FROM THEIR SIDE NOW: In fairness, it may be a family tradition!


No Crazy Belief Left Behind: Especially if we're viewing the world from the liberal / progressive / Democratic perspective, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is a real piece of work.

Especially if we're viewing the world from the liberal / progressive / Democratic perspective, there are very few crazy beliefs which Rep. Greene hasn't endorsed at some point.  

Also though, and in full fairness, she seems to come by it naturally.

Long ago and far away, The Atlantic published an extensive biographical profile of Rep. Greene.  

The profile was written by Elaina Plott Calabro. Now that we doublecheck, the profile appeared in early December, beneath this pair of headlines:

On the ground in the Georgia congresswoman’s alternate universe

Why is Rep. Greene like this? Especially at this point in time, we'd call that an excellent question.

We can't vouch for the perfect accuracy of every word in The Atlantic's lengthy profile. But as to why Rep. Greene has endorsed so many apparently crazy beliefs, it seems that the tendency may possibly run in the family.

At one point in the profile, Calabro offered a biographical profile of Bob Taylor, Rep. Greene's father. According to Calabro, he was also in possession of at least one strange belief:

CALABRO (12/5/22): Greene’s political origin story was not unlike that of millions of other Trump supporters. Despite having never hinted at an interest in politics, she found herself suddenly beguiled by a feeling, a conviction that despite the distance between Trump’s gold-plated world and her own, she knew exactly who he was. “He reminded me of most men I know,” she has said. “Men like my dad.”

In some ways, [Trump] was like her dad. Bob Taylor may not have been overtly partisan, but he rivaled Trump in his tendency to self-mythologize. In 2006, Greene’s father had published a novel with the small publisher Savas Beatie called Paradigm. As best I can tell, this is Taylor’s effort to demonstrate the value of a system he invented called the “Taylor Effect”—which purports to predict the stock market based on the gravitational fluctuations of Earth—in the form of a high-stakes international caper. The story follows twin scientists who discover an ancient Egyptian box in the bowels of the Biltmore estate, the contents of which, they soon realize, could “destroy many of the world’s most powerful families” if ever made public.

He considered his stock-market theory to be “the Genuine Article”; in the afterword, he likened himself to da Vinci, Galileo, Edison, Marconi, and the Wright brothers. “History,” he wrote, “is filled with characters who endured ridicule, imprisonment, and even death because they discovered things we know today with absolute certainty to be true.” Suzanne Thompson, a North Carolina author hired to help Taylor write Paradigm, recalls that Taylor had “a bit of an exalted sense of himself.” She was unaware that he was Marjorie Taylor Greene’s father, and gasped with dismay when I told her. “Oh my gosh, I had no idea. Oh my God.”

In many ways, Bob Taylor seems to have been an admirable high achiever. He had established a highly successful business despite humble family origins.

In other ways, it seems that he may have been out of his mind. 

Let us guess that Taylor didn't really invent a system which could "predict the stock market based on the gravitational fluctuations of Earth." That said, it seems that he believed that he had, and that he may have thought of himself as one of history's great inventors. 

(In full fairness, let it be said that Newton believed in witches and witchcraft, and also spent a lot of his time trying to find a way to make gold out of lead. Presumably, no one ever gets everything right, but we'll guess that Rep. Greene's father may have been wrong about revolutionary system now known as the "Taylor Effect.")

At any rate, Suzanne Thompson had helped Taylor write the adventure novel in which he's said to have displayed his "exalted view of himself." According to Calabro, Suzanne Thompson gasped with dismay when she learned that Rep. Greene was Bob Taylor's daughter.

Calabro doesn't attempt to explain that reaction. We'll only say that the capacity to form absurd beliefs may have been, to some extent, a bit of a family tradition.

At any rate, whatever! Elsewhere in her profile, Calabro describes the process through which Greene emerged as a person who seems to be able to believe almost any claim, no matter how absurd, bizarre or implausible.

"Despite having never hinted at an interest in politics," she found herself, as she reached 43 years of age, caught up in the emerging politics, journalism and social media of the ongoing Trump era.

We won't try to retrace it all. But as Calabro laid out "the narrative of Greene’s descent into QAnon," she offered a passage showing how far it quickly went:

CALABRO: To an extent, Greene had already signaled her attraction to conspiracy theories, questioning on American Truth Seekers whether the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas was a false-flag operation to eliminate gun rights. But with Q, Greene was all in. She has gone so far as to endorse an unhinged QAnon theory called “frazzledrip,” which claims that Hillary Clinton murdered a child as part of a satanic blood ritual.

Way back in the 1990s, the Reverend Falwell had toured the countryside, attempting to convince supporters of the reality of the Clintons' many murders.

By and large, the mainstream press corps had treated Falwell's behavior with a dose of benign neglect. Now, if Calabro's profile can be believed, the "frazzledrip" theory had taken things one step further, and Greene has endorsed the claim.

According to frazzledrip, it wasn't just that Hillary Clinton had been involved in a bunch of political murders. She had also murdered a child as part of a blood ritual—a satanic blood ritual at that!

The father believed that he had invented a world-changing economic / gravitational theory. According to Calabro, the daughter believed in frazzledrip, then continued along from there.

By now, she has become a major political player on our devolving American stage. Especially when she is viewed from the liberal / progressive / Democratic Party perspective, there are very few crazy, dumb or stupid ideas to which she hasn't given voice.

That said, consider this:

At present, we're living in a world in which tens of millions of American voters seem to believe various things which don't quite seem to make sense. In his new column for the New York Times, Paul Krugman offers this absolute keeper of an overview statement:

"But of course none of this is about rational argument."

We'll offer more on Krugman's statement this afternoon. But we've all been living through a highly instructive anthropological moment—a moment in which we're learning about the surprising human capacity for apparently crazy belief.

As it turns out, many people—not just Greene—are apparently able to believe in theories like frazzledrip. Until the "democratization of media"—until the rise of such communication technologies as talk radio, cable news, the Internet and social media—this basic fact about the human condition might have been hard to discern.

Today, it's clear that people can believe all sorts of things, if they're only given the chance. The liberal / progressive / Democratic world is struggling to deal with the armies of strange belief advanced by generals like Rep. Greene, but is it possible that we ourselves, within our blue tribe, contribute to this ongoing disaster?

As we admitted yesterday, we're going to be looking at things From Their Side Now this week—and yes, we're going to start with one of the most disordered of all major red tribe players this side of Donald J. Trump.

There seem to be very few things that Rep. Greene can't come to believe. That said, our own blue tribe has been an ongoing part of this very dangerous mess—or at least, so it says here.

In the past few weeks, Rep. Greene gave voice to her latest dumb idea. On its face, the idea was rather dumb—but then, the blue world struck back.

According to major anthropologists, members of all human tribes are strongly inclined to believe that the fault at times like this always lies with the Others, full and complete total stop. 

In the case of Rep. Greene, few crazy, dumb or unhelpful ideas seem to get left behind. Then again, and acknowledging that, how well are things going with Us?

How may this latest foofaw involving Greene have appeared to the Others? Tomorrow, we'll start to ponder that question. 

Incomparably, we'll be trying to do something unusual. We'll be trying to look at things From The Others' Side Now.

Tomorrow: The latest dumb idea


  1. "but is it possible that we ourselves, within our blue tribe, contribute to this ongoing disaster?"

    Somerby says this, buried in his description of Greene's views, but he offers not one single example of any odd blue tribe belief, much less one that is as weird as frazzledrip.

    I think this is an example of Somerby's odd beliefs. He wants to find the so-called blue tribe as misguided as Greene, but he has no evidence to support that weird belief. Nevertheless, he goes on repeating his view endlessly, just as so many right wingers do these days.

    1. How about a man can be a woman?

    2. There are some people who are born with the genitals of both sexes. This is part of nature, not man-made. At birth, their parents choose a sex for them. They may or may not feel that their parents made the right choice. They may or may not have surgery to correct the anatomy that occurred at birth. No matter which societal sex roles they enact, they are choosing one and not the other, if they behave as either male or female.

      This is biology. Some people think that those who have chosen a gender are pretending or making it up. The ignorance about physiology leads those people to behave badly toward those who have changed their presentation of gender.

      Another category of people who are a different gender than the way they are born are boys who experienced an accident during circumcision. In such a case, a doctor removes the penis and suggests that the parents raise the child as a girl. This used to be common practice in such situations. Now we know that a boy without a penis may still feel like a boy, and attempts to change the child's gender are unsuccessful, leading to depression and suicide in the child as he gets older. It is better to raise the child as the sex that he or she feels is natural to him or her.

      Sometimes the feeling of gender comes from the balance of hormones in utero (before the child is born) and results in a strong affinity for one sex or the other in a developing child. In such a case, the parents attempts to raise the child in a gender that conforms to their genitalia is similarly unsuccessful because the child resists (from toddler years). This isn't because the parent is trying to force the child into a different gender, but because the child insists on being that other gender, adamantly. If forced, the child may also become depressed and suicidal as it gets older. These are the cases diagnosed as gender dysphoria, which is a real condition, going back as long as psychiatry has existed, and before. In such cases, it is better for the child to become the gender he or she prefers, since they will be unable to function otherwise and resistance will interfere with family relationships and development of the child.

      Conservatives don't bother reading the medical literature or listening to experts, so they don't understand what is going on. They claim parents are forcing the children to transition, or that children are just confused. That is not what is happening, and there are cases in medical journals that contradict those beliefs. Unfortunately, conservatives want to force their ignorant world view on everyone else, including children who are anomalous in their gender and genitalia. This is akin to their desire to force wrong beliefs about abortion onto women, regardless of their health needs. Conservatives need to stop meddling in other people's lives with ignorant beliefs that have little to do with medical reality.

    3. Oddly, conservatives seem to care most when men want to be treated as women, not when women want to transition to be treated as men. Why is there this imbalance in the concerns of conservatives? Is it more shocking that a man would give up his privilege, more of a threat to a patriarchal hierarchy when men become women, than vice versa? Or do conservatives simply not care what women do, as long as they adhere to gender norms for men?

    4. 11:53,
      So when a man born with an intact penis and the other biological markings of maleness, identifies as a woman, is it the case that this person is in fact a woman? In other words, can a man be, or become, a woman?

    5. A woman is whoever identifies as a woman.

      Anyone can identify as whatever gender they want, there is no law (yet) against this, nor is this anything to fake concern over. Gender is a social construct, if most of us were honest, most of us are probably non binary; throughout any given day we cycle through so called masculine and feminine traits many times: at times we are nurturing, other times we are aggressive.

      Put your big boy pants on and stop with the faux consternation; your stance actually harms youthful people who have yet to develop the skills to cope with toxic entities such as yourself.

    6. The only person to whom biological sex matters is the individual. When a man behave like a woman, society accepts that person as a woman. Biological women who do not behave like women are not accepted by society as women. Being a woman depends on behavior (performing the role of woman according to society’s dictates) not on biological sex. That’s why we differentiate between gender (defined by society) and sex (defined medically). The two can be the same or they can diverge.

      There are masculine looking biological women and feminine looking biological men. Women’s choices to adhere to gender roles vary widely, as do men’s. When a biological man chooses to express female gender, no one should care, it is no one’s business except their own.

    7. There are biological women who have dressed as men and behaved as men and fought as men in the revolutionary war, the civil war and WWII, only discovered to be female at death.

    8. Societies are constantly in flux, evolving and de-volving. Our contemporary society is evolving away from traditional gender identities and roles, and every indication is that this is a positive development.

      Definitionally, Reactionaries are people who exhibit discomfort with progress, while it’s sad to encounter such folk, best we can do is offer a better path.

    9. This discussion began with a commenter’s complaint that Somerby hadn’t provided a single example of an “odd blue tribe belief”. Since the four respondents above seem to more or less agree that a man can become a woman, I believe we have found our example.

    10. The problem with your example is that what people have said here is in accord with medicine, science and psychology, whereas the objection that a man cannot become a woman is just a stubborn assertion of the right wing, back by nothing but religion and obsolete thinking. Evidence means facts, not conservative opinions. In your opinion a man cannot become a woman, yet there are many examples of men who have not only done that but have passed in society without raising concerns.

    11. Medicine cures men and women, it does not define them. Psychology explains men and women, it does not define them.

      For centuries it has been ‘science’ that has done the defining, specifically biology, based on sex characteristics. Proponents of transgenderism seek to change the definitional criteria from objective. biological traits to subjective, psychological states of mind.

      This is nonsense that leads to chaos. How many other objective facts about one’s self will be open to self-declaration? Can I declare myself ten years younger than my actual age? Can I declare myself a Kazakh tribesmen? A lost king of France?

      And must you respect my declarations? Why not? Anything goes.

    12. Hector,
      Yes. The Republican voters, who elected George Santos to Congress, are very concerned with people declaring anything they want about themselves.
      Now, pull my other finger.

  2. It is one thing to point out that MTG believes weird things, such as Q-Anon conspiracy theories hatched on the right, but Somerby should also notice the way she brings up new odd beliefs from day to day. She is not just consuming but also manufacturing weirdness. Why? I think she, like Trump, needs to be in the public eye all the time, because she is a narcissist. Like Trump, she has no commitment to any ideology but seeks public attention constantly. Her efforts are to keep herself in the news, not to achieve anything during her time in office.

    How could Somerby miss this fact about her?

  3. Why would the blue tribe be blamed? Did they close the bus station where MTG should be ranting her idiocy?

  4. Marjorie Taylor Greene's father is not responsible for her crimes. I doubt she even read his theory about investing. His main contribution to her current behavior was probably being distant or inconsistent and paying her insufficient attention for her liking. Something had to produce her attention-seeking behavior and it is usually the father's distance that does it. She is obviously the grown-up version of the boy-crazy girl who will do anything for male attention.

    Somerby neglects the fact that people who seem rational on a day to day basis, can believe weird stuff. Look at religious people. Look at someone like Bill Maher, who has a huge deficit in logic when it comes to health fads and alternative medicine (and pot). People who believe in spiritualism (communication with the dead) are otherwise normal in their beliefs and behavior. So are those who believe in alien abduction. Believing in one weird belief doesn't mean someone believes all of them, the way Greene does. If her father were that strange, he wouldn't have been successful in business. But beliefs don't get handed down from father to daughter, as if they were heirlooms. Greene didn't follow in her father's footsteps in business -- she started a cross-fit gym (because narcissists worry about how they look) and had affairs (because for narcissists the thrill of being admired is more important than family life with hubby and kids). Look at the coat she wore to the State of the Union Speech -- designed to attract attention, which it did. She is still seeking daddy's attention, not trying to carry on his legacy of investing theories.

  5. "According to major anthropologists, members of all human tribes are strongly inclined to believe that the fault at times like this always lies with the Others, full and complete total stop. "

    Somerby makes this shit up. There are no major anthropologists saying this. They are not the experts who explain human behavior -- psychologists do that. What do psychogists say about blame? They do not say that people tend to always blame others. Clearly people feel both guilt and shame about their own behavior, which means they are blaming themselves, not others.

    The main theory about others is called "fundamental attribution error" and it says that when someone is assigning blame, they tend to attribute the mistakes of others to character (internal causes) where they attribute their own mistakes to circumstances (external causes). When someone else is late to work, it is because they are lazy or don't care about others or disorganized. When we ourselves are late to work, it is because of circumstances beyond our control, an accident that blocked traffic, our car wouldn't start, not an internal character flaw.

    The suggestion that we walk a mile in someone else's shoes is designed to help us see the circumstances and environmental causes of other people's behavior so that we won't ascribe their behavior to inherent traits, such as being a bad person.

    This comes from psychology, not anthropology. It could help us see that The Others are not bad people but have weird beliefs because of environmental circumstances we don't know about. In this case, Somerby is suggesting that Marjorie Taylor Greene is batshit crazy because she grew up with a crazy papa, except that isn't really what is causing her behavior, nor what he daddy was like. He may have fantasized about being an inventor but he wasn't actually Nikola Tesla. He ran a successful business and she grew up with money. In that circumstance, she is like Trump without the expectations of following in footsteps that Trump had. She was a princess, as she clearly is now. An out-of-control Karen. And she cares about no one besides herself. If there is anyone who divides the world up based on bad people and good ones, it is Greene, not the blue tribe.

    In order to blame the poor and unfortunate for their circumstances someone must engage in assigning them negative character traits -- this is what Republicans do. The poor and lazy, undeserving of help because they cause their own problems, a danger to others with their criminal, dirty habits, propensity for immorality. It is the left who tends to see disadvantaged people in terms of their circumstances, not their character. The left blames medical debt for poverty, lack of education for inability to find work, discrimination for disparities in crime rates and so on. Somerby doesn't need to lecture us on walking a mile in people's shoes. We do that already. The left is the party of empathy, not the right. When we withhold that empathy from right wing voters and politicians, it is because we see that they are doing what they do because of their inner make up, not their circumstances. And I consider this to be an accurate perception of what right wing people are like.

    1. I think some on the left do assume that all republicans are crazy, conspiracy believing hicks, similar to how right wingers generalize that all on the left are woke, transgender, and American hating. Believing that someone is a hick or crazy or unempathetic just because they are republican would be the same as assuming everyone on welfare is a lazy drug addict. We can sit here and argue over who does it more or better, who's beliefs are crazier, etc but there is a tendency for people to see the world through their lens, and like you said, give someone with similar beliefs the benefit of the doubt, while not giving the "others" that same benefit of the doubt. It's like group fundamental attribution error. I don't know about you but I see WAY too much snark and demonization from both sides (although I personally think the republican brand of crazy and demonization is more dangerous). I liked the idea of when they go low we go high. Some in the blue tribe don't. And that makes them just as bad (not all blue tribe, but some).

    2. 11:03,
      In a world where both sides make good faith arguments, I'd agree with you.

    3. When we go high, Somerby accuses us of being virtue signaling, patronizing, sanctimonious, etc. As a strategy, it didn't work for Hillary. Both Hillary and Michelle Obama (who originated the phrase) had the need to not display anger because anger is a male emotion and women who display anger are seen as being hysterical, bitchy, out of control, violating stereotypes and behaving badly in our society. Getting angry also makes one seem like a victim (if female) not a capable commander.

      I think it is a fact that conservatives are not empathetic, based on their actions toward others. I see the problem as an unwillingness to recognize that we are all in this boat together and thus must come together to address common goals. That spirit seems to me to be entirely gone in our country, even on the local level. Even covid didn't unite the country in a common attack on the virus. That makes us a weaker country and makes me fear for our common future.

      Snark and demonization drive us apart, but so does the propaganda that tells conservatives that liberals are evil, that we are the enemy, that the right must win or life as they know it will be taken from them by us, that children are in danger from us. This is dangerous to our country's welfare. And yet I never hear Somerby say a word about it. He is only focused on changing the left, mostly by asking us to abandon the things we care about.

    4. 10:33,
      "Anthropology is the scientific study of humanity, concerned with human behavior, human biology, cultures, societies, and linguistics, in both the present and past, including past human species." Wikipedia

    5. Anthropology studies cross cultural differences in behavior. Psychology studies universals in behavior, mind and behavior, and has subfields for current cross cultural and social psychology. There may be overlap but also clearly defined differences in emphasis. Somerby ignores these when he summons up his imaginary experts.

    6. What is the Difference Between Anthropology and Psychology? Anthropology is holistic in nature and studies everything related to man, whereas, psychology confines itself to behavior of human beings and includes theories that are used to explain human behavior.

    7. Anthropology and psychology are not mutually exclusive, but broadly speaking, anthropology focuses more on society, whereas psychology tends to focus on the individual.

      Regardless of the discipline, although this is more within anthropology, what we have learned about human nature is generally the opposite of what Somerby presents and also indicates that 11:03 is way off the mark - their stance is how we get slavery and fascism.

      Humans are naturally “good” - cooperative and egalitarian, and that’s how human society existed for tens of thousands of years (there’s an interesting role that tools played in that, but that’s a topic for another day), until we transitioned away from immediate return societies to agriculture and surplus based societies, which led to private property (different from personal property) and commodification, etc.

      The issue is decidedly not about snark and demonization, that is frankly an empty analysis whose goal is likely about winning an argument, not how to progress society. The main struggle in our society for the past 10k years has been equality vs hierarchy, egalitarianism vs dominance. There is science that indicates that right wingers are people obsessed with dominance, that their brains have developed a larger amygdala, a smaller frontal cortex, likely caused by childhood trauma.

      In all likelihood MTG suffered some abuse in her youth, we on the Left don’t want to demonize MTG (fyi, leftists tend to not focus criticism on individuals, but more on systems and institutions) we want to break the generational cycles of trauma that are the root of why people become right wingers.

      There’s no mystery in how to have a better, happier, healthier society; the issue is that what impedes progressing towards that goal are right wingers.

    8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    9. @Anon 8:02: Excellent comment. Thanks.


  6. tl;dr

    It's not at all surprising, dear Bob, that your far-right liberal cult Wizards tell you to hate Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is a rare (extremely rare!) anti-war, pro-working-class federal politician.

    ...and as a member of your far-right liberal cult, please stop worrying your pretty little head, dear. Just listen to your cult's hate-mongering Wizards, and do what they say...

    1. If you didn't read Somerby's essay, you really shouldn't comment on it.

  7. With conservatives, kooks believe in conspiracy theories. For liberals, the big majority will believe in conspiracy theories. Exhibit A is the Russian collusion hoax. Not only did most liberals buy this ridiculous theory; many still do!

    1. The above comment from David in Cal.

    2. It is truly unfortunate that Donald J Chickenshit corruptly obstructed and interfered with the investigation in addition to corruptly tampering with witnesses and finally was too much of a lying treasonous coward to answer questions under oath. Lying Magats feel better about themselves by calling it a hoax, but there really was no hoax about it.

    3. Speaking of conspiracy theories:

      "Republican 2024 presidential candidate Donald Trump has spent the past 12 hours wildly posting falsehoods to his Truth Social account, insisting the cherry-picked video clips aired by propagandist Tucker Carlson on Rupert Murdoch’s far-right wing cable channel Monday night are proof he is “totally innocent,” calling for the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack to be prosecuted for “treason,” praising Speaker Kevin McCarthy for handing over the 41,000 or more hours of January 6 video to Carlson, and reposting video that appears to be of a naked Hunter Biden with a naked woman with their private parts blurred."

    4. Once the media made the collective decision to disappear the open bigotry of Republican voters as the reason Trump was elected President in 2016, stories like Russiagate were inevitable.

    5. I have a theory you didn’t read the Mueller report, douche bag.

    6. 10:40,

      It is not disputed that:
      a) Russia worked to get Trump elected;
      b) top Trump campaign officials Kushner, Manafort and Don Jr. attended a meeting in which the discussion was to center around dirt Russia could provide on Hillary;
      c) Trump’s campaign manager (Manafort) had significant experience working with pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians;
      d) Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn lied repeatedly about his contacts with Russians, and;
      e) Trump admitted firing Comey so that the Russian investigation would go away.

      Given the above smoke, what is ‘ridiculous’ or ‘hoaxish’ about investigating the possibility of fire?


    7. @1:39 PM, Hector

      Far from being undisputed, every item on your list is bullshit and/or completely irrelevant.

    8. Mao,
      Did you learn that in your 2nd Grade CRT class?

    9. The idea that Russian "interference" had any material effect on the 2016 election is dear to many of my fellow blue tribe members, but it is BS. None of the examples given by Hector establish anything like that happened. These blue tribers are like MAGA zealots who think Trump won in 2020. All the social media, to the extent there any, from Russia was a drop in the ocean compared to our own made in the USA propaganda in favor of Trump. The tribe sounds like the anti-communists from the cold war era in their belief of this Russian interference having any material impact. To go what-aboutism style, I would point out the US overtly supported Boris Yeltsin in the 1990's full scale - that was election interference.

    10. The evidence of meddling is that Hillary was not president despite winning the popular vote by a huge margin. The rest is just the mechanics of how they did it.

    11. Just as a single example in a field awash with corruption, Manafort gave Russia insider campaign information that was then used to propagate millions of ads targeted on WI, MI, and PA - the three states that won the presidency for Trump by a few thousand votes. Denying the collusion/interference had a non zero impact is BS.

      America (and Russia) has been interfering and colluding with bad people in other countries for over a hundred years, causing most of the dumpster fires in the world and countless deaths and misery. That Trump was used in this manner isn’t surprising, it’s corrupt.

      Russia has a long history of being right wing, the fascism of their current leader is par for the course.

      Russia had a successful collusion with Trump and the Republicans during Trump’s presidency, now…not so much, now Russia is getting their ass handed to them.

  8. In psychology, Seligman has a theory that how people explain what happens to them is important to whether they are pessimistic or optimistic about outcomes, whether they see events as inevitable or something that can be changed. The hallmark of liberalism is the belief that things can be changed to improve people's lives in the future. We work toward change because we believe it is possible and desirable.

    The hallmark of the right is preserving the status quo against perceived dangers and threats. Change is a bad thing to them. Further, they believe that the way people are now is natural, right and impossible to change. Fixed. Many see an undesirable world that they can do nothing to affect, that produces the bad results that happen to them.

    If you believe that things can be changed and are not always going to be the same, that motivates struggle to improve one's life. This view leads to optimism. If you believe that things cannot be changed, that things are bad and it is always going to be that way, then that motivates defensiveness, protective behavior. It also leads to depression, fatalism, pessimism. Perhaps it leads to fantasies of rescue by aliens or a messianic Trump father figure, or religious rapture.

    Understanding how people think about their lives isn't going to make liberals stop trying to change the world, including changing conservatives who seem to be working against postive goals. Somerby's belief that polarization will magically drop away if we all just understand each other better, is ridiculous on its face. Many conservatives are suffering because of the way they view the world, and because of their own failure to take positive action to change their lives. I am willing to reach out to them and help them, but I am not willing to sell out this country to a view that will surely result in bad outcomes, especially in the face of a NEED for change due to climate effects or pandemic, or other threats to our survival. It is time for conservatives to recognize that their conspiracy theories are not good for themselves and do something to help their own followers engage with reality more effectively. But that is essentially their problem -- one that Somerby does not seem to recognize. In fact, Somerby often seems to embody this difference, but meanwhile, he urges the left, which is mentally more healthy, to become more like the right, and that way lies disaster for humanity.

  9. This is why I'm always asking the Others to specifically explain their opposition to the Brown vs. Board of Education decision. I don't want to speculate.

  10. Republicans hate blacks.

  11. Karl Marx isn't rolling around in his grave. He's giving Ron DeSantis a standing ovation for sticking it to corporations.

    1. DeSantis isn't sticking it to anyone except Disney and that is because Disney supports gay employees and customers.

    2. Marx had no interest in sticking it to corporations, he wanted entities like corporations to operate under worker democracies, instead of under an autocratic leader like DeSantis.

  12. It sort of a tribute to MTG that Bob
    saved the square up bullshit for tomorrow.
    His point that this crap goes back to
    Clinton time is well taken, most
    liberals won’t acknowledge that

  13. "Incomparably, we'll be trying to do something unusual. We'll be trying to look at things From The Others' Side Now."

    Does Somerby think that the others cannot speak for themselves, that they haven't already spoken volumes?

  14. This focus on Greene seems to be a distraction from talking about what Tucker Carlson did yesterday.

  15. “If you believe that things can be changed and are not always going to be the same, that motivates struggle to improve one's life. This view leads to optimism. If you believe that things cannot be changed, that things are bad and it is always going to be that way, then that motivates defensiveness, protective behavior. It also leads to depression, fatalism, pessimism. Perhaps it leads to fantasies of rescue by aliens or a messianic Trump father figure, or religious rapture.”

    Anonymouse 10:53am, I don’t know if you harbor any religious delusions . You certainly exhibit a deep paranoia towards people who don’t view everything as you view things.

    Let’s hope that you overcome that soon and overcome your pessimism towards Bob and everyone else on the planet who isn’t a carbon copy of you.

    1. Like you, eh, Cecelia?

    2. Bro, I think conservatives and liberals and everyone in between are mostly well-intentioned. Not everyone, but the vast majority certainly are.

    3. The 501c's, disguised as "Parental Rights" groups, are not at all well-intentioned. They're the same bigoted, religious busy-bodies, who hood-winked the media by pretending they cared about "Family Values" as they pulled the lever for Newt Gingrich.

    4. Anonymouse 1:52pm, people with religious views have the right to support those views in the town square, as much as anyone else can speak out against capitalism (or aspects of it).

      These people are not silly enough to to pan candidates who will back their views, but whose personal lives aren’t the greatest representations of their philosophy.

    5. Cecelia,
      This is exactly why it's no problem that drag queens read to children at libraries.
      No one is silly enough to pan the words of drag queens, just because of the way they dress.

    6. Calling out their bullshit religious fantasies, is protected by the same First Amendment.
      BTW, so is telling them to go fuck themselves with a crucifix.

    7. Anonymouse 500pm, people pan drag queens reading books to kids in libraries generally because of the way they’re dressed and because it’s an effort to expose children to a grownup culture when they are too young for such an introduction. That’s not the role for public libraries.

      Adults of both genders and various sexual proclivities can appreciate drag culture and revel in it if they desire. They’re adults.

    8. Anonymouse 4:02pm, that speech is a a 1st Amendment right and should not be censored under some phony and ridiculous bullshite about speech being the equivalent of violence.

    9. There’s nothing grown up about drag. It is a type of Halloween costume. Little girls dress as boys in kids books. It is a staple of fraternity hazing. It is a plot line in Shakespeare (see Twelfth Night or Much Ado About Nothing) and operas. Girls can dress like boys without consequence (Annie Hall) but boys can only do it for fun, whch is what drag shows are for — it is the religious nuts who sexualize it, and that is their problem.

    10. people with religious views have the right to support those views in the town square...

      Yes, people have that right. But they don't have the right to impose those religious views on me. That goes to the very foundational principals of this country. The fact that you seem to be equating protesting abuses of capitalism with religions speaks volumes.

    11. Anonymouse 5:42pm, everything is adult about drag.

      Adults and children may wear costumes on Halloween and at costume parties, but there’s a difference between a little girl or boy dressing up as a bunny rabbit from an adult dressing like a Playboy Bunny.

    12. Anonymous 5:42pm, the fact that you seem to think that morality as drawn from religion should be less politically compelling than morality drawn from whatever you currently find worthwhile to support is dead wrong.

      The Establishment Cause has not negated people’s rights to champion laws based upon traditional moral principles. Whether it’s prostitution, Sunday liquor restrictions or banning strip clubs in your city.

      I wouldn’t support a lot of these things, but I wouldn’t support arresting people for a hate crime when they burned a gay pride flag either.

    13. You're so confused, Cecelia, you have it totally ass-backwards. Morality is not "drawn from religion", moron. Moral principals evolved in humanity long before any fucking religion.

      The Establishment Cause has not negated people’s rights to champion laws based upon traditional moral principles.

      you're mixing religion and morality again, Cecelia.

      “My challenge: Name an ethical statement or action, made or performed by a person of faith, that could not have been made or performed by a nonbeliever.”

      ― Christopher Hitchens

    14. I liked Christopher Hitchens very much, but I’m not sure why he thought any religious person would think that non-religious people weren’t as predisposed to having moral strictures as they are.

    15. Moral principles are not traditional. They vary widely across cultures.

    16. Cecelia, he thought that because that is what every Christofacist Theocrat he debated told him, out loud, to his face.

    17. Anonymouse 7:32pm, I said the impulse to harbor them is universal.

    18. Anonymouse 7:54pm. every religious person did not tell Hitchens that non-believers would have no inclination toward or capacity for moral structures.

      They told him that theirs would be in service to making themselves God.

    19. What’s clear Cecelia is that your impulse is to attack and spew hate towards those that you disagree with. Almost daily, you’re here to hiss and spit, and vomit your hate over everyone that has a different worldview than you.

      Are you in jail? No, you’re here freely, pretending to be a woman while attacking others who genuinely identify as such.

      No one here likes your comments, everyone would prefer to not interact with you, yet we see a troubled lost soul, we are obliged attempts at rescuing you from your own hell.

      Even so, knowing this, you continue to come here and spitefully attack and attack and spew your hate, crucifying anyone and everyone for your own sins. It’s so sad.

    20. Anonymouse 8:49pm, not sharing your opinions is not an attack on you. Voicing my own opinions is not an attack on you.

      You don’t hope to change my mind by responding to me or to anyone else who disputes you.

      You want to counter what your contrarians say for same reason you endlessly counter Bob. You’re worried as hell that someone like you may start to agree with one of us.

    21. "With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion." 
      ————Steven Weinberg

    22. Anonymouse 9:07pm, it’s absolutely true, it does take religion for “good” people to sin and do evil. When they do, we know that they have on the basis of their religion.

      On the other hand, irreligious people will justify all their actions upon the basis of their own morphing human goodness, not God’s.

    23. Were you to express opinions on issues, then you could engage in a discourse, instead you just attack and spew hate.

      Nobody wants to change your opinion, we want to help you escape the deep dark well you exist in.

      We counter right wing nonsense because when left uncountered it leads to fascism and worse. No Leftist is under a persuasion delusion, unlike right wingers, we aren’t trying to groom the misguided. Left ideology is the natural state for humans, right wing ism is an emergent phenomenon and it’s usually baked in early. Somerby is a right winger out to manufacture ignorance. Our goals are to motivate the like minded and provide a better path for right wingers.

    24. Cecelia,
      True, but " My God says...", "My religion says...", and " The Bible says..." should be met with "who cares? Do you have any facts?" Just like any other made-up story.

    25. Bigots have been hiding behind religious freedom since the Brown vs. Board of Education decision.

    26. Ok, so expressing my own opinions is spewing hate and is a de facto attack on you.

      You can’t change my radical opinions you can only help *me to escape from them by telling me to shut up.

      You want me to shut up because you want me to escape from *my hatred.

      After all, you’re here on another person’s blog in order to tell him to shut up so as to help him and to help everyone else on the planet who might want to read what he has to say.

      What kindness.

      And they say religion is dead.

    27. If only you expressed opinions here, there might be more tolerance for your presence. You don't come here to discuss anything. You come here to quip and attack other commenters, call people mice and occasionally post a link to a right wing propaganda site. Normal people talk to other people. You don't do that here. That's why you are lumped in with the trolls and considered an annoyance.

      We have all been discussing whether there is any point to trying to understand right wingers. You illustrate the negative side of that proposition. Like Mao, I see no point in discussing anything with you because you don't discuss. You deflect and obfuscate and refuse to interact with anyone else's ideas. Look at what you said about 1/6 -- your response was "but but the weathermen". You are a waste of everyone's time here.

    28. Anonymouse 10:44pm, opinions aren’t non-opinions because you don’t agree with them.

      Both of us have expressed opinions. Only you have thrown your apron over your face and demanded that my opinions cease being expressed as a means of “helping”… wait for it…ME.

      It’s no wonder you see no reason for discussing anything. Every opposing statement is an attack upon you and your response is to tell me to let you help me by my heeding your demand that I shut up.

      If I’m a waste of your time, you waste a lot time trying to characterize direct statements to you as being obfuscations.

      The only advice I can offer you is keep talking and to try your best to keep up.

    29. Christians are so tolerant, they accept a nonjudgemental Communist, as their God.

    30. What a crock of shit. Read the Bible, and you'll realize Jesus supported open borders.

    31. Anonymouse 7:54pm. every religious person did not tell Hitchens that non-believers would have no inclination toward or capacity for moral structures.

      They told him that theirs would be in service to making themselves God.

      You have completely misunderstood and bastardized the challenge Hitchens issued. I challenge you to show one example from anyone he debated where that person said what you claim.

      the actual objection is that there wouldn’t be any right or wrong without God.

      morals cannot be objectively grounded.

      That is what Hitchens was challenging.

    32. Cecelia,
      Is that what they're teaching you in your 2nd Grade CRT classes?

  16. Here's another kook:

    He claims he can summon tornadoes at will, cause earthquakes with his hate, and conduct blood rituals to bring ruin upon his enemies. An intergalactic master of psychic self-defense born 109 trillion years ago, his days, he says, are now spent tending to his crops and spreading anti-Semitic conspiracies.

    Nathaniel Davis III also happens to be Rep. Cori Bush’s (D., Mo.) close friend and her highest-paid private security guard.

    Davis has earned over $137,000 providing "security services" for Bush since 2020, according to FEC filings, the latest of which showed disbursements of $5,000 in Dec. 2022. Using dozens of social media posts, including photos and videos that show Davis with Bush, the Washington Free Beacon has confirmed that Davis is in fact a St. Louis, Missouri, spiritual guru known as Aha Sen Piankhy who teaches classes on how to read minds, summon mythical beings, and maintain urban gardens—to avoid having to buy food from the Jews.

    1. And the difference between this kook and Ron DeSantis, is this guy is a goof on social media, while DeSantis is governor of Florida.

    2. What’s ironic is that this kook holds the same views that most Republicans hold - about Jews, global elites, lab leak, bunch of Q Anon garbage.

      As far as the campaign finance issues, it’s penny ante stuff compared to what Trump did/does, but it should be investigated and Bush should face consequences if there was wrongdoing.

      Sorry David, we leftists don’t share your penchant for lacking integrity and a moral compass.

  17. Anyone who still thinks TDH is a media criticism site is showing their ass.
    The media has bent over backwards to tell us the concerns parents have with what is taught in schools, while they ignore the vastly larger majority of parents who want these religious nuts to go away.

  18. Make hip hop music.

    We hit the cronic well ain't that ironic
    Thats why they call us the Doobies(Scooby-Doobies)
    Cause we give the flicks to do us a floosey
    Drop the panties and give up the booty
    I think I'll pass, she's got the cooties
    So we get the funk on to find us a groupie
    You tell the hope, they're ain't nottin like a doobie
    Groovy, as I funk up the room
    Wopbabalubop balap bam boom

  19. "How may this latest foofaw involving Greene have appeared to the Others? Tomorrow, we'll start to ponder that question."

    Do you have a projected end date to this latest round of fatuousness?

  20. As it turns out, many people—not just Greene—are apparently able to believe in theories like frazzledrip." ---TDH

    Greene's mostly rural NW Georgia district has one of the highest rates of fundamentalist Christianity. Isn’t FC itself a conspiracy theory? Basic to its fear-based mindset is the belief that those who don't accept their version of religion are controlled by demonic forces led by Satan. Obsession with other crazy theories is exactly what you’d expect among people whose entire mental environment was built to degrade reasoning power.