Facebook is out of control. If it were a country it would be North Korea Reply

The important takeaway from this article is that it describes how Big Tech has now become the dominant wing of the capitalist class, as Joel Kotkin has pointed out (along with the national security state and financial sector). The ruling class is not a unified monolith, but comprised of competing interests. Nor is there egalitarianism among the ruling class, which is stratified into layer hierarchies in the same way as the general society.

By Carole Cadwalladr

The Guardian

There is no power on this earth that is capable of holding Facebook to account. No legislature, no law enforcement agency, no regulator. Congress has failed. The EU has failed. When the Federal Trade Commission fined it a record $5bn for its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, its stock price actually went up.

Which is what makes this moment so interesting and, possibly, epochal. If the boycott of Facebook by some of the world’s biggest brands – Unilever, Coca-Cola, Starbucks – succeeds, it will be because it has targeted the only thing that Facebook understands: its bottom line. And if it fails, that will be another sort of landmark.

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‘We’ve got to do something’: Republican rebels come together to take on Trump Reply

The Republican wing of the Neoliberal Centrist Party attacks the Trumpists.

By Daniel Strauss

The Guardian

Just like in 2016, a faction of the Republican party has emerged to try to defeat Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential election.But unlike the last presidential race, where the effort never truly took off, this time those rebel Republicans have formed better organized groups – and some are even openly backing Trump’s Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.

In 2016, as Trump steamrolled his way through the Republican primary, some Republican lawmakers and operatives tried to mount an effort to stop him. Elected officials and veterans of previous Republican administrations organized letters, endorsed Hillary Clinton, and a few set up meager outside groups to defeat Trump.

That’s happening again – but there are differences. The outside groups are more numerous and better organized, and most importantly, Trump has a governing record on which Republicans can use to decide whether to support him or not.

“I think it’s qualitatively different,” said Republican operative Tim Miller, who co-founded one of the main anti-Trump organizations. “A lot of people who opposed [Trump] did the whole, ‘Oh, Hillary’s also bad, and Trump’s bad, and everybody can vote their conscience’ kind of thing.”

Miller said that 2016’s effort was far more of a “pox on both your houses” phenomenon versus 2020’s “organized effort to defeat him”.

The latest prominent Republican anti-Trump organization made its debut in early July. It’s a Super Pac called 43 Alumni for Biden, and aims to rally alumni of George W Bush’s administration to support the Democrat.

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The Articles of Unity – A Patriotic Plan to Save our Republic (Bret Weinstein) Reply

Bret Weinstein seems to be a guy whose “heart is in the right place,” as a sentimentalist might say.  His core idea is correct, i.e. building an anti-establishment movement that rejects incompetent/corrupt elites while rejecting dangerous authoritarians from the far-left and far-right.

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Almost half of BLM protesters are white; a plurality are suburbanites Reply

I’ve noticed this as well. But unlike most commentators on the uprising, I would make a sharp distinction between the mainstream protest movement, conventional activism like BLM, the far-left/Antifa, the far-right/Boogaloo, statue vandalizers, and exaggerated sports rioters on one hand, and the actual uprising of the lumenproletariat on the other hand.

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Two people critically injured after car plows into protesters on Seattle freeway Reply

Doug Stanglin

USA TODAY

Police in Seattle have taken into custody the driver of a car that struck two women during a protest on a downtown stretch of Interstate 5 late Friday, leaving one of the victims in critical condition, according to media reports. Washington State Patrol spokesperson Trooper Rick Johnson said early Saturday that the car, which apparently entered the closed freeway through an off-ramp, plowed into “multiple pedestrians” shortly before midnight.  The vehicle was stopped and the driver taken into custody, Johnson said in a tweet. Washington State Patrol Capt. Ron Mead said a 24-year-old woman from Seattle has critical, life-threatening injuries and a 32-year-old woman from Bellingham has serious injuries. The driver, a 27-year-old man from Seattle, was in custody, Mead said. Though motive and charges are under investigation, Mead said the man faces multiple felony charges.

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A Long Talk With Anthony Fauci’s Boss About the Pandemic, Vaccines, and Faith Reply

By Jebediah Reed

New York Intelligencer

Even before he became the point person in a global effort to find a coronavirus vaccine, Dr. Francis Collins occupied an interesting perch in government. One of the few Obama appointees still serving in a major role in the Trump administration, Collins, who rose to prominence in 1990s as leader of the Human Genome Project, is the head of the National Institutes of Health, the federal government’s gargantuan hub for medical research.

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Do American Indians Celebrate the 4th of July? Reply

Some do, some don’t.  Stereotypes, while sometimes rooted in fact, also contain many, many variations. My maternal grandmother’s father was Cherokee, and their family was Methodist. I’ve personally known Native Americans whose politics ranged from far-left anarchist to conservative Republican, to admiration for George Lincoln Rockwell’s American Nazi Party.

By Dennis Zotigh

Smithsonian Magazine

How do Native Americans observe the 4th of July? This year, many people’s plans reflect their concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. But the answer has always been as complicated as America’s history.

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Hispanic Republicans? Yep, and they’re here to stay Reply

Are Hispanic the new Italians? In recent years, I’ve noticed an increased number of prominent minority conservatives/Republicans. An Iraqi immigrant woman wants to challenge Ilhan Omar. A Jamaican immigrant woman planned to challenge Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez and dropped out. A Hispanic woman running for Congress in Florida bills herself as an anti-AOC. Gay married Dave Rubin and atheist Somali immigrant Ayaan Hirsi Ali are now becoming conservative icons. Many other examples. I know a lot of Republican-voting, FOX New-watching “conservatives” and most of them seem to not have any real problem with ethnic minorities, women, immigrants, or even gays as long as they get the politics “right” (literally speaking). Some on the alt-right are now embracing Islam and/or Communism. Many people would be surprised by the number of minorities found in supposed “white nationalist” circles. And many leftists express utter hatred for minority conservatives.

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Washington NFL team to do ‘thorough review’ of name, opening door to change 2

In the interest of truth-in-sports-advertising, all of Washington, D.C.’s sports teams should be given names like the Washington War Criminals, Washington Imperialist Dogs, Washington Tyrants, Washington Scumbags…many other possibilities.

By Minyvonne Burke and Doha Madani

NBC News

The Washington NFL team said Friday they will do a “thorough review” of the team’s name, which has long been condemned as an anti-Indigenous slur. The news comes a day after FedEx, which owns the naming rights to the field where the team plays, requested that the team change its name. “In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing the team will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name. This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks,” the team said in a statement.

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UC Berkeley History Professor’s Open Letter Against BLM, Police Brutality and Cultural Orthodoxy Reply

I agree with some points made in this article and disagree with others. But I’d say many of the arguments made are beside the point. Whether one believes George Floyd was personally a nice guy or not, whether one thinks systemic racism is the sole explanation for the overrepresentation of blacks in the “criminal justice system,” whether one agrees with the ideology of BLM (to the degree it has an ideology), or whether one likes the political Left or PC culture, is beside the point. The American police state is about much, much more than race, ideology, crime, individual cases, political correctness, cultural patterns in particular communities, or even social class.

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A Statue of Hatuey Reply

By Don Fitz

If you look at a US $20 bill, you might notice Andrew Jackson nervously watching statues of Columbus and Robert E. Lee coming down and wondering if his face is going to disappear from currency.  As Democrats ponder which militarist they wish to glorify in the next round of monuments, it is critical to realize that statues which go up are at least as important as the ones that come down.  Perhaps the best nominee for a new statue is Hatuey.

A few years ago, while visiting my daughter and grandson in Havana, I learned that his favorite playmate was Hatuey.  “I recognize a lot of Spanish names,” I told my daughter. “But I’ve never heard that one.”

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South Dakota governor calls removal of Confederate statues effort to ‘discredit’ founding fathers Reply

Princess Kristi is merely trying to advance her position within the Trumpist Party by positioning herself as a friend of the right-wing of the Red Tribe. Obviously, the Confederacy is completely irrelevant to South Dakota (which wasn’t even a state during the time of the US Civil War). Kristi is a flunkie for the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, and for global corporations that profit from outsourcing to countries with de facto slave labor. She cares no more for the Confederacy or historic Americana than some mid-level divisional manager at the World Bank. This is no different than the traditional practice of the Belgian empire of playing the Hutus and Tutsis off against each other in their Rwandan colony.

Tal Axelrod

The Hill

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) hammered activists calling for the removal of Confederate statues, saying they are trying to “discredit” America’s founding fathers.

“Across America these last several weeks, we have been witnessing a very troubling situation unfold. In real time, we are watching an organized, coordinated campaign to remove and eliminate all references to our nation’s founding and many other points in our history,” Noem said at a Fourth of July celebration at Mount Rushmore with President Trump.

The approach focuses exclusively on our forefathers’ flaws, but it fails to capitalize on the opportunity to learn from their virtues,” she added. “Make no mistake, this is being done deliberately to discredit America’s founding principles by discrediting the individuals who formed them, so that America can be remade into a different political image.”

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Protesters block highway as Trump makes his way to Mount Rushmore Reply

This is kind of like Netanyahu holding a campaign rally in the West Bank or Gaza.

Trump is obviously trying to fuel “culture war” sympathy on the right because he knows he can hardly run on the great state of the nation. One reason why I think the wave of statue/monument vandalism was a mistake was that it fuels things like this, i.e. a pushback from the right-wing, led by a demagogic politician who only wants to distract attention away from everything else (mass unemployment, botched handling of the pandemic, the recent class-based insurrection, widening class divisions, the police state, etc.) by inciting some tribes against others.

The statue vandalism craze was a distraction from the more substantive issues (the insurrection against the state and capitalist class) and provided a vehicle for propagandists for the right-wing of the ruling class to deflect attention away from the insurgency toward the culture war by playing tribe against tribe: “Forget attacking the power elite, one of those other tribes over there is vandalizing your icons!” How the protestors play this hand will be important. It’s essential that they do not succumb to Trump’s bait. Trump would like nothing better than mayhem so he can appeal to safety-crazed soccer moms and say, “Do you want this coming to Peoria?”

By Tal Axelrod

The Hill

Protesters were seen on Friday blocking a highway in South Dakota ahead of President Trump’s appearance at Mount Rushmore for a July 4 celebration. Demonstrators were seen gathering about three hours before Trump’s appearance, sparking warnings from authorities for them to clear the way. Law enforcement was later seen putting on gas masks and launching smoke bombs into the crowd to try to disperse the protesters.

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Tucker Carlson 2024? The GOP is buzzing Reply

It’s going to be interesting to observe how the fracturing of electoral politics into three factions (the neoliberal/neocon duopoly, Trumpists, and social democrats) will impact the two-party system. It’s also possible a “radical centrist” faction will emerge as well (e.g. Brett Weinstein’s latest project, or Jesse Ventura’s write-in campaign).

By Alex Thompson

Politico

Tucker Carlson’s audience is booming — and so is chatter that the popular Fox News host will parlay his TV perch into a run for president in 2024.

Republican strategists, conservative commentators, and former Trump campaign and administration officials are buzzing about Carlson as the next-generation leader of Donald Trump’s movement — with many believing he would be an immediate frontrunner in a Republican primary.

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Spanish towns offer new home for statues targeted by protests in US Reply

Good plan. Move the statues to places where people actually want them.

By Ashifa Kassam

The Guardian

A handful of towns in Spain have sought to wade into America’s reckoning with its past, offering to rehome controversial statues targeted over their links to colonialism and centuries of genocide against indigenous peoples in the Americas.

Last month, lawmakers in California announced that the statue of Queen Isabella and Christopher Columbus would be removed from the state capitol in Sacramento, describing it as “completely out of place today” in the Capitol rotunda where it has stood since 1883.

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The Case against Revolution with Ayaan Hirsi Ali Reply

A pro-reformist contribution to the reform vs. revolution debate. We need both Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine, both of whom were proto-anarchists. Burke’s “Vindication of Natural Society” is essentially an anarcho-libertarian document, and Paine was what would today be called a minarchist with economic views similar to those later popularized by Henry George.

 

Big business wants Facebook to CENSOR anti-establishment voices Reply

Well, at least we know which firms to attack during the next wave of uprisings (if we didn’t already). And intra-ruling class conflict is always welcome. It’s also interesting how “hate” has become the new “obscenity.” It shows that the ruling class can always use whatever mores are dominant in the wider society to their advantage.