Let’s Let T-Shirts Be Just What They Are

Ben Sears

Ben Sears is a writer and restaurant guy in Birmingham, Alabama. He lives quite happily across from a creek with his wife, two sons, and an obligatory dog. You can follow him on Twitter and read his blog, The Columbo Game.

Related Post Roulette

59 Responses

  1. Brandon Berg
    Ignored
    says:

    I put the sticker on the cover of the notebook so it says “Libertarian Country” and there’s a graphic of a snake but it’s cut up for reasons that escape me.

    As a metaphor for the libertarian movement(s), it needs no explanation.Report

  2. Damon
    Ignored
    says:

    U.S. Ministry of Truth Interrogates Man Who Shared Misinformation

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3FhCfRdISeU&ab_channel=TheBabylonBee

    It’s amazing how far the rat hole we’ve gone in just a few short years. I do believe the pace has been accelerating more than in the past.Report

  3. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    It’s the “DGB”.

    Seriously, if I put that in a movie script, I’d be laughed out of the room.Report

  4. Chris
    Ignored
    says:

    there’s a graphic of a snake but it’s cut up for reasons that escape me

    Is it the Join or Die snake?Report

  5. Slade the Leveller
    Ignored
    says:

    After massive 4th amendment violations by our government, this is the straw that broke the camel’s back?Report

  6. Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    As someone long skeptical of the Soviet-sounding “Homeland” security apparatus I’m friendly to an argument in opposition to this new board.

    To start with, what is its scope? What authority or enforcement power? Is there any new enabling legislative power needed?

    Again, I assume this agency will soon be in the hands of the fascist party so I’m assuming a skeptical stance.

    But it would be nice to start with an argument that doesn’t begin and end with its name.Report

    • CJColucci in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      But it would be nice to start with an argument that doesn’t begin and end with its name.

      Hell, it would be nice to start with a point.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      A flashback:

      I don’t see it as “oh, so you’re a fan of mis and disinformation?” as much as “I don’t trust your ability to detect mis and disinformation and I certainly don’t trust your intention to squash it as much as I suspect that you’re going to come down like the fist of an angry god on your ideological opponents and get all wishy-washy and ask philosophical questions about the nature of certainty when it comes to your own side deliberately lying.”

      But this happened in a moment that was prior to The Eternal Present so there is no reason to believe that anybody who supports the DGB would remember it.Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      As long at it’s the CDC saying that all meat should be eaten medium-well, I’m ok(-ish) with some agency running around whacking-moles saying stuff like, ‘well, actually, inflation is only 7.1% if we use these metrics, but other metrics advocated by xyz suggest that inflation is closer to 7.9% and that’s because the first assumes this and the second that, but the consensus view is based on these metrics from this dept over here (link to history of why that dept and not xyz) which measures inflation at 6.7% as of April 30, 2022.”

      I have absolutely no confidence that any agency with this remit would limit themselves thus. So basically, what’s our expected outcome? Or to put it with more force… what’s the point of an agency overseeing disinformation that can’t sanction disinformation?Report

  7. Pinky
    Ignored
    says:

    My first reaction was “eh, whatever”. The name is awful, but there’s no indication that this board has any scope, budget, or enforcement authority. Most every government agency publishes reports and maintains a media presence to correct what they perceive as errors.Report

    • Chip Daniels in reply to Pinky
      Ignored
      says:

      This is kinda my position.

      It has the potential for great harm, but at this moment it ranks about 99th on my Top 100 Things To Be Outraged About.Report

      • CJColucci in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        But if you hammer on the 99th item out of 100, you can preen as a champion of whatever without any risk of upsetting anyone who matters or can hurt you. Gets trickier as you go higher up the list.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Chip Daniels
        Ignored
        says:

        The person chosen to head the group believed that Hunter Biden’s laptop was disinformation, so that’s not promising. And she’s apparently defended the Steele dossier or something.Report

        • Slade the Leveller in reply to Pinky
          Ignored
          says:

          She can belt out a good tune. Not touching the laptop thing.

          We can probably add FISA courts as another thing Americans should have been in the streets about.Report

    • InMD in reply to Pinky
      Ignored
      says:

      If you (or Chip or CJ) feel like being outraged about it here is my theory on how you foreseeably could become so in the future if you would like. There are many, many, relatively toothless offices of federal agencies in the sense that they do not have any express power to impose fines or punish anyone. However, their existence often becomes its own mission and they have a tendency to find things to do or other government authorities that do have some power they can attach themselves to. So maybe it can’t do anything but it starts setting standards for the FCC or the FTA or some other agency that can. Beware leviathan, etc.

      That is my best hypothetical shot at outrage.Report

  8. Patrick
    Ignored
    says:

    “We live in dangerous times.”

    Man, you got that one pegged right but I think you’re looking at the wrong sign. To each his own.Report

  9. Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    To elaborate on my initial comment:

    Authoritarian regimes aren’t erected by a single agency or entity. It doesn’t matter what the scope and agenda and enabling legislation of this DGB is, it is toothless and harmless without:
    An authoritarian heading it, appointed by-
    An authoritarian executive who was-
    Elected by a large group of people demanding authoritarianism and-
    Enabled by a supine legislature acquiescing to authoritarianism and given the blessing of-
    A Judicial branch dedicated to authoritarianism.

    But of course, given all the components of authoritarianism, an agency like DGB isn’t even necessary, since there are easily a dozen other avenues to suppress inconvenient thoughts, as we are witnessing all around the country right now.

    So my outrage isn’t triggered by a single minor agency within the massive governmental structure.

    My outrage is triggered by the fact that about a third of our voters have eagerly voted for all of the components of authoritarianism listed above.Report

    • Tennessee Williams in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      I sat in a room, last year, while reporters had footage erased.
      Authoritarianism isn’t needed for the government to perform censorship.
      It will do so, and sometimes it’s even a good idea…

      (My anti-authoritarian friend works as a spook. He’s gotten things out when no one else could).

      I doubt you really wanted to hear more about that shooting anyway.

      You’re the one voting for the brownshirts. Supporting BlackLivesMatter, which is the new… Democratic paramilitary organization.Report

  10. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Here’s from the other day when they were arguing this in the Senate.

    The fun begins around 50 minutes in when Rand Paul (yes, *THAT* Rand Paul) starts questioning about “Disinformation”.

    At 50:11, Rand Paul asks the Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas whether the Steele Dossier contained Russian Disinformation.

    You can read the transcript here, if you prefer. (But it’s uncorrected closed captions, so it’s not guaranteed to be a perfect transcript.)

    Like, here’s a sample of the transcript (and it’s all caps):

    YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT DISINFORMATION IS. DO YOU KNOW THAT THE GREATEST PROPAGATOR OF DISINFORMATION IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD IS THE U.S. GOVERNMENT? ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH MCNAMARA, THE PENTAGON PAPERS? ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH GEORGE W. BUSH AND THE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION? ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH IRAN-CONTRA? THINK OF THE DEBATES AND DISPUTES WE HAVE HAD OVER THE LAST 50 YEARS IN OUR COUNTRY. WE WORK THEM OUT BY DEBATING THEM, NOT BY THE GOVERNMENT BEING THE ARBITER. I DON’T WANT GUARDRAILS, I WANT YOU TO HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH SPEECH. YOU THINK WE CANNOT DETERMINE SPEECH TRAFFICKERS IS DISINFORMATION? YOU THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE SO STUPID, YOU NEED TO TELL THEM WHAT THE TRUTH IS? YOU CANNOT EVEN ADMIT THE TRUTH OF THE STEEL DOSSIER. GOVERNMENT IS LARGELY DISSEMINATING DISINFORMATION. I HAVE A QUESTION. SO MAYBE THE RUSSIANS, MAYBE SOME CARTELS — WHAT ABOUT COVID DISINFORMATION? IS THAT FOR YOUR DISINFORMATION GOVERNANCE FOR?

    So you may wish to listen to it instead. Again: the fun starts at 50:11.Report

    • Slade the Leveller in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      How did he miss Hunter’s laptop?Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Slade the Leveller
        Ignored
        says:

        I think that using the Pentagon Papers and Iran-Contra, his point is stronger.

        Making it about something that happened a couple of years ago? Heck, there are people out there who still argue that the emails might be real but that doesn’t mean that the laptop wasn’t a plant anyway.

        But Iran-Contra? Force defenders of the DGB to consider what would happen with the DGB were it to fall into the hands of their enemies.Report

        • Chp Daniels in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          Supporters of the DGB should consider what Rand Paul’s reaction would be if lets say, a sitting President were to refuse to abide by an election and instead, use the DGB as a tool to spread propaganda about election fraud.

          Oh, here Rand is, conveniently demonstrating his value as a mouthpiece for authoritarian government propaganda:

          https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/sen-rand-paul-continues-making-false-claims-2020/story?id=75446712

          Huh. Maybe the DGB isn’t even necessary, if the propaganda is being spread by Senators. Why duplicate the effort?Report

        • Slade the Leveller in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          I was being glib to highlight the Steele inclusion. His other examples are excellent.

          I looked up his voting record on nation security, and, I gotta say, he puts his money where his mouth is.

          Which is not to say he isn’t BSC on other matters. See Chip above.Report

  11. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    It’s been disbanded.

    Report

    • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      I still think this was intended to be 4 people in an office producing FAQ’s about homeland security. I mean, the press is so lazy that it could have had some influence, but as a source for <1% of Politifact's "investigations". Even factoring bureaucratic self-justification, there was no way it was going to be a ministry of truth.Report

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *