There was a reader on this blog who was really great but then I lost sight of him. Then yesterday he got recommended on my Twitter feed by completely random people.

It’s fascinating how this works.

I’m very happy.

15 thoughts on “Long-lost”

  1. Do you want to share the Twitter?

    Last article by Matt Taibbi talks about a very interesting author and his latest book, acquaints one with the history of the Populists in America (it’s not “populism = evil” ), describes the evolution of the media and more. LOVED it, it is the article of the week:

    Kansas Should Go F— Itself
    Author Thomas Frank predicted the modern culture war, and he was right about Donald Trump, but don’t expect political leaders to pay attention to his new book about populism


    The People, No is more an endorsement of 1896-style populism as a political solution to our current dilemma than it is a diatribe against an arrogant political elite. The book reads this way in part because Frank is a cheery personality whose polemical style tends to accentuate the positive. In my hands this material would lead to a darker place faster — it’s infuriating, especially in what it says about the last four years of “consensus” propaganda, in particular the most recent iteration.

    The book’s concept also reflects the Sovietish reality of post-Trump media, which is now dotted with so many perilous taboos that it sometimes seems there’s no way to get audiences to see certain truths except indirectly, or via metaphor. The average blue-state media consumer by 2020 has ingested so much propaganda about Trump (and Sanders, for that matter) that he or she will be almost immune to the damning narratives in this book. Protesting, “But Trump is a racist,” they won’t see the real point – that these furious propaganda campaigns that have been repeated almost word for word dating back to the 1890s are aimed at voters, not politicians.

    It’s no accident that the consensus press pumping out these messages spent the last four years denouncing Sanders – whose campaign was a polite promise to restore New Deal values for everyone, Republicans included – as far too radical for America.

    Once Sanders was out of the way, those same news outlets embraced a significantly more radical ideology, one that swore a lot, described everyone to the right of Ibram Kendi as a white supremacist, and told small business owners they should put up with their stores being smashed for the cause of progress.

    The history outlined in The People, No predicts this. America’s financial and political establishment has always been most terrified of an inclusive underclass movement. So it evangelizes a bizarre transgressive politics that tells white conservatives to fuck themselves and embraces a leftist sub-theology that preaches class as a racist canard. Same old game, same old goal: keep people divided.


  2. The relevant quote would be this one (don’t know how forgot about it):

    // The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism

    Thomas Frank is one of America’s more skillful writers, an expert practitioner of a genre one might call historical journalism – ironic, because no recent media figure has been more negatively affected by historical change. Frank became a star during a time of intense curiosity about the reasons behind our worsening culture war, and now publishes a terrific book, The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism, at a time when people are mostly done thinking about what divides us, gearing up to fight instead.


    1. Frank’s Kansas book was one of the first I reviewed on this blog. I was poor and had to save money to buy a battered old copy at Red Emma’s in Baltimore. It was a strange experience to read it at a coffee-shop where what we’d know call wokesters despised me for being a Midwestern Russian-speaker. (I had moved to Baltimore from Indiana).

      I liked the book but was stunned by the one-sidedness of the argument. Frank somehow managed not to notice that Dem voters were expected to vote against their economic interest a lot more than the Republican base was. On the Left, we are supposed to sacrifice all of our economic well-being for cultural goals that, unlike what was offered to the Republican base, weren’t flattering to our sensibilities. Not only are you supposed to sacrifice the material things, you are supposed to self-degrade constantly as a reward.


      1. “Dem voters were expected to vote against their economic interest a lot more than the Republican base was.” Were they? Back when Frank wrote that book, the Democratic party wasn’t an upper middle class party yet, though the transformation was in progress.

        As for bougie progressives, lately I’d been thinking about how they’re way more into welfare and UBI than giving people jobs. I no longer think this is because of naivety and ignorance about what the working class actually wants, I think they want a subservient underclass of people who are dependent on them. It’s the same thing that leads some people to become overly-proud-of-themselves benefactors who expect the people they help to grovel at their feet. A way of gaining power over people.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Do you listen only to Tucker on TV? Saw this new book with an interesting title

    The Populist’s Guide to 2020: A New Right and New Left are Rising Paperback – February 8, 2020
    by Krystal Ball (Author), Saagar Enjeti (Author)

    And the authors are hosts of a TV show:

    “The Hill’s Rising with Krystal & Saagar (or simply Rising) is an American daily news and opinion web series produced by Washington, D.C. political newspaper The Hill. The series launched in June 2018 as Rising with Krystal & Buck, with Buck Sexton as co-host until June 2019. The series is available on The Hill’s Hill.TV platform and YouTube.

    The current hosts are progressive commentator Krystal Ball and conservative commentator Saagar Enjeti.”

    “Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti are co-hosts of Rising at The Hill TV, one of the fastest growing political shows in America. Theirs is the only book that fuses the populist right and populist left to explain the rise of the Trump and Sanders movements. ”


    1. Enjeti is a gifted fellow. I only watch reality TV shows because I have very little time. It’s got to be something out of this world for me to sacrifice my Love It or List It or The Profit episodes.


  4. Was interested in this article. If it’s truly good, you may find a new site to follow:

    The Reason Americans Don’t Trust Experts – Economists

    During this same time period, economists also told the public that there was little to no inflation. Now there really has been very little inflation, based on what inflation actually measures—a sustained increase in the average prices of goods you normally buy over time. As stated above, the prices of goods actually fell during this time, due to things like global wage arbitrage, automation, price competition by emerging oligopolies, and efficiency gains. Whether it’s towels, furniture or silverware, previous generations often paid much more for their manufactured goods than we do. The price of computers and electronic goods has fallen sharply, to the point where even poor households can afford large flat-screen televisions and smartphones.

    The problem is, the average American doesn’t understand what “inflation” is as economists define it. All they know is that their paycheck doesn’t go as far as it used to. They saw the costs of housing skyrocket. They saw education and health care costs practically double each year. Inflation doesn’t measure those things, and there is a good reason for that. Their costs are not determined as much by the overall supply of money as by status competition and monopoly. Real estate is a local market, and the reason for its precipitous rise in growing urban areas is the one we already touched on above.


  5. This is frankly frightening: Chinese-like Social Credit System is already in America and I predict it will get even worse than in China in no time since American efficiency is greater than Chinese:

    // Data isn’t just being collected from your phone. It’s being used to score you.

    Operating in the shadows of the online marketplace, specialized tech companies you’ve likely never heard of are tapping vast troves of our personal data to generate secret “surveillance scores” – digital mug shots of millions of Americans – that supposedly predict our future behavior. The firms sell their scoring services to major businesses across the U.S. economy.

    People with low scores can suffer harsh consequences.

    CoreLogic and TransUnion say that scores they peddle to landlords can predict whether a potential tenant will pay the rent on time, be able to “absorb rent increases,” or break a lease. Large employers use HireVue … Other employers use Cornerstone’s score, which considers where a job prospect lives and which web browser they use to judge how successful they will be at a job.

    Players in the gig economy use outside firms such as Sift to score consumers’ “overall trustworthiness.”

    Surveillance scoring enables companies to cloak old-school discrimination in an aura of technological infallibility and wonder.

    Secret surveillance scores create micro-markets in which some consumers are no longer welcome. They divide Americans into “haves” and “have-nots,” with the losers relegated to the status of second-class citizens.

    We petitioned the Federal Trade Commission to investigate and regulate surveillance scoring. The commission’s response? A blog post urging the firms that develop and apply scores to regulate themselves.

    This is only the latest example of Washington’s capitulation to the tech industry, whose continuous loop of privacy violations, abject apologies and payment of inconsequential penalties confirms that consumers cannot rely on the federal government for protection.



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