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Member since: Thu Apr 15, 2004, 06:56 PM
Number of posts: 863

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That was great. So is the one where he's smoking a blunt!

Yeah, I know. I grew up during the Cold War, and was one of the many GenXers who wondered...

...whether we would get to grow up before being incinerated in a nuclear holocaust, so I get it too.

Actually, this has been noted about Republicans for a while now (their sucking up to Putin and the Russian mafia state). Eric Alterman (I think) wrote a piece--I believe when he was still with The Nation--that had a title like "Where is a good anti-Communist Republican when you need one?". This had to have been at least a decade ago (and probably longer ago than that). I think Alterman was writing about the neocon unwillingness to recognize both Chinese and Russian human-rights problems as long as they were favored in our foreign policy calculus. At the time, neocons like Bill Kristol had become pathetic apologists for really horrific human-rights abuses in those countries.

Yep. The alt-right sees Putin as "based and red-pilled", to use...

...their moronic lingo. The big new fad in Christian nationalism is converting from radtrad Catholicism (e.g. the idiotic "Groypers", followers of Nick Fuentes) to Russian Orthodoxy. The writer and "intellectual" Rod Dreher (a real piece of work) very publicly converted to Orthodoxy a few years ago. It was the usual thing with him like many other far-right converts: as he became more alt-right-adjacent, Catholicism--even of the radtrad variety--wasn't "based" enough (e.g. not homophobic, misogynist, and generally bigoted enough). ROCOR (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia) is the latest "radtrad-ism" with these people. They're really loathsome. Lauren Witzke, another real piece of work, is also a public convert to Orthodoxy; she even has an Orthodox Cross on her social media accounts.

Another instructive approach to seeing where the ill-gotten money has gone is...

...to look at the explosion in far-right "think" tanks that has occurred since the late '70s. Initially, these institutions were national or even international, because the startup costs were substantial and there was a risk that many of them wouldn't pay off. But during the rapacious Reagan years, it became clear that there was almost no way to lose, and the risk was so low that the "think" tanks started showing up everywhere. The institutions went from international to national, then they went to a regional or state-level focus, and finally even local "think" tanks were created.

Some of these state and local institutions are actually highly dependent on funding from the much wealthier national ones. There was a report that came out probably two decades ago called The Feeding Trough about what happened when the Bradley and Olin foundations (among others) began funding lower-level regional and state institutions. The report showed how this funding helped ram through the disastrous school voucher system in Wisconsin and also began turning the state into the dystopia it has become today.

I wish that this was surprising, but this has been coming for a while. Especially on Catholic...

...radtrad media like EWTN and (Ir)-Relevant Radio, this has been the de rigueur thought-terminating cliché for the last decade (at least). I don't know why it hasn't had more exposure elsewhere. But the fundamentalists and radtrads are always into one-upmanship and poaching each other's followers, so it was bound to go "mainstream", if you can call it that. And that's how you have a politician deep in the (fundamentalist Protestant) Bible Belt of Mississippi who sounds like one of the talking heads on EWTN rhapsodizing about "life from conception to natural death".

Garbage like this is what Richard Pryor called "the logical conclusion of the logic".

The '70s ushered in a lot of the worst trends that we associate with the '80s and beyond.

The financialization of the economy really took off with the end of the Bretton Woods system, for example. And there were early harbingers of an increasingly hostile stance toward labor by the Right. There was a lot of labor unrest, particularly in the Upper Midwest, e.g. at International Harvester.

The '70s are really overlooked when it comes to how predictive they were of what was to come in the following decades. There is a really good book by Jefferson Cowie, Stayin’ Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class, that covers a lot of the history of that time really well.


Witzke is a convert to Orthodoxy. Her mention of Orthodoxy and Russia is a HUGE dog whistle...

...to the chuds, who see Putin as "based and red-pilled", to use their moronic lingo. It's like everything else with the alt-right and alt-right-adjacent idiots; they really, really hate that some people (LGBT+, Jews, women, etc.) have successfully fought for their rights, and the chuds want to stuff them back in the closet. The incels, MRA/PUAs, the alt-right, etc. are all of a piece, with little to no daylight between them.

The alt-right are the ones who need to be forced back into the closet--or rather, put back under the rock from whence they crawled.

Like many states, WI is multiple states within its official state borders.

To a first degree of approximation, "Wisconsin" is really separate eastern and western halves. If you drive through western WI, you will quickly realize you are driving through chud country. You will see nonstop anti-abortion billboards, homemade political signs in farm fields, etc. Nearly everything you see like this will be from a far-right perspective. And western WI votes, unfortunately. They vote reliably enough that Tommy Thompson could essentially ignore large urban centers like Milwaukee during his career as governor and suck up to the increasing number of far-right "think" tanks in his state.

WI is not alone in this city-country geographical divide. Many states in the Upper Midwest like MN also have deep red areas. There is a maxim attributed to James Carville that succinctly describes the problem: "between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, you've got Alabama".

Social and economic Calvinism are two of America's original sins...

...not as serious as the original sin of slavery, but nonetheless serious and seemingly impossible to eradicate. Especially during adversity, America's social Calvinist nature always seems to rise up again.

Angela Nagle has written extensively about the incels, MRA/PUAs, and the alt-right.

Her book, Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan and Tumblr To Trump and the Alt-Right isn't without criticism (some on the left have found it problematic, with sloppy research). However, it was probably the first serious look at the problem from outside the alt-right social media spaces of 4Chan/8Chan/Reddit/etc.


Nagle also gave a talk in Sydney in 2018:

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