HomeArticleThese McCarthyite Accusations Benefit No One And Harm Everyone

These McCarthyite Accusations Benefit No One And Harm Everyone

In response to the reprehensible NBC hit piece we discussed the other day in which Hawaii congresswoman and Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard was smeared as a darling of the Russian government, journalist Glenn Greenwald published an article documenting the astonishing amount of journalistic malpractice which went into the piece’s formation. In the article, Greenwald wrote the following:

“That’s because the playbook used by the axis of the Democratic Party, NBC,MSNBC, neocons, and the intelligence community has been, is, and will continue to be a very simple one: to smear any adversary of the establishment wing of the Democratic Party — whether on the left or the right — as a stooge or asset of the Kremlin.”

Displaying a remarkable lack of self-awareness, Democratic establishment pundit and professional Russiagater Caroline Orr responded to Gabbard’s share of this article on Twitter as follows:

“And here, Tulsi Gabbard cites a Kremlin propagandist to deny claims that Kremlin propagandists support her campaign.”

This demented McCarthyite mind virus was exemplified even more egregiously in a recent attack on comedian and progressive commentator Jimmy Dore, in which fellow comedian and former Daily Show producer Jena Friedman publicly accused him of being a Kremlin agent just for disagreeing with her. After Dore’s fan base reacted to this deranged smear as any sane person would expect them to, Friedman claimed that this was evidence of a coordinated campaign against her by Russian trolls and bots.

“I wouldn’t doubt it if Jimmy Dore was a Russian asset,” Friedman tweeted in response to Dore’s having criticized her crazed Louise Mensch-esque rantings. “Why else would he drag my name in the mud and misquote me when I said that Russian trolls are fueling the fire and radicalizing people online, which has been in Washington Post. It’s all so insidious. Be careful, friends.”

“The real tell of who the paid assets are is that they all seem to be so coordinated,” Friedman added. “Do you know which of the 999 Dem contenders you are voting for yet? I don’t but if RT and Jimmy Dore and everyone who seems sketchy are pushing for Tusli [sic] Gabbard, it’s hard not to question why?”

“If I question whether someone is on Putin’s payroll and then immediately receive 100+ tweets harassing me as a result, that only proves my point,” Friedman posted in response to the wave of responses her behavior elicited on Twitter, later adding, “There are progressive people fighting with me on here who I am sure are kind (ish) and also bots and assholes using their platforms to troll me in ways that feel oddly suspect. Sorry to question if some guy is paid by Putin but people actually are so why not just say no and move on?”

“I blocked Jimmy Dore because he’s a PizzaGate Putin propaganda valve,” Friedman also said. “Comedians, we need to do a better job at policing our own. Check out his stuff if you don’t believe me & be careful. There are dark forces at play trying to undermine us all & it feels like they‘re winning.”

Gosh. I’m old enough to remember when being a comedian had something to do with comedy.

The fact that Friedman believed her freakish McCarthyite slander was perfectly healthy, and that her suggestion that a fellow comedian she’d just accused of conducting psyops for a foreign government agency should just “say no and move on” and have that be the end of it, says so much about how pervasively cancerous political discourse has gotten over the last two years.

So let’s talk about that for a minute. Why exactly isn’t it perfectly healthy to accuse everyone who disagrees with you of conducting psyops for a foreign government agency? Why specifically shouldn’t it be standard procedure to level that accusation willy nilly and expect them to just “say no and move on” if it isn’t true? What is it about these McCarthyite accusations that is so destructive and toxic, anyway?

Well, for starters it completely kills political discourse. Absolutely murders it stone dead. If you’re having a political debate with someone, you can disagree very strongly with one another, even get hostile and uncivil at times, and still continue dialoguing and sharing ideas and information with each other. But as soon as one party suggests that the other party is only advancing the ideas and information they’re advancing because they’ve been covertly paid to do so by a foreign government agency, where can the conversation go from there? You’ve slammed the door shut on any further dialogue by preemptively rejecting anything the other party could possibly say, just because you got overwhelmed by the experience of someone having different opinions from your own.

Political discourse is happening all over the world all the time every single day, and far too often it’s cut off from ever getting anywhere because one side can’t resist regurgitating an obnoxious McCarthyite smear they’ve been trained to believe is normal by the Palmer Report and MSNBC.

But political discourse is not the only thing that’s harmed by these McCarthyite smears, which seem to be enjoying their biggest resurgence yet as the 2020 presidential race kicks off. The Trump administration is currently pursuing the arrest of Julian Assange, a move which if carried out will constitute a mortal wound for press freedoms around the world, and yet the self-described liberals who claim to support the free press and oppose the Trump administration aren’t saying a peep about it because Assange has been falsely smeared as a Kremlin agent so much it’s now taken as an established fact. Meanwhile political dissidents like Greenwald, Jill Stein, Ron Paul, Abby Martin, Max Blumenthal, Jimmy Dore and so very many others have had the influence of their voices wedged out from mainstream consciousness because so many people have been indoctrinated to reflexively reject their words with a nonsensical accusation of Kremlin fealty.

And that of course is the idea. The normalization of smearing any voice which differs from the orthodoxy of the unipolar world order in any way as a Russian agent has allowed dissenting narratives to be isolated away from the mainstream herd, where they are unable to influence a critical mass of individuals. They aren’t smearing Tulsi Gabbard as a Kremlin asset because they don’t want her to be president; the Democratic Party is still legally capable and structurally willing to rig its primaries to keep her out if need be. The real thing they fear is allowing her anti-interventionist ideas to take hold within the mainstream consciousness of a nation whose nonstop military interventionism is the glue that holds the empire together.

Even if you fully agree with all CIA/CNN talking points and think Joe Biden would be the best president ever, surely you can see that quashing dissent is a bad and undesirable thing? Surely you can see that allowing people free access to ideas and information is the absolutely indispensable foundation that anything resembling democracy must necessarily be built upon? Surely you can recognize that cutting off ideas and information that haven’t been authorized by the current political establishment by smearing dissident voices as agents of a foreign government is already a form of totalitarianism? Surely?

Meanwhile what benefit comes from accusing someone of being a Kremlin agent? How does that help anything? Even in the extremely unlikely event that you are interacting with someone online who does indeed secretly work for the Russian government, you are still perfectly capable of debating their ideas. Being a secret propagandist doesn’t give someone super powers. It doesn’t give them the ability to control your mind or turn you into a newt. There is no reason whatsoever why you can’t just debate their ideas as you would anyone else’s instead of slamming on the brakes of the conversation to take a pointless million-to-one gamble on a McCarthyite accusation which benefits nobody in any way.

Let’s stop allowing the mass psychosis of these paranoid cold war feeding frenzies to be the new normal, please. If we keep going this way it’s only going to get worse for everyone.

_________________________

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Latest comments

  • No Blood For Oil. Feb 23, Educate. Thank you all.

  • Everything you’ve written in this piece is absolutely necessary and correct — and, as always, I thank you for it — but you seem to be going on the assumption that this woman holds logic and ethics as top-tier values. She does not. She gave us all a clear glimpse into her mindset by her response to Joe Rogan’s inclusion of Tulsi among those whom she started to list as appropriate Democratic candidates (“Kamala,” “Kirsten Gillibrand”). She didn’t respond to his suggestion in a rational, discursive manner; rather she snorted, cast a conspiratorial grin his way and uttered the word, “monstrous,” as though this were a normal, natural, fully acceptable response to the mere mention of Tulsi Gabbard’s name.

    What she overlooked at that moment is that Joe doesn’t belong to her “set.” Her set — the up and coming girls of the NYTimes and the Democratic Party — have already established Tulsi’s “monstrosity” amongst themselves. When questioned further by Joe, she couldn’t provide answers, because Tulsi’s monstrosity is now self-evident; it’s a given. Everyone who’s anyone just … knows it. No thought required. Tulsi is not “one of us.” Tulsi is the other, the outsider, the reject. And if you want to be included in the cozy camaraderie of Ms. Weiss’ chosen power clique, you need to know that.

    Does this sound familiar? It should. We all encountered it in our youth, because it’s very much like a middle-school girls’ clique. It suffuses the MSM and what’s left of the Democratic Party, including nearly all the ladies in white at last night’s SOTU address. It’s the inescapable smugness we see in the faces of high-powered Democrats like Hillary, DWS, Obama, etc., and also certain intelligence operatives like, for instance, James Comey.

    It’s groupthink. It has its own code, the code of conformity with the inbuilt reward of social safety and acceptance — only now, with its takeover of the entire mass media system and visible elements of what we sometimes call the deep state, the rewards have become a bit steeper: money and power.

    It runs roughshod over logic, ethics, and sincerity. Nay, it sneers at them.

    • Black, good take. Groupthink – it’s what’s projected by all media, it’s what is being taught in government schools, it is what power and control is all about i.e. herding the masses in the direction TPTB want them to go.

  • “… demented McCarthyite mind virus …”

    Caitlin knocks it out of the park. It’s the perfect description of the mind disease we are diagnosing.

  • The human herd is transfixed by the form of things–the bright and shiny objects that distract our attention from the substance of life. We’re easily taken-in by charismatic political charlatans and their specious (“more-free-shit”) propaganda. The fleecing exercise is perfected by the media sycophants and legions of parasitic enforcers in the “public service”, all of whom kneel at the pay window of the money lords. News alert to all clovers: ‘there is no utopia over horizon, for any of us’. Life is very hard sometimes, and brutal. It’s raw and painful. It’s ruthless and unforgiving. It’s unfair and unjust. Sadly, few of us ever get what we actually deserve–good or bad. But, our humanity can also be incredibly beautiful. Take a moment and gaze at the magnificent free gift that surrounds us–all it requires is our humble appreciation and respect. The true meaning of life resides in each of us as individuals, not as a herd. True kindness and compassion for our fellow human beings begins with each of us as individuals, not our identity groups. We make a real, lasting, and positive difference in the lives of others through our individual hearts and hands, working together towards common goals–and without coercion. The expropriation and redistribution of stolen property (read that the honest labor of others) is not charity, it is theft. When we are taken-in by the lie that common fairness and social justice somehow require the forceful expropriation of our labor, we lose our collective soul. If we want more from life materially than we can achieve through our individual creativity and effort, we must achieve the desired condition through peaceful and voluntary means, and the unanimous consent of those effected by our actions. Highly concentrated wealth can only be achieved in human organizations that permit the existence of a central power monopoly. Absent the abusive power structure, human beings who share common moral values will resort to peaceful cooperation, per force. When we permit excessive unearned wealth to concentrate (i.e., those who own and operate the U.S. fiat money system) we are condemn humanity to endless wars, horrendous economic suffering, and pervasive social injustice. Our means to achieve the ‘common good’ should never resort to zero sum calculations. The only forces that can unite the human condition are the power of our individual cognitive comprehension, our respect for life, and our common expectations. Some believe they are owed certain outcomes in life by virtue of their existence alone. That mindset assumes a beneficent source of manna from heaven, or some ethereal force for good that directs the collective conscience–neither exist. The reality sets in soon enough when we are forced to put our children to bed hungry. The natural, gut-wrenching response is frustration, hopelessness, anger, and the desire for retribution–against “somebody”, for the injustice. And, that is precisely what the money lords and their political whores ‘want’ us to feel. Then we are ready for their bright and shiny objects. Written in a hurry–apologize for typos

    • “When we permit excessive unearned wealth to concentrate (i.e., those who own and operate the U.S. fiat money system)…”
      .
      Charley, if I were your editor, your lengthy single-paragraph posts would be reduced in length by 90% minimum with no loss in communication. Please don’t take it the wrong way. I’ve boiled down many of my own essays (And others’) from 20 pages to one.
      .
      Re: the quote, “i.e.” indicates the parenthetic population is the sole object of your conclusion. You would do well to consider generational wealth and inheritance. Few understand what the estate tax is because even fewer will ever have to think about it. Trump touted his “achievement” in reducing it (again) in his SOTU. As always, alluding to the propaganda term, “Death Tax,” and pointing to the small farmer and rancher as the beneficiaries of his magnanimous move, he disingenuously took credit.
      .
      In fact, just about everyone who possesses the wealth to be affected by the estate tax employs an accountant(s) who enable them to dodge it, usually thru trust loopholes that manage to survive no matter what. These trusts are commonly used by legislators to pass their wealth on to their undeserving progeny. These people are a relatively small portion of the population but they possess an inordinately HUGE proportion of the wealth of the nation.
      .
      This dynamic has taken place since the birth of the nation. The Vanderbilts didn’t disappear after the railroads were built. They were able to pass the wealth down, with interest, from generation to generation, until now there are hundreds or maybe thousands of them who never had to work a day in their lives. Ask Anderson Cooper.
      .
      Or consider a more modern-day example. Sam Walton built the retail empire that knocked mainstays like Sears for a loop. A recent year of Forbes wealthiest people showed (I think, from memory here) six of the top ten spots held by his descendants who never had to lift a finger or contribute a useful idea to inherit wealth beyond anything most folks can even imagine.
      .
      Unbridled capitalism has created a society where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer largely because of inherited wealth. It has nothing to do with zero sum, personal hard work or innovation. It is a problem that is obscured by propaganda like calling the estate tax a Death Tax – and who would be for a Death Tax, right?
      .
      This wealth results in unearned privileges throughout the beneficiaries’ lives. It creates a nobility and ruling class based on the same principles as those in feudal times – that bloodline, not merit, should determine who is intended to lead. The millions of beneficiaries of this are snobs who’s cares are about next week’s party in Monaco. They call their driver to take them down to Rodeo Drive for a $2000 dress to wear before hopping on their private jet to fly over and drink $5000/gulp wine. So stressful!

      • Rod, why don’t you ‘boil down’ my comment by 90% and let’s see what we get, or in the alternative, back up several posts and ‘rip apart my arguments’ that you allegedly ‘never read’. My previous exchanges with you proved a waste of time for me, so I’ll just leave you with a couple of “brief” thoughts to ponder–and then have no further comment. My reference to unearned concentrated wealth (as I clearly stated) was not to ‘inherited wealth’ per your response, but to concentrated wealth produced by the U.S. fiat money system. Inherited wealth is of no threat to society absent ‘control’ of the central financial power structures, admittedly which normally go hand in hand, but not inexorably. Concentrated wealth from production is a completely different animal than exponential unearned concentrated wealth derived from fractional reserve leverage and monopoly control of the fiat money system. The U.S. central bank and its co-owned investment banks provide first access to fiat capital that is leveraged exponentially to acquire the real property and industrial asset of the country, producing the inevitable concentration of power that has destroyed America socially and economically. Inherited wealth, even if we dislike the privileged and wasteful implications, represents no threat to a truly free society. The Morgans, Vanderbilts, Mellons, et al, and their ilk were corrupt to the core, but they did not destroy America. The money masters who financed them and their monopolies, and our endless wars of aggression, destroyed the country. Of course, you’re welcome to respond to my comments anytime–that’s what the board is all about. I’ll pass on your advice, which was not requested nor appreciated. As the Chris Stapleton song goes: “take you best shot” Mr. editor.

      • “…why don’t you ‘boil down’ my comment by 90% and let’s see what we get…”
        .
        OK, sure. Quick and dirty edit:
        Charlie: “I don’t know what I’m writing about but I have a keyboard and I’m darn sure gonna use it.” Loud upchuck noise follows.
        .
        “…back up several posts and ‘rip apart my arguments’ that you allegedly ‘never read’.”
        .
        Straw man. You’re too touchy and illogical to discuss stuff with, Charlie. Feeling microaggressed again?
        .
        Charlie: “My previous exchanges with you proved a waste of time for me…”
        .
        Likewise, I’m sure, but I only had one exchange with you (when I told you I couldn’t muddle thru your longwinded pontification based on faulty premises) unless you count your moaning posts that followed as multiple exchanges.
        .
        Charlie: “The Morgans, Vanderbilts, Mellons, et al, and their ilk were corrupt to the core, but they did not destroy America. The money masters who financed them and their monopolies, and our endless wars of aggression, destroyed the country.”
        .
        Really. I’m curious. Who financed the Morgans and Mellons?

    • Rod, I’ve yet to read anything from you here that is more than an inch deep. Your interminable and asinine polemic on the definition of ‘narrative’ will suffice. It’s apparent that most of the people who follow this site have a genuine interest in the subject matter of Caitlin’s commentary, whether or not they consistently agree with her views. Constructive debate and respectful disagreement are healthy. Most of the comments posted here are thoughtful and reasoned, although some strike me as misguided. I share my comments for probably the same reason most do, and that is to make a contribution to the discovery of the truth. None of us owns the truth, but we all have a stake in its discovery, especially regarding the issues that represent the greatest threat to mankind. I’m not trying to convince you of anything. Frankly, I don’t give a shit what you or anyone else thinks about my comments. And I don’t need an editor to tell me how to express my thoughts, asshole. They are only comments–a gift to be contemplated or discarded. No credit nor offense is taken either way. The problem with loud mouth critics like you is that you contribute nothing of substance to the process. You are officious disruptors of constructive thought. I’ve known many like you over the course of my life, and you’re all the same–‘big hat, no cattle’. Some wise person once said that those who can, do–and those who can’t, criticize those who can. Find someone else to pester, smart ass. This is my last comment to you.

      • Charlie, by barfing all over the thread, you disrespect those who attempt to communicate. Fortunately, Dr Rod has identified your disorder (toys in the attic) and I can assure readers that your indecipherable run-on paragraphs are not contagious. You should be quarantined for the good of the community. At minimum, you should see a doctor and get some strong sleep-inducing meds to spare others of your incessant regurgitations. Hope this helps.

      • Charlie makes no sense. For example, I repeat:
        .
        Charlie: “The Morgans, Vanderbilts, Mellons, et al, and their ilk were corrupt to the core, but they did not destroy America. The money masters who financed them and their monopolies, and our endless wars of aggression, destroyed the country.”
        .
        Really. I’m curious. Who financed the Morgans and Mellons?
        .
        Charlie ignores and launches personal attack. I wonder why. Could do this over and over. Not gonna.

  • So, we’ve all be bemused by Rachel Maddows latest homage to Putin.

    Please, please, please don’t let her read this.

    Putin is nicking the Magnetic North Pole.

    https://www.npr.org/2019/02/04/691471616/as-magnetic-north-pole-zooms-toward-siberia-scientists-update-world-magnetic-mod?t=1549452651663

  • Media Benjamin is a Hero. Just spoke to her and the anti BDS Vote in U$ Congress (S-1 Paid by AIPAC not Russia) is going to a vote and if passes will go to the House, the AIPAC House owned by the DEMOCRATS. BDS (Zionist’s own u$ media and Politicians). What will u do For The Peope? Power to the People.

    • Time Out. Get in the Streets. When will Berine, Tulsi, and others call for this? Please let me and others know!Time Out. Meet me in DC. Have a nice day, and night.

    • SOTU TINIGHT For Freedom (BS) STFU Don’t Drink The Koolaid. Vote? Come on. Pay for adds on TV for year after year for profits ( Pharm, Oil, Ins., Pigs, etc.) while not bringing up real issues, and Rachel makes over $30 grand a show? ? STFU unless u help the People. GET OUT OF OUR WAY. Kumbaya! Peace Prize Question… Who did Obomber Drone and KIll?

  • We supposedly have an educated populace. But in popular discourse all the classical logic fallacies abound. Ad hominem attacks are flourishing.

  • Its pretty simple I believe.
    It all stems from the MIC and oil
    and indirectly banks as its all about
    maintaining the flow of money.
    Sure the CIA and FBI have thier petty
    coruption schemes and drug running
    for alternate funding streams but
    the MIC is the source. Its what makes america what it is today.
    We are a resource to the wealthy and the MIC protects the status quo.

  • Tear Down The Wall. Who will be Tulsi or Bernie’s guest tonight @ the state of the union? Educate… Wage Peace. Free Assange & others. Free Snowden. Truth is … Wage Peace…Keep on. Bernie has a SOTU response. The D and R’s DO NOT LIKE IT. Will the U.S. at 330 est today have the U$ Senate (S-1) pass anti BDS and funding of Israel etc., and so on to support Apartied? BDS INSPECT ISRAELI NUKES. Stop Funding War Criminals. Have a nice day or night! Does Israel try and spend money to lobby our country? Are Dual citizens Traitors?

    • I am not Russian or Israeli (made in the U$A). .

  • What amazes me is how “old” shows like the original Star Trek series, relevant to that era, can be even more relevant to today’s “situation”. IMO, here’s a snippet of a great example called “Pawn Against Pawn”. Imagine that the reg blob is today’s Elite/owners of TBTF banks:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1SHxFAEjEk
    The goal of the red blob is to keep the crews of two enemy cultures/races fighting in perpetuity. Througout the show, the blob is successful and grows in power from the hate of the fighting crew members. The question that the blob has to answer is just exactly HOW to keep the crew members (the bewildered herd of today) fighting among each other to keep increasing its own strength (wealth)?
    ..
    The red blob of today, the Elite, want to keep us fighting among ourselves in order to not only maintain, but increase their control of the world, and the best way to do that is to entice, cajole, outright train or brainwash people into using shortcut labels to describe or apply to each other, which leads to fruitless, incessant “discussion” that will NEVER lead to a concensus on what the day to day details are of a better way for 7.4 billion people to be happy and live in peace with each other.

  • The effectiveness of propaganda has been fully understood and used for herd-control thoughout history by the Elite. As Caitlin has said so many times, control the narrative and you control what people think (what they literally say to themselves without moving their lips or making an external sound) and how they behave outside of their heads in their day to day activities. (But there is a symbiotic relationship between, for one example, the millions of voters indirectly or directly employed by the MIC and the MSM. These people WANT to believe the lies of the MSM — that the US and its allies are good and that every other nation is bad, but maybe we can win them over to the good side if we bomb them just a bit more. The MSM knows what their consumers want very, very well.)
    ..
    Anyway, when the “influential” congresspeople and talking heads, economists, MSM newspapers, presenters, etc. say that a person is wittingly or unwittingly acting as a Russian agent, what they are alarmingly noticing is that no average herd-members who consume only the lies they have been feeding to them could say or write what they are saying or writing, let alone stand as an influential anti-war candidate.
    ..
    What these honorable, trusted VIPs are saying when they say “they are unwitting agents of Putin” is in fact telling their devoted, gullible consumers that “we, the Elite, know that a particular person has, or ‘they’ have, been consuming something that We have not been feeding to them. That person or those people are not like you, the people who believe the real truth that we publish every day. They have been brainwashed by powerful, crafty, sinister outside agitators. Don’t vote for them. We will tell you who to vote for”.
    ..
    When I have family or people over for dinner, or we are visitng people we know, and the “conversation” turns to ANYTHING important, I can tell instantly what/from where they’ve been “consuming” “information”. I’m sure that Caitlin, Tim and the rest of the commenters here have noticed the exact same thing and experienced the exact same frustration and anger that has resulted. Many of these people fully believe the myths, fantasies and outright lies that are been served to them 24/7 by so-called “trusted sources”. How civil wars can come to be starts to become very understandable. That’s a very bad sign in a so-called civil society.
    ..
    The good thing is that the conversations that are so enraging must be the starting point of changing the whatever-you-want-to-call-it present arrangement to one that has never existed in human history on a world-wide scale.
    ..
    Therefore, I expect the Elite’s war on “fake news” to increase very dramatically between now and the next election day, again, unlees the next election is “temporarily” suspended for very understandable (secret) reasons to protect national security or the global order.

  • Without wanting to appear racist, it should be mentioned that a significant majority (not all) of the current Russia Bashers in the media, industry and government come from a certain socio-ethnic group or class which has had long historical animosity to Mother Russia. (On TV, for example, Bill Maher, Rachel Maddow and Lorne Michaels immediately come to mind.) It would appear that the current sociopolitical situation has emboldened these folks to ramp up their long-festering animus to that noble country, and sadly, many dimwit Americans blindly follow along because really, it seems that Man always needs somebody to hate, and if there isn’t a readily available natural enemy around, no problem in just making one up! It obviously serves many agendas (certainly financial foremost) to make Russia the fashionable boogeyman of the day. And never forget, the card-carrying Satanists who run America are gunning for a cataclysmic World War 3, and they will certainly get it, whether the trigger be China, Russia, Venezuela, Syria or Lower Slobovia, for their overt goal is to turn the Earth literally into the Biblical Hell, to “go out with a bang,” as it were.

    PS whoever made that faux-Golden Book cover is a mad genius!

  • Criticism of US intervention is proof you’re a Putinite crypto-Trotskyite. Criticism of Israeli state-atrocities is proof you’re a Hamasite crypto antisemite. Same slanders, same sources. Invincible counterroffensive: Gabbard, or any other candidate-victim of McCarthyite/Stalinoid/Beginite slander should never reply. Instead she should simply make the simple committment: “If elected I will immediately declassify without any redactions all our archives related to the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty.” That is guaranteed to shut them up for good and all.

    • Well said. This moves us toward the the heart of the matter. It is not possible to defeat the beast if we can’t define it.

    • Errr… the original neoconservatives were Trotskyites, so opposing them must be irrefutable proof that you are a Stalinist. Most of them were Jewish Zionists, though, so opposing them is irrefutable proof that you are an antisemite and bent on destruction of Israel. /sarc

      • *Some * of the “original neoconservatives” like Kristol (Burnham never became a neocon) were Trots who had broken with the Old Man in 1939 over his insistence on defense of the USSR despite Stalin. None were Zionists. That many were Jewish in your opinion may reflect the composition of the US Communist movement in the 1930’s but nothing else (except perhaps an inherited antisemitism characteristic of the stalinist slanders which started from the very beginning (the “Military Opposition” during the civil war)

  • Who has more trolls? A huge superpower openly spending nearly $1 trillion on defense (covertly there is much more $) and even has a ministry of misinformation created under the “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act.”? Or a country surrounded by NATO with a much, much lower government budget?

    Sometimes comments have useful information that can add to an article. I agree with Caitlin’s insight: just keep on debating even if you think it is a troll. This is because others, not so “paid-off” are also reading the comments. I have also learned that once I see a comment has vitriol in it to go on to the next comment. It is valuable to see how many comments are on both sides of the issue and that many can be abusive.

    I try to never use comments to denigrate the author’s work. It stands or falls on its own. I think this article is very valuable in clarifying the issue of how to deal with trolls and how McCarthyism has been given new life by the mainstream media, which I believe is to blame for McCarthy and his smears having gone on for so long years ago.

  • Caitlin, that book idea is very cool.
    Particularly tageted to young about how to recognize (and have) fair and balanced and objective discourse.

    As my dad used to say:
    – As soon as you start talking, you stop listening. Nobody ever learned anything while they were talking.
    – You need a haircut and a job.

    So I’ve got the picture. Just need some good words. About one page.

  • In the U.S., over 50% of the adult population does not vote. A total of approximately 60%, including rich and poor alike, pay no federal tax. The financial interests who own and control America incessantly promote the ‘democracy’ myth to keep the ‘farm animals’ (the silent 40%-50%) slaving on their global economic plantation. The farm animals have no training, time nor energy for the critical thinking required to imagine what exists outside the plantation fence, but they do have the sacred ‘right’ to ‘vote’. BFD. The elites own them, left and right. ‘Democracy’, as a guiding concept for human social-economic-political order is a pernicious hoax, an assault on the dignity of the every person who yearns to be free. No person who lives in a ‘democracy’ can avoid the abuse of the ‘majority’, any more than they can escape the exploitation of the psychotic control freaks who operate the bi-polar American ‘democracy’ charade from the decks of their floating toys Azzam and Eclipse parked in Monaco harbor. Caitlin, at some point the conversation must move beyond the symptoms of our human disorder, and begin to challenge the root cause. If we are to survive, this is where the battle lines must be drawn. Somehow, those who see, who sense, who know what is happening, must come to understand that government is not the enemy, it is merely a symptom of the disease. Concentrated power is the enemy.

    • At least the right to vote still exists, so it is still at least theoretically possible for the bewilidered herd to elect the barber at the end of the street. When the right to vote is “temporarily” suspended (in the same way that Nixon’s closing of the gold window 48 years ago was “temporary”, and nuclear waste is being “temporarily” stored on nuclear power plant sites), probably for reasons of national security, then we’ll all know that “democracy”, either comatose or completely impotent for a long time, has had a fiat-paper mache stake driven through its heart.
      ..
      Again, Caitlin and the people writing comments should either not have their own children (future debt slaves), or encourge their children to not have children of their own.

  • I was so glad to see you refer to this new McCarthyism as a “mind virus”. That’s exactly how I have observed it as it has spread amongst my friends and co-workers. I can no longer discuss current events with my best friend because she immediately discards any alternate viewpoint that I present and begins to rage about Putin and Trump. She is an intelligent person and used to be a very adventurous thinker. No more.

    Co-workers (at an NPR radio station) assume I have the virus because I’m gay and have always identified as a liberal. They cannot seem to process my words when I point out my concerns about the Kremlin hysteria. They nod as if they agree– and continue on with their “Russia, Russia, Russia” rant.

    I have wondered if the spread of the mind virus is linked to the level of social media usage but I’m not sure. Some people I know seem to disprove that theory. Whatever the reason, it has been scary to watch, kind of like living in the sci-fi movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. One by one as my (formerly) liberal friends have succumbed, they have begun to advocate against free speech, in unquestioning support of the “intelligence” agencies, and always in support of war.

    It’s the craziest thing and it is very dangerous to our society and country.

  • Despite fine journalism by Caitlin and others, some of whom have been at it for decades, the situation is getting worse. How many Twitter/FB accounts have been deleted on spurious grounds and how many excellent sites have been de-ranked by Google. I would love to know the readership numbers for non-MSM vs MSM news and analysis sites and individual journalists.

  • “You’ve slammed the door shut on any further dialogue by preemptively rejecting anything the other party could possibly say, just because you got overwhelmed by the experience of someone having different opinions from your own.”

    What the bloody deuce is the left complaining about?! How is this a shock to anyone from the left?! This is what the left does to everyone they disagree with on anything. What do you think is the purpose of politically correctness? Why do you think the left is violently against free speech?! Because antifa believes in more voices not less voices?!?!

    “Surely you can recognize that cutting off ideas and information that haven’t been authorized by the current political establishment by smearing dissident voices as [racist/sexist/homophobic/islamaphobic/etc.] is already a form of totalitarianism? Surely?”

    Surely the left cannot.

    • The false dichotomy of left/right in the U.S. is just that. If you believe there is any difference whatsoever between the left, and right in the U.S., you’re either delusional, of clinging to some infinitesimally, vanishingly small hope that the “right” will rise up to somehow save the day. If you think the likes of representatives of the “right” like creepy pedophilee GHW Bush, a closet case freak, who according to Franklin pedo scandal victim, Paul Bonacci, said he saw GHW Bush leave a pedo party with a young black boy, or the serial pedophile, and one of the longest serving Speakers of the House, Denny Hastert, who was well known to be a pedo, which is why he was elected Speaker, i.e. the deep state needs total control of its fronts, you’re delusional. Or maybe you believe Saint Ronald Reagan, a patron saint of the right, did a good thing when he gutted the federal freedom of information act with an executive order very early in his first term. There is no left or right in the U.S., only one big criminal enterprise of closely, masterfully controlled political fronts, who are way down on the totem pole of freaks who actually run this world.

      • Dennis, first off, I am not of the right – please do not insult me! I am not of the left either so please do not insult me from that angle eithere. And I agree that there is no difference between the dems in the pockets of AIPAC and repubes in the pockets of AIPAC. And I agree that there is no difference between leftist collectivism (socialism/communism/Marxism) and rightist collectivism (Naziism/fascism). All are based on the repugnant principle that the individual is subservient to the collective. That is what I am against because I believe in the Natural Law Rights of Man i.e. the sovereignty of every single human being.

        But there is no way that the behavior of the left and the right can be compared as equal. I am not aware of a single incident of rightists rioting to prevent leftist speakers from speaking. PC is 100% leftist. The only assault on free speech coming from the right is the evil legislation against anyone saying or doing anything negative to israel and even then there are leftists who also sign on to this bullshit (see my above paragraph concerning AIPAC). So 99% of the effort to violently silence others and their right of free speech is on the left. Leftism is totalitarian, no matter the sins of the right.

        • BDS

    • That’s quite a cartoon, strawman “left” you’ve built up there.

      If you’re referring to the Dem Party, they are indeed wretched. But by any objective measure they are a right wing party–plot them on The Political Compass (here’s the 2016 election for instance: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kLZg8duNQpw/VD2dnAjxblI/AAAAAAAABnc/uIXO2vA7jlI/s1600/compass%2B-%2Bpost.jpg ). The rest of the establishment is equally rotten of course, and the likes of “Antifa” are a bunch of goons, who speak the language of opposition but then behave like fascists themselves.

      But believe it or not, there are real life socialists and social democrats who genuinely want to live in a peaceful, inclusive society and not to send you to the gulag. You’ve probably just never seen one because they have no voice in Western society and are only visible when they can be smeared, derided or associated with something negative–“Antifa” in fact being a great example.

      • Ash, what specifically is the “cartoon” or “straw man” portion of my post? Show me exactly where I am wrong. And I am not talking about leftist politics; I am talking about leftist philosophy and its violent actions.

        I have no problem with socialists wanting to live in a socialist country. Just do not try to force those of us who do not want to give up our personal Liberty to live under a collective tyranny to go along with it. Let us peaceably separate from each other. Will the left allow “live and let live” or will it use coercion to force people to live under socialism?

  • “Well, for starters it completely kills political discourse.”
    Too true. Jon Snow news presenter on Channel 4 UK news last night, in order to get the last word, shouted down Labour MP Chris Williamson, accusing him of ‘getting behind Russia & China’ re Venezuela, prior US interevention and UK’s recent endorsement.

  • “She turned me into a newt, she did… But I got better”:)

    It ramped up when the media after 9/11 decided it was their patriotic duty to support the government against the terrorists. It stepped up to another level when the Obama administration went after Trump with the intelligence agencies, FBI (not to be confused with “intelligence”) and RUSSIA.

    Hysterical, neoliberal, establishment Dems jumped on board because it allowed them to avoid dealing with the reality that they had backed a corrupt primary process and the worst candidate in living memory. How bad was she? Hillary was so bad she lost to Donald fing Trump.

    Now as the nominating contest for 2020 winds up, the hysteria has morphed into a preemptive “tool of the Russians” attack on anyone to the left of neo lib, establishment Dems. Sanders scared them last time, wouldn’t want that kind of thing to happen again.

    McCarthy & Nixon would feel right at home in the Democratic party today.

    Thanks for what you’re doing Cait. Keep after ’em, and nil illegitimi carborundum.

  • Reveals how desperately childish the political elite have become in trying to control the narrative.The mere fact that they have rolled out the tired old Cold War Agenda again shows , like the Federal Reserve, how bankrupt and morally spineless they actually are.The whole sytem is sick and dying , like a thrashing old empire in its’ death throes.Be strong people and they will destroy themselves with their pathetically transparent antics.

    • I believe the word is “smugnorant”. Heard it in this great Jimmy Dore clip today. It perfectly captures the aggressive stupidity that passes for mainstream media and foreign policy today.

      • Pretty good. And she’s a typical NYT reporter. Amazingly, some of those at the WaPo make her look smart. Smugnorant describes MSM “journalism” today.

      • That was fun. Thank you.
        I dont like to engage in name calling, but just for purpose of enlightenment the was a pretty good example of a “toady” on display. The thing that is more than doubly annoy about these russiabaters is that their point is so ignorant and yet they stand by it like it makes perfect sense because backing them up is the “intelligence” comunity and police state.

        The whole “meddling” concept is so offensive. Is there a law or international agreement against meddling? Has the US set such a great example that they can point to (voa)? There worst and most effective incident of meddling in our politics was the release of truth by wikileaks which they still try to pin on russia which makes me think russia is my friend more than they (cia democrats repubs and fbi) are. We need a coup to extract the cia and feral bureau of assisinations (character).
        The elites (which is not really a good word for scumbugs) think that we the people are thier chatel and that russia is feeding us ideas and asperations in total contravention of accepted nprms. You dont screw with another mans slaves. F’em to hell.

  • Love, love, and love what you write and share!!!

  • On the plus side, it’s much easier to choose who to trust now. At this point, if a journalist or political commentator has not been accused of being a Kremlin puppet, it’s safe to assume they are not committed to telling real truths. Greenwald, Taibbi, Sirota, Martin, Hedges, Camp, Gabbard, Sanders, Dore, etc… these are the people who tend to be on the right side of issues. Even when they’re not they have sincere reasons for it.

    Just like it used to be said that of artists that if the church wasn’t objecting to your work you weren’t doing your job right, my opinion is that if one is serious about challenging the political system and hasn’t been called a Kremlin stooge they aren’t doing their job right.

  • “TWO-HEADED DWARF ROBS BANK, RAPES NUN, ESCAPES IN SPACE-SHIP!”
    People buy crazy sensationalist magazines at the supermarket with headlines like that, and believe them. Fake news has always been with us.
    Much of the disinformation in the Twittershphere is no different to The National Inquirer or World Global News. Who cares?
    My point is, we should not fear disinformation, of which everyone is guilty.
    But that fear leads inevitably to censorship, the real threat.
    I would rather believe that enough people are still capable of distinguishing fact from fiction to make democracy work.
    The threat is when a government, constitutionally prohibited from censorship, attempts to destroy actual reporters like Wikileaks’ Assange.
    If the system fails there, it’s time to ride off into the sunset.

    • “…we should not fear disinformation, of which everyone is guilty.
      But that fear leads inevitably to censorship, the real threat.”
      .
      I would dispute the part about everyone being guilty of disinfo, but fear leading to censorship is definitely a real threat. It’s happening bigtime as nowadays, people have become fearful of wearing a MAGA hat due to the possibility of some leftwing nutcase getting triggered.
      .
      People have become fearful of speaking their minds openly because you never know when some leftwing nutcase is going to feel microaggressed and endanger you job, your family or yourself. PC speech has shredded the 1st Amendment while leftwing nutcases run wild hearing things that weren’t said or intended. These deranged people are constantly taking offense because they are always looking for something to be offended about.
      .
      The formal censorship of govt is not nearly as threatening to a free society as the censorship people impose on themselves to avoid being labeled something they aren’t – like racists, misogynists, xenophobes, cultural appropriators, etc. The list keeps getting longer.
      .
      I’ve pretty much quit talking to everyone except when necessary to do some kind of business. Can’t veer off the topic or engage in idle conversation. It’s too dangerous.

  • It is well to review the following facets of weak human nature that allows this to happen:
    https://www.khanacademy.org/test-prep/mcat/behavior/social-psychology/v/bystander-effect
    It talks about
    1) the Asch conformity experiment,
    2) the Milgram authority experiment,
    3) groupthink
    4) Stanford prison experiment
    5) Bystander effect
    It is rare to find someone independent minded enough to exhibit non-conformity or step out of line.

  • Jena F. knows a coordinated attack when she sees one, I guess. Like the hundreds of heavily indoctrinated trolls who emerge from the woodwork every time Tulsi, Glenn G., or Jill Stein hatches a tweet. (Where’s the recount money, Jill? [Snorrrrrt.] Go back to Russia! )

  • Thanks for your insights and perspective, Caitlin. They do help.

  • Every day I see more and more madness. Some days I feel like the little Dutch Boy with my finger in the dike and watching the water flood from each side.

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