Saturday, November 23, 2013

What the Hell Happened to Karma?

Michael L.

Those of you who know me know that I come out of the progressive left, and the grassroots / netroots of the Democratic Party, and that - once upon a time, under the moniker Karmafish - I was a regular at Daily Kos and Maryscott O'Connor's blog, My Left Wing.

Daily Kos begat My Left Wing and My Left Wing begat a number of derivatives, including Israel Thrives.  Daily Kos is hanging in there, but has lost the majority of its influence and has earned the wariness and disdain of most serious politicians.  My Left Wing has, essentially, died.  There is a lot of blood flowing under these bridges and a lot of hard feelings, disgust, and betrayal that involve thousands of people, ultimately.

Such is the nature of anonymous ideological infighting within political social media via the intertubes.

Blog-O-Centric rancor has a bitterness and quality all its own and it can be as real as hard-feelings in actual life for very many people.

{It's an ugly mess, actually.}

I still think, though, that a history of the left political blogs could be a very interesting work.  It could make for an enlightening book or dissertation.  It could relate the story of how new social media galvanized people around common interests in fundamentally new ways and it would (or should) start with the Howard Dean campaign for the presidency in 2004, which led to Daily Kos and all the various blogospheric spin-offs, in the years that followed.

I am certain that there is already work published around this theme and I assume that a few sociologists are on this and very much doubt that professional historians are.

I recently noticed, however, that on My Left Wing, where I have not participated in any significant way for a very long time now, one of my friendly acquaintances - and a very good and brilliant man, indeed - sought to answer the question, "What happened to Karma?"

I wrote this in response:
Hi Mad (0.00 / 0) 
this is false: 
"What has happened to Karma is that he has come to think his perspective on "the progressive left" and Israel is the only one." 
What has happened to "Karma" is that he has come to recognize that the western left has accepted anti-Semitic anti-Zionism as part of its larger coalition. 
What happened to "Karma" is that he came to recognize that the Obama administration favored the rise of political Islam under the misnomer "Arab Spring." 
In this way, the grassroots / netroots of the Democratic Party has abandoned any notion of universal human rights because they cannot bring themselves to speak against the most hard-line, fascistic political movement in the world today. 
Political Islam (or "radical Islam" or "Islamism") is a violent and reactionary political movement that flings its women into potato sacks - when they are not flinging acid into the faces of young woman or shooting in the head young woman who seek an education - as western feminists call it "freedom." 
Islamists hang gay people from cranes in Iran, are chasing Christians out of the Middle East entirely, seek the second and third class citizenry of all non-Muslims, and cry out for the genocide of the Jews. 
What happened to "Karma" was his recognition that his alleged political allies honestly do not give a shit. 
Not only that, many in the western progressive-left accuse those of us who object to these fundamental transgressions on human rights as racist. 
That's what happened to "Karma." 
As far as I am concerned, the western left can go fuck itself. 
It stands for nothing and it defames those of us who dare to stand up in favor of its own alleged values.
I wish all my former political friends nothing but the very best in this world, but political sands are shifting.

No politician, or political movement, or political activist, can support the genocidal enemies of their friends and maintain those friendships for long.  When the Obama administration supported the Muslim Brotherhood, and when the grassroots turned a blind eye or cheered, I knew that it was time to go.


  1. Ah, Howard Dean. Once upon a time, we only wanted someone on the left to stand for something... anything!... and then he gave that speech at the California State Democratic Convention in 2003.

    (was that really more than years ago, now?)

    (also, I miss Paul Wellstone)

    I was in. And still am, in fact.

    I've disappointed a few friends over the past few years, as well. But nothing has 'happened' to me. I'm still the same person I've always been. I'm still the same liberal I'll always be.

    I just don't hold back on calling bullshit on bullshitters now, is all.

    1. I am the child of second generation Communist party members. I have heard everything there is to hear about and from the left and the far left in the west and the 'emerging world.' So a few points

      Populism always turns into fascism of some kind or another. Sometimes it's leftist sometimes it's rightist. Typically there's no difference among them.

      People who scream 'power to the people' are the people they demand the 'people' give the power to every time. What good is power if you can't abuse it?

      There are no mass movements that don't end with mass graves. Just be sure you remember where the stadium exit doors are located and unlocked.

      Behind every communist is someone with a gun and/or someone with a bribe. This is not entirely unique anywhere on earth and under any political or economic system you can think of. Congratulations, you're a grownup now.

      There are no poor Marxists; they don't exist - least of all in Marxist countries. Western Marxists wear it like a fashion statement because they can afford to and no one's worrying about having to take them seriously.

      The failure of Communism let western Communists a way out and to cheer for it even louder because there's no longer any Communist reality to point to to defeat their arguments. It's entered the realm of relgio-ideology.

      If leftist agitators were even 10% right in their criticism of the west they'd be shipped off to gulags a long time ago. But the very society they trod on is the only thing protecting their right to hate it. And we love them for it anyway.

    2. Trudy,

      "Behind every communist is someone with a gun..."

      Quite right, but it needs to be kept in mind that there is no significant communist presence in the US.

      It seems to me that when some on the right, such as, for example, many at FrontPage Magazine, scream to the heavens about Communists that they are making a mistake in terms of the reality of this American moment and alienating potential allies.

      The people that we generally refer to as on the American left are social democrats, not Communists. In the American tradition their ideological roots go as much to abolitionism as to the union movement. Further, of course, the union movement in the US is responsible for the rise of the middle class.

      We should give credit where credit is due.

      From a rhetorical standpoint - and please understand that I am not laying this at your feet - the tendency among some to complain about Communism reveals a sort-of cluelessness about where we are at this political moment.

      It has such a 1950's ring to it that most contemporary Americans will wonder just what time machine the writer came out of.

    3. Empress Trudy: "Populism always turns into fascism of some kind or another."

      Check into FDR's New Deal and get back to us.

    4. Mike,

      You wrote:

      "...but it needs to be kept in mind that there is no significant communist presence in the US. ..."

      Well, I think that that may not be the case.

      The following interview describes institutions of what I think may be a significant Communist presence in the U.S.

      Stanley Kurtz -- Radical-In-Chief

      Stanley Kurtz: "When I began my research for this book, my inclination was to downplay or dismiss evidence of explicit socialism in Obama’s background. I thought the socialism issue was an un-provable and unnecessary distraction from the broader question of Obama’s ultra liberal inclinations. I was wrong."

      And, by the way:

      - Obama's Presidential former senior advisor, David Axelrod, is the son of avowed Communists and I think that David Axelrod has never denounced Communism
      - Obama's former nominee for the position that he created called Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Anthony "Van" Jones, described himself as a Marxist revolutionary
      - Obama's former White House communications director Anita Dunn, in a speech in 2009, named Mao Zedong, Chairman of Communist China, as one of her two "favorite political philosophers" (she named Mother Teresa as the other one of her two "favorite political philosophers")
      - Obama's friend and former neighbor Bill Ayers is a Marxist unrepentant former Marxist terrorist and is currently also a millionaire and college professor
      - Obama's mentor when he was a youngster was Communist Frank Marshall Davis (to whom Obama was introduced by Obama's grandfather on his mother's side)

      And, by the way, Obama, for twenty years, attended a Black Liberation Theology church whose pastor, Jeremiah Wright Jr. publicly, in that church, expressed libels against the U.S. and against Israel, and whose pastor, Jeremiah Wright Jr., Obama said was his mentor.


      Obama and his administration have just recently made a deal with Iran that allows Iran to continue developing a nuclear bomb and which pledges 7 billion dollars of "sanctions relief" financial aid to Iran by the U.S. government.

      Barack Obama, in a speech he gave, May 18, 2008:

      Barack Obama: "I mean, think about it: Iran, Cuba [a country with a Communist government], Venezuela [a country with a Socialist government and with ties to Iran], these countries are tiny...compared to the Soviet Union. they don't pose a thr-[*stammers*] serious threat to us."


      Barack Obama: "We shouldn't...we shouldn't be afr- [*stammers*] you know, Iran: they spend one one-hundredth of what we spend on the military. I mean, [*stammers*] I mean, if Iran ever tried to pose a *serious* threat to us, they wouldn't [*stammers*] they wouldn't stand a chance."

    5. Correction:

      I made the following mistake.

      I wrote:

      "Obama's Presidential former senior advisor, David Axelrod, is the son of avowed Communists and I think that David Axelrod has never denounced Communism."

      However, I think that that which I wrote is wrong. From what I have subsequently read, I think that David Axelrod's parents were not Communists.

      I apologize for making that mistake.

      (However: from what I have read, one of David Axelrod's mentors, David Canter, was a Communist (a member of the Communist Party USA), and another one of David Axelrod's mentors, Don Rose, who was an associate of David Canter, was involved in pro-communist organizations.)

    6. Another correction:

      I made the following mistake:

      I wrote that Anthony "Van" Jones described himself as a Marxist revolutionary. However my writing that was wrong. I don't know that Anthony "Van" Jones described himself as a Marxist revolutionary.

      I apologize for making that mistake.

      However, according to what I have read, Anthony "Van" Jones expressed the following things:

      About his response to the 1992 Los Angeles riots that occurred in response to the exoneration of the L.A. police officers who beat Rodney King: "I was a rowdy nationalist on April 28th, and then the verdicts came down on April 29th. By August, I was a communist."

      Also about those riots: "Our moment had finally come! We were righteous, fired up, weren't takin' no more! We were one thousand strong on Market Street, with the Bay Bridge shut down in rush hour traffic and the grounds around the state building swarming with angry mobs! Our rallying cry was for justice; our demand was that the System be changed! Yes, the Great Revolutionary Moment had at long last come. And the time, clearly, was ours! So we stole stuff. Y'know, stole stuff. Radios, tennis shoes. Well, not everybody, of course."

      About his brief incarceration in jail after his being arrested for his participating, as a LCCR (Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights (LCCR)) legal monitor, at a nonviolent protest in response to the exoneration of the L.A. police officers who beat Rodney King: "I met all these young radical people of color. I mean really radical: communists and anarchists. And it was, like, ‘This is what I need to be a part of.’ I spent the next ten years of my life working with a lot of those people I met in jail, trying to be a revolutionary."

      And according to what I have read, Anthony "Van" Jones was a leading member of a "Marxist-Maoist collective" called STORM (Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement).

    7. My point is that you can pick up and put down cloaks however you like. Just as the 1950's new left and fellow travelers were conveniently deluded and far less trouble than they were worth, what we have today is a new cloak of leftist gabble wrapping itself in Islamic fascism and calling itself 'progress'. It's not about little c or big C communism per say, it's about what a counter movement or counter culture actually purports to fight against.

      In university in the 60's through today from Howard Zinn to Marcuse to Marx every generation is soaked in the same useless idiocy. Now that Radically Insane Islam has taken the stage, the leftists of yore have put down their Das Kapital and Che T-shirts and picked up a Quran and the hijab. They didn't actually read Marx, just Mao's view of him. And they're not reading the Quran, just al Qaeda's spin on how that's another tool to hate the west.

      It really doesn't matter what one calls oneself; Marxist, Communist, Fascist, Anarchist, Islamist, anti Zionist, post-modern, post Zionist, BDS advocate, 'palestinian' peace activist or a hundred other things. They're distinctions without a difference.

    8. I agree. Well said.

      And, the thing is, they're now in the White House, and, as a result of that, they are now also throughout U.S. governmental agencies.

      And now so are the Muslim Brotherhood. And, from information that I have heard and read, agents of the Iranian regime have also infiltrated the U.S. government. But those things began during the George W. Bush administration, mainly, I think, via Grover Norquist. But it has ramped up with the Barack Obama administration.

      By the way, the current director of the CIA, John Brennan, is "the architect of the [U.S. government's] outreach program to the Muslim Brotherhood", and is a convert to Islam.

      An important video (which I listed in also a previous comment that I posted here):

      The Legacy of FDR's Normalization of Relations with the USSR [the legacy that is the current infiltration of the U.S. government by the Muslim Brotherhood]
      Presentation by Stephen Coughlin (at 1h0m0s in the video):

      An important set of comments on this video:

      Vito ndolini wrote:

      "The only purpose of this is to throw shit on FDR. Dirtying FDR's reputation/achievements is supposed to raise the level of the 'conservatives' previously failed (see the 1920's) philosophy. The basic question we should always ask is, 'define the problem!' In other words, 'and then what happened,' and how does that affect today's situation."

      jjk9999 wrote, in reply to Vito ndolini:

      "Maybe you haven't watched the whole video. The whole point of this is to make what the islamists are doing now in this country appear less fantastical and more realistic by showing that it's happened before."

      The presentation by Stephen Coughlin in this video presents some of "what the islamists are doing now in this country". That is to say: The presentation by Stephen Coughlin in this video presents some essential facts of the Muslim Brotherhood's infiltration of the U.S. government.

      Another talk by Stephen Coughlin about aspects of this:

      EMET's Annual 9/11 Memorial Seminar - Stephen Coughlin

      "'What Has Gone Wrong With American Mideast Policy?'"

  2. Wow. From your link. I'm trying to wrap my head around this response to you, yet I don't think I'll ever be able to -

    "I would note that your view on the Middle East and Islam is exactly that of the religious right,"

    I don't even know where to begin, aside from maybe perhaps that this person's summary of your view is exactly what is wrong with so-called 'progressives' today.

    This person does not defend the extremist imperial attitudes of Islamism, which is perhaps the largest racist colonizer in the history of the world, does not defend its disgusting habit of throwing women into trash bags, does not defend its cultural proclivity toward war and genocide, etc etc, because he can't.

    No, this gentleman merely calls you what he perceives to be a bad name. How embarrassing that this is what online 'progressives' have become.

    1. They do not even realize that they have betrayed their own ideals of social justice.

    2. btw, I did not realize that the religious right is concerned about the persecution of gay people in the Middle East.

      My, how times have changed.

      The real problem, tho, Jay, is the failure of those on the left to adapt to changing times. They are now acting as apologists for fascism and claiming that if you oppose the foremost fascistic movement in the world today that you must be on the right.

      This is called betraying one's own alleged ideals.

      btw, as an aside, we have over 1,700 pageviews just today. That's close to what Segall used to get in about a month. The only reason that I mention it is because someone is reading what we write here and I want you guys to know it.

    3. It's a weak rhetorical tactic to have you back on your heels from the very start, and is one common to those of all ideologies, though I tend to notice it mostly from the left, likely because I do not read or participate on many right-wing blogs.

      Once the argument shifts from the extreme illiberalism of political Islam to whether you are or are not a 'religious rightist' or a 'racist' or a so-called 'Islamophobe,' etc etc, the argument is essentially over and the accuser has gotten out of having to defend that which can not be defended, or having to continue to discuss an uncomfortable issue, which is why some 'progressives' seem so afraid to stand for the values they purport to hold.

      "They are now acting as apologists for fascism and claiming that if you oppose the foremost fascistic movement in the world today that you must be on the right."

      Yup. Not all, but certainly a large number.

      Is it really something as simple as an unwritten, yet quite harshly enforced, rule that if one wishes to be accepted as a member of their left in good standing, one must never criticize any non-Western movement, no matter how racist and imperial and and illiberal it is? And if such movements are anti-American and / or anti-Israel, they seem to even get extra Progressive Cool Points, in particular. It's quite disappointing.

    4. Also, notice how arbitrary are the boundaries of acceptable hatred.

      You can despise Christians all you like and that is perfectly acceptable, but if you so much as reference, say, Islamic honor killings it makes you a "racist."

    5. Yeah, there must be a chart somewhere spelling it all out. Too bad they didn't give us the rulebook, eh? ;)

      People in the Southern United States are also an acceptable group to hate for some progressives.

    6. Yeah, and this happened in the 1930s too, in a certain way.

      In the 1930s, much of the Left in the U.S. supported the Soviet Union (and the U.S. government was infiltrated by agents of the Soviet Union), and therefore opposed opposing the then Soviet-allied Nazi regime of Germany.

      In the U.S. in the 1930s, it was mainly middle-class devoutly Christian U.S. government officials and certain Conservative members of congress -- who advocated for opposing the Nazi regime of Germany.

      And, from what I heard in a talk that I heard from YIISA and which I think may be here: here

      In the U.S. in the 1930s, certain Jewish American so-called "Liberal" so-called "Jewish leaders", or so-called "Liberal" Jewish American politicians, verbally attacked a certain group Conservative U.S. politicians for those Conservative U.S. politicians' advocating for the U.S. government to oppose the Nazi regime of Germany.


      America's Soul In the Balance: The Holocaust, FDR's State Department, And The Moral Disgrace Of An American Aristocracy, by Gregory J. Wallance


      The Legacy of FDR's Normalization of Relations with the USSR


      “But I am a Zionist!”, by Clemens Heni

      "For a liberal, voting for McCain is not without contradictions – but it is necessary.

      "On Germany, anti-Semitism, Israel, Iran and the new American Presidency

      "The art of the intellectual is to have his/her finger on the pulse of the times, in terms of both politics and social theory. Peter Viereck (1916-2006), almost forgotten today even in the USA, was such a splendid artist. In 1940, in light of Nazi Germany and World War II, he wrote in a brilliant article: “But I am a conservative”, which became a beacon for conservatives in America, so to speak. In doing so, he decidedly turned against his own father, Sylvester Viereck, an enthusiastic Nazi who was the first foreign journalist to interview Hitler in the early 1920s. Even more, it was a wake-up call in America, against the “liberals” and “leftists” who praised the Hitler-Stalin Pact as well as the USSR as a bulwark against war. ..."


      "History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

      -- Mark Twain

    7. I'm going to be picking up Lynne Olson's recent book on America just-pre-WWII, this week or next.

      The Daily Kos-style progressives do strike me as modern day political descendants of Lindbergh , and his type.

    8. David Wyman (not a Jew)'s "The Abandonment of the Jews" is devastating on the point of the US actions and reactions to knowledge - actual verifiable knowledge of the Holocaust from 1941-45. Not only refusing to take any action but suppressing information about it and punishing people and groups who attempted to get the word out.

      I would also recommend Walter Laquer's "The Terrible Secret" as well as Robert Abzug's "America Views the Holocaust 1933-45" and if you're interested in the minutiae of a single issue - Edwin Black's "IBM and the Holocaust" is extraordinary.

    9. Re "For a liberal, voting for McCain is not without contradictions – but it is necessary."

      But, in hindsight, based on the current behavior of John McCain in regard to the activities of members of organizations of the current Islamic supremacist political movement, John McCain may not have been much better than Barack Obama.

      As far as elected political officials in the U.S. go, it's only people such as Michele Bachmann who are behaving with decency and intelligence in regards to the Islamic supremacist political movement and in regards to the infiltration of the U.S. government by agents of organizations of the Islamic supremacist political movement. And people such as Michele Bachmann are being slandered and vilified by CAIR, which is a Hamas-affiliated front-group of the Muslim Brotherhood, and by the U.S. mainstream news media, and by Leftists, and by so-called "liberals" in general, and by other U.S. politicians in general, Democrat and Republican, for doing so.


      "History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

      -- Mark Twain

  3. Now Obama tells us he has been yapping to Iran for quite a while before making sure Iran gets this plum deal. And yes, the progressives are cheering THAT betrayal too:

    "This American Jew only fears Israel in these (8+ / 0-)

    Recommended by:
    frostbite, litho, doroma, JohnWKelly, lotlizard, Mr Robert, Vicky, Smoh

    diplomatic negotiations. The righties in Israel are only interested in taking more land, not in any kind of peace. The saber rattling that immediately greeted news of this current agreement just underlines their intentions to destroy it. Accusing Iran of making this deal with the intention of breaking it reminds me of the WMD charges that got Americans to believe we should attack Iraq in advance of their doing anything to us. The only dangerous country in this, for me, is nuclear armed Israel, not Iran.

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Sun Nov 24, 2013 at 09:01:29 AM PST"

    Be doubly glad you're out.

  4. They are just attacking who they view as being "the enemies"--"the evil ones"-"the persecutors"--who they have been indoctrinated (by their Marxist and neo-Marxist liberal-arts and political science professors in college, and by the mass media (Jon Stewart et al), and by their indoctrinated peer groups) to believe are "Right-Wing Conservatives" (and "Zionists"; and they view who they view as being "Right-Wing Conservatives" and who they view as being "Zionists" as being interchangeable and one and the same).

    They are not mindful of the totalitarianism and persecution and oppression and bigotry and supremacism and brutal violence and genocidal intentions by the totalitarians who they view that who they view as being "Right-Wing Conservatives" -- "the enemies" -- are opposing.

    Of course, I think that many of the people who they view as being "Right-Wing Conservatives" are wrong about certain things. Just like I think that many of the Conservatives who, in the 1930s, were almost the only people in the West who understood the threat of the Nazi regime of Germany and who were almost the only people who were advocating for opposing the Nazi regime of Germany may have been wrong about certain other things. But that didn't mean that they weren't right about Nazi Germany and that the Leftist self-defined "Pacifists" who supported the Soviet Union and excused the Nazi regime of Germany and who opposed opposing the Nazi regime of Germany were right about the Nazi regime of Germany.

    And many contemporary Conservatives who many contemporary members of the political Left view as being "Right-Wing Conservatives" are not at all what those members of the political Left think that they are. Many contemporary Conservative are, I think, some of the most authentically liberal-minded people in Western societies.

    And, by the way, I thought that the U.S. military invasion of Iraq was wrong (when I still regarded myself as being so-called "Liberal"), and I still think that the U.S. military invasion of Iraq was wrong. Does that make me a "Liberal" or a "Conservative"? That does not make me either a "Liberal" or a "Conservative". That makes me someone who thought and thinks that the U.S. military invasion of Iraq was wrong.

    1. Staying in Iraq was wrong. But it's never wrong to decapitate any random Arab tyrant you can find.

  5. I bet if you asked 500 college aged progressive liberals what a good working definition of 'social justice' is, you'd get 493 of them to tell you a Leninist paraphrase while anything having to do with actual 'improvement', justice, rights, development, freedom, self sufficiency, individuality, family, freedom of thought conscience or faith would be 100% left out.

    I asked recently a group of college students what "ethics" was. They told me it was "Being fair", "Being Nice", "The golden rule", "Charity". I also got some specific answers like "tax the rich" and "Obamacare".

    I barely wanted to explain to them how fantastically wrong they all were - it might have been a complete waste of time given their fundamental lack of understanding what concepts like 'ambiguity' are. But 'ethics' is the process or the understanding through which one makes just and wise decisions based on several different ambiguous options where there's not purely right or good or wrong or evil or conclusive outcome at all. If it were easy we wouldn't have the discussion in the first place, would we? But we're not really having that discussion are we? We're watching people pick sides, pick the underdog of their choice and declaring that anything the underdog does is just and ethical because.....well because. Because someone somewhere is being mean to them.