When blogging isn’t real-time enough, Twitter Lists are

Blogging used to be the fastest way to respond to events. Yet when multiple events are moving at hyperspeed, blogging is woefully slow. Write a thoughtful ten-paragraph think piece about what just happened and by the time you hit Publish, it’s old news or contradicted by new events.

Consider yesterday. It started with Trump having a Twitter tirade against Christine Blasey Ford and ranting about radical leftists. Then the supposed Rosenstein bombshell hit. Except it wasn’t a bombshell. Rosenstein was just making a joke. Yet NYT published it as being a serious comment. Then the right-wing mostly said the whole thing was a trap so Rosenstein should not be fired. Oh, Grassley imposed a deadline on Ford, then relented. And McConnell said he has the votes yet three Republican senators say they will not make a decision until Ford testifies. All of these events spawned massive mass media and social media coverage. If you aren’t quite sure what news events I’m referring to here, that just proves my point.

The best way to keep up with insanely fast-moving news is Twitter, especially by using Twitter Lists. You can create group of selected people to read in a list or read someone else’s list. The huge advantage here is it’s filtered, way less noise and distraction. Go to your Twitter profile. Click Lists. Then Create a List.

If something happens, it’s on Twitter first. If you want news as it happens, before most other sources have it, look for it on Twitter. Twitter lists help filter out the noise, crazies, bots, and trolls. Because, yeah, Twitter can be a war zone too.

Southern Nevada Water Authority vs. Great Basin. Water wars

The Southern Nevada Water Authority is relentless about finding new sources of water. Really relentless. They once floated an idea to build a pipeline from the Great Lakes to Vegas. The Great Lakes states responded by passing a joint pact that essentially said “over our dead bodies” will a pipeline happen. Even the 800 lb. gorilla of Western water, the Metropolitan Water District of southern California gets twitchy trying to figure out what SNWA will do next.

Sometimes it’s almost comical. SNWA has been trying to build a pipeline from the rural Great Basin in Nevada for decades. A district court recently appeared to rule against SNWA, except the state engineer is appealing his own ruling, and Steve Sisolak, Democratic candidate for governor and SNWA board meeting, says he opposes the pipeline yet voted to appeal the ruling. I trust this clarifies things!

The head of the SNWA says conservation is the first priority. And indeed Vegas is a world leader in conservation, recycling, and reusing water, and uses 5% of Nevada water despite having 70% of the population. The second priority is desalination. Say what? Desal in a desert? Not exactly, the plan is to build desal plants on the Pacific coast then take water allocated to that area in return. The third priority is pipelines, like from the Great Basin. Like I said, relentless.

In 2015, opponents of the pipeline successfully convinced a District Court judge in White Pine County to order the state engineer to reconsider granting pumping rights to the water authority. In August, the state engineer issued his ruling, pursuant to the judge’s order, and denied several rights to the water authority, something that opponents cheered as effectively killing the project.

But it didn’t. The state engineer argued, in a complicated ruling, that the district court erred in its decision, forcing to use a hydrologic methodology that had not previously been used in Nevada water law. As a result, the state engineer said he would appeal his own ruling to deny the rights.

The water authority’s board voted today to appeal that same ruling.

Catholic Church doubles down on the cover-up of sex crimes

Pope Francis is actively recruiting the worst offenders and deniers to be part of his inner circle. This cannot be attributed to ignorance or not knowing what is happening. It’s deliberate. Why? At the very least, it is self-destructive. And it must be asked, why are they going to such enormous lengths to cover-up, lie, evade, and stonewall?

You might remember Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras. Back in 2002, he said that Jews were partly responsible for the bad press the Catholic Church in the US was getting over priests raping children and the media covering it up.

More recently, Edward Pentin of National Catholic Register reported that Maradiaga’s seminary in Honduras was more or less a gay bathhouse, and that the cardinal’s auxiliary was having sex with seminarians. The auxiliary resigned, but the cardinal furiously denied the report — despite a complaint signed by scores of heterosexual seminarians — and compared Pentin to an assassin.

Now comes news that Maradiaga, chosen by Francis to be part of his nine-member inner circle of advisers, is saying that people ought to leave Uncle Ted McCarrick alone.

Rod Dreher, author of The Benedict Option, explains why he left the Catholic Church. It was the cover-up. A seemingly pointless and futile cover-up, especially now since the truth is already out. Yet the cover-up and stonewalling continues. It’s like they are hiding something else, perhaps financial crimes aided and abetted by clergy being blackmailed over their sexual activities. Or perhaps the financial crimes (The Vatican Bank has been corrupt for decades) is just part of the ongoing corruption and a privileged clergy class protecting itself.

It wasn’t the pedophile priests that did in my faith. It was the bishops who protected them. That is, the men who ran the system were so morally and spiritually corrupt that in most cases they went out of their way to protect pedophile priests at the expense of children and their families.

And because this scandal is about power, the Church’s leadership cannot forget that the crisis occurs in an age of radical individualism, which is to say, radical democracy. As a cultural and psychological matter, people do not feel bound to remain under the authority of a hierarchy they deem corrupt or in any way unacceptable.

FBI infiltration into Leftist groups

Threat of the First Magnitude

“A Threat of the First Magnitude: FBI Counterintelligence and Infiltration from the Communist Party to the Revolutionary Union — 1962-19740,” by Aaron Leonard and Conor Gallagher, has just been released. Jacobin interviews Leonard, who used to be a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, which is extreme far left Maoist.

The book details how the FBI not only had informers, sometimes the informers were at very high leadership levels, and even created supposed far left groups that were used to create chaos and splits on the left, while pretending to be leftie. This of course continues today, the shunting off and deflecting of genuine protest into channels where it can be monitored and defused.

Lefties often greatly underestimate the FBI. The Ad Hoc Committee in the 1960s was what we would call an astroturf group today. It wasn’t real, represented no one, was an FBI front, and was so convincing it had real effect.

MU: The Ad Hoc Committee bulletin’s language is, at a very high level, operating with extreme familiarity with Marxism. It speaks the language of the Left. You would have to do a fair amount of studying of Marxist texts to write the kind of polemics that they were writing and be credible to people who are on the left. The FBI manages to do that.

AJL: Exactly. It used to be an article of faith on the Left that the FBI can’t bamboozle us with political line, because they wouldn’t be able to speak the language of the Left. Yeah, they totally can. The Ad Hoc Committee shows that.

I was a member of a far left group similar to RCP once, except it wasn’t Maoist, it was Stalinist. I was a terrible member, fell asleep during indoctrination classes, had an annoying habit of asking questions that contradicted the sacred precepts, and ended up being purged after realizing what they really were. A friend says being purged from groups like that is a badge of honor for some of us. Indeed.

A senior member of that party, who was white, said in complete seriousness that a black member should never be criticized because he is a victim of discrimination and thus apparently inerrant in whatever he did or said. Keep that in mind as you read the next paragraph.

The author discusses Malinovsky, an enforcer for Lenin who sent thousands to prison, torture, and death, and who was tolerated even though he was known to be an informer. Such informers exist today, and are tolerated, and can be hard to dislodge if they are people of color or working class, something the FBI is quite aware of, and exploits to their own ends, according to the author.

In Wright’s case, there were FBI documents basically saying, “this guy is black. This is a group of mostly white radicals. We need to take advantage of this. They’re not going to be willing to kick this guy out of the group because they want their group to be more rooted in the multiracial working class.” You have a chapter about a husband and wife, the Goffs, who were informants. Because they came from a working-class background, nobody wants to call them out.

P.S. I’ve already assumed that some members of that group I was in were and are informers. Reading this interview reinforces my belief.

There can be no progressive agenda until Trump is toppled


There is no possibility of a progressive agenda in Congress until Democrats take back one or both houses and Trump is forced from power. Everyone understands that, right? If Democrats take back the House, there will be multiple investigations into Trump / Russia and Trump corruption. Republicans are starting to be afraid they could lose the Senate too. Incumbents like Ted Cruz are in trouble.

Dozens more indictments are coming against Trump, his family, and corrupt inner circle. Trump himself is currently so rattled he can barely put a few coherent sentences together. The important thing about Anonymous is not who he is but what he said, which is Trump is dangerously incompetent, way out of his league, and many in the government are actively blocking what Trump demands.

And please, no blather about how we need to get in the streets and should ignore electoral politics, because it’s just so boojie. The far left has been resolutely almost completely useless in opposing Trump. Go on U.S. Marxist party websites and see for yourself. They are studiously avoiding Trump / Russia protesting. It matters not if the reason is they are lefter-than-thou, actively supporting Russia, or just brain-dead. No one much cares what they think and they’ve blown all their chances at relevance.

The real fightback against Trump comes from the mainstream, from people of both parties coming together. The most important thing we all can do is elect Democrats in November. Yes, the Democratic Party has huge problems. However, we can deal with all that after Republicans no longer control the House and Senate and Trump is gone.