Net Novostey v “Pravde” i net pravdy v “Isvestihakh

The bitter Soviet-era joke about the honesty and reliability of their major news organs translates as “There is no news in Pravda and no truth in Izvestia” – Pravda (Truth) being the official newspaper of the Russian Communist Party, and Izvestia (The News) was the official government newspaper. Teasing out actual tidbits of accurate and relevant information from those two sources may have been the most popular indoor sport for decades among Russians, after chess, depressing novels and drinking heavily. Pravda and Izvestia told the citizens of Soviet Russia only what the top-tier authorities wanted ordinary people to know about – anything contrary to the interests of party and government was deliberately omitted. Any embarrassing civic disasters with a high casualty count, sexual peccadillos on the part of the Party elite, and serial killers on the prowl – news coverage of that kind of event or development was firmly squelched, as things like that just didn’t happen in the perfect Soviet worker paradise.

Considering the punitive resources that the Soviets had readily at hand, one really cannot blame Russia’s official internal media functionaries for toeing the party line. Loss of employment, internal exile, a labor camp in the gulag, forced psychiatric treatment or simply a bullet to the back of the head in a gray basement somewhere – yes, any and all could be the punishment for committing acts of genuine reporting in the bad old days in Russia.

It has increasingly appeared that Americans must now practice the same deductive skills as ordinary Russians used to do, with regard to our very own Establishment Media. In the meantime, and to my increasingly bitter amusement, the Mainstream Establishment Media is tying themselves into pretzel knots (soon to become Gordian knots) in trying to convince us all (and possibly even themselves) that Joe and Ho are the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human beings that we have ever known in our lives, and also the most competent and ethical president and vice-elects that American history has ever known. As Joe increasingly seems to lose track of his last remaining marble, and as Ho continues to twerk flatfooted on the national stage, I anticipate the Mainstream Establishment Media shredding their last few remaining scraps of credibility. I might as well get some entertainment value out of 2020. Comment as you wish.

56 thoughts on “Net Novostey v “Pravde” i net pravdy v “Isvestihakh”

  1. Ah, Sgt, how do you happen to know this bit of expat lore? what a pleasant surprise!

    The over-fawning (and phony)”kult” (cult) started with obamas, if you’d recall. remember notorious breathless admiration extended by media to michelle’s upper arms? and her so-called “achievements” – without clarifying which, exactly those were?

  2. The Obama cult is alive and well. I was just in a grocery store and saw a copy of People with a smiling Obama on the cover and some blurb about love seeing then through. They were probably talking about the agony of actually producing a book for that 60 mil. I doubt that either of them has loved anything except money for a long time.

  3. Ah, Sgt, how do you happen to know this bit of expat lore? what a pleasant surprise!

    I do not remember where I first heard it, but it was long ago, maybe as early as 1975-1980.

  4. I read a LOT, Tatyana – I can’t remember WHERE I read it, only that I did … maybe in one of the formerly thoughtful magazines like Harper or Atlantic, or in Hedrick Smith’s book – “The Russians”. I do remember reading in that book, how the clever people had to tease out a true picture of events from what was not said in the Russian media…

  5. “The over-fawning (and phony)”kult” (cult) started with obamas, if you’d recall. remember notorious breathless admiration extended by media to michelle’s upper arms? and her so-called “achievements” – without clarifying which, exactly those were?”
    LOL. The fawning over Barry’s wife was nothing compared to the fawning over Bill’s.

  6. The cult started with Kennedy. In the nearly three years he was president, what did he accomplish? Not quite starting WWIII?

    In a way, I should be grateful to Obama, I never figured I’d live long enough to see a president worse than Carter.

  7. 1) Have known the phrase in English since childhood. Did not know it in Russian. Consider it stolen.

    2) When looking at our political scene, may I recommend Brit newspapers. Surprisingly including the Daily Mail. They are sarcastic and down on Americans, BUT they cover political events here that the captive media organs of State Power fear to touch.

    3) Watch for a Committee for State Security to come into being if the Democrats seize power. Followed by a GULAG.

    Subotai Bahadur

  8. Radio Yerevan:

    Announcer: We need to make a minor correction. Yesterday we reported that Comrade Dmitri won a blue Lada in Leningrad. It was actually Comrade Yuri; it was in Kiev, not Leningrad; the color was green; it happened last Thursday; it was not a Lada but a bicycle, and he did not win it but he stole it. Aside from that the story was substantially correct.

  9. Sgt. Mom
    I can’t remember WHERE I read it, only that I did …maybe in one of the formerly thoughtful magazines like Harper or Atlantic,

    IIRC, circa 1980 Harper’s had an article about the Soviet Union that showed there was a lot of decrepitude behind the propaganda curtain, such as rampant alcoholism and corruption. That aligned with what I heard from some academics who had gone to a conference in Moscow some years before. One professor who was an ardent Cold Warrior – they DID exist- said that after seeing the Soviet Union up close, he no longer feared it.

    In a cursory look at who had written articles in Harper’s on the USSR, I didn’t find my article, but I found out that Eugene Lyons and Richard Pipes had contributed, which speaks well of Harper’s.

    OTOH, our complaining about such magazines might be compared to Democrats saying how the most recent Republican is so much worse than preceding ones. Reagan was the devil incarnate, so Democrats once told us, but now Democrats tell us that compared to Trump, Reagan was OK. Or almost so.

    As an illustration of how common this Democrat meme is, consider this passage from Che Wants to See You (2007), by Ciro Bustos, an ex-Argentine and ex-guerrilla etc who has resided in Sweden for over 4 decades.(Nor has he learned Swedish during that time.) This passage came from Che’s excursion into Bolivia in 1967.

    After midday, Che came to get me, the conférence with Debray being over.
    He said: ‘Let’s find a place over there in the shade.’ We walked towards the stream and found a clearing to sit in, like a picnic lunch. Tiny midges were standing in for the mosquitoes. They are perhaps even worse, although mosquitoes seem to be like the Republican presidents of the United States, the last one is always the worst.

    If someone who, as far as I can tell, has never even been in the United States, repeats the Democrat meme of the most current Republican President being the worst, you know it’s pretty common.

    On the other hand, given that both then and now I would have approved of most pre-2000 Harper’s articles on the Soviet Union/Russia, the comparison to how Democrats change over time their views of Republican Presidents isn’t comparable.

    Back to the topic, I get the impression that Democrats are trying to finesse the poor reputation the MSM has earned by making concerted efforts to delegitimize any views not in accordance with the Democrat-dictated MSM narratives of the day.

  10. LOL. The fawning over Barry’s wife was nothing compared to the fawning over Bill’s.

    No, that was later. The media did not really become Pravda until after Clinton’s presidency. The FBI reports and the Travel Agency scandal were honestly reported. It may have begun during the effort to defend Bill during impeachment.

  11. Defending Bill during impeachment: that exposed the left’s contempt and willingness to say 2 + 2 = 5 and force us to accept it. When I was working long hours and little that was political penetrated by world of carpooling and children and customer’s needs and employee’s needs but the Thomas hearings (where a man who was clearly from all testimony but one scorned woman – and politely scorned at that – the kind of guy that women could count on having their back, listening patiently, and in general being a nice person and the kind of guy that Teddy Kennedy so obviously was and wo sat among the accusers) and the moment when Bill Clinton tried to look us all in the face and lied, and lied in a way that showed contempt for us – assuming we’d accept whatever bull shit he laid out – and in his phrase “that woman”, seeming to be incapable of saying her name and wanting to immediately deep six it. The combination of those two events took me back to the Repblicanism of my youth and family and early friends who loved Buckley.

    Only an idiot would not have picked up on more of this sooner, but then, my life was different in those days. I was running a small business alive because of a system I began to see as a wonder of the world – but I was swimming in it and didn’t notice that it was the water around me that lifted me up, gave me oxygen, and moved me forward. I found myself less and less often interested in, say, literary criticism, because it more and more seemed to betray the joy I’d found in the fictional world’s ability to help me understand and appreciate human nature and more and more a Marxist two dimensional approach to character and fiction – one it was impossible to believe would be more reductionist and anti-human than the Freudians who had simplified all that in the criticism of the forties and fifties that we so often avoided.

    This is rambling; the only thing I can say in my defense is that in all these failings to see what Sgt. Mom saw so clearly and so much more swiftly than I were not seen by a large part of my cohort or at least the one that followed soon after. And so, I guess, when Clinton looked straight into that tv screen and lied, they had already accepted enough 2+2=5 esp popular among feminists that it made no difference. And I think that is the clue, once you’ve accepted that lie and no longer look to effects after altering causes, you no longer care what works in the long run, because there is no truth, no measure just the measure of emotional temporary reaction.

  12. My comment was that They deified Hillary long before they did so with Michelle. The fact that they treated Bill harsher than they treated Obama is a different issue.

  13. One professor who was an ardent Cold Warrior – they DID exist- said that after seeing the Soviet Union up close, he no longer feared it.

    So there were TWO of us?

    I visited the USSR in the 80s, too, and afterwards characterized it as Mexico with nuclear weapons and a space program.

  14. Anyone who thinks that there was some lost “Golden Age” of American media honesty and dispassion is delusional.

    When I was in high school back in the 1970s, I started making a habit of reading every newspaper in the library every day at lunch, cover to cover. That ranged from the local rag to the two big dailies from Seattle, plus the Sunday NYT they plunked for. In the course of doing that, I learned quite a few things about how slanted each paper was, and how distorted the news was. It was very easy for the writers to selectively omit information that was in the original AP wire story, in order to support the way they wanted the article to read–And, if you compared it to the other papers, you’d often find diametrically opposite reads, using the same source.

    Add in that I’ve been in several locations and times that were highlighted by the national news media, and never once have I seen anything in the reports that matches the reality that I witnessed and experienced. The only consistent thing I’ve been able to tease out of it all is that they always lie, all the time, and that they’ll lie even when there is no need. Hell, a couple of times, the reality would have made for a better story, but there ya go… Telling the truth is reflexively impossible for any of them.

    About all you can count on these days, from the American “news” media is that the lies will be what is reported, not the truth. The truth may be in between the lines, but it won’t be in the text. You can’t trust a damn thing these creatures publish, other than that, perhaps, there’s a raw fact of an event somewhere in what they write and video. Everything else will have an agenda, a slant, and an approved story-line. It’s all about the narrative; they decide on that before they even leave the newsroom and “research” their stories.

    And, do note the terminology: They’re all “stories”.

    They know they’re lying; they just think that the rest of us are too stupid to pick up on it. And, they’d largely be right, in that most people don’t pay attention to anything past the headline and leading paragraph. The reality of a given situation is often reported, but only deep in the depths of the supporting text, and often, the so-called “journalist” is too f**king stupid to realize that they’ve relayed a truth or that what they’re writing in that paragraph directly contradicts the headline and the rest of the article.

    Every single “journalist” or “news anchor” I’ve ever met in person has been dumb as a rock. The camera people are often smarter, and more switched-on, which is logical as they have to run complicated equipment that stupid people can’t figure out. Which is why the “media personalities” don’t do their own camera work.

    Another interesting point to be examined is how hard it is for genuinely honest and intelligent people to get into journalism. Friend of mine back during the late 1990s was a guy who’d been a light infantry NCO before accumulating enough injuries to end his military career. He got out and because he’d spent a year or so working Public Affairs while waiting for his medical review, he decided on a career in journalism. His writing was pretty damn good, I thought. However, huge comma, he couldn’t get hired by ANYONE, even the the local paper that was looking for a military affairs correspondent. They wound up hiring a classmate of his, a dumb-as-a-post little chicklet who’d apparently started sleeping her way to the top even before being hired. She was cute, but I’ve seen better writing produced by sixth-graders.

    My friend spent about two-three years trying to find work as a journalist in any capacity anywhere in the US. He did some free-lance work that got published to good reviews, but in the end, he wound up doing technical writing for one of the software companies up in Seattle, and I lost track of him. He’d have been an incredible guy to have on staff for the era past 2001, but nobody wanted him. He even put together a piece for the local paper correcting the dozens of egregious errors they’d published regarding the military, and offered his services as a copy editor, for free and on his own time–They refused him, and tried telling him that most of what he’d caught wasn’t a mistake, but the truth they were “told by the military itself”. Which, him still having connections with the PAO, he knew was basically BS.

    You see it in the news, you may be able to count on some aspect of it actually having happened, but the vast majority of it? Total BS, and it has been that way as long as I’ve been alive and able to pay attention. From historical reading, it wasn’t any better at any point in our history that I’ve studied seriously.

  15. Sgt Mom, Pst314, JaimeRoberto and others:
    thank you, you made this gloomy Sat much more palatable, – to know that what we’ve been going thru might not have been completely invisible to the world outside.

    I have a vague recollection that Reagan loved to tell “Soviet jokes”, and this was one of them. Someone had obviously translated them for him.
    As to
    Jay Guevara:
    Upper Volta sounds better than Mexico

  16. Tatyana
    As to Jay Guevara:Upper Volta sounds better than Mexico

    Upper Volta does sound better- especially since “Volga” and “Volta” are close to being homonyms- but Mexico would probably have been a more accurate comparison to the USSR than Upper Volta, at least in terms of economic development. As for tribalism, the USSR resembled Upper Volta (Burkina Faso) more than Mexico. Interesting that there are no longer nations named USSR or Upper Volta.

  17. I agree with MCS that it was present with JFK – and Jackie. My hometown Manchester Union Leader hated the Kennedy’s, but the Massachusetts papers were all at his command, and the New York, DC, Connecticut, and RI papers were all agog at the Bouvier style (and money). The networks and magazines were all NYC. Plus the Mob. They liked him too. That is a formidable array of media lap-dogs. I grant that this was not nationwide, even among journalists, because the papers were more regional then.

    It is often said that had he not been assassinated the shine would have worn off and he would not have been deified. I think that is only half-true, if that. The press would have continued to adore him. Washington might not have quite so much, as his wife’s NOVA/DC society connections would not have counted as much and his core appeal was even less than coastal – it was Northeast, LA, and cities with an Irish population.

    With a fair press we would have had Nixon in 1960 and not gotten into Vietnam. We can’t project much further what would have happened – hell, we might have gotten into Laos instead – but I like that for a start.

  18. Quick comment on journalism and especially Kirk’s remarks. (and I’d be interested to hear sgt. Mom’s take):

    I had substantial training in, and several years experience working in, that business. My observation at the time was that is it incredibly difficult to report objectively. One tries, but it is very, very, difficult. Every word has a connotation — and some of the connotations are different for different readers/listeners. It is especially difficult while reporting second hand via re-writing wire copy or summarizing a report or similar. Kirk is right that it was always slanted, but it IS always slanted. It cannot be completely avoided.

    Having said that, and speaking in very broad generalities, I observed at the time (mid to late 1980s) that the older guys — greatest generation folks — tried. Most of them tried very hard and tried very hard to pass along standards to those of us coming up. Younger people fell mostly into two categories, those who were trying but didn’t have whatever it took to realize they were failing, and those who had never heard of such a thing as journalistic standards, objectivity, etc. etc. Also, many middle-aged people at the time seemed to me to be in active rebellion against the “old-fashioned” standards.

    I agree that there was no “golden age” but it has waxed and waned over time. At the moment, news and journalism are in a sorry state.

  19. With a fair press we would have had Nixon in 1960 and not gotten into Vietnam. We can’t project much further what would have happened – hell, we might have gotten into Laos instead – but I like that for a start.

    Kennedy and his hangers on were much like FDR’s “Brain Trust.” If it was new, it must be a good idea. Maxwell Taylor was a retired Army general who wrote a book critical of Eisenhower. Kennedy loved it and the Green Berets were sexy.

    Had Nixon won (and it was stolen just like now), it is unlikely he would have deviated that much from Eisenhower. Ike had the Korea history and was much more concerned about the Soviets in Europe. He, and Nixon, were very unlikely to go into Vietnam. Ike had turned the French down once.

  20. @John,

    I really have to disagree with you, in that I think objective reporting is perfectly possible–The ethical journalist simply needs to start out by acknowledging and delineating their particular “slant”, and the perspective they’re writing from. The problem we have now is not that the authors of these pieces aren’t telling us “their” truths, but that they’re failing to include the meta-data, if you will, of where they’re coming from. And, they’re very consistent in claiming that they’re telling the whole truth, and nothing but.

    I don’t have a problem with people writing to persuade–So long as they acknowledge the fact that they are doing so. Modern “journalism” fails to acknowledge what it is doing–If you’re writing propaganda, then say so. Of course, that’s going to neuter what they’re wanting to accomplish, so they’ll never, ever do that.

    We’ve reached the point with the media that if I read that the sun will rise in the East tomorrow in the pages of the New York Times, I’m going to be up and verifying that fact if it’s of any real import to my life. You can’t trust a damn thing you read or see on TV–What with the ability to produce so-called “deepfake” products, you really can’t even trust what you see on film or video.

  21. @MikeK,

    Took a few minutes, but your post about Nixon leaves me thoughtful about the idea.

    One of the big issues that most Vietnam War historians and apologists seem to miss is just how bloody much it cost the Soviet Union, in both direct expenditures and follow-on opportunity costs.

    Let us continue the line of thought that Nixon wouldn’t have gone into Vietnam the way Kennedy did. What are the second- and third-order effects? Think about the Soviet Union with all that funding going elsewhere in their economy and military; what would they have expended those resources on? Where else might they have gone adventuring? What better uses might those resources have gone into? Developing their electronic industries, perhaps?

    The one thing about the history we actually have is that Kennedy et al may well have done the right thing for the wrong reasons. Keeping the Soviets focused on Vietnam, and spending all that money on that theater, may have given us breathing room and done more damage to the Soviet military-industrial economy than anyone is really willing to acknowledge at this point.

    It’s odd to consider, but it’s well within the realm of possibility that Nixon’s good sense not to go into Vietnam might well have lost us the Cold War. Maybe. Assuming that the Soviets didn’t do other, equally stupid things as playing godfather to the North Vietnamese Communists…

  22. They have lost their credibility with us – the 50% but how about the other 50%? I have been reposting Carroll LeFon’s posts from his old Neptunus Lex site, and in the posts relating to the WOT it is surprising how many “reporters” would not go into the field – and danger – and rather just sit in the Green Zone or even worse, writing about it from the safety of the US.

    Bari Weiss was hired from the WSJ to the NYT and as a “middle of the road” person, described how with the harassment form fellow employees became intolerable – and she had a wonderful passage on how the philosophy of the NYT had changed:

    …But the lessons that ought to have followed the election—lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society—have not been learned. Instead, a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else. (highlighting mine)

  23. @Bill Brandt,

    Here’s the thing: Inevitably, reality gets its vote. You can lie to me, lie to others, and even lie to yourself, but the nature of reality is going to make those lies brutally apparent. What comes next is the question, and with the way the elites and the media have steadily been discrediting themselves more and more, the whole thing can’t do anything other than implode. Or, explode–The nature of what will arise once the idiots and reality-denialists are routed around is unclear, only that there will be such a thing.

    Seattle is a good case in point. The delusionists running the place have determined that they’re going to solve the issue of street crime and lawlessness not by cracking down on it, but by decriminalizing it. This is going to lead, inevitably, to businesses and decent people leaving Seattle simply because they’re not going to be willing to put up with human feces on their doorsteps every morning. Seattle is on its way to being Detroit, hollowed-out and empty of everyone but the subhuman. The tax base is going to evaporate, the bills won’t get paid, and the Detroit-esque downward spiral will drive ever onwards. Economic activity will go elsewhere in the state, because it will have to. Seattle is going to turn into a waterfront slum, one that people won’t even want to drive through on I-5. It’ll be a Mad Max theme park by the time the luvvies are done with it.

    Somewhere around the time it becomes intolerable for the normies, I expect that there may be a move towards vigilantism to solve the problems, but it will be too little, too late–And, the remaining forces of city authority will act to utterly crush those daring to impose standards. The normies need to understand that the people they’ve elected to power are not going to act in their interests, but instead in the interests of their ideological authorities. Most of them having Daddy issues, it won’t work out well at all. End state for Seattle is destruction, and not the good kind–It’s gonna be Sodom and Gomorrah for realsies. With any luck, the Cascadia Fault will solve the problem of what to do with the place, but I doubt that humans will.

    It’s going to be a lot like Michigan–Detroit got routed around, and so will the centers of dysfunction. I venture to predict that a lot of productive America is going to quit hiring from the Ivy League, and the current “elite” set is going to find that nobody is listening to them, any longer. Expect there to be a lot of nasty little temper tantrums thrown–You can, I think, see the growing antipathy with these creatures as the COVID BS goes ever onwards. How long do they suppose people are going to keep listening to things that walk and talk like men, but behave like Gavin Newsom?

    I spent a long time in the military, as a non-commissioned officer. None of that which is termed “leadership” came to me naturally–I had to learn everything the hard way, puzzling through it by brute intellectual force. The one thing that left me with was an appreciation for those who did have a natural instinct for it all, and I listened to them as carefully as I could, whenever they managed to articulate that which they knew instinctively. Often, the “naturals” couldn’t, and trying to elucidate anything of value from them was an exercise in futility, like a blind man trying to get someone who can see to describe color to him.

    One of the zen-master types I worked around was able to provide me with some pithy gems of wisdom, among which was the idea that there’s only so much intrinsic authority and credibility that any one person possesses. You have to keep track of that, like a bank account from which you can only withdraw so much at a time. Likewise, there’s a finite amount of “obedience” in anyone–Keep drawing on your “authority account”, in order to get that situational obedience you need, and you’re going to eventually reach a point where you’ve no more authority to draw on. Along with that, once you’ve dragged that last bit of obedience out of the troops, you’re done with having any influence over them or their activities.

    One of the key concepts with this idea is that you don’t ever play spendthrift with either your authority or their obedience; the order that won’t be obeyed is one you should never issue, because that is only going to drag down your authority. Along with that, the obedience account in the troops will never grow back once you’ve accustomed them to disobedience.

    You can analyze what’s going on with our elites in this frame of reference; they are drawing down on their authority and credibility accounts at a mind-boggling rate, and never bothering to consider they might need to spend that somewhere else. As well, the public is getting used to the idea of ignoring them, such that there will likely soon be a point where they will command, and none will listen or obey.

    Been there, done that… Under several highly educated and totally inept commanders. Hell, I’ve done a bit of it myself, enough to recognize the features and outlines. Thankfully, I learned the hard lessons early enough that I did not suffer major consequences from it in my later career.

    Sadly, I suspect that most of the current lot of sub-par morons with good credentials that we’ve put in charge of things have not learned those lessons. I’m not sure that any of them are constitutionally capable of understanding them, either.

  24. He, and Nixon, were very unlikely to go into Vietnam. Ike had turned the French down once.

    With respect, I think that that’s a questionable proposition. Nixon was an unrepentant Cold Warrior, and Ike turned down the French because they were trying to re-establish their colonial empire after WWII, so a rather different situation than intervening to fight a Soviet-backed insurgency. (Also note that the very first military advisors were sent to Vietnam by Ike, IIRC.)

    Communist propaganda notwithstanding, the United States has long been opposed to imperialism, as evidenced a few years later in the Suez Crisis, when Britain and France (and Israel) invaded Egypt, and Ike rapped their knuckles. Even our own adventure in imperialism, in the Philippines, ended when we withdrew after WWII of our own accord.

  25. @Kirk – I agree with what you said about the cities – there will be a reckoning – as to the media – are they deliberately lying to us by distorting facts or “lying by omission” – omitting – or putting on the back page – all that upsets the narrative?

    I learned more about leadership in the Army as a lowly Spec/4 by watching good NCOs and officers and bad ones. Agree that it can’t be taught.

    On the cities I was positive that these riots were going to backfire against the Dems – it still seems incredulous. And the thought came to me that these places with some of the most expensive real estate are some of the most miserable places to live. Imagine being in LA in a multi million dollar house and every time you get in the car at a red light there is a street person panhandling.

    You won’t get that in Fargo ND.

  26. @Bill Brandt,

    I think that the riots did make inroads, its just that they weren’t enough to overcome the “margin of fraud”.

    The Democrats ought to be terrified of the numbers of blacks and hispanics that voted for Trump; that’s the real indicator. He made huge (for a Republican…) numbers with both ethnic groups. The eventual analysis that is going to flow out of this election is going to be very interesting; my money is on Trump’s American Populism being a force to be reckoned with, for good or ill.

    Considering that he’s really been running against the Uniparty elite in Washington DC, it’s a wonder he did as well as he did. The fallout from this election is going to be huge, and the smartest thing the idiots in Washington DC could possibly do is to quietly acknowledge that they went a bridge or many too far, concede to Trump, then try to quietly work their way back into power. What’s going to happen with this current fraudulent BS that’s going on is that everyone is going to see the reality of the corruption, and then the whole thing is going to come crashing down on their ears when the shooting starts. Which, at the rate they’re going, I think is almost inevitable. It’s just a question of when–After all the COVID bankruptcies that will be coming out of the current and coming lockdowns, things are going to get ugly. The idiots ought to remember that what made the American Revolution happen was the disenfranchisement of the middle class here in the Americas, and the recognition that they developed that the government of England simply didn’t care about them or their well-being. It wasn’t “taxation without representation” so much as it was the lack of responsiveness or the acknowledgement of the issues the English were creating. Gavin Newsome ain’t got spit on George III…

  27. The idiots ought to remember that what made the American Revolution happen was the disenfranchisement of the middle class here in the Americas, and the recognition that they developed that the government of England simply didn’t care about them or their well-being. It wasn’t “taxation without representation” so much as it was the lack of responsiveness or the acknowledgement of the issues the English were creating. Gavin Newsome ain’t got spit on George III…

    The Crown’s policies toward slavery were another example of the lack of responsiveness to the colonies.

    I’ve been reading W.E.B. duBois’s book “The Suppression of the American Slave Trade,” and among its surprising assertions is that many of the American colonies (basically all except Georgia and South Carolina) repeatedly passed legislation to impede (through onerous taxation) or outright ban the slave trade, but their legislation was “disallowed” by the British Crown, which was profiting handsomely from the slave trade. The motive for curbing the slave trade was equal parts of morality and fear of slave insurrections.

    Even once the importation of slaves had been effectively banned, after the American Revolution, slavers used to land slaves in Florida (then a Spanish possession) and smuggle them into the nascent United States.

    (As an aside, duBois’s book is well worth reading, as it gives the lie to many of the assertions made today by race baiters, and that from a source said race baiters at least nominally hold in high regard.

  28. On the cities I was positive that these riots were going to backfire against the Dems – it still seems incredulous. And the thought came to me that these places with some of the most expensive real estate are some of the most miserable places to live. Imagine being in LA in a multi million dollar house and every time you get in the car at a red light there is a street person panhandling.

    You won’t get that in Fargo ND.

    In fairness, California’s vagrancy problem stems in no small measure from having a perfect climate. Sleeping rough in Fargo in mid-winter is a far cry from doing so in SoCal.

    Of course, the imbeciles running California (and the imbeciles who vote for them) have exacerbated the problem by effectively chumming the waters for every vagrant in America through providing generous benefits and lax law enforcement, all in the name of “compassion” for the flotsam and jetsam of society. Compassion for productive, law-abiding taxpayers, however, is very thin on the ground. After all, an uptick in murders by vagrants (four in my little burg in the last year) of those not living in gated communities is a small price to pay for signaling virtue.

    I denounce myself, of course.

  29. @Kirk: While I do believe that reality does make the consequences visible, I don’t have a lot of hope that anyone will recognize it anytime soon. Yes, Seattle will become like Detroit. Which has been that way for how long? And it’s recognized that and is changing how fast?

    but maybe i just don’t know what’s happening on the ground in Detroit.

  30. @ Yara,

    Oh, I don’t see Seattle ever recovering, just like Detroit hasn’t. The reality thing is only going to hit other people, who are going to refuse to take their cities down that same path of righteous stupidity that the Seattle political class has.

    Honestly, I think we’re going to see a major secession movement start across the Western US, with the urban blight zones getting cut free from the hinterlands. They’re not going to have much choice in the matter, either–If you went around, door-to-door, here on the eastern slope of the Cascades, I think you’d find about 90% “yes” votes on that secession. The most virulent ones are the folks who’ve been driven out of the Seattle area by the quality-of-life issues.

    I don’t see it ending in a healthy place for the collective polity, TBH. The sane people are leaving in droves, which allows the nutters on the city council free rein to do as they like, and it just gets worse and worse as they vote for more and more free lunch. Meanwhile, anything resembling income-producing business is opting out, leaving the shell and lots of bills behind. I don’t know of anyone who still goes over to Seattle to do much of anything around here, where it used to be a general “thing” to go over and shop in the city center for the holidays and so forth. Last woman I know who did that a few years ago came back swearing “Never again…” because she got her car broken into, and the police refused to even respond to her call about it. Just a “property crime”, donchaknow?

    But, that one woman probably spent several thousand dollars a trip, every year, regular as clockwork. Now, she shops from home, and all that money is going somewhere other than Seattle-based businesses. Multiply her by a few thousand, and what do you have…? Yeah; economic ruin staring you in the face, if you’re a retailer in Seattle.

    Going over on a day trip for Black Friday used to be a thing, when I was a kid. Now? Don’t make me laugh.

  31. Kirk: “… the whole thing is going to come crashing down on their ears when the shooting starts. Which, at the rate they’re going, I think is almost inevitable. It’s just a question of when …”

    I have long wondered about what life was like in the 1930s. Couldn’t people see the problems that were beginning to boil up? Of course, the answer is that many people did recognize what was coming, but they weren’t able to make enough of a difference. Brits cheered Chamberlain when he came back and told them what they wanted to hear — peace in our time. The Brits that did not cheer were probably too busy trying to survive the horrible economic times. But eventually reality intrudes.

    Are we at 1934 or 1937? I don’t know. Obviously, the situation today is different — no worries about Germany or Japan deciding to invade the world. But China clearly has a plan, and our economic situation is much worse than in the 1930s. Back then, the US had factories & trained workers standing idle — today, the factories have gone to China & Mexico and the trained workforce has been discarded.

    Probably sooner than we expect, some external event is going to bring the situation to a turning point. But which way will we turn? Sometimes hard times can bring a family closer together; sometimes those hard times drive the family apart. Looking at the West (not just the US), most of us could probably guess which way to bet.

  32. Yes Nixon was for intervening in dien ben phu, johnson wasn’t, now the slalom, that ended in the landing at Danang, began with the Diem coup, which was due to bad reporting from Halberstam who in turn relied on a vietcong agent, Phan Xam sic, according to Moyar, who has examined the record, Diem’s counterinsurgency strategy was having results, it just needed time, of course, the interim event was the Gulf of Tonkins incident, which was the result of a forceable insertion in Hainan island,

  33. One of the big issues that most Vietnam War historians and apologists seem to miss is just how bloody much it cost the Soviet Union, in both direct expenditures and follow-on opportunity costs.

    I’m not sure the Soviets would have made better use of the money. Nixon’s gambit to China was his response to the Cold War stalemate.

    Miguel, I have never read anything about Nixon wanting to go into Dien bien Phu. I don’t think it was mentioned in Black’s biography of Nixon.

    Here is a pretty good history of VN.

    In September 1954, right after the Geneva Accords were signed on 20 July 1954, dividing Vietnam into north and south at the 17th parallel, President Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote to the new Prime Minister of the Bao Dai government, Ngo Dinh Diem, promising United States support to ensure a noncommunist Vietnam. Following through on that commitment, direct United States aid to South Vietnam began in January 1955, and American advisors began arriving in February to train the South Vietnamese army.

    I don’t think there was much combat experience then. Max Boot’s history of Lansdale goes into this period quite a bit. The escalation came with Kennedy.

    During this period — from 1955 through 1960 — the U.S. had between 750 and 1,500 military advisors assisting the Diem government to establish an effective army, organized as the Military Assistance and Advisory Group (MAAG), Vietnam. By 1960 MAAGV was training more than fifty ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) Ranger units. At almost the same time, from 1954 to 1959, the Navy Section of MAAGV, worked to develop a viable navy for South Vietnam. Lt. General Samuel T. Williams served almost five years (1955-1960) as chief of MAAG, based in Saigon.

    Formation of Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV)
    By 1961 the steady progress of the insurgency was near crisis levels. The new Kennedy administration increased American support for the Diem regime to prevent a collapse. By December of 1961, 3,200 U.S. military personnel were in Vietnam as advisors, supported by $65 million in military equipment and $136 million in economic aid. Military assistance was reorganized as the United States Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV), formed under the command of General Paul D. Harkins in February 1962.

    The emphasis had changed and, after Diem was assassinated, it was Our War.

  34. I treat all news as lies. Then over time one can see where the gestalt leads, and see what’s very probably true and what is not. I have been doing this for decades and ya know, lies are more common than truth.

  35. I think john prados had the more recent version of this, if you read moyar, halberstam was all wet, and much like friedman and wright set the narrative for coverage in lebanon, most every report except robert elegant was as well,

  36. …after Diem was assassinated, it was Our War.

    I am old enough to remember that Cronkite and the Smothers Brothers and Arlo Guthrie and Jane Fonda and all the cool people called it “JOHNSON’S ” War, right up until Nixon was elected.

    From then on, we have people like John Kerry telling how they were sent to Viet Nam or Cambodia or Laos BY NIXON–apparently even during the decade he was disgraced and out of office and power.

  37. @ Anonymous,

    The interesting thing I’ve always wondered is precisely what the leftoids would have called it if Kennedy wasn’t martyred by assassination, and how it all would have played out under a continuing “Camelot” administration. Not that I think Kennedy would have done a better job than Johnson, but it would be interesting to know whether or not the conflict would have retained its allure with the Kennedys still running things.

    In my reading, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen the slightest hint of contemporary criticism of the Kennedy crew for what they did with Diem. Would that willful blindness have continued, I wonder? Would the Vietnam War have become “The Good War”, with the Kennedy mystique still around to influence things?

    On the other hand, perhaps it would have finally worn the shine off of his bright shining lie. Hard to tell, without being able to run a real simulation of the counterfactual “What happens if Kennedy lives…?”.

    It would be an interesting question to have answered. I sorta suspect that by the end of it all, Kennedy would not have the place he has in history under the existing circumstances, and it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that it all would have caught up with him.

  38. If you have read Caro’s biography of LBJ, you know that LBJ would not have been on the 1964 ticket. Life Magazine had a special issue due to go out Monday November 26. They had an editorial meeting on the 22nd. At lunch the news from Dallas came in and the entire issue was cancelled. And history took its course.

  39. I neglected to include what that special issue would have been about. They had all the records of LBJ’s corruption with Brown-Root who had funded him since the 1930s. It would have been devastating. Thats why I think the press was largely honest until Clinton.

  40. @Mike K,

    My friend, a “largely honest” press would have published that special issue, regardless of what happened in Dallas, or who was now President. The fact that they didn’t just goes to prove that they’re lying sacks of shiite who are afraid to confront the powerful.

    How different would the 1960s have been, had someone had the balls to tell the public the truth about LBJ’s shenanigans in Congress, and reveal how corrupt he was? Do you think we’d have lost 50,000 lives, in Vietnam, killing how many Vietnamese to no good purpose?

    I really don’t see the scrapping of that special issue as being an indicator of honesty. If anything, it proves corruption and cowardice.

  41. Kirk, I think you are asking too much. Life might have published in any other circumstance if Kennedy had not been assassinated. That was a huge event.

  42. If it hadn’t been for Drudge no one would have ever heard of Monica Lewinsky. The establishment was wrong footed by the rise first of Rush, then Drudge and then Fox News. They’ve neutralized the latter two and have gotten completely shameless about suppressing anything outside the official narrative. But all they’re accomplishing right now is building up pressure that’s going to blow up the system. It’s obvious no one wants to look into vote fraud at all, afraid it will reveal too much corruption and undermine the system, but it’s going to have the opposite effect.

  43. It’s obvious no one wants to look into vote fraud at all, afraid it will reveal too much corruption and undermine the system, but it’s going to have the opposite effect.

    I agree but it is not obvious how it will affect things when it does. Certainly, cynicism is already sky high on the right. Those of us on the right tend to be law abiding. The Republicans are only marginally better than the left. Look at the Mike Lee bill on H1B visas. No debate. “Unanimous consent.”

  44. Mike K: Like I said recently, this place is for pretty calm and rational conversation, and look at what we’re talking about now (similarly, instapundit is a good example of how radicalized the “right” has become over the past decade). Things are said in the open that wouldn’t have been imagined a few years ago. Trump wouldn’t have been successful in 2010, and whoever his successor is is going to make him look like a Bushie.

  45. As far as radicalization of our conversations is concerned; might I suggest it is appropriate to the times and situation? I am a wordy bugger, and not averse to expressing an opinion. But I, and I expect most of us here, have a trained background. I had a career in the law enforcement field, and you learn a lot about the good and bad of human nature. I was pre-law in college; political science major with history and economics minors. Did not go on to law school due to my first marriage, but kept up a lifelong study in those fields. I have been active in politics and have even once been one of the half dozen crazies who ran a presidential campaign in my county. I have a personal world and American history library that is arguably better than our city library’s.

    And I am fairly sure that almost all of us here have similar or better training and background. We know that peaceful transitions of power are dependent on a society viewing that transition and the political system itself as being “fair” in that society’s terms and legitimate. If they do not have that feeling of legitimacy, and no longer believe it can be made so, then Clausewitz’ saying becomes fact. The default fallback position from politics is violence. It may take a longer or shorter period of time depending on how used to subservience the population is. Americans do not do subservience well.

    Our discussions of coming political violence are becoming truth as we watch and write. And as we have been discussing, the mainstream media is more concerned about protecting their chosen vested interests than telling the truth.

    I will give an example, the kind of example which may become more common [especially if unpunished] that it is increasingly probable to trigger an uncontrollable violent response.

    Last night in a suburb of Detroit two apparent pipe bombs were thrown at a house belonging to a Trump supporter that had Trump signs up around it. The act was caught on video by several home security cameras.

    The only coverage I have found so far has been the above FOX News link and at the site Zerohedge. Nothing in the mainstream media. Imagine the reaction if it was a Biden supporter’s home bombed in the middle of the night. But you can bet your glucose infuse specimen of Equus africanus that the word is spreading. As will the next attack, and the next attack. And in the absence [which is almost guaranteed today] of those responsible at all levels being fully held to that responsibility politically and judicially, people will eventually fight back in kind and at escalating levels of violence. It is what humans have done for thousands of years. Our country has only been around for a few centuries. Peaceful politics has been a fairly recent thing, and even we have our share of actual domestic warfare in that time.

    Sadly, we are speaking the truth as we see it happening. It is not a pleasant truth, and we know not where things will end. But this is still for now a place where that truth can be spoken.

    Subotai Bahadur

  46. “might I suggest it is appropriate to the times and situation”
    Oh, I’m not disputing that at all. The radicalization is indeed a sane response to what is going on.

  47. The Chicago shenanigan’s that have been brought up repeatedly were, at the time, a plausible rumor. The lack of an investigation at the time and the lapse of time mean that is all it will ever be. The political consequences were negligible.

    I was surprised by Barr’s remarks as I had not thought of him as a cretin. Not much of a leader and far over his head possibly. I’m starting to see them as more of an admission that he, and therefore the country as a whole, lacks any way to mount a credible investigation.

    Who would accept the conclusion of a Justice Department investigation that ran counter to their own impression? Who would even expect to live long enough for them to reach a conclusion? Johnson appointed the Warren Commission to solve a similar dilemma over the Kennedy assassination. It wasn’t an outstanding success then and isn’t even worth considering now. The commission that was supposed to solve the problems that came to light after the 2000 election gave us Dominion it’s brethren.

    At a minimum, I expect that it will become much harder for the government to prevail in court. Where will you find a jury that will believe law enforcement, especially federal? As far as civil disobedience, while few of us are in a position to withhold our tax payments, we are in a position to add friction to the system. I might suggest filing hand written returns by mail, posted at the last possible moment to start.

  48. Barr and all his “investigators” are dedicated to saving FISA and all other parts of the spying apparatus. Nothing that could threaten the system at all is ever going to happen.

  49. That phrase or a version of it was used in a Russian class I took forty years ago. It was used to illustrate how nouns in Russian change their endings depending on how and where they are used. The teacher was at the time a fairly recent immigrant from Ukraine.

  50. Pretty sure that I read this phrase (in translation) in Reader’s Digest, which used to have all kinds of original articles about what the Communists and terrorists were doing, all over the world.

  51. I despise, detest, and totally distrust the media. I don’t know if the media is/are a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democrat Party, or if it’s the other way round, but it’s OBVIOUS that they’re in cahoots. Especially the NYT and the WaPoo.

  52. Learned it a college Russian class in 72 or 73.
    The prof had buddies that had been guerrillas in the Ukraine in WW2.
    Time passages.

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