Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Sheriff of Nottingham was a government employee

I just thought that fact needed to be stated.

Following up on a previous blog posting where I went a little bit into the revisionist history of Robin Hood, "Who polluted Robin Hood?", wouldn't recognition that the Sheriff was a government employee pretty much put the whole thing to bed?

"Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor"

No, not really. The Sheriff of Nottingham was a government employee. Robin Hood stole from the government and gave to the poor, because they were being oppressed by the tyranny of high taxation and only dear Robin had the spine to stand up and fight back.

Robin gave them back what was already rightfully theirs.

The Sheriff of Nottingham was a government employee.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Where and when did this conservative vs establishment battle begin?

Rush talked about a politico story back on November 3rd which relies heavily on establishment insiders giving good talking points to left wing journalists, so as to be able to hit members of the Tea Party harder over the head. Since then, we have seen the GOP win the election overwhelmingly, and then go on to give Obama everything he wants. Specifically a trillion dollar spending bill and amnesty.

There are a lot of people out there who believe that the Republican Establishment is out to GET conservatives, and quite frankly, I don't see how anybody can argue against it. Not anymore, not after what happened to Chris McDaniel in the Mississippi Primary. Particularly, in the ads that were ran which were of a racial nature.

Many people believe, because they have seen it actually happen, that many in the Republican party would prefer to see a Democrat win an election over a conservative.

What I am going to do here is put forth a timeline, going backward. This is not meant to hit every possible example, but rather simply to establish points in time as we move.

So, let's stroll backward. It's not hard to find articles which highlight how the Republican Establishment willingly chose to sabotage Ken Cuccinelli's Gubernatorial candidacy. But this battle doesn't start here. Not even close.

Even before the 2010 sweep, people like Trent Lott were making comments that "We don't need a lot of Jim DeMint disciples," in D.C. "As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them." What I didn't know at the time when I first saw this, was just how bad this would get and that these people in the establishment would do this sort of sabotaging right up to general elections. But, all this nastiness doesn't start here in 2010 either.

There have been a lot of nasty races since 2010, a lot of name calling both in and outside of these races. It is not my intent to recount them all. Many of you will(or have, even) do much better than I can at it. I'm not making a list, I'm making a timeline. So lets keep going.

Lott's quote is useful for not only putting on display the view leading into one of the biggest Republican elections in recent times(2010), but it also allows for a brief mention of the Bush years. Demint took a lot of heat for simply doing the right thing - and these were during the mid 2000s.

Let's go back to the 80's. In a lot of ways, the Establishment versus Reagan fights are a thing of unwritten legend. Going back that far, there was only left wing media so none of it got reported on at the time. But there are some which bubble back to the surface, such as one that has actually become widely known. The story of how those in the establishment tried multiple times to remove the famous line "Tear Down this Wall". Other stories involve things such as the 1986 amnesty bill, which everybody conveniently forgets was co-authored by a republican member of congress who preferred his Democrat cohorts - and he was not alone. So much for a unified party behind Reagan, congress had to have its arm twisted, hard, to get border security in that bill, and they still haven't made good on their promises nearly 30 years later.

The Establishment versus Reagan narrative is very easy to see in the challenge to Ford in 76, so I will gloss over it and continue going backward - why did the Establishment not like Reagan? Well, he didn't like them. But this doesn't start with the 1968 "Stop Nixon" movement, the bad blood here starts with how so many in the Establishment sabotaged Barry Goldwater's run for presidency in 1964. Reagan was there, he saw it first hand. Not only did they take out Goldwater, but they were so slimy, that Reagan openly called the Establishment "traitors" following his 1966 run for Governor. They tried to take him out during his Gubernatorial run. He said: (December 10, 1964)

We don't intend to turn the Republican Party over to the traitors in the battle just ended. We will have no more of those candidates who are pledged to the same goals as our opposition and who seek our support. Turning the Party over to the so-called moderates wouldn’t make any sense at all.

Now, you would think that surely the mid 60's, yes, this has to be where the battle begins. Nope.

There is this story, which recounts a little bit of Tom Dewey's role in the Republican Establishment. This is the mid 1940's, we are getting closer. But we still need to go back further.

Hitting the right key words(knowing the language of the left), we can see where Hoover made his own jabs in his day at those who wanted to see Constitutional rule over progressive rule. Much to Hoover's credit, FDR shocked him into seeing the errors of his ways. Most people (in the context of Hoover's conservative beliefs) now remember Hoover for what he said/did post-presidency - his early days as a progressive member of Wilson's government are nearly universally forgotten. Hoover deserves a lot of credit for coming around to it and embracing the Constitution. Keep in mind, this is the early 1920's. We still have to keep going backward.

We have to go back to 1910, to Theodore Roosevelt. This is where the Republican Establishment became established.

In an article titled "ROOSEVELT WANTS PARTY HARMONY", we see Roosevelt saying the following: (direct PDF download)

My position in regard to the Governorship this Fall is this: I want to find the best man for the office; the man who is most acceptable to the rank and file of the Republican Party and the independent voters. I intend to do everything in my power to see that such a man is elected.

In terms of some of today's well known figures, the above quote will sound just like what some members of the Establishment say, and you know exactly who this sounds like. It hasn't changed in a century. They've been saying the same thing for 100 years. What Roosevelt says next, though, is rather profound:

I want you to make it clear, that I am seeing both sides. I wish you would make that emphatic. My main interest is in the State, but on National issues I want to see both regulars and insurgents, party men and independents. I want to see Democrats as well as Republicans.
"But you don't want to see Democrats win," he was asked.
"Not if the Republicans do the right thing," replied the Colonel.

I guess if the Republicans do the wrong thing, Roosevelt did want to see Democrats win. But what was the wrong thing? Keep in mind, the "insurgents" were the progressive republicans. He himself, Theodore Roosevelt, was an "insurgent republican".

I seem to remember that Theodore Roosevelt started a third party just two years after this, in which the vote was split and Wilson won. I've seen people write that they thought that TR did this on purpose, well, now it would seem that after all he did do it on purpose.

I guess the regulars made headway and the Republican party did the "wrong thing" in Roosevelt's view. Roosevelt, like most other progressives, was quite fond of the use of this word "reactionary". In other words, this quote from the one New York Times article above is not a one-time a stand alone item. Roosevelt made it clear where he stood. He stood with the government and its perpetual growth. He stood against the "reactionaries".

The current battle between those inside the Republican Party who believe in the Constitution, and those who do not, is as old as the progressive movement itself. This all goes back to Theodore Roosevelt. He was the first. How many people within the Establishment today have you seen speak glowingly of TR? There's your answer.

Knowing this history is very helpful for understanding why people like Ted Cruz are so opposed within the party, and why Cuccinelli and McDaniel are not moving forward with their careers.

Its helpful for understanding what we are seeing right now with the CRomibus and the amnesty approval.

But most importantly, it's helpful in looking forward, for what we're about to see happen come 2016.

The progressives in the Republican Party are going to do everything they can to put a stop to the "reactionaries".

Know the history - know the future.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Narrative journalism and narrative protesters, and Upton Sinclair

Jim Geraghty published an interesting article the other day about 'Narrative Journalism' titled "What If the Media’s ‘Narrative Journalism’ Harms Their Own Causes? It has been widely discussed in light of what it contains, so I am going to go right for what is outside the box.

Narrative Journalism, in this context, also necessarily implies narrative protesters. The narrative being pushed by the journalist does not have to be true by any means, but to the protesters, it is very real. The challenge is that we as citizens are supposed to be able to trust the journalist establishment without fear that they are manipulating information with the primary goal of manipulating us. But that's what establishes narrative protesters. Each of these major protests fits within the narrative, and is scripted. You can see how the script plays out over and over again, it repeats itself. Yes, each protest is different, but yet each protest is the same. They follow the same template.

Just look at today's protests, compare it with yesterday's protests, with protests from last decade, and keep going backward. They all have the same structure, and all with the same goals. Don't look at the micro, look at the macro. So where does this come from?

It comes primarily from the Sacco and Vanzetti trial. Upton Sinclair knew that they were guilty. The problem here is that Upton Sinclair was a believer in the revolution - and the revolution is more holy than the truth is to the revolutionist. Sinclair had insider information that nobody else had, that if anybody else had gained this information they may have been more willing to be honest.

Well, it happened the way it happened and all we can do at this point is learn from it. First, you have the narrative packaged by members of the media - this builds up expectations. It doesn't matter that the reporting is a lie, the lie is coming from journalism so that makes it true, and people come to expect that certain things will occur because they have been told that certain facts are true. So when a verdict that they expect does not come down, the people watching get upset. They go out and protest because they think they've been lied to.

Thus, the narrative protest hits the streets.

Sadly, the people really have been lied to, but they aren't blaming the correct group. They aren't lied to by jurors. Not by judges. They aren't being lied to by congressmen, senators, or the president. The mass of the narrative protesters was lied to by the narrative that the journalists spun, and the journalists are still getting away with it even though they've been using this template for close to 100 years.

The only way to do damage to a lie so well established for so long a period of time, is to have the truth readily available and at your service. You have to know it well. You have to live it. Upton Sinclair's letter to John Beardsley is key to any attempts to break this system of Narrative Journalism and Narrative Protesting. One thing leads to the other.

Make sure you have downloaded a copy. The copy that I put online is the real thing, it even has the stamp on it. You can also access a typed transcript of that letter, here, for quick searching.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Upton Sinclair's letter of deception about Sacco and Vanzetti

Upton Sinclair's 1929 letter to John Beardsley

Dear John:

I will write you a few notes about the matter concerning which we were talking last night.

When I went to Boston the last time in October 1928 I was completely naive about the Sacco-Vanzetti case, having accepted the defense propaganda entirely. But I very quickly began to sense something wrong in the situation. There was an air of mystery about the Boston anarchists, and I saw they had something to conceal. Then in Sacco's cross examination I detected what seemed to be a slip in his alibi. I began asking catch questions, and ultimately I got the admission from one of the leading defense witnesses that his testimony had been framed. I got a virtual admission of the same thing from another witness. It became certain to me that Sacco at least had been concerned in the dynamitings which had occurred in New England just after the war, and I supposed that this was what was being hidden from me. I remained of the opinion that both men had been unquestionably innocent of the crime of which they were accused. Their trial had manifestly not been a fair one, and on that basis I was prepared to defend their right to a new trial. That was my state of mind at the time that I agreed with The Bookman for the serial publication of "Boston".

But on my way to Denver, where I had arranged by telegraph to meet Fred Moore, I turned the matter over in my own mind, and doubts began to assail me. Alone in a hotel room with Fred I begged him to tell me the full truth. His reply was "first tell me what you have got." I decided to take a chance at the worst, and I told him that I knew that the men were not merely terrorists, but that they were guilty of the holdup. His reply was, "Since you have got the whole story there is no use my holding anything back," and he then told me that the men were guilty, and he told me in every detail how he had framed a set of alibis for them. He said that there were quite a group of terrorist anarchists who had been supporting the movement by various kinds of pay-roll holdups, and that all the practises were well known to Carlo Tresca and Gurley Flynn.

This naturally sent me into a panic. I telegraphed Seward Collins of The Bookman saying that I could not write the book, and I cabled half a dozen translators and publishers abroad canceling arrangements which I made for serial publication. But on my way to Los Angeles I thought the matter over, and I realized certain facts about Fred Moore. I had heard that he was using drugs. I knew that he had parted from the defense committee after the bitterest of quarrels. Sacco in a letter had addressed him as, "your implacable enemy." Moore admitted to me that the men, themselves, had never admitted their guilt to him; and I began to wonder whether his present attitude and conclusions might not be the result of his broodings on his wrongs. The first thing I did when I got to Los Angeles was to see Lola Moore, Fred's former wife, who had divorced him. She had been all through the four or five years of the case with him, and she expressed the greatest surprise, when I told her of Fred's conclusion, saying that he had most positively not been of that opinion when he had dropped the case and left Boston.

I faced the most difficult ethical problem of my life at this point. I had come to Boston with the announcement that I was going to write the truth about the case. If I had dropped the project it would have been universally said and believed that it was because I had decided the men were guilty. I had, of course, no first hand knowledge of their guilt, but I did have first hand knowledge of the framing of testimony. I decided that I would write the story on the basis of telling exactly what I knew. I would portray all sides, and show all the different groups and individuals telling what they knew and what they believed. I would take my stand on the point that the men had not been proved guilty, and that their trial had not been fair. That was all that the law required in order to prevent the execution, and it was all that my thesis required.

I put the problem up to Floyd Dell who happened to come out here, and he read the chapters which I had so far completed, and said that what I was doing was exactly correct. Of course, word spread among the committee in Boston what I was doing, and they flew into a panic, and I had a long string of horrified and indignant letters and telegrams. They strenuously denied that there had ever been any perjury in the case - which, of course, I knew to be perfectly absurd. They also denied that Sacco had ever been a terrorist -- though on this point I was finally able to back Gardner Jackson down. I saw him in New York before the book went to press, and we went all over various scenes line by line, and argued for hours. Gardner admitted that I was all right about Sacco, but he claimed that I was doing Vanzetti an injustice. Charles Boni had listened to our discussion. I asked him his opinion, and he said that Gardner had admitted everything that I was claiming, and a little more. Vanzetti as a pacifist was a perfect absurdity, because I talked with a Socialist whom he had chased with a revolver, and young Brini told me of having witnessed a similar scene as a child in his home.

The rumors of Sacco's guilt were very general in the Italian colony in Boston, and there is no possible question that these rumors, brought to Thayer and Fuller and Lowell in a thousand forms by the police, were the real reason for the execution. When I was in New York last fall I made another effort to satisfy my own mind about the problem. I asked Roger Baldwin, who is, himself, an anarchist, and knows the whole crowd. He told me there was no possible doubt of the guilt of Sacco and Vanzetti, and that the militant anarchists had financed themselves that way for years, both here and abroad. They never took the money for themselves, but only for the movement, and this constituted them idealists and heroes from the point of view of extreme class war theories.

I then took this proposition to Robert Minor, who was an anarchist up to the time of the Russian revolution, and who knows the whole movement. Bob said that he had heard these rumors from the beginning, and had investigated them carefully, and was convinced that they were not true about Sacco and Vanzetti. He says he has never known a class war case of this sort in which there were not similar rumors, and people who will tell you all about it from the "inside." Sometimes they are started by police agents and sometimes by a certain type of weak minded person who takes a pleasure in having the real inside story about a sensational mystery.

So you see that in the end I don't really know any more about the thing than I did in the beginning, and can only take my stand as I did in "Boston", upon the thesis that men should not be executed upon anybody's rumors.

This letter is for yourself alone. Stick it away in your safe, and some time in the far distant future the world may know the real truth about the matter. I am here trying to make plain my own part in the story, and the basis of my seemingly controdictory moods and decisions.


Upton Sinclair