PROPAGANDA, INCOMPETENCE, ERROR: Fashions in which we can re-elect Trump!

TUESDAY, AUGUST 11, 2020

Propaganda comes for the Post:
At this very late stage in the nation's dissection, can you believe the various things you read in the Washington Post?

We're sorry to say that you're asking a very good question! Consider something we read in this morning's Post.

The item comes from a front-page report about the scene in Portland. The city's mayor has seen enough, or so three scribes report:
GUARINO, SHEPHERD AND WITTE (8/11/20): The welcome absence of federal police has refocused a core group of protesters on long-standing tensions with local police that pit them against the Democratic city leaders who previously stood with them in opposing the federal interference, including Mayor Ted Wheeler, who also serves as police commissioner.

Wheeler was outspoken in demanding that the Trump administration withdraw federal agents from his city but has grown increasingly exasperated by violent protester tactics.

“When you commit arson with an accelerant in an attempt to burn down a building that is occupied by people who you have intentionally trapped inside, you are not demonstrating, you are attempting to commit murder,” Wheeler said after the fire at the police union headquarters Saturday night.

Such behavior, he said, creates “the B-roll film that will be used in ads nationally to help Donald Trump during his campaign.”
We'll admit that we ourselves are concerned about the last part of Wheeler's statement. Yesterday afternoon, for the very first time, we began to think there's a very good chance that Trump will get re-elected, assuming we have anything like an actual election this fall.

So we suddenly thought yesterday. We thought it for the first time.

In our view, the chaos in Portland and Chicago could conceivably help deliver that outcome. Rightly or wrongly, that's what the Portland mayor said, as he accused a "core group" of "violent protesters" of "attempting to commit murder" in at least one recent instance.

That's a very serious charge. According to this morning's report, Wheeler made the charge in response to conduct by that one group of protesters on this past Saturday night.

That's when Wheeler made his charge! Unless you read yesterday's Washington Post, in which a news report told you this, hard-copy headline included:
SHEPHERD (8/10/20): Portland protesters set fire to police union headquarters

[...]

As anger has been bubbling back up among demonstrators, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who also serves as the city’s police commissioner, held a news conference on Thursday in which he likened some of the protesters’ actions to attempted murder. He pointed to a Wednesday night incident in which he said protesters barricaded exits to the Portland Police Bureau’s East Precinct building using cars and wooden planks and disabled security cameras, starting a fire that “was intended to cause serious injury or death, and it very well could have.”

“When you commit arson with an accelerant in an attempt to burn down a building that is occupied by people who you have intentionally trapped inside, you are not demonstrating, you are attempting to commit murder,” Wheeler said, according to video posted by news station KPTV. “You are creating the B-roll film that will be used in ads nationally to help Donald Trump during his campaign. If you don’t want to be part of that, then don’t show up.”
How strange! Yesterday morning, we read that Wheeler had made that serious charge. But yesterday morning, we were told that he had made his striking remarks on Thursday. The "attempted murder" he alleged had happened on Wednesday night!

Yesterday, we were puzzled. It seemed strange to think that Wheeler's striking remarks were only being reported a full four days later. Even stranger, in our view, was the way Katie Shepherd opened this news report, whose banner headline stretched across the top of page A7.

We thought Shepherd's opening passage was strange. We'll show you that passage below. But which report contained a mistake? Did Wheeler make his charge as a Thursday presser? Or is this morning's report correct?

AS it turns out, it seems that yesterday's report was right—that today's report is mistaken. Below, we'll show you what we learned when we checked with the New York Times.

In fairness, everyone makes mistakes. That said, we were especially struck by Monday's report because of a remarkable, sprawling fashion profile which had appeared the day before, in Sunday's Washington Post.

Readers, can we talk? We almost never use the word "stupid" at this site. As a matter of policy, we use the kinder word "dumb."

That said, the sprawling piece in Sunday's Post was just plain flat-out stupid. We'd also call it rank propaganda, though that didn't distinguish it from other work in Sunday's Washington Post.

Rather plainly, our nation is disintegrating under the weight of Trumpism. In the process, have newspapers like the Washington Post surrendered to a trio of jealous press corps gods—Incompetence, Propaganda and Error?

Again, you're asking an excellent question. Consider that Sunday profile from the fashion and protest front in Oregon's own "River City."

The Sunday profile to which we refer may have been the dumbest we've ever seen. In hard copy, it consumed two full pages of the Post—pages A12 and A13.

On balance, we'd call it a study in Portland protest fashions. If you want to know why we'd use the term "stupid," at one point the sprawling profile of Portland's protest scene admiringly tells us this:
LANG (8/9/20): About 30 years ago, when President George H.W. Bush was in office, the administration was greeted with explosive protests every time he or a member of his Cabinet stepped foot in the City of Roses. Vice President Dan Quayle arrived in Portland for a fundraiser amid a demonstration of hundreds who had gathered outside, burning flags and desecrating photos of the vice president. A handful of university students from Reed College, a liberal arts school in town, swallowed colored food dye and vomited red, white and blue on the hotel’s front steps.

Presidential staffers had soon come up with a nickname for the riverside city: “Little Beirut.”


Residents embraced the nickname, emblazoning it on T-shirts, bumper stickers, music albums and businesses. A local group of peace activists even named their organization B.E.I.R.U.T. or “Boisterous Extremists for Insurrection against Republicans and other Unprincipled Thugs.”
Yes, you read that correctly. Way back when, hundred of protesters gathered outside Dan Quayle's hotel, "burning flags and desecrating photos of the vice president."

You may wonder, as we did, how a person can "desecrate" such a photo. This enjoyable point goes unexplained in this sprawling, deeply stupid report.

That said, the enjoyable claim added to the sense of fun which drove the Sunday Post's sprawling profile. And yes, that's what it actually said:

At that time, a handful of university students had even "swallowed colored food dye and vomited red, white and blue on the...front steps" of Quayle's hotel! From such amazingly cool behaviors, Portland gained the very cool nickname which may seem a bit unfeeling today, given a recent explosion.

Is that sad stupid anecdote really part of an "admiring" profile of Portland protest culture? You'll have to read Lang's full profile to judge our assessment.
did
We will say this—the amazingly cool tricolor vomiting really happen, though not, perhaps, on the Quayle hotel's front steps.

You can see videotape of that group of idiot vomiting children as part of this 2018 retrospective by Williamette Week. You can see them vomiting in the street, though perhaps not on the hotel's steps.

(The retrospective was Williamette Week'sway of remembering George H. W. Bush, who had just died. In this way, the game is played within part of Portland protest culture.)

You can see the idiot children vomiting on that videotape. Idiot children of their type have been getting Republican presidents elected and re-elected dating back to Richard M. Nixon. Everybody understands this, including Mayor Ted.

Correction! Almost everyone understands the role these pseudo-progressive idiot children have played in modern political history. It may be that Lang, and the occasional Portland protester, do not understand this part of the way our world has been made:
LANG (continuing directly) In the fourth week of what Portland officials described [this year] as a federal occupation of the city, Ryver Hankins, 30, stood on a grassy knoll just beyond the federal courthouse with a hand-drawn homage to Portland history.

“Little Beirut lives!” the poster strapped to his back exclaimed.
So cool! Ryver Hankins, chronological age 30, may be one of the possible Trump-enablers Mayor Wheeler has warned us about.

To assess Lang's homage to the Portland protest scene, you'll have to review it yourself. We regard it as monumentally stupid, but also as tilting rather hard toward a type of propaganda in which there's nothing but good, well-intentioned folk Over Here, with the "extremists" all found Over There.

At one point, Lang even wrote this. Can you trust anything you now read in the Washington Post?
LANG: For weeks, demonstrators directed their anger at the federal courthouse, where they broke windows and tagged the building with bright paint. The vandalism drew the attention of Trump, who sent in federal agents.

But he didn’t account for the stamina and creativity of Portland protesters. By the time federal agents packed into the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in early July, the crowds were ready with helmets, respirators and goggles to mitigate the worst effects of crowd-control munitions. Many donned the all-black uniform known as “black bloc” meant to anonymize its wearers. An elaborate network of aid stations and volunteers provided free food, water, gear and medical help.

Federal agents and police officers say they have been attacked with rocks, bottles, ball bearings and balloons filled with paint and feces. Small groups set fires at Portland police stations, police union offices and the Justice Center, which houses the Multnomah County jail.

In Portland, it’s not just the usual suspects who take to the streets. Moms in yellow shirts and bike helmets folded sunflowers into the iron fence around the federal courthouse. Teachers made signs likening Trump to tyrants and dictators of the past. Military veterans waved flags hung upside down to signal distress and strapped on gas masks and respirators to stare down the front line of federal troops.
So cool! According to Lang, Portland's protesters have "broken windows and tagged the [federal courthouse] with bright paint," full stop.

These minor actions angered Trump, but "he didn’t account for the stamina and creativity of Portland protesters." Or so Lang has said.

Two paragraphs later, Lang deigns to report what federal agents and police officers say protesters have done. In passing, she mentions the fact that "small groups" of protesters seem to have been setting fires pretty much all over the place.

Even there, she disappears the use of commercial-grade fireworks and lazers which has been widely reported. She disappears the injuries an AP reporter says he saw when he spent a night inside the federal courthouse.

From her sanitized account, Lang bounces right along to a playful description of "the usual suspects." There's a word for pseudo-journalistic garbage like this this:

This is propaganda.

This is propaganda! Instead of giving readers a full account of the various actions which have occurred from various groups of protesters (and others), Lang substitutes a mindless culture-and-fashion profile of these creative and colorful souls.

We get photos of their protest gear; we hear their self-impressed comments. The sheer stupidity of this treatment echoes the Post's endless use of fashion writer Robin Givhan to comment on alleged wardrobe issues in the political context.

Playfully, Lang gives us the usual suspects along with quite a few slippery remarks from protest-friendly office holders. This is also propaganda, of the type which has long helped get people like Trump elected.

Monday's report in the Washington Post struck us as especially strange in the wake of this sprawling, dimwitted fashion-cum culture profile.

How strange! According to Monday's headline, a group of protesters had "set fire to police union headquarters." This had prompte the mayor to accuse them of attempted murder.

According to Monday's report, the mayor had made this accusation on Thursday. But how strange!

Three days later, the Post was offering a mindless fashion profile, assuring us that Portland's protesters are just a group of grand-dads, sisters and moms. Their creativity had led them to maybe tag the federal courthouse. As you can see in Lang's ridiculous prose, the "extremists" are all Over There.

Lang's fashion profile was rank propaganda; then came Monday's report. On Thursday, the mayor had accused some protesters of attempted murder, but it took the Post four days to say so.

Before that, readers would be entertained by Lang's ridiculous protestwear profile. Also, though, understand this about Monday's news report:
:
As noted, Monday's report appeared beneath this startling banner headline:
Portland protesters set fire to police union headquarters
Allegedly, it was that behavior which triggered the mayor's remarkable charge.

But how strange! Before she reported the mayor's charge; before she described the actual fire; before she got to any of that, Katie Shepherd started Monday's news report with this profile of a Portland resident with a satisfied mind:
SHEPHERD: Robert Dorris leaned against the door frame of his ground-floor apartment in Portland, Ore., on the same block as the police union’s headquarters, and watched silently as a crowd of black-clad protesters set fire to plywood in the street.

His neighbors watched from their balconies as the smoke billowed into the night sky. Some protesters below roasted marshmallows while others added fuel to the flames. More than 100 people were in the street, holding Black Lives Matter signs, dancing to music and singing protest chants. At the police union building on the corner, a small group of people hacked away at the plywood blocking the door.

“You can’t control people’s anger,” Dorris said, as the fire flickered in front of him. “Black voices have been silenced. We’ve been screaming for years and years about police violence.”

The 63-year-old Black man gazed out at the largely White crowd of protesters and smiled
, even as the smoke drifted into his home.

“Every other week it seems like they’re here,” he said. “I love it. Our voices were ignored. They’re being heard.”
Intriguing! Four days earlier, the mayor had accused some protesters of attempted murder. But before Shepherd told us that, she primed us with a five-paragraph profile of a local resident who seemed to think the whole thing was A-OK.

We'd say that leans strongly towards propaganda. We'll also tell you this:

Just how dangerous was that fire? We have no idea.

Banner headline to the side, it didn't sound very dangerous by the time Shepherd got around to describing it.

Meanwhile, her report had featured a local resident who thought the fire was OK. One day before, the Post had published a sprawling fashion profile of Portland's highly creative protesters, whose forerunners had once vomited in red, white and blue on the front steps of a spiffy hotel!

It was all so very cool! But in the course of her deeply stupid report, Lang didn't ponder this:

Through some strange array of events, Portland's creative protest krewe has now been at it for thirty years. But they somehow have a police force which they say is out of control, and they have a villainous mayor.

Is it possible that vomiting in red, white and blue is just the silly, stupid behavior of a bunch of dopes? Im the larger sense, is it possible that Portland's protesters may not be all that effective? That the heroes profiled in Lang's report may not be all that sharp?

Could it be that this gang of jerk-offs could end up getting Trump re-elected? That's what Mayor Ted has said. Could it be that he's right?

We offer a final point:

When did Wheeler make his charge about the attempted murder? We decided to turn to the New York Times to get the actual facts.

How strange! It seems that Wheeler made his remarks last Thursday. That said, we can find no sign that the New York Times has ever reported what Wheeler said at all.

There is, of course, no perfect way to report these events. But are the Washington Post and the New York Times still functioning as real newspapers? Or as the nation devolves into tiny small tribes, are the mighty gods, Propaganda and Incompetence, perhaps devouring the Post?

Beyond that, is it possible that Portland's self-impressed fashion krewe will turn out to be skilled at only one task—getting Trump re-elected?

That's what Mayor Ted has warned. As merciless gods lay waste to the land, could Portland's mayor be right?

Tomorrow: All together now! Sullivan, Hesse, Linskey and Norris can (finally) see it coming!

66 comments:

  1. From David Neiwert at DKos:

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/8/11/1968248/-Pipe-bombs-targeting-Portland-protesters-appear-to-be-the-latest-twist-in-far-right-tactics

    "Not only are white supremacists involved in the violence and property damage at the protests, but it’s clear that they are working multiple strategies to leverage the chaos into what they hope will be a democracy-destroying race and civil war. The tactics so far include:

    Dressing up in clothing typically worn by antifascist demonstrators, mainly the all-black clothing and masks worn by so-called “black bloc” activists. This has been observed both in Portland and in Seattle, where well-known far-right “Proud Boy” street brawlers have been spotted and reported on social media. In both Minneapolis and in Richmond, Virginia, these faux protesters were observed inflicting property damage that was initially blamed on Black Lives Matter.

    Turning up at protest demonstrations fully armed with body armor, often wearing the Hawaiian shirts that signify participation in the “Boogaloo” civil-war movement, and claiming to be sympathetic to the anti-police protesters (many “Boogaloo” enthusiasts are indeed violently disposed toward law-enforcement officers). This has occurred in a variety of places, including in North Minneapolis, in Salisbury, North Carolina, in Bentonville, Arkansas, as well as in Seattle and Los Angeles. The most notorious case occurred in Denver, Colorado, where a “Boogaloo Boi” was arrested by police at a protest with a large arsenal in the trunk of his car.

    Pretending to be antifascists or anarchists on the Internet, primarily with the purpose of duping the public into believing that antifascists were on the verge of attacking communities. One fake flier, spread around Olympia, Washington, offered people $200 to act as “paid protesters,” all of it ostensibly paid for by George Soros and the Open Society Foundation. The most glaring hoax was when a Twitter account calling itself “ANTIFA US” began posting wildly incendiary exhortations: “Tonight’s the night, Comrades. Tonight we say 'F--- The City' and we move into the residential areas... the white hoods.... and we take what's ours …” The account was taken down after Twitter ascertained it was associated with activists involved in the white-nationalist Identity Evropa organization. Despite being a fairly obvious hoax, it nonetheless duped Donald Trump Jr. into repeating the post on Instagram with a message supporting his father’s attempts to blame antifascists for the violence.

    Similar hoaxes have also inspired hordes of men to parade around the streets of various small towns around the country where absurd rumors of the impending arrival of hordes of “antifa buses” paid for by George Soros circulated on Facebook, spread by local police and other civic leaders, whipping local residents into a hysterical state in which they have threatened peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters and unsuspecting visitors from out of town."

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  2. From the same article:

    "We’ve seen mounting evidence that right-wing extremists have been working hard to undermine nationwide anti-police-brutality protests, mainly finding ways to amplify the violence at them in ways that they can blame on “the violent left.” This past weekend, it appears they have added another stratagem: directly attacking the protesters themselves with anonymous explosives.

    Several pipe bombs were thrown at protesters in Portland’s Laurelhurst Park on Saturday, both detonating harmlessly; a bomb that failed to ignite was found nearby. Afterwards, protesters attempted to follow the men who appeared to have tossed the homemade explosives and took video of a man—later tentatively identified as a former Navy SEAL who provides training materials to police—who threatened them before driving away."

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    1. Who is responsible for the violence, arson, and vandalism? To what extent is it white supremacist 'proud boys' or true black lives matters believers? Neiwert seems to put the blame solidly on the right-wing anarchists. Is he right? or is he spreading propaganda. A lot of the commentators here want to believe him. I personally don't know, I haven't been at any of these things, and even if I were, how would I tell, but I am generally skeptical. The black gentleman who looked on seemed to be fine with the fires; I assume he didn't see it as proud boys in action. It's seems possible that pinning all or most of this on 'proud boys' is wishful thinking.

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    2. No, Neiwert isn't blaming right wing extremists for ALL of the violence. He is saying that right wing violence is under-reported and he is categorizing some of the things they have been doing.

      The black gentleman is fine with the protests, no one said he was fine with the fire, and he was described in Somerby's quotes, not Neiwert's. You are attributing a whole bunch of attitudes to that fine gentleman without any basis at all.

      Neiwert didn't quantify how much of the violence is due to the right wing, but the FACT that some of it is, means that Somerby cannot attribute it ALL to the left.

      You seem to have no idea how prevalent the alt-right is in the Pacific Northwest. It is where bigots move to get away from minorities, so there are a lot of them up there. And they are organized, thanks to the internet. And they have a lot of guns and do seem to love explosives and provocation of violence. The concept of boogaloo (imminent race war in America) is their invention. The right is considered the most active and dangerous terrorist element active in the US today.

      Neiwert has written several books about the Alt-right's activities, including one about Trump and the Alt-Right. You might read it if you would like to know more about them.

      The right is not the alt-right, but they are one of those "tribes" that Somerby decries and they are unquestionably dangerous. George Floyd is not their issue but they see these protests as providing an opportunity for themselves to advance their agenda.

      Before you condemn this as "wishful thinking" or fantasy, do some homework.

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    3. I'm aware of the "alt-right." Not a very pretty phenomenon. If they are a big factor in the looting, arson - I don't know. What's going on now, where a segment of the 'left' seems to be going haywire, seems to me to me something that the 'alt right' is pleased with, it's an opportunity for them.

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    4. You call this "going haywire" but the left has always held demonstrations and protests, and a subset has always engaged in violence and looting under cover of the left's activity. Protests work. They result in change. The left isn't doing this in order to loot, but in order to accomplish social change.

      The alt-right is responsible for its own actions. The left didn't cause them to do the stuff that they do.

      The police are responsible for their actions too. There has been police over-reaction as long as there have been demonstrations and protests. Back around the 1900s, protesters were met with live ammunition. Demonstrators threw bombs, chained themselves to doors and railings, and threw molotov cocktails (these got their name from the Russian revolution). This is nothing new. It is how protests work, because people are people and power is predictably unsubtle in its response.

      Somerby mocks the protesters who vomited in red, white and blue. I think that was clever. Protesters are thinking up ways to attract attention to their cause. I find it odd that a creative person such as Somerby would dismiss the cleverness (and work ethic) shown by the protesters. Street theater is part of protest and you have to respect someone who goes to such effort to find a new way of expressing himself.

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    5. AC/MA forgets that the left is the party of change. The right is the party of staying the same, preserving the status quo.

      Of course it is going to seem to the right, as if the left has gone haywire. The left wants to change things. That's what they do. There is no virtue in avoiding protests if you belong to a party whose main belief is in keeping things the same. That's what the right does. When there is an urgent need to change (because our president is doing nothing to fight this virus), then there is mayhem involved in keeping this guy in office, damage being inflicted on everyone, and it is the right who appears to be haywire in its unwillingness to remove an incompetent from office.

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    6. Leaving aside the sheer idiocy of your definition of 'left' and 'right', dear dembot, you obviously want us to get the impression that your zombie cult is eager to change things.

      It should surprise you, then, that your latest demigod Rapist Joe is promising to his sponsors that "“No one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change”".

      https://www.axios.com/joe-biden-wealthy-donors-demonize-5834473d-a786-44ac-b3ce-eef8716fc015.html

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    7. "Rapist Joe"

      Every Right-wing accusation is a confession.

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    8. I am reading Kate Manne's book "Down Girl" and she talks about how Trump reacted to Ivana's accusation against The Donald. She uses it as an example of how using language to redefine an act of rape is part of gaslighting and suppression of women's complaints about things like rape and domestic violence.

      I'm glad the court is requiring him to supply DNA so that Trump's criminal acts can be proven scientifically, although the Trump supporters will probably find a way to call that a conspiracy against him too.

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    9. Biden was merely a sexual assaulter.

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    10. It hasn't been established that Biden did anything he has been accused of doing. Unlike Trump.

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    11. So, y'all soros-bots are fine with Rapist Joe proudly promising his sponsors that “No one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change”.

      I thought so.

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    12. Mao - Trump has killed tens of thousands of his own people through his vast incompetence and in 6 weeks the country will be on fire with death and disease, all because of Trump. (Think of all the stupid things and wrong calls he has said and made about the virus.)

      So yes, people are fine that nothing will fundamentally change. That's is how horrible Trump has been. Trump's "fundamentally changes" has been the mother of all fundamental changes: death.

      You are still playing a 2016 game. Those days are over sweet, pretty young girl. The stakes are different now. The choice is a Soros - blah blah nothing fundamental change, Washington insider blah blah blah over total incompetence that leads to massive death.

      I get I guess that you don't get that yet as you are highly partisan and invested. But you'll see.

      Next time though you'll have to pick someone who is strong, not weak, and who is competent and not a fool, to drain the swamp.

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    13. To Mao and Trump etc. the deaths are not real. They are just numbers, like killing ants on the sidewalk. "So what?" about the deaths, right Mao?
      It's someone else's fault. It's Cuomo's fault!

      Excuses excuses, you're full of excuses.


      If you want lead a political movement that changes the country, it's probably a good idea not to kill hundreds of thousands of the people that live in it and let the rest live in confusion and fear of death for months on end.

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    14. It's no surprise that soros-bots are on board with Rapist Joe's pledge of “No one’s standard of living will change, nothing would fundamentally change”: it sure suits their boss George LORD Thy God Soros.

      Rapist Joe's main campaign slogan: No Hope and Definitely No Change.

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    15. That totally sums it up for me. It's not a matter of 'standard of living', it's a matter of 'living'.

      No Hope and Definitely No Change and No Mass Death over a Predicted and Expected Virus.

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    16. One has to live to have a standard of living and Trump, for whatever reason, couldn't even get that fundamental right.

      Sorry, I know you really love the guy and put all your hope into him.

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    17. It's Maslowian.

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    18. "That totally sums it up for me."

      Approved by soros-bot supervisor? It figures.

      But what about the dembot @3:56 PM who swears that your liberal-hitlerian cult is all about "change"? Has she been cancelled?

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    19. The Biden quote should show her she is wrong about that.

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    20. What is Trump going to do for change? Another tax cut for the ultra rich? The guy is a total lying, fuck up.

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    21. Try not to pee your pants too much about change sweet young virgin Mao. You're going to get your change. You picked the wrong guy on this first go-around and yes, you and all of us are going to have to reap the whirlwind for it. But you are going to get change. Just be a little bit patient.

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    22. If she is wrong, dear dembot, she must be cancelled.

      That's your cult's M.O., and we wholeheartedly endorse it. Liberal talking points must be parroted precisely, and in the correct order.

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    23. Who could argue with that logic?

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    24. I am a moderate and very much in favor of the Biden/Harris ticket. After four years of insanity, I look forward to a return to something like the old status quo.

      That being said, I'd like to see all kinds of progressive reforms that I won't get into here. The point is, Biden/Harris is definitely not a leftist ticket. Mao is totally correct about this, and those who disagree with his premise here are probably deluding themselves.

      And yet...Mao is also deluding himself if he thinks that this blindness is shared by actual leftists. Here's a video that should clear this up for everyone:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3_QS9tUpdE

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  3. "Yesterday afternoon, for the very first time, we began to think there's a very good chance that Trump will get re-elected, assuming we have anything like an actual election this fall."

    And yet Somerby has been repeatedly telling us that Trump will be reelected, just as he repeatedly said that Trump would win in 2016.

    What better way to make it a self-fulfilling prophecy than to repost descriptions of so-called protest violence and talk about how awful liberals are?

    What would Somerby do differently if he were an actual Trump supporter?

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    1. Somerby also insisted 2018 was going to be a disaster for Dems, turns out it was a record election for Dems.

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  4. "In fairness, everyone makes mistakes."

    Today, Somerby accuses the Washington Post of getting a date wrong, when he himself attempted to link to a sprawling fashion report and would up linking to a 2018 article instead. Mistakes happen. That's why you go easy on the unintentional ones that inevitably occur.

    So, when someone makes a big fuss about an error in a political context, you suspect that they have a motive for that fuss. Otherwise they would shrug it off with the kind of charity that people extend to each other over such things (like typos in blog comments). But not Somerby. So what is his actual beef? He won't say. But it gives him the chance to reproduce account of violence and chastise protesters and complain about the left, so maybe that has something to do with it.

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  5. Somerby and the corporate media agree:
    The only people NOT responsible for Trump being elected President are those who voted for him.

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    Replies
    1. Democrats and Clinton (both Clintons) share a lot of the blame.

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    2. 11:45
      That may be. But your comment does not address 11:05’s contention.

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    3. I doubt that either Clinton voted for Trump, and hardly any Democrats voted for him either.

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    4. 13% of Trump voters voted for Obama in 2012.

      Are they not responsible?

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    5. 8:14,
      Ae you thinking that 13% might not be Republicans, so they may have agency?

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  6. "Portland gained the very cool nickname which may seem a bit unfeeling today, given a recent explosion."

    The context for that nickname 30 years ago was the massacre of US troops in a barrack (under Ronald Reagan). It wasn't last week's explosion (which was not political or military).

    It makes no sense that Somerby would call a reference in a 30 year old article, a "cool" new nickname. And yes, it is very unfeeling, not to mention unnecessary and ugly.

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  7. "Just how dangerous was that fire? We have no idea."

    This is the kind of remark that Somerby just tosses off, but it is at the heart of his complaint. He suspects that reporters are minimizing violence and he would like to believe the Mayor's accusation of murder against the protesters, but there is no evidence that any lives were lost, much less endangered. He doesn't know how dangerous the fire was because there are no facts to back up Wheeler or Trump, and what facts exist are pretty minor. But he blames the reporter for perhaps not including more serious details and yet there are apparently none to report, or they would be circulating. No firemen or policemen in hospital because of the fire, no need to rebuild the Policeman's Union (and why would that building be attacked? Somerby never explains). Instead stories about protesters roasting marshmallows. A fire must be pretty small in order to do that. No one does that at an actual conflagration.

    Poor Somerby, all dressed up in outrage with nowhere to go. And yes, many Portland residents do support the protests. That's why those moms in their yellow shirts are there.

    Somerby desperate attempt to portray the protesters as violent thugs, camouflaged as an attempt to accuse the Washington Post of propaganda, is a transparent attempt to bolster Trump's use of federal troops and to justify the attacks on the left by Trump's recent ad campaign.

    Meanwhile, the fashion article is behind a pay wall, so I cannot evaluate for myself how dumb it was, or who put it together, or whether it has anything to do with protests at all, but is simply about fashionable masks (as the photo blocked by pay wall seemed to show). For all I know, it could have been intended to remind protesters to wear masks, a public service to all involved.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "When did Wheeler make his charge about the attempted murder? We decided to turn to the New York Times to get the actual facts.

    How strange! It seems that Wheeler made his remarks last Thursday. That said, we can find no sign that the New York Times has ever reported what Wheeler said at all."

    How could Somerby have determined that Wheeler made his statement on Thursday by reading the NY Times, if the NY Times has never reported on it at all?

    This makes no sense at all.

    Those sentences are quoted directly from Somerby's essay. Did he not see the contradiction in two sentences so close together? I get it that Somerby's essays these days are pretty much stream of consciousness, but doesn't he even filter what he writes through his mind -- is he not paying attention to his own words, or is he just engaging in some pro forma liberal bashing -- both those in Portland at those protests and the ones here who don't know how bad that fire was, and won't find out from Somerby (who cannot distinguish between a Mayor's hyperbole and journalistic reporting). Somerby of course assumes the journalists are wrong, the liberals are violent, and The Other are blameless.

    ReplyDelete
  9. A while back, Somerby quoted Andrew Sullivan, equating the act of protesting with the zealous, destructive actions of the Taliban. He conveniently forgot to mention the Civil Rights protests, or the recent Hong Kong protests, or even the American Revolution, since his goal was to equate the current BLM protests with bad things.

    Here, Somerby argues that all protesters will be blamed for the actions of a violent few and this will discredit all of BLM, and since they are a leftist group, by extension all liberals will be blamed, Trump will be elected, etc.

    I don’t deny that that is the intent of Trump, Barr, and the GOP, nor that there will be people who buy into this propaganda.

    But these same people were apparently able to differentiate between the “good” and “bad” factions who were protesting against removing Confederate statues in Charlottesville. In other words, the large faction of Neo-Nazis and the guy who killed Heather Heyer are separated from the “good” conservatives who were supposedly there.

    The “propaganda” that Somerby describes here coming from the Post or the Times seems more like an attempt to differentiate between violent and non-violent protesters, rather than to paint them all as non-violent.

    One would think that a “liberal” media critic would be on the lookout for media coverage that attempts to paint all protesters as essentially violent, or attempts to blame the peaceful protesters and thus all liberals for the violence, but Somerby has pretty clearly stated his opposition to the protests and the “idiots” involved in them.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Isn't it a better bet that the public will look at the widespread protests, nationwide not just in Portland, and decide that Trump has been doing a horrible job?

    Why would the protests turn voters against the left, when the protesters are expressing distress that many Americans are feeling about the state of our country?

    Protesters are targeting police. It has long been traditional for comedy to target figures of authority because people will laugh at what happens to them, not feel sympathy. Why should Somerby, a comedian, believe that the wider public will identify with the police instead of the protesters? Especially after the George Floyd video circulated and made clear who was at fault in that killing?

    Somerby's threat that violence against buildings will take precedence over violence against people (by police) is a strangely conservative view (property over people) coming from someone who professes to be liberal.

    Trump's ad campaign threatening that violence will overwhelm the nation unless he can crack down and save the suburbs, has not been having the effect he wanted. Somerby's warnings are an extension of that, and seem likely to be no more right in judging the mood of the country. These protests aren't going to keep Trump in office. He couldn't even crack down on the violent perps at his own rallies, after egging them on. No one trusts him to ensure domestic peace -- he is the master of brutality.

    Polls are not on Somerby's side about this.

    ReplyDelete
  11. "Or as the nation devolves into tiny small tribes, are the mighty gods, Propaganda and Incompetence, perhaps devouring the Post?"

    Seems to me the Democrats are a very large tribe, encompassing 39.66% of registered voters. Republicans are a far smaller group, with more voters registered Independent than Republican.

    Remember that Hillary got 3.3 million more votes than Trump, which makes even her "tribe" much larger than anyone else's in the last election.

    The coalition of anti-Trump voters is likely to be much larger than Hillary's support. It seems to me that people are coming together in their opposition, not being driven into smaller separate tribes as Somerby contends.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Bob correctly points out that the violence in Portland goes back decades. Yet, he writes, "Rather plainly, our nation is disintegrating under the weight of Trumpism." How can Trump be blamed for violence that began long ago?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here is an article about 21 of the "most memorable" Portland protests:

      https://www.oregonlive.com/living/2016/04/little_beirut_legacy_20_of_the.html

      They go back much further than "decades".

      Delete
    2. The disintegration is happening on many different levels and places beyond the violence in Portland.

      But the guy at the top gets all the praise when it goes good and all the blame when it doesn't. So it's going to be a tough legacy for Trump. But he deserves it because his Covid response was so criminally incompetent. I'm starting to think he is letting the virus spread on purpose.

      Delete
  13. "Yesterday, we were puzzled. It seemed strange to think that Wheeler's striking remarks were only being reported a full four days later."

    Our dear Bob is puzzled. Shocked, shocked.

    Lol. What a travesty this blog has become.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ешьте дерьмо, тролль

      Delete
    2. That totally makes sense. Good point.

      Delete
    3. Now I'm confused. You don't get Bob's irony, or you are joking, too?

      Delete
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