The Tulsa Rally

First of all, shame on people retelling the ridiculous story about “Tik Tok teenagers ordering tickets.” This is utterly ridiculous.

The turnout was about 75%, which an amazing achievement given the virus, the impossibility to attend for older people, the rabid brownshirts assaulting people for trying to attend, and the even more rabid brownshirts studying the footage to destroy the livelihoods of those who attended.

However, the energy in the room was low. Trump gave his pre-corona, pre-riots, and pre-loss of SCOTUS speech. And it doesn’t work in the new world that has been created since. The audience clearly expected him to talk about what’s going on but today’s situation wasn’t central to the speech. It simply felt antiquated. This was disappointing not because Biden is better about diagnosing the current situation but because there’s now not a single person in the political space who will be able to blurt out the truth. We are doomed to exist in a reality where nobody dares to mention what’s going on. Not even Trump.

We are a laughing stock of the world. Even in stupid Russia there’s more freedom of speech. And this isn’t because Russia’s autocracy is good. (Have you heard what they are about to do on July 1? You’ve got to be all kinds of dotty to like that.) It’s because we suck so badly. What have we turned into? What a bloody shame. The person who would win every election is a person who’d say that. And there’s nobody like that.

We are left with a reality where a small group of spoiled ridiculous brats is terrorizing us and we aren’t allowed to notice. But by all means, let’s concentrate on a meme created by brain-dead TikTok zombies who want to believe they matter.

27 thoughts on “The Tulsa Rally”

  1. Clarissa, I’m wondering if you wouldn’t comment more often on events in Russia and the Ukraine. I generally agree with you on issues here in the States, and even when I don’t, I value and respect your point of view. I find it difficult to understand what is happening over there, seeing as how we are so inundated with neo-liberal corporatist and Russian propaganda here.

    I also have several Polish friends who are extremely pro-Ukranian, and deeply fearful and paranoid about Russia in ways that I can’t help but feel rather irrational.. One of them even went to participate in the Maidan street fights to help his “cossack brothers,” and refers to the FSB as the KGB without satiric irony..

    I wonder about the roles that the likes of Soros, Biden, Kerry and even Trump (how much dark Russian money is invested in his businesses? Inquiring minds would like to know..) are playing there, all I can assert with confidence is that I am sure that we are being lied to wholesale about what is really going on. We’re being lied to about almost everything by almost everyone in power these days, of course, but in most other contexts I think I at least have enough sense of the situation to understand to at least some degree what may be really going on. In the context of the former Soviet Union, I feel a bit out to sea.

    I follow RT lackadaisically, and read the Saker at the Unz Review, and miss the good old days when the Exile was still publishing from Moscow.. I recently started following this Russian propaganda site, which while rabid, puts out interesting bits like this:

    https://www.stalkerzone.org/ukrainian-tv-dad-daughter-duo-publicly-condemned-kievs-repression-of-the-russian-language/

    https://www.stalkerzone.org/why-the-july-1st-vote-on-constitution-amendments-in-russia-isnt-about-resetting-presidential-terms/

    Are there any English language (I can read in French and Spanish, too) sources that you would recommend to provide greater depth, breadth and balance? Your own perspective would also be valuable, if you’d give it to us more often..

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    1. I moderated your comment, CRC, because you left your real email address in the name box and I didn’t want you to get spammed.

      I used to write about Ukraine and Russia a lot but people kept telling me I was too obsessive. Those posts weren’t popular at all. I can try again.

      ” One of them even went to participate in the Maidan street fights to help his “cossack brothers,” and refers to the FSB as the KGB without satiric irony..”

      • I fail to see the irony either. Not a single person from the KGB was fired or ousted when the organization was renamed. The name change was just that, a name change.

      “Inquiring minds would like to know..) are playing there, all I can assert with confidence is that I am sure that we are being lied to wholesale about what is really going on. We’re being lied to about almost everything by almost everyone in power these days, of course, but in most other contexts I think I at least have enough sense of the situation to understand to at least some degree what may be really going on. ”

      • That is absolutely true. In the context of Russia, they have an autocracy. Putin is a fanatical globalist of the very neoliberal kind. Russians in general are extremely anti-American. If you knew how much every regular, everyday Russian hates you for being an American, you’d have nightmares. The rage against Americans is diseased, it’s completely psychiatric in nature. At the same time, Putin is an idiot, his team is full of completely stupid people. All of the conspiracies attributed to him by Rachel Maddow are silly and childish. Russians by nature are very into autocracy, the good tsar who whips them. Putin will be their leader 200 years from now (they are using doubles to make his public appearances happen already).

      As for Ukraine, the admiration for the US is as deep and almost as psychiatric as the Russians’ hatred of the US is. 🙂 Ukrainians are a lot more individualistic and into private property. They are historically very pro-democracy. They are also very corrupt and unwilling to accept that their troubles are engineered by themselves and are a result of their incapacity to give up corruption.

      I welcome questions. However, I don’t welcome assertions from anybody who doesn’t speak fluent Russian and Ukrainian and wasn’t born in the USSR. There is nothing I’m interested in learning from people who do not have my extensive personal experience. Questions, though, I’m always happy to answer.

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      1. Thanks for your response, and for saving me from both myself and the trolls.

        As for questions, I’ll reiterate my last one, and ask you if there are any pro-Ukranian news sites/blogs or other online sources relevant to the former Soviet Union that you recommend following?

        When I was an undergraduate I took a course on the history of Russia. It was good, but it focused almost solely on the czarist history, and the ideological aspects of the Russian Revolution, and almost wholly ignored issues associated with ethnicity and religion in the context of Russian Imperialism. This is a bit impudent to ask, but do you have any suggestions of books or anything else (a bibliography you might refer me to) that I might read to greater understanding?

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        1. I don’t read anything about my region in English because it wouldn’t make sense. But I do strongly recommend Radzinsky’s biography of Stalin as a starting point. It’s under$6 on Kindle, beautifully written and it’s all true.

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      2. FWIW I’d love to read anything you want to write on Russia and Ukraine. I know basically nothing about them since the fall of communism, outside the odd Orthodox Church news that makes it into English. And I’m extremely curious, since the 2016 election, when I could not bring myself to vote for Trump, but still voted against Hillary, because she seemed keen to start a war with Russia. Which seemed completely bizarre and out-of-nowhere. Why? I thought Russia had not been an enemy since 1990?? Then the whole Russia collusion, Burisma/Ukraine stuff… it’s all very confusing, because I have no context for any of it. And don’t know of any good, general English-language sources.

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        1. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to end a conflict unilaterally. You can leave and forget but that only makes the opponent more rabid.

          There was a break in Russian anti-Americanism that existed between 1985 and 1995, more or less. But that’s in the past. If you watch any newscast in Russia, for example, it’s going to be 60% how everything is horrible in Ukraine, 30% how everything is horrible in the US, and 10% how Russia is morally superior to the US. That sense of superiority is the foundation of the Russian national identity today. Not only didn’t the Cold War end, it’s raging on, stronger than ever. And the refusal of the US to notice it, only makes the opponent angrier.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. “refusal of the US to notice it, only makes the opponent angrier”

            Did you watch Orange is the New Black? Russia and the US seem a bit like Morello and Christopher in the first two seasons (I haven’t seen later seasons).

            spoiler:

            In the first season Morello is constantly talking about her fiance Christopher and planning their wedding… in season two it’s revealed they had coffee once and she became obsessed and he had to take out a restraining order against her because of her crazy stalker behavior (she ended up in prison for something else).

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        2. The Moscow Patriarchate has an interesting English blog, which you may already be aware of.. If not, you’ll find it here: https://orthochristian.com

          They naturally have nothing good to say about Ukrainian autocephaly (“the schism”) or the Ecumenical Patriarch’s “papistic ambitions.” If anyone is aware of any pro-Ukrainian Orthodox sources online, I’d really appreciate a referral.

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          1. It was not possible to be a priest in the USSR and not be a KGB informant. It wasn’t allowed. The leadership of the church, in Russia and in Ukraine, are terribly corrupt cynical atheists. Since the end of the USSR, they’ve engaged in the worst kinds of open banditry.

            This is the reason why we never went to church back in Ukraine. My father is a very profound and sincere Orthodox Christian. But he never went. It’s a profanation.

            So I don’t care about the squabbles between these bandits. There’s no religion in the former USSR. It doesn’t exist. There are some semi-pagan superstitious rites but that’s it.

            I know it’s not what anybody wants to hear. But you can’t have grown up in the USSR or with Soviet parents and be truly religious. In Russia there are 2% that actually somehow practice something vaguely resembling Orthodox Christianity. The rest, not even that. In Ukraine, it’s just as bad.

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            1. Did you see the rather weird dedication of the new military Cathedral in Moscow this past month? The priests wearing military medals, all that? The Russian state is really trying to resurrect the old czarist sacred imperium, re-invoke the imperial aura of Third Rome:

              I’m a Catholic who converted to Orthodoxy back in 2005 via the OCA & Antiochians. In my addled mind I wasn’t ceasing to be Catholic, just Roman Catholic. I was merely denying the reality of the Schism in sacramental terms with the whole pith of my being.. I ended up being unable to hack it though, I felt naked without my scapular and all the ridiculous xenophobic ethnocentrism (OCA parishes generally overrun with hyper-legalistic evangelical converts, the Greek parishes that usually felt like Hellenic clubs more secular than the average Novus Ordo RC parish, and the ROCOR parishes that felt like chiliastic cults) ultimately curdled me. I had to leave.

              There’s a photo online from 2009 of Patriarch Kiril sitting at a table with a high gloss surface. In the surface’s reflection you can see he is wearing a watch. A “Breguet timepiece worth at least $30,000” to be specific. In the official image released by his press office, the watch had been airbrushed off his wrist ( https://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/06/world/europe/in-russia-a-watch-vanishes-up-orthodox-leaders-sleeve.html ) .. That was the last straw for me, not quite as sinister as when the NKVD airbrushed Yezhov or Trotsky away, but almost as Stalinistic in its implication of depravity. How can a Christian bishop justify wearing something so grotesque, a watch worth as much as small house in many parts of the world, while living in that bloody palace like he does?

              I have to say though that no church is free of this corruption. It’s only a matter of degree, not kind. John Paul II wore a DateJust worth around $6,000. Benedict a Erhard Junghans of about $2,000, and Francis a Casio costing under a hundred..
              https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-24/how-un-luxurious-is-pope-francis-compared-to-his-predecessors-
              Which isn’t to gauge any of their holiness or fidelity by the relative costs of their time pieces. In fact, the humble Francis may be the greatest crypto-gnostic heretic of them all.

              It is to say that being a true Christian is in worldly terms impossible. I’m certainly making no claims to holiness or great faithfulness myself. I’ll also say that I think John of Kronstadt and Seraphim of Sarov are worthy of emulation and veneration (and that Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna, Princess Ilena of Romania, and loathsome Prince Philip’s mother Alice von Battenburg are some of the only royalty ever worthy of admiration). I still pray all their intercession.. I think (I hope) that there must be some grace amongst the Orthodox, yet..

              Liked by 2 people

              1. “That was the last straw for me…”

                I think there are likely plenty of Orthodox – inside and outside Russia – who find the whole Patriarch Breguet airbrushing thing quite creepy.

                “there must be some grace amongst the Orthodox, yet.”

                It’s my experience that the Orthodox tend to value their hierarchs for their role as symbols of the unity of their jurisdiction rather than as doctrinal authorities in the Roman Catholic top-down sense. More focus is placed on local priests and bishops whose job is to “rightly divide the word of Thy truth” according to traditional Orthodox doctrine.

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            2. Thanks. You’re right, that’s not what anyone wants to hear. But I was curious what it looked like from the other side. I mean, it seems like a fantastic miracle, that Orthodoxy is being brought back, but Putin seems an unlikely hero of the church. And how, really, do you bring back a church so quickly, starting with so little? God can do great things, but I suppose money can appear to do great things also.

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    2. I find the following quite a good explanation of a lot of things about Russia and Putin:

      The title is fairly provocative, be the guy knows what he is talking about.

      I find it actually not that difficult to understand Putin.
      He does not recognize the US as the rightful sheriff of the world or as any kind of a moral authority*. (If you have seen “The fast and the dead” movie, he thinks of the US as the mayor, and of itself as Sharon Stone character.) Therefore, according to him Russia is entitled to do everything and anything the US/West does. Supporting friendly governments. Supporting friendly opposition. Propaganda against unfriendly governments. Economic sanctions. If the above fails – supporting armed opposition. If that fails – military intervention. Etc.
      Sometimes making the point that he can do it too IS the main reason why he is doing something. He is not the smartest guy, but he is not an idiot either. He is a very conservative man (of the Make Russia Great Again variety, hence some mutual sympathy between him and Trump). Meaning he is not feeling limited by the progressive post-colonialist rhetoric, he pursues interests of Russia as he sees them (sure, often these are business interests of his friends from Haliburton-sorry-crossed-out-Gazprom), and for him the methods of mid-20th century or even 19th century are not “verboten” on principle. He definitely does not believe in the “end of history”.
      However, he is somewhat of a pragmatist (because he wants to stay rich and get richer). So he chooses where to make his point relatively carefully and in a manner that is relatively low-risk for Russia. Thus, I think Poland or Finland have no reason to fear Russian occupation. The worst thing that could happen to Poland is Russians bombing the NATO anti-ballistic missile facility. But there will be no occupation of the territories that do not have pro-Russian population. For the same reason, probability of the attack on the Baltic states is also very low and if it ever happens only the territories where ethnic Russians are the majority will be annexed or turned into Donbas. Unfortunately, Ukraine, or Syria or Libya are safe enough to use them as examples to prove to the West that Russia is as “great” as the West is.
      *Speaking of “moral authority”, it seems to me that Russia would be very happy to become some sort of “super-Israel”, in the sense that it should be very impolite to criticize Russia in any context. Russian current nation-building efforts (in terms of ideology) can be summarized by “we are BOTH the biggest victims of the WWII AND the main victor/savior of the world”…

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      1. Absolutely. Putin is a walking narcissistic injury. And his culture is a culture of a gigantic narcissistic wound (hence the extreme levels of alcoholism). As insane as it sounds, this “mommy, but if Vasya can have an ice cream, then why can’t I?” absolutely is the foundation of Putin’s foreign policy.

        Currently, he making the people vote to “erase” his past presidencies and run for president anew. And they will subserviently and pathetically go and vote. He doesn’t really need them to vote. But he’ll make them just to humiliate them.

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      2. ” I think Poland or Finland have no reason to fear Russian occupation”

        In the early 1990s I was surprised to find that more people in Poland feared German invasion than a resurgence of the USSR.
        At present there’s no fear of anything like occupation this year or the next, but a vague unease about some undefined future remains.
        About 15 years ago there seemed to be a major improvement in relations but then Russia acted all Russian-y and the war in Georgia happened and that stopped dead in its tracks.
        Later there were improvements in German relations until Merkel decided to invite several hundred thousand young men of dubious provenance to Germany and that stopped dead in it’s tracks. It seemed borderline insane to most people (if she’d do that then what other crazy things might she do?)

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  2. “The audience clearly expected him to talk about what’s going on…”

    When I first surmised that it would be Clinton vs Trump in the 2016 US Presidential election, I was dumbfounded. How could, I asked myself incredulously, a country of more than 300 million people have managed to nominate two absolutely unsuited and unqualified turkeys for their highest elected office given the many thousands of other, far better, candidate choices that could have made?

    With the 2020 Presidential election of Trump vs Biden, history repeats as comedy and tragedy simultaneously.

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    1. It’s a sign of an abyss-like divide between the ruling elite and everybody else. Throughout the primaries in this cycle we’ve seen candidates drop every genuinely popular position and move to the extremes that could attract only the most rabid, clueless fanatics. The candidates seem completely unaware of the extreme unpopularity of these positions. It’s like they are blind and deaf.

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      1. “It’s like they are blind and deaf.”

        Yes, I can see how one could reasonably come to that opinion. But maybe it’s as simple as the US republic now being so corrupted and dysfunctional that it filters out the emergence of any potential leaders who would be a serious threat to restore its democratic institutions and norms to health.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. This seems right: no sane decent person can reach that high with his virtues intact. Plus, if you look like you have your own ideas, no corporate sponsors! And if the other politicians and state bureaucrats don’t have some kind of dirt on you, they don’t feel they can control you.

          I think they felt sort of safe with Trump because they had dirt on him– the whole porn star thing– and then when he didn’t do what they wanted, and they went public with it… nobody cared. Total flop. And they panicked.

          It seemed like a window into how they think things are supposed to work: If you don’t do what we want, we’ll contact your old gay teenaged lover, get an exclusive interview on CNN, and you’ll have to resign in shame and “go spend more time with your family”. It’s a big mutual blackmail scheme, and they don’t trust anyone who can’t be blackmailed.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. “no sane decent person …”

            Sadly, I agree with you, at least about career politicians. I wrote a similar remark to yours in “The Wrong Side of History” post, just above.

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  3. Everything you say about Trump here is also correct. But also, even if he was stepping up in this moment…what would that accomplish? Electing conservatives has done nothing to stop unbridled liberalism. I’m not one to decry voting and “electoralism,” but when it comes to cultural issues obviously more is needed than voting. But few people have been willing to do what is required, and now it’s probably too late. Honestly, I’m not even sure what conservatives should or could have done. I don’t think there was any hope for them, though maybe there could’ve been hope for people like me (not conservative but opposed to all this nonsense.)

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    1. Right now, I think the only real hope is consumerism. People are into instant gratification, everybody gets bored really fast. Let’s hope this all fades away like all fads do.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re the laughing stock of the world because your “president” told people to drink bleach and thinks that Finland is part of Russia.

    Sincerely, someone from the rest of the world

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      1. Another attack on my intelligence, while you support a president who made those comments about bleach and Finland?

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        1. “Another attack on my intelligence, while you support a president who made those comments about bleach and Finland?”

          • I’m beginning to get annoyed, really. This is the second warning to stop trolling. There won’t be a third.

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