Hamilton Nolan is at it again with a bit titled, ‘This Is Just the Beginning.’ I know. It’s sounds like it could be a book of poetry or an easy listening album, but it’s supposed to be an ominous warning. Let’s have a look!
Do you think that being asked to leave a restaurant, or having your meal interrupted, or being called by the public is bad? My fascism-enabling friends, this is only the beginning.
What kind of weirdo has fascist-enabling friends? Ohhhh, I see. He’s talking about anyone not as Leftist as he (zhe) is. Wow, so public harassment is only the beginning. Gosh, that sounds scary. What is coming next?
One thing that people who wield great power often fail to viscerally understand is what it feels like to have power wielded against you. This imbalance is the source of many of the most monstrous decisions that get made by powerful people and institutions.
Does he mean like the Left-wing So-called News Media, the Left-wing Entertainment Industry, the Left-wing Tech Giants, and the Lefter-than-thou Education Industry? Yeah, those guys do seem to enjoy unilateral power.
The people who start the wars do not have bombs dropped on their houses.
Wait, which people is he talking about? At least as far back as World War II, aggressors have been driven into bunkers and spider holes. So… who is he talking about?
The people who pass the laws that incarcerate others never have to face the full force of the prison system themselves.
Never is an absolute. Maybe he was speaking hyperbolically. Or maybe he is claiming sentences were too lenient for the following people: Anthony Weiner (D-NY), Corrine Brown (D-FL), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL), Laura Richardson (D-CA), William J. Jefferson (D-LA), Frank Ballance (D-NC), Jim Traficant (D-OH), Mel Reynolds (D-IL) (his sentence was commuted by President Bill Clinton), Austin Murphy (D-PA), Carl C. Perkins (D-KY), Carroll Hubbard (D-KY), Walter Fauntroy (D-DC), Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL), Joe Kolter (D-PA), Nicholas Mavroules (D-Massachusetts), Albert Bustamante (D-Texas), Harrison A. Williams (D-NJ), John Jenrette (D-SC), Raymond Lederer (D-PA), Michael Myers (D-PA), Frank Thompson (D-NJ), John M. Murphy (D-NY), Mario Biaggi (D-NY), Robert Garcia (D-NY), Frederick W. Richmond (D-NY), Dan Flood (D-PA), Joshua Eilberg (D-PA), Fred Richmond (D-New York), Charles Diggs (D-Michigan), Michael Myers (D-Pennsylvania), Frank M. Clark (D-Pennsylvania), and Richard Tonry (D-Louisiana).
The people who design the economic system that inflicts poverty on millions are themselves rich.
Is he talking about the leaders of the People’s Republic of China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the Republic of Cuba, Zambia, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Niger, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Burundi, Tanzania, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Malawi, Afghanistan, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Haiti, Bolivia, Guyana, Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela?
This sort of insulation from the real world consequences of political and economic decisions makes it very easy for powerful people to approve of things happening to the rest of us that they would never, ever tolerate themselves.
I sense he’s ready to make a point.
No health insurance CEO would watch his child die due to their inability to afford quality health care.
Of course not, the CEO produces enough professional value to pay for health care. That sounds like a good model to follow. Produce value to earn wealth to pay for needs and wants!
No chickenhawk Congressman will be commanding a tank battle in Iran.
This is a weird statement. Does he think the U.S. is at war with Iran? Ohhhh, maybe he’s making a general statement about U.S. Congressmen declaring war without experiencing the risk of military service. There is actually a Congressional Veterans Caucus that could correct him on such a matter. If anyone runs into Hamilton, feel free to share this link: http://caucus.militarytimes.com/members/#.WzO97tJKhaQ
No opportunistic race-baiting politician will be shunned because of their skin color.
That is not true. The Congressional Black Caucus has bylaws that refuse admission to white people (regardless of heritage), Asians, Indians, North American Aboriginals, and Latinos, such as Adriano Espaillat (who identifies as Latino of African descent).
Zealots condemn gay people—except for their own gay children.
Is he going to name these people or just toss out a vague allegation? Is he talking about Obama, who said in 2008, “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage.” Is he saying Obama’s kids are gay? Who are these powerful zealots? Are they condemning gay people the way Democrats condemn Republicans and people associated with Republican politicians? Shouldn’t harassment like that be illegal? What did the first paragraph of Hamilton’s argument talk about… was it harassment escalating to something more?
The weed-smoking of young immigrants should get them deported—but our own weed-smoking was a youthful indiscretion.
Which way is he going here? Does he support cracking down on marijuana use? That’s a non-starter for a lot of people.
Environmentalist celebrities fly on carbon-spouting private jets.
The blind squirrel finds a nut!
Banks make ostentatious charity donations while raking in billions from investments in defense contractors and gun manufacturers and oil companies.
Which way is he going here? Is he advocating banks cease making ostentatious donations to charity? Maybe he doesn’t like banks performing their basic function of taking deposits, investing the money, and providing a return on the investment. What else should banks do? Sell cupcakes? Ohhhh, I see. He hates defense contractors, gun manufacturers, and oil companies. Wow. I look forward to seeing how Hamilton sticks to his convictions. Will he lead by example and move to a country that has no standing military and does not have defense ties to any country that has a standing military? Doubt it. Will he lead by example and never call the police if he is victimized (the police carry guns made by gun manufactures)? Doubt it. Will he lead by example by abstaining from using any plastic products? Hamilton, unless that computer of yours is made of corn or some other non-plastic… you are part of the problem. Nut up or shut up.
This is human nature. It is very, very easy to do things that hurt others as long as those same things benefit, rather than hurt, you. Self-justification is a specialty of mankind.
Does he mean like self-justifying harassment, incitement, and politically motivated violence?
A well-designed political system would have a built-in feedback system to ensure that those making the decisions are also subject to the consequences of those decisions.
Minor versions of this are floated every now and then: Put Congress on Obamacare! Pay elected officials what their average constituents earn! But in aggregate, of course, we have nothing like this feedback mechanism in America.
We have elections.
The titans of money congregate on Wall Street and the titans of government congregate in DC and they all make decisions that often disenfranchise and impoverish and frustrate the dreams of people far away, and then they go to nice restaurants and go home to nice houses and have nice, well-paid careers for decades to come. That is our system. There is little incentive for those who work within that system to change it in a way that might create the sort of negative feedback that can be unpleasant. Therefore it is the job of the public to do just that. Doing so is, in fact, a public service. It promotes good government.
Like voting in elections? Or running for office?
“With great power comes great responsibility.” That is the basic idea underlying noblesse oblige, and though noblesse oblige itself is not as good as equality, it looks fantastic compared to what we have today.
Did he just cite Uncle Ben from the Spiderman property or Voltaire? You decide.
Today, we have an ignorant billionaire narcissist leading our government, a man surrounded by a pack of enablers who by now have clearly demonstrated that no amount of racism or xenophobia or lies or warmongering or outright corruption will dissuade them from helping the boss do what the boss wants to do. Rather than detail a laundry list of all the Trump outrages, [Because he can’t provide evidence, much less proof, only interpretation and allegation – Justa Gaibroh] I ask you simply to consider all of the very real human costs that those outrages have already inflicted on human beings in America and abroad.
Did Hamilton just complain about elitist politicians, only to pivot and grouse about the private citizen who rocketed directly into the White House with an Electoral College lead greater than 70 points? Did that just happen?
Some of those outrages, like ripping families apart at the border, show their costs immediately;
Hamilton, please tell us all at what point in our history have we not separated people accused of a crime from their children. What year was that? Go ahead, cite your legal or historical source.
others, like eschewing the fight against climate change and neutering the EPA
Hamilton how many times do the climate alarmists have to be wrong before you stop drinking the Kool-Aid? What is the number? Also, in a broader sense please explain how liberty is advanced by the fetters of regulation?
and mainstreaming white nationalist ideas,
Hamilton, please provide a comprehensive list of mainstream white nationalist ideas, then identify the manner in which each is mainstreamed by politicians, and identify the specific politicians involved. If you’re going to toss out a bomb like “mainstreaming white nationalist ideas” then you better have the specifics to back it up.
will be manifesting their costs for many decades to come. But the costs are real. We are the ones who are suffering and will suffer them.
Hamilton, unless you crossed the border illegally and had your kids sent to taxpayer funded food, clothing, shelter, education, healthcare, and even field trips, YOU don’t get to say “we.” Hamilton, I don’t care how you identify, you’re mayonnaise white. So YOU don’t get to say “we.” Get down off your cross. You are no one’s martyr.
By and large, the people responsible for these decisions will be wealthy and famous and powerful enough to insulate themselves from those costs. Unless we decide to see to it that they must face them.
Do you smell that? I smell a call to action. The question is what kind of action?
It is telling that many of those who make their living in the political industrial complex, whether Democrat or Republican or Washington Post editorial page, find the idea of socially shunning people because of their politics to be abhorrent. Their shudders are a symptom of the fact that DC is indeed a swamp—a friendly swamp, where all the gators and slugs and mudfish meet up at the end of the day for cocktails, because to them, politics is a job.
Hamilton, name a man more hated in Washington D.C. than the outsider, Donald Trump. Prior to powering past a slew of establishment Republicans and overcoming the ultimate Democrat insider, Trump’s job was business. Based on your yowling, you should at least give a tip of the hat to actual change.
To the rest of us, politics is the use of power in a way that has very real effects on our lives.
Hamilton, this has always been the case. Always. You were just on the cusp of a call to action. Is that coming soon?
Poverty is an affliction of history and the failure to remedy history’s crimes, of greed and self-dealing and the tax code.
Hamilton, Trump wants to simplify the tax code. Does he have your support?
Sickness is often an affliction of the political decision not to build a fair and equitable health care system, so that a small number of people can get rich instead.
Wrong. Sickness is a natural occurrence. The development of treatments and cures for sickness is most successful where wealth is an incentive for research and development. That is why the U.S. leads the world in medical innovation. Also, the U.S. has both Medicare and Medicaid. Hamilton, if you don’t like the American system, logic dictates that you pick a better country. Nut up or shut up.
Tens of millions of people around the world suffer under dictatorships that are supported by America to serve our own economic ends.
Hamilton, please name the specific dictatorships. Identify the support being provide by the U.S., and then describe what you think would happen if all of that support was withdrawn tomorrow.
People die because of political decisions every day.
I believe you covered this point with your statement, “To the rest of us, politics is the use of power in a way that has very real effects on our lives.” Are you getting paid by the word? Also, just saying, people live because of political decisions every day. So, what is your solution? Do you have a call to action here?
Politics is real. This is what is on one side of our current disagreement: death, and human rights, and freedom, and equality. And this is what is on the other side: wanting to eat at a nice restaurant without having anyone remind you that you are ruining people’s lives.
Hamilton… if someone accuses you of ruining people’s lives. What action should they take to remind you of your wrong doing while you are trying to eat? Go ahead. Say it.
The sides of this scale are not even close to balancing yet.
What would balance the scales? Come on Che, I mean, Hamilton! Tell us?
This is all going to get more extreme. And it should. We are living in extreme times. The harm that is being done to all of us by the people in the American government is extreme. To imagine that Mexican immigrants should happily cook for and serve meals to people who enable a man who is determined to demonize and persecute them as subhuman criminals is far more outrageous than the idea that those enablers should not be served in restaurants.
Stop the bitch-and-moan train, right now. Hamilton, literally no one in government is demonizing and persecuting *legal* immigrants as sub-human criminals. No one. You can’t point to even one. What you just did there was deliberately lie. You lied. You lied to advance a talking point over your personal virtue about *illegal* immigration. Either that or you simply don’t understand the difference between legal immigration and illegal immigration. That makes you a liar or an ignoramus. Either way, you just lost all credibility to intellectually honest people. Why should anyone take anything you write seriously?
I do not believe that Trump administration officials should be able to live their lives in peace and affluence while they inflict serious harms on large portions of the American population. Not being able to go to restaurants and attend parties and be celebrated is just the minimum baseline here.
So harassment is noble if it’s against people of differing politics? Or just people who differ with your politics, Hamilton? If we are going to be just, the sword must cut both ways, right?
These people, who are pushing America merrily down the road to fascism and white nationalism, [with no evidence presented – Justa Gaibroh] are delusional if they do not think that the backlash is going to get much worse.
Like what? Say it.
Wait until the recession comes.
Recession? Bwahahahahahahaaha! Wow. good one! Pumpkin, have you looked at the economic news lately? The economy loves Trump. I know. I know. Some people want to say Obama built this economy. That’s about as credible as Al Gore inventing the internet. Do you remember when the talking heads, like Paul Krugman, said a Trump presidency would destroy the stock market? Good times.
Wait until Trump starts a war.
War? With whom? North Korea is having diplomatic relations with the U.S. and Democrats across the country are suffering ideological whiplash as they switch the panic message from, “Trump is going to start a war with North Korea,” to, “Trump is cozying up to his fellow dictator!” Come on! Your talking points are a little dusty. Did you unsubscribe from the Panty-fa newsletter?
Wait until the racism this administration is stoking begins to explode into violence more frequently.
You mean like Obama?
Read a fucking history book. Read a recent history book.
Follow your own advice. Follow *your* own advice.
The U.S. had thousands of domestic bombings per year in the early 1970s. This is what happens when citizens decide en masse that their political system is corrupt, racist, and unresponsive.
If you follow *your* advice, you may find those domestic bombings were done overwhelmingly by Leftists. That is not something of which to be proud. On the right, we tend to do things like winning elections for a peaceful transition of power… without 200 riots across the country. Take a hint.
The people out of power have only just begun to flex their dissatisfaction. The day will come, sooner that you all think, when Trump administration officials will look back fondly on the time when all they had to worry about was getting hollered at at a Mexican restaurant.
Okay are you going to say what the people out of power are going to do? Or are you just going to sit there with a flashlight under your face, typing with one hand?
When you aggressively fuck with people’s lives, you should not be surprised when they decide to fuck with yours.
That is quite true, Hamilton Nolan (Hamilton@Gizmodomedia.com @hamiltonnolan ). You should keep that in mind and take *your* own advice.
Stop working for this man. Stop enabling him. Stop assisting him. Start fighting him. The people who are responsible for what is happening are not going to get out of this with their happy wealthy respectable lives unscathed.
Someone once wrote, “When you aggressively fuck with people’s lives, you should not be surprised when they decide to fuck with yours.” The statement makes sense. I doubt he considered that it could apply to him.
This is a country that locks poor people in cages for decades [yes, including under President Bill Clinton’s administration and President Obama’s administration, if you wrote a similar article then, please provide a link – Justa Gaibroh] for trying to make $20. This is a country that is “tough on crime.” Remember?
If you want to live in a country that is soft on crime, why don’t you move to Germany or England? You might fit right in over there. Nut up or shut up.
And the ones who make the laws are not going to like what happens when America starts to regard them as the criminals.
Hamilton, what do you suppose will happen when conservative Americans decide people justifying violence against them are criminals? Say when.
What do I know? I’m Justa Gaibroh.
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