empire) together.

Genghis Khan "united the tribes." His empire came apart. 

Years later, the Soviet Union came apart too, as quite a few others had done.

Given the way our globe's many tribes disagree about cultural matters—and given the way we tend to recoil against Others—it seems to be extremely hard to hold large empires together.

It's also hard to hold a large nation together. That's especially true in a world whose technologies have helped create such communication platforms as these:

Modern formats:
Local and national talk radio programs
Politically partisan "cable news" channels
The million sites of the Internet
And, of course, social media

A sprawling nation with those communication formats may find it hard to survive. It seems to us that, if contemporary history is teaching us anything, it may be trying to teach us that.

These thoughts have repeatedly come to mind this week. Tomorrow, we'll return to the recent hubbub about Jill Biden and the tacos—an incident which shows one of the ways our own blue tribe tends to split nations apart.

For today, we'll look at a couple of headlines from the New York Times. But history seems to be teaching us this:

In the modern context, it's very hard for large nations like ours to survive.

We start on the macro level, with headlines from a dispiriting report in the New York Times. When different tribes within a nation are exposed to vastly different statements of fact, results like these may well result—and large nations can fall apart:

As Faith Flags in U.S. Government, Many Voters Want to Upend the System
Desire for structural changes cuts across both parties, a Times/Siena College poll found, but for starkly different reasons. Even Democrats now question if the government is a force for good.

Faith in government is flagging from sea to shining sea! Reid Epstein's report starts like this:

EPSTEIN (7/14/22): A majority of American voters across nearly all demographics and ideologies believe their system of government does not work, with 58 percent of those interviewed for a New York Times/Siena College poll saying that the world’s oldest independent constitutional democracy needs major reforms or a complete overhaul.

The discontent among Republicans is driven by their widespread, unfounded doubts about the legitimacy of the nation’s elections. For Democrats, it is the realization that even though they control the White House and Congress, it is Republicans, joined with their allies in gerrymandered state legislatures and the Supreme Court, who are achieving long-sought political goals.

For Republicans, the distrust is a natural outgrowth of former President Donald J. Trump’s domination of the party and, to a large degree, American politics. After seven years in which he relentlessly attacked the country’s institutions, a broad majority of Republicans share his views on the 2020 election and its aftermath: Sixty-one percent said he was the legitimate winner...

Majorities in both major parties think the political system is failing. Troublingly, the two groups tend to have completely different ideas concerning what has gone wrong.

Republicans think the last election was rigged. No evidence to that effect has ever been presented, but Donald J. Trump just keeps making the claim, and it doesn't seem to occur to these voters that his claims are unfounded and unsupported and, for that blindingly obvious reason, should be assumed to be wrong.

Trump has never offered evidence in support of his claims! Twenty months have passed since the election occurred. No white paper has appeared.

Voters who believe in Trump don't seem to notice this fact, and our blue tribunes keep saying "lie." It's a word after which all discussion will stop, but our tribe dropped ancient warnings about the term all the way back in the Bush years.

Concerning the way large nations can come undone, consider this recent history:

As recently as the 1960s, it was remarkably hard to hear crazy accounts of major events. 

Citizens had a choice. They could listen to Walter Cronkite, or they could listen to David Brinkley. If you wanted to hear crazy claims, you had to search all about. 

As recently as the 1960s or even the 1980s, hearing The Crazy was hard.

We also had an external enemy—the vast and sprawling Soviet Union, which hadn't yet come undone. With an external enemy like that, it wasn't necessary to find Others on the domestic front. The Other was found Over There.

Today, recitation of bogus, even crazy claims is a giant industry. Thanks to our new information formats, different groups hear vastly different things. 

Our blue tribe hears one set of Storylines. The red tribe hears quite different things. 

Today's New York Times is clogged with reports which reflect this state of affairs. In such situations, things fall apart, as empires have done in the past.

Epstein's report describes the situation on the macro level. On the micro level, we hope Ray Epps is somehow able to sue Tucker Carlson for every dollar the disordered cable star has.

Epps made the unfortunate choice to attend Donald J. Trump's January 6 address. Propagandists seeking profit and fame pretty much took it from there.

As recently as a few weeks back, we saw Carlson play the Epps card all over again on his nightly "cable news" program. This morning, an informative New York Times report carries these very sad headlines:

A Trump Backer’s Downfall as the Target of a Jan. 6 Conspiracy Theory
Ray Epps became the unwitting face of an attempt by pro-Trump forces to promote the baseless idea that the F.B.I. was behind the attack on the Capitol.

According to people like Carlson, the FBI was behind the attack—and Epps was in their employ! So it goes when a fallen figure like Carlson has access to millions of viewers thanks to the technologies which have given us "cable news." 

Tens of millions of American citizens believe and trust Donald J. Trump. Tens of millions believe and trust Tucker Carlson. They get exposed to one set of "facts." Our tribe gets exposed to another.

It's hard to hold giant nations together even without such problems. Meanwhile, our own blue tribe keeps coming along with events like the Jill Biden ploy.

If you seek the benefits of wisdom, please repeat after us:

The other tribe tends to be very dumb, but no one is dumber than we are

It's hard for large nations to survive. If history has taught us bluebirds anything, it doesn't seem to have taught us this!

Tomorrow: You can't get dumber than this


173 comments:


  1. "If history has taught us anything, it is that it's very hard to hold a large continental nation (or empire) together."

    Indeed it is, dear Bob. Which is why a federation of largely independent states is the way to go.

    ...a federation, with a small, weak central government, managing interstate commerce and international affairs.

    'nuff said...

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    Replies
    1. Fortunately we have a court that is starting to recognize this. Overturning Roe might have saved the union.

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  2. History doesn't teach us lessons because it doesn't repeat. The current context is always different in important ways from the past. So too with our modern country, which is really no bigger than many others (Brazil, China, India) which have held together just fine.

    History does teach us who we are and how we got this way.

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    Replies
    1. That's nonsense.

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    2. This is how historians think about history. Or read Hegel.

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    3. Why does every military revolution create a man with a big mustache?

      Why do the rich and poor fight in every country?

      History repeats.

      In fact, we know it repeats because we make it repeat. We use one war to justify another war. We use one panic about sex to create another. We complain about the old people the immigrants and the irresponsible youth.

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    4. Yes, there are human beings in every country too. Things only seem simlar when looked in gross outline, generalities that don’t mean much.

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  3. If we cannot call a lie a lie when it clearly is a lie, there is nothing more to talk about.

    Somerby wants to blame liberals for the unquestioning faith in Trump held by his supporters, simply because we called his election claims a lie. No, that won't wash. It is time for Republicans to take responsibility for their actions and their mistaken beliefs and that won't happen with craven demands from folks like Somerby that we apologize for calling Trump a liar -- when there is no other name for what he does.

    Broadening his specious demands to a faux musing on history makes Somerby look ridiculous. He knows less about history than he does about anthropology, and neither field offers any comfort for Republicans. Dressing up Somerby's pile of crap in false analysis of history doesn't make it look any more like ice cream. Somerby needs to back off, listen to the evidence, and get back on the right side, if he wants history to be kind to him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tell us more about Russia collusion and lying.

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    2. Don't worry, dear government scientist, Stormy Daniels is going to bring him down. Any minute now.

      There was a man, y'know, who made her feel threatened.

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    3. Trump found a way to weaponize Stormy against Avenatti. Now one of them sits in prison. He operates on a whole other level.

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    4. Avenatti cooked his own goose and stole money from Daniels. She was the victim, not anyone’s weapon.

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  4. Hate to tell you this but Republicans aren't going to be governed by a mob of Democrats indoctrinating their children that if they're black they're hated and if they're white they're oppressors, whether it's an elected mob or not. Democrats probably have their reasons not to want to be governed by a mob of Republicans. We're done.

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    1. What are you going to do? Plot another crappy coup?

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  5. Nothing but trolls and Republicans left at Somerby’s supposedly liberal blog.

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  6. The Jill Biden ploy was perpetrated by the RNC Communications Director, not by our blue tribe. Like the attack on Epps.

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    Replies
    1. “No one is dumber than we are”

      No one is dmber than Somerby. He believes what the right tells him — such as that lefties complained about breakfast tacos, when it was the RNC. Somerby probably also believes some schools put out litter boxes for furries.

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  7. Somerby himself has a tenuous grasp on reality when he gets taken in by right-wing lies and won’t acknowledge when Trump is lying. But he thinks the left has the problems? That is a symptom of his delusion.

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    1. If you take a figure like Bill Maher or Megyn Kelly,
      they make millions for splitting everything down the middle with a passably subtle thumb on the scale for the right. Bob is not so subtle, but his right wing
      sugar daddies are unlikely to pay him off that well.

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    2. You think Megyn Kelly is subtly to the right in her political inclinations?

      Just like libertarian Bill Maher?

      You couldn’t make a reasonable judgment concerning anyone who failed to share your druthers on the best way to cook eggs.



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    3. There is a difference between a person’s beliefs and the way they slant ideas for public consumption. Try to read more carefully.

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    4. There’s nothing subtle about either of them in their political leanings.

      The suggestion that people are secretly militant rightists by virtue of not being far leftist, is just one conceit that renders you clueless and absurd.

      Delete
    5. Somerby is correct practically 100% of the time. Remember when all you idiots thought Stormy Daniels was going to take down Trump? You were wrong! Bob was right. But now the seismic shift is happening right in front of all of our eyes. Everybody's running from the Democratic party. Why? Because it's advocates are assholes. They are dumb and no one likes them.

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    6. Those assault charges are still there.

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    7. If people are running, why don’t any polls show it?

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    8. You question that? If people are leaving the Democratic Party. You don't think that's true?

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    9. "More than 1 million voters in 43 states switched to the Republican Party in the last year, while 630,000 became Democrats, AP found based on voter registration data".

      The Democratic party as it is now will never recover. It will never be the same party again. The only question is how hard the crash will be.

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    10. I don’t think anything written here by conservative trolls is true.

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    11. Good. Don't believe people are leaving the Democratic party. Believe they're doing just fine.

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    12. People are joining Dems because they are angry about Roe v Wade.

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    13. Independents are joining Dems because they are disillusioned by Trump and don’t trust Republicans.

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    14. @6:48 You idiot. Dems changed their registrations in open primary states so they could pick who they want to run against by voting in the Republican primary races. It’s a strategy not a defection.

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    15. Great. You have nothing to worry about then. The Democratic party is doing just super.

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    16. Have you forgotten who won in 2020? We even have “wasted votes.”

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    17. So you have nothing to worry about.

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    18. "nothing"?
      The election is something to worry about, but it always is when the fascists on the Right seek more power.

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    19. "So you have nothing to worry about."
      Because I'm not an elementary school student in a violent, gun-loving nation like the USA?

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  8. As he says, my fruitcake nonfriend, it's easy for simpletons like you to find their total bullshit.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello Friends!

    We should all find some common ground and let loose! As I tell my bandmates (our band is "Big Fanny and the Rump Bumpers"), let's all just shake what our mamas gave us and frolic together! Life is meant to be enjoyed. Peace.

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  10. Bob can use his own example of Carlson's garbage,
    or he can go to Alex Jones trying to save the earth from
    lizard people, but what he can't do is provide examples
    from like people (in terms of influence or anything else)
    on the left in terms of nastiness or nuttiness.
    Is there goofy nonsense in the Times or MSNBC?
    Yep. Does it even approach the right? Nope. And the
    worst of it is so bad you have to be a little paranoid
    about why it's being put out in the first place. Brian
    Williams repeatedly taunting Hillary Clinton for not
    making good on her campaign promises when She
    wasn't elected anyone?
    Bob's pretzel twist on Pacino (remember that at
    the point he says this Micheal is a man who has made
    absolute peace with evil, a hallowed out man)
    is really ... well... bad writing. But at least he
    got in right as far as being in Part II.

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    1. Worse on the left. Insane ideas about pregnant men and nothing but hate wearing a thin disguise of "anti-racism."

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    2. More Republican lies.

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    3. Ok so who is the highest ranking Dem talking about Pregnant men?

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    4. The idea that a man can be pregnant attempts to replace criteria for categorizing sexuality that are biological and publicly observable with criteria that are psychological and entirely unobservable.

      What else but confusion can be the result?

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    5. How can there be confusion over a characteristic that is irrelevant to most situations and private, thus nobody’s business? The gender signals in our society enforce inequalities arising from sex-linked social status. If you need to know someone’s gender, just ask them. No confusion necessary.

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    6. The whole left bought into the Russiagate conspiracy hoax. Many still believe it!

      Rachel Maddow did stories about the Russians taking over our power grid in the dead of winter and Havana Syndrome. She approaches the nuttiness of Alex Jones.

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    7. You either know there is no way a foreign power would need to convince Republican voters to be amped-up about voting for a bigot like Trump, or you're a conspiracy theorist.

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    8. 8:44,
      The entire Right bought into the idea that a fetus is a baby.
      Checkmate.

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    9. Anonymous 8:14pm, just as I suspected the answer to sexism will be a master gender of people with xy chromosomes who are surgically enhanced and altered via hormones.

      Beings who will look sleek in the skinniest of jeans, adopt the most stereotypical and often demeaning gender memes, yet can hold their own with a fellow xy assailant, and have the drive to develop advanced weapons systems.

      That is the answer to sexism.

      In the meantime, xx women will be trotted out only as political totems for victimhood.

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    10. Russiagate is a Right-wing corporate-owned media hoax, that was trotted out to make it look like Republicans/ Trump voters aren't bigots.
      The premise is ridiculous.

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    11. People may say Republican voters aren't bigots, but rest assured, no one really believes it.

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    12. The whole left bought into the Russiagate conspiracy hoax. Amirite???

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    13. Hardly.. There are plenty on the Left who took Bob's advice, and listened to "the Others".

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    14. Do you, at this late date, believe Russiagate is real?

      Queue the trite non-answer ...

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    15. Fuck no. Do I look like the mainstream media, begging to be gaslit?
      Russia had no need to do anything to get Republican voters jacked-up about voting for Trump's bigotry.

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    16. The entire premise, that Republican voters aren't really bigots, is ludicrous.

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    17. Except all the black and Hispanic ones. ;)

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    18. I dream of a world where no Right-winger calls a black or Hispanic a bigot.
      And I'm not even Al Sharpton.

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    19. Are you going to act like a jackass all your life?

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    20. At this late date, the first Impeachment of Trump was absolutely justified and could only have been reject by a party that had become a group of cultist WHO would not even vote for Impeachment II. Sorry at 10:29, you are the one trying to sell a hoax.
      Trump signed off on the war on Christmas. So
      WHICH Dems have signed off on Pregnant Men?

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    21. Greg,
      I still believe there's a tiny chance that four Republicans would have a problem with treason against the United States of America, but there is no chance in hell all four would be United States Senators.

      Delete
  11. Bob, there’s craziness to be sure in my political tribe, but you can’t get more lost than to say that you don’t necessarily think it’s wrong to terminate an infant shortly before he/she would ordinarily be lying in a bassinet be being cooed and mugged at by every sane soul in the vicinity.

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    Replies
    1. Try for a moment to discover some empathy and think about why a woman might not want to have that baby.

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    2. Think about why that baby might not want to be murdered but can't speak for herself.

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    3. Oh, no, Anonymouse 6:15pm. No contrarian of yours could ever possibly imagine a perilous personal situation fraught with tough consequences.

      Let alone to be able to consider that might be a higher moral imperative than extrication from that dilemma.

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    4. The consequences for both mother and fetus are part of that situation. You cannot reach a right decision without considering both — which conservative anti-abortion laws do not permit.

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    5. “ Using a loaded term like murder trivializes the actual crime of murder, much like Peta does when it calls using antspray murder.”

      You can’t get more impervious to irony than this.

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    6. 6:15,

      It's not a baby, it's a foetus. And it doesn't have 'wants', it's a foetus.

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    7. Hint- you likened abortion to ant poison.

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    8. Define “Shortly.”

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    9. Cecelia,
      Babies can't get pregnant, so no baby has been harmed by an abortion.
      BTW, how does assuring women are second-class citizens help you?

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    10. Anonymouse 9:09pm, average women in their twenties are as strong as men their fifties.

      If men wanted to kill every woman on the planet they could. They truly could without much of a problem other than their own sensibilities.

      The ability to give life is not an impediment to women.

      I’m willing to give you criteria based upon trimester and other factors. Don’t insult my intelligence by arguing the life giving dynamic between male and female is a handicap toward either gender.

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    11. Cecelia,
      Insulting your intelligence is impossible.

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    12. Men can make medical decisions for their own bodies.
      Playing stupid is an ugly, but typical Right-wing game.

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    13. Men can. They don’t have the ability to harbor young human beings in their bodies.

      Or do they?

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    14. Men becoming pregnant, would destroy the anti-abortion movement in a New York second.

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    15. Oh, Cecelia. So naive. Men do harbor young humans. Well, half-humans. It’s called sperm. Spilling of the seed is biblically prohibited.

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    16. What is it with liberals hating women so much they discount or hate the only thing women can do that distinguishes them?

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    17. 11:34,
      What about all the fetuses that are killed by abortion. Don't those non-people count in your world?

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    18. mh, both sexes harbor the building blocks of humans. The particulars are what defines male from female.

      Quit being a putz.

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    19. why stop with “life begins at conception?” Outlaw masturbation. Men are killing myriads of potential humans.

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    20. mh,
      The 9 + minute video of George Floyd being choked to death, would lead to charging almost all Right-wing men for the countless murders of sperm in their tube socks.

      Delete
  12. I think the starting assumption here that we have to make friends with Republicans to stop them is wishful thinking. Every time you reach out to shake their hand they'll take one step to the right until you joined the federalist society with them.

    Just crush them politically.

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    Replies
    1. I mean if you're friends with someone who wants to organize a union, and cares about the poor, by all means stay in touch with them, they'll join a soup kitchen with you and fight lobbyists.

      But liberals don't trust social movements. Biden just dismissed the massive grassroots campaign on the left as "some activists." The libs are helpless ideology that can't stop Christen fascism, upper class snobbism, and ultimately settles for doing absolutely nothing and blaming everyone else.

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    2. There is more to being liberal than complainng about workng conditions. You sound like someone with lessof a sens of history than Somerby.

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    3. I'll make friends with working class people who don't like abortion.

      I'm not going to make friends with people who already are organized with the party, memorized a bunch of lies about IQ and race etc. They're a lost cause.

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    4. Someone today literally just said "But Jews do eat babies" and no I didn't find out any more of their issues after that. I hope they become homeless actually.

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    5. Democrats don't care about unions, except corrupt teacher's unions, and Republicans are in the process of taking the issue away from them.

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    6. There's no evidence of teachers being corrupt.

      Read Nancy MacLean Democracy in Chains to understand what is going on in schools.

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    7. Anonymouse 6:07pm, I hope that they are exposed to enough thoughtful and persuasive public discourse that they change their minds.

      Same with the people who harbor a variation on the theme called “Push Israel Into The Sea”.

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    8. This has nothing to do with the near east Celia.

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    9. Anonymouse7:06pm, exactly. Give it up.

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    10. Cecelia can't have it both ways. Either deportations of indigenous people is wrong or calling it out is wrong.

      There is no middle ground on hunting down people trying to see the doctor because male doctors know best.

      There is no middle ground on colonization either Cecelia. You are either for it or against it.

      Apparently you want the people in power to stay in power. It must be easy work being Celia. Nothing to ask for.

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    11. Anonymouse 7:26pm, I’m not trying to have it both ways.

      I’m having it one way.

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    12. The wrong way.

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    13. Fair enough. You don’t agree.

      Don’t expect me to wish homelessness or any other ill upon you.

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    14. Pro tip:
      Don't expect Cecelia to make a good faith statement, either.

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    15. The main reason they're doing this is to win elections with the religious vote period.

      But It gets a lot more complicated from that point forward.

      The culture surrounding abortion has taken on a mind of its own but the economic and political history didn't come from nowhere either.

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  13. Politicians don't know how to make arguments any better than we do so they just panic that they'll say something bad to parents and the parents will get mad. Has nothing to do with unions.

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  14. The anti abortion movement has roots in the medical field corruption. Male doctors gave women personality tests and told them their brains are too weak to figure out a hard choice like that. Today, the movement has slightly tweaked this argument, that abortion makes women feel sad. And women feel a lot of stuff but literally 95 percent of women do not regret it.

    The heartbeat hoax, combined with identity politics about different races and abortion, completely closes down rational thought.

    It didn't start with cable news. It started with European witch hunts, it started with capitalist medicine.

    Imagine thinking history is only worth reading until 1992.

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    Replies
    1. Capitalist medicine makes out like a bandit on fetal tissue.

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    2. Don’t be silly. Here’s another example of credulous people believing right-wing lies. Such as that covid vaccine is made from fetuses.

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    3. The entire American economy is based on having more people than jobs. How do you make a lot of people really fast? Ban abortion.

      You could also invest in education and development. Like a socialist.

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    4. Yes, force those babies out to join the work force in what, 18 years? Good plan. How about increased immigration? Hmm.

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    5. If she ends up with an unplanned pregnancy and she decides the answer is to kill, she already proved with two bad decisions her brain is too weak to make important decisions.

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    6. Surely, then, 11:30, the superior brained “man” in that situation has a greater responsibility to act responsibly and not get her pregnant. Thus, he must face very harsh penalties for immorality. It’s really the only way to prevent it.

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    7. Holding men accountable for pregnancies will take all the fun out of being anti-abortion.

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  15. Right. So that means there are no uses (important ones) for fetal tissue in science.

    Where did the halfway intelligent anonymices go?

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    Replies
    1. "Where did the halfway intelligent anonymices go?"

      They left, because you, and the rest of the Right refuse to make arguments in good faith.
      Try growing up, and maybe they'll return to school you again.

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  16. “Citizens had a choice. They could listen to Walter Cronkite, or they could listen to David Brinkley. If you wanted to hear crazy claims, you had to search all about.”

    This is a remarkably shallow view of the situation at that time. You might say it misses some crucial facts.

    Conservatives, like Nixon or Goldwater, hated the press at that time. Somerby says citizens had a choice, but Cronkite was considered (and probably was) a liberal and he was viewed as hostile to conservatives and conservatism. So, conservatives at that time would have scoffed at Somerby’s notion that there was a choice. (Is Somerby making some sort of joke by calling it a choice?)

    This led conservatives to seek alternative news sources, and ultimately to the founding of Fox News. It isn’t so much that they were seeking “the crazy”, but they felt ignored or maligned by the press at that time.

    It isn’t clear if Somerby found this state of affairs preferable to today’s chaotic state, but it is clear that that situation gave men like Cronkite and Brinkley an enormous amount of power in shaping the coverage of the news.

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  17. “It isn’t clear if Somerby found this state of affairs preferable to today’s chaotic state, but it is clear that that situation gave men like Cronkite and Brinkley an enormous amount of power in shaping the coverage of the news.”

    Holy cow! How is it not clear to you that Somerby wants the old thoughtful liberal gatekeepers who don’t disdain non-liberals fellow citizens as you do, but who seek to mediate between the sides as much as possible?

    Somerby is totally noblesse oblige. You’re the radical who can’t live with anyone who doesn’t think like you.

    There’s no appealing to you.



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    Replies
    1. Cecelia,
      Stop making bad faith arguments, and liberals will start treating you with respect.
      Stick with Right-wing media, if you want a participation trophy.

      Delete
    2. “Cecelia”, there’s apparently no way for you to be civil. You are an asshole for calling me a radical who can’t accept other opinions. Where do you conclude that from what I said? And what does that have to do with my comment? The point was precisely to debunk the idea that Cronkite’s purported lack of disdain for non-liberals was a feeling shared by conservatives. He was hated by Nixon and many conservatives at the time. And so, conservatives of the time did not appreciate Walter Cronkite. Cronkite was accused of shaping the coverage of events in ways that were unflattering or unacceptable to conservatives. He was not universally held in the esteem that Somerby wistfully imagines. It isn’t even clear that Cronkite was truly not disdainful of conservatives. So, Somerby may have preferred the Cronkite/Brinkley regime of ‘noblesse oblige’, but it was untenable, obviously. It is stupid nostalgia on his part.

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    3. No, mh, you’ve jumped from Watergate to the Lewinsky scandal in one fell swoop.





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    4. Where do liberals get the idea anyone cares one whit about their respect?

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    5. And the arc of that was engineered by Roger Ailes, who worked for Nixon and headed Fox News. Not a jump at all. A continuity, and no coincidence.

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    6. 11:26: Have you read Somerby’s blog? At all? I mean, one paragraph of it?

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    7. It's literally impossible for any liberal to show less respect to a Republican voter than Republican politicians do on a daily basis.

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  18. Clearly, since even the avuncular, seemingly respectful Cronkite was hated by conservatives, this fact debunks Somerby’s oft-stated contention that it is liberals’ hatefulness and stridency that drove conservatives towards Fox News and other right-wing operations and to vote against liberals. Conservatives couldn’t even tolerate the seemingly magisterial even-handedness and good faith of a Cronkite. He was viewed as a liberal, as the enemy.

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    1. Except that conservatives did disavow Nixon. Republican pols did. Nixon had to resign.

      Evangelicals voted on the expressly Christian Jimmy Carter, until he looked weak after Iran hostage crisis. Reagan won by a country wide landslide.

      Credit Clinton for Fox News.

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    2. “Conservatives disavowed Nixon?” And people like Ailes and Roger Stone made certain it never happened again. Why do you think they went so hard after Clinton?

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    3. Republicans disavowed Nixon. Republicans disavowed Clinton.

      Democrats disavowed Nixon. Democrats disavowed…

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    4. Democrats disavowed…fascism.

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    5. Well, yeah. Americans love freedom.

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    6. Clinton did nothing in the same category of criminal behavior as Nixon. Nothing to disavow. The public agreed and thought he was being unfairly persecuted. He remained popular.

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    7. It’s pretty well settled that Democrats don’t think that lying under oath is out of bounds in some circumstances.

      They might have felt differently if some chick had brought a sexual harassment suit against against Trump, with all the open discovery process that the Clinton’s had heretofore supported, but not in the case of Clinton.

      That was solely a paltry lying about sex.

      I get that. I still don’t call Somerby a Russian agent.

      You?

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    8. Bill Clinton was probably the most successful President of our time. Dems rejected his shameful sexual behavior and would not have allowed him to run again if it had been allowed by the rules,
      Now Clinton's "sins" only seem to be there to
      illustrate the freakish hypocrisy of the right. That
      Dems have allowed him to be trashed to the
      extent that they have, to be sure, illustrates a
      different kind of lack of character.

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    9. "It’s pretty well settled that Democrats don’t think that lying under oath is out of bounds in some circumstances."

      Because they haven't tried to impeach Thomas, Alito, and Kavanaugh for lying under oath at their SCOTUS hearings?
      Seems this might be a "both sides" issue.

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    10. Actually, Clinton was re-elected by his running to the right.

      However, Carville said if you drag a 100 bucks thru a trailer park, you’ll pick up a hussy.

      You guys jumped on board with that sentiment and with every Dowdism under the sun.

      I dearly love Bob, but you are his karma. No other way around it.

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    11. You are so full of shit, Cecelia. You make these sweeping, false pronouncements about “us guys” and then you have the gall to say that we (or I) are the ones who can’t live with anyone who thinks differently. Apparently, your love for Bob is what leads you to assume the critics here are 100% intolerant. Speaking of intolerant, go take a look at yourself in the mirror, if you can stand it. And you should be able to see Bob Somerby peering out at you.

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    12. mh, you and the anonymices are 200% intolerant.

      Water balloons are less thin-skinned than you.

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    13. How many years have you spent justifying an example of Clinton’s behavior toward workplace females (Lewinsky) in a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by Paula Jones?

      Everything Clinton did in the Oval Office was MORE than acceptable to you. To Clinton’s coaching of his private secretary as to what to testify to a grand jury,

      That would be the case if Monica was your own wife or daughter.

      You’re as feminist as Jeffrey Epstein.

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    14. Bob finds it shocking that Harvey Weinstein pulls it out in front of actresses as a prelude to power, but finds Paula Jones complaint of the same treatment by our first black,hip, and feminist president as “political”.

      Sure was, Bob. Political AND valid.

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    15. "How many years have you spent justifying an example of Clinton’s behavior toward workplace females (Lewinsky) in a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by Paula Jones?"

      Meh. Don't complicate things.

      Dembots are extremely primitive single-celled creatures. They get their talking points -- they distribute them. That's all.

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    16. Cecelia believes all of the Republican lies told about Bill Clinton, like the good little conservative she is. That doesn't make any of them true.

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    17. Bob is aghast at the treatment of the more conservative Tipper and Al Gore, designated as prudish scolds by the media, but spent all his time mainstreaming the libertine lifestyle of Bill Clinton.

      You couldn’t make up the cognitive dissonance!

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    18. They were prudish scolds. The press didn't make that up. So is Somerby. He even scolds people about things they haven't done.

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    19. And so Cecelia and her ilk, who were shocked, SHOCKED, at Bill Clinton’s “libertine lifestyle” and decided at the time that the Oval Office needed to be cleansed of such immorality, in 2016 said “hold my beer”: we will elect the most libertine man ever to occupy the White House. That’ll show em.

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    20. I’ll take Paula Jones over Michael Avenatti and his victim Stormy Daniels any day of the week, oh feminist one…

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    21. Jones lawsuit was dismissed for lack of merit. This is the type of person you defend? There were dozens of accusations against Trump, but you and your ilk were perfectly content to sweep those under the rug as you abandoned any principles you claimed to have had about “libertine lifestyles.”

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    22. There is no reason for you NOT to like Paula Jones, Cecelia. Taking money as a professional witness, She overcame her shifting story to give the right what it wanted, a press friendly fraud they could harass the Clinton White House with. After her Penthouse interview and pictorial, they have been slipping her money ever since. Stormy Daniels can't really be question since Trump issued a payoff to shut her up, that's really not in dispute.

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    23. Who would have been the only people who could sweep such things under the rug if they were more than accusations?

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    24. Clinton settled with Jones. He temporarily had law license suspended over Jones.

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    25. The RW secret weapon is they have no shame, are oblivious to their own hypocrisy. The fucking balls of Cecelia attacking president Clinton today, after living thru the dumpster fire of the Donald J Chickenshit attack on democracy and attempted coup is almost unbelievable. Almost. These people belong to the Tribe That Rubs Shit in Their Hair. (see Driftglass for definition)

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    26. Cecelia, you are incorrect about Clinton's law license:

      "DONALD TRUMP described the consequences of a sexual harassment lawsuit against former President Bill Clinton: “He lost his license. He had to pay an $850,000 fine.”

      THE FACTS: Trump’s facts are, at best, jumbled. In 1998, lawyers for Bill Clinton settled with former Arkansas state employee Paul Jones for $850,000 in her four-year lawsuit alleging sexual harassment. Clinton did not acknowledge wrongdoing in the settlement. But Trump erred in describing the legal consequences of that case. In a related case before the Arkansas State Supreme Court, Clinton was fined $25,000 and his Arkansas law license was suspended for five years. Clinton also faced disbarment before the U.S. Supreme Court, but he opted to resign from the court’s practice instead of facing any penalties."

      It is easy to check your facts before posting incorrect information. Just use Google. It will keep you from looking so incredibly stupid.

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    27. I’m not attacking the very predictably predatory Clinton in this, you oaf.

      I’m pointing out Bob’s cognitive dissonance as to his mainlining of Clinton’s behavior as contrasted with Bob!s subsequent puzzlement at the treatment of the very staid Al and Tipper Gore by Bob’s fellow hip mediates.

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    28. If thee is anything Cecelia hates it's thin-skinned people (and minorities, but I digress).
      This is why she is supports the January 6 Committee exposing the Right-wing snowflakes who threw a pubic temper tantrum just because black peoples votes counted in an election.

      Mao,
      Can you please call Cecelia a dembot zombie, and accuse her of all the crimes the Right perpetrated?
      Thanks in advance.

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    29. Right, Anonymouse 10am. My statement was that Clinton settled with Jones and his law license was temporarily suspended.

      That’s totally in contest with your news that Clinton settled with Jones and that his law license was temporarily suspended…

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    30. Your support for Donald J Chickenshit should now leave you hiding your face for all eternity, not trolling a liberal blog, you nasty piece of work.

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    31. Cecelia says: "fellow hip mediates"

      mediate definition: "intervene between people in a dispute in order to bring about an agreement or reconciliation"

      Mediate is a verb, so the adjectives fellow and hip don't make any sense applied to it.

      You probably thought you were saying something, but it isn't clear what. Do you use a spell checker? It might be a good idea to start.

      Meanwhile, your point that no one liked Al and Tipper Gore is likely true. Somerby blames the media, but the voters didn't like him much either.

      This does illustrate the point that Democrats will vote for even a disliked person if it will keep a worse Republican candidate out of office. That's why I have no doubt that Biden (or another Democrat) will beat Trump, should he run again. That assumes that we can keep Russians from interfering again, and make sure the Republicans don't abuse the FBI or DOJ to offer another October surprise, like Comey did. Democrats will win any fair election and Republicans will try to cheat, since they do not have the votes to actually win. And Trump would cheat even if he did have the votes (which he doesn't).

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    32. “Bob’s cognitive dissonance”

      And that opens the door to the possibility that “Bob” exhibits cognitive dissonance on other matters, (which he does), yet when other commenters not named Cecilia point this out, they are called “radical” or intolerant by said Cecilia, who would have us believe that liberals all think alike, but conservatives are individuals. And 10:13, lack of a sense of shame is a Republican superpower.

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    33. "I’m pointing out Bob’s cognitive dissonance..."
      With friends like Cecelia...

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    34. mh, both they and Bob are called out as one sees it…

      That’s generally how most debates go, unless it’s completely one-sided anonymouse political ops.

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    35. Anonymouse 10:16am, duly noted with all the reverence it deserves.

      Delete
    36. Cecelia, don't keep repeating Trump's lie that Clinton's law license was suspended due to Paula Jones. It was the result of a different but related case:

      "In a related case before the Arkansas State Supreme Court, Clinton was fined $25,000 and his Arkansas law license was suspended for five years. Clinton also faced disbarment before the U.S. Supreme Court, but he opted to resign from the court’s practice instead of facing any penalties."

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    37. Jeez, dear government scientist. Have you no decency?

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  19. "Beginning Saturday, July 16, people will be able to connect with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline through an easy-to-remember number: 988.

    This long overdue upgrade in crisis care will occur three weeks after passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the largest investment in our nation’s mental health programs since the 1960s.
    Independently, both developments are seismic shifts that will result in better mental health and substance use treatment. Together, they represent the biggest opportunity in a generation to transform access to lifesaving services.

    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (soon to be the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline) is a network of more than 200 state and local call centers funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and administered by Vibrant Emotional Health. The Lifeline offers 24/7 access to trained crisis counselors who can help people experiencing suicidal, substance use and other mental health crises. "
    -------------------

    Cecelia, contacting a counselor during those late night hours would be a far better use of your time than drunk trolling Somerby's blog comments.

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    1. That’s a lot of folderol in defense of a man you hate every day.

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    2. You idiot. I am attacking you, compassionately, not defending Somerby (who doesn't read his comments).

      There are any number of hobbies you might take up that would be a better use of your time than trolling libs here. You aren't even good at it. No one who does what you do here can be considered mentally healthy. So, please keep that number handy, in case you or your relatives need it.

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    3. Cecelia cares about bigotry and white supremacy only, just like the rest of the Republican voters. If she has to lie about caring about other things to protect the two things she really cares about, so be it.

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    4. Anonymouse 9:57am, I’ll keep that number less handy than you obviously keep it.

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    5. If you become homeless, please don't come to California. We don't want you here.

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    6. No worries. I was in San Fran a year ago in December and know without a doubt that every other state in the union is more than happy to leave the politically correct homeless to your idyllic encampments.

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    7. Cecelia,
      Did you notice those housing prices?
      That's a direct result of a free-market capitalist society, when people crave to live under San Francisco values.

      Delete
    8. https://www.sfchronicle.com/sf/article/Only-one-U-S-county-saw-a-larger-share-of-people-17026658.php

      Delete
    9. https://therealdeal.com/sanfrancisco/2022/05/26/sf-notches-biggest-population-decline-in-nation-us-census/amp/

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  20. It sucks that the only Right-winger who can make a good faith argument is Rationalist's imaginary friend.

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  21. Is COVID over?
    I'm asking because I noticed the free-market Libertarians have suddenly stopped begging Daddy Government to save their businesses, and have returned to cosplaying as rugged individual frontiersmen again.

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  22. One of the oldest Republican scams in the books;
    1) Run for office pledging to get rid of all the government waste.
    2) After elected, realize there isn't that much government waste.
    3) Slash mental health budgets for children (screw 'em, they can't even vote).
    Lather, Rinse. Repeat.

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    Replies
    1. How about not doing anything about the gun problem, because the mass shootings are a mental health issue, they are also committed to doing nothing about?

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