MENTAL STATES: Achilles sang his tribal songs!

FRIDAY, AUGUST 16, 2019

As do we modern liberals:
We humans! Our tribal groups have always been inclined to repeat their compelling group "fictions."

So it was, decades ago, on the plains outside Troy.

Swift-running Achilles sulked in his tents, angered by the misbehavior of Agamemnon the lord of men. Odysseus and Ajax were sent to urge him to cast aside his great anger and return to the field of war.

As reported by Homer, "Ajax and Odysseus made their way at once where the battle lines of breakers crash and drag, praying hard to the god who moves and shakes the earth that they might bring the proud heart of Achilles round with speed and ease."

And sure enough! When they arrived at Achilles' tents, they found him pleasuring himself with favorite tribal songs:
Reaching the Myrmidon shelters and their ships,
they found him there, delighting his heart now,
plucking strong and clear on his fine lyre—

beautifully carved, its silver bridge set firm—
he won from the spoils when he razed Eetion's city.
Achilles was lifting his spirits with it now,
singing the famous deeds of fighting heroes.
According to Homer's uncontradicted account, "Across from him Patroclus sat alone, in silence, waiting for Aeacus' son to finish with his song."

Lost in anger, the famous runner was delighting himself with the glories recounted in his tribe's favorite songs! In a similar way, Donald J. Trump talked trash to El Paso's mayor last week when he was told that his previous treasured claims had, alas, been wrong.

As usual, Trump's silly claims had been wrong. The Washington Post describes the subsequent fall-out:
ITKOWITZ (8/15/19): The mayor of El Paso said after he corrected President Trump about crime statistics in his city, the president called him a “RINO,” a pejorative nickname that means “Republican in Name Only.”

Mayor Dee Margo told PBS’s “Frontline” in an interview published Wednesday that Trump made those comments in a private conversation they had while the president was in El Paso last week to pay respects after a mass shooting that killed 22 people and injured dozens more.

“He said, ‘You’re a RINO,’ and I said, ‘No sir, I’m not a RINO, I simply corrected the misinformation you were given by our attorney general, and that’s all I did’,” Margo recounted.
Trump never stops singing his stupid songs, which are built out of misinformation.

Still and all, we humans! Especially at times of tribal conflict, we seem able to believe any fool thing, as long as the bogus claim in question has come from tribal leaders.

Thanks to the efforts of Trump and others, a large percentage of those in the other tribe apparently came to believe that Barack Obama was actually born in Kenya, or possibly on Mars. That said, our tribe has its own treasured false beliefs, and their number does seem to be growing.

Some of these tribal beliefs are significant; some are just silly and small. That said, we love to recite these tribal tales. Consider the letter which appeared in the New York Times after the most recent Democratic debates:
LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES (8/2/19): It is time to give up on Joe Biden. He sounded weak, can’t remember the difference between a URL and a text in trying to tell people to go to his website (I can, and I am even older). Worse, I can imagine Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris besting President Trump in a debate; not so Mr. Biden.

I would love to see what Senator Warren would do if Mr. Trump stalked her as he did Hillary Clinton!

M— M—, ATLANTA
We liberals! We love the idea that Candidate Trump "stalked" Candidate Clinton at their October 10, 2016 town hall-style debate.

For a previous letter making this claim, you can just click here. Indeed, Candidate Clinton made this claim in her own recent book!

Tribal members understand the outrage we're discussing when we advance this tale. That said, you can see what actually happened starting at the 29:45 minute mark of this, the full videotape of that town hall-style debate.

(You'll see Trump standing at his appointed station as Clinton speaks to the audience member who posed the question being discussed. To do so, she moves, completely appropriately, in front of Trump, and therefore "into his space." This produced the doctored clips and the photographs which produced our fevered cries. Like Achilles in his tents, we still sing this song today.)

That tribal song is silly and small. That said, on the very day that letter appeared, we saw Al Sharpton allude to another treasured tale.

Sharpton appeared on Deadline: White House. At one point, he sang the song about voter turnout in Alabama when Doug Jones defeated Roy Moore in their 2017 Senate race.

Sharpton was discussing the likely effects of Trump's attacks on Elijah Cummings, our own congressional rep. Sharpton said that such disordered attacks by Trump would energize the liberal base:
SHARPTON (8/2/19): The example that I would embrace is Alabama. When you saw the Democrat in Alabama get a bigger turnout than Barack Obama did, it was in reaction, and I think the same effect is going to have, is going to have on Donald Trump if he continues it. He's declared war. He comes after Elijah Cummings, he comes after everybody. And he really is going to energize the vote.
Stating the obvious, "the Democrat in Alabama" did not "get a bigger turnout than Barack Obama did." Nothing resembling that actually happened.

Nothing like that actually happened. In real time, Salon's Amanda Marcotte (along with everyone else) recited one of the more popular versions of this silly but beloved tribal tale:
MARCOTTE (12/13/17): [T]he lesson of Alabama, which Democrats should carry with them into the 2018 elections, is to focus on motivating the base. This was true in 2016, when Hillary Clinton lost largely because black turnout was down in several key states. It proved true in Alabama, where Jones was able to win the reddest of red states because black voter turnout was incredibly high, despite extensive Republican attempts at voter suppression in the state. Some of this was due to the high profile of the race, but a lot of it was due to aggressive efforts to get out the black vote in the state.
Our tribe loves this tale. In fact, black turnout was not "incredibly high," or anything like it, in that special election.

Because our tribe especially likes creating invidious stories which turn different groups against one another, the version of this tale we most adore involves the claim that turnout was especially high among black women. No black men need apply!

That isn't true either. But if sacred Achilles belonged to our tribe, he'd be sitting on his keister, as Patroclus looked on, singing a song about that.

These treasured tribal tales are bogus, but they're relatively minor. We were struck by the way we heard each of these familiar songs on the very day we returned from our sojourn in Maine.

While in Maine, we had of course seen Candidate Harris offer her latest statement of the bogus claim about the "eighty cents on the dollar" gender wage gap.

Everyone knows that claim is wrong, but no one complains when Warren sings the treasured tribal song we've composed about it. It's one of the many songs about significant matters our silly, sad tribe likes to sing.

In fairness, the tribe which gathers around the campfires on Fox sings many ridiculous songs affirming all sorts of false claims. That said, we think our tribe would be better off if we were better able to see the ways our conduct resembles theirs.

How many false claims does our tribe like to sing? It isn't just the wage gap and various embroidered claims about Trump. Borrowing from sacred Wittgenstein, there are countless such tribal songs!

As a tribe, we enjoy the most extreme claims about what happened in Flint. After all, we heard those claims from Rachel, and we believe she always corrects herself when she makes a mistake.

We enjoy the claim that Michael Brown was "murdered." In fact, we enjoy that claim so much that Candidates Warren and Harris repeated it just last week, completely ignoring what Attorney General Holder's official investigation found.

We're being told that we should believe that "test prep" explains the achievement gaps in our public schools. In a word, that claim is insane. We're also being told that we should believe that the New York City Public Schools are "segregated" in some meaningful sense of that term, and that some form of "desegregation" will somehow address those achievement gaps, which are of course an illusion.

Today's New York Times contains this embarrassing, front-page report about the various things our tribal groups want to tell children in California's public schools. We were also struck by this inevitable claim in a New York Times column last weekend:
RENKL (8/12/19): I once believed that Jim Crow was safely buried in the past, but I know better now. White supremacists march proudly in parades and speak openly to the media. The time of the dog whistle is over: President Trump himself believes there are some “very fine people” among the neo-Nazis.
We don't know what Trump "believes," but we can tell you what he has said. Has he said there are some very fine people among the neo-Nazis?

In that column, Margaret Renkl was quoting Trump from his August 15, 2017 press conference at Trump Tower. During that event, the gentleman said this:

"I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally."

Thus spake our disordered and dangerous president. That said, we liberals love our tribal songs, like sulking Achilles before us.

Margaret Renkl seems like a very good person with very good values. We'll bet the farm that she's never reviewed the transcript or tape of the rather jumbled press event she cited.

Instead, Renkl was singing one of our songs, the songs we sing to lift our spirits. We human beings have always tended to exhibit such unhelpful mental states.

But wait! Aren't The Others much worse than we are?

That too is one of the favorite songs of our unimpressive tribe! In our view, we'd be better off, and more successful, if we learned to suppress such thoughts.

Coming this afternoon: This actually counted as an "answer" at those most recent debates

74 comments:

  1. Here is the source for the statement about voter turnout in Alabama:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/special-election-results/alabama/?noredirect=on

    This data supports Sharpton's claims. Note that the Washington Post report is based on exit polls immediately following the election. If the actual voting data, analyzed later, presented a different picture, that doesn't make Sharpton any kind of fable teller. It simply means the correction didn't catch up to him or Marcotte, that they were insufficiently wonkish. Later information suggested that Moore underperformed, even without the news of his misbehavior with young girls.

    Somerby works very hard to promote his personal interpretations of tropes in the news. For some reason he wishes to promote a view of Trump that is inconsistent with his behavior. He wants to promote a view of women's pay inequities that is inconsistent with Dept of Labor statistics and with realities for women in the workplace.

    And he wants to call "our tribe" unimpressive, despite putting the first black president into office for two terms. It took Russian interference, cheating on a massive scale, and Comey to defeat our last candidate. And we swept the midterms in 2018.

    Only an asshole like Somerby would pretend to be liberal while undermining liberal efforts at every turn. This man is not what he pretends to be and no one should be fooled by his daily propaganda against liberal candidates and causes.

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    1. The "Russian interference" is another tale. There's no evidence whatsoever that it had an impact on the election.

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    2. This is not true. There is such evidence. It wasn't part of the Mueller report, because that was not included in the investigation's mandate, but that doesn't mean no evidence exists.

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    3. Meh. There is no evidence of any "Russian interference" in the first place. Just the zombie cult psycho-queen being a sore loser.

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    4. @11:56, do you seriously believe Trump would have beaten Hillary without interference and cheating (including Comey's "interference")?

      Types of interference:

      1. Funneling of cash to campaigns from Russia to the NRA to conservative PACs.
      2. Hacking of voter registration data bases in numerous states. Supply of the info obtained to Republican campaigns, documented most thoroughly in Florida.
      3. Creation and dissemination of stories from Russian media to US social media in order to create animosity toward Hillary and racial division that suppressed black voter turnout.
      4. Use of Trump campaign polling data to target key precincts in WI, MI, PA to suppress black votes and encourage voting for 3rd party candidates such as Jill Stein, encouragement of Bernie supporters to stay home instead of supporting Hillary. Coordinated by Roger Stone as go-between. Supply of electoral college strategy to Russia to pinpoint efforts to sway results.
      5. Infusion of Russian money into Bernie's campaign via small donations, to work against Hillary.
      6. Hacking of Podesta and DNC computers to obtain info that was then dribbled to media via Wikileaks. The constant stream of negative info about Hillary orchestrated by Russia together with Assange (now being investigated as a Russian agent) via Roger Stone weakened her campaign.
      7. Russian funding of Trump's campaign efforts, including loans to various Trump campaign officials, business deals and in-kind contributions (Manafort, Cohen, Don Jr's meeting, etc).
      8. Promises of a Trump Tower Moscow dangled in front of Trump to keep him motivated to run for office, so that Russia would have a "puppet" under their control. Possible Steele dossier kompromat seems likely too. Maybe related to Epstein scandal.
      9. RT appearances by Trump and various of his appointees and staff members, coordinated as PR in support of his campaign (beginning before he announced his run for office).

      I may have forgotten something, but this is way too much to claim Russian efforts had no impact on the election. Russians recruited and groomed Trump, controlled him, funded him, and manipulated our election process to put him in office, largely because they hated Hillary and didn't want to see her win. They have benefited and have succeeded in most of their goals since his election. This is the greatest treason in our country's history, including Aaron Burr.

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    5. Please provide the evidence then. Evidence of Russian interference impacting the election. There isn't any. It's a pleasing tale that distracts suckers like yourself from looking at Democrat's failures. It's a scapegoat and there is no evidence it impacted the election.

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    6. I am not going to summarize everything that has come out of the Mueller investigation and the Manafort trial and various news reports for you.

      Here is a place for you to start reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_interference_in_the_2016_United_States_elections

      The best evidence that it impacted the election is that Donald Trump, demonstrably the worst candidate in history, won the election.

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    7. 12:18 omg. That is not evidence and most of that is false. As a favor to you, I will go through it point-by-point later today.

      That is old, stale total BS that was fed to you by the DNC in order to play you for a fool and take your eyes off the Democrat's failures.

      For instance: show me evidence that this had any impact on the election:

      "3. Creation and dissemination of stories from Russian media to US social media in order to create animosity toward Hillary and racial division that suppressed black voter turnout."

      Where is the evidence that this happened?

      "7. Russian funding of Trump's campaign efforts, including loans to various Trump campaign officials, business deals and in-kind contributions (Manafort, Cohen, Don Jr's meeting, etc)".

      (There were no Russian officials at the Don Jr meeting.)

      You haven't researched this. you just rely on your corporate masters and irrelevant, amateurish, tribal blogs who parrot information and fear and don't research this matter.

      I'm sorry to tell you all this. I know it must seem kind of shocking

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    8. "The best evidence that it impacted the election is that Donald Trump, demonstrably the worst candidate in history, won the election"

      As.you know, that is not evidence. Stop being stupid. there's nothing whatsoever in the Wikipedia article that is evidence that the Russian interference had an impact in the election. You'll never be able to provide such evidence because there is not any.

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    9. There's nothing in the Mueller report that is evidence that the Russian interference had an impact in the election. It was tiny. It was a blip on the map in comparison to corporate interference.

      That is the discussion they don't want you to have.

      It's also the discussion that you don't want to have because it is more difficult.amd it destroys the black and white, simple storyline to which you are married.

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    10. The purpose of the Mueller report was NOT to determine the impact on the election results. That has been analyzed by others, including posters at 538 and elsewhere.

      I don't see anything simple about the various activities I listed, which you have not addressed and which are well documented now.

      A tiny influence could not have put Trump into office. It took a major, combined influence of a multi-pronged attack on our electoral system, called that by the many people who sent warnings to Obama and the intelligence community and to public officials, people who also posted online at numerous blogs. That combined influence orchestrated by Russia and the Republicans, knowingly or not, put Trump in office.

      Trump is not a legitimate president. Several public figures have now said so. They too are evidence. Some are Republicans (or former Republicans).

      I am having that discussion with you, but you are ignoring what I have written. That makes you a troll, not a serious commenter.

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    11. Russian influence in the elections of Eastern European countries, including the Brexit vote has also been documented. To some extent, Russian practiced its techniques there before using them on the American election. There are international warnings about Russian interference all over Europe.

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    12. 12:42 your ad homimum shows you have nothing.

      if you have evidence that Russian interference affected the election in any way, please provide it.

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    13. 12:44

      If you have any evidence that the Russian interference (they did interfere) had any effect on the election whatsoever, please provide it.

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    14. I did. Trump became president despite losing by over 3.5 million votes. Roger Stone provided polling data for the three states that enabled Trump to win in the electoral college. Voter registration computers were hacked in those three states. Voter suppression reduced turnout among African Americans in those specific states. Russia provided funding to Jill Stein who had enough votes to be the margin between Hillary and Trump in WI, setting other influences aside. Russian social media efforts were targeted toward those states and those specific demographic groups.

      The broken record technique you are using is evidence that you are trolling and do not intend any real discussion. Simply repeating yourself doesn't disprove anything I've said and I believe I have pointed to a great deal of evidence.

      I do not have the time to write a research report or legal brief in an internet blog comment, but all of the things I have mentioned have appeared in news reports and are summarized with cites in the Wikipedia article that you are ignoring.

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    15. If you have any evidence that the Russian interference (they did interfere) had any effect on the election whatsoever, please provide it

      This is a disingenuous ignorant bullshit argument.

      What kind of "evidence" you looking for, fool?

      Some guy sitting it a MW diner telling one of the New York Times reporters how much the Russians changed his mind?

      you are not a serious player here, Boris. Go away.

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    16. They didn't. Some Russian citizens made some money on google ads, just like some Macedonian citizens:
      https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-38168281
      That's all.

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    17. One thing you idiots should do is look at the Facebook ads from the Russian troll farm. Look at them and ask yourself how it could have truly affected the election. Then compare their monthly budget (a couple of million a month) with the 100s of millions the corporate sector spent to influence the election.


      Or whatever. Keep being idiots.

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    18. 1:07

      You have not provided any evidence.

      Im happy to agree to disagree.

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    19. 100s of millions the corporate sector spent to influence the election.

      There's no "evidence" any of that had any influence on the outcome. Show us the "evidence", fool. This is a fun game.

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    20. Deambot, if 100s of millions had no influence, then 2 millions most certainly had no influence.

      Unless your God, The Dark Lord Putin, really is as omnipotent as you believe. But then, why would he need to spend those 2 million?

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    21. Thank you, Dittohead. Yes, spending money in a targeted strategical way on elections does influence the outcome, else they wouldn't do it.
      Now run along, Dittohead, your Limpdick master is on the air vomiting his 3 hour daily hatefest. You wouldn't want to miss any of his advise on how to avoid all those nasty feminazis who kick sand in your face every day.

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    22. Jesus mm, that's really really sad. That is really, really sad. That makes me sad.

      You are saying that there is no evidence that the u.s. corporate sector influenced the election?

      Are you really saying that? you are asking me for evidence that the u.s. corporate sector influenced the election?

      You are not able to find any evidence that the u.s. corporate sector influenced the election?

      Please answer.

      The internet is replete with evidence that you could find after a 5-second Google search but I will be happy to supply you with the evidence once you answer the question.

      You doubt that the us corporate sector influenced the election?

      That is extremely sad.

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    23. The evidence is in the policies, it's clear, but I will provide you with academic evidence as well if I must. But that is very sad. Very pathetic and very sad.

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    24. God, this idiot thinks Russia influenced the election but doesn't think the corporate sector did. Do I have that right mm?

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    25. 1:45, do you really think it's sad? Bwahahaha!!!

      Yeah, knock yourself out, let's see your "evidence".

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    26. It was actually white Republican women in Alabama who made a difference by turning against their party.

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    27. https://bit.ly/2OZhsY6

      You really don't mind playing the fool do you? Jesus.

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    28. mm, wait, you doubt the corporate sector influenced the 2016 election?

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    29. Anonymous jerkoff at 2:08 PM.

      Wait, you think the corporate sector influenced the 2016 election? Show me your evidence!!!!!!

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    30. You don't think the corporate sector influenced the election?

      Why can't you answer that question?

      It's obvious but here's some evidence:

      https://bit.ly/2OZhsY6

      Besta

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    31. Let me get this straight, I'm a jerk off, and there is no evidence that the corporate sector influenced of the 2016 election and therefore Russia did influence the election? What exactly is your claim?

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    32. mm, obviously you will not take the time to read that hundred page paper. Sadly, you seem comfortable playing the fool and accepting whatever information is fed to you. But it's interesting! It has some good news for Bernie Bros. Check it out if you can.

      Have a good weekend,

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    33. Meh. The zombie-cult psycho-queen spent twice more money than her opponent, not counting the establishment gifts, like staging a fake 'town-hall event' and giving her the questions in advance.

      And still the psycho-queen lost. Pathetic. So, no, the establishment money (that your call "corporate sector"), it didn't make any difference.

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    34. I don't think mm thought this one through before posting.

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    35. Can you all anons be this dense? Yes, I believe you all can.

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    36. Mao, it's zombie, zombie zombie with you, over and over, ad nauseum. It's stupid, boring (zzzz-get it?) and lazy. And there is no such thing as zombies - except with the possible exception of Mike Pence.

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    37. I must be dense then. You wanted evidence that the corporate sector influenced the 2106 election which is like asking for evidence that water is wet, I provided anyway it and you gave no reaction. You never explained your point. So, I am happy to leave it at that and let our posts speak for themselves..

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    38. LINK

      Wallace: But, sir, there is a tradition in this country, in fact, one of the prides of this country is the peaceful transition of power and no matter how hard fought a campaign is that at the end of the campaign, that the loser concedes to the winner. Not saying you're necessarily going to be the loser or the winner, but that the loser concedes to the winner and the country comes together in part for the good of the country. Are you saying you're not prepared now to commit to that principle?

      Trump: What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I'll keep you in suspense, okay?

      Clinton: Well Chris, let me respond to that because that’s horrifying. You know, every time Donald thinks things aren't going in his direction, he claims whatever it is, is rigged against him. The FBI conducted a yearlong investigation into my e-mails. They concluded there was no case. He said the FBI was rigged.

      He lost the Iowa caucus, he lost the Wisconsin primary, he said the Republican primary was rigged against him. Then, Trump University gets sued for fraud and racketeering. He claims the court system and the federal judge is rigged against him. There was even a time when he didn't get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged against him.

      Trump: Should have gotten it.

      (Laughter)

      Clinton: This is a mind-set. This is how Donald thinks, and it's funny, but it's also really troubling. That is not the way our democracy works. We've been around for 240 years. We've had free and fair elections. We've accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them, and that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a debate stage during a general election. You know, President Obama said the other day when you're whining before the game is even finished--

      (Applause)

      Wallace: Hold on, folks.

      Clinton:-- It just shows you're not up to doing the job. And let's be clear about what he's saying and what that means. He's denigrating, he is talking down our democracy. And I, for one, am appalled that somebody who is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of position.

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    39. Russia?
      Corporate influence?

      Those are existential mysteries.

      One thing is for sure. It wasn't at all the nation's white supremacy problem.

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  2. "As usual, Trump's silly claims had been wrong."

    Oh yeah? Did your zombie "fact-checkers" tell you that?

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  3. Somerby refers to a "deeply embarrassing story" in the NY Times about California efforts to include ethnic studies in the curriculum from kindergarten to 12th grade.

    California is one of the most diverse states in our country, including not only Hispanic immigrants but also Asian-Americans and people from a wide variety of other countries. California has irked the president by declaring itself a sanctuary state and opposing his efforts to harm immigrants and those seeking asylum. These ethnic studies programs are to teach children how to value and respect those with diverse backgrounds, so that people in our state can get along and not engage in the hateful behavior of people like Trump and those who hate. It is a worthy goal and there is nothing "embarrassing" about it.

    I cannot read what the NY Times wrote because it is behind a pay wall, and Somerby didn't bother explaining his criticism, but I can say this -- who thinks ethnic studies is stupid and wants it removed from school curricula? Conservatives do. Who finds any public involvement in developing new curriculum stupid, and who thinks arguing about it is a waste of time? Conservatives do, with their back-to-basics obsession and belief that schools should not teach anything beyond math and phonics. Who thinks California is an enemy of the people and wants California to toe Trump's line? Conservatives. And Somerby, apparently.

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    1. @11:40 - perhaps the goal of ethnic studies is "to teach children how to value and respect those with diverse backgrounds." However, the reality is that they're antisemitic and strongly biased against Israel. See California's Ethnic Studies Curriculum, Criticized for 'Anti-Jewish Bias,' to Be Revised

      https://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teaching_now/2019/08/californias_ethnic_studies_curriculum_criticized_for_anti-jewish_bias_to_be_revised.html

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    2. Coming from an immigrant background, I think ethnic studies are the wrong way to go. Schools should teach immigrants to understand and embrace American values. That's good for each immigrant and good for the country.

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    3. David, I am glad that you are using your mind sufficiently to develop your own opinions (if this doesn't come straight from some Republican talking point), but there are people who actually study this stuff and I am willing to let them develop the curriculum.

      As with any curriculum on any subject, the proposed curriculum is developed then supplied to the public for comment, then revised in response to feedback from parents, teachers, district administrators and other interested parties. That is how any new curriculum is implemented in California (where you supposedly live). It isn't surprising that there may be controversies or that members of specific groups might have additional information about how they might wish events relevant to their culture to be portrayed.

      Presenting this process as somehow embarrassing or silly misunderstand show curriculum development always works. Believe it or not, there is often as much uproar over changes to a math curriculum as to proposed sex ed or civics or history curricula.

      There is a literature on how immigrants and minorities assimilate or not, how they form their identities, how they relate to the dominant culture, and how that works in a more pluralistic, multicultural society. Your idea about what is good for people has been thoroughly examined and, while many immigrants do adopt it, it isn't the only way to participate in a culture. California wants to be hospitable to you and to immigrants who want to become thoroughly assimilated and to immigrants who wish to retain the strengths and familiar customs of their own heritage as well as adopting new ones.

      I think there should be plenty of opportunity for people to follow their own paths. That is inherent in the idea of tolerance that will be part of this new curriculum, no matter what they decide about other details. Imposing your own viewpoint on others, even as a benign act because you consider it best of all, is not a goal of this or other educational programs in our state.

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    4. Ethnic studies isn't stupid, but this California curriculum clearly bashes one ethnicity in particular: anglos. It looks pretty hateful.

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    5. Every word that DinC writes is a lie.

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    6. Looks like that diversity is really paying off for that state, too, going by the article, rofl.

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    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    8. 11:40 AM writes:

      I cannot read what the NY Times wrote because it is behind a pay wall, and Somerby didn't bother explaining his criticism...

      From this I glean 11:40 AM does not have an NYTimes subscription and 11:40 AM has used up their free views of NYTimes articles for the month. Allow me to commend 11:40 AM for not stooping to using any of the various available workarounds available to defeat that site's paywall. The spirit of Intellectual Property laws should always be respected even if the government isn't present to enforce them. Corporations have to eat, too.

      I heard tell of one hacker who ordinarily uses Chrome- a wonderful app offered for free to the public by a wonderful corporation -as his regular browser. He then downloaded the Opera browser.

      He then clicked on the Opera icon in the upper left corner of the browser page which opened a menu allowing him to click on Settings. Then he scrolled down to the bottom of the Settings page and clicked on Advanced.

      From there he found the Clear Browsing Data option, clicked that which opened a widget for clearing stored cookies. He copied the address bar entry which brought that window up. Specifically he copied: opera://settings/clearBrowserData

      Then he closed that window leaving him back on the main Settings page. From there he scrolled up to the Open A Specific Page Or Set Of Pages option, checked that, then opened Add A New Page and pasted that opera://settings/clearBrowserData address.

      Now here's the disgusting part about what this guy was about, at least back then- the rumor is he's given up his life of crime. Everytime he opened his Opera browser he was on the page to dump his cookies which he then did.

      In its attempt to protect itself from cyber thieves the NYTimes relies on cookie tracking to prevent people from exceeding their monthly alloted free views of NYTimes articles. But this hacker kept dumping his cookies which allowed him to keep exceeding his allotment of free NYTimes content.

      Whenever he was blocked from viewing a Times article over in Chrome, where dumping cookies is a little more complicated, he just copied the link in Chrome, opened his Opera browser, cleared his cookies, and pasted the nytimes url in the Opera address bar.

      Get this, sometimes he would dump his cookies at Opera in the middle of reading several NYTimes articles and just keep going, opening article after article which he should only have been able to access by paying a premium for the privilege he was taking advantage of, i.e. the privilege of having his consent fully manufactured by the Acela corridor elite in all matters political, social, and cultural.

      Delete
  4. There is apparently no record to suggest that Achilles ever existed, thus no way to verify anything Homer wrote about him, but that doesn't mean he was singing war "fables" instead of veridical accounts of past battles. Poems and songs were the means of recording history. Certainly victors would see those battles differently than the vanquished, but whether the songs systematically enhanced the glory of the winners, and whether Achilles needed to use such songs to pump himself up, when he was reputedly a hero, is Somerby's fiction.

    It is easy to assert that today's liberals engage in a similar exercise when there is nothing to suggest that Achilles or the Greeks were on Somerby's side and did anything similar to what Somerby accuses liberals of doing.

    How pathetic when someone cannot make a reasonable case without inventing support from ancient Greece! This isn't cute, it is wrong to borrow by selective quotation from any source and Somerby does that repeatedly today. Why? To tar liberals with the blackest brush and to make liberals appear stupid and loathesome. And this, spoken by someone who pretends to be liberal himself. What a liar Somerby is!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Home schooled I take it, mom was unfamiliar with the humanities.

      Delete
  5. "But wait! Aren't The Others much worse than we are?

    That too is one of the favorite songs of our unimpressive tribe!"

    Actually, there are semi-objective fact-checkers who assess the lies of Trump and conservatives. There are analyses by non-liberal professionals in journalism that assess the accuracy of the information presented by Fox News. There are tests showing that regular watchers of Fox do worse on current events tests than those watching other channels, such as CNN and MSNBC. Because these evaluations are not done by "liberals," it is not fair to call their conclusions, that the right tells more lies than the left, a liberal "fable."

    But what is Somerby's intent when it tries to portray both the left and the right as equally culpable? I see it as tearing down the left and building up the right. I see it as promulgating a lie more heinous than any cited in today's column. I see it as nothing a so-called liberal would do, given that we are entering a presidential election period. I do not see it as an evenhanded evaluation or any attempt at fairness because, as noted above, Somerby is lying in order to forgive the sins of the right. Trump lies more than any president in history. The right supports his lies and Fox repeats them. The right manufactures grievances and anecdotes to portray the left as ridiculous, and Somerby jumps right on that bandwagon. And the right has accepted help from Russia in flooding social media with misinformation, including some of the stories that increase racial division, created by Russia and aimed at black people on social media. There is no equivalence between the right and left on this matter, no matter what Achilles says.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't think the left manufactures grievances and self-righteousness as well?

      Al Franken, anyone?

      Delete
    2. He explicitly stated his intent numbnuts:

      "we think our tribe would be better off if we were better able to see the ways our conduct resembles theirs"

      Delete
  6. "Some of these tribal beliefs are significant; some are just silly and small."

    Right: either 'significant' or 'silly and small'.
    But not 10 times 'crazy' and 20 times 'crackpot'.

    Are you a zombie, dear Bob?

    ReplyDelete
  7. “To do so, she moves, completely appropriately, in front of Trump, and therefore "into his space." This produced the doctored clips and the photographs which produced our fevered cries.”

    The entire debate is here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRlI2SQ0Ueg

    Trump spent most of the debate tensely standing behind his chair, or standing well in front of his podium, or wandering around like a caged animal during Clinton’s answers. Often during her answers, he would move well forward of his podium and stand there scowling, ensuring he was always on camera behind her, enhancing, one might say deliberately, the effect of looming or stalking.

    At approximately the 30 minute mark, you can see Clinton answering a question. Trump is standing, rather than sitting. At approximately the 30 minute mark, from a position well in front of his podium, he moves towards her as if stalking her. The entire effect of Trump’s behavior throughout the debate gives credibility to Clinton’s claim that he was stalking her.

    Somerby’s bizarre claim about doctored video seems to come from his own narrative fever swamp.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There does appear to be some compression of space introduced by the camera in the clip Somerby cites, but that isn't the only video available. When you examine the other video, it shows what is described here.

      Clinton additionally stated in her book that Trump is physically large and Clinton is not. She thinks his largeness enhanced the feeling of being stalked.

      I watched the debate in real time and commented to my husband, "Why doesn't he sit down instead of always looming over her like that?"

      At the LBJ Presidential Library, there is a display describing how LBJ used his physical presence to get in the faces of people he was arguing with, to help make his points. There is a photo of him "leaning in" and waving a finger in someone's face.

      Men may not be aware of how they use their bodies to intimidate and it is possible Trump didn't know he was doing this, but he is experienced in front of a camera and surely should know how to stay out of someone's shot or how to enter it and pull focus, upstaging them.

      I believe Trump coached Ben Carson in gaining extra attention and pulling focus from Trump's competitors by deliberately botching his debate entry:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uafScAiaC44

      Somerby doesn't know what he is talking about and because he supposedly doesn't read his comments, he never corrects anything, no matter how well documented the corrections.

      Delete
  8. “Stating the obvious, "the Democrat in Alabama" did not "get a bigger turnout than Barack Obama did." Nothing resembling that actually happened.”

    Hmmm. The obvious? Here’s 538:

    “Black voters made up 29 percent of the electorate in the 2017 Alabama Senate race, matching their turnout for Barack Obama’s historic 2008 election (notable enthusiasm for a special election in an off-cycle year), with 98 percent of black women — who made up 17 percent of the electorate — voting for Jones. Jones also won independents and made inroads with liberal and moderate Republicans, groups that Obama performed poorly among.”
    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/doug-jones-thinks-hes-supposed-to-be-here/

    So, a special election with black turnout equal to their turnout for a presidential election (Obama) is highly unusual. Perhaps that is “nothing resembling” Sharpton’s remarks, but we would say it is in the neighborhood.

    At the very least, it underscores the importance of black turnout, and why get out the vote initiatives are critical.

    But to Somerby it’s all just lies and stupid tribalism.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many White Republican women made the difference in that election. They turned on their party's candidate.

      Delete
    2. So? That doesn’t change the fact about black turnout. Had black turnout not been historically high, Moore would likely have won, despite losing some “white Republican women.” The margin of victory was only 1.5%.

      Besides, you are deflecting from the issue, which is that Somerby incorrectly says claims about historic black turnout were hogwash.

      Delete
    3. 538 states it badly. What is "historic black turnout"? 538 states it as a percentage of the electorate. Yet, in 2008 2.06 million votes were cast in Alabama, and in 2017 only 1.32 million. So in 2008 there were 597,000 black voters. And yet 538 calls 383,000 historic turnout?

      Now total turnout of 1.32 was 112% of the turnout in 2014, but there still were about 210,000 black voters who stayed at home.

      Delete
    4. Again, where is your doctorate from, Doctor T? You don’t seem to understand the difference between “number of voters” and “turnout.”

      Delete
    5. "You don’t seem to understand the difference between “number of voters” and “turnout.”"

      Tell us more, dembot. Share your awesome dembot knowledge.

      Delete
    6. Try dividing 383,000 by 1.32 million.

      Next try dividing 597,000 by 2.06 million.

      Remember to show your work.

      Delete
  9. I have come to believe its in the liberalism's DNA to spout these half truths and these untruths. Lies will not save liberal ideology, its liberalism that will save us from the lies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seems to work for Trump.

      Delete
    2. "its liberalism that will save us from the lies"

      Actually, liberalism is based on lies. Zombification by lies.

      Hegemony, through social atomization and manipulation of consciousness.

      It's all described in Gramsci's prison notebooks.

      Delete
    3. AC/MA - Sadly yes, lies work. Wild statements work. AOC seems to be following Trump's mold. Like Trump, she's experiencing dramatic success.

      Delete
    4. Fuck you, David, with your disingenuous "sadly" phony sentiment.

      Lying is now universally praised by the degenerate Trump cultists like yourself.

      You have in the past praised Donald J Chickenshit for his lying by claiming it makes him smart, 'crazy like a fox", and "he does it to get what he wants" which makes him a political genius.

      And let us not forget the immortal mendacious rationalization, "you took him literally, we took him seriously".

      So fuck off David. Donald J Chickenshit, Acting President, just passed the 12000 mark in documented lies since taking office. And you fucking love it, asshole.

      Donald J Chickenshit, Acting President, just had another one of his Nuremberg rallies in NH which was a 2 hour continuous stream of vile disgusting lies, and his cultist fans cheered wildly.

      Does this make you "sad", jerkoff?

      Delete
    5. David thinks Trump is a smart businessman, because he play acted as one on TV.
      Feel proud for dunking on someone who would come in second in an intelligence contest with a doorknob.

      Delete
  10. This is the main reason for this problem i must say-

    ReplyDelete

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