Article 43

 

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Florida Libraries Under Attack

In Florida, you’ll read what the GOP wants you to read, and nothing else
FL Attorney General Ashley Moody asserts state control over school library books

By Diane Roberts
Florida Phoenix
December 18, 2023

In their latest assault on the rights of Floridians, Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Commissioner of Education have declared that public school libraries should promote “government speech.”

Books are tolerable only when they tell a government-approved story.

The Florida attorney general is, of course, a busy woman, raising her profile for a possible run at the governor’s mansion in 2026, as well as threatening an all-important ANTITRUST suit against the College Football Playoff Committee for their grievous insult to the Florida State Seminoles.

Yet somehow she managed to steal a few minutes to file an AMICUS BRIEF defending the DeSantis juntas book-banning frenzy. She says, “Florida’s public school libraries are a forum for government, not private speech.”

Writers, publishers, parents, and weirdos with graduate library science degrees “have no constitutional right to inculcate Florida’s schoolchildren with their preferred ideas through Florida’s school libraries.”

Only Ron DeSantis has the right to do that.

I expect the first text to be yanked from the shelves will be the United States Constitution.

The current regime does not endorse socialist nonsense like that Fourteenth Amendment, guaranteeing equal treatment under the law, or that First Amendment, which pushes the radical notion that government cannot suppress or compel speech.

Here in the unfree state of Florida, the government is in the business of both suppressing and compelling speech, forbidding educators to discuss systemic racism, and banning books that deal with sins of the past from slavery to genocide to runaway capitalism; the injustices of the present (don’t speak the names of Trayvon Martin or George Floyd!); or books that suggest being straight, white, and Christian is not the ne plus ultra of human possibility.

Perverted penguins

Thing is, a lot of us are powerfully attached to that freedom of expression thing; we think that education should not be hamstrung by the fears and prejudices of the government du jour.

The authors of “AND TANGO MAKES THREE” along with a Lake County third grader, have FILED SUIT against Lake County education officials and the state Board of Education over banning the book.

Its a true story, based on Roy and Silo, a pair of male chinstrap penguins in the Central Park Zoo who raised a chick together.

Moms for Liberty types and other bears of little brain pitched a fit. Two daddies! What if the book makes little kids want to be gay? What if it makes them want to be penguins?

Lake County eventually put the book back in its libraries and asked a judge to drop the suit. The judge declined: The plaintiff’s maintain that “Tango” could easily be re-banned.

The state ADMITTED AS MUCH: Any book deemed to present ғLGBTQ themes can be removed from a library at any time.

Any book can be removed for any reason.

In a hearing on Dec. 6, U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor wondered whether the state could ban, say, a book written by a Democratic politician?

The lawyer from Ashley Moody’s office replied yes.

The AG’s crude, faux populist legal theory holds that since elected officials fund school libraries (with your tax dollars), they get to turn the First Amendment on its head. Teachers and students do not have free speech rights: They must toe the official line.

“The government has no constitutional obligation to present educational material with which it disagrees.”

If you don’t like it, you have to vote elected officials out of office.

Litigation!

The good news is that those who don’t consider censorship an American value continue to fight in the courts.

The nation’s largest publisher, Penguin Random House, PEN AMERICA, and a collection of students and their parents are suing Escambia County, where the school board has banned or challenged a truly impressive number of books - close to 200 - for being “disturbing” or “pornographic.”

These filthy texts include Toni Morrisons “The Bluest Eye” and Kurt VonnegutҒs “Slaughterhouse Five,” two acknowledged classics of American literature.

A high percentage of other books the district says will corrupt the innocence of our youth concern gay kids, people of color, and stories that involve sex of any flavor.

In other words, books that reflect actual human life - books that might expose young people to the strange and often messy world we live in, not some never-never America where we can pretend that we are exceptional, great because we are good, and favored by God.

Perhaps thoroughly embarrassed by their tantrum-throwing, Lake County has simmered down. Escambia County, on the other hand, is in thrall to Floridas anti-education she-wolves, Moms for Liberty, aided and abetted by a language arts instructor named Vicki Baggett.

Ms. Baggett, who works at Northview High School in Century, is not only a Moms fellow traveler but a proud member of the UNITED DAUGHTERS OF THE CONFEDERACY.

My clan

She’s also an unrepentant bigot.

Vicki Baggett has taken it on herself to challenge hundreds of books, including When Wilma Rudolph Played BasketballӔ about the great sprinter who overcame polio to win three gold medals in the Olympics. She calls its depiction of the Jim Crow South “race-baiting.”

She’s posted a Confederate battle flag on her Facebook page and proudly declares, “Everyone in my clan fought in the Civil War.”

Former students report that in class shes given to statements about how the BIBLE FORBIDS RACE-MIXING (seems she’s afraid weҒll all “turn the same color") and “nobody’s born” gay.

Like the rest of the Harpies for Hate lobby, she has strong feelings about “And Tango Makes Three,” deeming it an insidious attempt to promote “the LGBTQ agenda using penguins.”

She fears that a second grader was exposed to the book might think these are two people of the same sex that love each other.Ӕ

Imagine that.

The state will undoubtedly try to rid K-12 of this book and thousands of others deemed insufficiently supportive of white nationalism, hetero-hegemony, anti-feminism, authoritarianism, jingoism, and hatred of difference.

Consider where this is going: If the regime can strip school libraries of materials that don’t advance its political aims, will books on the climate or anything that might question a pro-oil, pro-development agenda be forbidden?

Despite the killer hurricanes, the floods, the record heat, Ron DeSantis still refers to the necessity of reducing carbon emissions as POLITICIZING THE WEATHER

Intellectually impoverished

Will students have no access to slave narratives by Harriet Jacobs and Olaudah Equiano (white kids might feel bad) or “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” (Indians should get over it) or “All the Presidents Men” (Nixon wasnҒt that bad!) or “Foreign Bodies,” a history of vaccine science (we don’t HOLD WITH THAT STUFF in Florida)?

What if they aren’t allowed to explore the rich variety of religions and cultures across the planet?

Government thought control will not help Florida kids prepare for living and working in a diverse country that will soon be majority minority. Nor will it get them into a good college.

The DeSantis regime is intellectually impoverished and proud of it. But Florida’s children should not be imprisoned in their prejudices and parochialism.

It’s unAmerican.

SOURCE

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For Banned Books Week, a Tallahassee historian described the history of book bans in Nazi Germany

By Margie Menzel
WFSU
October 4, 2023

Tallahassee Community College Professor Monte Finklestein described how the Nazis justified banning certain books and how they kept those books from the public.

This is Banned Books Week. On Monday, the Holocaust Education Resource Council hosted a program on the history of book bans in Nazi Germany. 

The lecturer was Monte Finklestein, a history professor at Tallahassee Community College.

He described how the Nazis justified banning certain books, the type of books they banned, and the actions they took to keep those books from the public.

Books considered “foreign or “immoral” were banned. They included works by Ernest Hemingway, Sigmund Freud, Helen Keller, Jack London and H.G. Wells.

Finklestein said many students, professors and librarians helped to suppress the books on the blacklist.

“And many library owners cooperated. What did they do? ‘I don’t want to be raided. So, I took the books off the shelf by myself.’ More accommodation by more people,” Finklestein said. “The students were guided by a blacklist developed by three - I hate to do this - by three pro-Nazi librarians. [laughs] Librarians also got to accommodate the regime. I’m sorry. But three Nazi librarians helped. They developed this blacklist of books.”

Although Germany had been known as a literate country, in 1933 university students in 34 university towns burned more than 25,000 books, claiming they were “un-German.”

Copyright 2023 WFSU. To see more, visit WFSU.

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Posted by Elvis on 12/21/23 •
Section Revelations • Section NWO • Section Dying America • Section Fascism
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Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Religious Diversions Part 16 - Countdown To Armegeddon

image: rapture
 
You may notice that, other than the self-serving predictions of their own success, most of the religious right’s prophecies are of disaster and calamity. They almost never forecast greater peace, increased prosperity or the advance of democracy and human rights. There’s a good reason for this.
 
The religious right as a movement thrives on fear, because it depends on the unthinking obedience of its followers, and fearful people are far easier to shepherd and control. A person who fears the worst will follow anyone who promises security and relief from that fear: its not difficult to persuade them to donate money, follow marching orders, or vote as instructed if it will turn back the imaginary evils that menace them.
- Republican Redux 9

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Why US Evangelical Christians Support Israel
One strand of evangelical theology holds that the return of Jews to the region starts the clock ticking on a seven-year armageddon, after which Jesus Christ will return

By Adam Gabbatt
The Guardian
October 30, 2023

It didn’t take long for many evangelical Christian groups in America to show their support for Israel.

Hours after Hamas attacked the country on 7 October, killing more than 1,400 people, Christians United for Israel, an evangelical lobbying group which claims to have more than 10 million members, POSTED A MESSAGE to on X, formerly known as Twitter.

"To the terrorists who have chosen this fight, hear this, what you do to Israel, god will do to you. Despite today’s weeping, joy will come because he [god] who watches over Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps,” CUFI, whose founder believes the presence of Jews in Israel is a precursor to Jesus Christ returning to Earth, wrote.

Soon an “EVANGELICAL STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF ISRAEL” was issued by the ethics and religion liberty commission an arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, a denomination which has 45,000 churches in the US.

In the statement, 2,000 evangelical leaders not all were named - said they “fully support Israel’s right and duty to defend itself against further attack”. Little credence was given to the Palestinians who would soon find themselves under attack: MORE THAN 8,000 PEOPLE IN GAZA have now been killed by Israeli bombardments, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

“While our theological perspectives on Israel and the Church may vary, we are unified in calling attacks against Jewish people especially troubling as they have been often targeted by their neighbors since God called them as His people in the days of Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3),” the evangelical statement said.

“In keeping with Christian Just War tradition, we also affirm the legitimacy of Israel’s right to respond against those who have initiated these attacks as Romans 13 grants governments the power to bear the sword against those who commit such evil acts against innocent life.”

For people not immersed in evangelicalism - a conservative strand of Christianity which emphasises adherence to the Bible - the overt biblical references may have seemed unusual to hear in a geopolitical context.

ROMANS 13 the 13th chapter of the Epistle to the Romans in the New Testament - is essentially a lengthy treatise on the importance of submitting to bureaucracy, which states:

“Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is Gods servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason.”

For those more familiar with the evangelical world, the vehemence of the support has not been a surprise, given the importance to evangelicals of an Israel inhabited by Jewish people. One main strand of evangelical theology holds that the return of Jews to the region starts the clock ticking on a seven-year armageddon, after which Jesus Christ will return.

“To that end, the issue of Israel and Palestine has dominated sermons at evangelical churches over the past two Sundays,” said Daniel Hummel, a historian of American religion, and the author of Covenant Brothers: Evangelicals, Jews, and US-Israeli Relations.

“The overwhelming theme has been: this war is prophetically significant, but no one is willing to really claim exactly how,” Hummel said.

“And thats been a long tradition of sort of hedging your bets and getting whatever you can in terms of sort of interest and eyeballs, by declaring that there’s something significant here, but once you start saying specific things and youҒre sort of on the hook, it doesnt turn out that way.”

The rush to respond, and the statements in support of [url="http://article43.com/index.php?/weblog/bad_moon_rising_94/" rel="nofollow’<ISRAEL</a<, were not surprising to those aware of the deep feeling evangelicals have for Israel.

Broadly speaking, some evangelicals believe that Jewish people returning to Israel following the 1917 ; ;Balfour Declaration, a British statement which called for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”, was key to end times, when God will purge sinners and Jesus Christ will return.

John Hagee, an evangelical pastor and influential founder of Christians United for Israel, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAx2ZZG16GQ" rel="nofollow"]EXPLAINED THE PROPHECY[/url] to TBN Networks in December 2022.

“God is getting ready to defend Israel in such a supernatural way it’s going to take the breath out of the lungs of the dictators on planet Earth but we are living on the cusp of the greatest most supernatural series of events the world has ever seen ready or not.”

Hagee said when Jewish people are present in Israel “the clock starts ticking” on the rapture.

“What will come soon [is] the antichrist and his seven year empire that will be destroyed in the battle of armageddon. Then Jesus Christ will set up his throne in the city of Jerusalem. He will establish a kingdom that will never end,” Hagee said.

Hagee, despite having a long history of antisemitism - he has suggested Jews brought persecution upon themselves by upsetting God and called Hitler a “half-breed Jew” founded Christians United for Israel in 2006.

Among other things, the group lobbied for the U.S. EMBASSY IN ISRAEL TO BE MOVED FROM TEL AVIV TO JERUSALEM, which Donald Trump did IN 2018, and is “committed to Israel’s strength, security and sovereignty.”

The support of evangelical Christians in 2015 the PEW RESEARCH CENTER ESTIMATED there were about 62 million in the US ֖ for Israel can be split into different groups, Hummel said.

While there are plenty of evangelicals who, like Hagee, adhere to the Israel-is-key-to-Jesus’-return theology, there are also those who believe in “blessings theology”, a less outlandish, more transactional approach to support for Israel.

The blessings theology is based on a literal reading of the book of Genesis, where God told Abraham - who Hummel described as “the patriarch of the Jewish people” that he would “bless those who bless you” and “curse those who curse you”.

“For the last couple of centuries this has been interpreted on individual terms. So you can accrue personal blessings by being good to the Jewish people, or by giving money, or touring Israel or things like that,” Hummel said.

That also works on a national level, he said.

“And so the crude way of doing this is a pastor will say something like: ‘Look at the Roman Empire and how they persecuted the Jews and Rome fell. Look at the British Empire and how the British didn’t treat the Jews well, and how they fell. Look at the Nazis and how they persecuted the Jews, and they fell.’”

“And we, the Americans, don’t want to be the next Empire or the next great power to fall because we didn’t sufficiently bless the Jewish people.”

There are also those whose support is “more broadly American”, Hummel said: “There’s a deep cultural affinity that’s been built over decades and decades between the US and Israel all across the board.”

Evangelicals make up an influential part of the Republican party base, and have a strong number in Congress. More than 100 members of the current Congress can be broadly identified as evangelical, and that was on display in recent days.

Lee Fang, a journalist, RECENTLY ASKED CONGRESSMEN AND WOMEN whether their religion was important to their support for Israel, for the documentary “PRAYING FOR ARMEGEDDON”.

“This entire matter is based upon the faith of our maker, our creator, but it’s also faith of a chosen people,” Pete Sessions, a Republican congressman from Texas and a Methodist, said.

Fang asked Tim Burchett, a Republican congressman from Tennessee, about evangelical support.

“They’re following the scripture, and what the scripture says about Israel: ‘Those who bless Israel will be blessed,’ they take it literal, and I’m one of those people,” Burchett said.

In terms of the influence evangelicals might wield as the ISRAEL-HAMAS CONFLICT continues, Hummel said there had been a “mixed record” on evangelicals’ political sway.

Still, Trump has SPECIFICALLY SAID he moved the US embassy to Jerusalem “for the evangelicals”, while Hagee served as an adviser to the twice-impeached president.

In the 2020 election, evangelical or born-again Christians made up 28% of the overall electorate, CNN REPORTED, and three-quarters voted for Trump. Given that support for the Republican party, under GOP leadership evangelicals would have plenty of influence.

“When theres a Republican president they have a seat at the table it doesn’t mean the president’s going to do exactly what they want, but they’re the ones that the president’s listening to more than other interested parties on Israel,” Hummel said.

With a presidential election looming, and with few signs that the Israeli conflict will ebb away any time soon, evangelicals could find themselves in a position of significant power in the near future.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 12/19/23 •
Section Revelations • Section NWO • Section Dying America • Section Fascism • Section Spiritual Diversions
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Monday, December 18, 2023

Talking About Racism

image: lets talk racism
 
Race is no longer a dividing line, either. According to Census Bureau numbers, two-thirds of those below the poverty line at any given point identify themselves as white.
- Divide and Conquer, 2012
 
“I am in such pain every night, suicide has on a regular basis crossed my mind just simply to ease the pain. If I did not have responsibilities, especially for my youngest daughter who has problems,” he said… The 56-year-old former salesman’s struggle with chronic pain is bound up with an array of other issues - medical debts, impoverishment and the prospect of a BLEAK RETIREMENT contributing to growing numbers of suicides in the US and helping drive a sharp and unusual increase in the mortality rate for middle-aged white Americans in recent years alongside premature deaths from alcohol and drugs.
- Suicide in White America, February 2016

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The SubStack article below reads a lot like the old DIVIDE AND CONQUER, and may help explain why we’re REWRITING HISTORY to hide discrimination, but my experience sees a lot of truth in the piece.

On the other hand the article kind of flies in the face of the resurrection of a Fascist white (Aryan) race I though the United States was moving to.

I worry about being REPLACED BY ROBOTS as much as I FEAR BEING BRAINWASHED TO HATE everyday people who may have different skin color.

However, there’s little denying JOB APPLICATIONS default to white/hispanic on EEO diversity forms.  There’s little denying WINDOWS desktop software DOESN’T EVEN HAVE AN ICON FOR A WHITE MAN.

Why brainwash us on both sides?

Is it any wonder why white men are the BIGGEST SUICIDE RISK these days:

There are some stark disparities in both gender and race when it comes to suicide. Men die by suicide 3.6 times more often than women, and the suicide rate is more than twice as high among Whites compared to African Americans or Asians and Pacific Islanders. The result? White men account for nearly 70% of suicide deaths.

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Cheering for White Extinction

By Donald Jeffries
Substack
December 15, 2023

If you do a SEARCH FOR “CAUCASIAN” on Google images, you’ll see a few pictures of actual Caucasians, interspersed among lots of images of nonwhites. This is similar to searching for “Happy White woman.” Do it. You’ll be surprised by what images come up. Actually maybe you won’t be. This is now the expected “new normal.”

I never signed up to be a crusader for White rights. I don’t like sounding like a White Nationalist, WHATEVER THAT IS. But someone has to do it. Of all the giant elephants traipsing across the crumbling landscape of America 2.0, none are larger or more dutifully ignored than the Great Replacement of WHITE PEOPLE. Only nonwhite people, like Vivek Ramaswamy recently, have the courage to bring the subject up in public. And only these selected nonwhites seem to care that is it happening. The “Woke” White crowd is overjoyed at this prospect. The “conservative,” MAGA types seem to be perfectly fine with it as well. Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy admitted that the Stupid Party was focused on attracting nonwhites before he was ousted.

Now I am undeniably White. That’s a fact. “Science,” if you will. I had nothing to do with it. I didn’t will myself to be born White, any more than I willed myself to only grow to be five foot nine inches tall. None of us control our ethnicity, so it’s ridiculous for anyone to be proud of it. But conversely, its just as ridiculous to be ashamed of it. Can I start a “I’m White, and not proud or ashamed” mantra? But thanks to a decades long propaganda campaign which cannot be denied, the vast majority of White people alive today are ashamed. For being born the way they were. They have a collective guilt which the world has never seen before, for wrongs real, exaggerated, and imagined, committed by some Whites from previous generations.

I have researched my family tree as well as I could, given the resources available. None of my ancestors were in a position to have owned slaves, even if they’d wanted to. I’m sure they all were hopelessly “racist” by today’s standards, as were more than 99 percent of White people alive during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. By contrast, the present-day Chinese people, for example, are decidedly racist by any standards. There are literal signs on businesses in China proclaiming that no Blacks are allowed. Its odd that this is of such little concern to the Social Justice Warriors. Hollywood, in which China has a heavily vested interest, is not about to broach the subject. No, instead, let’s focus on signs like that which used to exist in America.

Today’s young Whites, especially those steadfastly clinging to their male birth identity and he/him pronouns, are essentially second-class citizens. Except, of course, for those who come from families with a lot of money. But even then, they must play the game, as they rise up the corporate ladder which has been pulled away from the vast majority of their young White peers. They must always be deferential around nonwhites, especially Blacks. They must never refer to race at all, unless it is to express guilt over their whiteness, or agree with the official narrative that “marginalized” persons “of color,” are the ones facing obstacles and discrimination. They must acknowledge the imaginary demon of “White Supremacy.”

It’s a game that we must play, in order to survive in this Orwellian dystopia. Channel all the real anti-White mentality, which dominates every business and every government agency, into a Hollywoodish “racism” which is directed at all the nonwhites, especially the Blacks, by the evil, invisible “White Supremacists.” They are like QAnon’s “White Hats.” Powerful, biding their time. Yet unaffected and unseen by everyone. And to think that many of these believers in the “White Supremacist” hobgoblin will ridicule believers in God. They scoff at “your giant magic man in the sky.” Creation itself proves a Creator. What exactly proves “White Privilege?”

Most White parents were not moved when the odious “critical race theory” agenda became implemented in so many schools. What kind of brainwashing must one have undergone, to watch their precious kindergartner be berated by authority figures for being born with a special “privilege,” and then forced feel to guilt over something they can’t even comprehend, let alone be responsible for? A few irate parents confronted their tyrannical school boards, but other parents sat there submissively, watching them be escorted out of meetings by our brave police officers. If a child is INDOCTRINATED like that at such a tender age, how hard will it be to deprogram him? Her? It? After all, young children will be asked to announce their chosen pronouns.

In 2008, for the first time in our history, there were more nonwhite births than White births recorded. Whites have been reproducing below the replacement rate for survival for years now. The average White woman is having 1.7 children during her lifetime, compared with 2.2 for Hispanic women. The replacement rate, which determines the number of children necessary for a continuation of the species, is 2.1. In 2022, White women had 55,000 fewer babies than the previous year, while Hispanic women had 50,000 more. Do the math. It’s not a complicated trend. The latest statistics show that Whites are now just over 57 percent of the U.S. population. Hispanics have grown to almost 19 percent. Blacks are mired at around 12 percent. But they can console themselves with being wildly overrepresented in popular media.

In 1960, almost 90 percent of Americans were White. There were very, very few nonwhite immigrants from other countries. Hispanics, a political catchphrase that wouldnt be invented for another twenty years or more, were unknown. In London, one of the great cultural hubs of Caucasian civilization, the population has become increasingly nonwhite over the past fifty years. If you believe the likes of Nigel Farage, Whites are now a minority in London. Fortunately, those ever handy “fact checkers” assure us that this is “misinformation.” I don’t know, “I’ve never been there,” and “I’m not willing to move there to find out.” I do know their media reflects ours, with an astonishing overrepresentation of nonwhites, especially Blacks.

So how did this all happen? How does a “Great Replacement” work exactly? Well, it would be impossible without the cooperation of those who are being replaced. White females, especially, were conditioned into thinking that motherhood, particularly when combined with household drudgery, was something to be avoided. The tremendous increase in casual sex, and the availability of abortions. The channeling of the maternal instinct towards animals. FEMINISM created the “career woman” whose job, not family, was her top priority.  Males enjoyed being the first generation to have the opportunity to have multiple sex partners. I knew very few males from my generation who didn’t pay for at least one, if not more abortions. With great relief.

At the same time, the White nuclear family was belittled and demonized in films and on television. Actors playing adult children were shown as being ostracized from their parents, and dreading the occasional interaction with them. We went from Ward Cleaver to Al Bundy in a very short period of time. Dysfunction was the norm in these productions, and it should be no surprise that those raised on this propaganda began living it out in real life. Life imitates art. Literally every family I know now is riddled with dysfunction. If you lose respect for the nuclear family, there is little reason for you to want children, which are the foundation of the family unit.

I fell prey to this a bit myself. I love children, and ideally wanted a huge family. But I limited myself to the then “new norm” of two kids. As a White boomer, Id been conditioned to think “responsibly.” Children cost a lot. Can we really afford them? How many White couples have not asked themselves this question? When a White woman becomes pregnant by a White man, itҒs often considered bad news, especially if they arent married. They mull over the options, and often choose abortion. Nonwhites, especially Hispanics, just as often consider pregnancy great news. They think of the baby as a blessing. The ultimate blessing. Their religious faith, which is usually Catholic, is stronger than mass media messaging.

My very large family is full of middle-aged White females with no children. IҒve heard any number of White relatives proclaim that they didn’t want children. Remember, almost all of them were raised Catholics, where huge families were common. I don’t understand this mindset, but my libertarian impulse is to say, fine- that’s your decision. But the problem is this decision didn’t happen naturally, at least in the vast majority of cases. They were brainwashed, propagandized, into thinking this way. Its an unnatural way to think. And no other race thinks this way. Of course, because so many Whites accepted the programming, White birth rates began to plummet. Which was the foundation for the Great Replacement.

The Great Replacement started in the world of sports. As a sports fanatic, I saw this first hand. I witnessed the White coaches favoring Black players who were not any more skilled than their White competitors, and often had ugly characteristics that made them less valuable. Lack of impulse control, resulting in stupid penalties or fouls. Selfishness, especially in sports like basketball. Putting themselves first over the team. ItҒs not like sports werent fully integrated during the 1960s. Even then, Blacks were overrepresented, especially in basketball. But today, the NFL and NBA are utterly dominated by Black players, the majority of whom are affirmative action projects. They arenҒt remotely qualified for their positions. They are replacements.

Replacements, of course, for the White athletes who used to be able to play professional sports really well. What happened to all those guys? When did Whites stop being able to play running back, wide receiver, and defensive back in the NFL? I live in the D.C. suburbs. One of the greatest football legends here is John Riggins, the great running back for the team formerly known as the Redskins. I have asked a few of what I call Drunk White Fans, just what they think would happen if Riggins came out of college today. “You know they wouldn’t let him be a running back, don’t you?” I gently remind them. “They’d force him to bulk up and block for the real athletes.” They usually respond with a blank stare and change the subject.

As someone who played a lot of sports, I feel somewhat qualified to say that most Black football and basketball players simply aren’t that great. They aren’t magically fast. They can’t jump magically high. But they look the part. They aren’t White, and that’s what counts. This is the Great Replacement, after all. Without great White athletic role models, it makes things far easier when beating down the self-esteem of young White males. The ones that have been trained to laughingly denigrate themselves as “White boys.” In baseball, the situation is a bit different. They cant seem to get Blacks to play baseball any more. But if they do, they have a much better chance of making the Major Leagues. Otherwise, they import all the replacements from Latino countries, especially the Dominican Republic.

While Hispanics are being steered into taking over Major League Baseball, my old industry, Information Technology, is being TAKEN OVER by H-1B VISA workers, mostly from India. I was one of the last Whites left standing when they fired me without warning in 2018, for helping out a handicapped co-worker. If you call virtually any government agency, you will get a Black female answering (if anyone answers), who invariably has a noticeable “Ebonics accent,” and surly “Excuse me!” attitude. Try getting any productive assistance out of any of them. But they’re probably making more than you. And certainly have better benefits and pensions. Its very hard for the average White person to get a government job.

Speaking of Indians, they dominate the CALL CENTERS as thoroughly as Black women dominate the phone representatives throughout government. The accents are frustrating to deal with, although I recognize they probably speak English more articulately than the average Murrican. Iranians own every carpet store. Pakistanis and other nonwhites are the faces of every convenient store. So exactly where do all the WHITE PEOPLE work nowadays? Weђre not extinct yet, after all. We have qualified as an endangered species for a long time. NO ONE SEEMS TO CARE. Its not like we’re some obscure rodent, or violent predator.”

The entertainment world, especially the music industry, is utterly dominated by Blacks. And again, at only 12 percent of the population, there just isn’t that much talent to go around. Watch the Grammy awards. It’s indistinguishable from a BET awards show. These performers are not Chuck Berry, or Louis Armstrong, or Marvin Gaye, or Smokey Robinson. They are AFFIRMATIVE ACTION replacements. Disproportionate Black presence is on full display now in movies and television shows. Commercials, in every format, feature almost all nonwhites and mixed race couples. An alien from another world watching our media would think that Whites are a minority. And we are heading in that direction.

Even the most entitled of all species, the HOT WHITE WOMAN, is now under fire. For a long time utterly dominant throughout society, especially in popular culture, attractive White females are now being replaced, too. The “fat acceptance” movement has made physical attractiveness just another part of “White privilege.” So now we have obese lingerie and swimsuit models. And a disproportionate number of them are nonwhite. Which is consistent with the increasing number of fit actresses, singers, and spokespersons who are now nonwhite. If they decide to brand very wealthy White men who marry White “trophy wives” as “racists,” then it’s all over for the hot White chicks. Im not alone in saying that the good looking White female is the crown jewel of human civilization. But I guess itҒs sexistӔ to say that. And racist.Ӕ

I saw a tweet today from some self-proclaimed MAGA lady, who somehow has over 100,000 followers. That’s over 95,000 more followers than me. Color me envious, I guess. But I’d never writesome virtue signaling pablum about being outraged over someone criticizing my mixed race family. The problem is, the picture she posted is clearly of a White family. Her husband and kids looked White. So the tweet made no sense. At any rate, she was virtual signaling nonetheless, and like most of the Right, she wants no part of Great Replacement theory. If we can just get more Herschel Walker types to diversify the Republicans, watch out! We want a big tent!

There is no one on the Right, even in the alternative media, who is pointing out just how successful the Great Replacement has been. TUCKER CARLSON MENTIONED IT a few times, but Alex Jones won’t. As noted, while Vivek Ramaswamy brought it up, no White public figure is about to. I don’t think the great “racist” Donald Trump mentioned the word “White” during his four years in office. The golden days of emotional tweets, broken promises, and rescued Black rappers. Again, you don’t have to be proud of your skin color to express concern over your gradual annihilation. I’m not a “hater,” but I do hate the future being constructed for my children, and my grandchildren, if Im fortunate enough to have them.

If someone was throwing rocks at your house, or tearing up your lawn, would you try to stop them? Even if they were nonwhite? Would you contact the police? If you saw a bigger child physically attack your child, would you intervene? Would you try to protect your flesh and blood? Well, by not protesting “critical race theory,” or White parents not protesting the obvious discrimination that occurs in organized sports against their children, they have shirked their basic responsibilities in life. If the majority of White parents complained about all the obvious unfairness, it might get results. Just like if the majority of White employees complained about the clear favoritism extended to nonwhites, especially Blacks, in the workplace.

But the vast majority of White parents are silent, as they’ve been now for a very long time. They silently absorbed all the disastrous, anti-White messages from Hollywood. They cheered on Black athletes, some of them guilty of but unpunished for violent crimes against women, as they were gifted prime positions over more skilled Whites. They accepted Affirmative Action. They did push back enough against the forced busing of students to stop it. They didnt question the increasing prevalence of mixed- face couples in advertising, or the relentless anti-White male depictions across all forms of media. White males were, and are, portrayed as weak, soft, and unprincipled. Which, to a large extent, they have become in reality. Again, Life imitates art.

Most Whites bought the ridiculous mantra that “Blacks built this country.” Even the greatest White Supremacist of them all, Donald Trump, made this claim publicly. No, they absolutely did not. As slaves, they weren’t allowed to learn skilled trades. Whites, mostly ethnic English and Germans, built this country. For better or worse. Even after the slaves were freed, it was White men like my great-grandfather James Sullivan, working as a carpenter on the Washington Monument, that built this country. Whites let absurd claims of Black inventors become mainstream, resulting in preposterous “Black Studies” college courses. A Black didn’t invent the comb in the late 1800s. I saw Pocahontass comb in the Smithsonian years ago

Because Whites sat there submissively in the face of such deadly disinformation, huge companies like Disney now feel confident in producing a remake of Snow White featuring an obnoxious actress who is not white in the lead role. The character was literally named that way because of her ultra white skin. So its Snow Brown. The Little Mermaid is now Black. So is Cleopatra. Some White male English king was recast, “blackened” into a Black woman in a Netflix film. And even though all these “Woke” monstrosities lose tons of money, those making them don’t seem to care. As I pointed out in my book SURVIVAL OF THE RICHEST, there are other, more powerful agendas at stake here. Profits don’t matter when the system is utterly rigged.

Former Washington Wizards player Gilbert Arenas reacted to Black NBA player Draymont Green’s most recent violent outburst, against White NBA player Jusuf Nurkic by declaring, “Taking care of these Europeans one at a time… Do your thing!” It is very easy to predict that there will be a total lack of outrage from anyone over this despicable statement. Picture any retired White athlete advocating that White players “take care” of African Americans. The hostility seemingly all Black celebrities feel for their White competitors goes back a long way. And it has never been properly addressed by any White authority figure. Thus, it will keep happening, and only become more extreme. Some day Ill writethat book on sports, and achieve the lowest social credit score in world history.

I donҒt blame Black people for this situation. They didn’t pass the 1965 anti-White immigration act. They didn’t develop Affirmative Action. They didn’t come up with policies like “race norming,” which for decades allowed lesser qualified Black applicants to get police, firefighter, and other well paid government jobs over Whites who scored higher on the required testing. They didn’t popularize the Orwellian term “hate speech.” They may have complained about what “racist” Whites said in expressing their opinion on social media, but it was White authority figures who “cancelled” them. Every time. When we think of “Karens” we think of “Woke” White women, anxious to control the behavior of other Whites. Blacks actually could take far more advantage of the situation.

Ill issue the caveat I always do when writing about race. After all, I think IҒm just about the only White American who is coming at it from this perspective. I dont hate Black people. I worked and socialized with hundreds of them over the years. In some ways, I liked most of them more than I liked most White people. But they are simply not held to the same standards that everyone else is. If you donҒt apply the laws, the rules, and the expectations of conduct equally to everyone, then they are meaningless. No one should respect them. Certainly, at this dark stage of America 2.0, no White should have the slightest respect for them. This is the exclusive fault of White leaders, and I blame the average White person for not being outraged and calling it out.

On every single cultural issue, White people have “lost.” They capitulated to nonsense about amazing Black inventors, amazing Black Civil War soldiers, amazing Black female NASA scientists. They have accepted the doublethink that Blacks created powerful civilizations, and also contributed everything of substance while “building” America, despite being always held down by the evil White Supremacists. They werent allowed to do anything, and yet accomplished unprecedented achievements. This is the basis of “Black Studies,” or I guess it’s called “African American Studies” now. Either way, it is as full of factual information as a nightly CNN news broadcast. And those who have earned degrees in such a ridiculous major are now attaining positions of power. How do you expect any of them to treat White people?

It bears repeating; all this transpired while Whites held most of the reins of power in this country. At any given moment, they could have stopped the madness. They could have, and obviously should have, held Blacks to the same standards that everyone else is held to. Is is “racist” to demand that all people be held to the same standards? Am I a “hater” for supporting fairness? Equality under the law? Equality in the workplace? But any White employer, should one somehow exist somewhere, who attempted to enforce fairness and equality would find him/her/they/it selves out on the street with the first loud “excuse me!” response. “Thats racist!” holds far more sway in America 2.0 than “thatҒs unfair!” Not that many Whites even bother pointing out unfairness any more.

In South Africa, for the first time in the history of the world, one race of people willingly gave over power to another race of people. Whatever the reality of Apartheid was, once Blacks took power, they appear to have sought vengeance against average White South Africans. There are horror stories of rape and murder coming out of South Africa. I have no way of knowing how credible they are. But in America, White people have effectively ceded power as well. Not literally; our leaders still have mostly White faces. But they dont represent average Whites any more than the African National Congress does. Everything they do diminishes White self-worth.

Whether itҒs your very wealthy White “representative” in Congress, your local White school board member, or the meddlesome “Karen” on your block, America is full of self-hating Whites. Who spout anti-White rhetoric, as if directed to by puppet strings. Who don’t appear to appreciate that they are White themselves. One day, some Don Jeffries-type out there will answer their babbling with, “You do realize that you are White, don’t you? Are you including yourself in this blanket condemnation of an entire people? Your children? Your parents?” But thus far, no one has. Instead, they nod in appreciation as something else is labeled “racist.” Band-Aids. Birds. Sleep. When everything is racist, nothing is. At this point, the word is meaningless.

Vladimir Putin started urging Russians to have more babies several years ago. He was the only White leader at that time to talk openly about the destruction of the Caucasians. Now the president of Hungary, a female no less, Katalin Novak, says, “We must make starting a family an attractive option for the next generation.” They are setting up generous tax options, so that citizens benefit from having babies. The more they have, the more they benefit. How I wish our own abysmal leaders had offered something like that forty years ago. There might be lots of rabble-rousing Jeffries running around out there. Is this one reason why Putin is so demonized? Dont look for Novak to win any mainstream popularity contests, either.

White people have to stop being scared to speak their minds on the subject of race. Why should Blacks and nonwhites have a monopoly in this regard? There is never a “dialogue,: it’s always a diatribe from some African Studies major, with cucked nods of encouragement from despicable White sellouts. It’s not wrong to care about those who look most like you, even if they are White. Not “of color,” even though White is a color. It’s your obligation as a parent to protect your children from being branded as having “privileges” they most decidedly don’t have. Point out that “diversity” shouldn’t mean less Whites.

Just during the time it took to writethis article, we witnessed Boston’s nonwhite mayor Michelle Wu exposed for planning a Christmas party, exclusively for “electeds of color.” Regardless of the awkward, America 2.0 phraseology, this meant no Whites allowed. No Irish need apply. If you expected any indignant outrage from our compliant media, or some White leader somewhere, you haven’t been paying attention for the past fifty years. Wu didn’t issue the standard apology that every White guilty of some violation of “Woke” dogma does. Quickly and as cuckily as possible. And still gets cancelled. Wu dug her heels in, and the party went on as scheduled. Wu is, naturally, married to a White guy. You will hear no more about this. Google is already blocking searches on it. Its just Whites. We’ve established their lives don’t matter.

In fact, the few bold Whites left in this dilapidated land were canceled themselves for posting the sensible mantra that “All Lives Matter.” The response from our White- majority elite is that, no, actually they don’t. Black Lives Matter supporters tore down statues, and burned cities across the country during the summer of 2020. While dear “racist” Donald Trump was president. Nothing was done, by Trump or any other Whitey. The police, known to shoot deaf jaywalkers in the back, stood down. Some of them kneeled alongside the rioters. If that didn’t tell you what was going on, I don’t know what would. We are witnessing a genetic apocalypse. There is a real chance that you could be prosecuted just for mentioning the Great Replacement.

Either race is important or it’s not. You can’t encourage one race to have absurd inflated egos about their skin color, while demeaning the skin color of another race, and punishing them if they attempt the mildest defense. Some races are not more equal than others. This isn’t Animal Farm. We should all be assessed by the content of our character, as Martin Luther King (whod be attacked as a White Supremacist today) once said. I hate talking about race. But it’s their favorite subject. And because none of us wanted to talk about it, we stand on the brink of extinction. That’s something we should all be concerned about, and not afraid to combat. Some species never had this chance. Let’s not be wooly mammoths or dodo birds.

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Posted by Elvis on 12/18/23 •
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Sunday, December 17, 2023

Propaganda American Style Redux

image: brainwashing

A Court Ruled Rachel Maddow’s Viewers Know She Offers Exaggeration and Opinion, Not Facts
“Maddow’s show is different than a typical news segment where anchors inform viewers about the daily news,” an Obama-appointed judge ruled.

By Glenn Greenwald
Substack
June 22, 2021

MSNBC’s top-rated host Rachel Maddow devoted a segment in 2019 to accusing the right-wing cable outlet One America News (OAN) of being a paid propaganda outlet for the Kremlin. Discussing a DAILY BEAST ARTICLE which noted that one OAN reporter was a “Russian national who was simultaneously writing copy for the Russian-owned outlet Sputnik on a freelance contract, Maddow escalated the allegation greatly into a broad claim about OAN’s real identity and purpose: “in this case,” she announced, “the most obsequiously pro-Trump right wing news outlet in America really literally is paid Russian propaganda.”

In response, OAN sued Maddow, MSNBC, and its parent corporation Comcast, Inc. for defamation, alleging that it was demonstrably false that the network, in Maddow’s words, “literally is paid Russian propaganda.” In an oddly overlooked ruling, an Obama-appointed federal judge, Cynthia Bashant, dismissed the lawsuit on the ground that even Maddow’s own audience understands that her show consists of exaggeration, hyperbole, and pure opinion, and therefore would not assume that such outlandish accusations are factually true even when she uses the language of certainty and truth when presenting them (literally is paid Russian propaganda").

In concluding that Maddow’s statement would be understood even by her own viewers as non-factual, the judge emphasized that what Maddow does in general is not present news but rather hyperbole and exploitation of actual news to serve her liberal activism:

On one hand, a viewer who watches news channels tunes in for facts and the goings-on of the world. MSNBC indeed produces news, but this point must be juxtaposed with the fact that Maddow made the allegedly defamatory statement on her own talk show news segment where she is invited and encouraged to share her opinions with her viewers. Maddow does not keep her political views a secret, and therefore, audiences could expect her to use subjective language that comports with her political opinions.

Thus, Maddow’s show is different than a typical news segment where anchors inform viewers about the daily news. The point of Maddow’s show is for her to provide the news but also to offer her opinions as to that news. Therefore, the Court finds that the medium of the alleged defamatory statement makes it more likely that a reasonable viewer would not conclude that the contested statement implies an assertion of objective fact.

The judge’s observations about the specific segment at issue - in which Maddow accused a competitor of being literally paid Russian propaganda” - was even more damning. Maddow’s own viewers, ruled the court, not only expect but desire that she will not provide the news in factual form but will exaggerate and even distort reality in order to shape her opinion-driven analysis (emphasis added):

Viewers expect her to do so, as it is indeed her show, and viewers watch the segment with the understanding that it will contain Maddows “personal and subjective views” about the news. See id. Thus, the Court finds that as a part of the totality of the circumstances, the broad context weighs in favor of a finding that the alleged defamatory statement is Maddow’s opinion and exaggeration of the Daily Beast article, and that reasonable viewers would not take the statement as factual. . . .

Here, Maddow had inserted her own colorful commentary into and throughout the segment, laughing, expressing her dismay (i.e., saying I mean, what?) and calling the segment a “sparkly story” and one we must “take in stride.” For her to exaggerate the facts and call OAN Russian propaganda was consistent with her tone up to that point, and the Court finds a reasonable viewer would not take the statement as factual given this context. The context of Maddow’s statement shows reasonable viewers would consider the contested statement to be her opinion. A reasonable viewer would not actually think OAN is paid Russian propaganda, instead, he or she would follow the facts of the Daily Beast article; that OAN and Sputnik share a reporter and both pay this reporter to write articles. Anything beyond this is Maddow’s opinion or her exaggeration of the facts.

In sum, ruled the court, Rachel Maddow is among those “speakers whose statements cannot reasonably be interpreted as allegations of fact.” Despite Maddow’s use of the word “literally” to accuse OAN of being a “paid Russian propaganda” outlet, the court dismissed the lawsuit on the ground that, given Maddow’s conduct and her audience’s awareness of who she is and what she does, “the Court finds that the contested statement is an opinion that cannot serve as the basis for a defamation claim.”

What makes this particularly notable and ironic is that a similar argument was made a year later by lawyers for Fox News when DEFENDING a segment that appeared on the program of its highest-rated program, Tucker Carlson Tonight. That was part of a lawsuit brought by the former model Karen McDougal, who claimed Carlson slandered her by saying she “extorted former President Trump by demanding payments in exchange for her silence about an extramarital affair she claimed to have with him.”

McDougal’s lawsuit was dismissed in September, 2020, by Trump-appointed judge Mary Kay Vyskocil, based on arguments made by Fox’s lawyers that were virtually identical to those made by MSNBC’s lawyers when defending Maddow. In particular, the court accepted Fox’s arguments that when Carlson used the word “extortion,” he meant it in a colloquial and dramatic sense, and that his viewers would have understood that he was not literally accusing her of a crime but rather offering his own subjective characterizations and opinions, particularly since viewers understand that Carlson offers political commentary:

Fox News first argues that, viewed in context, Mr. Carlson cannot be understood to have been stating facts, but instead that he was delivering an opinion using hyperbole for effect. See Def. Br. at 12-15. Fox News cites to a litany of cases which hold that accusing a person of ԓextortion or ԓblackmail simply is ԓrhetorical hyperbole, incapable of being defamatory. . . .

In particular, accusations of “extortion,” “blackmail,” and related crimes, such as the statements Mr. Carlson made here, are often construed as merely rhetorical hyperbole when they are not accompanied by additional specifics of the actions purportedly constituting the crime. . . . Such accusations of crimes also are unlikely to be defamatory when, as here, they are made in connection with debates on a matter of public or political importance. . . . The context in which the offending statements were made here make it abundantly clear that Mr. Carlson was not accusing Ms. McDougal of actually committing a crime. As a result, his statements are not actionable.

When discussing Carlson’s show generally and how viewers understand it, the court used language extremely similar to that invoked to protect Maddow from defamation lawsuits: namely, that Fox viewers understand that Carlson is, in addition to presenting news, offering his own subjective analysis of it:

In light of this precedent and the context of ԓTucker Carlson Tonight, the Court finds that Mr. Carlson’s invocation of extortionӔ against Ms. McDougal is nonactionable hyperbole, intended to frame the debate in the guest commentator segment that followed Mr. Carlsons soliloquy. As Defendant notes, Mr. Carlson himself aims to ғchallenge[] political correctness and media bias. Def. Br. at 14. This ԓgeneral tenor of the show should then inform a viewer that he is not “stating actual facts” about the topics he discusses and is instead engaging in “exaggeration” and “non-literal commentary.”

Fox News has convincingly argued that Mr. Carlson was motivated to speak about a timely political cause and that, in this context, it is clear that his charge of |extortion” should not be interpreted as an accusation of an actual crime. Plaintiff’s interpretation of Mr. Carlson’s accusations is strained and, the Court finds, not reasonable when the entire segment is viewed in context. It is true that Mr. Carlson added color to his unsubstantiated rhetorical claim of extortion when he narrated that Ms. McDougal “approached” Mr. Trump and threatened his career and family. See Am. Compl. 10. But this overheated rhetoric is precisely the kind of pitched commentary that one expects when tuning in to talk shows like Tucker Carlson Tonight, with pundits debating the latest political controversies.

This is worth noting because of how often, and how dishonestly, this court case regarding Carlson is cited to claim that even Fox itself admits that its host is a liar who cannot be trusted. This court ruling has become a very common argument used by liberals to claim that even Fox acknowledges that Carlson lies. Indeed, Maddow’s own colleague Chris Hayes - whose MSNBC program is broadcast at the same time as Carlson’s and routinely attracts less than 1/3 of the Fox host’s audience - has repeatedly cited this court case to argue that even Fox admits Carlson is a liar, without bothering to note that his companies’ lawyers made exactly the same claims about his mentor, Rachel Maddow, to defend her from a defamation lawsuit:


Chris Hayes @chrislhayes

Similar to Fox News defense in court of Tucker Carlson: these people are obviously bullshit artists who no one should trust.
 
image: chris hayes tweet
 

This claim - even Fox admits that Carlson is a liar who cannot be believed! - has become such a common trope among liberals that it is impossible to count how many times I have heard it. And that is because the liberal sector of the corporate media blared this claim in headlines over and over after the lawsuit against Fox was dismissed.

It is virtually impossible to find similar headlines about Maddow even though the judicial rationale justifying dismissal of the lawsuit against her was virtually identical to the one used in Carlson’s case. Indeed, lawyers for MSNBC and Fox cited most of the same legal precedent to defend their stars and to insist that their statements could not be actionable as defamation because viewers understood it as opinion rather than fact.

I personally agree with the rationale cited in both cases: it becomes dangerous when defamation claims are used to punish or otherwise forbid the expression of political opinion. And of course it is the job of lawyers to mount every possible argument when defending a client, which is why both MSNBC and Fox’s lawyers essentially insisted that viewers of these programs understand that they are not being presented with objective truth and neutral news but political and subjective commentary. That is what made these widespread attempts to weaponize the ruling in Carlson’s case so preposterous.

Indeed, it was Maddow’s statement - that OAN is “literally paid Russian propaganda"- that seems far more actionable than Carlson’s obviously figurative assertion that McDougal was “extorting” Trump. Falsely accusing people of being paid Kremlin agents has a long and ugly history in the U.S., having destroyed reputations and careers, yet this smear has once again become utterly commonplace in Democratic Party politics (a protracted and ugly feud among liberal commentators was initiated earlier this month when The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur BASELESSLY AND FALSELESSY CLAIMED that journalist Aaron Mat was “paid by the Russians").

But whatever else is true, those who want to claim that this court ruling proves Carlson is a lying propagandist who cannot be trusted have no way out of applying the same claim to Maddow. In both cases, it would be unfair and irrational to use these court rulings to suggest that, given that the arguments made were standard ones lawyers advance to defend a defamation defendant. Ironically, those most guilty of being unreliable liars and propagandists are those in the media and even Maddow’s own MSNBC colleagues who repeatedly cite this court ruling to delegitimize Carlson without ever mentioning that Maddow’s lawyers successfully used the same arguments in her defense.

SOURCE

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Rachel Maddow on “Prequel” and fascism in America

Prior to World War II, a significant number of Nazi sympathizers in the U.S. were secretly meeting to promote antisemitic and far-right PROPAGANDA, with the intent to set up a Hitler-style dictatorship in America. Attempts to bring them to justice, for the most part, failed. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, author of the new book “Prequel,” talks with correspondent Rita Braver about our nation’s long-running fight against fascism, and how it relates to today’s conspiracy theories and ultra-right propaganda. Air Date: Oct 8, 2023

SOURCE

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Rachel Maddow’s Prequel Is a Deceptively Framed History of the Radical Right
The book blames foreign subversives for ideas long rooted in American life.

By Brandan P. Buck
Reason
October 31, 2023

“American democracy itself was under attack from enemies within and without,” Rachel Maddow writes in Prequel: An American Fight Against Fascism. If you’re not sure whether she is speaking of the past or the present, that’s because she wants to conflate the two.

Prequel is a deeply flawed and deceptively framed history of right-wing radicalism in the United States on the eve of American entry into World War II. Maddow’s treatment of this well-worn topic draws principally from primary sources generated from the protagonists of her story, a collection of private spies and anti-fascist activists, as well as contemporary press reporting, sundry government documents, and a narrow base of secondary sources, one that noticeably omits prominent works in the field. Deficiencies in her sources, methods, and analyses make for a book that recapitulates past passions at the expense of sober reflection and reality.

Maddow opens with her strongest case study, covering the German-born Nazi agent George Sylvester Viereck, who tried to push Americans toward neutrality by using personal connections with Congress to spread noninterventionist literature. She then switches focus to her weakest case study, that of populist Democratic governor and senator Huey “Kingfish” Long and his influence on the Nazi sympathizers Philip Johnson and Gerald L.K. Smith. Maddow does not clarify why Long, who died in 1935, is discussed here. But her tone and source selection imply that she agrees with the Kingfish’s contemporary critics that his populism and demagoguery made him a proto-fascist and a political gateway drug for more radical figures, like Johnson and Smith.

Maddow then abruptly changes focus to the dark history of American segregation and its influence on Nazi racial science, following the German lawyer Heinrich Krieger’s travels through the American South. Then she circles back to more-prominent characters, such as the American fascist Lawrence Dennis, the antisemitic preacher Charles Coughlin, and the abstruse spiritualist (and leader of the fascist Silver Shirts) William Dudley Pelley, among others.
The book’s first half is occasionally productive. The chapter on Pelley does a good job of exploring the roots of his ideology: his conflation of anti-communism with antisemitism, his eclectic spiritualism, his millenarian Christianity. And the chapter on American race law is a haunting look at how American legislatures maintained racial hierarchy and what the Nazis learned from their practices.

But what narrative value she creates is relinquished by her analytical leaps, which conflate fascism with phenomena that were already well-grounded in American life well before the 1920s. And Maddow never directly states the size and scope of the groups she covers, such as the German American Bund and the Silver Shirts; instead we get such vague phrases as “many,” “a lot,” and “an insane number.” This makes it easier to confuse the breadth of Maddow’s cast of characters for the depth of their influence. (According to historian Francis MacDonnell’s Insidious Foes, the German American Bund never attracted more than 25,000 members and the Silver Shirts maxed out at 15,000.)

The book’s meandering journey narrows in later chapters, as Maddow argues that German propaganda had a pervasive influence on “isolationist” congressmen. She presents the propagandists’ efforts as far more effective than they were, giving the impression that they were the root of Americans’ general desire to stay out of World War II. She pays only lip service to the deeper roots of “isolationism,” with a mere passing reference to the fallout from World War I. She does not mention the post-WWI revelations of Allied and American propaganda, the widespread alarm at the armaments industry’s intimate relationship with the government, or the Great War’s domestic abuses of civil liberties. (When Sen. Ernest Lundeen (RMinn.) denounces a draft bill as “nothing short of slavery,” she dismisses him as “shrill.") Instead, she writes as though the desire to remain neutral simply stemmed from abroad, stripping noninterventionism of its historical context and arguing that the “threads of isolationism, antisemitism, and fascism were becoming an ominously tight weave.”

To make her case, Maddow retells a well-worn story about Viereck’s use of the congressional frank, a taxpayer-funded mailing service, to distribute what Maddow calls “pro-German mailings.” In fact, it was predominately literature that advocated neutrality. As historian Douglas M. Charles argued in J. Edgar Hoover and the Anti-interventionists, “All Viereck managed to accomplish was a wider distribution of anti-interventionist literature that, in any event, did not lead Americans to reassess their views on the Allies.”

Her book culminates in the 1944 sedition trial, in which the United States federal government charged a heterogeneous and largely unaffiliated assortment of 30 defendants, which included far-right figures like George Sylvester Viereck, Lawrence Dennis, and William Dudley Pelley, for sedition under the 1940 Smith Act. She presents the episode as a missed opportunity to uproot homegrown fascism. In fact, the Justice Department filed its flimsy charges on politically motivated grounds - a clear threat to constitutionally protected speech and association, no matter how unsympathetic the defendants could be.

Throughout Prequel, Maddow displays a systemically uncritical use of her source material, frequently presenting the self-gratifying hyperbole of fascist propagandists and the motivated reasoning of anti-fascist reporters as gospel.

Whether she knows it or not, Maddow is dredging up a thesis from the past, written in the wake of World War II when passions were high and perspectives blinkered. This view does have some academic adherents, and she cites their work: Bradley W. Hart’s Hitler’s American Friends, James Q. Whitman’s Hitler’s American Model, Sarah Churchwell’s Behold, America, Steven J. Ross’s Hitler in Los Angeles, and others. But she drives her thesis beyond the confines of her evidence in a manner that these scholars do not. Hart, for example, hedges where Maddow does not, acknowledging that the “United States was not at risk of an imminent fascist takeover in the late 1930s” when he argues that there was “fertile terrain in which dictatorship might be able to take root.” Yet Maddow leaves the impression that there was a risk of an imminent fascist takeover in the 1930s, with German propaganda fertilizing that fertile terrain.

Meanwhile, there is a sizeable body of work that challenges Maddow’s thesis and that of her source material. Such works include established scholarship such as Leo Ribuffo’s THE OLD CHHRISTMAS RIGHT, Deborah Lipstadt’s Beyond Belief, and Bruce Kuklick’s recent FASCISM COMES TO AMERICA, to name a few. While these works do not downplay the pernicious ideologies of the far right nor their presence in American life, they do not sensationalize or dehistoricize them nor assign them more influence than they deserve. Lipstadt, who has devoted much of her career to combating the radical right’s penchant for Holocaust denial, dedicated an entire chapter of Beyond Belief to challenging American anxieties about a Nazi “fifth column” - the very fears that Maddow is trying to resurrect. While Nazi Germany did have spies and propagandists in the U.S., Lipstadt cautioned that “they never constituted a network with the scope and power the press attributed them.”

In INSIDEOUS FOES, MacDonnell argues that while odious and illiberal, right-wing extremists “never posed any real danger to the republic”; instead, a media echo chamber constructed the perception of a vast and powerful far right. He also makes a good case that Germany’s propaganda effort was “spectacularly unsuccessful” and ultimately did more damage to the noninterventionist cause than it aided it. RIBOFFO’S classic THE OLD CHRISTIAN RIGHT (a work that Maddow mentions in her author’s note but does not cite) similarly argued that the fear of these groups was a “BROWN SCARE”” that often “exaggerated both [the far right’s] power and its Axis connections.”

How does Maddow square her findings with those of these earlier works? We do not know, because she does not tell us.

In closing the book, Maddow invites the reader to take inspiration from the work of Americans who sought to stop homegrown fascists by “any means at hand,” assessing their legacies as worth remembering and emulating. Yet Maddow omits the pernicious legacy that followed from using “any means at hand” and violating the very norms her heroes sought to protect. They created the DESTRUCTIVE AND RESTRICTIVE MYTH OF ISOLATIONISM, which held that it was an absence of American power from the world’s stage that directly led to the rise of fascism abroad. They actively colluded with a foreign power - Great Britain - to interfere in AMERICAN ELECTIONS and MANIPULATE AMERICAN MEDIA. And they helped stoke the panic that led to Japanese internment and spurred the growth of the domestic security state. The latter, ironically, soon BOOMERANGED AGAINST THE LEFT.

Those legacies are also worth remembering if we are to preserve liberty from an ever-present threat - not from enemies within our ranks or outside our walls, but within ourselves.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 12/17/23 •
Section Dying America • Section Fascism
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Burned Out Boomers Part 11 - Late Boomers

image: retirement gift
 
Due to changes in the retirement landscape in recent decades, Late Boomers (who are now nearing retirement) would be expected to have less wealth from traditional pensions, Social Security, and housing, but higher 401(k)/IRA assets compared to Mid Boomers at the same age. Strikingly, though, Late Boomers have seen a drop in their 401(k)/IRA assets. The questions are why is their 401(k)/IRA wealth lower and what do the patterns mean for younger cohorts.
- Why do late boomers have so little wealth and how will Gen-Zers fare, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, May 2023

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Younger baby boomers face deep shortfall in retirement savings

By Nathan Place
Financial Planning
November 8, 2023

Not all boomers are OK. When it comes to retirement savings, younger baby boomers have significantly less than their older counterparts.

That’s according to a study by the CENTER FOR RETIREMENT RESEARCH AT BOSTON COLLEGE, which uncovered a striking difference between “late boomers” - those born in 1960 to 1965 - and “early boomers,” born in 1948 to 1953. By the time they reached their 50s, the study found, the late boomers had 19% less retirement wealth than the early ones did at the same age.

What could explain this wealth gap? Several demographic and economic shifts contributed, the study said, but the main reason was the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

“The late boomers were hit really hard by the Great Recession,” said Anqi Chen, one of the study’s co-authors. “It was the earnings lost during the recession that really set them back.”

Why was the downturn more damaging for late boomers? It’s a matter of life stages. Typically, Chen said, Americans reach their peak earning years in their 40s and early 50s. But for those at the younger end of the baby boom, those were exactly the years when the economy was in crisis - in 2007 to 2009, late boomers were somewhere between 42 and 49 years old.

And that’s not even including the economy’s long, slow recovery. Unemployment in the U.S. didn’t return to pre-recession levels UNTIL DECEMBER 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In the meantime, late boomers took a huge hit to their nest eggs. Just as their careers were gaining steam, many of them lost their jobs. At age 50, only 77% of late boomers were working, compared with 96% of early boomers at the same age. That meant they lost access to retirement plans, sometimes for years and in many cases, they never got it back.

“What was interesting was that not only did you see that drop, but it didn’t pick back up later,” Chen said. “A lot of people lost their jobs, and then they had a hard time reentering the workforce.”

In addition, something else set this age group apart. Unlike their predecessors, late boomers worked and saved at a time when PENSIONS WERE NO LONGER THE DOMINANT RETIREMENT PLAN. Instead, they had defined-contribution plans like 401(k)s and IRAs ח and that meant their retirement income was not guaranteed.

This daunting combination is familiar to many financial planners with late boomer clients.

“Late boomers had a double whammy between the Great Recession and the shift to 401(k) plans,” said Jay Zigmont, founder of CHILDFREE WEALTH in Water Valley, Mississippi. “As the first group to truly embrace 401(k)s as their primary retirement savings, this can be very dangerous. Not working during peak retirement saving years can set people back years on their retirement.”

The irony is that at the beginning of their careers, late boomers were actually doing better on their retirement savings than early boomers had done. At age 44, the average early boomer had just $7,011 in their 401(k) or IRA. At the same age, the average late boomer had $29,355.

But in the years that followed, this gap dramatically flipped. By age 56, the average early boomer had $75,378 in their retirement plan, while the average late boomer had only $37,464 - less than half as much.

“When we look at their average 401(k) and IRA balances at younger ages, we see that late boomers were actually ahead of other cohorts,” Chen said. “And then you see that drop.”

To calculate boomers’ total retirement savings, the CRR added the balances of these defined-contribution retirement plans together with those of defined-benefit plans, like pensions, and with Social Security benefits.

All told, the average late boomer ended up with a retirement nest egg of $279,686. The average early boomer, by contrast, had $345,648 - a 19% difference.

The study examined several potential reasons for this. Demographically, late boomers are a more diverse group than early boomers, and BLACK AND HISANIC HOUSEHOLDS TEND TO HAVE LESS WEALTH THAN WHITE ONES.

But as it turned out, this did not explain the savings gap. In fact, among Black and Hispanic workers, retirement wealth was actually higher for late boomers than it was for early ones - the opposite of the overall trend.

The real reason, Chen said, was crystal clear.

“The Great Recession is the culprit here,” she said.

What can late boomers do about it? In many cases, they’ll need to do more than other generations to catch up on their savings with financial advisors’ help.

“Chances are that we are going to have to help our clients plan on working longer or saving more now to make up for the deficit,” Zigmont said. “We need to start having those conversations now and helping our clients to make the hard choices.”

Another option is to change one’s retirement plans to cut costs.

“If they live in a place with a high cost of living - especially housing - then they could consider moving somewhere cheaper,” said Ron Strobel, founder of RETURE SENSIBLY in Meridian, Ohio. “That could help shore up their retirement savings quickly.”

And in the case of someone who sold their assets during the worst of the Great Recession, it’s important to get back on track 0 no matter how painful it may be.

“Bite the bullet, stick to your long-term plan, and get invested again,” said Noah Damsky, co-founder of MARINA WEALTH ADVISORS in Los Angeles. “This will ensure you have as successful a future as possible.”

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 12/17/23 •
Section News • Section Personal
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