Secret Societies inside the FBI

This is United States Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, in what should be a career ending move, warning the nation of a “secret society” within the FBI working behind the scenes to bring down Donald Trump.

I say “career ending,” as Johnson didn’t actually have an “informant,” so much as access to a text message that included the phrase “secret society,” which was used in a clearly joking manner.

“Are you even going to give out your calendars?,” FBI lawyer Lisa Page texted FBI agent Peter Strzok in a text message the day after the 2016 election. “Seems kind of depressing. Maybe it should just be the first meeting of the secret society.”

Johnson, of course, didn’t share the context, at least at first, choosing instead to attribute the talk of a “secret society” to a confidential source within the FBI. And Fox News ate it up. Between Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, the phrase “secret society” was used over 20 times on the “Fox and Friends” program alone.

Johnson, as you might imagine, started backtracking today, once his “informant” became known. According to NBC News, the Senator clarified that “he had merely ‘heard’ about the existence of a secret society, and did not have direct evidence of such an organization within the FBI.” But, before the news broke that it could all be tracked back to a simple joke in a text, the far right propaganda channel we know as Fox got a few good news cycles out of it.

As the real news entities reported yesterday on a fatal school shooting in Kentucky, and Russian efforts to promote online memes critical of the FBI, Fox went all-in on this new ‘evidence’ of a secret society working to undermine Donald Trump. It was sad and pathetic, but not altogether unexpected from the network that devoted hundreds of hours to the exploration of Obama’s birth certificate. As conservative columnist Bill Kristol said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe earlier this morning, “What fringy websites once said is now said by Fox News hosts.” Here, from Mediate, is the rest of what Kristol had to say.

…“I mean, it’s funny but it’s sad,” Kristol replied, before concluding that this saga proves “Bannonism is winning.”

“Look a at the Hill Republicans, look at the conservative commentators, many of them” Kristol explained, “they are now in the possession of serious conspiracy theorizing, paranoia, hostility to basic American government institutions in a way that I would have a year ago would have been impossible.”

Kristol went on to note that while he places some blame on Roger Ailes for the current state of Fox News, “you’re in a different world with what’s happening now.”

“The degree to which this paranoia and conspiracy theorizing, demonizing of people has just become routine,” Kristol lamented. “Ron Johnson was a normal Republican senator.”

“What fringy websites once said is now said by Fox News hosts. What losing primary candidates who got 8% of the vote in some Republican primary somewhere once would have said is now being said by mainstream Republican senators,” Kristol continued. “So that is what is upsetting about it.”…

Oh, and, according to Alex “No Kids Died at Sandy Hook” Jones, our president keeps trying to call him.

We, my friends, are deep inside the post-truth shithole.

Here, if you need it, is one more datapoint.

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159 Comments

  1. Jean Henry
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    The deep state is a shallow, reflective pool.

  2. wobblie
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    We now know the real reason Mueller is out to get Trump. It was those high green fees at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va.

  3. Jean Henry
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    It won’t end Johnson’s career.
    He’ll probably make a run for president.

  4. Misha Tuesday
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    NPR is now reporting (uncomfirmed) that Trump backpedaled on the order to fire Mueller because his WH cousel threatened to resign otherwise.

  5. Eel
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Who else remembers the Black Panther combat troops that Obama was training to take over America?

  6. Sad
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    I do. They are going to rise up and be activated next month on the day that the movie is released.

  7. Meta
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Today’s New York Times: “President Trump ordered the firing in June of Robert Mueller, the special counsel. The top White House lawyer threatened to quit.”

    President Trump ordered the firing last June of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, according to four people told of the matter, but ultimately backed down after the White House counsel threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive.

    The West Wing confrontation marks the first time Mr. Trump is known to have tried to fire the special counsel. Mr. Mueller learned about the episode in recent months as his investigators interviewed current and former senior White House officials in his inquiry into whether the president obstructed justice.

    Read more:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/25/us/politics/trump-mueller-special-counsel-russia.html

  8. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    They had secret off-site anti-Trump meetings. Secret society is their own term. The five months of “missing” Strzok/Page texts have been recovered now. Presumably more information about the anti-Trump/pro-Hillary group associated with the investigations will follow.

  9. Lynne
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    LOL. IF only congress had some kind of organization that is under their control instead of the executive branch control that could somehow audit the FBI, the CIA, and another “deep state” organizations. You know. Something to hold the government accountable. Maybe a Government Accountability Office?

    This clearly is a set up btw. Trump is laying the groundwork to fool guys like HW who have absolutely no ability to look at things critically and just accept whatever nonsense is thrown at them. Most people really have no idea how our government works in the first place and they also have big issues with abstract thought and critical thinking. They are naive and vulnerable and alas, may get the rest of us killed.

  10. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    The pattern around here of trying to characterize me while not dealing with the issue in a factual way is so consistent it’s crazy. The House Intelligence Committee is investigating the FBI. So has IG Horowitz. It’s coming to a head with people already getting fired and demoted. Now congress knows about FISA abuse/illegal spying is coming out and there is nothing they can do to stop it.

  11. Dave
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    “Most people really have no idea how our government works in the first place..”

    From a survey conducted recently by the Annenburg Public Policy Center:

    ” The survey, released for Constitution Day (Sept. 17), found that 26 percent of people can name the three branches of government (executive, legislative and judicial), a statistically significant decline since 2011, when 38 percent could name all three. In the current survey, 31 percent of respondents could not name any of three branches, about the same as last year.”

    https://www.annenbergpublicpolicycenter.org/americans-knowledge-of-the-branches-of-government-is-declining/

    I think it is reasonable to ask how a deep state is running the government if someone doesn’t even have a basic understanding of how the government is structured, let alone how it operates. The anticipated response is likely to question the APPC methodology before making any serious self reflection.

    There is no shame in being ignorant of something, and those with knowledge should be helping those in ignorance rather than making them feel less than and defensive. There is a common Good here that is dependent on us having a basic working knowledge of our government.

    I admit my own ignorance of some of the finer details beyond structure and basic operations. Perhaps a fruitful conversation would be how a deep state would function so that we can either reveal the contradictions or find ourselves at some irrefutable, unpleasant, and unexpected conclusion. How would they override existing systems to exert influence? I am skeptical, but hopeful that maybe a common understanding would emerge?

  12. Sad
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Yes HW, you’re waiting for the FISA report, MM is waiting for the Mueller prosecution. You’re the same! Looking forward to the time when you’ll be vindicated. Whoop-de-do, do you want a plaque or something?

  13. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    There is enough in the public eye already for Clinton supporters to be worried about. Just having been correct will be its’ own reward. Watching all these people having to eat everything they said about me will be AWESOME!!! Then we can talk for real.

  14. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Why does every thread end up with the Mr. Warlord grandstanding the whole time? It’s like the good old days when EOS would hijack every thread with some nonsense about “the unborn” or gay conversion even when it had nothing to do with the post.

  15. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    “Watching all these people having to eat everything they said about me will be AWESOME!!!”

    You give yourself way more credit that you actually deserve.

  16. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    “They had secret off-site anti-Trump meetings. Secret society is their own term. The five months of “missing” Strzok/Page texts have been recovered now. Presumably more information about the anti-Trump/pro-Hillary group associated with the investigations will follow.”

    How is that grandstanding? Then someone comes in with a personal attack.

    Dave’s post is good.

  17. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    “You give yourself way more credit that you actually deserve.”

    Don’t see how. If you have to eat it that’s because of reality, not me.

  18. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    You and Lynne derailed this. My point was on-topic. It happens in just about every thread.

  19. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    “If you have to eat it that’s because of reality, not me.”

    Eat what, exactly?

    Why do you think anyone cares whether some guy on the internet is right or wrong?

    Truly, no one is competing with you.

  20. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    “Then someone comes in with a personal attack.”

    I feel so bad for you. It must be hard.

  21. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    What do you mean eat what? Eat all this shit you say. Both you individually and all the people who fling shit instead of speak factually.

  22. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Again you misunderstand seemingly on purpose. I clearly said “eat everything they said about me.”

  23. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Pretty basic stuff. Kind of hard to get lost on a simple statement like that. How does that happen?

  24. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    “I clearly said “eat everything they said about me.””

    Again, you seem to assume that anyone cares at all about what you say. Aside from the obvious fact that no one really cares, people can’t figure out what you’re talking about most of the time.

    Do you really believe that anyone cares if a random guy on the internet is right or wrong?

    It is obvious that you care little for what anyone else has to say, why should anyone care what you have to say?

  25. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    There is a pathology here that I find interesting.

  26. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Why do you spend all this time on something you don’t care about?

  27. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I find it interesting that you would believe yourself to have such a disproportionate level of influence.

    You are not alone. There are others out there like you.

  28. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    What makes you think I believe that? What kind of influence do you think I think I have?

  29. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    You claim that we will all have to “eat” what we’ve said about you upon some grand revelation of “the facts” when in reality, there aren’t many people who will at all associate anything you have said with a news story.

    When I read an article in the New York Times, I can guarantee you that I never think about what a guy on some local blog has posted in the past.

    Ever.

    Because comments on a blog just aren’t that important. It’s odd that you believe you have such a grand effect on people.

  30. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    How do you see yourself?

    Do you see yourself as influential?

    If so, what about yourself makes you think that?

    What change do you believe that you will be able to effect?

  31. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    It’s a prediction. You are going to have to eat it. A lot of things in the news are happening right now that tend to support what I have said all along about Russian collusion and there is a lot more where that comes from.

  32. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    According to you I think I am. I haven’t really pursued “being influential.” I just like to talk about stuff.

  33. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    “Eat it”…. means what, exactly?

    You assume that anyone will remember anything you have said, which would be necessary to make a strong admission of “defeat.”

    This also assumes that people are invested in being right or wrong regarding what you post, which they aren’t because few people can understand what you are talking about.

    No one is competing with you. There will never come a time where there is a revelation in the news that will make people think about you. It will not happen.

  34. Jcp2
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I’m wondering if HW resides or spends a great deal of time in some sort of institutional setting, or is otherwise not very productive, but not by his/her own volition.

  35. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    “According to you I think I am. I haven’t really pursued “being influential.” I just like to talk about stuff.”

    There is a difference in “talking about stuff” and making some case that you are valiant warrior in some war on news topics who much vanquish his enemies and be proven right once and for all.

    No one cares enough about what happens here to make that happen.

  36. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    You have never heard of having to “eat your words?” For real? What is your deal??? Hahahaha – come on, this is ridiculous.

  37. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    “I’m wondering if HW resides or spends a great deal of time in some sort of institutional setting, or is otherwise not very productive, but not by his/her own volition.”

    It seems possible, doesn’t it.

  38. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    “There is a difference in “talking about stuff” and making some case that you are valiant warrior in some war on news topics who much vanquish his enemies and be proven right once and for all.”

    What if I am right? What would you do?

    I know you try not to notice but I use mainstream sources whenever possible which is most of the time – NYT, CNN, ABC, etc…

  39. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    “You have never heard of having to “eat your words?” For real? What is your deal??? Hahahaha – come on, this is ridiculous.”

    No, I get that “eat it” is a shortening of “eat your words” (though with the added image of ingesting fecal matter or performing oral sex).

    That is hardly the point.

    Everything I have said stands. You believe that people care enough to “eat their words.”

    They do not. That you think otherwise, is interesting to me.

  40. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    “What if I am right? What would you do?”

    Nothing at all. I wouldn’t even notice, actually.

  41. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    You are going to be forced to notice by reality. I’m putting my money on it. Fantasyland is going bye bye.

  42. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    “You are going to be forced to notice by reality. I’m putting my money on it. Fantasyland is going bye bye.”

    Life will probably continue as normal.

  43. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    “Everything I have said stands. You believe that people care enough to “eat their words.”
    They do not. That you think otherwise, is interesting to me.”

    It’s not going to be a choice. Whether you acknowledge it or not it is happening. Does anyone pretend DJT isn’t the President?

  44. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    The Mr. Warlord assumes he is privy to some specialized information that we do not yet understand, and that the right news story will appear that allows us access to the same type and level of perception he has, and that somehow, our worldview will suddenly and radically change, leading us to see the world as he does.

    I personally, find this highly unlikely. That the Mr. Warlord sees it as an inevitability speaks to a deeper pathology.

  45. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I just pay attention. That’s all. It’s an obsession with general knowledge. All the on topic posts I make before people like you derail the discussion are arguable with facts.

  46. Iron lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Interesting

  47. Alice Krum
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    I had an uncle with a closed head injury once.

  48. Jean Henry
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Alice FTW

  49. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Ah shit, how will I ever recover from that one? Someone is trying to say I’m like their brain-damged uncle! Guess you got me beat.

  50. Jean Henry
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    “Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such,”
    – Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

  51. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    That’s you and all the Clinton/Obama supporters. The FBI turned the facts on their head. Clinton was exonerated before the investigation. That’s obstruction of justice. There is no way around it.

  52. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    In the past, I think we could blame the mass leaders who had some coherent political agenda.

    The truth is, today, the ease of information transfer over the internet has given new avenues for insidious forces to take advantage of the mentally feeble in order to achieve their goals.

    In the case of Alex Jones, it is to sell health products of dubious merit to treat conditions which do not exist and items to protect ones lifestyle against impossible events of societal breakdown.

    It is interesting that our democracy is being subverted by a simple snake oil salesman.

  53. Dave
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    HW –

    What does justice look like to you? How would you define it?

    You seem to be concerned that there are injustices being ignored here. It would help to have agreement as to what justice is in general before we can agree that something is unjust specifically.

  54. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Basics of the Strzok/Page saga

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5199043/Pictured-Anti-Trump-text-FBI-agent-wife-cheated-on.html

    “Strzok, 47, was FBI’s top counter-intelligence investigator, worked on the Hillary Clinton email probe then went to the Mueller probe into Russia

    But he was removed from the probe after 10,000 texts to his lover Lisa Page, 38, an FBI lawyer, were revealed – filled with anti-Trump invective

    Revelation has plunged FBI and Mueller probe into crisis with claims it is hopelessly biased against Trump

    Strzok was also named as official who watered down key findings of Clinton removing language which could have had her charged”

  55. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    The Mr. Warlord’s obsession with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, like that of many like him, borders on the pathological.

    Hillary Clinton is not and never will be a sitting President of the United States.

    He fails to see how those like him may be being encouraged to pre-occcupy themselves with the power of the past in order to keep them from looking at the power of the present.

  56. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    It is interesting that the Mr. Warlord is obsessed with justice over some manufactured scandal of emails, but uninterested in the victims of child rape and the enablers of their perpetrators.

  57. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    In this context justice would be people in power having to face prosecution for crimes. I don’t think all laws are just but I can’t think of any that apply to these people that I have a problem with.

  58. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    “people in power”

    Clinton is not in power.

  59. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Iron Lung hassles people who spreads true information about about pedophiles in government. What does that say about Iron Lung?

  60. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps the Mr. Warlord has a different concept of time than the rest of us, after all he does post videos from more than 30 years ago and links to things that happened in 1975, that and his odd obsession with Hillary Clinton, indicate that he might not realize this is 2018.

  61. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    The Mr. Warlord excuses and overlooks pedophilia and child rape when politically convenient.

  62. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Clinton paid for the dossier which is quite a powerful tool being used today against the President. She committed crimes as Secretary of State. If you commit a crime are you not subject to prosecution?

  63. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    You overlook pedophilia out of cowardice. I don’t. In fact I expose it and have right here on this blog. You hassle me because you are scared of the horrifying reality. I understand the impetus behind your denialism and feel sorry for you that you haven’t developed as a person enough to take an honest inventory of the information available to the public.

  64. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I don’t care about Clinton, but it I were to appropriate judicial resources, I would save them for the current set that holds power.

    Should Bush have been tried for misleading the American public into accepting a forceful overthrow of Saddam Hussein? Probably. But the time to have done that would have been when he was in power.

    After he has left, the priorities should be in whatever administration holds power at that time. Otherwise, we are wasting out time and money.

    The current obsession of Clinton’s email scandal by the American right wing is by design. They intend it to deflect scrutiny of the current administration.

    Moreover, it is embarrassing. Our democracy functions through a smooth transfer of power, not by one administration seeking to destroy the one previous. That kind of behavior is reserved for Latin American dictatorships and dysfunctional African states.

  65. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    “You overlook pedophilia out of cowardice. I don’t.”

    From the guy who supported Roy Moore and made some dubious claim that Trump was “waiting” for some magical opportunity to report a child rapist.

  66. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    I did not make any such claim. I said Trump could have been interested in Epstein’s dirt on politicians. How did I support Roy Moore? Your claims are so flimsy it’s pathetic.

  67. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    This is really all quite entertaining.

  68. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    You must be entertained by your own nonsense. Yep, you are a coward who can’t face reality. Notice you don’t care that Epstein’s island was Clinton’s home away from home. Literally exactly what you said about me is true of you.

  69. wobblie
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    I do not believe there is any statute of limitations on treason or crimes against humanity. Some times it takes along time to bring criminals to justice. What with Cheney’s new heart, I still have hope of seeing him and Bush being brought to justice. If not in this country then for war crimes in the Hague.

  70. Dave
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    HW-

    So, Justice is the application of an applicable Just law to a person who has been unjust… applied equally, or only to people in power? By what measure do we determine if a law is Just and whether someone has been unjust?

    I am confused by the second part of your response though, as you indicate you believe not all laws are just, and that you cannot think of a specific law to apply to the specific people you believe have been unjust. But that gets into specifics. We still need a good working definition.

  71. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    How so?

    If it were the case that Clinton knew that Epstein was prostituting girls, then of course, he is to be repudiated. I would support this.

    There is no evidence to this, however. Moreover, Clinton is not in power. There is evidence, though, that Trump did, in fact, know that Epstein was a child rapist, and chose to do nothing about it.

    And Trump is in power.

    The Mr. Warlord is willing to overlook and excuse child rape when politically convenient.

  72. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    “Literally exactly”

    Amusing.

    Isn’t that saying the same thing twice? I’m going for the head injury that keeps the Mr. Warlord in a perpetual state of being 14 years old.

  73. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    “HW-
    So, Justice is the application of an applicable Just law to a person who has been unjust… applied equally, or only to people in power? By what measure do we determine if a law is Just and whether someone has been unjust?
    I am confused by the second part of your response though, as you indicate you believe not all laws are just, and that you cannot think of a specific law to apply to the specific people you believe have been unjust. But that gets into specifics. We still need a good working definition.”

    Punishment for breaking the law applied equally regardless of position in society is what I mean. About just vs. unjust laws I am saying I don’t think any unjust laws apply to these people. I consider laws against all the uses of Cannabis unjust for example.

  74. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    I am sure that the Mr. Warlord can quote laws regarding marijuana by heart, but can’t really think of any of kinds of laws.

  75. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    any other kinds

  76. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    “How so?
    If it were the case that Clinton knew that Epstein was prostituting girls, then of course, he is to be repudiated. I would support this.
    There is no evidence to this, however. Moreover, Clinton is not in power. There is evidence, though, that Trump did, in fact, know that Epstein was a child rapist, and chose to do nothing about it.
    And Trump is in power.
    The Mr. Warlord is willing to overlook and excuse child rape when politically convenient.”

    You have purposely avoided studying it so how would you know what the evidence is? I have and I don’t claim to know all the evidence. You cover up for politicians whose home away from home is Orgy Island where underage girls are taken to. They get there on the Lolita Express. They used to before Epstein went down and that is a fact.

  77. Dave
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    HW –

    It sounds like your primary concern is that justice is not applied evenly and that some laws are not just. Correct? I think that is a good starting point. “Justice” is not always just. I don’t think there is any disagreement on that, but we still don’t have a working definition to judge whether a justice system is operating justly or unjustly.

    I’d like to get a second attempt from you at defining Justice, if you don’t mind. This time, what does it mean to be a Just person? How would you define justice in the individual?

  78. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    “You have purposely avoided studying it”

    No, I just have better things to do than go down a rabbit hole of conspiracy sites.

    Government pedophilia rings are not high on my list of things to do on a daily basis, sadly, not because I don’t take the subject seriously, I do, but there are organizations who do a marvelous job on issues of sexual exploitation and human trafficking. I focus on other types of human suffering that my skillset is suited for.

    Of course, the groups who do great work every day to help victims of human trafficking, sexual exploitation and slavery don’t make the radar of the Mr. Warlord because they don’t appear on Alex Jones’ show.

    The Mr. Warlord prefers more sensational topics.

  79. Jean Henry
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    HW is in a Bad State bad state.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQqx-x6CeqE

  80. Iron Lung
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Understand that the Mr. Warlord is merely a symptom of a general dysfunction of information flow and politics in the United States.

    He is mere a small part of the problem that appears on Mr. Maynard’s blog. Engaging him merely distracts me while I run code and provides me with insight into how many people like him think.

  81. Jean Henry
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    https://www.snopes.com/2016/06/23/donald-trump-rape-lawsuit/

    Judge for yourself. Epstein, accord to Donald Trump, is a just a great, great guy. A lot of fun. He likes beautiful women as much as Trump. Whether or not Trump liked under-aged beautiful girls as much as Epstein has yet to be determined. Two women have accused Trump of rape when they were 14 and 13 respectively. Both withdrew their complaints. Gloria Allred is gunning for Trump and I suspect, eventually, she’ll get him on one things or another, as lawyers do. I actually looked into the Clinton thing. I didn’t find much, though Epstein was a donor and did fly Clinton to Africa and Paris (accompanied by Chelsea Clinton). Those flight logs do not convince me. I’m not convinced either Bill Clinton or Donald Trump are guilty of assault of under aged women. I’m very convinced however, that they are both guilty of being assholes to women. If either were proven guilty of assault (which is notoriously hard to prove in our judicial system, much less against lawyered-up powerful men), I’d be happy to see him go down in flames.

  82. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    “HW –
    It sounds like your primary concern is that justice is not applied evenly and that some laws are not just. Correct? I think that is a good starting point. “Justice” is not always just. I don’t think there is any disagreement on that, but we still don’t have a working definition to judge whether a justice system is operating justly or unjustly.
    I’d like to get a second attempt from you at defining Justice, if you don’t mind. This time, what does it mean to be a Just person? How would you define justice in the individual?”

    I don’t think I was expressing concern over unjust laws. I am concerned about that but it’s not relevant to political corruption. The issue at hand is government officials and former ones being prosecuted equally to “common people”.

  83. Jean Henry
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    “The issue at hand is government officials and former ones being prosecuted equally to “common people”.” — Good luck with that.

  84. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    “Good luck with that.”

    Thank you

  85. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    If you guys want to call Fox a conspiracy channel then go ahead. I don’t see how such a high profile organization could publish official FAA flight logs involving a former president if they were fake. Pretty sure that would spark a major outrage and more.

  86. Dave
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    HW-

    It sounds like we will be sticking to a more judicial / administrative view of Justice.

    Do you believe there are instances when a law may have unjust consequences? For example, with Citizen’s United allowing more money ( with strings ) to flow into politics unchecked, do you believe thetis a disproportionately large corrupting influence on politicians? That the cause of their unjust behavior is the indirect result of a law that could be viewed as unjust by its consequence? Or does the corruption come from other sources than outside influence purchasers? Is corruption uniform or disproportionately allocated among politicians?

    Regarding bringing people to justice, is it appropriate to inflict an injustice on someone who has behaved unjust? Does that constitute justice? Or do we attempt to restore them to a state of knowledge of the true justice we believe they lost sight of?

  87. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know how much Citizens United contributed to corruption so I can’t really comment on that. Obviously the context is legal consequences for criminal politicians. I’m not really seeing the need to philosophically parse the meaning of justice.

  88. Jean Henry
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    The idea that FOX news would be held accountable for mis-information is laughable.
    The are constantly shown to be inaccurate at best in their reporting. And yet they persist. They have an audience who believes without question all the crap they dish out. Including the President.
    Have they ever walked back all the birther accusations?

  89. Jcp2
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    So basically, justice/injustice is or isn’t depends on what HW thinks it might be, based on his/her superior knowledge of facts known only to a few people, including himself, but not including most other people. Got it.

  90. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    If you need to think it’s plausible Fox could make up FAA flight logs with Bill Clinton on the log good for you. Whatever you need to feel okay.

    That shit Jcp said is so convoluted I can’t see what they are trying to say. How do you get that (whatever you are trying to say) from what I said?

  91. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    There is plenty in the mainstream and I have posted a fair bit of it. The FAA flight logs for example. How is that known to only a few people? It doesn’t add up.

  92. Dave
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    HW-

    I’ll try to keep it simple. The question is what is Justice. If you are seeking justice, you need to know what you are looking for first. It is easy to say someone is being unjust and demand justice, but you need a clear definition of the idea to make a proper judgement.

    Your responses seem to suggest what JCP2 is pointing out. That the justice you are seeking is what you say it is and it applies to who you say it should. I hope that is not the case. That sounds very similar to Thrasymachus’s argument in book 1 of the Republic. It also gives some meaning to your handle’s reference to Conan the Barbarian.

  93. Dave
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    HW-

    From what I have read about Jeff Epstein, it seems clear that both Bill and Donald spent time with him… and many other rich and powerful men. It is suspicious and troublesome. But we are neither the judge or the jury in this drama. The justice you are seeking in this instance needs to be consistent. And hopefully justice will be served, as it sounds not too unlike what happened with Larry Nassar.

    The Nassar injustice completely shocked me. It is troubling that 160 young gymnasts were molested by this guy and he got away with it for 20 years. He was a nobody in terms of wealth and power compared to Epstein, Clinton, and Trump.. Yet even with reports from numerous girls to others about what he was doing, nearly everyone chose to “preserve appearances” and discredit the girls that came forward. All the evidence was right there and it was ignored to preserve what they wanted to believe rather than the awful truth.

  94. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    How is it unclear at all to say politicians have to face prosecution for crimes? Don’t see how that equates to a murky, biased idea of justice.

  95. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Conan was a good king. He drained the swamp in his own way when his Pictish companion alerted him to…surprisingly dangerous palace intrigue…

  96. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Epstein went to Mar a Lago as a guest but never paid. Trump kicked him out when he found out Epstein propositioned an underage girl to go to the island. I pored over this issue as much as possible to come to a decision. I did not want to vote for someone who is like the Clinton’s. I was decided to cast my usual third party protest vote just two days before the election. The Katie Johnson case almost decided it for me. Then that started falling apart. I watched her video and it seemed sooo phony. Then she evaporated. It seemed like a last minute desperate ploy to smear Trump with what they do theirselves.

  97. Sad
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    After reading all this I feel icky. Does Alex Jones sell anything to help with that?

  98. Dave
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    HW –

    I don’t have any objection to the assertion that “people in power / politicians should face justice / prosecution for crimes”, but we have due process in our system. There needs to be a crime committed to prosecute. It is very easy to be an armchair warrior by pulling info from the channel of choice and casting judgement, but all that amounts to is public opinion. There needs to be evidence to prove a crime was committed. You can’t just assert that someone is a criminal and demand justice.

    I prefer our imperfect justice system to the court of public opinion. Let the people who understand and are dedicated to the spirit of the law enforce it. And let the legislative system make laws focused on the common good rather than the advantage of a few that have enough money to bend the laws to their favor.

    I certainly don’t think a “king” is a preferable model of government to what we have, especially a fictitious one who kills people who disagree with him.

  99. Dave
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    There is a story in book 2 of the Republic about the Ring of Gyges. A shepherd finds a ring and discovers it makes him invisible. He uses it to commit all kinds of injustices as no one sees what he is doing. He eventually sleeps with the queen and kills the king. Glaucon uses the story to suggest that anywhere someone thinks they can safely be unjust, they will be unjust.

  100. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    I’m predicting large numbers of crimes will be prosecuted with all the evidence needed to convict. Many of the criminals are well known. The release of the FISA memo will be the beginning of a disclosure process to make the public aware just how bad it is.

    Conan wouldn’t slay for disagreement. You must not have read the books. He slayed for gold as a mercenary but that was early on. As King of Aquilonia he ruled with fairness. Best not to try him though!

    The Road of Kings
    by Robert E. Howard

    Gleaming shell of an outworn lie; fable of Right divine-
    You gained your crowns by heritage, but Blood was the price of mine.
    The throne that I won by blood and sweat, by Crom, I will not sell
    For promise of valleys filled with gold, or threat of the Halls of Hell!

    When I was a fighting-man, the kettle-drums they beat,
    The people scattered gold-dust before my horse’s feet;
    But now I am a great king, the people hound my track
    With poison in my wine-cup, and daggers at my back.

    What do I know of cultured ways, the gilt, the craft and the lie?
    I, who was born in a naked land and bred in the open sky.
    The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
    Rush in and die, dogs – I was a man before I was a king!

  101. Jean Henry
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    “I’m predicting large numbers of crimes will be prosecuted with all the evidence needed to convict. Many of the criminals are well known. The release of the FISA memo will be the beginning of a disclosure process to make the public aware just how bad it is.”

    If this proves untrue (which we should know in a few weeks), will you retreat?
    WWCD (What would Conan do?)

  102. Warlordian Warlord
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Can I get to decide what is right and wrong if I call myself Gondorian Warlord? What about Camelotian Warlord? Too mainstream? I could go for Pernian Warlord, or Arrakisian Warlord. Blockbuster alert! I’m actually Darth Sidious!

  103. Jean Henry
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    https://i.redd.it/vmopnde8ex6z.jpg

  104. Meta
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    That last video of Hannity is hilarious. Here’s the take of David Leonhardt, an op-ed columnist for the New York Times.

    The Fox News timeline is so illuminating:
    1. Network star instinctively denies a report that sounds bad for Trump.
    2. Fox’s actual journalists confirm report.
    3. Star has to reverse himself.
    4. Trump cries “Fake News!” and the network re-reverses itself.

    All in 12 hours!

  105. Dave
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    HW-

    So Conan is your model of a Just person, correct? And Justice is slaying the corrupt to attain power? How is it decided who is corrupt in this model? What was the orderly pattern of behavior that they were corrupted from? Does Conan conform to this orderly pattern of behavior after slaying the corrupt?

    In your model of Just governance, are you Conan or are you subject to Conan’s governance?

  106. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    1/25/18 Letter to John Podesta from Senate Judiciary Committee

    https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/2018-01-25%20CEG%20LG%20to%20Podesta%20(Steele%20Dossier).pdf

  107. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Conan slayed those would slay him. Self defense/defense of others

  108. Frosted Flakes
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    I am not sure if it is because of my dislike for granola, or because I preferred sugary cereal as a child. Either way, I hope it goes without saying that I have always believed Tony the Tiger would be the best Philosopher-King for the best possible society. It would be reasonable to keep that fact in mind when reading any of my comments here.

  109. Jean Henry
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    FF– You have not expounded at length about Tony the Tiger as your hero. Should you do so, I might take your suggestion.

  110. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Dave, you started out with a good post. Now you are just asking all these inane questions. My thoughts on politics aren’t based on Conan. I’m sure. The concept of justice can be thought of on different levels just like anything. There could be such thing as cosmic justice or karma or equal but opposite reaction that always works even if we don’t understand how. I don’t know the answer to that. I’m saying it’s beyond the scope of “No special treatment under the law for politicians or anyone guilty of serious crimes.” Does that make sense to you?

    “In your model of Just governance, are you Conan or are you subject to Conan’s governance?”

  111. Jcp2
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    It seems that the only person who can follow HW’s train of thought before being derailed is HW. He/she thinks that’s because he/she is functioning at a level too high for the rest of us to understand. I agree on the too high part.

  112. Dave
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    HW-

    Fair enough. I am not always good at discerning satire from sincerity. This deficiency compels me to post by my actual name.

    I am asking honest questions and hoping for honest answers. The interest in justice is n0t academic, but rather practical. I would like to see justice served as well, but it is important to understand what it is first so that we can recognize it.

    You offer up as an answer that no one should be above the law – that justice is the proper and uniform application of justice ( which sounds circular, but we’ll go with it if you are ok with that ). Judging from your comments it appears you believe that a number of democrats need to be brought to justice. If Trump were found guilty of a crime, would you stay consistent with your statement of justice? Or do we make an exception for him? If there was even the reasonable appearance of a serious crime, we would want to fully investigate to either clear them or file charges, right?

  113. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    It’s not just Democrats. Repubs will get it too. If Trump is guilty of a serious crime he can have some of his own medicine. Fine with me as long as we are on the right track. Trump and his allies are making it happen though and the Russia collusion thing is turning out to be…untrue like I said. They are panicking now trying to throw him under the bus for considering firing Mueller. Desperate. State of the Union should be interesting.

  114. Dave
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    HW-

    What does “on the right track” look like? Again, and honest question. No judgement.

  115. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    I think I’ve explained it pretty well a number of times. You don’t think?

  116. Iron lung
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Lol

    420

  117. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    After the memo release next week the media go crazy trying to discredit it.

  118. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    “I am not always good at discerning satire from sincerity.”

    My board nickname is not satirical. It’s just something that came to mind when it was time to choose a name. If you ask about politics and throw in a question about what I think about Conan I might answer both. It doesn’t mean they are connected in my mind. I mean everything is connected but I’m not making some political statement with it. You asked!

  119. Iron lung
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Conan is cool

  120. Dave
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    If it was 198o something I may have been interested in a conversation about Conan. If it was late 80’s I may have engaged in a conversation about Sergio Aragones’ Groo the Wanderer ( “Groo not slow.” ) . My interest at the age of 48 is Plato. A lot of work with little progress, but worth the effort.

  121. Dave
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    I take that back. I’m happy to discuss Groo.

  122. Iron Lung
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    I am still happy to discuss Conan and Plato.

  123. Jean Henry
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    “we must love and salute them as doing the best they can, and concede to them that Homer is the most poetic of poets and the first of tragedians, but we must know the truth, that we can admit no poetry into our city save only hymns to the gods and the praises of good men. For if you grant admission to the honeyed muse in lyric or epic, pleasure and pain will be lords of your city instead of law and that which shall from time to time have approved itself to the general reason as the best.”
    “Most true,” he said.

    (“poetry” = narrative — or media– in Plato’s world)

  124. Jean Henry
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    “From the testimony of lovers like Sokrates or Sappho we can
    construct what it would be like to live in a city of no desire.
    Both the philosopher and the poet find themselves describing
    Eros in images of wings and metaphors of flying, for desire is a
    movement that carries yearning hearts from over here to over
    there, launching the mind on a story. In the city without desire
    such flights are unimaginable. Wings are kept clipped. The
    known and the unknown learn to align themselves one behind
    the other so that, provided you are positioned at the proper
    angle, they seem to be one and the same. If there were a visible difference, you might find it hard to say so, for the useful verb mnaomai will have come to mean “a fact is a fact.” To reach for something else than the facts will carry you beyond this city and perhaps, as for Sokrates, beyond this world. It is a high-risk proposition, as Sokrates saw quite clearly, to reach for the difference between known and unknown. He thought the risk worthwhile, because he was in love with wooing itself. And who is not?” —Anne Carson, Eros the Bitterweet

    I could go all day. It is rare that I participate in this forum with anything closer than a middle distance view. It’s not that I am dishonest here, just slightly detached. (It’s misery otherwise). I see it all like a play, especially recently. All the characters play their roles and move the discourse in mostly predictable ways. People repeat their stances and become representative of something larger. Occasionally a new person enters and disrupts the narrative flow, and I watch to see how all the characters (including myself) move. Dave just did that. He twisted the lens, bringing an even broader view into focus. Some participants are more willing than others to look at their role.

    But then I tend to liken sports events to experimental theater too.

  125. Sad
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Take your truth. I’ll always prefer the honeyed muse in lyric or epic!

    And for breakfast this morning, an egg Mcmuffin!

    I’ll really be impressed with the tax cuts when McDonalds gives all their workers a thousand dollar bonus.

  126. Jean Henry
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Sad– What you have just said is that you prefer compelling narrative over facts, which is just how we got to where we are. Just like regular consumption of McDonald’s, tasty, quick, cheap, consistent and unhealthy, it’s a ‘high risk proposition.’
    All humans prefer the muse to facts. I tend to think there is enough still unknown, enough human paradox, to satisfy the imagination, even while grounding one’s narrative to what is known, ie facts. I do not see the need for fake news, which preferences immediate gratification over more durable well-being, but I understand its attraction. These are the drips of honey offered by the King to briefly satisfy the masses, while hoarding most of it for himself, keeping everyone else wanting more.

  127. stupid hick
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Something I discovered this weekend, Burger King offers a 400 calorie biscuit with a sausage patty for only 80 cents. 80 cents! Complimentary napkins and ketchup. Not a bad value.

  128. Jean Henry
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    No a great value. It’s bait. Quite obviously, your biscuit and sausage patty is being sold at a loss. While you may not be likely to buy high profit margin menu items like pop or coffee to accompany the sandwich, others clearly do. While you may not be likely to establish brand loyalty due to a perception of value based on one item, many do. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_leader

  129. Jean Henry
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Back to the original post subject: http://foreignpolicy.com/2018/01/26/trump-launched-campaign-to-discredit-potential-fbi-witnesses/

    “President Donald Trump pressed senior aides last June to devise and carry out a campaign to discredit senior FBI officials after learning that those specific employees were likely to be witnesses against him as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, according to two people directly familiar with the matter.”

    “The FBI officials Trump has targeted are Andrew McCabe, the current deputy FBI director and who was briefly acting FBI director after Comey’s firing; Jim Rybicki, Comey’s chief of staff and senior counselor; and James Baker, formerly the FBI’s general counsel. Those same three officials were first identified as possible corroborating witnesses for Comey in a June 7 article in Vox. Comey confirmed in congressional testimony the following day that he confided in the three men.

    In the past, presidents have attacked special counsels and prosecutors who have investigated them, calling them partisan and unfair. But no previous president has attacked a long-standing American institution such as the FBI — or specific FBI agents and law enforcement officials.

    Mueller has asked senior members of the administration questions in recent months indicating that prosecutors might consider Trump’s actions also to be an effort to intimidate government officials — in this case FBI officials — from testifying against him.”

  130. Dave
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Jean – I fully agree with the theater comment! A few years back when I was working with officers at the North Precinct in Seattle on the DOJ consent decree ( as a community organizer ), they talked a lot about CPTED ( Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design ). The idea is that the environment sets the stage for the behaviors, and that the environment can be modified to modify behaviors. I’ve come to believe we all have a series of scripts ( the police as well ) that we almost automatically start acting out when some cue triggers it. We have scripts and stages and the drama just naturally flows out to the rhythm of life.

    But there are Goods that we want, and these scripts and stages may lead us away from the Good. What are the Goods? Socrates suggests Truth, Beauty, Justice…. but as well formed Ideas rather than the specifics that “partake” of the Ideas. And so starts centuries of philosophical debate over the relationship rather than thinking about what this means to us as humans and citizens.

    In the Republic, after butting heads with Thrasymachus and not adequately denying his assertion that might makes right and being re-challenged by Glaucon and Adeimantus ( Plato’s brothers ) to provide a better rebuttal, Socrates suggests that as they are having trouble finding a definition of Justice in the individual that maybe they should look for it in large – in the city. So they construct a “city in words” from scratch ( Callipolis ). Socrates starts by suggesting the first city started as a kind of cooperative and that everyone had a skill that they brought to the table and bartered with others to meet their varied needs. They lived simple and ate simple. Socrates then asserts that Justice is “everyone minding their own business” – everyone doing what they do best the best that they can -and that he believes he has found justice in the city and the individual. But Glaucon is repulsed and says that Socrates’ city is “fit for pigs” and that he wants “cookery and couches.” He wants a “luxurious” city. So Socrates states again that he believes his city to be sufficient, but will proceed with the city of luxury to see what the consequences are and how the structure will need to change to preserve Justice in the city and the individual. It is not long in that the “city in words” is at war with its neighbors due to their desire for luxury. Now they need a warrior class and a class of “guardians”.

    There is a discussion later about the “tripartite” soul ( greek – “psyche”) – Reason, Spiritedness, and Appetites. – and its corollaries with the three classes in the city. Socrates argues that a harmonious and Just soul has reason governing the other two. He believes that a life of temperance and self sacrifice is the path to happiness and justice. He later in Book 8 describes the Just state and its degrees of corruption… all related to the soul of the individual. First is a Monarcy / Aristocracy that is ruled by Just leaders. Next is Timocracy (a militant state built on honor and duty rather than a harmonious soul… spiritedness governs). Then Oligarchy where the souls of a few become avaricious. Then Democracy, where freedom is emphasized and valued more than harmony. Everyone has maximum freedom to pursue their whims and pleasures… the appetive soul rules. Last, Tyranny comes about when someone is put into power who has no control over their anger or appetites. They are a slave to their appetites and emotions, and reason is not in charge.

    So, one thing that Socrates keeps coming back to ( throughout all the dialogues ) is the importance of education to the health of the individual soul and the Just state. The Just state’s first priority is to help the citizens maintain a harmonious soul…. to be Virtuous citizens.

    The scripts we all have bear scrutiny. I find the Greek Virtues- Wisdom, Temperance, Justice, and Courage – a good pattern for an education whose aim is a harmonious soul and a just city.

    The stage that the Republic takes place in is the Pireaus, and Socrates was going there specifically to see the introduction of a new god from the Thracians. It was the port are of Athens where not only goods from across the known world were traded, but ideas and culture too. It was still a democracy during the setting, but it was not long before the landlocked Sparta would win the Peloponnesian War and install their own government ( the thirty tyrants ) at the Pireaus, killing some of the participants in the dialogue.

  131. Sad
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    “When we are born, we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.”
    ― William Shakespeare, King Lear

    Taking refuge in facts won’t protect you from reality. It’s OK to cry and embrace our flawed world in all it’s goodness and fools and evil. Or find at bit of solace in a 80 cent biscuit and sausage patty or belief that the president is a scoundrel or an agent of change.

    PS. HW you promised that Trump was going to wreck it in Davos. He didn’t. He’s starting his big pivot. A year from now he’ll be working with the Democrats.

  132. Sad
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Dave – I have been thinking lately about Plato . My knowledge of these great philosophers is limited though. Didn’t Plato expound something to the effect that there is a perfect world somewhere and that our world was a poor refelection? Was the point that our world will always be flawed and incapable of being perfect? Not that this means we shouldn’t strive, but that our attempts will often come up short? Thus the wonderful drama?

  133. Jean Henry
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Dave– My reading of Book 8 is that each form of governance rises from the failing of whatever is in place. So tyranny that is not benevolent or just will give rise to democracy, and democracy which is inherently more just can fall subject to tyranny when ‘appetite’ becomes too dominant causing chaos. As in everything, balance is required. I believe in democracy but understand its vulnerabilities. Our government is experiencing that vulnerability right now.

    It’s important to remember that while Sparta defeated Athens, what followed much later, the Enlightenment, was modeled after Athenian ideals. and lead quite explicitly to the shared (if ambiguously defined and unequally applied) ideals of American society.

    “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”
    “A Republic, if you can keep it.” — Benjamin Franklin at the close of the constitutional convention.

    I suspect Franklin may have been thinking of Ancient Athens at the time.

  134. Jean Henry
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    PS the port of Athens is still called Piraeus. 35 years ago, I become very ill with flu on a ship to Athens and arrived at the port in a fever dream with 3 months worth of gear in a duffle. I walked a mile up to my hostel. It’s all still very vivid to me. A Greek woman standing in a narrow doorway, took pity on me and handed me a macaroon from her kitchen table. I do not know if I would have made it without passing out otherwise. It’s my Proustian madeleine. And so I read the Republic and think of a woman shrouded in black and softly wrinkled hand offering a cookie. I don’t even like coconut. I have never been to Piraeus since. The memory holds.

  135. Jean Henry
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Maybe Stupid Hick feels similarly about the lady at the drive thru offering an 80 cent sausage biscuit. Sometimes these experiences animate the imagination.

  136. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    “PS. HW you promised that Trump was going to wreck it in Davos. He didn’t. He’s starting his big pivot. A year from now he’ll be working with the Democrats.”

    You don’t think America First was the message? What do you think he is pivoting to?

  137. Jean Henry
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    For anyone still clinging to interest in the FISA memo and ‘the deep state FBI conspiracy against Trump’ issue, On the Media covers it this week. OTM is reliably the most balanced show on public radio. https://www.wnyc.org/story/on-the-media-2018-01-26

  138. Dave
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Sad –

    I wish I had read more Shakespeare when I had the time. I am limited in both time and capacity, but quotes like that indicate the outlines of thoughts that many minds much greater than mine have applied themselves to.

    My understanding of the idealism of Plato is that he believes there is a world of perfect forms ( Ideas ) that everything in this world is an imperfect shadow of. There is some relationship of light in the analogy to knowledge, but I would likely bungle that so I’ll leave it alone. Aristotle had a problem with this model, and he was reluctant to call out his friends and mentor on it. He had a more practical bent and questioned how these forms influenced the real as we perceive it. He was in favor of something that directly interacted and came up with the four causes to provide an explanation ( as I understand it )… material, formal, efficient, and final. The final cause, also known as the teleological cause, brought him full circle back to Plato’s forms with his notion of actual / potential. The teleological cause is still causing trouble to this day in the debate between intelligent design and scientists. Scientists say that teleology is not necessary to provide an explanation of something. But I am wandering off topic.

    The world is not perfect according to Plato, but we have reason ( prometheus / forethought ) that allows us to predict that we can attain a certain Good if we follow a certain course of action and the consequences unfolds conceived. Our reasoning / predictions fail sometimes. The Good we seek sometimes is not really a good, and we have to take stock and try again. I think that Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are trying to say that we need an ideal form to which we can judge our progress. “Where there is a better, there must be a best”. They all relate this to geometric figures. There are no circles in reality, not as it is defined. But we judge whether something is circular based on the idea of a circle.

    One other character back in Socrates’ time was Aristophanes. He wrote a comedy called “the clouds” about Socrates meant to satirize his efforts at what we would call scientific investigation. He has Socrates measuring how far fleas jump in terms of flea feet and trying to determine which end of a flea it makes noise out of – its mouth or its ass. It was meant as a warning to his friend Socrates to stop challenging the “gods are the cause” explanation or he is going to find himself in trouble. It is interesting that the only drama that had Socrates as the subject was a comedy.

    None of them were ascetics. They advocated moderation rather than abstinence. Plato advocated drinking parties for the young to teach them how to drink responsibly. They believed there was a mean between two extremes that characterized the virtues, so 80 cent biscuit and sausage patties would probably be in their diet if they were around now, but in moderation. My comfort food is cheap black licorice, but I am still working on moderation with those things. I eat them by the bag.

    Due to the limits imposed on me at the age of 48 ( in terms of time obligations mostly ), I’ve chosen to listen to audio lectures and audio books to supplement my readings. One good resource is the Great Courses. I have been listening to “Masters of Greek Thought: Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle” and recommend it. Found a copy at the local library, but it is on sale for $30 right now if for some reason it is unavailable in Ypsi – Arbor. I should be footnoting things to that lecture series as I go here.

    https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/philosophy-intellectual-history/ancient-philosophy/masters-of-greek-thought-plato-socrates-and-aristotle.html

  139. Dave
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Jean –

    I will need to go back and re-read book 8. I found a great old four volume set on Benjamin Jowlett’s Plato’s Dialogues that contain Jowlett’s analysis as well, so I’m looking forward to that.

    It is pretty certain that most of the founders were familiar with Plato’s republic. And they also had the benefit of history to judge it by. I think the founders had intended for us to exercise our liberties and rights in balance with our responsibilities. The responsibilities side of the balance does not get much collective reflection in my opinion. But that is just me thinking.

    I have spent more hours than I care to recall in community meetings trying to make improvements to my neighborhood. There would be an agenda, and we would spend 2 hours hitting all the agenda items. There would be plenty of action items that would come up, but most of them did not get done. A month later we were back with another agenda trying to advocate for sidewalks and ESL support for immigrants and youth programming, etc. To be fair, a lot of these efforts were successful to some degree, but they were uphill battles and what I found was that connections within the community being made was the true Good.

    I started going out twice a week for an hour to pick up garbage and paint out graffiti with other neighbors. The invitation was open to anyone, so we got a wide cross section of people – a lion’s club member in his 80’s, a Somali immigrant who was formerly homeless and had put together a tech training program for recently arrived Somalis, a photojournalist for a local paper, a police mediator, school teachers, etc. We walked the neighborhood and talked with the homeless, the drug addicts, the business owners, other neighbors, drug dealers, etc. The whole thing seems surreal in hind site. The beauty of it was that there was no agenda. We talked about whatever we wanted, and we were making a tangible improvement with our time. These walks eventually turned into half hour walks with elected city and state officials to communicate clearly to them what our neighborhood needed in terms of funded capital improvements, operations and maintenance, programming. We walked with the mayor ( at that time McGinn ), all the council members, our state senator, and heads of many city departments. McGinn’s Deputy Mayor at that time was Jerry DeGrieck ( who was the first openly gay council member in the US – in Ann Arbor in 1973 ). Jerry helped us get organized in relation to the city. David Frockt helped us with things at the state level. We put together an organization that was based on what we called “micro communities”. They were mostly groups of people who picked up trash, but there were others representing ethnic groups, PTAs, etc. The structure was that each group had one vote when we were trying to decide on what message to communicate to the city or the state. The biggest ask was for sidewalks, considering 95 percent of the blockfaces in our community did not have them and we walk in the streets. The best part of the meetings were when each group talked about what was going on in their little pockets of our neighborhood. It was powerful stuff. We offered to help each other with simple stuff. Securing pumpkins for the Children’s Home Society so the immigrant kids could carve them, helping the Lion’s Club with christmas decorations, providing an assortment of skills to help get a skatepark built, etc.

    One of the original litter patrol members ( who later went on to sit on the board of the north precinct advisory council ) gave me an article from the New Yorker titled “Adaptation.” it is an absolutely beautiful analysis of the Good that I was finding in my efforts, and the impediments to it. The author was looking at data about deaths from a heatwave in Chicago back in 1995. He was looking for patterns. He found that one of the highest death rates occurred in a poor, predominantly black community and that one of the lowest death rates occurred in a poor predominately black community right next door. Auburn Gresham had sidewalks, businesses, porches, homes that were cared for.. and people who talked to each other, cared for each other, checked in on each other. They were not rich, but they felt responsible for each other. The Good was the positive connections made by a good “stage” and good “scripts” and good intents. The Englewood neighborhood lacked sidewalks, businesses, etc. and people did not interact. When a crisis hit, the neighborhood that was connected through positive interactions checked in on each other and took care of each other. The other neighborhood had lonely people living in fear with no one checking in on them.

    Sorry. I have gone off track a bit here, but I see these trust connections, these dramas and stages and scripts that we DO have control over, as being critical to a Good and Just neighborhood/ city/ state rather than fear of Secret Societies. We just need to take our responsibilities seriously.

    Here is the Adaptation article:

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/01/07/adaptation-2

  140. Jean Henry
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m all for picking up trash, but I consider graffiti, properly placed, to be dynamic public art. What bonds one group of people into a community often, unintentionally, excludes others. In the case of graffiti, you were erasing the public expression of those with little other voice in the culture in support of private property rights and ‘community standards’ that are too often exclusionary. How is your white paint erasing graffiti any different than graffiti? How can it be considered a community improvement?

  141. Jean Henry
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    http://www.seetorontonow.com/my-toronto/torontos-street-art/#sm.000013mnk91cdude9xvq3aiskiwff

  142. Dave
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    When my 80 year old neighbor’s fence has a giant blue penis on it, I don’t think it has much artistic value. Same for “tags” that are monotonous scribbles. In addition, he did not give permission for it to be done on his property regardless of what artistic value it has. That is a violation of his property rights. As for public property, we have many public murals done by graffiti artists that were done on private and public property with community consent.

    Graffiti without consent, regardless of its artistic merit, is something imposed on a community. It costs the city of Seattle millions of dollars a year to paint out graffiti on public property. Sometimes it creates dangerous situations when critical messages on signs are obstructed.

    There are plenty of pieces I have enjoyed over the years, but it really is an act of aggression to just go out and plant one where ever they choose.

  143. Dave
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Most of the kids doing graffiti in our neighborhood are middle and upper class white kids. I’m pretty sure they and their father’s lawyers have plenty of voice already.

  144. Iron lung
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Graffiti artists’ legitimacy depends on a heavy handed approach by the authorities.

  145. Iron lung
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Allowing them to do what they want wherever they want would do them a major disservice.

  146. Maria Huffman
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Eighty cents? Really? I will go check that out!

  147. Jean Henry
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    ‘Legitimate’ graffiti artists have a community code about where to tag and where not to (no schools, no fronts of signs, no business windows, no churches, no overwriting deceased writers, etc etc. Like any community they have their own standards. When the state determines those standards they tend to over-manage, wasting public resources to sanitize a city. (Successful municipal initiatives engage the writers themselves to set the standards for and manage street art). Painting over graffiti is quite obviously a sisyphean tasks as the spaces will be re-written in due time. Ann Arbor has had graffiti for years and it has not negatively impacted community culture. The increasing sanitization of Ann Arbor has not improved its culture.
    Dave, your assumptions about who is writing walls does not pair up with the vast majority of writers I know. It is a diverse group, and it is mutually supportive. Keep wasting your time trying to make them go away.
    PS graffiti writing is accepted as part of many art school applications these days. Strret art has been an accepted art form for decades now. There was an exhibit at Cranbrook Museum of Art recently of early Basquiat, Haring etc street art.
    I’d rather see a blue penis any day then another piece of kitschy, badly realized, realtor approved public art. At any rate, the blue penis will be painted over by other writers eventually, while we will be stuck with that $200,000 sculpture of a bunch of fish (or whatever) for decades.

    PS I prefer Diogenes to Plato too.

  148. Jean Henry
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    https://www.chscommunicator.com/features/2013/05/18/graffiti-culture-in-ann-arbor-vandals-or-van-goghs/

  149. Jean Henry
    Posted January 28, 2018 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Remember when skate boarding was illegal? Remember when hip hop was going to destroy the fabric of American society? And rock and roll? And modern art? And Jazz? Etc etc etc…. All the best of American culture rises from the streets, if you let it.

  150. Jcp2
    Posted January 29, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I think the anti graffiti and anti skateboarding laws are there, not because the property owner may personally object to those activities, as they may always give permission for those activities to occur on the property as they wish, but for protection from property liability. It’s similarto no trespassing signs in the middle of nowhere. It’s not that the laws prevent activities from happening, but it can help avoid legal and monetary liabilities in the event of injury or harm.

  151. Sad
    Posted January 29, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Diogenes? Well that explains a lot.

    I had to look him up. I liked the part where he saw a boy drinking from his cupped hands and gave up his only possession, a bowl.

    But he really seems to think that everybody is wrong about everything. Hmmm….

  152. Jean Henry
    Posted January 29, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Diogenes was ascetic, brilliant, compassionate and bold. He had a sense of humor about human failing and did not give a shit about power or wealth or influence. When Alexander the Great came to Corinth, Diogenes snubbed him. So the emperor, who was an admirer, went to him and asked what he could do for him. Diogenes asked him to step aside and stop blocking his sun. Diogenes held his own counsel. He was the original punk. I’m not like Diogenes but I’d like to be.

  153. Jean Henry
    Posted January 29, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Sad– I tend to believe most people, especially myself, are wrong more often than they are right. As it should be. Most people who are willing to express their opinions understand they are subjecting them to critique. They are usually prepared to be wrong (HW being an exception). There’s integrity in that above being right.

  154. Jean Henry
    Posted January 29, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Actually Diogenes did not give the boy his bowl, but, upon seeing the boy drink from his hands, broke his own bowl in half, exclaiming “Fool that I am, to have been carrying superfluous baggage all this time!”
    He also lived at least some of the time in a large urn. He was the model for Oscar the Grouch, also a favorite character of mine.

  155. Sad
    Posted January 30, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    He was responsible for creating the cynics. Lovely.

    What happened to Dave?

  156. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted January 30, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    “I tend to believe most people, especially myself, are wrong more often than they are right. As it should be. Most people who are willing to express their opinions understand they are subjecting them to critique. They are usually prepared to be wrong (HW being an exception). There’s integrity in that above being right.”

    Why do you tell not just a lie but the exact opposite of the truth?

  157. Jean Henry
    Posted January 30, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Sad– you are applying the contemporary meaning of cynics to the Ancient Cynics. You need to read up on philosophy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cynicism_(philosophy)

  158. Jean Henry
    Posted January 30, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    HW– I must live in the opposite realm from you. I feel ok about that.

  159. Sad
    Posted January 31, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    cyn·ic
    ˈsinik/Submit
    noun
    plural noun: cynics; plural noun: Cynics
    1.
    a person who believes that people are motivated purely by self-interest rather than acting for honorable or unselfish reasons.
    “some cynics thought that the controversy was all a publicity stunt”
    2.
    a member of a school of ancient Greek philosophers founded by Antisthenes, marked by an ostentatious contempt for ease and pleasure. The movement flourished in the 3rd century BC and revived in the 1st century AD.

    No. I just don’t like cynics. I’m a big fan of ease and pleasure.

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