Members of our team, in thrall to The Wrong!


Anthropology lessons abound:
Conor Friedersdorf is one of the most constructive writers available on the web.

His most recent essay at The Atlantic is a fount of anthropology lessons. Experts have told us these things:

The essay, and the accompanying videotape, illustrate some basic facts about the way our species' brains are wired. In particular, these scholars say, the essay—and the videotape—help us understand these facts:
Expert-sanctioned facts:
We humans were never "the rational animal." In reality, we've always been the war-inclined, tribal animal, or so these experts insist.

Given the way our brains are wired, we're strongly inclined to divide into tribal groups. We're strongly inclined to invent "others"—to see certain others as morally vile, and to loathe and revile them.
So these highly credentialed experts have said. To their views, we'll add one more:

Members of the other tribe are currently swooning for QAnon. To see members of our own tribe strongly flirting with The Crazy, be sure to click the link at the start of the Friedersdorf piece.

(For those who lack access to The Atlantic, we'll offer the link below.)

At present, the other tribe is increasingly invested in concepts of satanic pedophilia and cannibalism. Members of our own remarkably under-skilled tribe are taking the fall in thrall to some different concepts and ideas. Increasingly, these are the only concepts and ideas we bring to our view of the world.

One last point was offered by the experts with whom we consult:

We humans have always behaved in the ways you'll see on that videotape. The traditional solution has always been war, or so these despondent experts have told us.

Your link to the videotape: Friedersdorf links to the videotape of a community education council meeting in a public school district in Manhattan.

In theory, the council is trying to decide (what else?) whether the district should have some middle schools which require admission tests. Friedersdorf's article starts like this:
FRIEDERSDORF (8/20/20): The viral youtube video was cued to begin at 42:23, the moment most likely to elicit incredulity. A webcam was tight on the face of Robin Broshi, a middle-aged white woman. She was upset. The edge in her voice sought to explain, to emphasize, to insist, that a wrong had been done.

“It hurts people,” she said, “when they see a white man bouncing a brown baby on their lap and they don’t know the context!”

Wait. What?

“That is harmful!” she continued. “That makes people cry! It makes people log out of our meetings.” The video’s description mentions the “NYC Community Education Council for Manhattan District 2,” which serves more than 60,000 students spread across 121 schools.
How well are those 60,000 studnets being served? We hope you're able to read the whole article. But to see the conduct described in that passage, you can just click this.

We hope you're able to read the whole thing. But our own amazingly self-impressed tribe is also increasingly sunk in The Crazy, or possibly just in The Wrong.

We (suddenly) care about several things. We seem to care about, and understand, exactly nothing else.

Our identity comes from how deeply we care. Traditionally, top experts say, such impulses led to war.


  1. "Members of the other tribe are currently swooning for QAnon."

    Bullshit, dear Bob.

    To begin with, there's no "the other tribe". There's your liberal zombie cult, serving the interests of international finance.

    And then there are normal people, who aren't in the cult. You want to make it look like they are "the other tribe", but they are just normal humyns of all walks of life, who don't feel like mindlessly repeating your dumb mantras.

    And the second: no one is 'swooning' for any QAnon.

    The existence of assorted odd believes is normal, it was always there. And when they really do become ubiquitous (I'm not quite convinced we're at that point yet), it's only a symptom of disillusionment in and distrust of the public institutions.

    And what is the cause of this disillusionment in and distrust? you may ask, dear Bob. But of course you know the answer: it's the hegemony, in recent years, of your zombie cult, with its restless, its overwhelming mind-numbing goebbelsian propaganda.

    Oh well. And so it goes.

  2. "So these highly credentialed experts have said."

    And yet Somerby never cites a single expert to justify any of the controversial statements he makes on their behalf.

  3. "these are the only concepts and ideas we bring to our view of the world"

    I doubt this is true, no matter what concepts or ideas Somerby eventually comes up with.

  4. Somerby cannot possibly generalize from that viral clip to a whole tribe, and from frustrated upset shouting (about school admissions) to WAR. This is ridiculous. That poor woman is being used by Friedersdorf as a hook for his essay, and Somerby is using his essay as a hook for his bitter view of humanity. The incident itself is taken out of context (we don't know why she is so frustrated and upset) and is most likely representative of nothing, not even her own normal behavior.

    I generally find Somerby's "evidence" unconvincing, but this is not the way to demonstrate that humanity is tribal, warlike and doomed. Somerby is being idiotic today and it isn't cute or funny. It is annoying.

  5. What is "Wrong" about anything Somerby shows? Is Freidersdorf wrong? He is expressing his opinion. Is that woman wrong? She is expressing her opinion too, to a man at a meeting. Is it wrong for different people to have different opinions? I don't think so. Is it wrong for people who are upset to shout? I don't think so (I disagree that shouting is "violence" -- it shows emotion, mostly frustration by her tone). Does this kind of communication ever lead to war? No. Talking prevents war. It is unresolvable conflict over scarce essential resources that leads to war. So far, in the history of the world, no one has gone to war over middle school admissions policies.

  6. The subheading of Friedersdorf’s headline:

    “What a viral story reveals about contemporary leftist discourse”

    That there is a debate about how best to run the public school system, and a concern with racism that sometimes gets overheated?

    Yep. Just like QANON.

    And it’s cute how Friedersdorf takes a series of “Community Education Council District 2 meetings” and extrapolates to “leftist discourse” just as a matter of course, and then Somerby follows him right down that path.

    All in a day’s work.

  7. After a long article, which helpfully provided the names of all the attendees at those council meetings, no doubt ensuring they receive plenty of hate mail, Friedersdorf concludes with this:

    “As long as sharp disagreements persist about what causes racial inequality and how best to remedy it, deliberations rooted in the specific costs and benefits of discrete policies will provide a better foundation for actual progress than meta-arguments about what “anti-racism” demands.”

    How can the costs and benefits of discrete policies be weighed so as to remedy racial inequalities without knowing the bigger picture (the “meta”-picture, if you will) of what constitutes the goal of anti-racism?

    1. The goal wasn't anti-racism. Its advocates in that group couldn't even describe what anti-racism is.

  8. Agree with Somerby, that was a pretty good write-up by Friedersdorf. I think the dust-up between the council members was a bit hysterical, especially given that Wrocklage's stance on screening included the fact that his own daughter had not been admitted to a school because of screening. Yet he supports it for his stated reasons.

    It doesn't quite rise to the level of the Qanon nonsense of course. But it certainly does seem illustrative of some people's justice radar system gone slightly out of wack.

    Kudos to all of those council members for giving a damn. Some of them really need to take a deep breath, though.


    1. AnonymouseorisitanonymiceAugust 21, 2020 at 2:22 AM

      "It doesn't quite rise to the level of the Qanon nonsense, of course."

      Quite? It doesn't even come close.

    2. Yea. Thanks. This is just bonkers. And it is spreading.

    3. Does it rise to the level of an entire ideology believing Obama raised their taxes, when Obama did no such thing?
      Racists? Maybe. Sexists? Probably. Anti-Semites? Perhaps. Morons? Definitely.

    4. As it turns out, the collusion was real, and even worse than the Mueller Report.

      Meanwhile assholes like Leroy offer their performative nonsense.

    5. Collusion was real? Based on what evidence? There's no evidence of it. The Senate Intelligence Report was propaganda with no evidence if you read it carefully. I went through it last night. Am I going to have to spell it out for you idiots meticulously like I did the Mueller Report?

      But please feel free to prove me wrong with sources.

    6. Is the new evidence "probable"? Is it "likely", is it both "probable" and "likely"? It goes without saying words like Probable and Likely admit ignorance.

      Pure George Orwell. Pure Eddie Bernays.

    7. vii:

      Wikileaks actively sought, and played, a key role in the Russian influen~ery likely knew it was assistin a Russian intellience influence effort.


      Agalarov likely did this on behalf of individuals affiliated with the Russian government, judging from his ties with Russian officials .

      pg 93:

      Some evidence suggests that Manafort may have been involved in outreach from the Ukrainian government to the Trump Campaign during this time.


      I could go through it all day and point out these hedges and passive admissions of ignorance disguised as proof intended to take you idiots for another ride.

      I only point this out to help you. All of this fake hysteria over obvious propaganda helps Trump.

    8. No one listens to your idiocy about the Senate Intelligence Report, because you write stupid shit about the 'deep state".
      Again, the Republican-base was jazzed-up about voting for Trump, because bigotry is the ideology of Republican voters.
      See? No deep state needed to understand how Trump won the 2016 election.

    9. The Right-wing corporate-owned media (AKA the media) wants people to think the Republican Party isn't an amoral dumpster fire, whose only ideology is bigotry.

    10. Republican-base may have been jazzed-up about voting for Trump, because bigotry is likely the ideology of Republican voters? Hahahahaha. Seriously though. You're helping Trump.

    11. Your quibbles are nonsense. You may want to defend Trump's corruption, more power to you, but the collusion was real; going by your "logic" no one would ever be found guilty of anything. Pointing out Trump's corruption does not help Trump, utter nonsense. Both the Mueller Report and the Senate Report were done by Republicans, their equivocations may impress you, but to anyone possessing normal cognitive ability, the collusion and corruption is obvious. And brother please, you read neither report.

    12. "You're helping Trump."

      Yes we are all quivering in our army boots because word has come that we are helping Trump. Kick rocks, kid.

    13. "Hahahahaha. Seriously though."

      Looks like the herpes has started to deteriorate you brain. Time to contact Dr. Emu.

    14. 10:24,
      The media has spent more than 3 years trying to come up with another reason, and this convoluted Russia story, even you can't understand, is as close as they can find.
      I'm being honest about the Republican Party. Why can't you?

    15. You haven't cited any sources for your claims. I have! I cited sources and page numbers for the Mueller Report. You didn't! I read the Mueller Report 5 times. Haha. But go for what you can. You're only human. I get it. You're not the first person to be fooled by power.

      The scale of this propaganda is massive though.

      Russia. No need to look at the shortcomings of both parties (supporting endless war, criminal healthcare system, predatory lending, etc. etc.). Look instead at Russia! It's so pathetic and transparent.

      No need to look at the shortcomings of both parties. One party is full of racists. End of story!

      Hey bitch, if you read the Mueller Report and the Senate Intelligence Report - cite some page numbers and evidence to back up your claims.

    16. 10:40 another reason for what?

    17. Saying Republicans aren't bigots will get you thrown out of QAnon for talking crazy.
      Even they have standards.

    18. 10:43,
      Yes. Because Republican voters understand governmental policy and how it affects them and the world.
      Get the fuck outta here with that nonsense.

    19. Republican voters hate predatory lending so much, they do the tomahawk chop when Elizabeth Warren's name is mentioned.
      Troll elsewhere, clown.

    20. “Dear President Putin,”

      “Congratulations on being named Time magazine’s ‘Man of the Year’—you definitely deserve it. As you probably have heard, I am a big fan of yours! Take care of yourself. With best wishes, Sincerely, Donald J. Trump.”

    21. "cite some page numbers and evidence to back up your claims."

      You cant because there isn't any. You won't likely because you are stupid and lazy or maybe because you are afraid of the truth. Anyway. Have a great weekend!! Stay safe out there.

    22. mm - and that is proof of collusion??? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!!!!!

    23. No, I didn't say that, Ignanonymous 11:02.

      It is proof that Donald J Chickenshit is a scumbag.

    24. *********
      At approximately 4 p.m. on October 7, The Washington Post released the Access
      Hollywood tape. 1664 Witnesses involved in Trump's debate preparation recalled that the team first heard of the tape about an hour prior to its public release. 1665 According to Jerome Corsi,however, news of the release also made its way to Roger Stone.1666 Corsi and Stone spoke twice that day at length: once at 1:42 p.m. for 18 minutes, and once at 2:18 p.m. for 21 minutes.

      1667 Corsi recalled learning from Stone that the Access Hollywood tape would be coming out, and that Stone "[w]anted the Podesta stuff to balance the news cycle" either "right then or at least

      1659 coincident."1668 According to Corsi, Stone also told him to have WikiLeaks "drop the Podesta emails immediately."1669

      (U) At approximately 4:32 p.m. on October 7-approximately 32 minutes after the
      release of the Access Hollywood tape
      -WikiLeaks released 2,050 emails that the GRU had stolen from John Podesta, repeatedly announcing the leak on Twitter and linking to a searchable archive of the documents.1677

      Just a fucking coincidence. Bwahahaha!!!

    25. As if we needed that. Stick to the issue numbnuts - cite some page numbers and evidence to back up claims of collusion in the Senate Intel Report.

      You can't because there isn't any.

    26. There is nothing convoluted about the "Russia story". Nobody claims it decided the election, it is a matter of corruption. There were numerous contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians for the sole purpose of helping install Trump as the US president - Mueller Report pages 50-168,

      Trump's corruption aside, Republicans are fueled by racism, sexism, and xenophobia, same as always.

      You cited no such thing, you quoted from the summary, it is obvious you never read the reports, and you confuse conspiracy for collusion.

      Investigating Trump's corruption has not led anyone to ignore any other issue, you just sound foolish.

    27. 11:15 are you dumb? mm just cited the Senate Intelligence Report, and yes, that is collusion.

    28. Republicans spend all day thinking about endless war, our criminal healthcare system, predatory lending, etc. etc.
      So, when Trump:
      --Expanded Obama's drone program
      --Did nothing but dither about our criminal health care system
      -Neutered the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau
      -Gave a HUGE tax break to the corporate Establishment, who were sitting on piles of cash
      --Larded his cabinet with Wall Streeters

      The Republican voters were furious and sprung into action. Pissing and moaning about an NFL quarterback who protested police killing unarmed black people.

      Have a good weekend, stay safe, and please where a mask if you go out.

    29. If you read both reports, they detail much of the collusion between Trump and Russia (frankly it was not thoroughly investigated and Trump obstructed), that is literally what the reports are about. The evidence is not presented in bullet form, it is laid out over hundreds of pages.

    30. The consensus is Trump is corrupt. Turns out Republicans just do not give a damn. Odd group of people.

    31. mm - Wikileaks had been releasing the Podesta emails all summer a little at a time. Just so you know. The release on October 7th was just another in a series of releases.

      Far before, the public had seen the Podesta emails and the DNC corruption they revealed. For example here is an article from August talking about them:

      The first leaks of the Podesta emails came in July. I can give you more sources or you can look it up.

      So, don't think the October 7th dump was the only dump of those emails. Really, the damage had already been done.

      The timing sucks I know but it's not proof of collusion between Trump and Russia - or Trump and Wikileaks -and especially not between Stone and Wikileaks. All of a sudden you are presenting testimony from Corsi and Stone as if it is credible!! Stone is a professional liar. He was convicted for lying to investigators numbnuts. Now you want to present evidence of what he told somebody as credible??? I realize all of this is far above your intellectual paygrade.

    32. If you read both reports, they detail much of the collusion between Trump and Russia "

      WHAT PAGE?

      "mm just cited the Senate Intelligence Report, and yes, that is collusion."


    33. I assume Assange was taking a break between leaks to rape somebody.
      Why else wouldn't he just dump the whole thing all at once?

      Also, why doesn't Roger Stone play the stock market and gamble, with his uncanny ability to predict the future?

    34. Stone's predictions were totally wrong. He said the dump would be about the Clinton Foundation and it wasn't. He got the date wrong. He wasn't saying anything Assange wasn't already saying in public.

    35. From July:

      "The leak, released via Twitter, links to a Web page that allows readers to search the DNC email database. WikiLeaks says the release was "part one of our new Hillary Leaks series," a hint of more information to come."

      I think it can be said that Wikileaks released at the documents immediately after the Access Hollywood tape in order to hurt the Clinton campaign and that they were against the Clinton campaign and probably for Sanders. Which really sucks. But there is no evidence of collusion between them and Russia, them and Rodger Stone or them and the Trump campaign. Sorry.

      You know a lot of people dislike Hillary and wanted to sink her. That doesn't mean they were all colluding.

    36. Trump asked Russia to get dirt on Clinton, Russian agents in close contact with the Trump campaign hacked the emails, some were released specifically to counter the pussy tape. Why would Corsi and Stone lie in order to implicate themselves? That is just laughable, as is the notion that it is a hoax or witch hunt. I know it sucks that there was collusion and that Trump is corrupt, for some it is just easier to pretend Trump is fine and nothing happened, and for those sad lost souls there is no solace, and really nobody cares about such people.

    37. 11:48,
      You can't trust Wikileaks because their publisher dislikes Clinton.
      If you don't understand why, ask Peter Strzok.

    38. Trump continues to not enforce sanctions against Russians, continues to push Russia's agenda. The fact that there was collusion is trivial.

    39. Trump is corrupt. That is why it is so stupid to go after something he clearly didn't do and there is no evidence for.

      Corsi and Stone did lie and implicate themselves. That's why Stone was convicted lame brain.

    40. Trump continues to not enforce sanctions against Russia?

      You're a fucking idiot dupe. BYE!!

    41. You know a lot of people dislike Hillary and wanted to sink her. That doesn't mean they were all colluding.

      Right, just the ones whose Campaign Manager spent an extraordinary amount of time meeting with Russian Agents.
      (U) On numerous occasions over the course of his time on the Trump Campaign,
      Manafort sought to secretly share internal Campaign information with Kilimnik. Gates, who
      served as Manafort' s deputy on the Campaign, aided Manafort in this effort. Manafort
      communicated electronically with Kilimnik and met Kilimnik in person twice while serving on
      the Trump Campaign. Manafort briefed Kilimnik on sensitive Campaign polling data and the
      Campaign's strategy for beating Hiliary Clinton. At Manafort's direction, Gates used an
      encrypted messaging application to send additional Campaign polling data to Kilimnik.


      U) Although it is unclear exactly when the meeting began, on the evening of August 2,
      2016, Manafort and Kilimnik eventually met at the Grand Havana Room, a private lounge
      located at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York City. According to testimony and records, Gates
      arrived late to the meeting.434 At least three topics were discussed at the meeting: internal Trump
      polling information and strategy; a peace plan for ukraine; and past debts and business disputes
      with Deripaska and the 0B.435 At the end of the meeting, Kilimnik, Gates, and Manafort
      deliberately departed using separate routes to avoid being seen together.436 Late that evening,
      between 11 :28 p.m. and 12:09 a.m., Manafort and Kilimnik also exchanged approximately ten
      text messages.437
      Hey, y'all! Remember when the meeting in Trump Tower was about adoption!!!! Bwahahahaha!!!

    42. "You're a fucking idiot dupe..."

      Not as big a dupe as the guy up-post trying to sell Republican voters as informed about policy.
      That's QAnon shit.

    43. Those sanctions are not being enforced. It is fine to add bad actors to a list, but none of the sanctions are being enforced. Russia continues to interfere with elections, continues to sell weapons. You simply do not understand what the function of sanctions is and how they are supposed to operate.

      I see the problem. You are confusing Stone's lies to avoid liability (he was prosecuted and then commuted by Trump) with your own supposition that Stone lied when he was admitting to collusion. What we are dealing with here, with respect to you, is not Orwell, but the Dunning Kruger effect.

    44. 12:01 Corsi and Stone did lie to the authorities and thus did implicate themselves in a crime of cover up, but they did not lie TO implicate themselves. This is perfectly clear and trivial, but some struggle even in such circumstances, they deserve not too much mockery.

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