When I find myself in times of trouble...
Let's Revise the "Generations" Business

This Is Why I Keep Warning People

And part of the reason why the press is doing so much harm by making Trump seem even worse than he is, which is bad enough. (Not that anybody much is listening to me. This blog has an audience numbered in the dozens at best.) But I'll say it again: sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

Anyone who doesn't believe that serious left-vs-right violence can't happen here understands neither human nature nor this country nor the real-world effects of spiritual evils such as hatred. And anyone who thinks the evil is all or even mostly on the other side is willfully blind.

Americans Increasingly Believe Violence is Justified If the Other Side Wins.


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"And anyone who thinks the evil is all or even mostly on the other side is willfully blind."

Most people I know on either"side" think that. I have become a lone wolf. I can't have a conversation with people because they are so entrenched and won't ask critical questions of their own side. Like what really happened in Louisville, Kenosha, or now Wauwautosa?

And besides that, why is all this bad stuff happening in Wisconsin, including a huge spike is covid-19 cases? Why did I move here from peaceful Minneapolis? Oh, wait....

Robert, I find myself constantly either defending the Right to my liberal family and defending the Left to my conservative friends.

I have managed to have some good conversations, though.


I can't say I've managed to have any good conversations. I can't honestly say I've tried all that hard, either, though.

"I have become a lone wolf. " I hear you. To some degree it's just my nature. No, rather, to a great degree.

"Donald Trump is the accelerant", a timeline of his encouragement of hate groups and political violence going back to 2015.

I'm surprised that you would take Vox's view as dispositive, if you do. It's one-sided at very best. Some of it is just basic smear stuff: blaming Trump for stuff that is at most loosely associated with something he said. The discussion of the Tree of Life shooting is a particularly egregious example. Some of it's just plain old disagreement which, in a pattern all too common among young journalists, is treated as illegitimate, such as the claim that associating covid-19 with China is "racist." In short, same old Democratic rhetorical techniques.

One thing has become a sort of litmus test for me in determining whether a source is reliable: "He also failed to condemn white supremacist and white nationalist groups that organized in Charlottesville, Virginia. "

That's simply not true. Vox goes on to sort of half-correct that statement but still gives the false impression that Trump was speaking of "very fine people" among the neo-Nazis, when he was plainly talking about the participants in the Confederate flag controversy. Yet Democrats repeat the falsehood--"Trump refused to condemn neo-Nazis"--continually.

Trump's words are pretty horrible on many occasions. But he has condemned racism and white supremacy quite plainly multiple times. Anyone with a minimal interest in truth ought to consider that in trying to arrive at a fair judgment.

I know someone who was sitting peacefully in a park with her small children and was menaced by a man with a baseball bat in the name of Black Lives Matter. Blaming the BLM movement at large for that would be on a par with a fair amount of what's in this piece.

All in all it's an example of the attribution of most of the evil to the other side which is what I deplore.

As an evangelical Episcopalian in the 80's I was able to watch first hand the operation of liberals who wanted to change the church to march to their tune. The fact of the matter is, they lie. A lot. Not so much the ground troops, so to speak, but the leadership. For the latter the ends justify the means -- they tend to be the political equivalent of used car salesmen, with the "sale" being acceptance of their ideology, by hook or crook. This is why no matter how much I dislike the GOP and mainstream conservatism, I could almost never vote (D) at the national level.

Of course conservatives lie too, but their lies tend to the venal, as opposed to the subversive. Still bad, obviously, but less damaging because less ideological.

I don't have a huge problem with Biden as a candidate, other than his age and the apparent diminishing of his faculties. It's the party he represents that I don't trust.

"it's an example of the attribution of most of the evil to the other side which is what I deplore"

Precisely. Anyone who can look at this mess and argue that their "side" has clean hands is living in a fantasy world. And debating whose hands are dirtier is an utter waste of time and energy better spent on other things.

By the way, this is exactly why ideological people tend to ignore or dislike Lasch. He was very forthright about calling a spade a spade no matter which side it fell on. (Which is, of course, a mark of a true prophet).

"Anyone who can look at this mess and argue that their "side" has clean hands is living in a fantasy world. And debating whose hands are dirtier is an utter waste of time and energy better spent on other things."

That's very well said indeed. Sums it up excellently. Trump is crude and inflammatory etc etc, and Biden is less so. But one can reasonably argue that the Democrats are a bigger threat at a more fundamental level. To do so doesn't mean embracing Trump. Kamala Harris is obviously deeply authoritarian, and some while back she tweeted that "homophobia is a national security issue." Consider the implications of that.

Speaking of the Episcopal Church, I read the other day that a bishop is being disciplined (I forget exactly how) for not allowing same-sex marriages in his diocese. Over and over and over again the dynamic of bad-faith dialog has played out there: "we only want to discuss this, why can't our voices be heard?" becomes, a generation later, "Now that we've won, the subject is no longer up for discussion." This is the way progressives in general work. In a sense I don't blame them. Every human organization naturally represses ideas which will destroy it. But I blame them for the lying.

I curious as to whether any of you have looked at the Proud Boys website.

I wanted to know if they are really white supremacists, (especially after I found out that their leader is Black/Puerto Rican), and I don't think they are. I obviously don't agree with everything they say, and they are crude in a 12 year old boy sort of a way, but I do think they may really be "good people" who are just trying to defend what is right in their opinion. The thing I found most interesting thing on their website was an

  encounter with Whoopi Goldberg

. They happened to be protesting something outside a place where she was working and she came out to talk to them. In some parts of the discussion, they almost seem like a bunch of puppy dogs jumping around someones feet trying to get his attention.

BTW, I have come across several videos of Whoopi Goldberg in the past year or so that have really impressed me because she is trying to discourage the kind rhetoric you are talking about.


I was dismayed with Trump's response to the question about white supremicists at the first debate, so I did some research to see if he had ever condemned white supremicists, etc. Well, according to factcheck.org, which seems to be pretty even-handed, if not slightly leftward learning, he has condemned racism, etc. in no uncertain terms. Here is their analysis.

The complication at the debate was precisely that the question involved the Proud Boys, who according to the source that Janet points to aren't white supremicists. Trump later said that his point was that everyone should step back and let law enforcement do their job.

I think he needs to reiterate now his condemnation of white supremicists, Nazis, the KKK, David Duke, racism, etc. To just say, "antifa" every time the issues of violence a the protests arises is, to say the least, not helpful.

Trump will say and do whatever benefits Trump, period. He is a nihilist and doesn't care about anything else. Nothing he does would surprise me. If he did a 180-degree pivot and declared himself a Democrat I would not be surprised. A second term would be interesting, but perhaps not very good for the country.

Meanwhile the peace-loving radical right plots to kidnap Democratic governors, which would seem to be moderately more extreme than anything mentioned above. Although perhaps that is all fake news?

The party that protects the rights of gun-owners is the one with a problem, to me. And is actively plotting to take away the health care of people, with no replacement plan in place. The rest is just white noise.

I don't have a usable net connection today so I can't really add to the discussion. Maybe tomorrow.

There are still individuals on the progressive side of politics who are able to reason, but on the whole I think Leftism = Marxism and is the main danger to our whole civilisation. While I don't think conservatives are without fault, I don't think they are the danger to society. I daily expect a hot civil war in the USA. I think you have had a cold one for years. The Left is ideologically totally intolerant. I don't think that's true at all for any conservatives.

The instigators of the Michigan plot have been shown to be anarchists, not far rightists.

The rest of your comment is debatable, but I don't have the inclination to take it up.

So, if you're right about the Michigan plotters (I haven't followed the story), this is in fact an example of "fake news." Not the incident itself, but the ideological angle. The press does this again and again: put out an inaccurate story, which then becomes fact in the minds of some large part of the population. The people who point out the inaccuracy never reach most of those.

In any case for Whitmer (sp?) to blame Trump personally is a little crazy. My understanding is that there are a *lot* of people in Michigan who have been really angered by her over-reach in shutting things down for covid.

"The people who point out the inaccuracy never reach most of those."

And when the media offer their corrections they appear as the equivalent of a two-sentence statement at the bottom of page 17 -- something that most people will never see.

"Liberate Michigan", "Liberate Minnesota", "Liberate Virginia" - all Trump tweets. The press are doing their job covering an unhinged president.

It doesn't matter to the truth of the story if Trump is hinged or unhinged, Stu. The press was still wrong about the plotters of the kidnapping -- they were anarchists (who don't like DT, by the way) not rightists.

That seems quite unlikely.

The only reason I ever chime in politically is because all of you think the far left is worse than the far right, and I occasionally get annoyed. I know I'm wasting my time. To me both extremes are equally awful, so the constant iteration of "no, it's the progressives, they are horrible!" is just ludicrous.

The press is pretty bad, I admit. But the left press is no worse (and I think far better) than say, Tucker Carlson or Sean Hannity. I mean, really.

I just read the newest Bob Woodward book. I hesitate to ask, but what do all of you think of him? To me he always comes across as a real reporter just looking for the facts. I even thought he made his protagonist (perhaps antagonist?) seem not so horrible. But in the end his last line was something like, "He is not the man for the job."

I'm sorry but you seem to keep missing the point. Nobody here disputes that the press should cover Trump, tweets and all. The objection is more that they don't: that their coverage is so driven by their politics that the coverage is frequently seriously misleading. Carslon and Hannity, btw, are straighforwardly in the opinion business, not news reporting.

I don't really have an opinion about Bob Woodward. I would never invest that much time in reading the kinds of books he writes. I do think his role in Watergate has been bad for journalism in general. It gave journalists a warped sense of their mission.

Louise: "on the whole I think Leftism = Marxism and is the main danger to our whole civilisation." I basically agree, but I don't think it's the old hard Marxism. It's more like a vapor or miasma that affects people who have no idea. They just get misty-eyed at "Imagine" and never connect it with a murderous ideology.

I haven't had a chance, btw, to follow up on the Proud Boys stuff posted yesterday. I plan to. I didn't know anything about them except their name.

I just want to say that I am really happy for KH that she got an opportunity for a free half hour campaign ad.

Some slight compensation for the oppression she has endured all her life. Just the other day Mike Pence mansplained something to her, I hear.

Well, if it's called mansplaining when a man is condescending to a woman, what is it called when a woman condescends to another woman in the same way?

Change of subject

When I was in high school, I was in the Journalism club for three years. It was pretty much like a class, and I probably remember more that I learned there than from most of my real classes. The one thing that was constantly drilled into us was OBJECTIVITY. It was a journalist's job to relate the unbiased facts. Opinion was for editorials alone. I thought this was a great and noble thing, and so the entire lack of objectivity, and the incessant spin on every sentence of the "news" drives me insane.

I think that that view of the purpose of journalism much have reached its zenith at about that time. Certainly early journalism wasn't like that, and sometime shortly after that it began to wane. I never connected that with Woodward and Berstein, in fact I never really thought about it before, but maybe they had something to do with it.

At any rate, another thing that amazes me is that so few people seem to care that the media is so biased in one direction or another. They don't seem to see any value to objectivity. Defeating the "other side" seems to be all-in-all.

Well, I guess they are shocked and outraged when the "other side" misleads the public, but their side--not so bad.


I'm in 110% agreement with what you say about journalism, then and now. The objectivity was always flawed, naturally, but at least it was the ideal. It is absolutely out the window now, openly so. Some journalists seem to consider it downright immoral to give a balanced picture of objectively evil people like Trump supporters. I, too, had a brief fling with journalism in my youth, and I think that's part of why I'm so indignant about the ditching of those standards.

Neo-neocon has done some interesting detailed analyses of how spin is done by those who are skilled at it. It's not necessarily obvious.

I think the answer to your first question is that it depends on the politics of the women involved.

The complaint re lack of objectivity goes back a ways -- this, in "How did Republicans learn to hate the news media?", perfectly captures my father-in-law in the 1960s:

When Donald Trump slams journalists, which he does chronically and with gusto, I’m reminded of the times my father, a deeply conservative Republican, would rant at the TV set when stories aired about urban riots, civil rights protests, campus revolts, and the Vietnam War.

To him, the media were a bunch of lefties cheering on dysfunction and bent upon wrecking America. When CBS’s anchor Walter Cronkite delivered his usual sign-off, “And that’s the way it is,” Da would shout: “That’s the way it isn’t, Walter.”

My sister majored in Journalism in the early/mid-80's but after she was in the program for a while she was distressed by how strongly biased everything was against all things Reagan and conservative and ended up changing majors.

"The complaint re lack of objectivity goes back a ways"

There was a book published in the 80's called The Media Elite, which documented the liberal-left tendencies of the media at the time. It's undoubtedly dated at this point but it would be interesting to see if it made any predictions/projections, and if so, whether they were accurate.

"I don't think it's the old hard Marxism. It's more like a vapor or miasma that affects people who have no idea."

There's that, for sure, and then there's also what some people are calling "cultural Marxism," although I think that term has its problems. I prefer "cultural leftism," which would describe those leftists who seek to achieve broadly Marxist goals by cultural rather than economic means.

It’s certainly true that the complaints about media bias go way back. And that some of the complaints were unjustified. But also that some of them were. Walter Duranty! All three of these can be true at the same time. The CJR article is remarkable for its inability to see that. It’s the same self-satisfied mentality that has kept so much of journalism from seeing its problems. At this point the bad behavior is so obvious that the denials have become “who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”

The truth about the Covington Catholic incident would never have been known if a group of nutty people having their own protest had not been recording the whole encounter.

I notice that the author is fairly old. He would have been trained in the old standards and may not realize the extent to which a lot of his younger colleagues view their jobs very differently: to be “change agents” in pursuit of a better world, which for them is by definition a more politically progressive world.

A close friend of mine is a relative of a very prominent journalist with a lot of influence (not so much anymore, he's retired now). You'd recognize the name. He (the friend) has often remarked on the same things you say your sister encountered. I'm sure the journalist would say that it didn't interfere with his job. But if you have strong feelings like that and everyone around you feels the same, you probably don't notice the way you slant things. A long time ago Joseph Sobran, before he fell into anti-semitism and stuff, nailed it as a hive mind phenomenon. Though, again, I think with a lot of younger journalists the slant is considered part of the calling, not a defect.

I think the effect of Woodward & Bernstein's Watergate success was to cause journalists to begin seeing themselves as fact-seekers and more as movers and shakers. I'm sure that tension had always been there, but the emphasis shifted. "One day maybe Robert Redford or Dustin Hoffman will play me in a major movie!"

That was supposed to be "less as fact-seekers".

So, William Goldman, of Princess Bride fame, wrote the screenplay to All the President's Men. And Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Those are three pretty great movies, Robert!

I liked Princess Bride. The other two...[shrug]. Though to tell you the truth I don't remember them very well.

In fact, to tell you even more of the truth, now I'm not even 100% sure I ever saw Butch Cassidy. Maybe I'm thinking about The Sting....

I used to date a guy that took movies VERY SERIOUSLY. He never laughed at them-not even the comedies. He always saw the suffering behind the humor.

Then we went to see Butch Cassidy, and he laughed so hard he almost knocked me out of my seat.

I liked the movie a lot, and Bill remembered liking it too, but when we watched it a few years ago, we thought it was boring. I don't think we finished watching it.

This has happened with several things since we started streaming stuff. Old TV shows especially.

I think I read All the President's Men right after I read the book, and thought the book was better-as almost always is the case.

I do really like Princess Bride. It makes me laugh just to think about it.


Have you tried The Twilight Zone? I think maybe one out of every two or three episodes is quite good.

The original? We have watched those from time to time, and enjoyed them.


I'm about ready to get back to Goodness, Truth, and Beauty.


Always a good plan. Yes, I mean the original TZ.

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