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Entrism, then and now

By Owen Paine on Tuesday March 23, 2010 10:50 PM

We have a passed health bill before us!

Viewing this hideously huge and mutilated brute of a thing I'm reminded of the great William Lloyd Garrison, shown above looking a little like Noam Chomsky around the mouth, and his support for Lincoln and his war.

Recall that Garrison disdained all electoral politics and politicians for 30 years or more -- "I will be as harsh as truth, and as uncompromising as justice". So far as he and his abolition crusade were concerned, the federal system he faced was the slavers' system, plain and simple: a system cursed from its star-chamber conception, from its very genetic code. Indeed, every July 4th -- from some time in the mid-1850's -- ole Bill publicly and conspicuously burned the US constitution in front of a large picnic gathering of righteously reveling "African slavery abolitors".

Garrison even advocated "non-violent secession" as the solution. not electoral circle dancing -- secession of the free states, of course, or any compact grouping of free states (New England, say).

Then after that long and steadfast record of total rejectionism comes his Lincoln moment. Many of his followers and friends quite naturally found it nothing better than a squalid betrayal of his burningly pure ideals, and yet he never wavered, so far as I know, when Clio allowed glorious reform to enter stage right in the person of a giant ape of a railroad lawyer.

This craggy-looking quondam "rep" from the western outlands, this second-rank Illinois pol, probably from the shallowest of opportunist waters... But apparently Garrison knew his man when he saw him; knew him for what he was, and in spite of that, for what he would become. He knew this man, by waging a disgraceful, corrupt and bloody war for "union", would at the same time by steps inevitable liberate the enslaved of the South.

Yes, he favored just letting the South go, at first, but when war came Garrison discarded that stance and plunged willingly, publicly and controversially into the fight, sending a son to join the scrap with a black regiment.

A lesson there somewhere, I think, and one worth much pondering, brothers and sisters.

Comments (83)

Something very solid and useful came from Lincoln's prosecution of the Civil War. Slavery was made illegal.

I'm having a hard time finding something that solid and useful coming from this travesty of a bill just passed by our illustrious congress critters.

Maybe I'm just not seeing it. Maybe there's got to be a pony somewhere in that heaping pile of manure. Maybe if I keep digging I'll find it.

Maybe, maybe not.

Are we sure this thing was the Civil War, a half-hearted but momentous attack on wrongdoers? Or is it more like the Compromise of 1877, a sly compact with the wrongdoers to get an unwanted, unremunerative (cf. Arne Duncan and your aspiring merit-robot's app to Chicago Magnet) issue off the table, on evil, backsliding terms?

Obama could have gotten single payer and FDR polling. Now, single payer is another 8-12 years away even in a dream scenario, and the impending Teabagger Congress will come in a gut what he just passed, except, undoubtedly, the "mandate" to buy a defective profit-yielding product.

Hey, a lot of good stuff came out of the Civil War! Hardtack, the Dukes of Hazzard, Billy Beer, schmaltzy Ken Burns docus, all kinds of stuff. All we're going to get from this clusterfuck of a bill, OTOH, is crappy insurance no one can afford to use and another boring-ass faux-agitprop Michael Moore pic. Blech!


"Noam Chomsky"

That vile snake? That manufacturer of trifling status-quo friendly pseudo-dissent? Why he's nothing more than an MIT-endowed military industrialist! a self-aggrandizing establishment imperialist lickspittle charlatan if I ever saw one! It's amazing that he still finds time to spew his reactionary slime, between his lecherous advances on our pure young gentiles and filling out his gigantic walk-in closet in Lexington with yet another lavish cardigan. Caligula had nothing on this guy. No doubt that licentious old rake spends hours every night surveying his vast collection of blood-cardigans; his very own 30 pieces earned through the betrayal of the working class. I bet he's bisexual too and flies down to Chile to stay with his Chilean boyfriend. probably drives a Prius while he's there! I just can't trust folks like that!
He knows not the toil of the masses. He knows not the sharp pang of hunger to which us brave SMBIVAns have become accustomed. He is of the OTHER class, and he must be eliminated. Oh I know some of you will say "he's not that bad", but that is only evidence of the liberal reactionary thoughts of the Noam-lovers in our midst. Such wrong-thought must be corrected - with a gun!

Sam Adams:

Karl Marx also supported Lincoln during the Civil War.


The advice of an amicable separation presupposes that the Southern Confederacy, although it assumed the offensive in the Civil War, at least wages it for defensive purposes. It is believed that the issue for the slaveholders' party is merely one of uniting the territories it has hitherto dominated into an autonomous group of states and withdrawing them from the supreme authority of the Union. Nothing could be more false: “The South needs its entire territory. It will and must have it.” With this battle-cry the secessionists fell upon Kentucky. By their “entire territory” they understand in the first place all the so-called border states-Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas. Besides, they lay claim to the entire territory south of the line that runs from the north-west corner of Missouri to the Pacific Ocean. What the slaveholders, therefore, call the South, embraces more than three-quarters of the territory hitherto comprised by the Union. A large part of the territory thus claimed is still in the possession of the Union and would first have to be conquered from it. None of the so-called border states, however, not even those in the possession of the Confederacy, were ever actual slave states. Rather, they constitute the area of the United States in which the system of slavery and the system of free labour exist side by side and contend for mastery, the actual field of battle between South and North, between slavery and freedom. The war of the Southern Confederacy is, therefore, not a war of defence, but a war of conquest, a war of conquest for the spread and perpetuation of slavery.

FWIW, I'm fully in favor of Obama inviting Chomsky and Netyanhu together to the White House for a beer and a talk about the settlements in Gaza.

Sam Adams:

Um. That's the settlements in East Jerusalem. I've got to stop drinking so much of myself.


don't be so quick to draw a parallel undrwan
merely a prompt ing event
to each of us

re assess our positions

i like md's 77 possible parallel


we could of course perhaps show where the lines cross here

---or maybe even more general a result
where Clio's use
of hyperbolic space time
makes such analogues both impossible
to sustain and infinitely various
depending on what we might
want --by analogy to flat space--
to choose to call parallel lines


if anything on health care sector size sector structure etc
i see global oecd "convergence"

historigraphy may take this swampy unsacred moment as the turning point
the pivot however haulting
and herky jerky
however filled with



such does feeble class clash motors
and self imposed fates
make dismal wee fur balls
of us all


Al Schumann:

"Vast collection of blood-cardigans"

Today is worth living for that alone.


let us now we lenin lites
praise changeableflexible
...dare i say dialectical minds
minds as much aware
of absolute reason's
neagatives as positives

settle this
n of r v p of r
herr H's smaller logic for gloss--


entrism is not quite the correct word here
i withdraw it abruptly

garrison never merged fused co mingled
in any way his organization with the republican party

billy weren't no trot
but his parallels
to that easter egg headed
mongolian brute
vlad the terrible
if not evidence of a shared hyperbolic space
at least these similar shapings
there are common "occasions and causes
why and wherefore in all things "


"I'm having a hard time finding something that solid and useful coming from this travesty of a bill just passed by our illustrious congress critters"
at stake
some would have us consider
40k lives each year at stake

maybe this bill is the first forward step
here my man
the first faultering forward step

the devilish illusion to me
cries of

"this bill marks regression ..
greater misery
higher corporate control
less health coverage
less health care
more deaths
more grief
more sin !!!

that seems dead off to me

yes we get a vast obscene bribe up front
to the corporate special interests
fuck the corporates run the big top

whether we get in this ring
more for profit pachyderm trots
or a suddenly appearing
galloping single payer pony

the struggle now
is the one we got

rejectionism ??

what those who scrap now
may make of this struggle
will be the maker of our collective fate

we can prepare ourselves
for the ubiquitous
bouts of soft savagery ahead
the corporate flying monkeys

or we can return to our tents
unbowed unsullied
righteously disengaged
ready and willing and able to fight
but not till
appointed day

hey billy g did that for thiry years
so who am i to claim
i know the moment to plunge into the fight
is now

just saying
agonize here a bit
re appraise it all

fjust now
step outside of yourselves
feel the blowing of the winds



I agree that something (this bill) is better than nothing (voting it down), and that therefore the bill is basically "good", but that's a pretty low standard to meet. They could have called giving free healthcare to five households via a lottery "healthcare reform" and since that's better than nothing, I guess it wouldn't be right to complain about that either. It would be a first step, etc etc

"Charlie Stross: ... let me just say that I think the solution to your problem is to nationalize the insurance companies and establish a national single-payer. Government funded, out of the tax base, but run at arm’s length like the Postal Service.

(Such a system has done a sterling job of keeping me alive, so I’m biased in its favour … and it costs about half what you’re collectively paying at present. But what do I know? I’m just an ignorant foreigner.)

Paul Krugman: Hey, we all know that. But you go to reform with the Congress — and system of campaign finance — you have. "

That seemed to be the standard line of reasoning from the hold-your-nose-and-pass-it crowd.

I think it works in the case of single payer, which probably couldn't get 50 votes, but NOT in the case of the public option which was supposed to have over 50 votes, was priced in to the healthcare stocks etc.

My main problem with your line of reasoning is that you seem to imply that this is the most we could hope for this time around. I think that lets the Dems off the hook for a massive and unnecessary betrayal (the back room deal to can the public option).

The other thing is that it is a terrible political strategy. The mandates are deeply unpopular and the Republicans now have a perfect campaign issue for the next 5 years (or until they repeal it).

You seem to see some sort of three-dimensional multi-generation long-run political chess game. I just see the corrupt, inept Democrats shitting the bed once again, then trying to sell an ignominious failure as a glorious triumph.

at 7:14 am this fellow came slinking around:


...but I'm not Ray Wise.


You know, the "system we have" is mortality. We ought to just commit seppuku since none of us can live eternally. The end is inevitable, why not just hasten it along?

In other words, instead of criticizing the system's flaws in this instance, Noam apologizes for the system and basically says, "well what did you expect?," while ensconced in Military Technology University robes and finery, pretending for a lifetime to be opposed to any of it.


"if you can't see the problem with leading people down a fake primrose path, I suppose there isn't much use in discussing anything with you, since you-as-goat apparently would forgive the judas goat even as you were feeling the knife draw across your throat, or the pith piercing your cranium."

"at 7:14 am this fellow came slinking around:


...but I'm not Ray Wise."

lol what is it with you and these dark svengali figures? First it was the nefarious Glenn Greenwald taking control of my mind, and now I've returned from my brain piercing as Killer Bob to your Leland.

I was trying to cast old Noam in a similar light, but now that you've drawn for the Lynch references, the image of Chomsky with a sly Madoff-meets-Cheney grin, running his sinewy fingers along one of his precious ill-gotten cardigans as he plots his conquest of a naive youth during the next day's office hours.. it just doesn't have the same punch, does it?

bob, if I can't find amusement in this walking tour of Hades, then where CAN it be found?


"lets the Dems off the hook for a massive and unnecessary betrayal (the back room deal to can the public option)."
where have you seen me suggesting that

the fight for a public option is indeed
a real possible win
in fact the bribe balloon about to inflate given this bill's front loading of the corporate and doc type "carrots "
ought to provide a vivid context
first session post november election
out to see bills for a public option introduced

repubs take control of one or both houses
this fall ???

well then the struggle will take longer

garrison was the father of immmediate-ism
on abolition

low mimetic parallel here

single payer now

this has to be our stand
our goal our demand

but there now is a real middle ground
the public option
and we need to evaluate this grapple
before it becomes robust
the first venture toward that by yours insincerely himself
led to the crapolanche of mingo the dingo

i soldiered on after that
battered but un bowed

again we need to gather our huddlers up

and talk
what next
again i say we push hard for single payer
and attempt to defeat dems this fall
that oppose the pub option


" it is a terrible political strategy. The mandates are deeply unpopular "
couldn't agree more

the cost controls ..the stick shoulld have come first

well now we need to hit at the cost control issue

the prez needs to take
emergency measures to freeze premiums
before the fall election
if this stunt isn't used well

as he's shown before obummer
so far has shown none
of this man's Borgian genius




please chom chom is a man of principle
a real live garrison
that he isn't to be feared the way this guy was once feared

isn't all that surprising is it
he's not playing that role
nor this gals either http://www.niu.edu/~rfeurer/labor/flynn2.jpg

post on same by moi
owen miss piggy paine



please chom chom is a man of principle
a real live garrison
that he isn't to be feared the way this gal was once feared


isn't all that surprising is it
he's not playing that role

I must agree that "working within the system" is an emblematic point suggested by the very existence of The Noam. After all, taking a slice of the largesse earned by Military Technology University, and retaining a chaired position there, what is that if not working within the system?

You'll forgive me if my experience working within the system indicated that it won't be changed through such a tactic. I find it more a rationalization designed to excuse the system and to focus people's energies on something that is, essentially, defeatist in nature.

But never mind me, please. I'm agnostic and therefore the worship of anyone as God --even The Noam-- is abomination to me.

PS to op --

This is a healthy comment count for an op thread isn't it? I'd say "bully for you," but somehow that TR ghost isn't the image I want to conjure here. Mainly because for all his bluster, what TR did was walk heavily and carry a nerf stick. In some ways I see TR as Rush Limbaugh's forefather. The fields, they are so red... like Antietam.

op, did J Edgar get ANYthing done without dear, sweet Clyde? such a gentle man, that Mr Tolson.


the infamous van dingo episode
began here i think


van played a rather less honorable
abby kelly foster


to my garrison mid way to Damascus

--- that self aggrandizing
enough for ya oxey---


"the first venture toward that by yours insincerely himself
led to the crapolanche of mingo the dingo"

haha yes I remember. I think I stayed out of that one

"the prez needs to take
emergency measures to freeze premiums
before the fall election
if this stunt isn't used well"

How likely is that though?
not very likely, I'd say.

I doubt they do anything like that before the election, and I think the Democrats actually have a pretty good chance of losing congress now. Honestly, can you imagine coming back from Washington to sell this mandate plan to your constituents?

van (mon)Gogh has a boxer's sense of the battery. I refer here to the tort, and not to the energy storage cell. And I may be referring to drumming, but with a terminal "-y" rather than "-ie".

Incidentally -- where is his ear? Did his sweet lover leave it in a field in Lumberton? Will Jeffrey Beaumont discover it on an innocent short-cut? The dark deeds that lurk beneath the Ozzie and Harriet surface, they plague me!

(That was for bob, apparently. Mr Lynch and I have many things in common. We both grew up in Federal Servant households, both spent significant chunks of time in The Capitol Swamp and The City of 5 Valleys in western MT. We both prefer the darker side of life over the blissful fantasies laid upon it as fascia.)


If we're to accept crackpot realism without invoking Mr Mills' fine sense of humor, where is the place for a perspective which says, "insurance companies rule the roost, therefore the best we can do is steal an egg now and then"?


OP, you slut. You'll say anything to boost your comment count.


"I doubt they do anything like that before the election,"
damn right they won't
our task is to point out the possible
and ask them

"why ain't you doin this you hairless testicle"


wait till i start a twitter
you faithless rascal

i'll have a counterfeit following
larger then
the Achaean fleet "parked"
by the shores of illium

Alleged Snuff-Bug:

....Oxtrot to Chomsky.....
Bedecke deinen Himmel, Noam,
Mit Wolkendunst
Und übe, dem Knaben gleich,
Der Disteln köpft,
An Eichen dich und Bergeshöhn;
Mußt mir meine Erde
Doch lassen stehn...
. . .
Hier sitz ich, forme Menschen
Nach meinem Bilde,
Ein Geschlecht, das mir gleich sei,
Zu leiden, zu weinen,
Zu genießen und zu freuen sich,
Und dein nich zu achten,
Wie ich!

with apologies to JW v Goethe

Ox, you hold that Noam Chomsky has changed nothing and is defeatist? Wow. Double wow. Where your anti-Chomsky trip comes from, one has to wonder. In any case, you're simply high in this area.

As to medical insurance, I tend to agree with whoever said it has always been a mistake to pretend this is coverage issue first. It's a cost-control issue. The just-passed bilge barrel does less than nothing to address this. In fact, I think it's a pretty obvious Trojan Horse to sneak another decade of 10 percenters through the gates.

Do we have a decade of such pure waste left in what remains of the infrastructure of the nation? Every $650,000 cancer treatment, every doctor's second home, every drug salesperson's S-class, is a bomb that explodes in our ghettos and under our chances at ever building sustainable towns and cities.

I'm "high"? Really? That's amusing. I didn't realize that The Noam MUST be worshiped. Is there a mandatory tithe, too? Please let me know, I always hate when the Cool Kids start conditioning Cool status without telling me about the new condition. I must remain among the Cool Kids else my life lacks meaning, so if worshiping The Noam is now mandatory, maybe I'll become a deist and create a Temple of Noam Ansland.

I find it interesting that such absolutism is what you carry, Dawson. So if I don't worship The Noam, I am simply dismissed as "high." Clever move! Which dimension is that taking place in, and what specific move is it? Queen to King's level 23? Checkmate?

--Mr Decidedly un-Cool

op, I have no clue what that German is saying. I'm just a stupid dirt-eater, not a meritocrat with 18 degrees from many of our nation's finest intellectual reform schools.

That probably explains why Dawson took one statement of mine and misread it to mean that I:

hold that Noam Chomsky has changed nothing and is defeatist

because I haven't said he "changed nothing" -- not anywhere have I said that; and I only said his schtick is defeatist where health "care reform" is concerned. That was the topic of this thread, wasn't it? Health "care reform"? And not the entire panoply of all that resembles the intellectual effluent of The Noam?

Apparently I don't know the secret handshake for reading Dawson's mind and putting words into the perfect context for his worshipful admiration of The Noam. Like any true believer, a worshiper of The Noam is likely to defend The Noam against all attacks, even those which have some merit.

Bwaaaah hah hah! I said "merit"!

Al Schumann:

I think the cardigan issue has received insufficient attention. As Bob accurately relates, they are a sign of cynicism, decadence and treachery. I own one, as it happens, but mine is embroidered with a sabocat.

I made Noam a cardigan, but I eated it.

In Re: Cardigans

"As Bob accurately relates, they are a sign of cynicism, decadence and treachery"

Oh. I better get me a few then as I have none. And I'm nothing if not cynical, decadent and treacherous. Throw in some debauchery and drunkeness and that's me in my best form!

To OP's main point. I do actually get where you're coming from and I'm sure some folks will be helped by this bill. I'm just not sure it's an advancement. But I'll let Ian Walsh say it for me because he expresses his ideas better. Which is to say he's a better writer than me not to put too fine a point on it.



"People will die who wouldn’t have without this bill, people will live who wouldn’t have without this bill. People will not go bankrupt because of this bill, people will go bankrupt because of the bill."

not exactly macbeth that or dickens either

i'm not quite sure what peole are better off with the staus quo
but if some would live that no will die

the stakes are getting higher
the trade offs more nasty
the degree of generality more fog inducing

i guess drug prices are certain to be higher then otherwise
and health plans worse too
for some
or at least that is what ian tells us
as well as this startling fact
the bill is
" Saving a private industry which was in a death spiral "
so it was a bail out more then a pig out
for insco
the plot thickens

"I may be wrong, I may be right. We won’t know for a good 10 years or so."

that line helps eh ???

and this one too provides most of us
with limited additional reach :

"government is captured by moneyed interests"

in fact we rubes
in the end have to rely on one blatant fact

the whole pack of em
--i mean all corporations now
not just one's in the medical rackets--

thank Clio

aren't in a single shared cartel
and actually come to cross purposes
now and again with each other

of course if we weebles raise some street hell
and corridor hell
maybe occupy a few places
the process "swifticates "

on its way to ....
a corporate compatible solution that is


the man behind the cardigan curtain

" can you say blood soaked "


why so grumpy
and whats with the extra thick
smear of sarcasm
talk about teutonic

btw that kraut crap above
is doubtless bursting with pin point carbonated wit
but ..
well some of us
need a gloss here
mr smarty hosen

or else we must assume:

poor goethe"


Alleged Snuff-Bug:

It's a compliment, Mr. Oxtrot.

Ox, nobody said anything about having to worship Chomsky. You, however, seem to be rather possessed by remarkably petty and, yes, juvenile, anti-worship for the guy.

What would you have Chomsky do? Quit MIT and become a suicide hotline worker by day and underground blogger by night?

The worst thing you've said about Chomsky is that he sometimes says he prefers minor reforms and votes that you don't prefer. But that's a pretty small and peripheral area to what Chomsky's larger effort is all about.

And why do you think I or anybody else worships Chomsky? What if we admire him for his enormous helpfulness?

I recall you saying you have never needed Chomsky to explain anything to you, because you already knew it all.

One wonders then who the fuck you are. Where's the beef?

In fact, you sound like a jealous kid who got pushed into his locker, and you all but admit it in the way you frame your scurrilous and thoughtless dismissals.

Ox, nobody said anything about having to worship Chomsky. And nobody here worships Chomsky.

You, however, seem to be rather possessed by remarkably petty and, yes, juvenile, inverted worship/baseless contempt for the guy.

What would you have Chomsky do? Quit MIT and become a suicide hotline worker by day and underground blogger by night? Why? What does that accomplish in any direction, other than a truly stupid gesture?

You can't really believe in this level of purity, either, can you, not least because not even you, whoever you are, lives outside this system.

The objectively most damning thing you've said about Chomsky is that he sometimes says he prefers minor reforms and votes that you yourself don't prefer. But that's a pretty small and peripheral area to what Chomsky's larger effort is all about. And it's also eminently debatable and probably irrelevant to anything that matters.

And why do you think I or anybody else worships Chomsky? What if we admire him for his enormous helpfulness? Is that allowed in your world when the object of gratitude and attachment isn't you?

I recall you saying you have never needed Chomsky to explain anything to you, because you already knew it all.

One wonders then who the fuck you are. Where's the beef? Even if your claim is true, what are doing about it?

In fact, you do indeed sound like a jealous kid who got pushed into his locker, and you all but admit it in the way you frame your scurrilous and thoughtless dismissals of the best and most lasting thing the left has achieved since the Civil Rights Movement.


The idea of op, of all posters, demanding a gloss is very amusing!

"a corporate compatible solution that is "

OP, I shudder to think of what that might be, but then again, I've dealt with some worse shit than that.

Ima still say that the bill is worse overall than better but if someone wants to argue the other hand I'll respectfully disagree.

Now let's discuss Noam Chomsky and how he is responsible for so much good/ill in the world. Bleah.

I think Dawson needs to rethink what he remembers me writing about Chomsky. He's misquoting me, and/or mis-paraphrasing me. Oh well. I know what I wrote, even if Dawson can't recall it accurately.

I'm reminded of talking socialism with Michael Albert, who demanded I pay suitable obeisance to Karl Marx before I could play in his sandbox.

The idea that thoughts put to paper by Chomsky and/or Marx are the sole possession of each chappy, and originated ONLY with each chappy, that's comical. I mean, laugh out loud funny, rip-roaring side-splitting hilarity!

We're not talking about art produced by a person who's never encountered another human. We're talking about observations that can be made by anyone with the time and thoughtfulness to make them.

I don't quite understand the urge to worship another human. One has to feel awfully petty, small and insignificant to think that way, I imagine.

op, do I read as being grumpy? I don't feel grumpy. I do feel that Dawson wants me to be grumpy, though. Maybe I can muster some grumpiness to suit him? I'll try. Let me come back in a few hours after trying to picture what it would be like to be stuffed in a locker, or to be bitter in the ways Dawson imagines me. I'll have to remember what method acting is all about.

No Comment:

Reluctant to drag this back, but here is what CF Oxtrot said to the late, unlamented Lunch and to op awhile back:
I am amused at Lurch Presumptuous saying I do not understand Chomsky. Lurch, share for us all how it is you have divined my levels of understanding of ANY subject, would you please?

I understand The Noam as well as one can understand him without being him. Don't let me piss on your altar established in worship of him, please. Sometimes I forget he's a god. It's easy to do. He looks awfully like a human being to me.


op, your logy take on life and utter acceptance of all the shit that rolls down onto you is both what I like about you, and what frustrates me about you.

I'm not prepared to accept Chomsky's flaws. You are. We differ there. I get along fine without any Chomsky in my life. He's never shown me something I didn't know already. Your mileage obviously varies from mine. My truck won't start on a tank of Chomsky.

You ask me to criticize Chomsky's '04 vote trading scheme, yet I don't see the point of even considering the scheme. I don't engage in criticism of something I don't find worthwhile.

Thanks, NC (and funny handle there).

"He's never shown me something I didn't know already."

We should all be so mis-quoted, Ox.

You simply protest too much here. You're jealous or something else I can't even imagine.

Am I a fan of Noam Chomsky? Yes. I'm also a fan of Billy Bragg, Matt Groening, my grandmother, good Chinese food, etc.

Do I WORSHIP any of them and think they're perfect and always, always, always right, no need for questions. No.

And speaking of imagining others' lives, good for you if you're smarter and more informed and intellectually helpful than Chomsky. (Again, one might wonder about that claim and want to see YOUR books and articles and speeches and travelogues and record of charitable, emancipatory labors and donations.) Anyhow, perhaps I'm just a moron, but Chomsky has taught me an immense amount of original, convincing, and vital material. And I find myself agreeing, if not outright learning from him 95% percent of the time, at least.

Good luck to you in your higher orbit, though!


i'll add this

chomsky has to me a very unsatisfactory answer to this question :

why states arose and why they still exist

of course in that question thru its portal to class society
much else lies in wait

ready to pounce on the goodly pilgrim



unlike mjs
i know not one foreign tongue
years were spent trying to drill latin and french into me
with no lasting outcome
i must add

on another TOPIC

chomsky revolutionized morphology
back in the day
another area of mjs accomplishment
all gathered in
whilst i was in futile search
the meaning of meaning
and like faust's student wagner
the quest for the outline
of a meta automaton
able to generate a modern epic

No, Dawson.

You are insisting that I mustfind the same value in Chomsky that you do.

That, my friend, is worship and cultish following.

If I was able to conclude as Chomsky often does without ever reading Chomsky, why does that make you angry at me, and insistent that I must value him as you do?

PS to Dawson:

Here's a strange irony for you. I've never posted any Chomskyisms to my frogbook page, but yesterday I posted 3 links to Michael Dawson's writing.

Try shadowboxing that fact. Maybe you won't get knocked out!

Michael Hureaux:

The idea that the health care problem will even remotely be adressed though the subsidization of insurance companies is bankrupt from the word go, and the most eloquent testimony that I can think of that the working class either finds its own agency in the political world or we are fast headed towards a high tech feudal existence. The bill will breed nothing but resentment from those sections of the working class population that are still employed, and will be paying higher taxes on what they earn to subsidize the insurance company elite. In time, the blowback will come in a deadly form, directed against the working poor.

The only thing that bothers me about Noam Chomsky is that he can be so blockheaded on so basic a point. But, then, since anarchists, like stalinists, have always believed that economic democracy can be achieved in isolated states- and now, in isolated sections of the economy- there's nothing surprising in his assessment of the "public health" bill.



can't fault this

".. the working class either finds its own agency in the political world or we are fast headed towards a high tech feudal existence"

with one word exchange
corporate for feudal
i hate metaphors
especially misleading metaphors
reified into denotators

"The bill will breed nothing but resentment from those sections of the working class population that are still employed.."
great exactly correct
" and will be paying higher taxes on what they earn "
needs a word exchange too
premiums for taxes

"to subsidize the insurance company elite."
that's a good agitprop
slogan as Al enlightened me
we need to pick a single target
and since its that apparatus we single payers wantr knocked totally out ..
but its far from the whole truth
most of the added share of gdp that this bill will by means various funnel into the health sector
the chunk speared by the insurance profiteers will be tiny even if it doubles their profits from 5 billion to 10 billion


"anarchists, like stalinists,"
now that's got so sweep to it comrade !!

".. have always believed that economic democracy can be achieved in isolated states- and now, in isolated sections of the economy- "

that formation flies outside
my battery of SAMs effective range


"there's nothing surprising in his assessment of the "public health" bill."

nope just plain old goo goo
love of any sort of partial melioration
for its florence nightingale effect

Ox, you are simply bullheaded on this topic, for reasons sophomoric or unknown. Nowhere ever have I said you or anybody else "must value" Chomsky as I do, or to any degree, for that matter.

What I have objected to is your scurrilous attacks on Chomsky, which rest on the fact that he has kept his job at MIT and has apparently been of no value to YOU.

I don't give a crap if you or anybody else don't give a crap about Chomsky. I do give a crap if you go around slandering him.

Any how, nuff said. You're smarter and more valuable to the public than Chomsky, according to you. Congratulations on that eminently reasonable conclusion.

Dance dance dance.

I haven't "slandered" Chomsky. I say he's of no use to me personally, because his views have never taught me anything.

That's far afield from slander, which is spoken not written in the first instance, and it's far afield from defamation as a legal category, because of two things: (1) it's not a false statement of fact; and (2) it's related to a public figure, so even if I were being false (which I'm not) it would be subjected to a much more rigorous standard, including proof that my statements literally harm The Noam, which they do not.

But keep dancing, please.

And remind me: why is it so horrible that Chomsky is of no use to me, personally? Why are you demanding that I find him useful?

Of course you could fall back on the op tactic here, and insist that I find Chomsky's linguistic work to have affected me even though I don't realize it.

What many of you highfalutin' eggheads fail to realize is that linguistics is pretty well irrelevant to the vast majority of us dirt-eating Americans.

Where I come from, nobody gives a fuck what's taught at MIT, intellectually speaking. Practically speaking, what's taught by Chomsky at MIT is important only to Chomsky's students, and to MIT's desire to intellectually shape those students.

Meanwhile you keep insisting that I must find value in The Noam.

Onward, Christian Soldier!



are you enjoying yourself here

i'll admit i'm not clear why md
wants to defend noam
where he needs none

though some one wrote here that
the poor dear sweet brilliant soul
is a arms merchants fig leaf i thin
which strikes me as swinging for the seats
and hitting a miraculously soft foul pop
that flows easily down
into the catcher's mitt

then again i suspect oxey
of toying with the earnest side of herr dawson

gotta have better things to do
then taunt some one because they admire
a great man


if we were talking about

say alex cockburn or henwood doug
that would be different
there's a problematic at work
in those two spirits
worth a little bronx surgery now and again

but noam like kropotkin and tolstoi
or burns and allen
is a great soul of his era

Me? Toy with someone's earnest respect for a Living Legend?

What's an overcomplicated highbrow way of saying,

"no way, Jose!"


I can't tell anyone about how Chomsky has rewritten intellectual discourse in America because I don't see him doing that. Obviously several people who comment here think differently. I'm one of those stupid grunts who thinks deeds should match words. Yep, I think Chomsky should quit the MIT game and be his own man. I'm not an incrementalist by nature or by nurture, though I have labored in fields where incrementalism is the primary game -- and I found those places and those pastimes to be distractions, as I have said repeatedly re. The Noam.

Apparently George Lakoff worships The Noam. That alone calls The Noam into question for me. What is Lakoff if not a snake oil salesman for self-impressed soi-dissant "intelectuals"?


"I think Chomsky should quit the MIT game "

for what possible good reason ??

the institution is corrupting him ???

he's providing the place with a tacit endorsement ??

Miss Pam Filter:

I followed all those links, Sean, boy. Your are not all that persuasive a writer in your SMBIVA disguise. But you seem hot under the collar. Did Al Haig really show you his briefs? Oo la la!

op, I find it difficult to work for evil business interests without being tainted by such evil. Of all the schools where The Noam presumably could teach -- he's got legions of fawning fanboys, which suggests he could teach anywhere -- he works at Military Technology Incorporated. The suggestion is that he's not tainted by that, not pulled in any direction, never marks his time, never guards his words as a result? Doubtful. Very doubtful.

Pammy, when did I say I was writing for persuasion at SMBIVA? I can't recall saying that was my aim here. Are you interested in hiring me? I'll happily show you how to write persuasively for a fee. I'm open to barter. Plenty of satisfied clients have found my writing persuasive enough to have saved them a lot of money in legal and business headaches. Of course, on the other hand, you're free to imagine what you will. Nothing I can do about that end of things.

Alleged Snuff-Bug:

"when did I say I was writing for persuasion at SMBIVA?"

You may have implied it by the nature of some comment you posted, but I wouldn't care to revisit the reams of Chomsky-iconoclasm and near reams of other "whose-motive" and "you-don't-know-my-heart/family/eye color" repartee among which the evidence of a persuasive intent might be discovered.

So CF Oxtrot comments here for splenetic release only? Oh, wait, "when did I say I was writing for splenetic release at SMBIVA?" And so forth pointlessly and infinitely.

So CF Oxtrot uses SMBIVA for the purpose of personality expansion and exercise, errr, false personality expansion and exercise. Oh, wait, "when did I etc." (Well, even I, Snuff, know that that may be charged against everyone... modulo the "false" part, in some cases.)

The first curiosity about this is the notion that one who recounts his supposed personal history in comment so frequently and maintains a fairly extensive CV online, a CV that doesn't conflict with those personal accounts, nevertheless imagines that any response to one of his (un/persuasive?) gratuitous comments is a form of personal attack by someone who has misread CF Oxtrot's motives or family history or .... whatever .... an attack by an ignorant Prometheus against an ineffable Zeus.... an attack demanding near reams of back and forth verbal byplay.

The second curiosity is your impulse to attempt to slander Chomsky, an utterly unpersuasive attempt, though one must suppose, now, the "unpersuasiveness" is, in your mind, a move in your grand game.

A couple of models for this apparent but perhaps not genuine personality called CF Oxtrot come to mind: The hyper-litigious attorney in "The Hound of the Baskervilles", and a jellyfish with a hand grenade.

All the best, Snuff

That's a hell of a try, Dawson. Still flawedly working the "slander" angle I see!

Afraid I can't get angry at such poor reasoning, lousy writing, and inferior attempt at insult.

I can chuckle though.

Alleged Snuff-Bug:

"poor reasoning, lousy writing, and inferior attempt at insult."

In Oxy's world this is called 'critique'.


u do strike me as to interested in swaying the judge if not the jury
or the jury if not the judge

by looping back to nuggets of antinomy
where one can only choose between
alpha and omega
if one is partly blind

Sure, Snuffy! And in your world, that post I was "critiquing" was probably called "insightful", no?

op, if I wanted to persuade anyone I would write a lot differently. I didn't realize that the mere act of writing always carried "persuasion" as its aim. I tend to think of communication as the primary purpose of writing, and the question is always, what is being communicated?

I will say this much: whomever lurks behind the multitude of handles like Pammy, Snuffy, Lunchbox... he/she/it sure does feel defensive about The Noam's value on Earth, and sure does feel insulted when I say I don't value The Noam as he/she/it does. So insulted that he/she/it goes to a lot of trouble to dig up my past posts for quotation purposes, as if to be "exposing" me for some purpose. That's impressive. Although I don't think such obsession bordering on stalking is the best kind of impression to make.

Cluster's Stalker:

That was a good one, Cluster. I just googled "lunch" and "smbiva" and there it was!

And yet you found it necessary to do that Google, didn't you! Mighty impressive! Please share more of your armchair e-shrink analysis, it was nearly amusing the last 10 times!


Never let anyone say the sock puppet doesn't know how to use a Google search. I'm ready to declare it loudly: the sock puppet is a Google Expert!

Cluster's Stalker:

"you found it necessary to do that Google"

Necessary? That's heavy. Was it my choice or was it predetermined since the big bang? It would take, say, an op to weigh the alternatives judiciously. It seemed like a free choice at the time, but my desire to be helpful to Dawson ... where did that come from?

Anyway, the googling was no trouble at all. Really. Glad to do it.

Define "glad" for us, won't you?

Cluster's Stalker:

I suppose I could try, but I don't really think you need a definition. May I suggest that you simply repeat the word softly aloud fifty or a hundred times and then continue to repeat it silently for the rest of the afternoon. That anyhow is my plan.

An interesting plan. Who knows its purpose, or its ultimate effect?

At least op's comment count is pretty significant in this thread.

No Comment:

More googling:
In Norse mythology, Glad is a horse listed in both Grímnismál and Gylfaginning among the steeds ridden by the gods each day when they go to make judgements at Yggdrasil. However, in neither poem is Glad assigned to any specific deity.

Cluster's Stalker:

Poetic Irony:

"I happen to prefer William Gaddis, or Erich Fromm, or Alice Miller," quote CF Oxtrot in early Feb '10, preferring them to Chomsky.

Text of lecture delivered at the International Erich Fromm Society, Stuttgart, Germany, March 23, 2010 by Noam Chomsky:

It's only 8 pages. Give it read, por favor.

Keep trying, Dawson!

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