They have the freedom to do it… but what can be done about it?

Maybe I’m wasting my time saying this.

Maybe everyone already knows.

The truth is that I haven’t bothered reading much of anything about QAnon or its permutations.

From my perspective, very little analysis is needed to understand this phenomenon.

It’s been happening for years, this growing migration of the radical right away from fact-based reality and into the world of myth.

I was there for the very first “Q drop.”

Back in 2017, I took note — along with many others — of a new voice on the controversial 4Chan message board.

Like a cryptic storyteller, a bard half-hidden by…

It’s tempting to turn our backs on the mainstream media. But should we?

Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash

When I was poor and still living in a group house, one of my housemates, a journalist named Kevin, came through the front door in the middle of the afternoon carrying a cardboard box.

“Jack!” he moaned. “I got fired!”

At the time, Kevin was writing for what’s known as a trade publication, a special magazine geared toward professionals in a particular industry — estate attorneys, research chemists, logistics managers and the like.

Because of the narrow focus of trade publications, their articles usually target professionals in that specific field but are not relevant enough for a general publication like…

The Red Hats tried for a 1922 Mussolini, but instead they got a 1923 Hitler

Photo: The Munich beer hall where the attempted coup began in November 1923. Source: Wikipedia under creative commons license.

Even casual students of history know about the 1933 fire in the German Reichstag and how Adolf Hitler, then the Chancellor of Germany, used the fire as a pretext to suspend civil rights and arrest his political opponents.

Although the fire was not the only step in the process of Gleichschaltung (co-ordination) — the process by which the Nazi party brought Germany under totalitarian control — it was among the most pivotal.

What most people don’t realize about the fire, however, is that Hitler had already tried and failed to take over Germany ten years earlier.

In November 1923, Hitler…

Photo by Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer:

After several months of negotiations, you are still at odds with Republicans over a second coronavirus stimulus package to follow up the $2.2 trillion CARES Act approved in March.

Under your leadership, the U.S. House of Representatives has already passed a $3 trillion stimulus package to follow up CARES. This happened way back in May. Nevertheless, the Republican-controlled Senate ignored this legislation, declaring it “dead on arrival,” and waited until late in the summer before attempting to negotiate a totally different stimulus package with you.

Perhaps the Republicans thought that waiting until the…

A confession of sorts

Photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash

My mother’s father was a wealthy lawyer in Manhattan, and he lived in a penthouse on the 20th floor of an Upper East Side apartment building.

According to a story I was told several times as a child, it was during a family visit to the Statue of Liberty, in the shadow of our greatest symbol of American opportunity, that my grandfather took his son-in-law, my father, aside, and magnanimously declared that he would not have to worry about affording college for myself or my brother.

Meanwhile, my grandmother, a long-time employee of the Federal Reserve…

Identity politics has jumped the shark in these United States

Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash

I recently came across a social media post made by a small liberal arts college in which a perfectly fresh-looking undergraduate student was featured along with her name and the quote:

“Yes, I’m first generation and low-income, but I’m also a scientist, I’m a musician, I’m a Muslim.”

And that’s all it said.

Nothing about anything she’d discovered, nothing about any music she’d performed or awards she’d won or even whether she was a good student.

The assumption of the young woman was that pithily summing up five of her…

Is lightning about to strike the U.S. economy twice?

Photo by Michael D on Unsplash

A confession: I’m a long-time reader of the often wrong, but always entertaining, financial blog Zero Hedge.

Inspired by the movie Fight Club — sporting the iconic image of a topless Brad Pitt as its Twitter profile pic and posting articles under the pseudonym “Tyler Durden” — the authors of Zero Hedge don’t bother trying to hide their far-right libertarian agenda.

Just as the climatic moment of Fight Club involves a terrorist attack against big corporate banks, with bombs blowing up skyscrapers to the haunting Pixies’ tune “Where Is My Mind?”, …

A revolutionary aesthetic has disappeared. Did anyone care (or even notice)?

Photo by Matt Hearne on Unsplash

I spent about an hour looking, but try as I might I could only identify a small handful of sessions at the Modern Language Association’s (MLA) annual convention in Seattle in 2020 that dared to advertise themselves using some variant of the word “postmodernism.”

The MLA describes its annual convention as “the largest scholarly meeting in the humanities,” a conference that brings together “thousands of members to discuss new research, participate in workshops, and build their professional networks.”

This lack of interest in postmodernism did not disappoint me. …

Image credit: Author.

The first thing to understand about Election 2020 is that if you think you know what happened, you probably don’t.

You can’t bring a country of 330 million people back from the brink of fascism without a lot of stuff happening behind the scenes.

You need to have massive nonpartisan coordination taking place out of the public eye.

You need to have close attention to the small but important details that confer legitimacy on the President-elect — among them the lightning-quick congratulations issued by our international allies and the large, presidential size of Joe Biden’s motorcade as he made his…

Try these things and watch your prime suspect go red in the face

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

Among the most troublesome areas of human interaction in which you will have to exercise good judgment and cunning involves being able to tell when someone’s trying to lie or cheat you.

My parents, not so much naive as they were optimistic about other people’s intentions, learned this the hard way in the 1990s when they were shopping around for a bigger house. They found one they liked, but it had an unconventional heating system. …

Jack Luna

I’m more than just a writer. Don’t bother looking for me on Twitter. This is my home at the moment.

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