‘Teach For America, Black Leadership, and Disaster Capitalism’, by Drew Franklin

You may consider my re-posting Franklin’s investigative exposé as heterodoxy, even apostasy, given that the Black Lives movement has become almost a religion for me and many others.  I suppose that I’d imagined that it might actually lead toward a non-violent revolution of justice, equity, and enfranchisement for all, including economic, judicial, civil, and educational. As you read, it might be well to take Deray McKesson’s name and face out of the narrative in order to judge the truth of it.  As some readers may know, as soon as I’d seen MsPackyetty enter the movement, I was quite leery, knowing some of what’s wrong with TFA.  But this is far worse than I’d ever imagined.

But at least this answers some of the questions as to why Deray has been absolutely everywhere in the MSM this year, including late night shows. It’s been worrisome for me seeing how many of the movement activists on Twitter have been channeling themselves into the Democrat electoral machine, even Palestinian Bassem Masri, who’s goin’ for the Bern.  Who said “The Democratic Party is where some of the best social movements go to die?”  I couldn’t agree more.

With permission from the author, Franlin Drew at orchestratedImpulse.com, and given his familiarity with Edward Bernays, the site’s title is brilliant:

“Former Black Panther Bruce Dixon, in his blog for the Black Agenda Report, asked a provocative question last year when he wrote the headline: “‘Teach For America’ Trojan Horse Among Ferguson Activists?”

Whether the muted response can be attributed to apathy or ignorance of Teach For America’s activities, the organization carried on with its operation in plain view, and the question seldom came up again. Today, TFA shows no sign of slowing down. For three days in February, the vanguard of the education reform movement will host its 25th Anniversary Summit in Washington, D.C. “Together We Rise” is the tagline for the event, for which they’ve booked two major downtown venues and three hotels.

The 501(c)(3) non-profit has indeed come a long way since Wendy Kopp founded it in 1990. In its first year, Teach For America had 500 recruits; by 2013, the organization controlled nearly half-a-billion dollars in assets and employed 11,000 teacher “corps members” in schools across the United States.

Despite mounting evidence that school privatization does more harm than good, in less than three decades TFA has spread their reach to thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia, playing an indispensable role in enabling the proliferation of charter schools — schools run by private businesses with public funding — throughout the country. But it doesn’t stop there. Tracing the genealogy of tax-exempt education reform foundations puts Teach For America at the center of a massive scheme, backed by powerful donors, for corporate takeovers of public schools everywhere — not just in the US, but around the world.

“Join us,” reads the header on TFA’s 25th Anniversary Summit web page, “to reflect on the progress we’ve made over the past 25 years as we step forward together to reach One Day.” (The capitalized “One Day” appears to be a reference to the title of Wendy Kopp’s 2001 memoir about TFA’s origins, One Day, All Children...) Below it, the event description says: “Our 25th Anniversary Summit will bring together thousands from the Teach For America community, all united behind a single goal: in our lifetime, every child will have access to a truly excellent education.”

In the past, TFA relied on political alliances with policy makers, like former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and DC’s ousted mayor Adrian Fenty, to seize control of school districts and impose the charter school model. But the long game — what it calls “the second half of the movement” — is to develop its corps members into a leadership class of its own. Kopp explains:

“I think the way to understand Teach for America is as a leadership development program. We need political leaders, policy makers, doctors, lawyers, and probably more business leaders than we are producing right now . . . In the long run, we need to build a leadership force of people. We have a whole strategy around not only providing folks with the foundational experience during their two years with us, but also then accelerating their leadership in ways that is strategic for the broader education reform movement.”

By developing corps members into leaders committed to its ideology, TFA has disguised its centrality in the education reform movement, spawning a disorienting web of interconnected but nominally independent foundations. These organizations, nearly all of them founded or directed by TFA alumni, work together in coordinated campaigns to dissolve school boards, bust teachers’ unions, and secure public funding for charter schools.

Among them is the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), an umbrella organization for charter schools founded in 1994 by TFA alumni Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin, which administers 183 schools in cities like New York, D.C., and New Orleans, where education reformers connected to TFA first cleared the way for privatization. KIPP’s reputation has earned it the moniker “Kids In Prison Program” for its schools’ draconian disciplinary policies, giving new meaning to the term “school-to-prison pipeline.”

The justification for this epidemic of institutionalized child abuse in the form of charter schools depends entirely on standardized testing. The No Child Left Behind Act mandated an increase in testing across the United States, and education reformers seized on the “achievement gap” revealed by the test scores. This metric has been used, first to justify firing thousands of teachers and principles and closing schools, and then as proof of charter schools’ effectiveness. But all along the entire premise was bunk. The Texas Observer reports on the work of University of Texas professor Walter Stoup, who in 2012 testified to the Texas House Public Education Committee that standardized testing was not a reliable measure of student aptitude:

Stroup knew from his experience teaching impoverished students in inner-city Boston, Mexico City and North Texas that students could improve their mastery of a subject by more than 15 percent in a school year, but the tests couldn’t measure that change. Stroup came to believe that the biggest portion of the test scores that hardly changed—that 72 percent—simply measured test-taking ability. For almost $100 million a year, Texas taxpayers were sold these tests as a gauge of whether schools are doing a good job. Lawmakers were using the wrong tool.

Stroup’s testimony had little effect, and it ultimately cost him his tenure. Meanwhile, Teach For America’s leadership bloc has grown beyond the non-profit sector and is working its way up the ranks of state power. As the Nation reports, “More than seventy alumni currently hold public office, including two state senators. Within the federal government, their ranks include two assistants to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, as well as education policy advisers and associates in the offices of Senators Harry Reid and Al Franken and Representative George Miller.”

The most notorious of Teach For America’s political operatives is alumna Michelle Rhee, who in her last year as Chancellor of D.C. Public Schools was the hero of the 2010 feature film “Waiting For ‘Superman’”. The documentary, a masterpiece of modern propaganda, is unreserved in its exploitation of working-class families, to sell to the public the kinds of policies that made those families desperate enough to be used in such a way to begin with.

Director Davis Guggenheim narrates and, over heart-wrenching images of young black and brown children surrounded by urban decay, gives away the plot with an astonishing claim: “For generations,” he says, “experts tended to blame failing schools on failing neighborhoods. But reformers have begun to believe the opposite: that the problems of failing neighborhoods might be blamed on failing schools.”

Here the word “failing,” of course, is a euphemism for poor. After all, what does it mean for a neighborhood to “fail”? On the other hand, it is an empirical fact that public schools in poorer districts are poorly funded. But this rhetorical sleight-of-hand is emblematic of TFA’s explicitly outlined strategy for countering negative press.

An internal memo, made public last year in a story for the Nation, paints a frightening picture of TFA’s outsize political power. According to the memo, an unnamed source inside the Department of Education tipped off the organization that TFA alumna and Nation reporter Alexandra Hootnick had filed a large FOIA request on Teach For America, indicating that “she was unlikely to portray TFA in a positive light”. In response, TFA utilized its press connections, website, and social media accounts to do pre-emptive damage control.

The memo also describes how TFA monitors internet communications to pick up on controversy surrounding its brand and neutralize it before it grows. Its rapid response to online criticism of Mother Jones for running a TFA advertisement shows that its PR team has media manipulation down to an exact science:

As soon as we saw this conversation beginning to build our communications team drafted a short response (see appendix) which shared the overwhelming positive reception we’d received from the magazine’s readers and our disappointment that a small group would use this as an opportunity to rehash factually inaccurate information and distract attention from the critical issue of early childhood education.

We posted this response on our On The Record page within a few hours of the detractors making noise and tweeted it out from our national handle twice because the conversation wasn’t immediately dying (Tweet 1 (April 30) and Tweet 2 (May 1)). These tweets generated 5 posts from 5 unique supporters and a Twitter reach of 107,519 (the “@teachforamerica” Twitter handle represented 106,131 of the 107,519 supporters) and a Twitter exposure of 213,621. There were 269 clicks on the link to the On The Record page. At this point the conversation died.

Although the world wide web has created novel means of disseminating information, the basic strategy of utilizing mass media to influence public opinion — and, by extension, public policy — has been around for a long time. The propagandist Edward Bernays, widely regarded as the founder of the public relations industry, articulated this method in a 1955 paper entitled “The Engineering of Consent“. Declaring that “only by mastering the techniques of communication can leadership be exercised fruitfully in the vast complex that is modern democracy in the United States,” Bernays insists that leaders should not seek to inform the public, but manipulate it:

With pressing crises and decisions to be faced, a leader frequently cannot wait for the people to arrive at even general understanding. In certain cases, democratic leaders must play their part in leading the public through the engineering of consent to socially constructive goals and values. This role naturally imposes upon them the obligation to use the educational processes, as well as other available techniques, to bring about as complete an understanding as possible.

The intersection of education, politics, and wealth thus made public school systems ideal breeding grounds for a public relations leviathan. Not only does privatizing schools create new opportunities for profit, it provides cover for class warfare in general, while subjecting teachers and students to a fundamentally ideological process. Writing for the Nation, George Joseph expounds on this concept:

For decades, sociological research has shown that anti-poverty measures, not energetic young college students, are the driving factors in improved education outcomes. Yet for over twenty years TFA’s organizational model has been based upon the idea that a college student, fresh from a five-week summer camp, could swoop into [a] poor, overcrowded classroom and inspire her students to overcome all barriers of structural inequality. Thus, the fundamental premise of Teach For America elides this need for wealth redistribution, perhaps explaining TFA’s massive corporate donor appeal.

Teach For America doesn’t just have an extensive PR apparatus; it is an extensive PR apparatus. Bruce Dixon’s suspicions about Ferguson were fully justified, for as he notes, TFA is “backed to the tune of hundreds of millions per year by Wal-Mart, the Broad Foundation, Monsanto and a long list of corporate villains and hedge fund predators intent upon dismantling, destroying and privatizing public education in black and brown neighborhoods, turning public education into a private profit center.”

That’s precisely what Michelle Rhee did when, in her first year as chancellor, she closed 23 schools and fired 157 D.C. Public Schools employees, including 36 principals. By the end of her tenure, 682 teachers represented by the Washington Teachers Union — most of them black — lost their jobs.

Teach For America proved indispensable in that endeavor, as it supplied a reserve army of inexperienced recruits to replace tenured teachers in the few schools that had not been shuttered, and to staff the dozens of new charter schools that sprang up around the District, enticed by Rhee’s school voucher scheme. Among its foot soldiers in that period was the woman Bruce Dixon would later accuse of being a “trojan horse”: Brittany Packnett, who began her career in 2007 as a TFA corps member at Martin Luther King Elementary School in Southeast D.C.

[This was in Drew’s original post and didn’t come through:]

‘Grading TFA’, by Drew Franklin on October 17, 2015

“On Wednesday, Teach For America gave us an unexpected gift in the form of a press release. In the interest of popular education, we thought it would be helpful to review their work for them. Let’s see how they did…” (hint, Drew used his Red Pen with utter abandon.)

Thanks in part to the notoriously racialized political landscape of Washington, D.C., the publicity surrounding Michelle Rhee represented a growing liability for TFA. The ensuing backlash ended Adrian Fenty’s mayorship, and then grew in response to the situation in New Orleans, where education reform reached its apex in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. 7,500 teachers were laid off in the midst of the prolonged humanitarian disaster that followed severe and widespread flooding in the city of New Orleans, while the number of TFA recruits quadrupled. In May 2011 Governor Bobby Jindal appointed TFA alumnus John White to be superintendent of the New Orleans Recovery School District. White closed every single public school that remained, making the RSD the first all-charter school district in the country (he was promoted to state superintendent the next year).

The disproportionate devastation of these policies for black communities created a race problem for Teach For America. In response to the growing backlash, TFA doubled down on its liberal rhetoric and began to re-brand itself as a Civil Rights organization. Selling such an image necessitated a new class of political operatives, one that was “majority-led by the oppressed group.” So when protests erupted in the majority-black town of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9th, 2014, TFA saw its window of opportunity.

Most people who followed the story from the beginning will recognize the name Antonio French. The alderman from St. Louis might justifiably be credited with making the police execution of Michael Brown a national headline. For the first several weeks, thanks to his prolific tweeting, French was among the most visible personalities on the ground in the now-infamous midwestern suburb, garnering profiles in national publications like the Washington Post, and TV spots on CNN.

On August 21st, 2014, in a post that has since been retweeted 1,342 times, French announced that Teach for America had set up shop in Ferguson. This wasn’t merely on-the-ground reporting, but free publicity from a man whose business connections with TFA’s St. Louis chapter were well-established. Two years prior, French had founded a non-profit in St. Louis modeled after the Harlem Children’s Zone, a pioneer of the charter school industry. Among the North Campus’s recruits were staff who had originally come to St. Louis to teach as TFA corps members, and by May 2013, French had brokered an official partnership between North Campus and TFA St. Louis.

French’s partner in the deal was Brittany Packnett, who by then was executive director of TFA St. Louis. The rapport they developed over the next year surely made it easier for Packnett to establish herself among the nascent protest movement’s purported leadership. Twitter conversations between them suggest that Packnett was in Ferguson as early as August 12th. She publicized Antonio French’s arrest on August 14th and, on the same day, declared her “revolutionary love” for St. Louis’s Black children in a rather incoherent post on TFA’s official blog:

Education didn’t save Mike Brown. Racism killed him. There seems to be only one solution-end racism [sic]. . . . [W]hile issues of inequitable education, unemployment and poverty contributed to this crisis, racism is the cause for Mike’s death . . . We must love our students enough to engage in the hard work of active anti-racism, confronting our own biases and ensuring that we dismantle deadly systems of racial dominance and oppression.

Then, on August 16th, a new player joined the operation. As he tells it, Deray McKesson made the 8.5 hour trip from Minneapolis to Ferguson on August 16th under his own initiative, and on his own dollar. There is an air of mystery surrounding McKesson’s seemingly spontaneous appearance on the scene, but in any case, he soon found his place among the Teach For America cohort. That much was inevitable. Deray Mckesson is also a TFA alumnus, and his enthusiasm for education reform is evident.

Mckesson was present with Antonio French and Brittany Packnett the day Teach For America began its Ferguson campaign in earnest on August 21st, 2014. He joined French in publicizing the event on twitter, while TFA began the work of curating his public image on the same day, with a feature on the TFA blog.

Before long, McKesson supplanted French as a go-to source for live updates on the ground in Ferguson, aided by promotion from Teach for America. On October 29th, TFA advertised a “national conference call featuring TFA alumni @MsPackyetti [Brittany Packnett] and @deray.” The Washington Post profiled McKesson in an article published November 13th, and TFA promoted it on social media, identifying him once again as a “TFA alumnus”. On Dec. 10, Time Magazine named him and several others, collectively referred to as the “Ferguson protesters”, as runner-up to Person of the Year — and again, TFA promoted it.

A simple twitter search query reveals this trend, right on up to TFA’s big break: a cover story in the May 4th issue of the New York Times Magazine, under the headline “‘Our Demand Is Simple: Stop Killing Us.’” The 6700-word article profiles McKesson and fellow overnight superstar protester Johnetta Elzie, as they drop in to protests in cities across the United States (who’s paying for it all is never explained). According to the Times, the two got together in mid-September, under Brittany Packnett’s leadership, to produce a newsletter for the Ferguson protests called This is the Movement, which boasted a “wide range of readers, from reporters to protesters to officials within the Department of Justice.” (In actuality, the “newsletter” was simply a collection of links to articles from various external publications, a few charities, and several T-shirt vendors.)

“Twitter is the revolution,” Mckesson is quoted as saying, in an utterance that has gone on to become his mantra. TFA, of course, benefits from the illusion that social media is inherently liberatory; as we have seen, twitter has proven to be an immensely useful tool in their million-dollar PR arsenal. And so we learn just how much Mckesson has in common with his “influencer” Michelle Rhee:

After graduating in 2007, Mckesson joined Teach for America and taught middle school for two years in East New York, Brooklyn, before moving back home to Baltimore to work in H.R. for the city’s schools. He developed a reputation as a ruthless administrator — every hiring and firing was justified, in his own mind, by what was best for the kids in the district.

When one imagines a revolutionary activist following in the footsteps of the Civil Rights movement, a ruthless human resources administrator does not usually come to mind. But that is the “Superman” at the heart of the neoliberal narrative pushed by the education reform movement. Yesterday it was Michelle Rhee and John White; today, Brittany Packnett and Deray Mckesson represent the superheroes we have been waiting for.

The post-Katrina privatization coup was the culmination of years of economic restructuring in New Orleans following the disaster, which former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan famously called “the best thing that happened to education in New Orleans.” The concept behind this phenomenon was identified by Naomi Klein in her 2007 book The Shock Doctrine. Klein illustrates, using New Orleans and occupied Baghdad as case studies, that “disaster capitalism” is a predatory policy framework that depends on the chaos brought about by catastrophic events to recuperate public infrastructure and cede it to corporations. No wonder, then, that TFA operatives like Mckesson keep showing up in cities like Baltimore when the threat of rioting looms large.

While Mckesson was busy shoring up TFA’s brand, making the rounds on the cable news circuit and garnering praise for such intellectual feats as making Wolf Blitzer look dumb on TV, Brittany Packnett swiftly moved up the ranks of the political class. In November 2014, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon named her to the 16-person panel on the Ferguson Commission. The next month she joined the Dream Defenders’ Phil Agnew and a handful of others in a private meeting with President Obama in the White House.

The meeting evidently paid off, as Packnett was subsequently selected for the President’s Task Force On 21st Century Policing. One of the co-chairs under which she would work was former D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Charles Ramsey, whose own civil rights violations against protesters were so severe that in 2009 the city was forced to pay them $8.25 million in damages.

The task force’s final report, predictably, ignored any substantive economic analysis in favor of milquetoast reforms. These recommendations found further expression in the much-ballyhooed Campaign Zero, a watered-down platform launched by Brittany Packnett and Deray Mckesson, who make up half the campaign’s planning team.

For their efforts, the two were rewarded last July with a $10,000 prize from Teach For America, who named them the winners of the 2015 Peter Jennings Award for Civic Leadership. Antonio French got his, too, in the form of a $500,000 grant from the state of Missouri for his St. Louis non-profit.

Meanwhile, the future of the protest movement they helped build is uncertain. For all the protestations that black lives matter, Teach For America’s crimes against black communities have gone largely unchecked, shielded by its near-hegemonic public relations empire. The movement lives.

The movement is also spreading its tentacles across national borders. Teach For All, founded by Wendy Kopp in 2007, claims affiliates in 37 countries, where globetrotting alumni have exported the TFA brand. Teach For India, Teach For Lebanon, and Enseña por Colombia are among the fruits of the second half of the movement.

Teach First Israel, which claims schools in occupied Jerusalem, is particularly worrisome. According to its website, TFI was launched in partnership with JDC (a Zionist resettlement foundation) and the Israeli Ministry of Education. Not only is Kopp’s foundation thus directly implicated in Israel’s violations of international law, each of its litany of corporate donors consequently meet the standards for boycott from the growing international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. Now that that’s out in the open, perhaps a silver lining can be found in the potential for new forms of joint struggle between Palestinians and the United States’ black underclass.

Teach For America’s goal of “One Day, All Children” isn’t a promise; it’s a threat. That’s worth remembering on February 5th, the day TFA descends on Washington to celebrate its 25th anniversary.”


Here are responses from McKesson and Packnett

Rania Khalek, assoc. editor at electronic intifada,  weighed in:

Diane Ravitch has offered her take on TFA, one is here, another one is here.

145 responses to “‘Teach For America, Black Leadership, and Disaster Capitalism’, by Drew Franklin

  1. Good catch. Of course there are established insurgent organizations with their own agendas who want to capture movemental energy. Teach for America did expose middle-class white people to the realities of rural and urban poor schools; some of those people were transformed in the same way that white civil rights workers were in the 1960s. The relationships that TFA volunteer teachers had in these schools (some of my daughter’s friends were among them) however exposed the fact that public education in rural and urban areas was being starved by middle class politicians and funds diverted to higher-income schools that “could perform” because mommy and daddy spent gobs of bucks at Kaplan and other additional educational resources. TFA was an enabler that at first thought all those business bucks were for helping rural and urban schools. The professional staff at TFA soon wised up and went for the grift. How much likely varied from location to location. No social organization is ever monolithic.

    So the task is to watch Deray and MsPackyetti like hawks, knowing that there is the possibility of a hidden agenda beyond #blacklivesmatter, but that seeing that the limited goals of #blacklivesmatter are gained.

    The key thing to watch at the moment is how CampaignZero evolves and how much it finances a “professional” lifestyle for its professional staff (if there are any.)

    In any entrepreneurial venture, there is the point when the board kicks aside the founder, pays them well, and goes its own way. That is when the venture becomes and organization and loses all flexibility to innovate.

    Political movements have a corresponding struggle with the organizations that intend to make them efficient and effective. Even within the Occupy Wall Street movement, there were those tendencies (beyond the facilitation team) to get an organization, with PR recognitions, and legal advice and just watch the overhead grow in the impediments to actual, you know, movement increase. That is where the movement of which #blacklivesmatter is only one Twitter tag is at right now, again on the eve of a US Presidential election.

    Predictably, it has sent Hillary Clinton into Alabama plumping for voting rights. At least the Democrats realize that one of the greatest threats to their existence right now is the suppression of voting rights and the cutting of the jobs of their constituencies. Not awake yet, just realizing there’s a burglar in the house.

    Great investigative article. Thanks for putting it up. It is a mistake to turn political movements into relgious movements. They are what they are. They always fall short in some way and prepare the ground for another movement to try a new wrinkle.

    • thank you, tarheeldem. i know it’s not the ‘done thing’, but i’ll have t beg off until tomorrow. somehow my eyes fail me after so much reading, and by this time of day, no matter how many times i rinse them with cold water…they still aren’t up to the task of reading, nor typing. oy; i feel like helen keller’s teacher annie too many times. ;-)

      but four red-tail hawks were here today engaged in a small war with corvids (gawd awful screeches). there’s a metaphor in there somewhere, but i can’t determine what it might be. g’ night.

    • it really is a superb piece of investigative work. and while the depth and breadth of ‘the rabbit’ hole and the many long-reaching tentacles both depressed and angered me, knowing is better than not knowing.

      at least in the movement black twittersphere, it hasn’t seemed to cause much disruption in the force, but that may change. all deray had to do was liken in to accusing him of being a cia agent. ;-)

      yeah, tfa may have started with some good intentions vis a vis volunteers (that i hadn’t known), but wendy kopp’s quote is illuminating:

      “In 2011, TFA founder Wendy Kopp spoke on a Seattle radio station, saying that people often misunderstand the function of TFA. “We’re a leadership development organization, not a teaching organization,” she said. “I think if you don’t understand that, of course it’s easy to tear the whole thing apart.”

      brings new meaning to the term ‘leadership’.

      drew franklin may have left out bill gates and his billionaire friends being at the center of the charter school drive, even championing common core, which of course most teachers and districts loathe. the testing ‘opt out’ movement seems to be growing, even here in our valley.

      good tip about ‘watching campaign zero’ and professional staffing and grifting there as well.

      but rania khalek is right, although not just black kids are being ripped off, of course. think how many schools have been closed and re-emerged as charters, often in the same goddam buildings.

      one chunk of good news is that gates’ and friends’ seattle charter school law was declared unconstitutional last month. (may bill gates’ hair and teeth fall out tonight.)

      • Rahm Emanuel’s school plan seemingly is all conversion to charter in the same building from what I can tell from afar. Glad the corruption has been noticed by the law enforcement authorities. Slap on the hand?

        Wendy Kopp in 1990 is likely not the same as the Wendy Kopp who was at the World Economic Forum in 2012 (the Wikipedia pic). Her sociological thinking was influenced by Marvin Bressler at Princeton University. So unravel the intellectual tradition from there.

        Well yes, leadership training. Kopp’s idea was to take new subject-matter grads, hit them with a 90-day wonder crash course in pedagogy and mostly leadership training and toss them into a classroom of 30 kids and a bunch of permanently employed teachers who saw them as a job threat. School districts went for the cheap labor. That’s how it worked.

        Now the term “leadership training” generally means followership training and talent screening for, among other assets, creative bullshitting and absolute obedience. The followers get “self-management training” types of content. You see where this goes. And how it shapes people who can rise through the ranks and who might have a highly personal agenda other than teaching. And you can see how it can propel people like Deray and MsPackyetti to the fore through the skills it does teach. And provide them a means of self-support outside of TFA. Not that it’s a knock on them as long as they produce the results of change in police behavior in a reasonably short time span, but they don’t seem to be squatting and getting fed by Food Not Bombs. Organization has a different mindset when it comes to logistics than does movemental action. Not morally better or worse; just different, and typically more expensive, which is the vulnerability that allows for co-option.

        Back to charter schools. It is not just black kids who have been ripped off. Rural white kids have as well because charter schools became a ruse to fund segregation academies and some essentially “Christian schools” and suffer from the same declining standards and teach-to-the-test mentality.

        And charter schools and testing expenses have diverted major and declining funds away from public schools and hamstrung the ability of public school teachers to actually teach subjects thoroughly. Mission accomplished. Only those who can afford to pay for education will get it in the future. The system is not there yet, but that is where the education “reformers” are taking it. And it has gotten so bad that reformer Dianne Ravitch and other early reformers have reversed course and are pointing out the folly of Arne-cation.

        And in other news, Shaun King has a gig with the NY Daily News. Wonder how that will affect his former outspokenness.

        Crows and hawks. Ain’t that the raucous? What is happening here since the Mexican and Canadian consuls appeared at a festival to welcome the flight of the monarch butterflies is ospreys hanging out around the stormwater retention ponds at major new developments — elder communities, shopping centers, office parks — likely for amphibian snacks. I don’t think many of them were stocked with fish. And the suburban deer are showing themselves again as they go for the acorn and hickory mast that has been falling.

        • ooooh, i love your paragraphs on ‘followership training’, and its implications. i’ve often wondered, as drew has, how in hell they show up at every protest and event (funding-wise).

          yeah, i’d seen shaun say he’d been given the job as ‘senior editor’ of that tab of the paper, and wondered not only at ‘senior’, but how much editorial control would be exercised, of course, but also the ‘pacification’ quotient played a part.

          the IL aclu pulled that in chicago recently, in a secret deal with the CPD before aldermen were even allowed to vote on ‘we charge genocide’s STOP bill. pfffft.


          guess i wasn’t aware of the earlier iteration of ravitch, myownself.

          no fished stocked in the drains? such malfeasance! jeezum crow; we had a total of three monarchs this year (zero last) and two swallowtails. we even have milkweed and bushels-worth of flowers. luckily, i got a pic of both beauties.

  2. If you look beyond the TFA figurehead, Wendy Kopp you find the usual Technocrat suspects who actually financed this political/economic assault on public education from its inception. The founders include Whitney Tilson hedge fund value investor, IRS ex Doug Shulman, and KIPP Charter School President, Rich Barth. There was nothing social about this organization except its social engineering.

    We The Protesters and its spawn Campaign Zero are not and never have been part of the Black Lives Matter ‘organization’ although they organized under the BLM hashtag. It’s probably best to view them as vetted Democrat Party operatives, political activists, acceptable to the PTB and promoted and praised by the MSM as new leaders. The radical social activists of BLM who shun partisan politics and its system were easily ignored when these accepted insiders delivered their glossy proposals but on the streets I doubt they lead much of a following.

    • ‘technocrats’: yes, and how often i forget the term. but yes, a cavalcade of bidness stars, not so much noblesse oblige, but pretending to be. yes, the official BLM site is not the overall movement. i’ve collected a lot of links over the past few weeks, anticipating a ‘big dreams of black power plus movement schisms’, but here are two that might be of interest:

      joel northam of the black autonomy federation sees a number of schisms in the overall movement, and this is just one woman’s take on a September Black Brown Red Lives Matter event. one paragraph:

      “I had the chance to speak with the co-founder of BLM, Alicia Garza. She was the keynote speaker for an event hosted by Black Brown Red Lives Matter (BBRLM) at McMaster University on September 24th, 2015 ironically titled “Black Lives Matter: The Rallying Cry of the New Movement Against Racist Police Violence.” As a volunteer for BBRLM steering committee, I helped organize the event. However, male members of the group continuously subjected the women to patriarchal violence, abuse, manipulation, and exploitation of labor. As a result, I left the group two weeks before the event. Instead, I and two of my other women comrades created a new group, Project Black to disrupt the Black Lives Matter event, draw attention to the global crisis of Black women, and expose the violence inflicted on us by men in BBRLM.”


      but that most of the mot militant movement folks on the ground are seldom seen, and the easily coopted stars are more benign and ‘acceptable’ to the white house, candidates, yada, yada. i will say that i chortled when ms picketty was giving shout-outs to malcolm x, though. ;-)

      • Assata Shakur’s books are leadership training, dontcha know? And so are the sayings and speeches of Malcolm X. You can see where this is going I know. Even W. E. B. DuBois is now safe to quote.

        • (double big grin)

          and if TFA and TFA are in 37 nations now, you can be guaran-damn-teed that the billionaires will be sponsoring charter schools.

          • Wouldn’t want the kiddies to learn anything that isn’t useful for bidness, would we. Mmm. Like history or…philosophy.

            That reminds me Jacobin did a take-down of John Locke as the real road to serfdom. Locke comes out and says it, but students are so taught how to read Locke that they miss it.

            • i’m hit or miss checking in with jacobin, and missed that one.

              but now that you’ve mentioned it, one of drew’s links mentioned TFA zip-credentialed teachers in terms of teaching special needs kids and ESL, and sadly, ESL got a bit more mention than the former.

              it’s not that special ed or title I teachers may get taught the newest and most innovative methods and theories to find what works with kids who don’t learn the factory ed ways, but damned straight ya want them to be specialists, and hopefully keeping up their own ‘educations’ in the area.

              too many times teachers are given those classes a s a punishment, at least around here, and that’s just messed up. our daughter’s special needs class teacher, for instance, once told me how hard it is teaching…’the dumb kids’. the second time she did it, well, i kinda threatened her. nicely, of course.

              our son was in a title I reading class for a time (oof, a rotten, mean, teacher man), and in the end, i sought out other methods that did end up working for him, but sadly, not his sister so much. he graduated from college, anyhoo. but screw this program.

              dunno who looked at the ‘grade’ drew gave TFA’ press release about his exposé with all his red pen marks, but it was “Final Grade: #Resist TFA

              on edit: oof; Lock loves him some serfs! mine eyes are burned out, but i’ll try to read it tomorrow.

    • I’m not sure the Democrats have moved to vet operatives in #blacklivesmatters, despite the conferences with Bernie and Hillary. Those two campaigns might be seeking coalition support however and see more organized and less movemental folks as more “reliable’. The #blacklivesmatter activists who matter at the moment are still in their local communities, like Ferguson and West Baltimore, working with local people to build an inter-local movement to stop police violence. Some of them might be radical social activitist, but most have a practical focus on one issue.

      Folks like Deray and other prominent #blacklivesmatter activists keep the issue visible (at least for now) to the national polity. They become a problem when they start telling local communities what “responsibility” looks like instead of pressing the issue against the established institutions. Campaign Zero answers the establishment’s “But what are your demands” dodge of seeing the obvious.

      Good reminder who who funded (and educated) Wendy Kopp in putting her senior thesis into action. No matter how idealistic (if at all) Kopp might have been in 1990 as a freshly minted Princeton grad., she now has networked her way into the World Economic Forum and likely on education policy. When do we start to hear about charter schools in European countries or Japan?

      • TFA already has an international wing Teach for All to spread the gospel of corporate education worldwide.

        Because the people from Campaign Zero were trained for advancement and leadership inside the system, by TFA and not to teach, their attempts to coopt BLM or some of its followers back under its control is not that surprising. Liberal White society will never support a Black Liberation and Power Movement no matter how much exposure they receive from acceptable lackeys of the system that oppresses them.

      • It’s becoming more telling how you and other Liberal bloggers continue to attempt to conflate and even inflate the influence of the TFA, We The Protesters and Campaign Zero corporate activists with the BLM Grassroots Movement.

        If BLM continues to grow and gain power it will be within the Black community and not dependent on fickle White Liberals who balk at any display of power that might confront their privileged middle class agendas.

        Clinton, Sanders and many others have made it very clear that BLM must subjugate themselves to the Liberal agenda or they will find ways to crush them just as they and their ilk along with their Police State crushed the Occupy Movement.

        • Perhaps our “anarchist” poseur will encounter his Hajj as openly as Malcolm:

          There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colors, from blue-eyed blondes to black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the white and the non-white.

          You may be shocked by these words coming from me. But on this pilgrimage, what I have seen, and experienced, has forced me to rearrange much of my thought patterns previously held, and to toss aside some of my previous conclusions. This was not too difficult for me. Despite my firm convictions, I have been always a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds it. I have always kept an open mind, which is necessary to the flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of intelligent search for truth.

          […] while praying to the same God with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of the blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white. And in the words and in the actions and in the deeds of the ‘white’ Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan and Ghana.

          We are truly all the same-brothers.

          All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

          There may be No Alternative for this nihilistic fanatacist.

        • i wonder if we might say whom we’re addressing, wayoutwest. the nested comment stripes are too hard for my eyes to follow any longer.

          but ooof, i’d forgotten to add to my comments to realitychecker (on the Open Menu thread) that the larger BLM movement is so akin to Occupy, at least among those hoping for a nonviolent revolution of equality and actual democracy (knowing that this is a rather ‘a republic’ in which the constitution is now regarded as…).

          • Sorry Wendy, that comment was in response to TD’s ‘Folks like Deray and other prominent #BLM activists keep the issue visible’ BLM is not a political ‘issue’ it is a life and death struggle between Black people and the State. Issues are what politicians use to base campaigns on and lie about to help the rubes feel needed and less powerless.

            • thank you, peter. of course i keep forgetting to add names, myself. ;-) but i will say that thd is one of the most assiduous supporters of the movement, albeit counseling me to take social movements for what they are, heh.

              • I’ve read and enjoyed TD’s assiduous reporting on movements for a number of years but as far as I know he is still a Tarheel Democrat. Consciously or not he tends to support and defend political groups such as TFA, Campaign Zero and the Democrat Party in his comments even projecting their good intentions and usefulness while acknowledging their darker side when the facts are exposed.

                There even seems to be a direct shot taken, in his first comment, at OWS and BLM ‘only one twitter tag’ for not becoming political and joining in the election extravaganza then and now.

                • thanks for the response, and i guess i see your point about his nuanced analyses, but i didn’t see it that way myself. that at least a lot of the key figures in the movement seem to be getting sucked into dem electoral politics…no, it’s not my call, but i can’t like it one bit.

                  garza, cullors, and tometti have a facebook petition demanding that wasserman-schultz hold a #BLM ‘debate’ for dem candidates. well, shiver me timbers, and all that jazz.

                  but i’ve been reading a piece at counterpunch on my breaks about the NGO-ization of social movements, and indeed, thd is right: if it ends up with paid staff, it becomes a joke. of course, it’s kinda based on the obama plan, so…there’s that, too.

                  anyway, things are gettin’ kinda crazy over mr. wd’s changing needs, and the phones and emails are flyin’ with communications. back as i’m able.

  3. fiddlesticks; i hadn’t noticed that an image link hadn’t made he proper conversion in the post. it was this:

    Grading TFA‘, by Drew Franklin on October 17, 2015

    “On Wednesday, Teach For America gave us an unexpected gift in the form of a press release. In the interest of popular education, we thought it would be helpful to review their work for them. Let’s see how they did:”

    Drew got out his red pen to grade it, lol!

  4. At leftist events and protests, POC militants sometimes establish status and legitimacy by wailing on the white kids who say ignorant crap, some of it severe, but most of it relatively banal. They posture about how much they hate white people and decry how many are in the room, but fail to develop strategies for organizing in proletarian communities of color, fail to build revolutionary organizations, and fail to develop bonds with working class militants of color in a manner that is any more effective than the white leftists.

    At the same time, multiracial organizing projects also often foster a reciprocal process of white guilt and POC resentment. Whether in separate groups or multiracial ones, the white left and the POC left are locked in an unhealthy relationship.This can turn sadomasochistic: white leftists joyfully submit to scoldings from POC militants, in order to feel legitimated by them. At the same time, POC leftists seek individual satisfaction by wailing on white people. The compulsion of POC and white militants to wail and be wailed upon, and thereby somehow purify themselves of internal racism, limits their ability to fundamentally challenge the capitalist system.

    Entrepreneurial evangelists? No! It can’t happen here!


    • no, shaming The Power doesn’t work for a hundred different reasons, comrade x. for the love of gawd, can ya not make us dig for links?

      ha ha ha ha… or: not so ha ha. fook me, it slows things down for me and others.


      • OK. I’m done playing hard to get, comrade?


      • And shaming the wingnutz don’t work cause the idiots have found their inner paranoid:

        “[Dori] believed POC Yoga “should be free”—he also openly accused POC Yoga of being “racist,” “exclusionary,” and more than once (instead of calling the collective by its self-chosen name) referred to it as “no whites yoga class.”

        “Directly following Dori’s heated criticism, Teresa said hate calls and death threats started pouring in every five minutes. There were all together over 200 phone calls, and hundreds and hundreds of emails filled with hostility and hate. What had just been anger generated out of a Nextdoor post spiraled into a violent, racist fervor that swept the country and made its way onto inflammatory websites like Infowars and Drudge Report. She rushed out that day to get a security system for her home though she stayed with a friend that night for safety.”

        Wingnutz now a vicious collective of victims thanks to rhetorical mirroring.

      • “she is alternately consumed with anger and horrifically traumatized. She said, sobbing: “I’m going to some kind of therapy on a daily basis … I just feel like my mental health is so not well right now. I am not well.” She then stopped and could not speak for a while.

        “When she could speak again Teresa said it does help her feel better remembering the very first POC Yoga class (which she taught) in May 2010 at Garfield Community Center. Fifty people turned out on a sunny day. “It was so beautiful … to just see that many people of color who wanted to do this,” she recalled with a smile on her face. She said she thought to herself: “‘Oh my gosh there’s finally this healing space for all of us.” She talked about touching peace, finding calm, being grounded, learning strength. But then her smile fades. Because now what was lovingly known for a half decade as POC Yoga has abruptly and tragically come to an end. When asked what she wanted the public to know, her answer was firm: “You need to say, from Teresa’s mouth, POC Yoga has shut down.””

        Thank wingnutz for their conjugations with terror.

    • Well, yes, that is what is called a tactical contradiction. It’s one of those predictable crises of leftist meetings. What they don’t understand is that purification of internal racism is a never-ending job at least until the institutions that are constantly reformulation racist structures and propaganda are shut down. Rush Limbaugh was necessary because the New South was going soft in the racism department in the 1980s. Is there any wonder there are now so many rightwing shock jocks on the radio.

      It must be harder and harder for the funders of those guys to keep their audience down on the farm. Inter-racial proms in the Deep South, gay prom queens in the midwest — right there in Real America@tm; . It’s enough to give a billionaire apoplexy.

      But where the split really gets heated is when gender issues come up in discussion.

      • Tactical contradiction … or strategic incompetence?

        After 50 years overcoming malice-mongering, proles find they’re … all proles.

        HA HA HA HA HA HA.

    • boots riley said it right, i think. there are ways of making our voices heard, and then better ways of making our voices heard.

      do i remember correctly that there were affinity groups who’d protested with the black lives movements in some locales? i’d swear that ‘fight for fifteen’ and food workers had. i liked those combined actions (imaginary or not…).

    • realitychecker1

      Can anybody here spell H-O-P-E-L-E-S-S???????

      It seems that integrity can only be found in individual actors doing guerrilla-type damage to the system any way they can; every political actor
      soon reveals themselves to be manipulative venal compradors, don’t they?

      Rhetorical question, any competent realitychecker definitely knows the correct answer already.

      Justice seekers cannot live by hope alone.


        The comrade must be reminded that the integrity deficit of compradors made them accomplices in “revolutionizing” American crapitalism through “creative destruction”.

        Of course, those self-imagining Guevaritos are full of shit. That’s why comrade checker-ed’s case rests on the hopelessness of all talk, no cattle, non-violent, justice-seekers: the guerrillitos are severely deficient in integrity too.

        I’m not taking the bullshit Burkean, anti-Jacobin, “all revolution degenerates into Reigns of Terror” conservative position here. Those guerrillitos remain compradors and their “Reign of Terror” would be a useful shock.

        I wonder, does comrade checker-ed factor that into his valuations?

        HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

        • realitychecker1

          Well, Comrade, I wasn’t thinking about any organized anything; all organizations suffer from the dual deficiencies of vulnerability to modern surveillance as well as the compradorship you so correctly delineate for us here, IMO.

          Individually motivated spontaneous actions are a completely different animal. No reason I can see to doubt the integrity or the effectiveness of such.

          • What! False flags don’t have the appearance of spontaneity? The solo avenger (I assume they are not ubermenschen entrepreneurs) revolutionary wrenchers will bring integral and efficacious anarchy?

            HA HA HA HA HA HA.

            The Greeks performed tragedy as a means of cultural rescue. We seek tragedy out of desperation.

            • realitychecker1

              Comrade X and Wendy, mockery is easy but misplaced when your own idealistic visions are failing to slow down a terminal slide into fascism and darkness.

              Obviously, I can’t engage this topic fully due to justified Watcher paranoia, but I will say that obviously neither of you has the slightest understanding of what I am talking about. Not the slightest.
              Let it be.

              • odd; i’d thought that comrade x was agreeing with you, although many times i have to ask him to translate his comments into the Common Tongue. ;-)

                but my goodness, how easily you take offense. first, allow me to say that i haven’t an idealistic of the way forward, at least as far as the police state fascism, especially aimed at POC and rabble. but i have put up any number of ideas/programs/solutions that folks around the web, including sometimes globally) are advocating over the past year.

                and i’ve been watching a mulit-disced ‘scarlet pimpernell’, and seeing the tumbrels (sp?) and madame guillotine caused me to think of you.

                but your illogic concerning the 168,000 hits on the guilford investigation took me aback, as those hits are ‘publications’, not individual people. iirc, the reason you brought in the first place was to compare/contrast, yada, yada, but also by implication that the black twittersphere didn’t care. then you rejected that thinking…or something. you’d also indicated that since you’d been so curious about the case, but hadn’t seen anything…that there was no coverage.

                what i do for a particular case, is enter a victim’s name, a trial for cop X or Y, into a search engine. the most recent coverage is at the top, but as hfc says, often the local news is best, but not always easy to determine until you click in, or know the local media names already.

                yes, i do understand that you are of the strong belief that your calculations are best, and that snooping potential being what it is, you’ll keep from discussing it further. oh, and the robespierre factor is to be considered as well.

                srsly, though, i’m working on a post about the wikileaked cables on the damned socialist nations in the south, and the indicators that the US has been trying to overthrow, allow assassinations, etc., by ngo and other means. of course we know the cables about chavez. but it all caused me to want to ask you if you believe a many do, if you believe capitalism is one of the key, if not the key, culprit in both local and global police state oppression.

                well, anyway, no need to answer now, and i’ll try to get it ready soon. things seem to be getting extra-busy here again, but we’ll see what the new family communications bring.

                but oh, my, have we had some gorgeous morning thunderstorms today, complete with light shows and rainbows. yum.

                • I did not read our good friend Comrade X as agreeing with me, but maybe he wrong-footed me with his usual crypticese. ;-)

                  Truth is, Wendy, I’m tired, very tired, physically, mentally, and in my soul. It’s becoming very difficult for me to rise above my very sad personal issues to care very much about anyone else’s, and since I do not expect to be alive beyond the next few years, my interest in the people’s various sub-group issues is becoming ever more difficult to maintain, and never gets anymore beyond the purely philosophical–obviously, I am no longer fit to be any kind of people’s warrior, but I do think in terms of what might and might not work from a purely analytical POV. That’s just the way it is with me nowadays. But if you perceive contradictions within my offerings (I don’t), I might suggest that it is due to the contradictions between our shared ideals and the presently observable objective realities, which realities have pretty much convinced me that the battle for the human spirit and soul and a positive future for regular people is already lost..

                  The pure intellectual enjoyment of sharing thoughts is one of the few pleasures I still relish, and why I come here..

                  WRT capitalism, I think we cannot evaluate it from the perspective of what we presently experience. This is not capitalism, but rather an unholy corruption of it, just as the Soviet Union was just a corrupted version of another vision. I grew up living actual small-scale capitalism in my mother’s factory, and I regarded it as a noble way of life. Individual initiative and the merit of hard work and properly evaluating and managing risk carry many positives with them, but there must be limiting rules that are properly enforced, which we have not seen in a very long time in this country once one moves away from small-scale entrepreneurship.

                  • it’s hard to hear how worn out and sad you are, amigo, but it’s not clear to me if that’s also the reason you believe that “the battle for the human spirit and soul and a positive future for regular people is already lost”. (i’ve been sitting here for a good ten minutes staring at that sentence, musing about the various ways that folks cope with that sort of depressed spirit, myownself included.)

                    for now, i will offer the mexican resistance proverb: :they tried to bury us…but they forgot we were seeds”. although crushed so mightily by the police and security states, the seeds of Occupy are still growing behind the scenes (underground, if you will). the black and indigenous lives movement have broadcast more seeds, even though the movement co-optation is going full-tilt, but the everyday people are still pushing back, and growing wiser, perhaps. by the by, i keep meaning to remind you that it was the media who reified the hashtag as that.

                    it does seem that i may have been wrong about comrade x being in agreement with you, but in any event, it’s his wont to add hahaha’s to everything. ;-)

                    yes, we can call this end stage of capitalism ‘lemon socialism’, but i’ve been convinced that it’ll never be reigned in again in any meaningful way, nor will neoliberalism…until it crashes. the good news to me is that more and more people seem to be getting that, much like myself.

                    i’m sorry; i’ve had this comment open for 45 minutes while i fielded a call from some sheriff’s deputy concerning some weird irrigation garbage that could have handled neigh-to-neighbor to begin with. maybe tomorrow, reality checker.

                    • realitychecker1

                      Just to respond to your query as to when I came to believe the battle was already lost . . .

                      I knew with certainty by 1975 that we were heading into fascism, and knew then that some violence would be required to stop that. I was preceded in that conviction by many writers going back to the 40’s and 50’s.

                      By 9/11, I was greatly alarmed by the dramatic acceleration of that process–two weeks after, I lost an important friend by saying that the right wing would use 9/11 as an excuse to turn us into a police state. So alarmed that I started to explore the online world right after that, Truthout, Crooks and Liars, Hullaballoo, some others, finally coming to the fledgling FDL when Christie still wrote there. That’s when I stared commenting, as razorbrain, as you note, a handle deliberately chosen to provoke engagement with uncomfortable truths (unfortunately, most chose to respond to that provocation emotionally and personally rather than intellectually, but you may recall my constant references to the Declaration of Independence and the desirability of discussing the idea of revolution lol.) After getting banned, I returned under the new persona of realitychecker, and endeavored to be be kinder and gentler and less confrontational, while still getting people to confront some uncomfortable truths and counterproductive illusions.

                      I already thought it was too late when I started at FDL, we had slept for decades while the monsters honed and deployed their various weaponry, but I tried to be a “good soldier” in solidarity with the left for the next 10 years, hoping against hope that I was wrong. But now, viewing the record, I see no point in pretending any more that we will be magically saved. I’ve convinced nobody that fighting back will be required, and I know full well that the monsters cannot be deterred, much less displaced, by harsh language and defiant ridicule.

                      So, my life going forward will be different. I have no children, and so only a philosophical interest in the future. I won’t be here that long, but I will spend my time trying to control my pain and spread love among those physically around me, helping all those who I am able to help in any way I can, and trying to come to terms with the unfairness of mortality.

                      My present personal situation is a reflection of two decades of continuous great pain and many grievous and tragic emotional losses which have finally ground my fighting spirit down to where I have recently acknowledged my own limitations to myself. And now I am trying to adjust to my reality.

                      But I’ll still come here for intelligent debate, conversation, and your great writing. And the joys of Comrade X’s brilliance, of course. ;-)

                  • i guess i’ll pass on explaining more of what is clear to me about capitalism, except to say that there always have to be serfs, and that a true democracy would likely yield some version of anti-capitalism and egalitarianism. and that’s why the Imperium and its allies are so hell-bent on destroying the bolivarian governments in ‘or backyard’. egalitarian is a dangerous concept.

                • Ah, but small-scale entrepreneurship is contradictory on the large scale. Your contradiction is not between “our shared ideals and the presently observable objective realities” it is that your instilled virtue was only a tool for a tragic system. That system is willing to expend you with your virtue and you were not apprised of this fraud for a long, painful time.

              • “your own idealistic visions are failing to slow down a terminal slide into fascism and darkness.”

                But, comrade, you used to work the dark side, maybe trying to beat the system before it crashed? I wonder if your current strategy is more a provoked reaction than not. You suppose that “individually motivated spontaneous actions” don’t inter-operate with the hegemonster’s organization? That they’ve declared “terrorism” as their raison d’etre without intent to develop terrorists?

                Why be grist for the hegemonster’s mill, comrade?

                No, no, you say, we’re not practical, we don’t understand the necessity of those “spontaneous actions”. Ah, but I doubt your assessment; we are not the “idealists” we would have been accused of being back in your day, etc.

                • … inter-operate with the Hegemonster’s self-licking ice cream cone.

                • realitychecker1

                  Comrade, I won’t get into a full scale debate with you over the relative merits of capitalism vs. socialism, but I will say you made me laugh with your reference to the “dark side.” If you knew my personal story, you’d know I have lived a disgustingly virtuous life, completely non-materialistic, and always devoted to the ideal of social justice and the truth, even when, especially when, my idea of justice was in conflict with the actual established law. Even as a lawyer, I only had interest in representing little guys who were being abused by big guys. I have no shame to hide.

                  But fyi, if I could construct my ideal society, it would, in brief, be one where all received a free quality education and free health care, and also were guaranteed essential food and shelter in exchange for having all the able-bodied perform some work that was socially beneficial, while allowing free enterprise and individual initiative in all other areas of life. i.e., a balanced and humane blend of socialism and capitalism.

                  I’ve also always believed that monsters can only be defeated by convincing them that they are vulnerable.

                  Nothing I’ve ever seen has drawn me away from those core beliefs.

                • Jah, jah. The crapitalist mantra of Menger, Mises and Schumpeter:

                  Menger- The entrepreneur as far-sighted gambler:

                  Menger emphasized that entrepreneurs bear uncertainty and take purposeful, decisive action according to the knowledge they have. John Bates Clark and Frank A. Fetter are economists who followed in Menger’s approach to economics. Clark believed the entrepreneur must also be the owner of a business. Fetter saw uncertainty-bearing as the key entrepreneurial function. He asserted that an entrepreneur organized and directed production while possessing superior foresight.

                  Jah. But risk is the excuse used by insurers for their pounds of flesh. Risk is incidental to the delivery of the profit; the gambler “investor” crapitalist claims his lucre is reward for risk but it’s actually from the possession of his previously expropriated assets.
                  The entrepreneur also thrives off externalities which collective investors are less inclined to neglect.

                  Mises – The entrepreneur as market clearer:

                  Entrepreneurs see opportunities for profit in the conditions of disequilibrium. Competition among profit-seeking entrepreneurs is the agency which would bring the market prices of all goods and services to their equilibrium levels if no further changes in market data were to take place.

                  Of course, this is PR for brokers who pretend to find prices but whose lucre lies in misadjusting them.

                  Schumpeter – The entrepreneur as doer (with Unternehmergeist, the undertaker-spirit (HA HA HA HA), except:

                  Schumpeter [later] argued that the agents that drive innovation and the economy are large companies which have the capital to invest in research and development of new products and services and to deliver them to customers cheaper, thus raising their standard of living. In one of his seminal works, “Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy”, Schumpeter wrote:

                  As soon as we go into details and inquire into the individual items in which progress was most conspicuous, the trail leads not to the doors of those firms that work under conditions of comparatively free competition but precisely to the door of the large concerns–which, as in the case of agricultural machinery, also account for much of the progress in the competitive sector–and a shocking suspicion dawns upon us that big business may have had more to do with creating that standard of life than with keeping it down.

                  Crapitalism. It’s the bullshit they trained you to when you were too young to know the difference.

                  • realitychecker1

                    Showing that you’ve mastered the lingo, but not the reality.

                    Does the worker risk not getting compensated for his labor? No, that would be an automatic criminal conviction for the employer.

                    The owner does risk zero compensation, and even actual loss.

                    You don’t know understand what risk is, Comrade, nor do you appreciate the difficulties of management responsibilities, so you foolishly assign them no value or meaning.

                    How very egocentric of you. :-(

                  • Comrade, you’re trying slick litigator tricks. For one, you said we are the idealists and you, the realist. You are the true believer in crapitalism even after all the entrepreneur bullshit was a lead-up fraud to the neoliberal “crisis”. You remain a true believer despite neoliberalism’s intense, cynical evangelism. Then, you projected idealism on non-believers.

                    HA HA HA HA HA.

                    Of course the owner risks loss. Flibbertigibbit, comrade, and spare me too. Profit as compensation for risk is bullshit. Profit is larger than risk and risk is the excuse for profit.

                    More than that, the fairytale of entrepreneurial reward for risk has been an accomplice to fraud for two generations. It’s a farce. So, no, it’s seductive powers have been strip mined. You did notice, didn’t you?

                    On the issue of reward for managers (who aren’t necessarily owners), the idiot Hayakity Yak thought they could be motivated by equity price, which has been catastrophic and tragic. But even for their difficulties, managers should be compensated for their work and not for their special pleading.

                    Managers are laborers, too … and owners are crooks. So no pity for the criminal from this judge, comrade.

                  • O. I left this angle out. Crapitalists are always whinig about their responsibilities. Well, if you can’t see how irresponsible they are by now, you’re doomed to be a figment of their tragedy.

                    But … it’s worse. Crapitalists stole responsibility from laborers. Now you blame the laborers for having abandoned it. OMG, comrade, you have the disease.

                    • realitychecker1

                      Ah, Ludwig, you must have been very tired when writing your last two comments; at least I will extend the charity of assuming so, since I have long admired your mental acuity. But I’ve never seen you pack so much wrongness into so small a space. Let me try to guide you back to reality with a few well-targeted corrections.

                      1. “, , slick litigator tricks.” “The Jews are smarter than we are.” “That nigger learned how to read and thinks he’s better than me”

                      Nothing good has ever flowed from a foundation based on the casual adherence to such negative stereotyping. And so it is with your comments.

                      2. I used “management” as a verb, you mistakenly took it as a noun. Re-process, and you will see that it is just another form of labor, the most difficult and complex one, in fact. But you accord it less respect than the shovel-wielding of a ditch-digger.

                      3. Risk is the most intrinsic and essential factor in the entire process of living. E.g. ” I want to go outside, but if I do an airplane might fall on me. I’ll go out anyway.” “Those look like shark fins in the water. I’ll jump in anyway” “Should I date the girl who plants gardens, or the one who feels compelled to cut herself every day?” “Maybe I’ll cross the street without looking. What could go wrong?”

                      The attitude you display toward the realities of risk is dismayingly limited.

                      4. In my comment, I described what my ideal society would look like, a “balanced and humane blend of socialism and capitalism” (Oct. 22, 4:37 P.M.). Did you see that? If so, how on earth can you brand me a capitalist ideologue?

                      In fact, I am the polar opposite of any kind of ideologue. The problem with a blind commitment to any ideology, as you have apparently fallen victim to, is that there has never been any single ideology that can rationally account for all the observable data, so the committed ideologue is inevitably compelled to simply ignore the data that doesn’t fit his ideological tunnel vision. Every answer for him must be all-or-nothing, black-or-white.

                      Any competent reality checker knows that when the data and the ideology conflict, it is NOT the data that requires adjustment, but rather the ideological commitment. All theories and ideologies are nothing but an attempt to find a conceptual model/construct that explains all the data.

                      The theory is not reality. Only the data is reality.

                      5. You must have missed my characterization of our present situation as an “unholy corruption” of capitalism (Oct. 20, 10:53 A.M.), else how could you possibly think I am endorsing what we have now as an honest expression of capitalism? You couldn’t.

                      Query: Did the reality of the Soviet Union convince you that socialism was as inherently evil as you now deem capitalism to be? Obviously not. Nuance, dear Ludwig, life is all about context, nuance, and being fact-specific.

                      Good capitalism is about honest competition and rule limitations that are honored or, if not, then equitably enforced. We have neither. What we have is not honest capitalism. Just as the Soviet Union did not represent honest socialism.

                      6. The “idealism” I attributed to you and Wendy and the left generally is very specific, namely, the fundamental belief that all that the Hegemonster has wrought can be undone without ever involving the use of force or the threat of force. Nothing in real life supports such a belief except hope.

                      So, the contradictions you try to attribute to me are merely the product of your failure to understand the specific limited context i referred to.

                      Attention to context is essential when using a language that contains words that have more than one possible meaning, or application. As when I used “ideal” in “ideal society,” above, to mean most-preferred; contrast with “idealistic,” meaning a rigid adherence to some fundamental belief (but nowhere have I or would I express an idealistic belief in capitalism per se). As also with “management.” Careful reading leads to better comprehension, and might make some scornful comebacks unnecessary.

                      Thus endeth the lesson lol. (h/t Sean Connery, Kevin Costner, The Untouchables movie.) ;-)

                  • Moments decide.
                    Moments delight.
                    Moments in flight.
                    Talk about sending love.

          • aren’t you just a bundle of contradictions, razor brain. ‘millions chanting ‘arise like lions from your slumber…we are many…they are few’..but individual actions rule!. hmmmm. ;-)

            or…are you perhaps…the Scarlet Pimpernel?

            at least i hope you’ll like my next planned diary (she sayed hopefully if hegg-ache doesn’t survive sleep) something y’all can really getcher teeth into: ‘Farting Etiquette Around the World’.

  5. i read the locke ‘serf’s up!’ piece, but quite related was a hit piece on ‘burning man’. now that the silicon valley elites hire serfs to build their parts of the ‘participation’, it’s not quite what the originators had envisioned. but he linked it to this example i’d been wondering about, although i couldn’t remember which city:

    “Remember when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided to help “fix” Newark’s public schools? In 2010, Zuckerberg — perhaps hoping to improve his image after his callous depiction in biopic The Social Network — donated $100 million to Newark’s education system to overhaul Newark schools.

    The money was directed as a part of then–Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s plan to remake the city into the “charter school capital of the nation,” bypassing public oversight through partnership with private philanthropists.

    Traditionally, public education has been interwoven with the democratic process: in a given school district, the community elects the school board every few years. School boards then make public decisions and deliberations. Zuckerberg’s donation, and the project it was attached to, directly undermined this democratic process by promoting an agenda to privatize public schools, destroy local unions, disempower teachers, and put the reins of public education into the hands of technocrats and profiteers.”

    on the sidebar was ‘The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman’, oof, over an hour long.

    • two links concerning ‘what happened to zuckerberg’s $10 mil and matching funds. you won’t be surprised. here and here.

      glad ya finally read, reality checker. i dunno if i agree with your answer offhand, nor with the anarchist mag’s contention, either, esp. POC wailing on white kids, tra la la.

      come to that, lol, i can’t tell to whom or what issue you’re speaking.

      • The compulsion of POC and white militants to wail and be wailed upon, and thereby somehow purify themselves of internal racism, limits their ability to fundamentally challenge the capitalist system.

        Oh, this is definitely a theme to be exploited. Witness the emphasis on Hillary’s confession and MJJ’s conversion to this neo-evangelism.

        • i’m sorry, but i’m still not getting it. and oy, i hate to ask who MMJ is? and what ‘hillary’s confession’ was, for that matter.

          • When Hillary flummoxed BLM activist Julius Jones; MJJ – Marissa Janae … BlaBla.

            In skirting a communist analysis, sympathetic religious motifs will be substituted.

            • well, i suppose ‘evangelism’ might be sorta true. but you’ve reminded me that the white house sent me an email from jonelle monae urging me to register to vote Dem.

              • “John Calvert places Janelle Monáe within the Afrofuturism movement, pointing out her similarities to Sun Ra and George Clinton. […] Monáe has stated that she has an alter-ego named Cindi Mayweather who according to Monáe is from the year 2719.”

                May Gawd spare us.

  6. My kids accuse me and my wife of being fascists and overly concerned about tech, and they say that none of their friends have the same rules… That’s because we have seen the dangers of technology firsthand. I’ve seen it in myself, I don’t want to see that happen to my kids.

    Would that juxtaposition of the accusation of fascism and “the dangers of technology” be attributed to “irony”? HA HA HA HA. The libertarian cult of hypocrisy rolls on ….

    If you come from sugar-town, I bet you are skillful at taking advantage of suckers ….

    • Oh. And when will we start the takedown of liberal interlecturer John Rawls? We can’t wait another three hundred years.


  7. Spencer Ackerman in the Guardian is covering the opening of the lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department over the Homan Square detention facility. Seems like over 7000 have been lost to sight there until their attorneys can figure where they are.

    I never expected to see anything like this happen.

    • thank you, amigo. i’d mentioned chigago on either this or the Open Menu, bit couldn’t for the life of me remember ‘homan square, but instead had short-handed it as ‘the place where THD was sent.into obscurity’ or close. and ackerman’s about to take maternity leave until 2016; ain’t that nice?

    • the homan square catch-22 shuffle:

      ““They’re not given access to phones, and the CPD’s admitted this, until they get to lockup – but there’s no lockup at Homan Square,” he said. “How do you contact a lawyer? It’s not telepathy.

      “Often,” Futterman continued, “prisoners aren’t entered into the central booking system until they’re being processed – which doesn’t occur at Homan Square. They’re supposed to begin that processing right away, under CPD procedures, and at Homan Square the reality is, that isn’t happening or is happening sporadically and inconsistently, which leads to the whole find-your-client game.”

      and they’re waiting on foia requests to discover how deep into it Rahm is.

      and justin trudeau is the new canadian prime minister; better than harper at least. ndp or greens would have been far more preferable, but still…

  8. The first thing to remember is that Holman Square is in Chicago the permanent stronghold of the most corrupt Democrat machine in the country, that also spawned our Great Leader. I still recall the first Mayor Daily unintentionally speaking candidly by stating, the police are here to preserve disorder.

    This may be why only a foreign newspaper is going to court to expose this special treatment of the Criminal Class or there is little concern from the public about the Police State and its actions aimed at someone other than the Good Amerikans.

    Some of our Technocrats in other cities may be looking at this new system for future application in times of need, of course with proper reforms and procedures.

    • whooosh; a good observation, peter. ‘preserve disorder’: a freudian slip of playing to the machine?

      the guardian really is such a mixed bag, but yes, it’s interesting that it took an almost foreign paper to dig into this, and produce ‘the counted’ as well.

      jeezum crow; it was 47 years ago. and the world is ‘dying to get better’ exponentially by now. goddam.

      • Just a reminder that Spencer Ackerman, who has been reporting on Homan Square, is a Firedoglake alum who did the Attackerman column.

        • yes, indeed. and since i’m in a supremely cantankerous mood due to beauraucratic nonsense and an assault by an asshat ‘water’ deputy sheriiff, please allow me to say that jane hamsher herself said that TBogg was her ‘favorite blogger online’ (when he tried to move elsewhere), and that the brilliant ian welsh, editor for how many years, is an elitist who penned recently that ‘it’s so easy getting one’s inferiors to do things for you’. yes, this is why ‘lefty’ blogging failed to make any meaningful change in the status quo. but good on spencer.

          (oh, me; the devil made me say so.) ;-)

          p.s. DD is being a bit more real now, and good on him.

  9. http://www.workingeducators.org/open_letter_to_deray_mckesson
    “As the social justice caucus within the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, we were surprised to see that you are coming to Philadelphia to speak alongside leaders of Teach for America (TFA). The Caucus of Working Educators (WE) is committed to racial justice in our schools and society, and we stand in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

    We see Teach for America as working in opposition to the goals of publicly funded education for all students in Philadelphia and to the goal of increasing the number of teachers of color and teachers who are committed to building relationships with communities over the long term, which we see as an integral component of culturally responsive teaching. We view the hiring of cadres of racial, cultural, and geographical outsiders with very little teaching preparation as part of a larger neoliberal effort to privatize education and replace unionized teachers (many of whom are teachers of color) with young, inexperienced teachers (most of whom are white and do not intend to stay in the teaching profession and commit to the long-term improvement of their teaching practice).”

    • you rawk, marym, and so does the letter. you are one magnificent researcher. the facts in the latter are damning of course, and i love how they lead to the objection of the ‘black kids fail because of a lack of responsibility and “grit” (or close) trope. bootstraps, baby!

      i’ll send it along to the author; he did poor kids of every hue a great service with his deep investigation. jacobin and dem underground have it already, but oddly it’s not on deray’s twitter account yet. ;-)

      i wish they’d addressed it jointly to brittany packnett, though, but no doubt she’ll get the message, and perhaps pen another letter of defense at huffpo. .

      on edit:

  10. re: zuckerberg, cory booker, and charter schools: ‘How a $100M Facebook Donation for Neoliberal School Reform Sparked a Grassroots Uprising in Newark’, October 21, 2015, democracy now

  11. Interesting that the TFA connection is being raised an folks are asking for clarification of “Whose side are you on?” Local movements generally do at some point require leadership training, but it needs to be geared to the issues around movemental politics. Premature organization is a quick way to mire movements down in the minutia of accounting, legal permissions, legal defense, non-profit corporation reporting, providing a leadership structure to attack …. Good that Deray and MzPacknetti are drawing the fire so that the movement can move forward. They are not the only active people in moving things forward. But right now they have the reach into the Wall Street media to shape the image of what a #blacklivesmatter activist says and believes. As long as it is apparent that they are just two of many many different ways of approaching things locallly and nationally, it’s healthy.

    The movement has gotten under some somebodies skin. The reign of terror around Ferguson is increasing. Seven church burnings. Destroying meeting venues.

    • I tried to ignore this paen to the status quo but it is too good of an example of ,resistance is futile, outside of conditioned responses acceptable and easily controlled by the PTB and their State.

      ‘Local movements require leadership training’ is basically projecting that local Black activists are ignorant rubes requiring a class of professional Leaders or technocrats to condition them in the ways of the system, balance their check books and instruct them on how to stand in line to beg their oppressor’s permission to exist.

      Claiming that Campaign Zero and its operatives are ‘healthy’ shows how Democrats try to sell their arrogant elitist disease as a cure.

  12. ha. well, i disagree, but you can decide how much wall street media matters. the three official black live matters women had a facebook page demanding a dem debate over the blm issues. here’s what popular resistance brought (and they carried drew’s post and other co-optation consideration op-eds, surprisingly.

    ‘DNC and RNC won’t add a debate, but give their blessings to Black Lives Matter presidential town hall’ a very confusing article, at best. Twitter as host? ay yi yi.

    as far as i’m concerned, deray and friends have been outed as the comprador class, sadly. oh, but he re-tweets that hillary says she’ll stop taking money from the private prison industry. my stars.

    not fair that i started answering comments from the top, but please, i’ll try to answer more as i can. mind- and soul-weary are too operative, plus eyes.

  13. to realitychecker1 | October 22, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    i’m sorry, but i’ll have to answer more fully tomorrow. for now i’ll say that a successful day is one in which i don’t fall on my keister getting either in or out of the tub, and i manage the stairs to the garden once. of course. being able to actively love my family and neighbors helps, too.

    but if i understand correctly, you are a ‘product’ person, where as i am a ‘process’ person. yes, reach out; that’s the bottom line, as we bounce back most mornings when we ‘help each other share our loads, and enjoy it while we can’.

    • @ realitychecker, to me you are trying to conflate these (to me) disparate convictions: “…the battle for the human spirit and soul and a positive future for regular people is already lost” and “as to when I came to believe the battle was already lost”, although in the first instance you mention that ‘a positive future is already lost’.

      one pity is that while post-Twin Towers did cause bush, congress, and cronies to spend trillions in NatSec and ‘homeland security’ agencies of oppression, etc., is that the Ds have been just as eager to fund it all, prosecute dissenters, and tra la la. and really, at the bottom of it is profit, from the dozens, nay, hundreds, of wars of choice the US has going on now, many covertly, of course, esp. in africa. some are wars by other means, as we know, but many are by bomb and rifle, even if indirectly USian. and of course, the purpose of capitalism is…to create more capital, which also requires ‘owning’ all of the planet’s resources, which should be seen as ‘gifts to all’, yes? no, Our Betters believe that they should own and operate all of them, and throw the increasingly small crumbs ‘down’ to us. and yes, during the explosion of the global economy, money knew no sovereign boundaries, even while nationalistic jingoism was still a useful tool for keeping the rabble in line. but those who realize that stopping commerce via general strikes…know what they’re talking about. (the difficulties of that are legion, thus, for another time, though.)

      it’s hard not to notice how often you use the word ‘reality’, a term which is perceived differently among most humans, even though many take great pains into manufacturing consent for their own aims. but in different directions, there are still variants of ‘reality’, from theoretical physics to seeing the world in non-ordinary ways from meditation, prayer, cultural beliefs and convictions, and so forth. so of course your perceptions and mine will be different.

      the human spirit hasn’t been lost even here, but most are too comfortable to want to notice what’s afoot, and perhaps have been so schooled in self-centeredness that they really can’t feel brotherhood with all, or even most. we’ve also been taught during times of increased poverty to point the blame at immigrants, collective bargaining, POC as usurpers and cam artists of the social safety net, yada, yada, and the tangential theme that “if they’d only work harder or better, they’d be fine”. bullshit, of course; it’s a rigged deck. look at the insane variance in school funding, for instance, in white neighborhoods v. inner city ‘ghettoes’.

      ha; for all of the years that i’ve written diaries in several venues about the many ways First Americans are being oppressed and slowly murdered, i’d try always to remind folks that while ‘third-worlders see it first, the dynamite, the dozers, and the acid rain…’ (buffy saint marie) that increasingly, all of We the Rabble Expendables…were becoming third worlders, ‘dying from their gravy spills’. it’s begun to happen in many ‘white’ locales fighting against fracking and other resource extraction, toxic dumping, leaking uranium waste, nestle stealing whole watersheds, etc. even at that, it is almost incomprehensible that joblessness, austerity-driven cutbacks to the safety net, stolen worker pensions, etc., haven’t cause enough of us to Rise Up against the state. but…it may come, who can say for certain? i reckon if it comes, it will be global, since…the theme will be increasingly baked into the collective consciousness.

      but armed insurrection would more likely come from those right-wingers of whom you speak, and of course there are so many cautionary tales to consider about ‘peoples’ revolutions, i dunno. there’s of course also already been a right-wing electoral coup state by miserable state, yes? will ordinary people, especially the working poor, finally unite in some meaningful and glorious ways? or simply go silently…into that good nigh?

      but srsly, i do/did want to finish the post i’ve been working on for some ungawdly number of days on. tomorrow is #RiseUpOctober. ;-)

      on edit: well, shoot, if i’d known ya were after ‘intelligent conversation’, i would have advised ya to ignore me, as each day i become stoopider. memory is sadly a large part of intelligence, or its measure. ;-)

    1. Jah, well, litigator tricks aren’t that good, are they?
    2. Management “the most difficult and complex” labor. Jah, right. Ha Ha.
    3. ”I want to go outside, but […] an airplane might fall on me.” You have an anxiety disorder, too, comrade.
    4. Your thinking, though idiosyncratic, is permeated with bullshit capitalist ideology. Your proposal is conflicted. Entrepreneurs would not tolerate free services. Your proposal is too late. Scarcity will dominate. Your paean to data is regurgitated edge-of-chaos crapitalist heroism (humans are theory machines – beware the man who says, “Only the data is reality.”)
    5. Capitalism is fraud. Why would you wait until it’s abandoned? “Good capitalism” is a contradiction.
    6. My idealistic vision is in your head and I don’t believe this recounting of your imagining is truthful: “the fundamental belief that all that the Hegemonster has wrought can be undone without ever involving the use of force or the threat of force.” I wouldn’t think such and absurdity; I can’t even believe you think force can undo what the Hegemonster has done. You must put more thinking into your theory, comrade.

    when I used “ideal” in “ideal society,” above, to mean most-preferred [by me; compare] with “idealistic,” meaning a rigid adherence to some fundamental belief

    Done. I’m no post-modernist; what realist evangelists have done to reality is a crime.

  15. You’re behind the cutting edge, comrade reality checker-ed: To do philanthropy, you must have wealth –

    • bugger; i hadn’t seen this, don’t have time to watch/listen, but i’d fetched some of hannah arrendt’s ‘on revolution’ thoughts i keep on a blogging help word doc. rather than bring all i’ve kept, i binged for somewhere else, and while down south (iirc) quotes niebhur as well, the arrendt quote was part of what i was searching for. do they support each other? dunno. this i also keep:

      “To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.”

      ~ Arundhati Roy

    • i do hope you haven’t chased realitychecker off, but partially because i’ll feel like an idiot for penning him a small book here which he may never read unless he’d signed up for the thread’s emails.

  16. realitychecker1

    Well, guys, I’m not chased away, but rather spending some time digesting the apparent futility of engaging further on these particular issues. The phrase “pissing into the wind” comes to mind . . .

    Comrade X obviously thinks he knows me better than I know myself, so what’s the point of explicating over and over where he is wrong? I am left to wonder how he can misread so badly or be so arrogant as to affirmatively and casually dismiss what I have written in good faith. Of course, I know nothing of his background, since he never shares any of that, so I am left with an impression that he has read many socialist screeds, but is probably rather young and inexperienced compared to myself in dealing in the real world with the kinds of issues he is content to simply HAHAHAHA about. Seems like a waste of energy to press these points any further with regard to him. It seems equally pointless to simply HAHAHAHAHA back at him every time he quotes one of his favorite ideological screeds as thought they constitute some new and compelling Gospel. Probably better to wait until we have better issues to engage on, since I know he’s smart, but on these issues his mind appears to be already closed and locked for now.

    Wendy, you seemed to be asking above if my current exhaustion has only recently influenced me to become long-term pessimistic about the future for regular people, I responded by explaining in detail that the hypothesis has been alive in me for 40 years, and that all the data that became available since has served to dispel all my progressive lefty hopes and force me to accept what I have really known to be true all this time, i.e. that we have already lost the war because we chose to stay asleep and passive for way too long–it’s not a TV show where everything gets magically fixed by the end of the hour. I’m not “conflating” anything, just finally resigning myself to the probable fact that we have already passed the point of no return.

    As a side-point/explanation (and then I’m really done talking about this) revolutions seem to scare you and the Comrade because you think right-wingers will lead and profit from them. That’s not what I have envisioned at all. Rather, I think that, w/o any political or ideological or philosophical underpinning, there will come a time when individuals will act out of their own assorted individual rages; maybe irrational and ugly rages, but that won’t matter because it will all serve to break down the illusion of order and control that the Masters rely on to keep us all in our place. Y’all can take that thought further from there if you wish, I think further detailed discussion here would be ill-advised. (Final note on this–the Dems were not so easily seen as being the same as the Rethugs (to me) back in 2000; of course, now I see they are two wings of the same evil fascist bird.)

    Re “reality”—the idea that reality is all different things depending on what various people choose to perceive and credit though their subjective lenses, and therefore that reality is not real, is crazy to me. What is real, IMO, is that people get sloppy about distinguishing between their pet hypotheses and the various conflicts with the actual data that undermines the hypothesis. When the data conflicts with the hypothesis, the only honest and rational response is to get humble and acknowledge that maybe you haven’t achieved full understanding about a complex situation yet. (Incidentally, It’s not difficult to detect when falsity/inaccuracy is present; what’s hard is to reject that falsity when you are emotionally invested in the hypothesis that is being undermined by the data. That is the mission of the reality checker.)

    • “I am left to wonder how he can misread so badly or be so arrogant as to affirmatively and casually dismiss what I have written in good faith.”

      You’re not the very realitychecker who was adamant that his equity price-finding was lucrative AND socially beneficial? Is that exchange still online? Do not wingnuts themselves claim they work for the common good? I have seen an advocate for the return of slavery and aryan Youth for Western Civ. present themselves cordially and as conscientious. They tried to project good faith, too.

      To participate in systems of exploitation as if they are reliably beneficial, as if the individual could bend them to his spirit, is fraud.

      Still, your sins shall be forgiven when the time is right, HA HA HA HA HA. Now, your reasoning is still corrupted. I give you the out you still need; you choose to focus on the argument or the HA HA HA HA, per your capacities.

      HA HA HA HA HA HA.

      “[R]evolutions seem to scare you and the Comrade because you think right-wingers will lead and profit from them.” What? Haven’t they? And you pretend that we shouldn’t be scared because they won’t? Comrade, are you sure your forensic skill is intact?

      You are still a believer in creative destruction, even though you say you have been “pessimistic about the future for regular people” for 40 years:

      w/o any political or ideological or philosophical underpinning, there will come a time when individuals will act out of their own assorted individual rages; maybe irrational and ugly rages, but that won’t matter because it will all serve to break down the illusion of order and control that the Masters rely on to keep us all in our place.

      What kind of revolutionary teaches by catastrophe?

      Right. You have been mal-educated. You promote yourself a reality-checker but, but … it’s the reality flux you thrive on, what makes the reality-checker superior. It’s a death-trap, comrade.

      • Oh, now I see, Comrade, my sin is that upon finding myself living in a problematic, imperfect system, I used my brainpower to find ways to survive that also had some beneficial effects within that imperfect system, even thought my efforts were inadequate to completely convert the imperfect system into a perfect one solely by dint of my personal efforts. Alright, I’m guilty of that.

        Where is the perfect system that you are surviving in, and how are you managing it? Maybe I will rush to emulate you. Is there room for more than one?

        • Jah. Now we get to the marrow. You tried to exploit a malicious system. All rats must do that. But how well did you apply your wits to undermining it?

          Not enough, comrade. Catastrophe came, and you were not prepared. Your creative destruction is a failure.

          You have far to go before you can emulate me.

          • realitychecker1

            Yes, yes, Comrade, you have obviously been successful in your singularly clever effort to undermine the system. That’s why we all live better now and have nothing to complain about. Thank you so much. May I wash your feet, or am I too unworthy?

            It’s only your grandiosity that makes you seem like a legend in your own mind. You seem to me to be just another untested young man. s pathetic proles

            One thing is beyond dispute-you are unwilling to spread any of your secrets of success among the rest of us pathetic proles, so I guess you really don’t care to help anyone but yourself to defeat theysystem.

            That makes you just another comprador rat, doesn’t it?

            • HA HA HA HA. You are incorrigible, comrade. How long did it take you to accept the use of “comprador”? Had it been been four years? We reject your firepower revolution because it is of a piece with your former strategy and probably just as destructive (and, as I have implied, foolish.)

              • Really? That’s your response? That you taught me a word that describes something I’ve focused on by other terms for decades? If that’s the measure, then where are your demerits for all the exotic terminology you use that nobody has adopted?

                I expected a lot more, but maybe you don’t have any more to give.

                FYI, the mere fact that I use comprador when speaking to YOU has not saved the nation or the world. If that’s all you’ve got, stop being so grandiose and start being humbler and maybe even share some of your wonderful secrets. Otherwise, you’re just claiming to have produced more change that nobody can believe in.

      • I said I don’t want to wade further into this, but . . .
        We have control techniques never before available, so nothing organized on a large scale can happen. Right?

        My “vision” is only meant to describe the only possible plausible scenario for displacing the PTB that I can postulate with the data that we have; not a guarantee or even a prediction that it will actually happen that way on a grand scale. And yes, there will be a lot of ugly and uncertainty along the way if that is indeed the way things play out.

        OTOH, if nothing happens to displace the PTB, then we know what happens to the future of regular people. Right? That’s my actual current conclusion and prediction, sadly.

        All our keyboard blathering, yours included, is as insignificant to the process as a fart in a blizzard, as the saying goes.

        • Ah. Keyboard blathering and farting in a blizzards will not change your philosophy. HA HA. Comrade, you have been abused by your colonial fatherland and must seek a new New World to conquer.

          The PTB believe they have delivered the best of all possible organized worlds and allow no second chances because that would be disastrous for us, so they say. VeryFuckedUs is right in saying that provoking them only draws their attention. Your ‘vision’ is not possible and it’s not plausible – “seeming reasonable or probable”. If your ‘vision’ comes to dead end, then your attention should take itself somewhere else, comrade.

    • hmmmm. i did spend some time reading a bit at da Wiki about ‘reality’, epistemology and its several branches (and perhaps limitations), thus James Frederick Ferrier, and others, so i’m even more amazed that you can call it crazy that there’s not one reality, even if you’ve read books on other ways people ‘see’ life, and maybe they’re not wrong. i’m not altogether certain that we’re not fooled by common ‘justifications’ for choosing this ‘realism’ as commonality, myself, when quantum physics says it just ain’t so. but really, do have at least a li’l bit of fun with it; i picked a short one.

      also, data is easily manipulated by those who analyze it, so there’s that, and too often by those who would profit from the analysis or withholding of data, say in the scientific world (just think food safety and pharmaceuticals, for instance). monsanto says that glyphosate is safe, so the epa says: it is safe. and yet, there was this study’s results published recently (and no, no mention of peer reviews, so we will wait):

      ‘Tampons, sterile cotton, sanitary pads contaminated with glyphosate – study’

      but no, i don’t believe that ‘the battle for the human spirit has been lost’, nor do i believe that it’s a battle i’m after, just an ‘awakening’, i’d guess. i did see a piece that said that 51% of american worker make less than $31,000 now, and when food becomes even more unaffordable, that is often known as ‘a tipping point to revolution’, but…i still hope it can be a nonviolent one, as in: withholding labor on a massive scale, etc.

      • Compradors will not join the International League of Bartleby. The masters promise them opportunity, instead. This suits the sub-proletarianization of an overpopulated, resource-constrained, technologically controlled world, as the comprador will profit from the necessary destruction and the master needs the force multiplication.

        The focus on overthrowing the masters with force distorts understanding the root crises.

      • realitychecker1

        What’s crazy is when people think they can call reality anything that pleases them, and just ignore any contrary data, and that happens way too much in a society that has completely lost the art of reality-checking aka critical thinking.

        Of course one can legitimately debate the exact contours and boundaries of reality within a narrow range, it is only when that range becomes so broad as to approach the all-encompassing that it is fair to call it crazy. Sadly, that broadness is too often seen on both the left and the right.

      • realitychecker1

        ” . . . witholding labor on a massive scale . . .”

        I have to wonder, how long can the striking workers, who typically have no backup resources, going to avoid starvation if they actually commit to such a strike? How long do you think it will take for the PTB to capitulate?

        That’s a critical problem, isn’t it? (Not to mention actually getting the needed motivation and organizing.)

        • as i’d said, if i remember right, the problems of a general strike are legion, and best suited for a wider discussion. that discussion would take peeking into global labor strikes, the reasons, durations, and pay-offs or…not.

          we’d need to go back in US history to discover true accounts of the labor strikes in the early 20th century, and their progress, foils (FDR), and remind ourselves of the fact that it was said that it took 3-4 non-striking families to support one striking family, although i’ve never heard where those ‘non-striking families’ worked.

          key sectors of commerce would have to be targeted, of course, and on a small scale strikes at ports, rail yards, have one some gains, although big unions helped to scuttle even those at times. one big, i forget which, actually asked for its members to be (swear to gawd) exempted from pay rises. but big union bosses of course are part of the larger problem, which i’ve written about quite a bit in the past.

          the smallish walmart supply chain workers strikes had an effect, although that corporation’s claiming their pay increases are what’s causing their profits to decline. horse.shit., of course, plus, their profits are obscene altogether.

          communications for a general strike could indeed be iffy, given the ptb control social communication and cell tower service, eh? but none of those problems are insurmountable if there’s a will. who would make the call? well, it’s gone out before, few heeded it. but tomorrow is NOT yesterday. is it only wage slaves who’d respond? or would there be affinity groups who would? who stopped by strikes to bring strikers food and money at walmart and the fast food ‘fight for fifteen’ strikes? i’m really not sure.

          but over at the real news bill black and leo panitch are ‘debating’ bernie’s call to restore glass-steagal, and whether control fraud is at the core of the financialization of capitalism. only two parts are up, but both miss the point, imo, and not only cuz they haven’t even mentioned the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 nor the stupidity of dodd-frank as all that ever came of the ridiculous pretense at a new Pecorra commission.

          richard wolf is always talking about worker-owned businesses as a partial cure, but i don’t see that they’ve caught on in any truly meaningful way. funding/buy-ins are a problem there, too, even though those difficulties aren’t insurmountable, either.

          well, of course not everything anyone says ought to be considered reality; i just thought a broader set of possibilities was in order.

          oh, and i’d meant to say that afaik, the rules for derivatives have never been established even yet. is gary gensler still the head of that weird place? and are ‘clearing house’ transactions still covered by FDIC insurance? what nonsense, if they are. you bet loads of employees are monitoring those financial instruments for fraud and calumny. hey, obey: i’m talkin’ to you! ;-)

          • Panitch does a better job here, noting that fraud is endemic on the international scale. Black’s expression is hilarious, a look of incredulity as if he’s confronting his first Marxist. HA HA HA HA HA HA. Then Black buckles down with the crapitalist dogma: more actors, less monopoly (then the fraudsters would check themselves and my regulator’s job wouldn’t be impossible. HA HA HA HA HA HA) Hey, Billy Black, didn’t you get the fucking memo from Billy Goates?

            the private sector is in general inept. How many companies do venture capitalists invest in that go poorly?

            Now shut the fuck up about corruption and go retire, Billy Black.

          • realitychecker1

            Wendy, you know I respect and adore you, and admire your wonderful heart, but I must point out that you are avoiding the one immovable object we must all contend with now, which is the incredible intrusive surveillance regime that we KNOW is already in place. That makes any substantial organization or planning impossible without risking the “terrorist” label and immediate arrest and possible ‘disappearance’. That is a fatal flaw, IMO, in your hopes for a general strike that will bring about the drastic changes we are wanting to see.

            Just saying it’s “iffy” that the strikers could avoid that surveillance doesn’t really deal with the reality in a persuasive way. Which is why I can’t subscribe to your vision, though it would clearly be a kinder, gentler way to go. I know you are repelled by the idea that anyone should ever have to be harmed or threatened to get change, but I suggest that that revulsion should rationally be balanced against the reality that the system as is is killing so many every single day in so many ways, while we all sit passively by like mice.

            What is the real value of a life? Does it/should it depend on whose life? Maybe that is really the philosophical/moral question that needs
            to be resolved first.

            It’s fun to have all these hypothetical discussions, good mental exercise and all that, but I remain convinced that we are already past the point of no return. It pains my heart to say it, but my brain requires me to bow to the evidence.

            As to financial, derivatives, etc., all you really need to know is that the entire situation is FUBAR vis a vis the legitimate interests of regular people. The next crash will come soon and make that clear to all. You can’t flood a system with free money forever without causing many distortions that will eventually get corrected in many painful ways. All on the taxpayers’ tab, of course. Just like always.

            • realitychecker, it’s really hrd to get my head in the game, especially today. i did try a bit yesterday, and did manage to get a new post up as well.

              but the emails are flying over getting mr. wd’s pa a medicaid waiver for assisted living, and mr. wd and i seem to be more scrupulous on the financial issues, partly because we can’t afford nuttin’ toward his care. but he needs to be left with some (very proscribed) cash on hand.

              finding a way to proceed among three siblings, two opinionated spouses, and a cantankerous old man who wants to do it all himself…is proving a bit unwieldy, to say the least.

              also: wrapping apples for the grandchirrens’ halloween, making a vat of cream-of-everything soup for mr. wd (he just had dental surgery), harvesting the garden, and i dunno whether to wind my butt or scratch my watch.

              more soon as there’s time.

          • “we are already past the point of no return”. Sounds like the Samson option: they have desecrated the world so we may sacrifice it.

            One may note that PR is essential to the secret state and thus it must react to public attention. Of course, this does not check their reality as quickly as realitychecker imagines decapitation would. Even if someone could decapitate, what would one do with the legions of compradors? No, too tempting for the new boss to be like the old boss. So you see, comrade realitychecker, there are other questions of ethics to answer after you’re satisfied with that of execution.

            The comrade does not understand the function of derivatives, either.

            You can’t flood a system with free money forever without causing many distortions that will eventually get corrected in many painful ways.

            THE MARKET WILL NOT BE CORRECTED. You are in a dream world, realitychecker. The point of derivatives is to create imaginary property that will be exchanged for real. You will pay for the future they pretend the market will bring and you believe. You get their dead future and they get your property.

            If you think that’s a correction, comrade, then perhaps you’re on the wrong side.

      • realitychecker1

        Meanwhile, let’s not forget, the entrenched system is knowingly and willingly killing regular people by the hundreds of thousands day in and day out in their various and sundry ways, so how much sense does it make that we regular people should treat their lives as being sacred and inviolate? Doesn’t that constitute an implicit concession that their lives are indeed as special and important as they think?


        • The system and it’s owners are well defended. Did you miss the course on domestic terrorism? You are an amateur provocateur, comrade.

  17. i’ve lost track of where we are now, and i’m sorry to be so scattered once again. i’ve been working on a haiti diary, and fielding calls from family.

    but i will say that our employment histories *may be relevant* to our opinions of capital and capitalism, and that while i worked for wages with an SS card starting at age 16 (i baby-sat and washed dishes/cleaned for neighbors since i was 11), but both mr. wd and i were punished financially for being out own ‘job creators’ for the past three decades, it’s not the measure of how or when i saw what capitalism (and its current nasty form of shock doctrine neoliberalism) are really about. it was the indigenous in the global south, and somewaht in the middle east north africa…who let me see.

    could someone put that run-on sentence out of your misery, please?

    • “mr. wd and i were punished financially for being out own ‘job creators’ for the past three decades”; but, comrade, why did you need to see those punished for an even longer term? This is a testament to how ruthless to understanding crapitalism is.

      I suppose I do not believe in job-creation partly because early I lost faith in the attitude required, but also because my education showed that resource limits necessitated different motivation than profit.

      In this empire of fraud, I was sailed out to the horizon early, even before Truman.

      • i can’t grok your question, but we were both self-employed, which meant we paid taxes quarterly, and had no employers paying half our FICA whatever-they-are. so…we footed the whole bill for SS, and in my case, after working my entire fucking life, the SS folks have granted me a total of $461 a month to live on. too bad i didn’t keep my SS forms forever, but who knew, and fuck their bogus book-keeping.

        well, a person has to make money somehow, or were you exempt from that? is that what your last sentence is about?

        on edit: will you say how you made a living? or did you do it the easy way, and inherit it? ;-) i was a massage therapy/soul and body worker, mr. wd did master carpentry.

        • Ah, you see, I was a professional wage slave and so inclined to see the fraud. But I saw the fraud of post-’73 real-estate speculation even before I started work and was ever suspicious.

          I guess you mean you weren’t punished until SS screwed you (they are a relatively efficient agency but had plenty of troubles integrating new technology). I had assumed you were punished while working, thus my question.

    • realitychecker1

      You speak of capitalism but you mean cheating capitalism, while I speak of what it might be like if we eliminated the cheaters.

      You speak of data but only as to how it can be corrupted, while I speak of data that is honestly and competently compiled.

      That probably explains a lot of our miscommunication, m’dear.

      • realitychecker – “while I speak of what it might be like if we eliminated the cheaters.”
        George Bush – “We will rid the world of the evil-doers.”
        Comrade X – “Capitalism is fraud.”

        HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. Who’re the dangerous idealists?

        • Please enlighten us by describing your idea of the wonderful system where there will be zero cheaters.

          The issue will always be how do we control them and limit their damage.

          Were you supporting the Soviet Union in the 70’s???????

          • Blah, blah, blah. So you’re ok with communism with no cheaters?

            HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

            • realitychecker1

              Comrade, I described the system I would design, it’s a mix of the best parts of socialism and capitalism. Providing the necessities of life, while also encouraging individual initiative and creativity.

              There will be cheaters in any system, and no single one is without obvious flaws in its assumptions about human nature.

              Your scorn is misplaced unless you have some perfect answers, but so far, you have given no answers at all to any of the various questions posed on this thread by me or by Wendy.

              Why so shy?

            • “unless you have some perfect answers” HA HA HA HA HA HA.

              You’re not interested in my answers. You’ve already called me an idealist even though I’ve given you “no answers”. You shot your wad, there. We can’t have a discourse.

              I already discounted your “mix of capitalism and socialism” (which smells like charity-capitalism); why no answers to my objections, comrade? Why no response to my multiple suggestions that your firepower revolution is a reaction the PTB desires?

              Crapitalism creates cheaters and especially when the crapitalism looks to be failing. How else could a system which encourages selfishness go? Only within some well-manicured abstraction could a thinking person believe the crap crapitalists have been foisting in their decline. The crapitalist idealists baying “this is not capitalism” don’t hold capitalists in check; they don’t even stop participating, because the complaint is their absolution.

              HA HA HA HA HA HA.

              • realitychecker1

                Only one thing has come clear thru this discussion, namely, you are bound and determined to remain hidden behind a curtain, shrouded in mystery as to who the fuck you really are and what you do in this world, while you dispense harsh and foolish judgments on everybody else for not being little grandiose you.

                Do you realize that you sound like the director of a re-education camp with the shit you pump out? Do you really think using ideologically loaded terminology created by other ideologues helps you to persuade anyone of anything?

                You know, the truth is that I have been cutting you lots of slack for years, LUDWIG, initially because I thought you had an alive mind that should be welcomed and encouraged to participate in serious discussions. Marketplace of ideas, and all that.

                But mostly I cut you slack because I felt you had to be a very young man to be so rigid and judgmental in your certainties as you generally show yourself to be. After all, it’s not the fault of the inexperienced young if they get “stuck” being delusional and unreasonable, we have to give them a chance to grow up and mature, to develop a better sense of balance and judgment.

                But now I know you are in fact an old man, and there is no excuse for being around as long as you have and still being so delusional, unreasonable, and judgmental. So, go save the world by yourself, Comrade Mystery Man, I don’t intend to waste any more time or energy interacting with you.

  18. i don’t suppose either of you is starting to feel a bit silly, are you? of course, i could just lend you rulers, and you could settle it… ;-)

    there are a few other diaries you might argue on, as well.

    back to my real life chores; later, cranky alligators.

    • realitychecker1

      Yes, dear, it’s silly for me to waste any more time on this fool who is determined to paint me as a devil. But on this one point, you could set him straight, if you choose.

      • i haven’t a clue which point you mean, realitychecker. that you’re not a devil? and here i’d figured you wouldda said, “no! i need a yardstick!” oh, well; i was even offering myself a the straight man and everything. ;-) i did see that Old Sourpuss interviewed sheldon wolin not long before he died; it might be interesting, given the title. i’ll go fetch it.

        ‘Can Capitalism and Democracy Coexist? also, if you want to see how far the Imperium and its deep state bodies will go to shut down leftist/socialist governments, you might be interested in two other diaries i’ve put up over the past week or two.

        • Wolin had an unproductive obsession with the word “inverted”.

        • realitychecker1

          Well, dear, one can’t blame you for losing the thread of this ridiculous conversation lol. I feel like the Comrade has been writing someone else’s biography, and asserting that it is about me. His misinterpretations and misunderstandings are so numerous they can never be straightened out, but the “one point” I referred to where you might be able to shine some light through his fog is this:

          He asserts that I have been “against” him “from the start.” Perhaps that explains his present animosity.

          We have known and interacted with him for, what, since the Ludwig days, several years at least; (I remember him hijacking the notorious Clucker diary I wrote, gotta be four or five years ago, because that guy Robert (?) said some mean things to him, and he kept blaming me for not protecting him.)

          Over the years, you’ve had plenty of opportunity to know whether I was personally hostile or, rather, appreciative of him. It might be nice to disabuse him of this particular paranoid error that he is making by believing that I have been “”against him from the start.” (I assume he will be more hesitant to brand you a liar than he is wrt me.)

          If you choose.

          P.S. Yah, yah, I’m behind on my reading, been busy with RL. Hope your RL issues don’t grind you down. ((wendyedavis))

          • realitychecker1

            On edit: He said I “attacked” him, not “against” him. (Half a dozen comments up.) Either way, Wendy, you know what my true attitude has been toward him, so please just tell him if you choose.

          • i can indeed attest to the fact that you liked ludwig in all of his iterations, ah hoo-boy, do i remember his indignation that you (and i, if you remember) hadn’t defended him. i remember think that someone of his intelligence surely knew the meaning of ‘my erstwhile friend robert’ meant. as in: not no mo’. ;-)

            thank you for the hopes of my not being ground down, realitychecker. today is crunch day for The Old Man, and as i spent most of the day emailing questions, financial and physical facts to the Elder Helper who will fill out forms for him today, it may be that i’m finished with that project, at least for now. the die is cast by now, we’ve done all that we could do, so that feels good now that i’ve had a bit of sleep.

            but yes, here my name is wendye. ;-)

            • realitychecker1

              Thank you, dear one.

              (Of course, Robert was NEVER someone I knew, and, just for historical accuracy, I never even saw his most inflammatory comments, because the FDL moderator apparently deleted them on his own motion, as I recall. But I had to deal with Ludwig’s whining about them for hours and hours and hours, on a diary thread that I thought was a very important one for the entire FDL community.)

              Fingers crossed here for a good resolution vis a vis the Old Man. ;-)

          • As y’all may recall, I was the troll with 100 lives at FDL. In an earlier incarnation as “Comrade”, I recall that “realitychecker” threatened to flag me because he wanted to check a commie reality. Maybe he even pulled the trigger.

            Maybe that’s part of a metaphor for realitychecker’s type of balance and judgment. Swift to execute if you’ve contempt for the law, tolerant to the juvenile, and expert in employing the loophole.

            The elite con men blame the marks for their gullibility and call themselves lesson-givers. A mark defrauded who then defends the technique, well, that’s an acolyte.

            The reality checker has been checked by a higher reality.

            • realitychecker1

              I don’t know what you’re talking about, Comrade, but I fear you may be losing your mind.

              At the risk of shattering some of your paranoid myopia, FYI, I have never flagged ANYBODY, not in my entire life, not for anything. I don’t believe in censorship, period.

              Put that in your paranoid pipe and smoke it. It would be good if you could summon the humility to admit that sometimes, yea, quite often, especially lately, you just simply get it wrong. You are letting your prejudices run wild, while keeping your reason in shackles.

              A bright mind is a terrible thing too waste.

              • “I have never flagged ANYBODY”. As if that’s verfiable. I didn’t look extensively, but it appears that Comrade was wiped. Anyway, your defense is evasive, just as you are in the majority of responses. You would call this focus. HA HA.

                I won’t follow you in your reality-tragedy, comrade. Once you blindly reveled in playing their game and now you call us to arms to restore the game as you saw it. HA HA. And, again, we have no alternative. Still don’t see how that works, eh comrade?

                • oh, piffle; this is getting to goofy to believe. you both were flagged as sockpuppets by dakine, the weird dude with the bird on his head. his notice, he said, was taken because you both said things that identified you as ‘the formerly banned’. now can ya stop wasting bandwidth on this rubbish?

                  i’m paying $225 + that we can ill afford (given the several wolves constantly on our doorstep) for this sort of garbage?

  19. realitychecker1

    LOL I certainly understand your frustration, m’dear, and would hasten to swear to desist, but since every thing I say is now automatically branded as a lie, wouldn’t that be taken to mean that I intend to keep on endlessly? Oh, the mind, it reels. ;-)

    As if there was any point in lying when there seems to be nobody actively participating here but us few chickens lololol. (But I REALLY had to laugh at the “non-verifiable” rejoinder–isn’t everything said online “non-verifiable”?????????????)

    I must confess, the past few days I’ve been dwelling seriously on how this is an object lesson in why the left can never win—we always seem to insist on hating ourselves more than we hate the real enemies. The biggest sin always seems to be not being “pure” enough, doesn’t it?

    It’s very discouraging. But don’t worry, I will keep doing this silly dialogue endlessly. (notnotnotnotnotnotnotnot) ;-)

  20. Real late to the party regarding this excellent TFA post, but gotta say, it’s confirmed my worse fears.

    IMHO, the goal of the NCLB Act was primarily ‘social engineering,’ which I deduced when I read the State of Tennessee’s syllabus for preschoolers.

    It was incredible! Talk about authoritarian ‘BS.’

    So many progressives/liberals cheer the “Visiting Nurse/Family Partnership” programs, while seemingly never questioning the origin, or the goals of the program. Certainly, from the program title, one ‘might think’ that this program is about administering to a child’s medical needs. And I have no problem with that–it would make sense that a RN would be well-equipped to handle those needs.


    But, here’s an excerpt from the (Colorado) program’s mission statement:


    Nurse Family Partnership

    Nurse-Family Partnership is a relationship-based program that partners highly-trained professional nurses with vulnerable first-time mothers and their babies. The program transforms lives through improved pregnancy outcomes, promotion of child health and development, and the encouragement of economic self-sufficiency for families.


    IOW, it’s really (mostly) about ‘indoctrination.’ So, since when did we start employing Registered Nurses to encourage low income parents to achieve economic self-sufficiency?”

    Seems very odd to me.
    I have long been suspicious of DeRay McKesson’s true agenda. It might be helpful to Senator Sanders (forget about FS Clinton, not worth the trouble) if someone in his campaign were to enlighten him as to this dude’s (McKesson’s) connections, and/or possible intentions, based on what we know about his background (TFA).

    Thanks so much for your post, WD, and for re-posting Franklin’s investigative exposé. If/when I get my blog up, I’d like to link to this post in an ‘aside,’ or a similar abbreviated post –with appropriate attribution, of course.

    (It’s too bad that questions about the Black Misleadership Class, and their relationship with the Dem Party Leadership/Elites, never seem to find their way into our Presidential Primary Debates.)

    Anyway, Everyone have a nice ‘rest of the Holiday.’


    • the aim of the NCLB act was indeed to create little cogs in the capitalist system, and teach them to submit to authority.

      i dunno about the visiting nurse thing and ‘economic self-sufficiency’ really. i will say that our daughter in c springs received some of that help six or seven years ago, and the help…helped. perhaps the program needed to pretend that other goal, but she sure never became close to self-sufficient.

      oh, please do link to the piece. but i doubt bern would care, myownself. ;-)

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