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AvatarComments by Chip Daniels in reply to CJColucci*

On “How to Lose Friends and Influence No One

We should probably start watching, and learning how to react to a stolen election:

Belarus crackdown: Women form human chains in 'solidarity' protests
iIn recent nights, authorities have responded with a level of brutality remarkable even during Lukashenko’s rule. Police have dispersed protesters with tear gas, stun grenades, water cannons and rubber bullets and severely beat them with truncheons.

Black-uniformed officers chased protesters into residential buildings and deliberately targeted journalists, beating many and breaking their cameras.

In several parts of Minsk on Wednesday night, groups of hundreds of people formed human chains. An AFP journalist witnessed one such chain in the north-east of the capital being broken up, with demonstrators beaten by police.

Elsewhere, motorists blared horns in support and, in some areas, slowed to a crawl to block police vehicles. On one avenue, people stood on balconies, clapping in an expression of support. Riot police fired rubber bullets at them.

On “Biden Picks Kamala Harris

It would be hilarious to see them run full page "SOCIALIST!!" ads in the WSJ alongside the "Wall Street Sighs in Relief" headlines.


We don't really know much about the dynamics of their relationship because both have kept the details secret.

Was Brown the Harvey Weinstein figure? Or was it an entirely consensual relationship, and entirely unrelated to their political benefits?

We just don't know.

But what we do know is that Harris was entirely qualified for the positions. Even seen in the worst light, Harris was guilty of nothing more than being ambitious and taking advantage of the system of favor brokering and patronage.

Not a good thing, but small potatoes.

I think we can agree its not on a scale of lets say, appointing your completely unqualified daughter and son in law as de facto chief of staff and allow them to grift around the world.

On “How to Lose Friends and Influence No One

One of the weaknesses of liberals is in that jibe about how we "fall in love" rather than falling in line.

Its like people treat politicians the way teenagers treat boy bands, forming an attachment and allegiance to them personally as the avatar of all their desired attributes; You don't just like their music, you adopt their clothing style, hairstyle, and identify with them.

As opposed to the strategic posture of conservatives who grasp that politicians are instruments of the people to be used to gain power and do things.

On “Biden Picks Kamala Harris

The sort of cronyism of Willie Brown appointing his fully qualified girlfriend to a minor office, is something I have no problem denouncing.

But lets get real here, its one of the most minor and petty forms of bad behavior in politics. So if this is the real, actual reason conservatives bring it up, then fine I will happily accept a minor blemish on an otherwise good record.

But, as the lawyers would say, now that we have opened the door to THAT issue, lets talk about nepotism and cronyism a bit more, shall we?

On “How to Lose Friends and Influence No One

Sincerely, none taken.

If the worst effect I suffer in the Trump years is critical comments, I will count myself blessed.

On “Biden Picks Kamala Harris

OK, so the problem is that the Trumpists are offended by nepotism and cronyism in hiring of government officials?

Are you sure about that?

On “How to Lose Friends and Influence No One

We who write and comment here are for the most part, privileged enough that politics is ""just politics". We are educated, well employed and secure in a network of relationships.

We speak as if politics is something trivial and detached from our lives that can be discussed in calm civil tones and then we share a laugh and a beer afterward.

But of course there are millions of people for whom this is quite literally a matter of life and death, a choice between safety and horrors.

All those years of people talking about policing and racial injustice, resulted in me facing a mob of people at midnight, hoping and praying they didn't set my building on fire. Other people less fortunate than me who live in my neighborhood live in daily fear of arrest or having their children ripped from them and being exiled to some alien place they never knew.
There is a very good chance that I or someone I love will catch the virus and either die or live a life permanently altered by it, and this is entirely the result of governmental incompetence.

This is real, this election and all the suffering and horror that flows from it.

So I don't know quite what to say here.

That its not anyone's fault? It definitely is. The world we live in is directly the responsibility of the citizens who made this choice.
That they aren't bad people? It doesn't matter. Every horror in history was brought to us by people to tenderly rocked their children at night.

I am only being civil right now because I have not yet had to bury a loved one, I haven't suffered as others have.

If the worst fate you suffer in the Trump years is lost friendships, don't complain. Consider yourself blessed.

On “Biden Picks Kamala Harris

OK, so this is corruption?

On whose part? Brown's, or Harris's?


Are we speaking in our own voices here, in good faith?

Or are we doing a ventriloquist voice thing, where we are claiming to speak about what other people believe and think?

Like, is George himself and you yourself offended by Harris' relationship?

Then please make the case and explain the moral logic here.

Because I'm not seeing any moral logic; Our society is rife with transactional relationships, and even if we were to take the charge seriously that she "slept her way up", that would make her the victim and Willie Brown the villain.

So please, explain in detail how this offends.


So they are opposed to young women sleeping with powerful men for advancement?

Let them make that case then. Say it openly, and see where the logic leads.


So, like Gingrich, Trump, David Brooks, and half the Republicans in Congress trading in the first wife for the trophy?

That sort of thing is what gets their panties in a bunch?

Sure, lets have an in depth national conversation about transactional sex.


I honestly, seriously, truly DON'T understand their objections to Harris' relationship with Brown.

Do you? Can you spell it out here, in plain English?

Are they opposed to premarital sex? No, they all have premarital sex.

Are they opposed to May/December romances? Nope, they support Roy Moore.

Are they opposed to power imbalances in romantic relationships? Not that I can see.

Are they opposed to a powerful person using another person as a toy then casting them aside when it no longer suits them? Of course not, they venerate men like that.

So seriously, what is it that they find objectionable here?


Got me there.

So what you are saying is that conservatives think this was scandalous because she was a nobody.

Seems on-brand.


Hey, I'm not the guy performing the Elmer Gantry role here.


I'm not saying she is "no worse";

I'm saying her sexual ethics are head and shoulders above Trump.

They were consenting adults, instead of harasser and victim; They were both of age, unlike the girl Trump is accused of raping.

But in any event, their accusations are harmless since I don't think the "Frustrated Gamergater/ Bitter Divorced Dad" demographic is going to be pivotal anyway.


She was a famous rising star.
When you are famous you can do things like seduce an older man, or grab him by the willie.

Its that sort of assertive sexual confidence, that machisma that this country needs.


They got it backward.
Brown was a fading has-been, and Harris the smart ambitious rising star. He slept his way back into political relevance.

As Elizabeth Warren might say, "Go Cougars!"


But propaganda isn't a precise science.

Its not like words like "radical" are magic incantations that always work without fail.

I'm not saying Trumps attacks won't work.
I'm just saying we don't really have any evidence yet that they will.


Effective with...who?

Is this just the Pundit Fallacy, where your offered the best electoral advice is really just your policy preference?

On “Always at the Abyss

Well, that's just like, your narrative man.


No, I agree rumor is a tremendously powerful thing.
Just that we should call it by its true name.

Sometimes rumor is organic, that spreads randomly.
Sometimes it is a product of deliberate disinformation by political operatives.
And sometimes it turns out to be truth.

So a bit of skepticism is usually warranted because rumor has a way of always confirming our worst priors.


Ah, I see.

Narrative is just Rumor, stuff that a lot of people say which is sometimes true and sometimes not.

On “Biden Picks Kamala Harris

This is what I mean about how Harris doesn't offer any good angles for attack.

The conservative claim is that America is fed up with all the rioting and looting and wants Lawn Order even if we need to shoot some of the BLM protesters;
Also, Harris is a cop who puts Black people in jail!

Harris is a radical leftist who will usher in Socialism;
Also, she is chums with Silicon Valley billionaires;

The deeper problem here is that the Republican Party has largely abandoned any of its supposed motivating principles.

In some earlier era, say pre-1964, Harris might have been a liberal Republican who voted for both tax cuts and the Civil Rights Act.

On “Always at the Abyss

It sounds like The Narrative is what the oldsters called "Conventional Wisdom" back in the day.

That is, the thing that just Everybody Knows.

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