Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: They Come Out At Night

More like Speechwriter for Evil, Speaker for Evil, and Chaotic Evil, to be honest.


(Quip from Springtime for Hitler, in The Producers)

Speaking of ancient eldritch horrors, Kevin Williamson has a tantrum for WFBuckley’s National Review — “White Working Class Populism & Conservatism Are Incompatible”:

We rarely used to put it in racial terms, unless we were talking about Eminem or the Cash-Me-Ousside Girl or some other white person who has embraced (or affected) some part of black popular culture. With the Trump-era emergence of a more self-conscious form of white-identity politics — especially white working-class identity politics — the racial language comes to the surface more often than it used to. But we still rarely hear complaints about “acting un-white.” Instead, we hear complaints about “elitism.”

The parallels to the “acting white” phenomenon in black culture are fairly obvious: When aspiration takes the form of explicit or implicit cultural identification, however partial, with some hated or resented outside group that occupies a notionally superior social position, then “authenticity” is to be found in socially regressive manners, mores, and habits. It is purely reactionary.

The results are quite strange. Republicans, once the party of the upwardly mobile with a remarkable reflex for comforting the comfortable, have written off entire sections of the country — including the bits where most of the people live — as “un-American.” Silicon Valley and California at large, New York City and the hated Acela corridor, and, to some extent, large American cities categorically are sneered at and detested. There is some ordinary partisanship in that, inasmuch as the Democrats tend to dominate the big cities and the coastal metropolitan aggregations, but it isn’t just that. Conservatives are cheering for the failure of California and slightly nonplussed that New York City still refuses to regress into being an unlivable hellhole in spite of the best efforts of its batty Sandinista mayor. Not long ago, to be a conservative on Manhattan’s Upper East Side was the most ordinary thing in the world. Now that address would be a source of suspicion. God help you if you should ever attend a cocktail party in Georgetown, the favorite dumb trope of conservative talk-radio hosts.

We’ve gone from William F. Buckley Jr. to the gentlemen from Duck Dynasty. Why?

American authenticity, from the acting-even-whiter point of view, is not to be found in any of the great contemporary American business success stories, or in intellectual life, or in the great cultural institutions, but in the suburban-to-rural environs in which the white underclass largely makes its home — the world John Mellencamp sang about but understandably declined to live in. Shake your head at rap music all you like: When’s the last time you heard a popular country song about finishing up your master’s in engineering at MIT?

White people acting white have embraced the ethic of the white underclass, which is distinct from the white working class, which has the distinguishing feature of regular gainful employment. The manners of the white underclass are Trump’s — vulgar, aggressive, boastful, selfish, promiscuous, consumerist. The white working class has a very different ethic. Its members are, in the main, churchgoing, financially prudent, and married, and their manners are formal to the point of icy politeness. You’ll recognize the style if you’ve ever been around it: It’s “Yes, sir” and “No, ma’am,” but it is the formality of soldiers and police officers — correct and polite, but not in the least bit deferential. It is a formality adopted not to acknowledge the superiority of social betters but to assert the equality of the speaker — equal to any person or situation, perfectly republican manners. It is the general social respect rooted in genuine self-respect.

Its opposite is the sneering, leveling, drag-’em-all-down-into-the-mud anti-“elitism” of contemporary right-wing populism. Self-respect says: “I’m an American citizen, and I can walk into any room, talk to any president, prince, or potentate, because I can rise to any occasion.” Populist anti-elitism says the opposite: “I can be rude enough and denigrating enough to drag anybody down to my level.” Trump’s rhetoric — ridiculous and demeaning schoolyard nicknames, boasting about money, etc. — has always been about reducing. Trump doesn’t have the intellectual capacity to duke it out with even the modest wits at the New York Times, hence it’s “the failing New York Times.” Never mind that the New York Times isn’t actually failing and that any number of Trump-related businesses have failed so thoroughly that they’ve gone into bankruptcy; the truth doesn’t matter to the argument any more than it matters whether the fifth-grade bully actually has an actionable claim on some poor kid’s lunch money. It would never even occur to the low-minded to identify with anybody other than the bully. That’s what all that ridiculous stuff about “winning” was all about in the campaign. It is might-makes-right, i.e., the politics of chimpanzee troupes, prison yards, kindergartens, and other primitive environments. That is where the underclass ethic thrives — and how “smart people” came to be a term of abuse. This involves, inevitably, a good deal of fakery…

The populist Right’s abandonment of principle has been accompanied by a repudiation of good taste, achievement, education, refinement, and manners — all of which are abominated as signs of effete “elitism.” During the Clinton years, Virtue Inc. was the top-performing share in the Republican political stock exchange. Fortunes were made, books were sold by the ton, and homilies were delivered. The same people today are celebrating Donald Trump — not in spite of his being a dishonest, crude serial adulterer but because of it. His dishonesty, the quondam cardinals of Virtue Inc. assure us, is simply the mark of a savvy businessman, his vulgarity the badge of his genuineness and lack of “political correctness,” and his pitiless abuse of his several wives and children the mark of a genuine “alpha male.” No less a virtue entrepreneur than Bill Bennett dismissed those who pointed out Trump’s endless lies and habitual betrayals as suffering from “moral superiority,” from people on “high horses,” and said that Trump simply is “a guy who says some things awkwardly, indecorously, infelicitously.”…

The problem, in Bennett’s telling (and that of many other conservatives), isn’t that Trump is a morally defective reprobate but that he is aesthetically displeasing to overly refined “elitists.” That is a pretty common line of argument — and an intellectual cop-out — but set that aside for the moment. Let’s pretend that Bennett et al. are correct and this is simply a matter of manners. Are we now to celebrate vulgarity as a virtue? Are we to embrace crassness? Are we supposed to pretend that a casino-cum-strip-joint is a civilizational contribution up there with Notre-Dame, that the Trump Taj Mahal trumps the Taj Mahal? Are we supposed to snigger at people who ask that question? Are we supposed to abandon our traditional defense of standards to mimic Trump’s bucket-of-KFC-and-gold-plated-toilet routine?…

The “alpha male” posturing, the valorizing of underclass dysfunction, the rejection of “elite” tastes and manners — right-wing populism in the age of Trump is a lot like Bruce Springsteen’s act, once acidly (and perfectly) described as a “white minstrel show.” I wonder if Bill Bennett can tap-dance.

Race is part of this, as it is part of many things in America, but it is easy to make too much of it, too. The white underclass may suffer from “acting white,” but what poor people in general suffer from is acting poor, i.e., repeating the mistakes and habits that left them (or their parents and grandparents, in many cases) in poverty or near-poverty to begin with…

Kevin Williamson is Right-eously pissed that capital-C Conservatism went downmarket just as he’d scratched and clawed his way out of his dysfunctional upbringing in East Buttscratch, TX. Despite my own liberal upbringing, I cannot find it in my cold, cold heart to sympathize. He’s suffering from a Mad Men version of ‘the South shall rise again’ revanchism.

William Eff Buckley’s mid-century “Conservatism” was never welcoming to more than a tiny fraction of the American population… the (almost universally) white, straight-or-willing-to-stay-closeted, Protestant-or-ready-to-defer-to-Episcopalian men. It was always a cheap facade for a cruel minority to abuse the rest of us, and regardless of how hard the GOP tries it is never coming back. But as long as there are nostalgic billionaires who can’t quite stomach the braying Trumplodytes, at least Williamson and his fellows will have their safe space!






144 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    The pictures were horrifying.
    As for the NR piece: 😒😒😒

  2. 2
    Corner Stone says:

    After viewing this nightmare fuel I have two thoughts, 1)FUCK THE FUCKING YANKEES and 2)How can a single man in his early thirties be ok with rocking such a gut?

  3. 3
    Corner Stone says:

    I have been all over TX. If someone can point me to East Buttscratch, TX I will relocate there and be heard from no more.

  4. 4
    Chet Murthy says:

    @Corner Stone: Uh, isn’t it 5mi east of Bum Fuck Egypt? Drove thru it last on my trip home from Bum Fuck Nowhere? :grin:

  5. 5

    at @BreitbartNews embassy

    Wait wut

  6. 6

    In other news, my cat just hunted and killed a silverfish. Go Samwise!

  7. 7

    @Major Major Major Major: I noticed that as well. Is Breitbart(Andrew Breitbart is still dead) from another country, another planet, another galaxy?

  8. 8
    fuckwit says:

    So… what Williamson is pissed off about is that conservatism has dropped its faux-highbrow mask and owned being about power and privilege and nothing else?

    I do like his slap at country music, though. It always amused me that the puritans in this country seem to wag their fingers at the supposedly corrosive effects rock, metal, or rap music, and never say an unkind word about country.

  9. 9
    Yutsano says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Your books will live to be read another day!

  10. 10
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Major Major Major Major: The Breitbrats thinking calling Bannon’s townhouse “the embassy” makes it sound sooo cosmopolitan… which is good, as long as it doesn’t involve brown people or foreign languages or ever having to spend ten minutes in the company of people who don’t think exactly the way they do. (And besides, it helps justify Steve-o writing it off as a business expense on his taxes.)

  11. 11
    hellslittlestangel says:

    Some conservatives don’t seem to understand the difference between a government and a HomeOwners Association.

  12. 12

    @fuckwit:

    So… what Williamson is pissed off about is that conservatism has dropped its faux-highbrow mask and owned being about power and privilege and nothing else?

    Does seem that way, doesn’t it?

    @Yutsano: Hooray!
    (N.B. that is always said in my head in a Dr. Zoidberg voice)

  13. 13
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I signed on with Pathfork and (briefly) played with it. Did I miss how to re-arrange sections in the table of contents, or does that functionality not exist yet? It would also be useful to be able to re-arrange the character list so that if (for example), I do a romance-style series where a minor character from a previous book becomes the hero of the next book, I can “promote” that character to the top of the list and move the characters who will just be making cameos further down.

    I have a couple of other programs that are kind of similar (like Scrivener), but since I’m doing so much writing on the Chromebook, it would be handy to have a web-based outlining and character tracking solution that I can access from the cloud. One function that would be nice to have would be the ability to download and/or print and not lose all of the formatting.

  14. 14
    Larime says:

    He’s not wrong about the bully-centric culture of Trumpistan, though.

  15. 15
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Larime:

    That’s the weird thing about certain conservatives: they can accurately pinpoint the source of a problem, but they’re terrible at actually solving the problem. Ben Stein is the same way — he’ll write a column that makes perfect sense when describing an existing problem and its origins, but his “solution” is to throw tire rims and anthrax at it.

  16. 16
    seaboogie says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I read that as your cat “hurled” and killed a silverfish, to which all cats would respond like the high-five/fist bump cat.

  17. 17
    T S says:

    @Corner Stone: Not that I’d want to defend him, but sometimes people are miserable and cant find the motivation to better their appearance, let alone extend their lifespan in their miserable fucking existence…so I hear, anyway.

  18. 18
    Gretchen says:

    @Corner Stone: And how can a single man in his 60’s (Bannon) sport such an even bigger gut?

  19. 19
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Trump’s problem is a lack of manners, I see. So I presume the good Mr Williamson’s view is compulsive lying is fine as long as it is conducted with the proper decorum.

  20. 20

    @Mnemosyne: Thanks so much for checking it out. The features that I’m working on right now that I will have up before I release it are downloading (it will have to be a simple HTML file, which can easily be opened by Word or OpenOffice and re-saved in their formats) and re-ordering sections. There’s no reason I couldn’t staple the re-ordering button onto characters and settings.

    I also don’t know what to put on the dashboard; probably the items you last worked on? Take you straight to the last Work you worked on? What would you like to see there?

    I also want a screen that sorts characters/settings by story. These are UI decisions that are easy to implement on the back-end, and hopefully I’ll have a friend giving me UI advice.

    All in all I’m glad that everything worked for everybody, and my deployment seems to be zippy and solid. No errors!

    ETA: This was made to my specific needs, so feedback is super helpful thanks everyone :)

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The National Socialist Review was founded based on opposition to desegregation and support of the white supremacist South. Now they’re appalled that the true reason for conservatism…that is, a superior moral exercise in the defense of greed and inherited privilege…is being subsumed by vulgar MAGA hat wearing shitheads.

    You built this monster, idiots, and it’s eating you. Too fucking bad. Suffer, vile maggots. Suffer.

  22. 22
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Oh, dear. Didn’t realize the S word is verboten according to FYWP again, because it’s got that terrible wiener-drug string in it.

  23. 23
    lgerard says:

    Miller’s hairline is receding faster then trumps approval rating.

    He needs to invest in a MAGA hat

  24. 24
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I’ll try to play with it a little more tomorrow and see if anything else sticks out to me, but that was my quick take. I’m involved with several large writing communities right now, so when you need beta testers, send me an email and I can start spreading the word.

  25. 25

    @Villago Delenda Est: Would you be interested in a button that tells you if your comment has any forbidden strings in it?

  26. 26
    Mnemosyne says:

    @lgerard:

    The poor bastard isn’t even 35 and he’s losing his hair like a German shepherd in springtime.

  27. 27
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Major Major Major Major: This sounds nice.

  28. 28

    @Mnemosyne: oh, that’d be awesome, will do, thanks.

  29. 29
    lgerard says:

    Referring to William Bennet as a “virtue entrepreneur” is a nice touch, I must admit

  30. 30
    Ruckus says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    So I presume the good Mr Williamson’s view is compulsive lying is fine as long as it is conducted with the proper decorum.

    By George you’ve got it!

  31. 31
    T S says:

    @Mnemosyne: That’s about when mine started to go and it hasn’t caused me much grief. That’s the least of his problems.

  32. 32

    @Mnemosyne: what’s it they say about having the face you deserve?

  33. 33
    Noah Brand says:

    Honestly, I kind of like that Williamson piece. For one thing, it has a kind of dry wit and verbal playfulness that seems to be entirely beyond most right-wingers, and I admit I give points for style. Mainly, though, it feels to me like this is a guy inhabiting roughly the same reality as I am. I’m sure that if we met, we’d have a huge argument over his reductivist bullshit and my knee-jerk virtue signalling or whatever, but it would be an argument based on commonly understood facts and premises about the nature of empirical reality, and might even contain phrases like “Well, you’re right about that, but…” or “Good point, I hadn’t considered that.”

    That feels like a pathetically low bar to clear, but compared to the illiterate smears of shit marinated in Fox News and Breitbart and Alex fuckin’ Jones that comprise every major voice from the right wing lately, this is a breath of fresh air. The notion of someone that one disagrees with, but can still respect, is one that feels like it’s fallen out of American life in the past fifteen years or so. Maybe it’s just nostalgia that has me cutting this guy too much slack, but maybe it’s worthwhile nostalgia.

  34. 34

    @lgerard: Sure sounds better than Moral Scold.

  35. 35
    jl says:

    This guy Williamson just wants his reactionary loons to look and talk like WF Buckley dressed up with an Ivy League degree (that he apparently loathed in reality but not in theory), and fancy polysyllabic babble. Buckley was a brutal white supremacist, he just smoothed over the brutality with fancy smooth talk about culture and heritage. Buckley liked war fantasies where the US would blow up everything in win, quick and easy nice and neat, at least from our viewpoint. I remember he wanted the US to use tactical nukes just because we could and it would intimidate lesser little countries into doing whatever we said. He condemned any attempts to educate the population on the horrors and danger of nuclear war as treasonous defeatism, probably by paid agents or dupes of the commies.

    Buckley wasn’t the brightest guy around, despite his pretense and his fancy vocab. I saw clips where JK Galbraith, and one where Chuck D ran rings around the guy.

    So, everything back in those good old halcyon days looked better, not wrecked up by these dang kids these days, get off my lawn BillinGlendale, you little brat your pappy’s gonna give you wuppin’ when he gets home. But it was the same stuff.

  36. 36
    Paul Gottlieb says:

    While I agree with most of what you say about Buckley-style conservatism, you are quite wrong on one point. There was nothing “Episcopalian” about the National Review. Buckley was a proud and serious Roman Catholic, and the early National Review reflected that fact. Buckley’s anti-communism was very much a Catholic anti-communism. It’s probably hard for younger people to realize what a deep gulf on mutual dislike and distrust separated serious Catholics and Protestants back then

  37. 37

    @Noah Brand: he’s what republicans used to pretend to be.

    ETA by which I mean he’s doing a good job pretending to be what you described, which is what republicans used to do

  38. 38

    @jl:

    you little brat your pappy’s gonna give you wuppin’ when he gets home

    Will be a long wait since he died 35 years ago.

    ETA: Wait, you have a lawn? Elitist.

  39. 39
    Bart says:

    A must-read (it’s short) reply to some of Williamson’s bullshit: https://medium.com/@ebruenig/i-got-lucky-9518b1e8dc74

  40. 40
  41. 41
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Noah Brand:

    Honestly, I kind of like that Williamson piece

    Did you read the whole thing? Cuz I didn’t quote the first couple pages of bog-standard racism he unloaded before getting to his ‘thesis’…

  42. 42
    SRW1 says:

    Hopefully, Williamson did wear a monocle while writing the piece. Just to make the exercise stylistically perfect.

  43. 43

    I can’t for a second imagine this is comfortable but Samwise has been camped out on my backpack for like an hour. He just loves rectangles. https://imgur.com/a/Im7Bj

  44. 44
    Ruckus says:

    @Bart:
    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:
    That is a good piece.
    People tend to attribute smart and savvy to people with money, while very often it just isn’t true. And money itself is often seen as having moral superiority, while of course it actually has no morals whatsoever.
    @jl:
    This.
    WFB was a raging racist asshole. I listened to him a few times and if you just listened to the vocabulary, he sounded smart. But if you listened to how he put the words together, IOW what he was saying, you got an entirely different picture.

  45. 45
    Ruckus says:

    @Anne Laurie:
    He writes sort of like a modern day WFB with the benefit of the last few decades. Not quite as pompous and condescending, but close. I could almost see how if you didn’t read it with a bit of a cynical attitude you might be fooled. But he really is trying to justify drumpf and all his baggage in spite of his boorish manners.

  46. 46
    NotMax says:

    As to the NR piece – must be quite difficult to type while holding one’s nose and simultaneously keeping both pinkies up in the air. Reads like the introduction to Parvenu for Dummies.

    @Corner Stone

    It’s just south of North Buttscratch (and also north of Mexico).

  47. 47
    oatler. says:

    Yankees’ fault for not having done a thorough, final Reconstruction after the war.

  48. 48
  49. 49
    JWR says:

    Thomas Frank has a new piece at The Guardian which, unless I’m terribly mistaken, can be summed up in one sentence: “…

    Perhaps Weinstein’s liberalism was a put-on all along. It certainly wasn’t consistent or thorough. He strongly disapproved of Bernie Sanders, for example…”

    Hey, waitaminnit! I’m a Liberal, and I didn’t support Sanders either! Am I missing something here, something deeper, maybe? (My revulsion for the author notwithstanding, of course.)

  50. 50

    @JWR: The guardian is kind of new-left garbage.

  51. 51

    @JWR: I’m sorry, it’s obvious that you cannot be a true Liberal unless you support Saint Bernard of Burlington.

  52. 52
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Noah Brand:

    I felt the same way about WFB himself.

  53. 53
    Amir Khalid says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:
    To expand on your point: Saint Bernard’s ideals as professed in his speeches were perfectly beautiful in their progressiveness. It was in readiness for the job that he came up well short against Hillary, who spent decades doing the prep work. You could love his progressiveness, but still oppose him on the non-ideological grounds that he lacked that preparation, not to mention the executive and interpersonal skills to succeed as President.

  54. 54
    JWR says:

    @Major Major Major Major: @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: @Amir Khalid: Agreed agreed and agreed. But when I saw the name Thomas Frank in the Guardian’s “Spotlight” section, well, I just had to find out what only a True Liberal(TM) might have to say. ;-)

  55. 55
    geg6 says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Bullshit. Sanders was not perfectly progressive or liberal in what he said. He consistently downplays the effects of race and gender and rarely, if ever addresses important issues to Dems such as gun control. He continually sucks up to the same, if younger, demographic as Trump. Fuck him.

  56. 56
    Baud says:

    Remember when were Slouching Towards Gomorrah? Good times.

    @JWR:

    It’s Thomas Frank. I think we can write off anything he says. Wouldn’t surprise me if he didn’t vote for Hillary in the general.

  57. 57
    Steeplejack says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I’d be interested in the forbidden-word list being cleaned up (again!) so that legitimate words didn’t trigger it, especially ones likely to come up on an almost top 10,000 political blog.

  58. 58
    JGabriel says:

    Kevin Williamson via Anne Laurie @ Top:

    We’ve gone from William F. Buckley Jr. to the gentlemen from Duck Dynasty. Why?

    Maybe it’s because the Duck Dynasty gentleman are emblematic of the people who still support Buckley’s ideals – i.e., his support of segregation, racism, homophobia, sexism, unregulated capitalism, etc.

  59. 59
    NotMax says:

    @JGabriel

    Trickle down bigotronics.

    Less flippantly, they haven’t “gone” anywhere. This was always there, it’s a kernel in the operating system. It’s endemic. Sooner or later, the pig smears off the lipstick.

  60. 60
    Just one more canuck says:

    The journey from Buckley to Duck Dynasty isn’t nearly as far as conservatives would like to imagine

  61. 61
    Barbara says:

    @Mnemosyne: This is the latest screed from Williamson, and much (not all) of what he says is an accurate description of Trump and his supporters. What he can’t do is admit how we got here, and why so many people like Bill Bennett have come around to defending the indefensible. When hippies and black people could be pegged as uncouth and declasse if not outright hooligans, the marriage of virtue and retrograde policy was virtually made in heaven for Bill Buckley and his hangers on. It gave them the pretense of pursuing actual virtue. Now that a lot of the kind of virtue and success they celebrate is more likely to be found on the other side, they are left defending its opposite in order to hang on to the retrograde policy. But it was always about the retrograde policy.

    And a shorter answer might be: We have nothing concrete to offer white working class people so we will continue trying to leverage racial and cultural animus by offering them a chance to feel superior and let their freak flag fly high while we continue serving the economic interests of a very few, very wealthy people.

  62. 62
    Tenar Arha says:

    @Noah Brand:

    The notion of someone that one disagrees with, but can still respect, is one that feels like it’s fallen out of American life in the past fifteen years or so. Maybe it’s just nostalgia that has me cutting this guy too much slack, but maybe it’s worthwhile nostalgia.

    Nope. The problem that is being elided by Williamson here is the same problem the gee ooh pee has had since 1966, and definitely since 1980, they’re beholden to unconscious and conscious racism to get out their voters. And the people he’s valorizing actually knew exactly what they were doing by using it. They were even frequently warned that they were playing with fire using a combination of anti-elitism and racism hooked together with calling liberals the enemy in order to sell their tax and legal policies to more than the teeny minority that actually liked them.

    Williamson is just one more white guy in the chain of white guys who thought he’d be able to ride the tiger, but now the tiger has turned on him. He simply can’t admit that because he’d lose his living.

    If you provided him the history of the actual conservative movement (for ex. starting him with a book like Nixonland) he might be polite. More likely he’d throw the book at you because his worldview is dependent on not accepting that the movement went wrong from the beginning.

  63. 63
    rikyrah says:

    @jl:
    Did you see the videos of when Buckley debated James Baldwin?

  64. 64
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Baud:

    Remember when were Slouching Towards Gomorrah?

    Did we get there? I lost track.

  65. 65
    Amir Khalid says:

    @geg6:
    I’ll correct myself to this extent, then:

    Saint Bernard’s ideals as professed in his speeches were perfectly beautiful in their progressiveness. To his supporters, at any rate.

  66. 66
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Saint Bernard’s ideals as professed in his speeches were perfectly beautiful in their progressiveness

    God no. He’s speeches were droning, sanctimonious, self righteous, white male grievance.

    Remember the time he shouted down BLM and refused to address any of their questions at Netroots Nation. He even berated the moderator for politely asking Saint Bernard to engage the group.

  67. 67
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @Amir Khalid: Noted.

  68. 68
    A Ghost to Most says:

    More and more, President Donald Trump’s administration appears to believe that it is above media scrutiny — or at least beyond the reach of press whose agenda doesn’t include puffing up the president.

    The New York Times on Saturday published an article about how recently hired industry insiders are loosening the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s rules on multiple poisons including agents that are known to cause birth defects, cancers and immune disorders.

    Career scientists and longstanding EPA employees are horrified and attempting to warn the public, even as Trump appointees prepare to give manufacturers, energy companies and chemical conglomerates carte blanche to release some 80,000 toxic chemicals into the air, water and soil.

    However, when the Times contacted the agency for more information, spokeswoman Liz Bowman gave a response worthy of now-ousted Fox News attack dog PR flack Irena Briganti.

    “No matter how much information we give you, you would never write a fair piece,” Bowman said in an email. “The only thing inappropriate and biased is your continued fixation on writing elitist clickbait trying to attack qualified professionals committed to serving their country”.

    Fuck these fascists

  69. 69
    Karen says:

    Since this is an open thread; I ran into another rant on friend’s facebook wall, the first time read this woman’s rants was when she was complaining about lack of respect for flag, for anthem, for military was when the comments were about kneeling in protest. The latest one was triggered by people questioning a Marine general; this woman’s rants make obvious the divide between military and civilian. She is married to a marine gunnery sargent, her father and grandfathers were all marines, she has lived all her life on military bases; her children are all either marines or married to marines. The only contact she has with “civilians” is either on facebook or at reenactments that she and husband take part in. They belong to a civil war group and pretend to be southern lady and soldier. When you read her rants you have to be forgiven if you end up believing she belongs to some religious cult that shuns the world; she lives in a military world that shuns the civilian world.

  70. 70
  71. 71
    Paul Gottlieb says:

    Are we going to waste the next 4 years re litigating the 2016 Democratic Primaries? I know it’s a lot easier than figuring out how to destroy Trumpism, but it’s also a complete waste of time and energy. PS: Thomas Frank is a bit of a jerk, isn’t he?

  72. 72
    woodrowfan says:

    @Major Major Major Major: its new coverage is excellent. I avoid the opinion pieces.

  73. 73
    woodrowfan says:

    I really liked Bernie at first, but as time passed he wore less and less well. When I heard him talk about foreign policy I became an enthusiastic Hillary supporter.

  74. 74
    chopper says:

    hilarious. conservatism in buckley’s day was just as full of white supremacy and low-rent pig-ignorant magical bullshit thinking as it is today. but since his job was to try to put an intellectual facade on it, NR convinced themselves that they were somehow the defenders of some sort of original conservative vanguard. conservatism has always been like this, it’s just that bill “barton fink” buckley never understood the plebes he claimed to speak for.

  75. 75
    germy says:

    @chopper: And back then with no internet, the low-rent pigs had smudgy xerox pages to pass around.

  76. 76
    Citizen_X says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    That’s the weird thing about certain conservatives: they can accurately pinpoint the source of a problem, but they’re terrible at actually solving the problem.

    *cough*Karl Marx*cough*

  77. 77
    germy says:

    @rikyrah: The look on Baldwin’s face when he gets his standing ovation…

  78. 78
    Barbara says:

    @Paul Gottlieb: Thomas Frank is one of those special people who won’t admit that there are working class people — the majority, actually — who are not white men, but still wants politics to revolve around those who are. He divides us by omission.

    ETA: But I do agree with your larger point. It’s not productive to keep litigating the 2016 primaries, especially in personal terms.

  79. 79
    David 🍁Canadian Anchor Baby🍁 Koch says:

    @woodrowfan: My favorite is when he was asked how he would break up the banks and said he had no idea.

  80. 80
    chopper says:

    @Karen:

    it’s the same cult of respect that cops and cop families drown themselves in.

  81. 81
    Ciotog says:

    Doesn’t Mellencamp, who is a liberal, famously still live in Indiana?

  82. 82
    Citizen_X says:

    A good counter to Williamson would be Ta-Nehisi Coates’ latest piece in the Atlantic, The First White President. I haven’t seen it discussed here or anywhere yet, but I think it’s the best thing written about Trump’s election.

  83. 83
    Barbara says:

    @Citizen_X: It was discussed.

  84. 84
    chopper says:

    @Just one more canuck:

    exactly. take the DD guys, clean em up and put them in suits, hand them a thesaurus and tell them to shut up about Jesus for five fucking minutes. done.

  85. 85
    Steeplejack says:

    @eric:

    If you want to put in a naked link, just paste it in as text and FYWP will take care of the rest. If you want to do the link gizmo thing, you have to remember to erase or overwrite the “http” prefix that FYWP supplies; if you don’t, it screws up the hyperlink. Dunno why, but that’s the law.

    Fixed link: Buckley vs. Vidal.

  86. 86
    Brachiator says:

    William Eff Buckley’s mid-century “Conservatism” was never welcoming to more than a tiny fraction of the American population… the (almost universally) white, straight-or-willing-to-stay-closeted, Protestant-or-ready-to-defer-to-Episcopalian men.

    Come on, now. White Women happily went along with this as well.

    However, I take the main point. It is interesting how this sad piece should remind people of how the rise of the Deplorables alarmed the Jeb Bush wing of conservatives early on when Trump declared his presidential ambitions. The Wall Street Journal and the National Review were firmly opposed to him.

    But ultimately it was much ado about nothing. They resent being swept aside and their loss of perceived privilege, but fully embrace Trump’s values. They are just mad to be excluded from the room where it happens.

    Other than that, the racism that drips from this nonsense makes me feel unclean. Aside from it’s whining about Trump, it is obsessed with the idea that the heart of conservatism is founded in the idea that real, good, authentic white people never act like or associate with n*ggers.

  87. 87
    Brachiator says:

    @Karen:

    .She is married to a marine gunnery sargent, her father and grandfathers were all marines, she has lived all her life on military bases.

    Was this woman issued to her husband along with his weapons, uniform and equipment. ;)

    Until recent events like General Kelly’s attempt to lecture Americans about various matters, I had not really thought about the evolution of a military culture or military society separate from civilian society. But I would hesitate comparing it to a religious cult. Also, it may be what happens when you have a permanent military, a volunteer army and a continuous stream of military conflicts requiring large numbers of personnel. Add in the wages and cost of living that makes living on base or in similar communities almost necessary.

  88. 88
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    @Brachiator: Perhaps a typo. I read that as “anyone willing to defer to Episcopalian men” meaning it would include men and women willing to defer…

  89. 89
    Suzanne says:

    @Ruckus: I did get some perverse enjoyment out of Williamson’s previous white-people-suck piece, in which he says that rural white people need U-Hauls. I don’t appreciate his racism, but I do appreciate that he notices how much he doesn’t let white people off the hook for the same shit. He seems like a giant asshole, but not a hypocrite.

    I guess that’s progress?

  90. 90
    Shalimar says:

    Comment on Maddow Rawstory article
    I have been trying to explain to Rawstory readers that Balloon Juice isn’t Infowars and Adam isn’t a rightwing hack. Not very successfully. I assume at some point they will downvote my comments so readers don’t have to see them.

  91. 91
    Brachiator says:

    @Uncle Ebeneezer:

    Perhaps a typo. I read that as “anyone willing to defer to Episcopalian men” meaning it would include men and women willing to defer.

    Could be. Not sure. Putting men in bold type seemed to want to excuse or exclude white women.

    @Suzanne: Williamson just seems sincerely racist to me. He just wants white trash to know their place.

  92. 92
    Karen says:

    @Brachiator: mother joined a religious cult back when I was teen, the attitude I see from this woman and others like her is the same as I saw in that cult. the zealous fervor is the same. so is the way that women are treated, as well as the “us vs them” mentality; Kelly’s posturing reminded me of some of the ministers in cult, how “we” don’t look down on “you” while doing that very thing. Then there was the defense by Sanders “how dare you question” this is the same defense that nearly every religious cult has about their leaders and ministers

  93. 93
    Karen says:

    @Brachiator: from the comments this woman has made I don’t think she would ever have dreamed of marrying someone other than a marine; she bragged that none of the other women in family have married outside of the marines

  94. 94
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Suzanne: Just a consistent classist, I guess.

  95. 95
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Brachiator:

    Come on, now. White Women happily went along with this as well.

    As long as they stayed in a subordinate position–or, if they didn’t, made pronounced hypocritical noises about how other women should stay in a subordinate position.

  96. 96
    Suzanne says:

    @Brachiator:

    He just wants white trash to know their place.

    Actually, kinda, so do I. I want them to see that they are no better than a lot of people they have heaped shit on over the years/decades/centuries while they were under some delusion that, by virtue of their whiteness and their religion, they were anybody’s “social betters”.

    The note in his piece about his mother being rude to waitstaff really rung true to me. I was raised in part by my grandparents, who were Depression kids, and racist AF. Through help from churches and extended family, and yes, their own hard work, they became securely middle class. They would have been MORTIFIED to see anyone behave rudely to service staff as an exercise of social power. Simply mortified. When I got my first job working at a fast-food restaurant when I was a teenager, it was ALWAYS poor white people who treated me like shit (including throwing food at me, or staring at me while leaving a giant mess for me to clean up rather than take their trash to the trash can). I have such scorn for that kind of behavior.

  97. 97
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Paul Gottlieb:

    Are we going to waste the next 4 years re litigating the 2016 Democratic Primaries?

    I think when Trump’s big war starts it might quiet a lot of that down.

  98. 98
    Brachiator says:

    @Karen:

    from the comments this woman has made I don’t think she would ever have dreamed of marrying someone other than a marine; she bragged that none of the other women in family have married outside of the marines

    Yep. I understand your point. It’s funny. I recently watched the movie “The Big Sick.” Even though the protagonist’s family has lived in the US for decades, they insist that he must marry a Pakistani woman or be excluded from the family. This is insular, but not a cult.

  99. 99
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    William Eff Buckley’s mid-century “Conservatism” was never welcoming to more than a tiny fraction of the American population… the (almost universally) white, straight-or-willing-to-stay-closeted, Protestant-or-ready-to-defer-to-Episcopalian men.

    Right, Buckley’s Catholicism never came into play at all. /s/

  100. 100
    Brachiator says:

    @Suzanne:

    He just wants white trash to know their place.

    Actually, kinda, so do I. I want them to see that they are no better than a lot of people they have heaped shit on over the years/decades/centuries while they were under some delusion that, by virtue of their whiteness and their religion, they were anybody’s “social betters”.

    You and Williamson would be at odds. He assumes that non-whites are primitives who cannot be civilized, and that poor white trash risk being contaminated by them if they cease to follow the lead of “good” white folk.

    I hear what you say about your experience, but I see rudeness and misbehavior from people in all levels of society. Middle class and higher status people may not throw things at wait staff, but will yell at them and threaten to have them fired over trivial bullshit.

  101. 101
    Emma says:

    @Citizen_X: yep. As a child with a great-uncle who was a member of the Communist party from its illegal foundations in Cuba, I had the benefit of his insight, as follows: Marxism is a great evaluative tool but a lousy basis for a society. Funny enough, capitalism is pretty much the same. I think it is mostly because everyone picks and chooses which parts to follow and ignores the inconvenient criticism.

  102. 102
    Mike in NC says:

    Fat boy Steve Bannon is still rocking that two-shirts-under-the-blazer style. Surprised it hasn’t caught on more.

  103. 103
    gocart mozart says:

    @Citizen_X:
    Larry Wilmore’s latest podcast ‘Black on the Air’ is an interview with Coates. They also talk about the Baldwin/WFB debate

  104. 104
    germy says:

    McConnell appeared on two Sunday morning talk shows and was asked about Bannon’s efforts to find primary opponents for all but one of the Senate Republicans running for reelection next year. McConnell argued that the kind of candidates Bannon and others are supporting will not have the broad appeal needed to win general elections in some of those states.

  105. 105
    Suzanne says:

    @Brachiator: I acknowledge and see his racism. I do think he is, though, being clear-eyed about that subculture being fucked up of its own accord, and that is something that no one on that side really seems to be willing to confront. That anti-intellectualism, distrust of college, the idea that a white dude with a high school diploma who gets dirty rocks out of the ground is more valuable to society than an immigrant who gets an education and becomes an engineer…..that is poisonous shit.

    While I definitely see rudeness at all levels of society (ask me about the time a woman ran over my foot with her cart at Costco and didn’t apologize or ask if I was okay….twice)…..the specific kind of exercise of social superiority that I’m talking about is something I primarily see among white assholes who are not middle class or higher. The only time someone threatened to have me fired was when I wouldn’t sell him more than twelve $.29 hamburgers in a single transaction.

  106. 106
    NotMax says:

    @Mike in NC

    Drip gravy or sauce on one and you’ve got a back up!

    ;)

  107. 107
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Major Major Major Major: yes, i would be interested in such a button!

  108. 108
    Dread says:

    What the fuck happened to the universe that Bill Kristol is now the voice of reason?

  109. 109
    Brachiator says:

    @Suzanne:

    I acknowledge and see his racism. I do think he is, though, being clear-eyed about that subculture being fucked up of its own accord, and that is something that no one on that side really seems to be willing to confront. That anti-intellectualism, distrust of college, the idea that a white dude with a high school diploma who gets dirty rocks out of the ground is more valuable to society than an immigrant who gets an education and becomes an engineer…..that is poisonous shit.

    I don’t think he is being clear-eyed at all. His criticism of lower class whites is founded on the idea that there are non-whites who are eternal Others and who must always be despised.

    I think that anti-intellecualism and a distrust of upper classes is as American as striving to improve. A white dude with a diploma is seen as equal to an engineer. But the middle class derided intellectuals and invented the term egghead to mock presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson in the 1950s.

    A middle class middle brow will mock a man or woman who gets a postgraduate degree, and who loves fine wine and opera.

  110. 110
    Suzanne says:

    @Brachiator: I see your point. I do think Williamson is being clear-eyed about the self-inflicted causes of dysfunction in the community he’s talking about, though, and most others on the Right are not. The amount of excuses that Breitbart, for example, has offered up is really mind-blowing.

  111. 111
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    I realize this is minor, but…

    New York City still refuses to regress into being an unlivable hellhole in spite of the best efforts of its batty Sandinista mayor

    de Blasio isn’t a communist. Not even close. Orwell was right about words losing their meanings when just used as cheap insults.

  112. 112
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Barbara: i think the thing that chaps my ass the most about bernie sanders supporters is their refusal to acknowledge the extent to which he is the other side of the same wretched coin as donald trump. that is to say, the voice of white male populist resentment. all talk, and precious little actual action. full of sound, fury, and great, vague generalties about what is gonna make america great again for white people. making bank on class and economic issues that white well educated lefties care about but dont do shit for other working class folks. hogging the limelight, sucking up all the oxygen in the room by claiming the mantle of the great white hope of the masses. my friends go ballistic when i suggest to them that white tribalism might be the root of their support for bernie sanders, but i think there is something to it.

    and now my keyboard is refusing to allow me to capitalize or use any alt key coomands. le sigh.

  113. 113
    J R in WV says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Major^4, Mnmemusyne has a great idea in there… I/O to a LibreOfficeSpreadsheet or DB so you can take a story DB onto your personal machine if scheduled maintenance up to and including a total rebuild of Pathfork threatens your product so far.

    Depending upon how reliant you are on your bits and pieces DB the ability to take a backup of your stuff, perhaps even usable if (for example) you knew you were going to be without Internet access for weeks or months, yet intended to keep on working.

    When I was still building env. permitting, reporting and enforcement DB systems, as a new DB subsystem became well defined we would write extracts and allow read-only access so that enviro groups and media reporters could create a personal DB of the material they were most interested in. We also had weekly total backups delivered to an off site location with a completely different threat profile from the threat profile at agency HQ, a totally internal task.

  114. 114
    J R in WV says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    :::”Would you be interested in a button that tells you if your comment has any forbidden strings in it?”

    Heck Yeah! \ so many people newly come to posting comments are so confused about moderation and the reasons for it. Maybe bring up an edit box with moderatable expressions hi-lighted for correction, even the moderated bits of Socialist for example.

  115. 115
    Emma says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷: True. But that is how they think. Anyone to the left of Judge Moore is a godless communist.

  116. 116
    Origuy says:

    @Ciotog:

    Doesn’t Mellencamp, who is a liberal, famously still live in Indiana?

    Yes, five miles outside of Bloomington, near where I use to live. B-town itself is a liberal college town, but where he lives and where his studio is, are decidedly rural. Here, Williamson is full of shit.

  117. 117
    Citizen Alan says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    George Orwell would have had a field day with Contemporary American politics. Words as varied as Marxist, communist, neoliberal, and others no longer have any meaning except “someone or something a conservative doesn’t like.” At the rate we’re going, one day soon, the word Muslim will refer to anyone other than an Evangelical Christian.

  118. 118
    Ruckus says:

    @chopper:
    WFB did understand. That’s why he tried to whitewash every asinine, bigoted idea that lived in his head. He knew what he was doing. And why he was doing it.
    Understanding or not doesn’t change the ideas, the bigotry, the hate. It’s just an excuse people use to try to justify that bigotry and hate.

  119. 119
    Brachiator says:

    @Suzanne:

    The amount of excuses that Breitbart, for example, has offered up is really mind-blowing.

    Yep. Totally agree with you here.

    I think that some people want to see all right wing nuttiness as a single simple thing. But I caught a bit of a Bannon speech in California, I think, to a group of conservatives. He was urging them to support Trump and to wage war on the GOP establishment. Of course, the irony is that he is an anarchic elitist who is trying to control the white populist mass.

  120. 120
    Ruckus says:

    @chopper:
    Funny thing is that all of the DD guys have suits and thesaurus sitting in closets already. They aren’t hicks, they play hicks to sell stuff. They all had suit jobs before they started DD. Those personas are window dressing.

  121. 121
    Brachiator says:

    @Emma:

    . I had the benefit of his insight, as follows: Marxism is a great evaluative tool but a lousy basis for a society. Funny enough, capitalism is pretty much the same. I think it is mostly because everyone picks and chooses which parts to follow and ignores the inconvenient criticism.

    Your great uncle was spot on.

    But I don’t think that any of Marxism works. Ultimately Marxism is more a religion than a coherent philosophy or economic system.

    The new leader of New Zealand recently declared capitalism a failure. It will be interesting to see what remedies she offers. And the leader of China declared their version of Communism to be a great success, and about to propel China to international pre-eminence. This also will be interesting to watch how it develops.

  122. 122
    Ruckus says:

    @Suzanne:
    Progress?
    OK, but one baby step in a world that requires a thousand mile journey really isn’t much.
    I’m going to put something out here that is not directed at you, even if your name is at the top. We white people have been trying to explain why other white people have racist motives for ever. Trying to justify that this one isn’t all bad. WFB got that because he tarted up his language with big words. He made his racist/bigoted ideas sound different. He took off the white hood and put on the hood of intellectualism, hoping that people wouldn’t notice that it was shaped the same, colored the same and that the fancy words meant the same. A lot of people didn’t notice. A lot of people didn’t want to notice. He was trying to whitewash his bigotry. Conservatives have been doing this for my entire life.
    How many people have you heard that say/seen write that President Obama’s 8 yrs have been the worst presidency ever? By what/any fucking measure? The answer is the only one that counts in their heads, the racist measure.

  123. 123
    Ruckus says:

    @Brachiator:

    Williamson just seems sincerely racist to me. He just wants white trash to know their place.

    Bingo!
    He learned at the foot of the originator of the concept. WFB didn’t want to be known as white trash. He spoke using a much larger vocabulary than most people, to appear to be a learned man, to intellectualize his bigotry. I use bigotry because while racism is true, it doesn’t go far enough in his and many other cases.

  124. 124
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    At the rate we’re going, one day soon, the word Muslim will refer to anyone other than an Evangelical Christian.

    We’re long past that, the Evangelicals have been trying to claim unbelievers are in a secret alliance with Muslims for a long time now.

  125. 125
    Ruckus says:

    @Suzanne:
    Cheapness is not an indicator of class.
    People are cheap when they don’t have a lot or any to spend and people are cheap when they have a lot and refuse to spend it, unless they can lord it over others. One notable ass in the second group is president.

  126. 126
    Barbara says:

    @Miss Bianca: While I definitely agree that Trump and Sanders had a lot in common — shouty old white men making promises that they couldn’t possibly deliver on — I don’t know if it is fair to state that the common thread between their supporters is white tribalism. I assume that they share a lot of the same fears, and the sneering at primaries in southern states was at best racially tone deaf, but they may have genuinely thought that Sanders’ ideas were positive in a racially neutral way, whereas it is pretty clear that Trump supporters were itching to hurt immigrants and ethnic minorities. I think it was important to explain how some of Sanders’ ideas would actually have operated in a very discriminatory way — e.g., free tuition for college, as opposed to enhancing the funding and quality of elementary and secondary education, which is grossly inegalitarian in the U.S. In talking to friends of mine who voted for Sanders in the primary (but never had a problem with Clinton) I was surprised at how little she knew about Sanders’ background. This is a well-educated person who reads normal news sources and hates Facebook.

  127. 127
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Brachiator:

    The new leader of New Zealand recently declared capitalism a failure. It will be interesting to see what remedies she offers. And the leader of China declared their version of Communism to be a great success, and about to propel China to international pre-eminence. This also will be interesting to watch how it develops.

    That is interesting about the New Zealand PM. Talking out of my ass, I think capitalism with democratic socialist elements would work fine. Universal Basic Income seems to be working okay in Iran. People still go to work everyday. UBI would also allow people to pursue their dreams and be whatever they want without fear of financial hardship.

    As for China, their brand of communism is really just state capitalism with some free-market dressing.

    I think that the path to lasting financial stability and prosperity is to go to space and exploit the vast natural resources out there.

  128. 128
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Brachiator:

    The new leader of New Zealand recently declared capitalism a failure. It will be interesting to see what remedies she offers. And the leader of China declared their version of Communism to be a great success, and about to propel China to international pre-eminence. This also will be interesting to watch how it develops.

    That is interesting about the New Zealand PM. Talking out of my ass, I think capitalism with democratic soci*list elements would work fine. Universal Basic Income seems to be working okay in Iran. People still go to work everyday. UBI would also allow people to pursue their dreams and be whatever they want without fear of financial hardship.

    As for China, their brand of communism is really just state capitalism with some free-market dressing.

    I think that the path to lasting financial stability and prosperity is to go to space and exploit the vast natural resources out there.

  129. 129
    Ruckus says:

    @Origuy:

    Here, Williamson is full of shit.

    Pretty much every where else as well.
    I do get what Suzanne is saying, that he is not quite as protective of some whites as others, but that comes because he is trying to elevate himself inside the larger picture of whites only. It’s not just his racism, it’s his classism as well that we are objecting to.

  130. 130
    Brachiator says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    I think that the path to lasting financial stability and prosperity is to go to space and exploit the vast natural resources out there.

    This could also just end up with humanity exporting it’s problems. A couple of things come to mind. One is how ancient Greek city states would found independent colonies around the Mediterranean. These would also create new markets, but old problems and rivalries remained, and new problems erupted.

    And the SF show The Expanse offers a compelling vision of how economic expansion into the far reaches of the solar system leads to new and terrible forms of exploitation.

  131. 131
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Brachiator:
    Unless a post-scarcity economy were to develop, and practically everything was either extremely dirt cheap or free and thus a huge cause of human misery, greed, could be eliminated.

  132. 132
    Brachiator says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    Unless a post-scarcity economy were to develop, and practically everything was either extremely dirt cheap or free and thus a huge cause of human misery, greed, could be eliminated.

    I guess this is the Star Trek fantasy. Technology improves to the point that everything is cheap or free.

    The ancient Greek expansion in the Mediterranean or the discovery of the Americas is much like the vision of expansion into outer space. But the discovery of vast new resources does not automatically make getting or using them easy. Or accessible to everyone.

  133. 133
    Amir Khalid says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:
    Our species doesn’t roll that way, alas. In a world with a complete absence of material want, someone would still come up with something, anything, that only the lucky few had and everyone else wanted/needed. Because the desire to feel like we have more than others do of something, to feel that we have some unique advantage, is innate in us. Even if some of us suppress it better than others.

  134. 134
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Brachiator:

    I guess this is the Star Trek fantasy. Technology improves to the point that everything is cheap or free.

    That is partly where I’m getting that idea from. It is a real theory in economics.

    The ancient Greek expansion in the Mediterranean or the discovery of the Americas is much like the vision of expansion into outer space.

    I guess expanding into space and post-scarcity are two different things, though I would think that in order to colonize other planets in a feasible manner a civilization would almost need to be post-scarcity. They would go hand-in-hand, but the latter would need to come before the former. Mining asteroids would more than likely take a vast investment by the government to get the necessary infrastructure and incentives in place to kick start resource mining.

    But the discovery of vast new resources does not automatically make getting or using them easy. Or accessible to everyone.

    This is true. Not automatically, but a chance. But I would hope that some higher governmental body would ensure that all interested parties had equal (or as equal as possible) accessibility to these hypothetical resources. At this point, if there is no longer scarcity, then there would be no point to any of the schennigans people do now and have in the past when making significant discoveries; no kickbacks to government officials, etc.

  135. 135
    Suzanne says:

    @Ruckus: I’m not saying that Williamson is a good, moral person. I just appreciate the fact that he has been willing to say the same shit to white people that they have been saying to black people. That’s a hypocrisy that liberals have rightly condemned for a long time…..how drug use is a crime when black people do it but a medical problem that merits our compassion when white people do it. Or how black welfare queens are abusing the system but whites are just doing what they need to do to get by.

    Is he saying it in an attempt to differentiate himself from that group? Of course. The class anxiety oozes out of every word he writes. But honestly, I won’t be too heartbroken if the worst that happens is a bunch of racist white people realize that they have been perpetuating the same dysfunction. I remember meeting straight-up white supremacists for the first time in high school, and thinking, “For the love of God, why would you think you were superior to anybody? You’re unattractive, unintelligent, with no talents to your name at all. You have nothing to offer.”

    I don’t mind if those people feel bad about themselves, honestly. I don’t want them to starve or be homeless or go without medical care, but I also don’t mind if opportunities pass them by.

  136. 136
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷:

    Which leads me to an greater point, one that humanity, particularly in the West, is suffering from right now. I’ve noticed that people don’t always have time to pay attention to important issues, like income inequality, widespread corruption, police misconduct, primarily because they’re too worried about making end’s meet, which I suspect is a nice side benefit for elites like the Mercers trying replicate Mexico’s Perfect Dictatorship here in America. If people didn’t have to worry about becoming homeless, then democracy would be far more effective at solving problems. We would have real freedom.

  137. 137
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Suzanne:

    I remember meeting straight-up white supremacists for the first time in high school, and thinking, “For the love of God, why would you think you were superior to anybody? You’re unattractive, unintelligent, with no talents to your name at all. You have nothing to offer.”

    Why do you think they were white supremacists in the first place? It’s a philosophy to make losers feel better about themselves.

  138. 138
    Apocalipstick says:

    @Suzanne: Irony is that the young Duck Dynasty guys are college grads.

  139. 139
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Apocalipstick:

    So is the father, Phil Robinson. He has a master’s in education!

  140. 140
    Tehanu says:

    @Brachiator:

    the SF show The Expanse offers a compelling vision of how economic expansion into the far reaches of the solar system leads to new and terrible forms of exploitation.

    Yes, and the books it’s based on, Leviathan Wakes and its sequels, are even more to the point. But I disagree somewhat (respectfully, I hope) with your remark about “the Star Trek fantasy.” You’re undoubtedly right about how those Phoenician and Greek colonies worked, but that wasn’t in a post-scarcity environment. The human race has never been in such an environment — but that doesn’t mean it’s never going to happen. Iain Banks’ Culture books are also post-scarcity, and the Culture does have conflicts and problems — just different from the conflicts and problems we face; and i for one would take theirs over ours in a heartbeat.

  141. 141
    Libarbarian says:

    @Noah Brand:

    I feel you.

    I’m happy that I am beginning to see conservatives call out the obvious hypocrisy of celebrating behaviors in whites that they condemn in every other race (and build whole stereotypes around).

    However bad racism is, racism compounded by monumental hypocrisy is worse.

    The simple fact is that it is the demographic group that is leading the biggest drug addiction problem ever seen in this country in 100 years, and the only one actually regressing in terms of many quality of life metrics, is the one most full of itself and judgemental of others. The gap between what they think of themselves and what they actually are is YUGE! They cannot solve the problem until they admit it exists.

  142. 142
    Libarbarian says:

    The schadenfreude on display in this thread is more appropriate to participants in a movement that is winning.

    We aren’t.

  143. 143
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka The Hope of the Universe) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Libarbarian:
    That should change by this time next year.

  144. 144
    F says:

    @Libarbarian: Maybe we should whipping ourselves for your moral edification instead.

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