This weekend, we get to have nice things!


So much energy, so little (critical) mass: Early on this July 3 morning, we sat beneath our mighty pear tree. As we did, a squirrel who was breaking the fast showered pear shards down on our  heads.

We were reading Karen Attiah's column in the Washington Post. Also, Walter Isaacson's brief passage concerning "the most famous equation in all of science:"

E = mc2.

Attiah started as shown below. It made us think of Charles Blow:

ATTIAH (7/3/21): “This is not a joke,” Nikole Hannah-Jones said. “I’m a journalist, and I don’t speak in hyperbole.”

The Pulitzer Prize winner who was the driving force behind the New York Times’ 1619 Project was speaking Wednesday in Chicago at the unveiling of a monument to pioneering Black journalist Ida B. Wells, who famously overcame so many obstacles in pursuit of justice and truth in America. “To hold up her legacy, we have to talk about the precarious state that our democracy is in right now. We are actually fighting against the same tyranny and white supremacy that Ida B. Wells was fighting against all those years ago.”

Here in Our Town, is it really "the same" today? Renouncing hyperbole as we do, are we actually fighting against the same tyranny which confronted Ida B. Wells back in the 1890s?

Is today's tyranny really the same? Or is that a bit of hyperbole?

More thoughts on that below. Meanwhile, Hannah-Jones' formulation made us think of the formulation which recently came from Blow:

BLOW (7/1/21): I emerged into full adulthood as a political naïf.

Then began my education, my quest to unlearn what little I had been taught and to learn for the first time all the things I hadn’t been taught.

First, I guess, were the widespread and never-ending attempts, with some devastating successes, to disenfranchise people, often Black people. And there was nothing like the sting of reading the words of some of the men who were engaged in this suppression. Nowadays, those who suppress votes disguise their motives, but years ago the motives were well articulated and abundantly clear: to establish white supremacy and disenfranchise the Negro.

Now, only the articulation is absent; the results are the same.

According to Blow, those who tried to disenfranchise Americans of African descent made no attempt to disguise their motives at some undefined point "years ago."

Today, they do disguise their motives. But "the results are the same."

Are the results really the same? Absent hyperbole, can anyone really believe that? Does that statement make sense?

Almost surely, it all depends on what the meaning of "the same" is! That said:

Years ago, it was once virtually impossible for black people to vote across wide swaths of the nation.  Today, black turnout exceeds that of whites in many of those same states.

To Blow, this doesn't contradict the claim that results today are "the same." And Blow is a high-ranking journalist here in Our (comically self-impressed) Town.

Absent hyperbole, are matters today really the same, as these journalists have said? Are we actually fighting the same oppression? Are results the same?

It all depends on what the meaning of "I don't speak in hyperbole" is! Alternately, it can sometimes seem that Our Town is capable of generating a large amount of a type of hyperbolic energy from a fairly small amount of critical mass.

That brings us back to Isaacson's account of that most famous equation. Einstein laid the groundwork for this equation in a paper he published in 1905, when he was just 26. 

We were reading Isaacson 2007 biography, Einstein: His Life and Universe. Isaacson limns it thusly:

ISAACSON (pages 138-139): The result was an elegant conclusion: mass and energy are different manifestations of the same thing. There is a fundamental interchangeability between the two. As he put it in his paper, "The mass of a body is a measure of its energy content."

Say what? Mass and energy are different manifestations of the same thing? There is a fundamental interchangeability between the two? 


Of what "same thing" are mass and energy different manifestations? What "same thing" is that? 

Therein conceivably lies the rub! But as he continued, Isaacson reconfigured this formulation in a way we can all understand:

ISAACSON (continuing directly): The formula he used to describe this relationship was also strikingly simple...

E = mc2.

Energy equals mass times the square of light. The speed of light, of course, is huge. Squared it is almost inconceivably bigger. That is why a tiny amount of matter, if converted into energy, has an enormous punch. A kilogram of mass would convert into approximately 25 billion kilowatt hours of electricity. More vividly: the energy in the mass of one raisin could supply most of New York City's energy needs for a day.

For our money, a lot of fuzz has been disguised within that short, highly readable passage. That said, the passage ends with a statement which is easily understood, though highly counterintuitive:

The amount of energy in one raisin could supply (most of) New York City's energy needs for a day! This helps explain why one atom bomb was able to rain so much destruction on Hiroshima, in one application of this principle against which Einstein warned.

Returning to first principles:

In some manner or other, a raisin is simply a reconfiguration of (what will seem to us to be) a vast amount of energy. 

By our lights, a raisin doesn't contain, or manifest, a large amount of matter or mass. (Isaacson uses each term.) But by our lights, that same small raisin could be converted into ginormous amounts of energy.

Almost surely, this is the part of Einstein's work which is easiest to visualize. That said, how well can we be said to "understand" the state of affairs Isaacson has described?

More specifically, what exactly is this "energy" which is somehow present in the mass of a raisin? All  matter is really a form of that entity—but what kind of entity is that?

As the analysts pondered these questions, Hannah-Jones was being quoted saying it's still the same. No hyperbole was involved, she made a point of noting. In the Washington Post, Attiah cheered her on.

Two days earlier, Blow had seemed to say the same thing. Nothing of substance has changed, he declared in the New York Times, the famous newspaper which is branded as Our Town's greatest and smartest.

These are some of the high-end thought leaders currently found in Our Town. Even on a weekend like this, Our Town is arguably a somewhat limited place.

In recent years, Our Town has been full of thunder of the type we're discussing here. In other towns, The Others sometimes roll their eyes at these pronouncements. When they do, it isn't clear that they're wrong.

Their thought leaders are strongly inclined to peddle hyperbole too. The difference would be this:

Here in Our Town, we can spot the hyperbole of The Others. We have a hard time spotting Our Own. 

We nod in agreement with any claim which supports Our preapproved Point of View. Experts say it's done this way in almost all human towns.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but phantoms are pretty much everywhere. We refer to phantom explanations. 

Given the limits of our species, is there some other kind?

Coming: Perhaps the earliest phantom


  1. "Years ago, it was once virtually impossible for black people to vote across wide swaths of the nation. "

    But is it true, dear Bob? Your liberal-hitlerian establishment bullshits so much -- quite literally, hitlerian bullshit is all it does -- that we've learned to doubt all the stories we're told.

    Is it true what is stated in this quote of yours? Have you been there yourself to see it?

  2. "Is today's tyranny really the same? Or is that a bit of hyperbole?"

    How can Somerby say it isn't? Not only did he not live in 1890, and thus have no basis for comparison, he has never been the target of white supremacism himself. He doesn't even know what it is like to be female, in today's society or in the past.

    But he is quick to dismiss this as hyperbole. He pretends to be a cautious thinker, but it seems clear he is mostly a defensive thinker, protective of his own assumptions, beliefs and unaware of his own lack of experience with anyone else's reality. So he doesn't listen when women such as Hannah-Jones say they are not speaking in hyperbole. He assumes he knows best how they are speaking.


    1. I’’m female and I’ll dismiss any comparison of my treatment in this day and age with that of women in 1890.

      Good lord! How could I ever hold my head up in their ghostly company if I ever so much as attempted otherwise. How can Charles Blow pretend to such things?

      Will my female sentiments matter to you for one second? H..E…triple L… no. I might as well be Somerby, or better yet, Jefferson Davis.

      You are hubris, and a fool. Charles Blow negates any bonafides he may legitimately have with hyperbole such as this.

      No one buys it. You emote only to each other.

    2. Name one thing you have ever done in support of women's rights.

    3. We ate steak today in support of womyn's rights.

    4. I spoke my mind against utter idiots as a living monument to women’s rights.

    5. In other words, you've done nothing but claim because you are female, you can ride on the coattails of other women who worked hard to make progress for women.

    6. Anonymouse 9:52pm, uou haven’t worked hard at anything other than trolling Somerby.

      Otherwise you would have discounted any notion that any modern woman has experienced life as women did in 1890.

    7. Go away troll.

    8. LOTTO, lottery,jackpot.
      Hello all my viewers, I am very happy for sharing this great testimonies,The best thing that has ever happened in my life is how I win the lottery euro million mega jackpot. I am a Woman who believe that one day I will win the lottery. finally my dreams came through when I email and tell him I need the lottery numbers. I have spend so much money on ticket just to make sure I win. But I never know that winning was so easy until the day I meant the spell caster online which so many people has talked about that he is very great in casting lottery spell, . so I decide to give it a try.I contacted this great Dr Believe and he did a spell and he gave me the winning lottery numbers. But believe me when the draws were out I was among winners. I win 30,000 million Dollar. Dr Believe truly you are the best, all thanks to you forever

      LOTTO, lottery,jackpot.
      Hello all my viewers, I am very happy for sharing this great testimonies,The best thing that has ever happened in my life is how I win the lottery euro million mega jackpot. I am a Woman who believe that one day I will win the lottery. finally my dreams came through when I email and tell him I need the lottery numbers. I have spend so much money on ticket just to make sure I win. But I never know that winning was so easy until the day I meant the spell caster online which so many people has talked about that he is very great in casting lottery spell, . so I decide to give it a try.I contacted this great Dr Believe and he did a spell and he gave me the winning lottery numbers. But believe me when the draws were out I was among winners. I win 30,000 million Dollar. Dr Believe truly you are the best, all thanks to you forever

  3. "Are the results really the same? Absent hyperbole, can anyone really believe that? Does that statement make sense?"

    African Americans supposedly stayed home in 2016 WI and MI, costing Hillary the election. (Bernie voters did too, or switched to Jill Stein.) Why? Because of a targeted campaign aimed at them by Russia-funded internet-based operatives. This is documented and it is why Russia was sanctioned for interference in our election. It isn't the same as a poll tax or a literacy test, but it is nevertheless suppression of black votes via lies on Facebook or robocalls with mistaken information about polling place locations.

    Somerby has never talked about these stolen votes. He never talks about voter suppression in red states either. These are blatant attempts to suppress black votes by eliminating polling places, eliminating GOTV efforts by banning them, requiring onerous ID and registration procedures or disqualifying valid signatures and refusing to accept provisional ballots after contesting an attempt to vote. And then there is redistricting and gerrymandering to deny black representation. The methods may have changed with the times, but the intent has not.

    Somerby has ignored all of this. That doesn't mean it isn't happening. Blow is right and Somerby is wrong. I'll bet Somerby has never personally experienced voting difficulties. I have. I tried to vote and was told I had already voted (when I hadn't). Someone went down the voter roll and cast my ballot for me, assuming I would not come in (or perhaps not caring whether I did or not). That is vote suppression and it occurs for minorities. Not being minority, Somerby assumes it doesn't happen at all. Somerby is wrong.

  4. The world changes but people's hearts do not. Why is that hard for Somerby to understand?

  5. Somerby's idea of hyperbole seems to be anything that isn't strictly literal. His excessive literality is not in tune with the way others use language and it results in extreme nitpicks which he mischaracterizes as some sort of malfeasance (witness Blow and Hannah-Jones, and note how he has singled out two African American writers).

    Is Hannah-Jones saying that everything is the same as in 1890? Of course not. She is saying that certain aspects of the 1890s are still happening, notably white attempts to suppress full participation by African Americans in our society (and the same can be said for women's rights). Are we still using buggy whips? Of course not. Are white men still clinging to their social advantages? You bet your bippy they are.

  6. 'We nod in agreement with any claim which supports Our preapproved Point of View'

    That much is obvious is from seeing Somerby repeat his Trumptard themes over the last 4 years as he gallantly defended Roy Moore, DJT, Ron Johnson, Matt Gaetz and Devin Nunes.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Charles Blow has had the resources of the NYT available to him for a full 15 years now, and he's just now realized that the GOP engages in voter suppression of Blacks and other Dem-leaning voters? The laziness and ineptitude of major Black corporate-paid voices is astounding!

    1. Well, hell, it took Donald Trump.

    2. Where does it say that Blow has just discovered these things? He is still writing about them because they are problems that have not yet been solved.

    3. Before Stacy Abrams lost in 2018, how many columns did Blow write about voter suppression, how many shows did Orpah do on it, how many speeches did Obama give on it, how much discussion of it was on MSNBC and CNN?

      None. Obama did nothing about it and Oprah's interviews of British royal parasites are deemed more important.


      Why black voter turnout fell in 2016:

    5. So you found one article pre-2018 (Abrams) out of the multi-thousands, hardly a priority, was it? Thanks for making my point!

    6. No, I didn't find one article. I pointed you to several reviews of voter suppression going back to Jim Crow. A couple of those 2018 articles were analyses of the 2016 election (done after that election, no matter when the publication date). Others were not inspired by Stacey Abrams, much as I admire her work. I didn't search for Obama's term in office. You can do so, and I am sure you will find plenty to refute your own statements. I thought it might be better to give other readers here an option to review the history of voter suppression in our country since that matters a whole lot more than what Oprah does with her free time.

  9. "Of what 'same thing' are mass and energy different manifestations? What 'same thing' is that?

    Great fuckin' question. Maybe it's the same thing as Mao, Cecilia (ibid), Centrist (ibid) and mh (ibid) creating fusion. We can't know how it's going to go, but so far, it's ugly.

    Anthropologically speaking.


    1. So so, ugly, yes.

      Not your etherville.

    2. Ugly? Well, sometimes discussions are like that, Leroy. Kind of like life.

      You could participate you know.

  10. I have no idea why I’ve been blocked. Bob can’t block spam, but he can block me.
    Curiosity abounds.

  11. Replies
    1. No, I get banned too. It is annoying and hardly in the spirit of encouraging discussion.

  12. Bob made all sorts of claims about Target’s decision to close a store in West Baltimore. Most of those claims were incorrect. Target closed a profitable store in a working-class black neighborhood and kept another store across town in. White neighborhood open. Subsidies for both had sun setted at the same time, and the store on the Westside was a mall anchor and was located on a main transit hub.
    The shuttered store was one of the better performers in the Baltimore region. Target does get dinged for disinvestment in a Black community.

  13. Off topic.

    In my local area, a white kid was killed by a cop at a traffic stop. Here’s what’s happening:

    Family of teen killed by Lonoke County deputy says George Floyd family's lawyers retained

    Rev. Al Sharpton to deliver eulogy for teen shot by deputy in Lonoke County

    If you can’t get to the second one (they have a non-subscriber limit), here’s another:
    Al Sharpton to speak at funeral of teen killed by Lonoke deputy

    1. To their credit, some Black groups and leaders have mentioned cases where whites were killed by cops. But you will never see them made into a national obsession by white-owned corporate mass media, CNN/MSNBC or the Hamptons-based press.

    2. And this is why Sharpton is speaking?

    3. I don't know for sure why he's speaking, do you? There were 457 whites shot by cops last year, compared to only 241 blacks. Is he going to speak at another 456 funerals? Hey, why not?

    4. He may speak at the ones where an unarmed citizen was shot by police.

    5. "There were 457 whites shot by cops last year..."

      Outrageous. Something should be done to reign in the cops. Since we are a capitalist society, do you think taking away their money will get them to act differently?

  14. Bob Somerby is famous!

    1. Thank you. That tweet led veto this:

    2. Read the comments on Drum's post. It will save us all a lot of time.

    3. Is Drum the latest Bob now?

    4. Drum describes his political leanings accurately and does not pretend to be something he is not. Notice the cogent and interesting array of comments, not all of them agreeing with Drum. People are not slagging him. That's because he deals with both topics and people in a fair and respectful manner, unlike Somerby.

      So, no, Drum is not the latest Somerby. Far from it.

    5. Well, who has ever been so unfair as to argue that Anonymices are the liberal norm?

    6. “¹And for God's sake, please don't insult my intelligence by pretending that wokeness and cancel culture are all just figments of the conservative imagination. Sure, they overreact to this stuff, but it really exists, it really is a liberal invention, and it really does make even moderate conservatives feel like their entire lives are being held up to a spotlight and found wanting.”

      Good thing HE said it. Drum is “woke” now.

      He now has a shelf-life sticker.

    7. As I said, read the comments on Drum's blog. They address this stuff.

      No one would care whether Somerby was woke or not if he weren't so dishonest. Didn't you listen when several of us explained why we comment here and what our problem is with Somerby?

      Quite a few of the comments take issue with this idea of Drum's.

    8. I don't read Kevin regularly, but when I did, I often disagreed with him since I'm a Centrist and he's a liberal. However, his posts were generally thoughtful, coherent, honest, and showed an understanding of math.

      Somerby by contrast is thoughtless, a dishonest liar, rambles and doesn't understand %ages (let alone stats or relativity). And Kevin didn't spend 4 years defending DJT, Roy Moore, Devin Nunes, Ron Johnson and Matt Gaetz.

      Somerby is a Trumptard.

    9. Corby, I did listen.

      Evidently, Drum doesn’t hurt your widdle feelings by calling you dumb (which you are) and Drum isn’t “dishonest” as proved by not calling you dumb.

      Drum diplomatically tells you that your alienating your party from your own constituency.

      So he’s savvier than you. Not that you aren’t too dumb to listen.

    10. Drum behaves like a professional. He considers topics instead of denigrating people. Damned right he isn't dishonest (no scare quotes). He cites his sources and he doesn't quote in a misleading way and he doesn't pretend to be something he is not. He has worked for a series of respected journalistic organizations and he does a good job, agree with him or not.

      There is no reason to call anyone here dumb when you should be able to show that they are dumb by addressing their arguments.

      I disagree with the points Drum was trying to make it today's essay. Notice that I didn't call him dumb.

    11. ‘he’s savvier than you.’

      Drum, like Somerby, sits around in relative comfort issuing blog posts. Neither have ever been involved in the realities of politics.

      Stacy Abrams, on the other hand, has. She has proven results.

      Why would you claim ‘savviness’ for ‘professional’ bloggers? Somerby has blogged for 20 years without visible means of support and without endangering his purported brilliance by actually putting his ideas into practice and failing.

    12. Well, hell, what has Digby or Josh Marshall done? Are you heckling them daily?

    13. Neither of them is pretending to be something they are not. Somerby is.

      There is a meme that has been circulating for quite a while that says that Democrats do not campaign well and that they cannot win elections. This, despite having won the presidency for Obama and now Biden, and having lost to Trump only via fraud and Russian interference. Democrats control the house and senate both, but somehow we are supposed to be big failures who cannot win elections. Kevin Drum supports that meme, and so does Somerby, without doing much to examine its truth. Digby and Josh Marshall do not support it. That makes them more in touch with reality, in my opinion.

      mh is correct that these armchair bloggers are not actively involved in liberal politics at all. Somerby doesn't appear to even be liberal. I agree with Centrist that he is a Trumptard, and that makes Somerby unsavvy to an extreme, since Trump is abhorrent to liberals and far from what is needed by our nation. Like Drum, Somerby argues regularly that the route to Democratic success is to mimic the right, when the right has not been winning elections and is not really even a political party any more, but in the midst of major chaos.

      And then there is you. Your comments are so confused that they derail discussion here. I suspect that is deliberate, but if it is not, the word "savvy" doesn't belong in your mouth.

      I consider Drum to be incorrect, but he isn't mean-spirited (the way Somerby is) and he doesn't make personal attacks. You could learn something about style from him, Cecelia.

    14. Anonymouse 9:46pm, just like I expressly said- Drum doesn’t call you dumb, though he knows you are and understands Biden made it in the right states by the skin of his teeth against a candidate whose coverage was 91% negative in the media for four years.

      You are dumb.

    15. You have no idea what Drum knows or understands.

    16. Cecelia,
      If by "cancel culture" you mean canceling white supremacy, then by all means, I support "cancel culture".

  15. Bob,
    The proof is in the pudding.
    Ask the people of Hiroshima.

    Einstein is smarter than you.
    Sorry to hurt you feelings.

    1. Somerby never insinuated that he was smarter than Einstein.

      He argued that you can’t make an Einstein’s Theory of Relativity for Dummies

    2. Somerby says Einstein is dumb because he cannot explain his theories to Somerby in a manner that is easy to understand. That makes Somerby a moron.

      Somerby's ongoing complaints that highly technical subjects are not 'dumbed down' sufficiently to permit him to grasp them, is just embarrassing to Somerby.

      Somerby, with his negative attitudes about learning and his gentleman's C's in philosophy (and no general science background) is not the intended audience for such books. As in any learning, the student must meet the teacher halfway. Somerby instead obstructs the efforts of anyone to explain things to him.

      Everyone is smarter than Somerby. Not so with Einstein.

    3. No, Somerby says that such useless attempts with this sort of content are the equivalent of the book reviewer as illustration of The Emperor’s New Clothes.

      You can’t tolerate that obviousness because Somerby very often calls you (and me) dumb.

      You are dumb.

    4. Re-read Somerby's post. He mentioned his problem understanding the relationship between Energy and Mass. Nothing about "Relativity" which deals with light with and without gravity.

      Speaking of "Dummies".

    5. When you buy a book, there is no guarantee that you will understand it, much less enjoy reading it.

      People vary. The reviewers apparently liked the books Somerby's critiques. That doesn't make them frauds. It makes them better prepared or more diligent than Somerby.

      Ask yourself why Somerby is constantly attacking the idea of expertise.

      Somerby doesn't know me. He isn't talking about me when he attacks his favorite targets. And I can't speak for you, but I am not dumb. Somerby sounds like an idiot when he makes statements about us like that.

    6. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I am smart enough to know that an Einstein for Dummies book doesn’t have a prayer of helping me.

      I don’t hate anyone enough for their political views that I’d pretend that their criticism of this literary genre merited personal insults.

    7. You are smart enough to know that when you don't understand something, the problem is with you, not the book you are reading. Somerby isn't that smart, so he blames his lack of comprehension on others.

      Somerby attacks innocent bystanders to his own deficits. That isn't a very nice thing to do. Those who review books don't deserve the abuse (and personal insults) Somerby heaps on them.

      Why do you excuse Somerby while blaming others for the same behavior Somerby engages in? Double standard of some sort?

    8. Most special Relativity can be understood with high school physics (General Relativity require some advanced college maths).

      Somerby can't understand special relativity because he can't understand college level physics. Even worse, since he's a Trumptard, he assumes everyone is as clueless as him.

    9. I meant -- Somerby can't understand special relativity because he can't understand HS level physics. I'm sure Somerby doesn't understand college physics -- after all, he makes a virtue out of ignorance.

    10. No, 1:33pm, I’m smart enough to know that there truly are concepts are that are above the heads of most of us rubes.

      I’m smart enough to know that Einstein wasn’t Einstein for nothing and that you most certainly aren’t Einstein. You’re not even as smart as the Bill Nye, the Science Guy, and he jonly has a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

      I most certainly know that you’re so dumb as to actually take offense at a blogger’s own discourse of his travels, travails, and impressions of particular areas of literary genre.

      I know that you wish that all liberals came with a pull-string. I can only pity your fellows, I m not much concerned about you.

    11. You say this despite (1) not knowing Bill Nye, and (2) not knowing me. Impressive thinking Cecelia.

    12. 'I’m smart enough to know that there truly are concepts are that are above the heads of most of us rubes.
      I’m smart enough to know that Einstein wasn’t Einstein for nothing and that you most certainly aren’t Einstein'

      But you're not smart enough to know that there's a huge difference between discovering something and between understanding the discovery after reading it's details. After all, lots of people understand how the photoelectric effect works, and many have even made lots of enhancements to it, but only Einstein got a Nobel Prize for it (he didn't get one for relativity).

      Most of us aren't Newton or Leibnitz, but many of us can understand calculus. Or most of us aren't whatever unknown mathematician invented 0, but can understand the concept unless they're themselves zeroes enough to think that inventing a concept is the same as understanding it after it's invented.

    13. Anonymouse 4:25pm. I know all Anonymices in general and none in particular.

      As you like it.

    14. So, you know nothing at all. And no, I don't like it, because that doesn't stop you from talking nonsense.

    15. I know you’re one Anonymouse in a slew of Anonymices.

      Don’t try to make a personal appeal as to your individual knowledge upon the status of being unrecognizable on a daily basis.

    16. I'm still waiting to hear the identity of the Right-winger who isn't a bigot.
      Even the internet sleuths can't solve that mystery.

  16. From Politicus: "The FBI has made a wave of arrests of Trump supporters who attacked journalists on January 6th."

    The right has been attacking journalists at Trump rallies, during their attempts to cover BLM marches and other protests, sending death-threats to them and their families, and at the 1/6 insurrection. It is part of their agenda, egged on by Trump himself.

    In keeping with this, Somerby uses this daily blog to attack journalists and the journalistic profession, frequently singling out women, black reporters and cable news hosts, professors writing op-eds, and anyone youngish with a job in journalism (criticized for their ages).

    This is one of the most obvious ways in which Somerby furthers the conservative agenda, by attacking the free press as a guarantee of freedoms necessary to a functioning democracy. His efforts benefit authoritarians like Trump and his ilk, and bolster Republican efforts to promulgate various big lies. Note that Somerby never questions those lies, only the reporters disputing them. The violence aimed at reporters is instigated by Trump and Somerby and other Republicans. It needs to be recognized for what it is -- an assault on our democracy.

    1. When you say attacked journalists. Were they attacked physically or threaten with bodily injury verbally?

      Somerby has never physically threatened a journo or said anything that incited it.

      Last I heard lattacking journalists in way that does not involve physical harm is not a crime.

    2. They were physically attacked. That's why their attackers are being charged.

      You are correct that Somerby attacks using words, not physical violence. However, there is a connection between words and the actions of demented followers or extremists. It is a crime to incite violence. That is excluded from 1st Amendment rights. Journalists are explicitly included in the 1st amendment's protections because of their importance to our democracy. They hold a special position.

      Somerby's threats are to democracy. His verbal attacks on journalists undermines the important work they do, weakening our society and furthering the goals of those who wish to weaken democracy, including Trump and similar authoritarian figures.

      Somerby should understand how our democracy works. That doesn't stop him from making personal attacks on his targets. Those personal attacks can do damage in the minds of Q-Anon, mentally ill people, and violent extremists. And yes, such people do exist. A bunch of them showed up on 1/6 at Trump's behest.

    3. From politicians: “There is no federal law that protects journalists from targeted violence while they are doing their jobs, but arresting Trump supporters for attacking the press is a good start.“

      If they’re verbally threatening to do bodily injury to media members or actually beating them up then there are laws on the books for that.

      Of course if you do it while rioting in blue states you’ll be bailed out by starlets and Sorros, the journos will thank you for it, and you’ll have the charges dropped by city prosecutors. but there are laws on the books against it.

    4. "It is a crime to incite violence."

      Then the entire Hamptons-based guild/cable news cult should be in prison for the murderous riots they encouraged last year. About 25 people were killed in those riots.

    5. Glaucon X,
      The rioters (cops) in our cities last Summer should also be indicted.

  17. Anonymouse 1:08pm, if any rioter in the Capitol Building physically threatened or physically attacked a journo or harmed her/his equipment, they damn well should be charged.

    No, Somerby has said nothing in his criticism of the media that facilitates this.

    Liberal bloggers and media media members have issued far more severe indictments of Fox News and their reporters are often targets of protesters.

    1. Somerby models behavior that encourages such attackers. Trump explicitly told his followers to go get the journalists and beat them up. The journalists required secret service protection and had to cover his events from behind fences. That's why they were physically attacked by Trump followers on 1/6.

      Somerby's ongoing verbal attacks on journalists provides an excuse to such people who enact physical violence. Journalists receive death threats (something that is against the law). They are routinely abused while doing their jobs. Somerby creates a climate where that can happen by calling them names and questioning their integrity here in his blog.

      Yes, liberals "indict" Fox News and their reporters. They do not call for anyone to act violently or threaten them. Fox News and their reporters do not get the threats and attacks that mainstream journalists and liberals get. There were no envelopes of white powder mailed to Fox. Their reporters don't operate from cages at rallies. And there are no protesters arrested for attacking anyone at Fox.

      Trying to create an equivalency is pretty lame, Cecelia. As is trying to pretend journalists weren't attacked by Trump supporters on 1/6. There is video of it happening. Similarly with BLM protests (which are legal).

    2. Anonymouse 1:40pm. It is most certainly lame for you to link Somerby to any type of violence against reporters, You freaking have no shame.

      As though rioters burning a church, police precincts, a court house, stores, damaging camera equipment, and throwing soup cans at people’s heads were getting their clues from Somerby’s blog.

      You’re a fool.


    4. The Hill isn't Fox and it isn't conservative either.

      My point was that journalists are getting attacked. That wasn't your point. Of course it is dangerous to be a journalist. My point was that the right has been encouraging such attacks, especially Trump at his rallies.

      Concha notably does not include white supremacists and alt-right activists (Proud Boys, boogaloo bois) in his list -- just police, anarchists and protesters (who are largely non-violent). The left is NOT encouraging this violence. Somerby and Trump are.

    5. Anonymouse 4:23pm, what in the hell do you think happened to journos in the summer of 2020?

      They were attacked by Trump supporters?

  18. White Powder

    1. Which of these are journalists? None of them.

    2. Sydney Glenn

      Leland Vittert

      Dan Lampariello

      You want me to list the non-Fox journos who were attacked by the "mostly peaceful" people protesting George Floyd's death?

      I assume Anonymices didn't overtly instigate those attacks either...though they sure applauded the carnage in these pages.

    3. 1. I said that non-Fox journalists were being attacked, not Fox ones.
      2. I said that they were NOT being attacked by liberal protesters but by Trump supporters and alt-right extremists.

      No liberals have applauded the attacks on journalists. Somerby and conservatives have done so.

      Your responses support the things I said. They do not refute them.

    4. Well, you’re wrong. Fox and non-Fox members of the media were attacked during the George Floyd riots.

      Yes, Anonymices applauded and defended the violence, looting, and burning every step of the way.

    5. That is a flat out lie. Liberals do not applaud violence. When you generalize to anonymous commenters here, you are way out of bounds. No one here has applauded that kind of violence. You need to fuck off. Now. It is outrageous that you would claim that any anonymous commenter here has ever defended or applauded violence, looting or burning. You should be ashamed of yourself for lying like that. But I guess that's what Republicans do these days. Go away Cecelia.

    6. Any time I complained about the violence I was told that I care more about bad cops and property than I do about racism.

      There was never anyone decrying the destruction and fighting in the streets, just comments that such acts were necessary in effecting changer.

      Now you react in horror over my saying you championed this, and that it was facilitated by Sorros money.

      Meanwhile you have no problem saying that Somerby facilitated the attacks on journos during these events because he strongly criticizes the U.S. media on his blog.

      You are ridiculous, disingenuous, and you’re dumb.

    7. Heh, 11:10 is funny. Great parody. Thanks for the laughs, dear dembot.

    8. No one said that violence was necessary in effecting change. This is your imagination. And no, no one here championed violence. And you added the Soros stuff. No liberal is saying Soros is funding anything -- that is right wing anti-Semitism.

      And yes, Somerby is encouraging people to attack journalists through his daily attacks on the media.

      You need to go find someplace else to spew your right wing garbage. You don't belong here.

    9. Meh, we wouldn't call it "dumb". More like moderate retardation.

    10. Anonymouse 3:21pm, tell me I don’t belong here 10,000 more times and perhaps I’ll leave.


    11. Anonymouse 3:25pm, and these aren’t the droids I’m looking for.

    12. Correct Cecelia 10,000 more times and perhaps she'll learn it.


  19. Hey Ceci, when you summoned up the image of Sorros (sic) applauding mob violence a few comments back, you kind of gave it away here. Maybe it’s the booze talking, as you’ve become noticeably more obnoxious over the course of this thread, in which case I would suggest sleeping it off. Otherwise, mentioning George Soros in the context of anything is a reminder that you take your marching orders from the Murdoch cartel. He’s a convenient target for you and your ilk, irrespective of his having spent hundreds of millions of dollars advancing democracy globally. And irrespective that the liberal community pays little attention to him. So that liberal mob in the aftermath of George Floyd - is that anything like the ANTIFA crowd that stormed the capital? Because truth be told, the first building taken down and torched in the Twin Cities during those riots- an Auto Zone- was the work of a far right wing extremist with ties to the prison system. You see, the world is a bit more complicated than the tidy view of it you have been spoon fed by Hannity and his ilk. So just out of curiosity how does it go down with you and your kind when Tucker Carlson denigrates a 4 star general and calls him a pig? Because we liberals don’t like that.

    1. Now that you mention it. Unamused did not make a comment, he went on a rant.

      It presumes that I think there were no right wing idiots out there doing damage because that’s the way you deflect from some truly outrageous behavior that was overwhelmingly the work of BLM and Antifa and well-heeled white kids dressed in top of the line athletic wear. Protest Chic.

      All cheered on and rationalized here every day and by media members.

      Ive tweeted against Tucker calling the general names. I’ said it was disrespectful to his audience as well to the military. So don’t try to play me with that game.

  20. Karen Attiah: We are actually fighting against the same tyranny and white supremacy that Ida B. Wells was fighting against all those years ago (1890s).”

    She right, but as a corporate-funded stooge she's not allowed to name the Capitalist tyranny that invented the race-based exploitation purely as a tool for making greater profits. She can say "white" but she can't say "capitalist." That's because, as a capitalist, she's pro-exploitation in principle. She angry that capitalists were able to use racism to target Blacks, but she's not angry at the process of capitalist exploitation at all.

    1. But aren't capitalists firmly on your liberal-hitlerian side? Soros Fund Management, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Coca-Cola, you name it.

      Something's wrong with your rant, dear.

    2. How did you forget The Trump Organization?

      Speaking of which, businessmen overwhelmingly voted for Trump, the guy who stiffed his contractors for 5+ decades.
      It just goes to show you, Trump isn't an outlier. He's an inliar.

  21. "Same," I would say refers to the ends to which racists aspire, not to the magnitude of their success in doing so. By several economic metrics, we've seen some recidivism in African American disenfranchisement since the 1960s, that is to say, some of the progress made previously has been lost. True that the magnitude of disenfranchisement now does not even begin to approach that of the 1890s -- at least by the aforementioned economic metrics. But why on earth does Somerby assume the word "same" means "same in every dimension, aspect, or regard"? I think that assumption is deliberately obtuse and asinine. Possibly disingenuous, to boot.