Gramsci – Part 2

I managed to finish the next part of Leftism for Beginners.

Next, I’m going to tackle the New Left (pray for me).

This is not making it any easier to finish my fictional book – but, given the abysmal ignorance of most people about the “thinking” underlying the current crop of Leftist, it’s quite necessary.

Dumb? Probably. But, Listening to Smart People?

Almost definitely.

The link above takes you to a long article about how AOC’s grab for power is connected to her growing independence from DNC control. That makes her potentially quite a threat – both to the Democrats, and to the electoral process.

Another relatively new activist powerbase is the Sunrise Movement – which AOC has allied with publicly, most notably when they confronted Pelosi. Unlike other organizations, it is NOT largely funded by the Soros-allied foundations. Instead, they bring in a lot of young people, actually pay them something (barely, but more than most internships), and fund their salaries and other operating expenses through online donations (Paypal, VISA, MC, etc.).

They make no bones about being an advocacy organization. On their website, they specifically state that your donation is NOT tax-deductible (although they also have an ‘educational’ component that is).

Contribution rules

ActBlue Civics is a registered charitable organization formed to democratize social welfare giving. A copy of our latest financial report may be obtained by emailing info@actblue.com or calling (617) 517-7600. Alternatively, our report detailing our programs, a financial summary, and the percentage of contributions dedicated to our purpose, along with a copy of our license, may be obtained from the following state agencies: FLORIDA (registration #CH48620) — Division of Consumer Services 800-435-7352 www.800helpfla.com; GEORGIA (registration #CH012404) — contact ActBlue Civics; MARYLAND (registration #32940) — Secretary of State, State House, Annapolis, MD 21401; NEW JERSEY (registration pending) — Attorney General, 973-504-6215, www.state.nj.us/lps/ca/charfrm.htm; NEW YORK (registration pending) — Attorney General, Charities Bureau, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271; NORTH CAROLINA (registration #SL010079) — State Soliciting Licensing Branch, 888-830-4989; PENNSYLVANIA (registration #106113) — Department of State, 800-732-0999; VIRGINIA — Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs, PO Box 1163, Richmond, VA 23218; WASHINGTON (registration #38989) — Secretary of State, Charities Division, Olympia, WA 98504-0422, 800-332-4483; WISCONSIN (registration pending) — contact ActBlue Civics.

Registration with and reporting to these agencies does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation of ActBlue Civics.

I am at least eighteen years old.

This contribution is made from my own funds or the funds of an authorizing corporation or other entity, and the funds are not being provided by any other person or entity.

Note: Contributions, donations, and gifts to Sunrise are not tax deductible.

They support our advocacy and political efforts and allow us to build the most powerful movement we can to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs.

Sunrise is a non-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(4) social welfare organization.

DONATE BY CHECK: Make your check payable to Sunrise and send it to Sunrise, 50 F Street NW Suite 800, Washington, DC 20001, USA.

You can MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION to the 501(c)3 Sunrise Movement Education Fund here (https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/donate-to-sunrise-movement-fund), which supports our educational work to raise awareness about climate change and expose the corrupting influence of fossil fuel executives on our politics.

Questions? Issues? Email us at team@sunrisemovement.org.

In one way, Sunrise is smart – they are actually providing a base wage, that will tend to keep their people with them longer than volunteers. They are also spreading around fancy titles to all – which should make it easier for the drone to find another job in the future.

Their front page has this motto:

We’re building an army of young people to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process.

That ‘army’ part does give me pause.

As far as the House freshmen, I sense that the telegenic and glib AOC is the figurehead for a lot of discontent with Democratic leadership. The power behind the throne may be Saikat Chakrabarti, her former campaign manager and current chief of staff. He’s a Silicon Valley alum – his LinkedIn profile is here.

What I’m finding useful about LinkedIn is not the self-promoting BS – it’s the background information, and the connections to other people (People Also Viewed sidebar).

If you look at AOC’s FEC data, the contributions are, predictably, from ActBlue (small amounts – but a LOT of them – I’m assuming that this was a bundled contribution setup), some individuals – Benjamin Burkert (not a New Yorker – wonder what his interest was -he contributed $2500 in the primary), George Lane (also a CA resident who contributed $2500), Prajit Gopal – a young man in NYC, who is connected to technology through his work, also gave $2500.

So, it sounds as though a lot of AOC’s primary money was from:

  • Leftists (ActBlue)
  • The technology community (her chief of staff is from that industry)
  • The Indian community (her chief of staff is of Indian heritage)

ActBlue donations can be tracked, but it takes more time that I have to give. Here’s some information about ActBlue. If you scroll down the page, there’s a chart showing which races benefited most from ActBlue-connected donations.

Some of the top contributors to ActBlue.

I’m going to continue to keep an eye on this. AOC received a lot of cash for a newbie.

If the Left opponents don’t work to get something like this in place, they likely will be outspent in the next election. Few candidates have Trump’s ability to capture free publicity; the money is needed to get their name out.

Technology – Boon, or Disaster?

I’m a big technology lover. I owned a Commodore 64, actually learned to program using it. I moved onto the PCs, various iterations of Mac, Unix, and now Linux, in the form of my Raspberry Pi.

I like tech, use it (even gave into my children’s urging to get an Alexa for Christmas), and am seldom without means to hook into the Net.

However, it does have its down side – and, in Africa, China is using it to increase their control of the people of that continent.

In a time of growing fears about the accessibility of global data, China has positioned itself as one of the largest providers of technological infrastructures in the world.

As a central part of the Belt and Road Initiative, China is in the process of creating a “digital silk road” that connects China with the rest of the world. The plan includes providing upgraded underwater cables connecting east and west, and introducing new broadband connections to countries with underdeveloped telecommunications infrastructures.

Having the access to the technology is the lure. Chinese control of their country is the hook that will tie them to dependency for a long time. It’s literally “Technological Colonialism”. The free initiatives of the West, particularly of Americans, is a poor substitute.

The reason for Africa’s acceptance of the tech is obvious – it is a powerful aid to the government in their efforts to stay in power. It represents stability, growth, and control, all things that dictators love.

I’m not generally a fan of Western efforts to ‘bring in democracy’. Most of the efforts have allied with the educated classes (those who are not in power at that time), and not with the poorer members of that society. Revolutions cannot succeed without the majority of the country – or, at least, a sizable plurality of its citizens. The Elite, by themselves, cannot wrest power away, without support of at least a sizable number of  the masses.

If I were in charge of looking for pro-American people to support, I’d work on getting to know:

  • The hill people – traditionally, these are people who are looked down on by the rest of the country, who gain little from government, and whose economy tends not to depend on the central government. In nearly every country, they are the Hillbillies, despised by the rest of the country, and antagonistic to authority.
  • The group just under the Elite – the merchant classes. They are reasonably well-educated, have good communications networks established, and stand to gain from the freedom that toppling the dictator may bring. They also resent the government, and its petty tyrannies over their lives.
  • Teachers – if you want to influence the future, bring in teachers who will make the linkages between freedom and their history, their language/literate works, and their art. Ground it, not in Jefferson and Madison, but in their own culture. Introduce not our Founding documents, but works that stir that universal yearning to be free.
  • Religious figures – teach them to be wary, speak in parables native to their country, and based on written holy books. NOT Islam, which is highly vulnerable to being used by thugs. Preferably Christianity, IF you base it on the Bible. If they have a native religion, incorporate it into those teachings – bring it back to their comfort zone. Use natives, not imported missionaries.

Comment if you have some other ideas.

Leftist Hoaxes: A Failure to Understand the Right

Many moons ago, Milo Yiannopoulos told us that the demand for hate crimes far outstrips the supply. This has been obvious to many on the Right for quite a long time now. Jussie Smollett’s hoax certainly wasn’t the first such incident, though it is unusually prominent. In this, we see the Media’s journey into a Pravda-like arm of the DNC reach its final conclusion. Like Alyssa Milano, they desperately want the image of violent MAGA hat loons running around to be true. Their desire finally trumped the last vestiges of integrity they still possessed.

But beyond this, as Tom Kratman once told me, the Left does not understand us. They do not know their enemy, though we know them a bit better than they know us. Jussie’s faked hate crime smelled wrong to us from the beginning, and not just because of the lack of credible evidence, but because the Left’s conception of who and what we are is so out of touch reality. Their image of MAGA hat wearers is completely at odds with reality.

To explain this in more detail, I will tell you a story. A friend of mine used to be a bouncer. He’s a Rightist, and has always been at least vaguely conservative. And he did witness (and deal with) a homophobic “hate” crime (I loathe the term hate crimes in general, but let’s play along for the moment).

He was at a seedy biker bar a couple decades ago, and a very obviously flamboyant gay man entered the premises. The gay man appeared to be oblivious to the unwelcoming looks of the bar’s regulars. At some point, the gay man decided to go to the bathroom, and some drunken, addled bikers followed him into the john with obvious intentions.

My friend, naturally, followed the bikers. When he got in, the gay man was already being attacked, and my friend had a real hard time dealing with them – they were bikers, after all – but he successfully fought them off and told the gay man to leave before it got any worse for him.

This is how a crime against a gay man, motivated by his homosexuality, would likely take place. If Jussie was walking down the street, acting particularly flamboyant, and a couple of drunken guys accosted him in the street, it would be believable. Crimes of this sort aren’t planned, generally. Nobody is carting around rope and bleach, while pointedly wearing MAGA hats, to find a homosexual to beat down. If someone has an issue with gays, the attack is likely to be unplanned, spontaneous, and like the case my friend dealt with, it will probably involve copious amounts of alcohol.

Most Rightists don’t care much one way or the other if a gay man walks by, or enters a bar, or whatever. Contrary to Leftist belief, most of us don’t care who you are screwing. If there is any annoyance, it’s probably with the sort of folks who like to wave their sexual preferences around like a badge of honor and won’t shut up about it. Even then, that is usually a minor annoyance, barely above that of people who drive slow in the left lane. But if a Rightist were to care, and take offense, and want to hurt someone over it, it would go down like the incident in the biker bar.

It would not go down like the Jussie Smollett hoax. Or the “poop Swastika” incident at Missou. Or the drum-beating Indian complaining about “the Smirk heard ’round the world.”

Rather, these fake hate crimes are presented in the manner a Leftist would conduct a hate campaign. Leftists are fond of indirect, symbolic tactics. PETA-tards enjoy throwing paint on people wearing leather or fur. They are fond of weird symbolism like dressing up as bloodied animals up for slaughter. See the parallels with the noose and bleach supposedly dumped on Jussie? It’s basically PETA-behavior, but staged as a Rightist thing.

No. If a Rightist is going to have a problem with you, the odds are he’s going to punch you in the face. Or follow you into a bathroom and beat you down. The Right is much more fond of directness. Does anybody really think, say, a redneck is going to dump bleach on you and run away? Do you think he cares about the symbolism of a noose, or that he’s going to go out of his way to wear a certain hat – so as to make the right fashion statement during the attack? No. If he has a problem, he’s going to get in your face, probably punch it repeatedly, and walk away when he feels his point has been made.

In this the Left betrays how little they understand us. For even their hoaxes seem like bad parodies to us. It’s what a Leftist would do, only reversed in ideological polarity. It’s not what a Rightist would do. They don’t get us. Their rank-and-file doesn’t have any clue who they are dealing with anymore. Even the Media is too stuck on Leftism to understand anymore. There was a time, perhaps, when wiser Leftists would have thought “well, that doesn’t sound a whole lot like them… maybe we should check into this a little more.”

That time has passed.

This is profoundly dangerous to us all. Because, not knowing us, they cannot understand where the limits are. They’ve been butting up near our maximum levels of tolerance for some time now. Sooner or later, one of them is going to exceed that boundary because he doesn’t even know it’s there, anymore.

It won’t go down any better for them than it did the oblivious gay man walking into the wrong biker bar at the wrong time. And given that no Rightist will be willing to stick up for them, as my friend did back then, it’s likely to go down much, much worse.

A Possible Explanation for Ocasio-Cortez

A lot of people have commented on various social media that AOC seems awfully dim about basic Economics for someone who majored in that very subject in College.

Wonder no more. I think I’ve zeroed in on why she seems so clueless.

Education’s Dirty Little Secrets

Here’s a link to a story about a NYC public school teacher and her experiences in the chaos of the high schools.

I previously taught in a large city’s public schools, from 7th through 12th grades. I was, perhaps, more fortunate than the writer. I seldom found myself in consistently bad schools.

But, what makes a school “bad”? Generally, it’s poor administrators, combined with idiotic district-level decisions about discipline and behavior. Together, they can take a school from a place of orderly learning and student achievement, to a chaotic mess with violence, teacher and student assaults (without punishment – unless the TEACHER is disciplined for getting hit), and failure to learn.

It’s NOT that kids in the city schools are stupider than those in the ‘burbs. I’ve always found the range of academic potential to be similar.

What differs is administrative support for actual learning, willingness to  discipline the unruly, ability to stand up to unreasonable or threatening parents and community leaders, and support for the program from district officials. And, some money to:

  • Keep the school clean (along with the ability to get those out who will not do their job
  • Hire EFFECTIVE security (and fire the ineffective and/or dishonest)
  • Replace old books, upgrade equipment, and provide support for teacher training on that equipment

Book Alert!

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng, a long-time blogger, wrote a book several years ago. It is the story of an interracial couple who fall in love, and the consequences this causes for their family and friends.

Juliette is an Air Force veteran who is currently making a living as a writer/blogger. Her own family is mixed – mother a White American, father a Kenyan (same tribe as Obama’s family).

[ERROR ALERT: Apparently, her mom is an American Black person. My apologies for the mistake, which Juliette was kind enough to point out. Honestly my concentration and memory are shot today – I think it will be a day for mindless house cleaning and such.[

The book’s description on Amazon:

At a university in the southwestern United States, Felice
LeCroix, a coed, and Kevin Hart, a football star, fall in love.
But a simple, everyday relationship is complicated by the
fact that he’s white and she’s black.

Their navigation between family, friends and even enemies is
sometimes smooth; but at other times, life is rockier than
either ever imagined life to be.

I honestly didn’t expect much from that description, but I bought it – mostly because I try to support authors I know. I expected a romance-type book – which it is NOT.

It was an amazing surprise – a truly solid, good book – and I’ve since highly recommended it to others.

It’s on sale on Amazon for just $0.99 for a short time – trust me, you’ll love it.

# 1 in My New Series – Leftism for Beginners

After talking to many younger people, and realizing the extent to which they had been duped about the origins of Leftist philosophy, I decided to start writing Leftism for Beginners, which will provide some background on how the Left was able to gain ascendency in politics and culture in America.

Part 1 is on Antonio Gramsci, a man whose ideas are vaguely understood, and often referred to by Leftists in almost religious terms.

 

She Just Doesn’t GET It

There is a woman – Diana Helmuth – who wrote a first-person essay for Curbed, a San Fransisco area website. She was telling the story of a dear friend of hers, who was moving from SF to Pittsburgh, and the trip to the airport that left her in tears at her loss of a close friend.

She had realized that many of her friends had left – 12 in all – and that they were generally not employed in the tech fields, but in relatively low-paid fields. Some were leaving for a job, others for a more affordable life. Some wanted to have a family or home, and realized that it was never going to happen unless they left.

So, 1 by 1, this women’s social circle is developing gaping holes in it. In her naiveté, she implores the residents who see fleeing CA  refugees to realize that they are good people, just hoping for a better life.

And, I’m sure she believes that.

They may have ‘good hearts and big dreams’, but what the resistant old residents of the new locations are wary of is the newcomers’ refusal to recognize several important things:

  • The state of CA has become ruined due to their own actions – voting in high taxes, limiting residential homes/apartments, zoning that keeps out affordable housing, overbearing Big Brother government, a prevailing ethos of “you BETTER watch what you say and do or we will RUIN you”.
  • CA has held its arms open to illegal immigrants, because cynical Dems want the votes, as well as the increased representation in the House of Representatives.
  • Only the poor-to-middle-class suffer from the problems illegal immigrants bring in. It’s their local school systems that have been over-saturated with non-ESL students, overage “minors”, and virtually uneducated students. The rich can afford the exclusive private schools, or to live in a community that insulates itself from those problems.
  • It’s not that they hate YOU, it’s that they hate the cultural assumptions that you bring with you:
    • That they are inbred hicks
    • That they’re dumber than you
    • That the way they live is designed to oppress minorities, reject LGB——?, and force their Christian religion on you
    • That the reason they don’t think like you is because you haven’t explained it well enough, rather than the truth – it doesn’t matter how long you lecture them about the superiority of your values, they think those values are severely lacking
  • You want to change that place – NOW!
  • You expect your natural superiority will entitle you to immediately take leadership roles in any community activity
  • You turn your nose up and roll your eyes at the food, dress, and interests of the locals
  • You cannot keep your damn mouth shut about your dumba$$ opinions

That about covers it.

I’ve lived in cities, small towns, and rural areas. I’ve always been warmly welcomed, but a lot of that is probably because I didn’t come in with wrinkled nose about my new home, and immediately set about changing the neighbors “for their own good”.

Treading lightly in new environments is a real good idea, if you want to be accepted.

This Will NOT End Well

I remember when the Soviet Union fell. One of the most pitiful pictures to come out of that upheaval was the sight of elderly women (and a few elderly men) sitting on the streets, with a hand held out for donations for food. They were sleeping in the streets, for a time.

Much as the collapse of the USSR helped most people, the elderly, who had never been able to acquire resources, were now destitute. Their pensions were gone, the social infrastructure was absent, and they were the unhappy uncared-for leftovers.

That was 30 years ago – those people are likely dead. The younger ones, now older, have been able to save for their old age.

But, it may be a preview of what will face an aging population that is no longer getting full Social Security, able to count on children (as many didn’t have any), nor a retirement they hadn’t saved.

I do get that the history of the economic swings in the post-1960’s have made budgeting for retirement – difficult. It was not the easiest time to be an adult.

Less than a year after I graduated, by 1970, the economy was in the toilet, jobs (plentiful just a year before) were getting scarcer and harder to find, costs were only held in check through price freezes (which also contributed to the loss of jobs), and the price of housing, and the interest rates, had started their long climb to ridiculous.

I didn’t have the money to buy a house till I was nearly 40. A settled lawsuit gave us the down payment. We had massive debt, and little savings well into our 40’s. Only after a long period of carefully living within our budget, were we able to eventually eliminate our credit card debt. Even before that point, we were saving – both in an emergency fund, and for our retirement.

Saving for retirement is more essential than ever. Few people have an employer-provided pension – mostly government workers and teachers. In many states, those pensions rest on VERY shaky foundations. The worst of them are in the heavily unionized states – CA, IL, IN, etc. Don’t believe the people who tell you they are fully financed – those people are flat-out lying.

The other aspect that makes this poorly-funded pension so damaging is that many of those teachers were in systems that opted out of Social Security long ago. Very few of the teachers can qualify for Social Security at all. So, everything is riding on the stability of that pension fund.

One bright spot is that teachers qualify for TSA’s – commonly called Teachers Savings Accounts. They function very much like a 401(k). If you put money in, it will be taxed at a lower rate when you retire (assuming that you earn less in retirement, which is usual).

Both my husband and I contributed to these – him more than I. Many teachers put some money aside that way.

But, most did not. So their entire post-work income is riding on a pension system that is shaky. They are in a comparable state to someone who didn’t save outside of Social Security contributions.

Potentially living on the streets, like those former Soviets.

Many families will take in an aging parent, brother or sister. It will cause some stress if Mom or Dad brings in no cash to help with their support. It’s worse for those who haven’t children to help out.

The next 20 years are gonna be tough. Those without resources will be in desperate straits. Some will die earlier than they might have.

Try to have some compassion. Yes, many of them were grasshoppers, but they still need to eat.

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