The Critics Respond, Part Fifty-Three

This one comes to us from long-time TTAC reader/contributor Piston Slap Yo Mama. It’s a standing policy of mine here at Riverside Green to engage with all and sundry in good faith; you can dehumanize me and Bark any way you want to, but we are unlikely to return the favor. Furthermore, there’s no sense in having an echo chamber here. Even if I could figure out a way to populate the commentariat with practical copies of me — populist snobs with a taste for Guns N’ Roses and chamber music, where will I find all of them? — I wouldn’t want to do that. In other words, a Riverside Green with no loyal opposition is no Riverside Green at all.

David, aka Piston Slap, has been wall-of-texting me on an early February post, largely arguing that the entire January 6 incident should be understood through the lens of Brian Sicknick. Officer Sicknick was initially reported as dying from blunt trauma to the face; that wasn’t true, and the Times knew it. Now they’re saying he died of bear spray; it’s in no way clear that this is true, either. All we know is this: two months after the fact, the FBI can’t even say that Sicknick was murdered, much less by whom — this, in an “insurgency” covered from multiple angles at all times by myriad phones and security cameras.

Normally, I’d use this discussion as a jumping-off point to discuss the manner in which “tribal’ affiliations have completely overtaken any individual point of logic, fact, or even rhetoric in the America of 2021. All last summer, we saw Blue Tribe members braying for the blood of cops, throwing rocks at them, attempting to blind them with illegal lasers. At the same time, Red Tribers were festooning their cars in “thin blue line” flags and whatnot. Come January 6th, and everyone effortlessly switches sides. In a true “we have always been at war with Eastasia” moment, the Blue Tribe penned a thousand sobbing editorials about the critical role of law enforcement at a time like this. Meanwhile, the Red Tribe was preparing to give Ashli Babbitt’s killer the full Horiuchi, if the government would only identify him.

In other words, neither tribe has a fixed stance on the worth of police. If they’re rolling tanks through the kids’ playground at Waco, they are heroes; if they are closing down CHAZ/CHOP, they are pigs. Or vice versa. This absurdly facile approach is, of course, born of a 24-hour news cycle in which both tribes scrabble for advantage any way it can be gained. Indeed, it’s the only way a tribe can operate. If you want to stand on principle, you’ve already been consigned to the dustbin of history. You’re boxing in an MMA ring, which means your ass is about to get kicked.

The above is a boring discussion, and it’s too depressing to consider in the middle of the week. Let’s instead look at David’s rather interesting statements regarding what he is for and what he is against… also, let’s examine the people with whom he shares these qualities in real life, as opposed to fantasy life.

As to your first point, if any “friend” of mine aligns with NAZIS – that’s it. Line crossed. I have standards. Defending fascists might come easily to you, not me. I don’t often wave my wrench in anger, but when I do it means a door has shut.

Let me give you some context for this: David is talking about a confrontation he had with a co-worker regarding the infamous “Charlottesville Challenger incident”. About thirty-five people were struck by James Fields Jr.’s Challenger. One of them, a woman named Heather Heyer, died. (Ms. Heyer is remembered here, if you are interested in her life.) David’s co-worker repeated something that has been widely said on the Internet: that Heyer died of an obesity-related heart attack rather than from being struck by the Challenger. David then claims to have threatened his co-worker with a wrench.

I suggested to him that “internet bantz” are not worth threatening a co-worker with a wrench over. The above was his response. I love David’s spirit, but let’s be real: the only way you’re going to “align with NAZIS” nowadays is if you have a functioning time machine. There aren’t enough real neo-Nazis in America to fill a high-school gymnasium. What David means by “NAZIS” is just “people with whom I disagree, usually on the right wing”.

Now, if this dude had come to him and said, “David, I have an idea. Let’s go out and do a little Kristallnacht this evening, preferably in these stunning Hugo Boss outfits I’ve just had designed,” then I think David would have been right to wave his wrench in a threatening fashion, and I would have accepted his “NAZI” comment at face value. What happened instead is that his co-worker made a derogatory-sounding comment about someone not personally known to either of them. David is legally and morally in the wrong here, I think. If one of my co-workers said to me, “Jaco Pastorius died because he was an addict, not because Luc Havan beat him to death” — well, I might take that person off my Christmas-card list, but I’m not going to threaten him with a wrench.

You wrote “The common thread to me here seems to be that you have an emotional connection to situations that don’t involve you” – said the guy who writes constantly on political topics. Hypocrisy much? It very much involves me – your people were trying to overthrow the election! Unlike you, I care about situations I’m not precisely in the center of. FFS, I’d have been part of the German resistance, I’d have sat at the Woolworths lunch counter with the Black civil rights leaders, I’d have fought with the Union to end slavery. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Yes, I write on political topics, and usually without much emotion. I was a little unhappy that Ashli Babbitt was shot in cold blood, but that’s as far as I will go. David charges me with hypocrisy on this but then immediately retracts the charge a sentence later by noting that I do not, in fact, appear to care much about these situations. He tells me that “you people” were “trying to overthrow the election!” It’s not clear who “you people” are here. Given that no Baruth was anywhere near the capital on Jan 6th, I think “you people”, like “NAZIS”, just means “people with whom I disagree.” Anyone can be a “NAZI”, and anyone can be “you people”. It’s very flexible.

Finally, we get to the truly interesting part of David’s comment: his rather impressive assertion that at all times in the past, he would have unerringly been on the “right side of history”, doing the most difficult things. He would have been part of the German Resistance! He would have helped to end slavery, whether in 1863 or 1963! A man like this, should be actually exist, would be a tremendous asset to society because you could essentially always bet on him to both be right and to be on the winning side.

(The iron band between those two concepts, of rightness and side-choosing? It’s best not to think about that too much.)

Let’s test this assertion two different ways. We should first ask: During the moral crises of his lifetime, where did David Sanborn stand? Assuming his 1969 birthdate from his altered “Kraftwerk” license is correct, he was far too young to sit at any lunch counters. Luckily for him, however, we are aware of one moral crisis during our lifetimes in which Sanborn could have taken action: the decision by George HW Bush to attack Iraq, and the decision by his son, George W Bush, to finish the job.

I’m just two years younger than Sanborn and I can remember feverish protests against both wars. Thousands of people were arrested for protesting the Forever War in Iraq. The true believers were often arrested again and again as they attempted to call attention to the absurdity of attacking Saddam Hussein for the actions of Saudi nationals.

Your humble author, sad to say, was on the wrong side of history for nearly two decades regarding our actions in the “sandbox”. It wasn’t until I wound up as a musical director at a rural church in 2010 and saw all the casualties firsthand that I started to doubt the wisdom of sending young Americans to death or dismemberment for the most muddily stated of political goals. So from 1992 to 2010, I was dead wrong about Iraq. My brother Bark, I suspect, is still on the wrong side of history there; his opinion of George W Bush differs sharply from mine.

Sanborn, however, is made of sterner and more adamantine moral stuff than either Baruth, and would not have suffered from this fascist delusion for one moment, let alone eighteen years. He would have led the fight against the corrupt Bush regime. He would have protested, firebombed, sabotaged. We should know his name the way we know Manning or Snowden or the curiously-yclept “Reality Winner”.

Except we don’t, because in actuality he did nothing. Sixty thousand dead and wounded American citizens. Millions of Arabic people of color killed. Children torn apart by drones. Oil fields set ablaze as families ran screaming into the desert. And Sanborn, like Robert Browning’s God, sat in his Heaven of self-righteousness and did nothing. It now seems clear that our “regime change” was nothing but one extended, decades-spanning war crime, about which “Piston Slap Yo Mama” took precisely no action.

In 2015, the New York Times told us that what we all suspected was true: namely, that the United States frequently launched drone strikes in which innocents were often killed at random. David could have protested against this institutionalized murder of PoC; alas, he was too busy getting a funny driver’s license in a Kraftwerk outfit. Hey, it’s happened to all of us.

The horrors of what Sascha Cohen’s Borat called the “WAR OF TERROR” never seemed to touch David’s heart, but today he has found a true moral calling in the battle against modern Nazis. He’s part of a modern equivalent to the German Resistance!

What was the German Resistance, you ask? Practically, it wasn’t much. There was just one major operation undertaken by any formalized Resistance: the 1944 assassination attempt featuring Prince Friedrich zu Solms-Baruth, who was imprisoned and tortured for nine months after the fact. He also had to cede Castle Baruth to the Nazi Party, a forcible surrender that was adjudicated after the fact by the East German government to be, like, totally legit, man. Castle Baruth became a science lab for the GDR.

Cousin Freddy got off lucky, because he was somebody. More than 77,000 Germans, most of them relative nobodies, were tried and executed by Nazi courts for various acts of sedition, conspiracy, and resistance.

In other words, being part of the real German Resistance was no joke. How much power did NAZI TRUMP wield in comparison? Well, it turned out to be less than this dude:

because that dude had the power to immediately countermand all of Trump’s executive orders. So if DRUMPF had tried to kill 77,000 people for conspiring against his NAZI REGIME, the Hawaiian judge could have just said, “Nah”, and that would have been that.

I don’t know how to say this without really offending people, but I get the feeling that Trump did not have as much murderous power as Hitler. I highly doubt that our loyal commenter David will be executed by the People’s Court for his work with the Resistance here.

Hitler didn’t just have the power to kill people, although that’s an important power. He also had pretty much every corporation and news organization on his side. The corporations executed his wishes with the force of law. The media reported favorably on him while demonizing the opposition. To a limited extent, he even had the schools, which were filled to bursting with people willing to report, denounce, or just plain do some ultraviolence on anyone who said anti-Hitler stuff.

I know David thinks he would have been part of the German Resistance. But I look at his stance on the Jan 6 incident, which is precisely identical to the stances taken by everyone from the Times to Strava, the fitness app. I read his social and political opinions, which are also held by Oreo Cookies and General Motors and USA Today. I observe his eagerness to terminate all discussion on American politics that falls outside his comfort zone, an eagerness shared by nearly every 19-year-old student in America. Oh, and there’s the end of his comment, which I’ve saved until now:

I’m going to tie you and your party to the rotting corpse of Trumpism and never let you forget what your party did lest you lot do it again.

I’m a registered Democrat, so I’m not sure what he means by “your party”, but I can understand the threat in his words.

In other words, David has the same opinions as:

* the current government
* all the brands
* all the universities
* 95% of the media

and he thinks he’s ready to join a “resistance”? Well, I don’t know how to say this, but a “resistance” sponsored by Oreos, USA Today, and Pepsi isn’t a resistance at all. If I had a time machine, and I could send David back to 1939, he probably thinks that he would stand alone against the whole world to defeat Hitler. But isn’t it more reasonable to suppose, based on his behavior in the present day, that he would instead continue his stance of being on the same side as all the brands, all the media, all the schools, and everyone in the government? Reading all of his comments together, I get the feeling he thinks there is a small, but powerful, group out to destroy the country and control it. He calls them “Trumpers”. There aren’t many of them, and they are evil, but they are also everywhere. If I sent him back to 1939, would there also be a weak but evil minority for him to tirelessly persecute? Don’t you think he would be absolutely unstoppable on the matter of the evil agitators who tried to destroy the Reichstag?

You know the answer to that, and so does he, even if he won’t co-sign it here.

So what would you call someone who sides with every power structure in the country in a tireless attempt to punish a small group of dissenters? Is that person a “resister”? Or is it fair to say that 1939 David would have had the same attitude to the evils of that time that 2002 David had to the Gulf War bait-and-switch? In fact, what are we to make of the fact that, judging on years of his comments, he didn’t get really militant about “NAZIS” until all the celebrities and CEOs had already gotten on board? Doesn’t that seem a little… timid?

Not to worry. I’m sure that David will continue to team up with Teen Vogue and Burger King to root out the secret evildoers in modern society. I’d like to think, however, that he’s a smart guy and he’s capable of seeing all this with a bit of perspective. He may not feel like giving my wall of text the same careful attention I gave to his — so I’ve also included a cartoon for him, with which we will close this episode of “The Critics Respond”.

127 Replies to “The Critics Respond, Part Fifty-Three”

  1. Avatartoly arutunoff

    I have a list of a few dozen things trump did, the majority of which I agree with. financial responsibility has vanished except for rand Paul. I’ll pay attention instantly to anyone who says ‘America first.’ it’s my team…don’t those ninnies think that other people think their country first? oh I’m sure there’s a network of coordinating anti-liberty governments and ngos in the world; at this point we do what we can to, sigh, possibly shrink government. at least trump canceled 8 regs for every new one passed, and that’s a very good thing

    • AvatarFred Lee

      Saying and doing are two very different things.

      Saying “America first” while destroying the country’s long-term credibility on the world stage is merely a rallying cry, and an apparently successful one at that, without substance.

      Unfortunately there lies the rub. For the rallying cry turned out to be just that. In no way did Trump’s policies support an “America First” agenda. Change my mind.

      • Avatarsgeffe

        I personally don’t give a flying fig how we’re perceived on the world stage! If we’re so fucking bad, why do these pansy-assed countries always beg for us to bail their sorry asses out of jams?!

      • AvatarNewbie Jeff

        “Saying “America first” while destroying the country’s long-term credibility on the world stage is merely a rallying cry…”

        That the American Left ushered in the era of progressive authoritarianism that created the illiberal, totalitarian society you live in today – that indeed lacks any credibility – is certainly not Trump’s fault because he tried and failed to defeat it.

        • AvatarDaniel J

          Sort of off topic.

          I read a FB post by Mike Rowe from a week or so ago.

          “If so, I’d be telling you the same thing there that I’m telling you here: certainty and truth have nothing to do with each other, and credibility is a very fragile thing. Today, I think we’re long on certainty and short on truth. Thus, we’re even shorter on credibility. ”

          The far left is certain about everything they believe with little truth, which leaves no credibility.

      • AvatarCarmine

        Which “world stage”?

        The one the US supports? Funds? and protects all the other shitty actors(countries) on?

      • AvatarCdotson

        “Saying “America first” while destroying the country’s long-term credibility on the world stage ”

        I think you misunderstand the opinion and desires of the America-Firsters with whom you obviously disagree.

        To the true America-firster, the world stage is a literal playhouse for the moneyed globalist elite to put on a morality play in the light for the lowly people to watch while conducting secret deals to steal from the audience while they are backstage.

        “America First” as a rallying cry inspires the paying audience, the American People, to burn the playhouse to the ground and tell the actors to go perform anatomically impossible unnatural acts with themselves and each other.

  2. AvatarJohn Van Stry

    This is where we’re at. We had the first ever ‘armed insurrection’ where nobody was armed (well, not among the ‘insurrectionists’) all of whom ‘stormed the capitol’ or rather, were let in the front doors and stayed between the velvet ropes.

    But Dave wants them killed. He wants everybody that isn’t him or his killed, and dammit! He’s willing to pull that trigger!

    I have friends who escaped countries that collapsed due to being taken over by folks who were more than willing to murder and kill anyone who got in their way, in order to maintain power. Every last one of them has recently said ‘here we go again’. And they’re not talking about the Trumpers, who have uniformly NOT risen up, not started violent riots, not spent months burning down cities and killing people.

    But when the call comes out to report on your ‘dangerous right wing Trump supporting friends, so we can round them up -for their own safety’ you know that Dave is gonna be there, right at the front, sending even his own mom off to the ‘reeducation facility’. After all, it’s not like democrats haven’t interned American citizens before, right?

    I don’t think any of you realize just how close to a civil war we now are, a civil war that’s gonna make the last one look like a walk in the park. Hell, they’re writing Times articles about how they rigged the election – that’s how brazen they’ve become. This isn’t going to end well.
    At all.

    • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

      I have friends who escaped countries that collapsed due to being taken over by folks who were more than willing to murder and kill anyone who got in their way, in order to maintain power. Every last one of them has recently said ‘here we go again’. And they’re not talking about the Trumpers, who have uniformly NOT risen up, not started violent riots, not spent months burning down cities and killing people.

      Some of my friends are Jews who emigrated to the United States from what was then the USSR. To a person, they are all afraid of the direction this country has taken under the cultural domination of the left.

    • AvatarBailey Taylor

      I sadly have to agree, the Left is trying to grab every lever of power and silence or eradicate any opposition. How long the 77 million who voted against the befuddled Joe will put up with this subjugation is the only variable.

  3. AvatarJMcG

    I wonder whose side he’d have been when the Bolsheviks were in full bloom. I suppose he’d have been in the basement murdering children because they were named Romanov. Undoubtedly, during the Spanish Civil War, he’d have been defending innocent priests and nuns from rape and execution. No wait, that’s not right. He’d have been defending innocent anarchists from murdering commies. No wait, Nazis hated commies. It’s all too tiresome.
    Probably he’d have been a tough guy in his own mind, just like now.

  4. AvatarASWOJoe

    When debating the existence of Nazis or right-wing paramilitaries in the United States it’s helpful to remember the typical composition of these groups:
    3 useful idiots
    2 Federal informants
    4 sworn agents of FBI/ATF/DEA circle jerking at the idea of getting a conspiracy/gun/methamphetamine bust respectively.

    While tongue in cheek – the Whitmer kidnapping conspiracy does bear this out. I admit the (supposed) part of the plan to take her to Wisconsin for a “trial” was a great touch. Because any kidnapping-and-murder plot is enhanced by a group decision.

    • AvatarJohn Van Stry

      It’s also helpful to remember that Nazi’s are LEFT-wing, they’re socialists. Fascists are also left wing.
      I don’t know why people call them ‘right-wing’ the only thing they may be right of are communists. They’re still way far left of any kind of republican government.

      • Avatarstingray65

        “I don’t know why people call them ‘right-wing’ the only thing they may be right of are communists.”

        Academics including historians are 90% communist/socialist and they don’t like the fact that their political preferences are so similar to Nazi policies because Hitler was a bad man (unlike saints such as Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot). How best to deal with this problem? Since they write the histories and teach the courses they have made Hitler into a free-market, limited government Republican with a severe dislike of Jews and Slavs.

        • AvatarJohn C.

          I wonder if in the face of the charge that all traditionalists and conservatives are nazis, we should be distracted into this side argument about how many ideas 30s nazis shared with 30s commies. Who cares, they are all dead.

          The lefties in power are now coming for our speech freedom, our churches, and even our nuclear family. Getting bogged down in this stuff is just a way for conservatives to avoid fighting to conserve anything. Getting us into this stuff is just Conservative Inc. showing how much they are just the controlled opposition. Like when they were canceling people at their marketed as an uncancel event.

      • AvatarDoug

        Exactly. As the critic that Jack is responding to shows, the ideas that the current leftists adhere to do not deviate at all from the German Nazi state. The guy is just not bright enough to realize it…kind of like the vast majority of the useful idiots adhering to leftist idealogy. The fascist movement was only a national version of the international Communisim/Socialism that was promoted by the Soviet Union.

  5. Avatarhank chinaski

    So Biden is Hitler in this scenario. Uh oh. He’s sporting 1989 Reagan levels of dementia, is rushed away from questions, with nary a press conference or SOTU speech.

    Horiuchi got off.

    Babbitt’s murderer has been identified by the channers but still his name goes unsaid pretty much anywhere. Very odd. Either way, both sides of the aisle have unpersoned her. Sicknick was promptly cremated and his ashes were brought into Congress for a Lenin’s corpse style virtue signaling. All for a 3 hour vote delay.

    There is a group that calls itself ‘America First’ but they’ve already been officially labelled as very naughty boys.

    Trump walked right into that steaming pile of Charlottesville with both feet and gave his opponents a talking point they would club him with even 4 years later. The proper normie friendly response: ‘All American citizens have the right to peaceably assemble. This is America and speech is protected. Law enforcement in Virginia under local and state governments had one job: to keep the peace. They instead corralled protesters directly into counter protesters, purposely inciting violence that resulted in the unfortunate and tragic death of Ms. Heyer. If elected, my DOJ will investigate the responsible officials for potential civil rights violations.’ Done.

    For all his many failings, he didn’t start any new wars and tried harder than any of his predecessors to defuse the NorKs.

  6. Avatarcarrya1911

    I voted for Alan Keyes in the 2000 primary because the idea of electing another Bush when the first one had been busy undermining the most populist figure in the Republican party’s modern history, Ronald Reagan, seemed like a terrible idea. Alas, it was. People can talk about George W. painting portraits of the troops but the bottom line is he couldn’t have done more damage to the country if he’d fucking tried. In retrospect I’m not sure Gore or Kerry could have done worse.

    Iraq, attempts at “amnesty” John Roberts, allowing the Clinton era weaponization of the DOJ to fester…George W was a fucking travesty.

    …but George W. didn’t do any of those things alone. Iraq became his albatross when it became politically useful. And then Obama turned right around and kept War Inc going. Expanding it into new regions of the world, destabilizing them and leading to the worst genocide of the 21st century. (So far. The century is young.)

    George W. and Obama are two wings of the same bird.

    The delusion our featured commenter suffers from is one fed by the powers that want to remain in power: That there is a “right” and a “left”. It is a useful fiction for them, and they love to feed it.

    In reality there is a top and a bottom. And the top has no interest in seeing upstart political movements interfere with their lucrative positions. It’s their kids who go to the “best” schools as “legacies”, and then get out and join in rather peculiar business ventures where they somehow magic up untold millions of dollars. Biden, Kerry, Pelosi, and Romney progeny are fabulously wealthy serving in “consulting firms” that just happen to be dealing with business with significant nexus in government.

    It’s the same old grift. Lady Bird Johnson “owned” radio stations that businesses and individuals with issues before the senate or in various regulatory agencies would buy air time on at several times market rate. But it had nothing to do with LBJ’s power in the senate, you see. Just like Hunter Biden definitely isn’t a conduit for payoffs to his half senile father in between coke binges and fucking his inlaws and molesting underage girls.

    As long as they can keep you focused on that evil nazi menace…which until a couple of years ago you knew as Bob from accounting or your next door neighbor…then you won’t notice their power grabs, profiteering, or how they are the living embodiment of all the things they supposedly preach to be evil. You’ll be so busy screaming invective at your former neighbor while he’s being loaded on the rail car that you won’t notice the next one pulling up with a space for you on it.

    So to dear Mr. Piston Slap all I can say is: May your chains rest lightly.

    • Avatarstingray65

      There were some differences between George W and Obama. Only Bush cut taxes, and didn’t go full open borders and shut down the oil industry, but the biggest difference is that only Bush was widely called Hitler by 99% of the media, his political opponents, and academia, and only Obama’s political opponents were call racists for playing the role of the loyal opposition in objecting to his tax increases, spending increases, and use of the FBI/DOJ/IRS/CIA as a political weapon.

    • AvatarDoug

      I like your post. It is true there is a top and bottom. As shown in the last election those on top control what will happen and no matter what those on the bottom do the top’s desired result will be final. Oh and they will do their deeds right in front of us, flip us the bird, and then blame the whole situation on us bottom dwellers.

  7. AvatarKoR

    Extremely minor point given the greater article, but I feel like it should be made. The same people who set up CHAZ/CHOP would absolutely riot against police if another Waco or Ruby Ridge standoff happened. Neoliberals? Fuck no. They only get worried when the stock market tells them to. The burgeoning Actual American Left though? The ones with gun clubs and hosts of mutual aid setups all around the country? You better believe it.

    Less exceedingly minor, but also a point worth making: there IS a growing fascist movement in this country as well. Relatively few people who would label themselves Real Nazis, though more than you’d think (Atomwaffen chief among them with a couple hundred active members, and several murders to their name), but a laaaarge contingent of the pol boards/8kun going crowd would likely proudly claim to be fascist as well. Now, fascism and Nazism are of course not exactly the same thing (bit of a square and rectangle type of relationship), but still it’s absolutely something to know. The American fascist movement is very alive, well, and has killed quite a few people recently. It should not be underplayed.

    Not here to defend or attack anything, just saw a couple things in your piece that seemed worth countering a touch.

    • AvatarEric L.

      Personally, I’d be more concerned with the fascist actions taken by our “liberal” overlords.

      Re-read the post:
      > He also had pretty much every corporation and news organization on his side. The corporations executed his wishes with the force of law. The media reported favorably on him while demonizing the opposition. To a limited extent, he even had the schools, which were filled to bursting with people willing to report, denounce, or just plain do some ultraviolence on anyone who said anti-Hitler stuff.

      …and then remember what happened to Parler and will happen again to the next enemy of the state. The American government won’t issue travel papers like Myanmar, even though we’ll have the exact same end result when Southwest and friends won’t let you on a public airplane.

      I wonder if governors will setup more checkpoints like they did in early ‘rona. I just drove through the CA border patrol checkpoint on the 8, coming back from Yuma. It won’t take much to beef those chokepoints up and make them resemble the base entrances in MCAS Miramar.

      • AvatarEric L.

        Edit for clarity: California has separate state border checks for anything that might be bringing in Forbidden Produce to the state. This is different than the federal US Border Patrol stations that are also setup on the interstates around southern California and Arizona.

        I was replying to this line:
        >There IS a growing fascist movement in this country as well

      • AvatarKoR

        Shutting down Parler, which the government did not do, and which deserved to die anyway because it was a truly horrendous website built with straight up apathy and a desire to grift the griftable, is not fascist lmfao. Gab and telegram are still out and about. A lot of the planning for the 6th happened on those platforms, and Actual Nazis currently gather there too. Atomwaffen has a few channels on telegram last I knew. Again, they’ve murdered people recently,

        8kun (though currently hosted in Russia. Not exactly sure what could be done about that) and Jim Watkins are still free and living despite some TRULY, startlingly horrendous shit ranging from QAnon, to mass murder plans, to (oddly, given what QAnon is) child rape being hosted there at Watkins behest,

        You’d think that those would go too if there was some grand “fascist” scheme to overthrow the right’s ability to organize online by our “liberal overlords”, no?

        • Avatarhank chinaski

          If you honestly take what goes on at the /pol’s of the web as a serious threat, there’s not much to be said to you. They are boogeymen with less than zero organization, real influence or institutional power and are very likely thoroughly infiltrated and monitored by the feds.

          Keep looking under your bed for Adolf. He might actually be there this time.

          • AvatarKoR

            I’m guessing you’re being this dismissive because you just don’t know how many bodies have been dropped because of radicalization on the darker corners of the internet? Christchurch massacre was because of that. Dylan Roof too. And the synagogue shootings in Pittsburgh. And the 2019 El Paso Wal Mart shootings. And the murder of Blaze Bernstein. And the Portland train stabbing. And the list goes on.

            No one

        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          What’s happening to Gab is interesting; they’ve been repeatedly compromised by what feels to me like the Kuang Grade Mark Eleven shit that the NSA keeps to itself, with the public credit being taken by a bunch of ding-dongs who couldn’t overflow a buffer without help. I’m reminded of Stuxnet, which was a state sponsored effort masquerading as low-level theft.

          It seems obvious to me now that if you try to run a right-of-center social-media site you are going to face a continuous assault on all fronts, from financial (Gab can’t keep a payment processor or a bank) to black-hat hack (people publicly bragging in plain sight that they’ve hacked a legitimate commercial enterprise while curiously NOT getting the FBI knock on the door). The purpose of this coordinated attack is to make it impossible for you to do business.

          For what it’s worth, this site, which is about as controversial as a ten-year-old issue of National Review, has an attack log that will scroll at more-than-readable speed at real time through a terminal window.

          • AvatarRick T.

            Imagine telling the people trying to eat lunch at Woolworth’s in 1961 that the solution is to just open your own department stores and lunch counters. It’s a private business so we can discriminate against anyone we choose.

          • Avataryossarian

            @jack “For what it’s worth, this site, which is about as controversial as a ten-year-old issue of National Review, has an attack log that will scroll at more-than-readable speed at real time through a terminal window.”

            now i understand why this site only has basic functionality. keep it simple is one of the best ways to limit the vectors of attack. kudos!

          • AvatarNoID

            @Rick T, if I know my history properly, while many businesses were happy to comply with Jim Crow laws, the fact remains that in many states and localities these laws requiring segregation were mandatory. So you couldn’t just go open up your own department store or lunch counter without it too being segregated.

            This is a perfect example, by the way, of the government being part of the problem. For all the feel-good stories about the government stepping in to tear down structural racial discrimination, people downplay the fact that they built the damn house in the first place.

          • AvatarDaniel J

            Interestingly enough, the Left is open to segregated spaces….of course when it’s only convenient for them.

            They are the first in line to say “it’s a private business” when it’s something they agree with, the first in line to scream “discrimination” when a baker decides not to bake a cake, and raise hell to a school administration when a straight enters an LGBTQ+ safe space on college campus.

            Old school conservatives believe that the civil rights laws were necessary. They are the same one’s who believe that the government should step in with the Big Tech issues.

            Libertarian conservatives maintain that the free market and social circumstances would have worked out the segregation issues. However, as NoID points out, the government created much of the mess in many of the states.

            The problem isn’t going to get solved. If it does, it’s going to start with the States. The federal government will eventually try to take that away too, as the SCOTUS refuses to honor the constitution in many of these circumstances.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      “The same people who set up CHAZ/CHOP would absolutely riot against police if another Waco or Ruby Ridge standoff happened.” I’d like to believe that; my personal opinion is that all variants of the American Left, actual or otherwise, have been completely cordycepted by race-centric thinking. It’s hard to get the Workers of the World to Unite! when the vast majority of them have never done a day’s worth of actual work.

      I do agree that as more and more people openly claim Marxism and communism as their guiding philosophy, there will be more people who claim Fascism as theirs. History shows that the literal only way to prevent a country from going communist, given only the resources available inside that country, is the way the Spaniards did it. So you’ll have a lot of Peter Kemp types who fight on the “Fascist” side without sharing a whit of Fascist ideology.

      The Atomwaffen crowd, and the people like that, are 98% cosplayers. Not that cosplayers can’t be dangerous, but we’ll need decades of neo-Nazism at that level to match the death toll of the curiously forgotten Las Vegas shooter. I also suspect it’s completely head-to-toe compromised by Federal law enforcement, which has proven itself willing to spend fifty billion dollars in the cause of infiltrating a trailer park jerkoff club.

      • AvatarKoR

        The reason I’d disagree with your first point is that authoritarian gestures, police violence of all kinds (I don’t care to get into the numbers debate), and the state we live in that’s quickly approaching something ripped straight out of a dollar store cyberpunk dystopia, has created a pretty deep, well-organized machine that exists specifically to protest against those things. Government kills 60 people, including children, and yeah there will be people out there. A lot of them will be dressed in bloc too.

        Also just patently false that the “vast majority” the people on the left (?) have never done a days work in their lives. That’s bullshit. I’m not sure if you’re confusing the incredibly stupid internet activism of retweeting Person X for Feel Good Points with something meaningful or what? Or maybe I have a completely different definition of what constitutes work? Don’t know. Seems like needless, unfounded bashing based in the typical notions of “why aren’t those people protesting at work!” Which is a nonsensical type of thing to think.

        You are wildly off on those numbers. Since 9/11, far right terrorists have killed 114 people in America. Double what the Vegas shooter managed (as an aside – I too am deeply curious as to why that moment has been largely forgotten. Last I checked, his motives were never really uncovered). 73% of terrorist attack in the US since 9/11 have been perpetrated by the far-right as well. Sources shamelessly lifted from Wikipedia below.

        There are a decent number of cosplayers (and same could be said of the left), but Atomwaffen ain’t among them. Don’t conflate them with the likes of 90%+ of the Boogaloo Bois. They are for real.

        Why I read your writing, beyond the fact that you write well, is that we broadly have similar ideas as to what ails the nation, yet come to different conclusions about what actually matters and what should be done to improve it. Usually don’t bother to comment, but I really, really do think you’re underrating the threat the far-right militia/nascent fascist movement poses to the well-being of the state.

        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          I was lazy in my response and I deserve yours as a consequence…

          “Government kills 60 people, including children, and yeah there will be people out there. A lot of them will be dressed in bloc too.” Again, I hope you’re right, but my suspicion is that they’d only turn out if the kids were Black.

          “Also just patently false that the “vast majority” the people on the left (?) have never done a days work in their lives. That’s bullshit.” What I was trying to put across is a combination of:

          0. The political leadership of today’s Left is almost all from academia and/or “privilege”; Ta-Nehisi Coates wouldn’t have any idea how to change the oil on a car. If there ever really was an era where radicalized line-or-mine workers led the conversation, those days are long gone. In large part because:
          1. The face of American labor has changed drastically. Under sixty percent of Americans currently hold a job. There are fewer than 15 million members of non public sector unions in America. ( 105 million of the 150 million workers in America are in the service sector.
          2. In much the same way that Republicans pursued a “Southern strategy”, Democrats pursued a “Welfare strategy”. Today’s manual laborer is probably more likely than at any point in the past 100 years to hold right-wing beliefs, because Democrats (or the optics pursued by Democrats) have focused on the employment-averse.

          The Cato link you provided me had an interesting factoid in it:

          “Of the 85 violent extremist incidents that resulted in death since September 12, 2001, far right wing violent extremist groups were responsible for 62 (73 percent) while radical Islamist violent extremists were responsible for 23 (27 percent).”

          62 plus 23 is… 85. This smacks to me of meddling. For instance, in just a 10-day period in 2016 you had two black shooters who killed a total of eight cops and five civilians, first in Baton Rouge then in St. Louis. In both cases, the shooters said they were motivated by perceived police violence against Black people. Were these cop killers counted as “far right”? Or were they counted as “Islamist”? Or were they simply… ignored?

          I don’t like the way these numbers are collated, to put it mildly. Let’s stipulate for now, however, that 114 people have been killed by far right terrorists in America in the past twenty years. That’s six per year. We average 43 deaths from lightning strikes every year in America. So if you’re outside in a storm, and the only house in sight is flying Nazi flags on all corners, you’re statistically better off giving Redneck Adolf a visit. (I’m kidding, but statistically that’s how it works.) To put both numbers in perspective, about 450 whites a year are killed by African-Americans with criminal intent — but this statistic, which is ten times lightning and eighty times right-wing terrorism, is absolutely not allowed to inform any aspect of American public policy, and with good cause, because it would promote division in an already thoroughly divided country.

          I just can’t take the Atomwaffen crowd all that seriously when they are less dangerous than a single aspect of the weather. If this changed — if, say, far-right terrorists started killing stadiums full of people, or pulled some 9/11 stunt — then obviously I’d have to change my mind. Nota bene that I feel the same indifferent way about the Nation of Islam, which has been tied to an astounding number of violent crimes, and the fellows in the NFAC who dropped three bodies this summer (albeit all intramural). I don’t think the Black Panthers should have been hammered by the US Government.

          Please feel encouraged to comment and dissent as much as you like. Not only is the populist right the horseshoe companion to the populist left (which perhaps explains why you might see statements on this site with which you agree), it’s critical for people to hear an educated, largely emotion-free rebuttal to each and every idea to which they are exposed.

          • AvatarKoR

            Mostly fair and valid points. I think it’s deeply unfair to posit that careers outside of manual labor aren’t work (I.e. academics), but whatever. Also comes from my own clouded view of counting very few, if any, “elites” as left, but again that’s on me to reorient my personal political compass.

            You are going to see a huge left-wing push back towards unions. John Fetterman of PA is a notable example of a guy looking to court them for a senate seat in 2022. Neat guy, Fetterman. If the DNC was smart, which it isn’t, they’d make him their face of the future.

            You also see Bernie being super popular among the unions, and even Biden gently advocating (like a coward because all mainstream Dems are cowards, but that’s a story for another time) for the Amazon union in Alabama.

            Unions are inherently a left-wing idea. While the DNC shifted away from them, because again they are fucking stupid, the left in America is very pro-union. If they can ever figure out how the idea of “messaging” works (a big “if”, that), it’s not unreasonable to imagine that, everything else being equal, the next generation of labor workers will shade left.

            In regards to the right-wing killings, obviously the numbers are small relative to the concept of people dying as a whole. However, it takes up a large portion of politically driven murders. That’s important. Even with some numbers that may be arguable, or look a little funny as you point out.

            Especially so when the typical what-about-this reply is “…but antifa! But they broke the windows!” As though any of that matters in this particular fictitious argument I’m having in my head when the other side of the coin is, ya know, killing people.

            Right-wing extremist movements are small for now, but they are growing. QAnon, which is by every measure an absolute batshit insane string of conspiracy theories is an exceedingly popular right-wing movement. Through the gaping maw of hell that is social media, interest in Q related topics drives people towards the likes of Atomwaffen. As those numbers continue to grow, it stands to reason so too would the number of people radicalized into committing atrocities.

            You’re right that is statistically almost impossible that you would be killed by Redneck Hitler. That does not mean the threat shouldn’t be taken seriously and that it should be allowed to fester.

            I live in a very small, very rural community. It is incredibly frustrating for me to see people where I live completely ignore or justify right-wing violence, and then say BLM protesters should be killed or jailed for life or whatever. The ideas within right-wing extremism then are not just held in the far reaches of the internet, but also by my neighbor. That’s where I, a very open leftist, become a tick more concerned about that, and less about the other culture war related shit that only matters because we as a society have decided to focus on it for reasons that will forever be nonsense to me.

            Thank you for taking the time to reply to me. I appreciate the conversation.

          • Avatarsiv

            The 5 cops killed in (or associated with if you prefer) a 2016 BLM protest were in Dallas, Texas

          • AvatarNewbie Jeff

            “In regards to the right-wing killings, obviously the numbers are small relative to the concept of people dying as a whole. However, it takes up a large portion of politically driven murders”

            Okay, just so we’re clear, this is not true. The very sources you linked are largely fabricated for a political agenda and narrative. Any reasonable person capable of just marginal critical thinking should be able to click the link, see what’s actually in the “data”, see how the definition of “right-wing extremist ideology” is purposely broadened, and realize that the numbers of “right-wing killings” are outright dubious.

            And again… if the same tactic were applied to drum up “data” about “left wing killings”, it would look something like any accused/convicted murderer who avowed support for socialism, globalism, “a reverence for collectivism”, or simply thought that “their way of life was under attack” by the Trump administration… they would all qualify as “violent left wing extremists”…

          • AvatarDoug

            Good rebuttal Jack. But when one of the useful idiots starts quoting Wikipedia it becomes a battle with their propaganda rather than actual facts. The guy is married to the fake narrative and will be beyond actually considering any reality presented to him.

        • Avatarhank chinaski

          In sheer numbers, you’re still talking fewer than a weekend or three in our vibrant cities and have entirely neglected Islamic Religious Right events like the Pulse, Ft. Hood, San Bernardino shootings or their correlates in Western Europe.
          These and those you mention are still single or small group actors who use those platforms as echo chambers to brag into more than anything else. The left by comparison has achieved full, organized, out in the open, top to bottom cultural and institutional control.

          As for Mandalay Bay, I’ll doff my tinfoil hat and suggest that the FBI or CIA was involved, if only tangentially. Nothing else disappears so fast. We do know his wife was a paid Fed asset.

          Torba is mocked as an incompetent grifter by more than a few of his users, and the site is choking under the load of Twitter and Parler refugees and constant hacks.

        • AvatarNewbie Jeff

          Jack got to it, but I feel like I should also jump in here… As the American Left has dominated the concepts of “FACTS!” and “SCIENCE!” and subsequently rendered them utterly non-credible, I’ve developed a healthy skepticism when people drop links and declare the discussion over. I’m not saying that “KoR” did this in bad faith, but at any rate, I actually looked at these links… Context is important, especially when trying to declare a publication or source as authoritative.

          First to note is that the GAO report (3rd link.. the other links just regurgitate pieces of this report) was conducted under the Obama administration, as its data collection ends 31 Dec 2016. It seems to be trying to target a specific narrative, in this case whether Islamic extremism or domestic “right-wing” extremism has the highest body count. I think it could be logically assumed that the GAO went “hunting” to confirm a narrative… (recall that the Obama admin had been under fire from Republicans for not using the terms “radical islamic terrorism”… a report like this could be used to counter that domestic terrorism was a larger threat).

          Why is this important context? See pg. 28 of the GAO report, which explicitly defines “Far right violent extremist attackers” as having the following beliefs (I quoted this verbatim):

          “Fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal or international in orientation)”


          “Suspicious of centralized federal authority”

          “Reverent of individual liberty (especially the right to own guns, be free of taxes)”

          “Belief in conspiracy theories that involve a grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty”

          “Belief that one’s personal and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent”

          I’m just going to stop there… hopefully the point is made. The GAO report, undoubtedly recycled repeatedly in US left-wing media, manufactures a conveniently broad definition of “right-wing extremism” that just happens to encompass Americans who support individual liberty, support the 2nd Amendment, are skeptical of the globalist movement, critical of a bloated, massive central federal government, and just MIGHT think that all of this is destroying their way of life. For all interested, click the link and read it yourself. Your own government considers you a “right-wing violent extremist” for thinking maybe it’s the government that’s evil.

          Oh, and that body count of “right-wing extremists”? While it appropriately includes attacks like the Charleston church shooting and the Wisconsin Sikh temple, most of the listed incidents to compile the data are obscure and lack definitive context… for example, 5/30/09 – “white supremacists murdered 2 immigrants in a home invasion” and 7/28/09 – “white supremacist murdered his stepfather” and 8/28/09 – “whtie supremacist murdered a convicted sex offender”… Any reasonable, pragmatic citizen should stop to think… Who determined the perpetrator was a “white supremacist”, especially considering how broadly that term gets tossed around? And are these really indicative of a massive fascist movement in the US? Or did the Obama administration go hunting for “FACTS!” to manufacture a politically-motivated narrative?

          Finally, I think it should be noted that there seems to be little interest in digging up “FACTS!” by loosely defining a broad demographic of criminals under “far-left extremist ideology”. In the mirror image of the GAO-manufactured clown world, the news would say “A violent left-wing extremist murdered a store clerk during a robbery downtown today… the extremist had publicly supported socialist ideology and had expressed violent anti-Republican party sentiment on social media!”… I have a feeling such an approach to “FACTS!” would generate quite the left-wing extremist body count…

          • AvatarJeff Weimer

            What I found interesting, and disqualifying of the entire study, was that one of them (not listed above, but I believe the source of the 114 in the newamerica report) included “incel” violence as “right-wing” because…misogyny. The absolutely awful assumptions that let to including a class of people with mental health issues and nothing more is staggering.

            They had to pump up those rookie numbers, and that’s what they came up with.

          • AvatarDoug

            To be quite honest, there is probably nothing the data fakers would ever classify as “not” right wing violence. When your reporting form only has one check box then everything fits in that box.

            I do like the blurb about conspiracy theories. The people who associate with the left are so embedded with conspiracy thought that it is amazing they project so hard that the right are conspiracy theorists. They have added a new word to the lexicon #Blueanon to classify their whacked out following of crazy theories.

        • Avatararbuckle

          “far right terrorists have killed 114 people in America.”

          That is bad. However, that doesn’t mean every Trump voter or Republican not named David French is a terrorist. It also doesn’t mean that every Trump voter or Republican not named David French should have to do some grand performative renouncement of the violence other people commit.

        • AvatarPanzer

          Like everyone else on the left, you don’t seem to understand proportionality.

          I remember reading a breakdown in Bloomberg of the number of casualties (can’t be bothered linking rn) of ‘right wing terrorism’ and Islamic terrorism. The numbers were about the same -about 75 for both between Sept 12 2001 and when the article was written around 2017 (IIRC) –
          But the article pointed out that the numbers for Right wing terrorism were padded by Obama’s DOJ by including instances like when some white guy in the South killed several cops in a standoff at his ex’s house she had evicted him from, and then the whole thing was recorded as a Right wing terror act simply because during the debrief, said ex informed the cops that the perp had said once to her that he was upset about Obama’s election..

          So in other words, even when the stats for right wing terrorism were fudged, and even when the greatest terror attack in American history was excluded from the stats for Islamic terrorism just coz, the numbers are only the same, and 0.5% if the American population (Muslim men) generated as much terrorist death as 35% of the American population (White men) Put another way, if there were as many Muslim men as there are White men in America, we would have -seventy times- as much terrorist murder as we have now.

          But nah, OmG NazIs and OrANGe MaN BaD

          • AvatarJMcG

            Sorry, that was a silly response. I’m a member of a private sector union. My name is on the charter of my local. I served as an officer and in various official capacities. I’ve laced up boots every day for over thirty years now.
            The day I vote for a democrat will be the day after I die. Republicans are a platinum hair less rotten.
            Bernie Sanders has zero credibility with the people I work with.
            The Democrats threw the Union pipe fitters under the bus as fast as anyone has ever been thrown.
            Again, sorry for the knee jerk response to the Wikipedia cite. That was beneath the level of discourse typically seen here.

          • AvatarCJinSD

            You can’t be pro union while being pro open borders and pro China unless you’re a party of evil liars manipulating imbeciles. The fundamental problem is that left is the original political spin: the real word is wrong. Leftists don’t believe that any individual but one has any intrinsic worth, and so they are comfortable using the fundamental lie of the greater good to annihilate anyone who stands in their way. No lie is too brazen; no hypocrisy carries shame. Killing seniors in nursing homes is just fine in service of the greater good, which is selling vaccines for Bill Gates and Pfizer. Destroying small businesses to enrich billionaire leftists and consolidate their economic power is in service of the greater good, because said billionaires have the Washington Post, CNN, and the New York Times vomiting that it is into the empty skulls of Democrat voters. Pipelines aren’t part of the greater good, because Warren Buffet owns railroads and Hunter Biden gets zillions from foreign oil producers. Vilifying and marginalizing mathematics education if for the greater good, because people who can do arithmetic want to know how anyone can be so suicidally stupid as to support a party that is putting the American people an extra trillion and a half dollars in debt in exchange for a four hundred billion dollar loan. Stupid people have been brainwashed to think that Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor. The lesson couldn’t be a greater perversion of the truth, which is that Robin Hood and his merry men attacked the lord’s tax collectors and returned the loot they had stolen to the unfairly taxed. That’s a virtue.

  8. AvatarEric L.

    That was a hilarious takedown, thank you, but the best part is this gem:
    > It wasn’t until I wound up as a musical director at a rural church in 2010 …

    I’m sorry. Say what, my good sir? 🤣

    Snarky aside: Good thing we don’t hold music directors to Paul’s standards for an elder, eh?

    At least Piston Slap and the Critical Race Theory guy both have the guts (though I’d call it temerity) to post with their real names. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Yes, I played music in a church for about a year and a half, at two different venues.

      I learned a lot about people. I was not struck by lightning, much to my dismay. At some point I’ll tell the whole story, up to and including the day I think of as “The November Rain Incident”.

      Long–time readers of this blog may recall that I was once the guitarist for an Evangelical wedding:

      • AvatarEric L.

        I shouldn’t be surprised.

        Growing up in the shadow of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary provided me with a different understanding of the role of the music minister. I didn’t discover that the megachurches paid their session-esque musicians until I was in my 20s. I naively assumed all those gleaming, perfect musicians were just part of the sprawling church body and doing it for fun. Or maybe even for Jesus?

        I’ve been reading through the Old Testament with my kids. We just to to Samson’s birth, and it’s been a large number of generations since God swallowed up Korah and family in Numbers 16. It should make headlines the Evangelical world over if you were, in fact, struck down for playing guitar in a church.

        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          For the record, I never took a dime from the church, and I usually put a couple bucks in the till. I did it because it was the unofficial church of Honda people out near one of the factories, and the other musicians were Honda people who needed some help. Also, I nonironically believe in the risen Christ, which I know will eventually render me as unemployable as Al Solzhenitsyn.

          • AvatarKen

            I’d really enjoy reading your expanded views on religion. I’ve been reading you, fairly consistently, for close to a decade. And while my memory recalls stories of music, motorcycles, races, illicitness, politics, kids, bikes, fashion… I can’t remember much religion.

            I’m genuinely interested. It would be great to know how someone with your intelligence, life experience, and background reconciles with organized religion.

            (Btw, completely understand if this is too personal a topic. I ask, because it’s something I’d like to explore myself, but given my own background, have found it hard to navigate / start.)

          • Avatarstingray65

            Ken – you wrote to Jack: “It would be great to know how someone with your intelligence, life experience, and background reconciles with organized religion.” I look forward to Jack’s response, but a more sensitive or less forgiving person might look at your statement as an indication that someone who follows/believes in organized religion is likely to not be intelligent, or live an adventurous or even at times sinful life. I’m sure Jack can speak very eloquently for himself, but many of the brightest and most adventurous people in history have been believers and followers even if they questioned certain tenants of organized religion. Most organized religions also accept that humans are imperfect and certain to sin in thought, word, and deed and offer pathways towards forgiveness and redemption that has brought many sinners into the fold. Thus one pathway to start as you express is to be more open-minded about what religion is and offers to smart and dull, and saint and sinner.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            I took his question as sincere, and I’m reminded of Scalia’s infamous quote: “Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the Devil.”

          • AvatarKen

            No I meant that entirely sincerely. (Which was why I added the last bit, I myself am trying to reconcile religion with the dogma of my New England environment / upbringing.)

            I was worried it would be construed as bias against organized religion. Which is not the intention at all.

            The cliché’ that I’m exposed to is that religion is meant for followers, proles, those lacking education. Which in my head, I know is not the case.

            Precisely why I’d love to read Jacks’ (and others) thoughts.

            To be frank, I’ve felt a gnawing lack of community and purpose (or maybe serenity or well being is a better word?) that’s only grown over the years and by all accounts I have a good life (a lovely family, friends, financial stability).

            As a result, I’ve been considering exploring religion much more – but I haven’t the foggiest on where to start.

  9. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    FFS, I’d have been part of the German resistance, I’d have sat at the Woolworths lunch counter with the Black civil rights leaders, I’d have fought with the Union to end slavery. Wash, rinse, repeat.

    It seems to me that your nostalgia for great moral movements of the past forces you to believe in imaginary boogeymen so you can be considered morally upright because you oppose those spectres.

    It must be nice to have such certitude about one’s moral rectitude. If you support the intersectional left, you’re ideologically closer to the Nazis than to the resistance.

    My cousin Shlomo faught actual Nazis in the forest of Poland as a teenager. You and your leftist buddies probably think he supports an apartheid regime because he’s an Israeli.

    • AvatarNewbie Jeff

      “My cousin Shlomo faught actual Nazis in the forest of Poland as a teenager. You and your leftist buddies probably think he supports an apartheid regime because he’s an Israeli”


      My grandfather was a top-turret gunner on a B-17 in the 99th Bomb Group, 15th Air Force. He fought actual Nazis. Nazis shot down his buddies. He shot down a Nazi FW-190. Without question, Generation Woke would unsarcastically call HIM a Nazi because he was old, white, Southern Baptist, and conservative. What was said earlier about “certainty” vs “truth”? That’s powerfully relevant in our American progressive totalitarian clown world.

  10. AvatarJohn Van Stry

    More than just produce. Animals too. And California laws trump Federal Permits.
    (Had to deal with this once, personally)

  11. AvatarDan

    The ascendant mob is living down to all of the illiberal things that mobs always do when enabled. That’s not interesting, except on the micro level of not being personally eaten by it, because we already know what mobs do. We also know what they don’t do, which is reason, so as much fun as this was for us in the pews that and a coffee will get you a coffee.

    The more interesting thing to me is the prima facie do not computes. Most of the things that this mob was told it wants have obvious corporate winners or are obvious distractions. But where, outside of China, is a winner for an America without oil pipelines or math classes?

    Yeah, Zimbabwe thought it had a winner without farmers, but that was with monkeys running things. We have Davos.

    And if we don’t, and the mob has achieved self awareness, and they still haven’t stopped selling it AR-15s, the winner is even less apparent than it was before.

    On Trump. I think that he was on the right side more often than not, but he arrived there by accident of circumstance. Narcissists fear what they don’t understand, hate those above, and use those around. At a station where the surroundings are the globalist scum of the earth his destructive instincts were, for once, a force for good. But at any other station he’d be cheating the most immediately adjacent contractors and employees exactly like he was before he made it that high.

  12. AvatarPanzer

    When I saw David’s comment about being part of the German Resistance I immediately came to the same conclusion as you, Jack – ‘No son, you would not have been part of the German Resistance because like all other Germans and everyone, everywhere all throughout history, you would not have been willing to see your family murdered in a concentration camp alongside the Jews simply to make a personal point about Nazism’

  13. Avatararbuckle

    Having read their actual writings I’m comfortable saying that the the Alt-Right and QAnon aren’t good things. However, I’m never going to apologize for groups that I’m not a part of or change my worldview because it maybe shares some superficial overlap with extremist groups.

  14. AvatarBryce H

    Fun fact, albeit unrelated to the topic above. A neighbor of mine lathered his Outback Touring in “thin blue line” stickers over the summer. It’s somewhat ironic when you consider that this guy is a somewhat well known/highly suspected but never caught high-level cocaine and meth dealer.

    • Avatardanio

      Maybe the fact that Alphabet Agencies and the laws that enable them are the reason for the existence/profitability of his trade isn’t lost on him.

    • AvatarIce Age

      That sounds like the old Bootleggers & Baptists story where one day in the dry county, the people were going to vote on whether or not to allow liquor to be legal again. The anti-alcohol clergymen had the little kids handing out bumper stickers that read, “For the sake of my family, vote dry.”

      The son of the town’s most notorious bootlegger had three of those bumper stickers on the back of his new Buick.

  15. AvatarShortest Circuit

    As someone who grew up behind the Iron Curtain, it’s always amusing to read the opinions of people like Mr. Sanborn. Would he be one of those, who, upon getting sent to the Gulag for one misstep (like not agreeing with EVERYTHING the government said/did) would have their families disown them as obviously guilty and go on breaking rock for the remainder of their miserable lives? For a single dissention? Is there no room for conversation, ever?
    Being able to criticize one’s own government without fear is one of the fundamentals of democracy, and it is being very effectively stifled on the major online platforms owned by chaps with regular names like Jack and Mark (hey!) – but only if it aligns with a well-defined agenda, the other side gets no punches pulled. So what the left is getting together here is an almost total control of the media. And then they only need your weapons taken, and it’s effectively Germany 2021; where no media dares to touch the chancellor, even though she fumbled pretty much everything in handling the virus.

    After the relatively quiet summer when the govt had the time to get contact tracing up and running, start planning distribution of the (home-developed, by an immigrant doctor who owns his own company) vaccine – Germany went into the second lockdown without any preparation. The govt-developed Corona app is next to useless because data protection rules, and when it was time to procure the vaccine, she delegated that to the EU commission in Brussels – like the French made a decision in the last 400 years that benefited Gemany in any way. Liberté, égalité and fraternité is meant only for the French, everyone else is in the “ou la mort” camp!

    People are concerned for some unknown reason how their home country is perceived on the world stage – even when said country needn’t make any worries about it, this is why people like Obama (or Merkel) get elected – politicians that seemingly do everything to make their countries seem more likeable to the outside world. Like taking on millions of immigrants or voluntarily making destructive political decisions. Now they have the power and the media on their sides. Anyone with any knowledge of history should be at least… concerned.

  16. Avatardanio3834

    The sheer derangement of people on both sides has me wondering where to hide. From enduring “plandemic” and flat earth rants to physical anger at the mere suggestion that systemic racism isn’t the root of all life’s problems, I’m digging a bunker to wait this out.

  17. Avatarstingray65

    A story from Ronald Reagan: An American and a Soviet citizen were arguing about the superiority of their respective political systems. The American said that in a democracy an American can march into the oval office and pound on the president’s desk and say: “I don’t like how you are running the country”. The Soviet responded by saying that he can do the same thing in the USSR, and the American incredulously said “you can?” The Soviet said: “yes I can march into Chairman Gorbchev’s Kremlin office and pound on his deck and say – ‘I don’t like how President Reagan is running his country'”.

    Of course we have advanced since the good old cold war days, and someone trying to get into Biden’s office to express dissatisfaction will be arrested, shot, and convicted of sedition before his hand would touch Biden’s desk.

  18. AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

    I wasn’t “radicalized” by Atomwaffen or Stormfront or Qanon or any other right wing organization. It was Daily Kos, Media Matters and their ilk that made he shake my head like a junkie.Passing every ultra liberal fantasy as a CRISIS!!! has the same effect as a wet fart on white cotton underwear. I don’t give a rats round ass what is said on TwitFaceGaParl and their competitors either. Even Stevie Wonder can see that most of the aforementioned are complete leftist shills, or under surveillance by the alphabets.

    There was a day or two ago, a ranking on Drudge (which these days is only slightly to the right of the NYT), of where most folks got their “news”. The leader by at least double the number two site? Google news.

    Jesus wept.

      • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

        Stevie’s a great musician and songwriter, and one of the world’s best harmonica players, but if he’s not singing (or talking about music), like Carlos Santana he’s not likely to make much real-world sense.

  19. AvatarCliffG

    If he would like to fight slavery he can still do it today. Just meander over to N. Africa and “discuss” the issue with Boko Haram, et al. Meanwhile the Fed will soon hold about $9 trillion of US debt. But lets talk about Qanon and Dr. Seuss instead.

    • AvatarCarmine

      I hear China has a little genocide thing going on he could probably help out on too, maybe get a few NBA players involved as well…..

  20. AvatarAnonymous

    I was raised to ignore words and pay attention to behavior. Say what you like about Trump’s policies good or bad, but pay attention to the policies of the Trump administration that are not being torn down. The dog that is not barking if you will.

    1. The Israel embassy in Jerusalem is not being closed and moved to the previous location.
    2. The trade agreements Trump put into place with Japan, Korea, Canada and Mexico will not be renegotiated.
    3. The quiet agreement we have with Mexico insisting that they crackdown on their southern border will stay in place.
    4. The tariffs Trump enacted against China and the whole Huawei issue are not going away.

    There are even more to list. To me it looks as if Biden is giving his base the culture war and identity politics to appease them while silently keeping Trump policies in place. I may be wrong but that is my read on the situation.

    As to the identity politics thing, I doubt that our leaders buy that stuff for a moment. They feed it to the peasants because it is cheaper than giving them good jobs, fair wages, access to healthcare or reasonably priced college educations.

    Democrats are useless because they abandoned the working class 40 years ago. Republicans are useless because they are republicans.

    Just my two cents and worth what you paid for it.

    • AvatarDaniel J

      #3 is sorta useless. Just look what is going on at the border now. It’s obvious Biden is changing policy here, or at the very least, the appearance of such. Maybe even Mexico is as well.

    • AvatarDoug

      #4 will likely be gone in the not too distant future. I believe there are some lawsuits in process to get Huawei back into play here in the US.

  21. AvatarIce Age

    Saying you hate National Socialists is like saying you like the Beatles: It’s the most gutless thing in the world. You’re expressing the Socially Acceptable Opinion and you know no one will criticize you for it.

    And claiming that you’d be there fighting the National Socialists in 40’s Germany, or the police in 50s Alabama is like some feminist saying, “I can do anything a man can do, I just don’t want to.” If you’d shoot down Gestapo soldiers in the street if only you’d been there in the WWII Germany, tough guy, why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and go kill a few FBI or ATF agents today?

    History’s gonna put all of them together anyway, and you’ll be a hero for doing it, so what are you waiting for?

    • Avatarstingray65

      Interesting that so many on the Left who claim to hate Nazis advocate Nazi policies such as strict environmental laws, restrictions on executive salaries, high taxation, big spending on public projects and welfare programs, abortion rights, and hold Nazi values such as anti-Capitalism, anti-organized religion, and villainizing certain groups based on race/ethnicity/sexual preferences (Nazi targets: Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, homosexuals; Democrat targets: Jews, heterosexuals, whites).

      • AvatarDoug

        You stole my comment. I am constantly amazed that the leftists are able to shout from the high heavens that everything is literally a fascist Nazi policy all the while the efforts of “their” side look exactly like something the Nazi’s would be all happy about. One of Jack’s paragraphs above describing 1930’s Germany almost perfectly describes 2021 USA when you add or substitute social media/tech companies into the mix.

  22. Avatarredlineblue

    So a guy stands up in a DC auditorium in fall of 2003, and starts his presentation thus:
    “A son of unusual wealth and privilege lives the semi-dissipate life common enough to such sons. As middle age approaches, though, he gets religion. He gets the kind of faith that assures him not only that he can tell Good men from Evil, but also that he has the right and duty to Kill the bad guys. He sets about doing so.
    Do I mean Osama bin Laden, or George W. Bush?”

    I’ll never forget the roar. Had he not been a member of a Senate select committee on 21st century terrorism *and* a decorated Pacific theater Marine — had he been the sort of Leftist who makes such comparisons — the conversation would have ended there in the outrage. Now all indignation is righteous, and powerful, and the point. His credentials wouldn’t be enough to cause listening by the startled, as they then were.

    Along with the selfie-sticks and rope-heeders, the events of 1/6 included an organized and violent attempt to prevent elected representatives from doing their sworn duty as they saw it. (Real bombs, real bear spray, real coordination). Though I’ve no service history to protect me, I gotta ask: Would it count as an “insurrection” if they’d succeeded?

    • AvatarJohn C.

      If only you could invoke such devastating judgement upon your own side, though I understand that by the joy of your own happenstance, you think you understand them and they can not begin to understand you. We all can. Enjoy your dissipation, I am sure it is what your father expected.

      • Avatarredlineblue

        I’ll wait with interest to learn where you think I’ve passed “judgement”. If the question seems unreasonable, that says more about you than about me. You can stick your next reference to my dad up your ignorant ass.

        • AvatarJohn C.

          You compared GWB to Osama and then put the works in an uncriticizable Greta Thunberg like character. Be a man and spew your bile directly, you will then feel a real roar.

          • AvatarRedlineblue

            No, I didn’t. I heard a former Marine, whose opinion on terrorism counted to a Republican senate, do so. Admittedly he was also an Ivy-league professor— take comfort or refuge accordingly!
            Thanks for illustrating a depressing point so vividly: insulting the speaker— even if you have to lie about who they are— now absolves idiots of engagement with any potentially discomfiting point. Much obliged!

      • AvatarDoug

        To be honest…he is describing his own side. It was not Trump supporters or Conservative leaning folks leading the 1/6 invasion. It was far left/antifa types.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      ” the events of 1/6 included an organized and violent attempt to prevent elected representatives from doing their sworn duty as they saw it. (Real bombs, real bear spray, real coordination). Though I’ve no service history to protect me, I gotta ask: Would it count as an “insurrection” if they’d succeeded?”

      Without letting this wander into the Fallacy Of The Beard, let’s consider the following:

      If you and I decide tomorrow to take over the Capitol, that’s not an insurrection. That’s criminal stupidity. People make half-hearted, insane-ish attempts to invade the White House and/or the Capitol so often that it was only news with St. Barack was in there.

      If you and I form a militia, recruit a thousand members, and attack the Capitol with all the discipline of a National Guard brigade, then we are part of a bona fide insurrection, albeit a likely unsuccessful one.

      The FBI has supposedly arrested 300 people of an 800-person list. It includes the goofballs who posed with podiums and walked past velvet ropes. If we had thousands of bear spray attackers,

      a) someone would have called Lon Horiuchi to rack up some more kills;
      b) the FBI would be arresting them, since these people have been the subject of the largest doxxing operation in history up to and including Bank of America providing bulk records of transactions in the DC area.

      There’s no way to know for sure. But we can guess a lot from what actually happened, and what’s actually being done after the fact.
      If you and I are general officers of the Marine Corps, and we direct our troops to hold the Capitol while we hold quick-and-dirty trials of Mike Pence and all the Congressmen, that’s an insurrection and then some.

      What needs to be answered is: How many of these people were there, how well-armed were they, and what were their chances of achieving even temporary success? I think the answer is essentially the first of our three scenarios. If twenty-five people, or even a hundred people, show up with bear spray and a couple of bombs no more serious than the ones the Black Lives Matter lady (Susan Rosenberg) or the Barack Obama mentor (Bill Ayers) both became millionaires for having planted, then it’s not really an insurrection. It’s some criminal bullshit.

      I’ve read the ProPublica report ( and to me it does not have the ring of truth. Largely because it’s been proved again and again during our Summer Of Floyd that police can’t hold back even a couple dozen determined rioters. They retreated again and again all summer from groups of twenty-five or fewer people.

      Now we’re expected to believe that a handful of Capitol police successfully held the line against THOUSANDS of armed men who bear-sprayed them and used projectile weapons for HOURS.

      • AvatarDaniel J

        I think in some, if not many of the cases where police retreated, they in fact CAN take over.

        The problem is, they’ve been told up on high they they can’t simply take control. Even when the national guard was deployed to some of these areas, they were very passive. You don’t think that a decent size police force + national guard can’t take down 25 or even 100 protestors? We know they can.

        We know what happened here, like it has happened all summer long. The difference is the left is using this and the media to spin it up.

        I mean, Jesus, there were bewildered little old ladies walking around. Saw some 70+ year old men standing looking around while some clowns went after a podium.

        Of course, when BLM/Antifa try to get onto the white house lawn when Trump was in office, he was a coward because they told him to go to a bunker. I honestly don’t see why the right, including Republican Senators and Representatives, aren’t blasting their Democrat colleague’s over that.

      • Avatarredlineblue

        Thank you for engaging my question. I’m really tired of seeing that day written off as a lark, simply because it actually wasn’t a near-death experience for the republic.
        That there *weren’t enough* armed and organized protesters in the crowd to defeat USCP and Secret Service staff and {try? lobby? spray? kidnap? take a selfie with?} Mike Pence is a relief, I guess. That there were enough of them to injure 100+ cops, trash parts of the Capitol, and come as close as they did to getting their selfie lends a little less comfort. The amount of cover they get from the ‘half-hearted’ is depressing, to me.
        Did you know Brian Sicknick was a bicycle cop? His friends toted his bike in the procession on that white F250.

        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          I think this goes back to that tribal loyalty I discussed at the beginning of this column. In a pre-acceleration world, we would now know a lot more facts about the 1/6 incident, including the real meat of any plans to effect regime change.

          Unfortunately, the Blue Tribe immediately tried to use it as a justification for everything from the impeachment to the wall of steel and concrete that currently surrounds Biden like he is the Arican tinpot dictator from “The Dogs Of War”.

          In doing so, they vastly exaggerated the size and scope of the “insurrection”, which in turn triggered an immune response in the Red Tribe that is usually expressed as “eh, it was ten grandmas touring the House chamber.”

          Like you, I’d like to have the real truth about the incident and a real nationwide discussion about what it warrants. But the tribal politics will make it impossible, because the truth would likely neither justify Biden’s Wall nor would it paint the MAGA crowd as a group of harmless grandmas.

          • Avatarstingray65

            I’d like to get the real truth about the 2016 Russian “collusion” and the Steele dossier. I’d like to get the truth about Hillary’s e-mail scandal, Benghazi, Obama’s weaponization of the IRS, the Mexican gun running scandal. I’d like to get the truth on Biden family transactions with the Ukraine, Russian, China, and who knows where else, and what the Chinese have on Feinstein, Swalwell, and Pelosi. I’d like to get the truth about the George Floyd and Breonna Taylor deaths, and BLM financing and organization. I’d like to know the truth about the number of fraudulent votes that were cast in the 2020 presidential election and how a man who couldn’t attract 20 people to his rare events and gets 1,000 views of his speeches supposedly won the most votes and the fewest counties in presidential history. Think we will ever get the truth about any of these? And the same people who are making sure that none of these issues ever get properly investigated and publicized are going to be investigating and publicizing the 1/6 “sedition” – does that give anyone hope that the truth will ever get out – especially if the worst violence was a false flag operation and/or that Pelosi and company ignored warnings for extra security?

          • AvatarDoug

            Valid questions from Stingray. A lot of stuff gets ignored by the media depending on which of their friends are doing it.

  23. Avatarpasserby

    what’s really sad is: this behaviour of villianizing anyone they disagree with, rather than having a respectful discussion. Both sides of an argument can have valid points.

    But it seems popular to denigrate, exaggerate, label as a Nazi, a worthless piece of meat, or whatever else, rather than actually think about someone elses point of view.

    This despite all the proclamations of tolerance and enlightenment

  24. Avataryossarian

    let us not forget that adolph hitler was the time man of the year in 1938.

    it’s not easy to judge events or people in “realtime.”

    my mother told me about my grandfather’s friend joachim prinz. prinz was a zionist and the youngest chief rabbi in the history of berlin. in 1937, he gave a sermon which was attended by many, including eichman, in which he said that the time for jews in germany had passed and that he was emigrating with his family. he suggested that others do the same. the majority opinion of most german jews was that prinz had betrayed them and his country. their patriotic duty was to stay and hope that germany would come to its senses and reign in the excesses of the nazis.

    some people heeded prinz’s advice and after generations in the fatherland got out while the getting out was good. of course the next year was kristallnacht and the options for jews grew fewer quickly. what was seen as prinz’s cowardice was actually his prescience. his sermon probably saved hundreds of lives.

    • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

      German Jews had the highest survival rate of any Jewish community in Europe, about 50%, most likely because they could see what was happening and leave before they couldn’t. In contrast, why would a French Jew or Polish Jew leave the country of his birth just because Hitler was in power in Germany? After the lightning occupation of Europe, of course, the situation changed dramatically and European Jews outside of Germany didn’t have the options that were available to German Jews in the 1930s.

  25. Avatardejal

    Jack, I’d get some high-end security because of this guy after this story. Anyone who publicly says they thought of assaulting a co-worker with a heavy metal object because of wrong-think isn’t wired correctly.

    I can picture a 1000 mile drive wearing Depends and a case of Red Bull in the passenger seat to right the wrongs you’ve done to him. Haven’t figured out if he’s wearing 2 or more masks though.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I’m not exactly Jean-Claude Van Damme; leaning over to pick up my shoes causes me to groan like a wounded yak. But the record of people attempting to violently correct me is about the same as Mike Jordan’s stint in pro baseball.

    • AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

      I would bet a dollar against a dog turd that ole Piston Slap is your typical keyboard commando. The kind who lack the testicular fortitude to do what they proclaim when the sewage hits the rotating blade. Some folks I associate with refer to his type as “chest pounders”: stand there and repeatedly proclaim how tough they are and all the punishments they will inflict upon the “enemy”, while in reality when the call to action goes out become a “Rear Echelon Mother Fucker”. The ones who hide in the back of the crowd while exhorting the rest to “kill ‘um all”.

      The ones to watch out for are the quiet guy on the side just listening/watching. Those are the ones who will get you when you least expect it.

      • Avatardejal

        My father was in the Pacific in WWII. 3 man crew on a Landing Craft. He never much to do with the VFW + AL. At the end of the bar there’d be a guy who killed a thousand Japanese with a 50 Cal until his hands burned. When in reality never got past San Diego. Not that’s there’s anything wrong with that. You went where they told you to go. Worked with a Vietnam Vet who was based in Saigon. Whole tour was caskets and sending them home. Never picked a gun up. Completely happy about it.

  26. Avatarjc

    I would have thought that in 2001 David Sanborn spent most of his time in the practice room or the recording studio or on tour.

  27. AvatarJeff Weimer

    Wikipedia can be a great resource, but when it comes to anything *remotely* political, it becomes absolutely awful, and usually in one political direction.

  28. AvatarScottm

    I’m a little late to the conversation but here is an example ofhow you decide if you are involved with a movement or committed to it. My ex father in law grew up in a small town in the Mississippi delta and was involved in the Civil rights struggle during the mid 60s. He worked to register blacks to vote and worked with the state NAACP and a group of black activists. One night a couple of those activists wound up dead and the next day the sherif had a talk with him about how the only reason he was still alive was because his father was well liked in the community. He told him he couldn’t promise he could protect him if he kept up his agitation. Now my father in law was a good man and believed in equal rights but at 17 he wasn’t ready to die for the cause. He was involved but he wasn’t committed. I doubt David is that committed either.

    • Avatardejal

      Did your ex FIL bluster? If not then cool.

      This guy is a grown ass man, not a kid trying to do the right thing.

      The fact that you know your Ex FIL’s back story shows he’s realistic and not delusional. Even backing out at 17 is more than this guy probably every did.

      • AvatarScottm

        He doesn’t talk about it or Vietnam too much. He likes to say he protested too much and didn’t study enough so he flunked out of college. He said he was carrying a protest sign in fall semester and an M-16 in spring semester. He really only opened up about his youth during long motorcycle trips we used to take just he and I.

        Definitely not braggart.

        • Avatardanio

          Of the Vietnam vets that I’ve known and who were willing to talk to, a common theme I noted among them is shame and sadness. There wasn’t glory waiting for them when returning home, but in many cases contempt.

          A man who worked for my father’s charter company as an aircraft mechanic was a door gunner and helicopter technician in that war was willing to open up about some of the details of what it was like. What he told me as a teenager pushed me to research more about that war and this largely shaped my opinions about the validity of sending our young men and women to die in hellholes on the other side of the planet.

          Though today, were it not for the military, many young men would not be able to enjoy the thrills of V8 Dodge owner status.


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