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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#19561 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2022-March-17, 19:21

View Postkenberg, on 2022-March-17, 08:10, said:

His presidency was very harmful to the country.

I wholly disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
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#19562 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-March-18, 18:26

You know you're further to the right than Attila the Hun when Newsmax runs a story titled:
Russian Foreign Minister Praises Fox News' Invasion Coverage

non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek; les règles sont le jeu même.
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#19563 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-March-18, 19:58

Abe Lincoln asked a crowd how many legs would a dog have if you called the tail a leg. When the crowd answered 5, Lincoln told them, no, there are still only 4. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one,

By that measure, I bet Abe says Biden is the 45th president.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19564 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2022-March-20, 01:42

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-March-17, 17:35, said:

60,000,000 voted for Trump. They didn’t materialize overnight so that means that they have always been here and that is the most frightening realization of all.

You need to subtract the number who would have voted for a piece of lint as long as it had an "R" next to the name.

#19565 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-March-20, 08:13

View Postbarmar, on 2022-March-20, 01:42, said:

You need to subtract the number who would have voted for a piece of lint as long as it had an "R" next to the name.


Yes, but even this changes with time. In the neighborhood where I grew up in the 1940s I think many would have voted for a piece of lint as long as it had a D next to its name, and by the mid 60s would have voted for a piece of lint as long as it had an R next to its name.

Most people do not spend a major part of their time reflecting on politics. It is clear from this thread that many people know a lot of facts I don't know, and I believe that I give more thought to these matters than a lot of people do.

Example:
Q: Describe the history of the student loan program sufficiently well that we can understand how we ended up with the total student debt being something like two trillion and then explain how that problem should be solved.
A; I don't know. A bunch f idiots set up a program without thinking it through, I guess. Or maybe they wanted to give the money away from the beginning but figured the public wouldn't go for that so they decided to call it a loan program with the expectation that when the debt became high enough people would have to agree to convert the loan program toa give away program. But really I don't know how it happened and I am far from clear about any details of solution.


Or try this. Imagine two mothers talking. One says "I read this really good book the other day about a woman who tries to kill her children, succeeding with killing one. I think your boy Jimmy should read it" and the other mother says "Sounds great. let's make it required reading for all eighth-grade kids"
If this conversation seems unlikely, that could be a clue to some of the problems Ds are having.
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#19566 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-March-20, 08:53

View Postbarmar, on 2022-March-20, 01:42, said:

You need to subtract the number who would have voted for a piece of lint as long as it had an "R" next to the name.


I have voted for both parties over my lifetime. The difficulty doing so now is that any vote for a Republican strengthens the RNC, which has become an anti-democracy organization attempting to install a theocratic oligarchy
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19567 User is offline   Gilithin 

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Posted 2022-March-20, 09:42

View Postkenberg, on 2022-March-20, 08:13, said:

Q: Describe the history of the student loan program sufficiently well that we can understand how we ended up with the total student debt being something like two trillion and then explain how that problem should be solved.

A: "Students don't vote and old people do. Therefore if we give handouts to greys and stiff the young, we will gain votes." I doubt there is much more to it than this. How to solve it? organise students as a powerful voting bloc who can have an influence on the outcomes of elections.
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#19568 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-March-20, 15:12

The answer is that health, education and welfare are infrastructure items that the whole population should support because they all benefit from them.

No healthy, highly educated workforce, no vaccine, no computers, no health care.



The cult of toxic libertarianism and "personal responsibility" that has consumed the American Republican party pushes political discourse in the USA so far to the right that there is only a rump of political thought that believes that barn-raising - the architectural equivalent of health, education and welfare spending - is worthwhile.
Sure, the USA has the highest total GDP in the world - it has for more than 100 years - but what is this built on? And does the whole population benefit?
Will it last much longer.


One could also imagine USA capitalism - built as it is on slavery, indigenous genocide, contempt for the worth of every member of the population, and the destruction of the environment - as an economic hydrogen bomb.


An economic-social system modelled on Lord of the Flies/Battle Royale/Hunger Games (an obvious metaphor for capitalist philosophy) may burn bright momentarily, benefiting a few, but in the end everyone suffers.


non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek; les règles sont le jeu même.
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#19569 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-March-20, 18:35

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-March-20, 15:12, said:

The answer is that health, education and welfare are infrastructure items that the whole population should support because they all benefit from them.

No healthy, highly educated workforce, no vaccine, no computers, no health care.


The cult of toxic libertarianism and "personal responsibility" that has consumed the American Republican party pushes political discourse in the USA so far to the right that there is only a rump of political thought that believes that barn-raising - the architectural equivalent of health, education and welfare spending - is worthwhile.
Sure, the USA has the highest total GDP in the world - it has for more than 100 years - but what is this built on? And does the whole population benefit?
Will it last much longer.

One could also imagine USA capitalism - built as it is on slavery, indigenous genocide, contempt for the worth of every member of the population, and the destruction of the environment - as an economic hydrogen bomb.

An economic-social system modelled on Lord of the Flies/Battle Royale/Hunger Games (an obvious metaphor for capitalist philosophy) may burn bright momentarily, benefiting a few, but in the end everyone suffers.





I certainly agree with the first sentence. I regard it as fundamental.

I also believe that the student loan program was horribly designed. This belief is completely compatible with my thinking that education is extremely important.

Old people are mentioned above.
I have seen opinions before that Democrats are having electoral problems because there are too many old people and too many of us vote. I recommend deeper thought. I won't be getting younger, and I plan on voting this fall. I
am probably a safe D vote and Maryland is probably a safe D state. Still, I think D thinking needs to go beyond "there are too many old people".


Ken
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#19570 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-March-20, 19:41

via Matt Ygleias:

Amanda Smithfield, high-school librarian said:

I’m a school librarian, and I went to a Moms for Liberty meeting in my county. I wanted to explain how librarians select books, how reconsideration works, how I work with parents, etc. Not a single person there had a kid in public schools. Not a single one.

From Who’s Unhappy With Schools? The Answer Surprised Me. by Jessica Grose at NYT:

Quote

It should also make us a bit more reflective about election results that are framed as a result of displeasure with schools. TargetSmart, which bills itself as a Democratic political data and data services firm, analyzed records showing who voted in Virginia’s 2021 gubernatorial election, which has been touted as a win for the Republican, Glenn Youngkin, that was based on unhappiness over the way the previously Democratic-led state handled the pandemic in schools.

TargetSmart found:

Turnout among voters age 75 or older increased by 59 percent, relative to 2017, while turnout among voters under age 30 only increased by just 18 percent. Notably, turnout of all other age groups combined (18-74), which would likely include parents of school-aged children, only increased by 9 percent compared to 2017 … This “silver surge” is an untold story that fundamentally undermines the conventional wisdom that Covid-19 protocols in schools and fears about critical race theory in curriculum determined the outcome of the election.

All of this at least raises the question of whether some of the people driving the outrage, even animus, against schools might not have much skin in the game and might not have any recent experience with teachers or curriculum. As we head into the midterms, at the very least we should resist easy conclusions about who is angry about what’s happening in our public schools and whether it has anything to do with the reality of what’s going on day to day for millions of children and their families.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19571 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-March-21, 07:04

Matt Yglesisas said:

The vanishing case for student loan forgiveness,

This is a topic where I think the facts have changed considerably since Slow Boring’s debut in mid-November of 2020, and as a result I have changed my mind. Back then, I thought loan forgiveness would be a good way to assist a depressed economy and that objections were being made on nonsensical grounds by fussy technocrats who weren’t paying attention to the actual situation. But today the situation is different. The economy is not depressed, and instead the Federal Reserve is pivoting to fight inflation. That means student loan forgiveness in 2022 is a purely distributive issue — one that will shift resources from the majority of Americans with no student loan debt to the minority of Americans who have it.

Both the debtors and the non-debtors are highly heterogeneous groups, but it’s pretty clear that the non-debtors are both more numerous and poorer on average.

So while there are certainly lots of individual cases where debt relief sounds like an appealing idea, under the current circumstances the case for broad debt relief has become extremely weak. There’s basically no other situation in which progressives would talk themselves into this kind of idea, which is currently being propped up with some very odd math about the racial wealth gap.

But I’d also say that the discourse around this seems to me to be largely driven by a correct sense that the higher education finance system in the United States is messed up and bad. The problem is that the form of debt relief that is being contemplated — one with no forward-looking reforms and in which even the most dysfunctional or abusive institutions still get paid in full — won’t fix anything about the system and could make it worse. Last but not least, I think the fascination with this idea represents a kind of unhealthy obsession with executive branch unilateralism. It’s important to understand and exploit the powers of the presidency, but the thing that sane people want here is not achievable through those means. What you need is a legislative coalition for reform, and probably a bipartisan one at that.

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#19572 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-March-21, 07:10

Jonathan Bernstein said:

Most of the time I think that some of the things that political scientists and smart journalists are teaching are getting through. And then, sometimes, we get something like this from an unnamed member of the committee of the House of Representatives that’s investigating the assault on the U.S. Capitol of Jan. 6, 2021. Speaking about the report the committee’s preparing, the lawmaker said, “There’s one-third of the nation that will read it, one-third that might read it, and one-third that won’t even believe it.”

So the committee thinks that its potential audience is two-thirds of the nation? A third of the nation wouldn’t read a 600-word statement from a newly emerged divinity explaining what the new era of peace and enlightenment was going to be like. Even if it was illustrated with … well, I’ll leave that to your imagination. There’s no way — no way — that anything like a third of the nation, let alone two out of three people, is going to read the Jan. 6 report.

This doesn’t mean the report is useless. For one thing, quite a few opinion leaders will familiarize themselves with the highlights, and some will actually read it, and what they learn from it will filter out to the public. Still, the public has two important defenses against absorbing new information. One is various degrees of inattentiveness; few people pay close attention to the news, and some hardly notice even major events. The other is partisanship. The committee’s findings are certain to reflect badly on former President Donald Trump, so partisan Democrats will be eager to accept and remember those findings, while partisan Republicans will resist them.

Even if those who pay the closest attention to politics, including party and media elites, study and learn from the report, it’s still not clear what effects will follow.

The committee has apparently been studying how the national commission on terrorist attacks put together its excellent 2004 report on the events of Sept. 11, 2001, which did in fact hit the best seller list. Putting aside the question of how many people who bought that report actually read it, the more relevant question is what difference it made — and the answer is that its impact was extremely limited. And that commission was designed to yield policy suggestions that at least in theory were unknown when it started its work.

The more useful parallels for the Jan. 6 committee would be the Senate Watergate committee, which reported its findings in 1974, and the joint congressional Iran-contra committee's work 13 years later, and neither of those really had influential reports.

The House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack has pushed its public hearings back again and again, now to sometime in May — that is, some 16 months after the insurrection and Trump’s final attempts to subvert the 2020 presidential election. The panel is reportedly still unsure of the “the structure or topic” of those hearings.

There’s simply no good excuse for this. Both the delay and the obsessive focus on the report instead of full public hearings are mistakes. (The committee took testimony last year from the law-enforcement officials who repelled the attack, but hasn’t followed up in public.) It’s easy to overstate the potential of hearings, which are subject to some of the same inattentiveness and partisan screens that limit the impact of the report. Even the Senate Watergate hearings were only part of what eventually produced President Richard Nixon’s resignation. And those were the most successful such hearings in the TV era. What’s more, they took place at a low point in partisanship, and at the peak of the dominance of the broadcast TV networks and their news departments.

But hearings at least have a chance. Live testimony can produce great TV. And while even a successful rollout of a report will be hard to keep in the news for more than a few days, a series of hearings can produce weeks of developments. That includes the possibility that committee members could become characters in a national drama, just as Senator Sam Ervin and others became in 1973.

The structure of the committee — it’s small, with two Republicans who are strong Trump opponents — gives it advantages in presenting what it wants to present and how. Live hearings can’t dominate the media landscape the way they could 50 years ago, but even then the live audience was only a piece of how information was disseminated. Now? A fair number of people still watch the broadcast network news and the broadcast network morning shows. Those who don’t may see clips on social media.

It’s an uphill battle, but hearings have a chance to make a dent in public awareness and even opinion. If there are going to be high-level prosecutions, which is a choice the Justice Department and not the committee will make, public hearings could set the stage for them. If not, they might convince those who do pay attention that what Trump and his allies did was important and a threat to the nation.

By waiting this long to start those hearings, the committee has already made that uphill battle harder. Still, the sooner the better, even at this point. And while a full report is certainly worth doing, especially given that new information may show up after the hearings end, the last thing anyone should expect is that the report will be drive public opinion.

Get to the hearings. Now.

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#19573 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-March-21, 08:47

View Postpilowsky, on 2022-March-20, 15:12, said:

The answer is that health, education and welfare are infrastructure items that the whole population should support because they all benefit from them.

No healthy, highly educated workforce, no vaccine, no computers, no health care.



The cult of toxic libertarianism and "personal responsibility" that has consumed the American Republican party pushes political discourse in the USA so far to the right that there is only a rump of political thought that believes that barn-raising - the architectural equivalent of health, education and welfare spending - is worthwhile.
Sure, the USA has the highest total GDP in the world - it has for more than 100 years - but what is this built on? And does the whole population benefit?
Will it last much longer.


One could also imagine USA capitalism - built as it is on slavery, indigenous genocide, contempt for the worth of every member of the population, and the destruction of the environment - as an economic hydrogen bomb.


An economic-social system modelled on Lord of the Flies/Battle Royale/Hunger Games (an obvious metaphor for capitalist philosophy) may burn bright momentarily, benefiting a few, but in the end everyone suffers.

You have found the exact words I have been unable to with “toxic libertarianism “. As with all successful cults, this one offers one nugget of truth in a cavern peppered with fool’s gold, and when challenged always retreat to that one nugget with skillful whataboutism.

Anyway, thank you for your posts both here and in the Covid thread.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19574 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-March-21, 09:58

From "Notes on the State of Jefferson" by James Pogue at Harper's:

Quote

Just after I arrived in Redding, California, a town of ninety thousand people at the north end of the Central Valley, some two hundred miles from San Francisco, a man approached my car and started pummeling my window with his fists. “Go back to the ***** Bay,” he bellowed. “We don’t want you up here!” I wasn’t surprised he had pegged me for an outsider—my truck was indisposed that day, and I had borrowed my girlfriend’s mother’s Tesla. But before I had a chance to explain that I did not, in fact, live in the Bay Area, an elderly woman walking a dachshund appeared on the sidewalk. The man seemed chastened. He backed up, and muttered to himself as he headed into a nearby government building, where a very extraordinary meeting of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors was about to take place. “This stuff is happening a lot, did you know that?” the woman said. “People in this county need to calm down.”

This was January 5, 2021. Two months earlier, a gun-store owner named Patrick Henry Jones had been elected to one of the five seats on the board of supervisors. He had campaigned on resistance to statewide pandemic protocols—his first act after being sworn in was to open in-person council meetings to the public—but his victory had tapped into other strains of local conflict. Among his most vocal supporters were a politically influential militia based in nearby Cottonwood, as well as advocates from a decades-old secessionist movement that aimed to carve out a “State of Jefferson” from parts of northern California and southern Oregon.

Quote

The next day, I dropped by Woody Clendenen’s barbershop for a haircut. I had been having trouble contacting some of the key figures in the crusade to take over the county—Terry Rapoza, one of the Jefferson movement’s highest-profile leaders, had flatly declined to meet with me, and I couldn’t get Zapata to return my calls—so I figured I’d just show up as a paying customer. “You must be the one Terry told me about,” Clendenen said as I walked in. “I’d been thinking you might come by.” He was a graying, fit fifty-five-year-old, wearing a polo shirt over a slight paunch and chatting jovially with a row of customers. I asked how he knew who I was. “You don’t look like you’re from Cottonwood,” he said. A chorus of guffaws rose up. “You don’t smell like horseshit,” someone called out.

The shop was packed, its walls covered in the trappings of defiant rural patriotism: Jefferson flags, framed photos of young men in uniform, Confederate insignia, flyers advertising horse trailers for sale. Clendenen exuded an air of avuncular authority. He was a barber in the way that Tony Soprano was the owner of Satriale’s Pork Store. As he cut hair, he was constantly interrupted by calls from Zapata or Jones, and by people wandering in to ask favors or talk militia business. Just after I sat down, a hefty trucker in a black hoodie walked in. “Well, the FBI just came by,” he announced. Clendenen invited him to go on. “I just told them that I am a legally armed American in my home, I’m happy to talk to them, but they can’t come in the house. They weren’t too bad or nothing.” Clendenen barely looked up from the haircut he was giving to a boy who looked to be about eight years old. “You did good,” he said.

I sat around for at least an hour before it was my turn. Clendenen was surprised to learn that we had some acquaintances in common from my years reporting in the more rebellious corners of the West. He brought up Ammon Bundy, the antigovernment icon who was then running for governor of Idaho, whom he clearly considered a bit of a hero. I mentioned that I’d been embedded with Bundy through most of the 2016 standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and Clendenen perked up. It turned out that Dwight Hammond, the Oregon rancher whose five-year prison sentence for arson had instigated the standoff, had stopped by the barbershop in 2018, shortly after a pardon from Trump led to his release. “If you know the Bundys, I think Carlos is going to want to talk to you,” Clendenen said. “You guys might have a lot to talk about.”

Forty-five minutes later, I was sitting in the Palomino Room, Zapata’s restaurant. It was sparsely furnished, and looked like it could still use some breaking-in after a recent renovation. Zapata found me at the bar, and turned out to be more interested in the fact that we both practiced Brazilian jiu-jitsu than he was in the Bundys. He handed me a beer and took me to a back room where we could smoke.

I admit I liked him immediately. Most people do at first, even those who regard him as a malign thug. He is square-jawed, with a wrestler’s frame and a deep, raspy voice that lends him an obvious charisma. “I’m a pretty complex dude,” he told me. “The more I drink and the more we talk, the more you’ll get to know the intricacies of my mind. And my mind is a weird place.”

Zapata grew up in California’s wine country, the son of Peruvian immigrants. He told me a sweeping, hard-to-confirm narrative about his family’s arrival in the United States: his grandfather, he said, had been Salvador Allende’s cousin, and had owned a grand house with eleven maids before being imprisoned by the Peruvian government. When he died, he left Zapata’s grandmother with nothing. She came to the Bay Area and cleaned houses. “We have a rich history of revolting in our family,” he said. “It’s strange because they were socialists, but if you think about it they were only socialists because they were revolting against a military government, right? I don’t know. It’s ***** crazy.”

At seventeen, Zapata enlisted in the Marines and moved to Redding to attend a small Christian college while still in boot camp. He spent six years on active duty, including a stint in Iraq, then seven years in the reserves, eventually achieving the rank of major. He got his black belt in jiu-jitsu, opened a gym, and started a business raising rodeo bulls.

Then the pandemic hit, and he became a rebel. His awakening was a faster, harder-edged version of one that more than a few people—who, like Zapata, had voted for Barack Obama and considered themselves politically moderate—experienced in the months to follow. It started with the angry sense that masks and lockdowns were forms of unaccountable government overreach, and evolved into the sense that liberal speech-policing and the new power of Big Tech over daily life were signals of an impending dystopia. He began to think, as many in northern California did, that liberals were conspiring to build a nation of docile people who lived in condos and communicated via Zoom, too scared to challenge the dictates of experts or government officials. “Believe it or not, I’m not this right-wing nut,” he said. “If you and I were sitting here a year ago and you’d asked if I would join the militia, I’d be like, ‘***** no, dude. Those are a bunch of paranoid tinfoil sons of bitches.’ ”

But he had become convinced it was time to “take a hard stand.” He asked around about the militia and was directed to Clendenen. “I was like, ‘Woody is the head of the militia?’ ” he said. “The guy with the barbershop? Dad?” Clendenen saw Zapata’s potential as a leader, and set about immersing him in the politics of the Western hard right.

Shasta County’s conflict with California was part of a worldwide struggle, one in which local identity was under assault as much from Davos as it was from Berkeley. “Even just waving the American flag now,” he said, “they want you to think that’s racist, that you’re a white supremacist. Every country has done some bad things. How the ***** is patriotism a bad thing now?” His media appearances after his speech had marked him as somebody willing to say what others were not: that resistance to lockdowns was only the beginning of what would likely be a bloody resistance to everything liberal America represents.

We went back to the bar, where we were interrupted by a waitress who said there was a woman on the phone offering ammunition to the cause. “Save her number,” he said. “If she’s got ammo, *****, I’m going to call her.” “She’s been very persistent,” said the waitress.

Zapata was getting a lot of calls from strangers. “I became kind of the de facto face of the movement,” he told me. He was convinced that he had been conscripted into a world-historical struggle, and that the times called for men like him who were willing to risk it all. “Guys who were in the Marines with me tell me sometimes, ‘You know, like there’s something about you. You were the guy,’ ” he told me. “And I’ll admit it, I am a violent mother*****er, dude. Some people can probably attest to that.”

A few weeks later, I showed up at the cheery little house of a sixty-five-year-old woman named Doni Chamberlain. She had been chronicling Shasta County politics on her website A News Cafe for fifteen years, and had recently started to get national attention for her reporting. She showed me into her living room, which doubled as her office, then served me iced tea and homemade coffee cake, which she later insisted on boxing up for me to take home.

As Jones had hinted to me, a campaign had been organized to recall the three board members who hadn’t voted to defy Sacramento’s pandemic restrictions. Both supporters and opponents of the recall described this to me as a battle for the “soul of the county.” Threats were circulating on Facebook, and many liberals opposed to the recall, including Chamberlain, feared that the vitriol would soon turn violent. She had started peering into her mailbox to make sure no one had left a rattlesnake. “I actually asked my sister if that was a normal thing to do,” she told me. “She was like, no, it’s not.”

Quote

Last December, realizing that I rather enjoyed the State of Jefferson lifestyle myself, I moved up to Shasta County full-time, renting a place in a tiny canyon hamlet about an hour north of Redding. Patrick Henry Jones was now my county supervisor. The recall organizers had struggled to gather signatures. In addition to disorganization, they had to contend with evacuations caused by wildfires, including the Dixie Fire, one of the largest in California’s history. But with the help of $450,000 in political contributions from Anselmo—the same donor who helped Jones get elected—they managed to successfully force an election in the district held by Leonard Moty, a former Redding police chief. All the viable candidates running to replace Moty were sympathetic to Jones, which meant that if Moty were voted out, the secessionists would command a majority. They could very plausibly claim to have taken control of the county.

Recall supporters planned to flood the last meeting before the February 1 election, in a show of force they were calling Operation Last Supper. But the volume of death threats being sent to supervisors prompted the county to move the meeting online. Jones, whose key card to the county administrative building had been disabled, set up a large television and sound system outside. When I arrived, he was looking dapper in a black overcoat and white dress shirt, standing before a crowd of around one hundred people and a handful of sheriff’s deputies. Doni Chamberlain stood only a few feet away, filming the proceedings.

At the back of the crowd, I spotted Elissa McEuen, a Bay Area transplant who had done much of the organizing work behind the recall. She’d moved to the region only six years earlier, and, like Zapata, had experienced a political awakening when the pandemic hit. She was frustrated by the way that Moty and his supporters had portrayed themselves as fighting an effort led “by extremists, by insurrectionists,” she said. “The driving force behind the recall was mothers.”

But to Chamberlain and the county’s liberals, the recall was very much about the militia, their guns, and the tacit support they seemed to enjoy from local law enforcement. Zapata often acted as if he was untouchable—several months prior he had been acquitted of a battery charge after accosting a comedian who had mocked him online. Recall opponents tried to paint Jones and his allies as a bunch of fringe extremists, but they seemed to miss the fact that what they called extremism appeared to constitute majority opinion in Shasta County.

On Election Day, a helicopter flew over Redding, trailing a banner reading recall shasta, as a trickle of voters filed into the county elections office. Moty, apparently concerned for his safety, decided not to have an election-night rally. But I heard a rumor about a pro-recall party at a weight-lifting gym near Zapata’s ranch, in Palo Cedro. When I arrived, Jones was watching the returns with Clendenen, who said a friendly hello and encouraged me to take advantage of the open bar. Everyone seemed nervy, and the early returns showed the recall attempt failing by a narrow margin. Zapata was in a pensive mood. “We knew this was going to be tough,” he said. “We gave it absolutely everything.” But he grinned when I told him I’d moved up there. “That’s the thing, man,” he said. “Once you get a taste of this lifestyle, you just can’t let it go.”

When I drove into town the next day, the winds had shifted. The pro-recall contingent was winning by five percentage points. Moty put out a terse statement, thanking volunteers and saying he had been proud to stand against the “anarchists, extremists, and white supremacists wanting to take over our county.” It still wasn’t clear who had won the seat, but it didn’t really matter. Jones declared victory. Shasta County had a new political order.

The state’s major papers reacted with predictable alarm. could populist, militia-backed shasta county recall effort provide roadmap for other races? the Mercury News wondered. extremists are set to take over this california county: will more of the state be next? asked the Los Angeles Times, noting that the recall proved that elections could go “very wrong, even in liberal California,” and worrying that insurrection might sweep across the rest of the state’s restive hinterlands—just as Zapata hoped it would.

There’s no doubt that Shasta County will serve as a model for other rural counties. Already, advocates in California’s Nevada County are hailing Zapata and Clendenen as inspirations. But the recall did not go wrong. It went the way that 56 percent of the voters in District 2 of Shasta County—who were not bothered by the idea of voting alongside militiamen, or by the thought of electing a government that reporters from California’s metropoles regarded as extreme—thought it should go. “I’m not calling for violence,” Zapata told me when we first met. “We’re ready to do violence to protect ourselves.” He often talked about the recall as a last stand before civil war. But his side had won. So for now, they would have to get down to the business of trying to govern, in a state that was still only a dream.

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#19575 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2022-March-21, 17:23

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-March-21, 08:47, said:

You have found the exact words I have been unable to with "toxic libertarianism ". As with all successful cults, this one offers one nugget of truth in a cavern peppered with fool's gold, and when challenged always retreat to that one nugget with skillful whataboutism.



Thanks - Inability to distinguish gold from dross is a problem for fools that as Shakespeare W. points out can have dire consequences.
The idea that 'personal responsibility' and 'greed is good' and 'anyone can succeed if they really want to' might be good for some but leaves the rest to die.
A political philosophy that always leads to civil unrest.


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All that glisters is not gold,
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold,
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
Had you been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgment old,
Your answer had not been inscroll'd:
Fare you well; your suit is cold.
Cold, indeed; and labour lost:
Then, farewell heat; and welcome frost.—
Portia, adieu! I have too griev'd a heart
To take a tedious leave. Thus losers part.

non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek; les règles sont le jeu même.
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#19576 User is offline   Chas_P 

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Posted 2022-March-21, 19:01

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-March-20, 08:53, said:

The RNC has become an anti-democracy organization attempting to install a theocratic oligarchy.

I'm intrigued by this thinking. If I get your drift you are saying that the country is being taken over by a few Jesus freaks with a lot of money. Who are they? I need to know whom to fear. Please elaborate. Thank you so much.
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#19577 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-March-22, 07:18

View PostChas_P, on 2022-March-21, 19:01, said:

I'm intrigued by this thinking. If I get your drift you are saying that the country is being taken over by a few Jesus freaks with a lot of money. Who are they? I need to know whom to fear. Please elaborate. Thank you so much.


I have to ask. Would you care to give your views on the world? Or life in general?

You are persistent with sarcasm applied to the views of others, and one can infer at least some of your thinking from the sarcasm, but how you view life, what you think is important, any regrets or pleasures, these are all a mystery.

Sarcasm gets boring.
Ken
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#19578 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2022-March-22, 08:14

Isn't Thomas Piketty required reading or is that one of the banned books?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter. / "I need ammunition, not a ride." Zelensky
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#19579 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2022-March-22, 09:31

View PostWinstonm, on 2022-March-22, 08:14, said:

Isn't The Thomas Piketty required reading or is that one of the banned books?


I'll make use of this question for an observation.

Some books are banned books, or probably some are still banned. Some books are required reading.
Most mooks, the vast majority, are neither banned nor required reading.
When I was young, Lady Chatterly's Lover was a banned book.

In 1952, when I was in eighth grade, I read Thorne Smith's The Glorious Pool. He also wrote The Passionate Witch, so you can probably guess at the general subject matter. I discussed it some with a female classmate.
Also, I read One Two Three Infinity by George Gamow. The Wikipedia describes the content as "The book explores a wide range of fundamental concepts in mathematics and science, written at a level understandable by middle school students up through "intelligent layman" adults."
Neither of these books was banned, I bought them at the drugstore where I used to buy Superman comics.
Neither of these books was required reading, and I imagine parents would have protested making them so.

I think that the distinction, banned versus not required, is important.

I read various books and saw various movies when I was young. Some were upsetting, some were interesting, some were both interesting and upsetting. Moulin Rouge was an upsetting movie from 1952. Toulouse-Lautrec is shown as both physically and psychologically crippled. The physical problems are partially genetic, his parents being closely related, and partially by a fall. Socially he is not at all understood by his parents. He becomes involved with a woman of the streets, she explains a bit about her early life, saying that she was 13 years old before she learned that the whole world didn't smell like it did where she grew up. This was a lot for 13 year old me to take in. The movie was neither banned nor required, I saw it on my own, and I dealt with the portrayal on my own. Nobody told me what I was supposed to think about it.

Kids need to learn about the world. And they will, regardless of adult preferences, but deciding not to require a 13-year-old to read a book or see a play or a movie is not the same as banning that book or play or movie. In 1953 I was a high school freshman and the play I Am A Camera was banned in St. Paul after one performance. I argued with my teacher, I said that it should not have been banned (although I had not seen it), he approved of the ban. Neither of us claimed that I should have been required to see it.


Anyway: Some books are banned, some are required reading, most are neither required nor banned.

Ken
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#19580 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2022-March-23, 16:19

Corey Booker asks: What are your values?
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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