”What can you do against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?— George Orwell
Touched, we reread our missive from yesterday in which we subtly suggested Tucker Carlson had developed a cult of personality.
The most hateful thing I could find in the piece was the moment I called Tucker a “loser” for having 60 million views to the second episode of Tucker Carlson on Twitter.
Sarcasm—rather, facetiousness—doesn’t read very well over email.
But we didn’t think anyone would interpret having 60 million Twitter views as a bad thing. Any publisher, at any time in history, would sacrifice their less desirable cousins for viewership of that magnitude.
The only other possibly hateful thing we may have admitted to is we don’t watch Tucker.
In reality, that’s just a viewing preference. We didn’t know “not” watching Tucker could be construed as “left wing.” But there it is. You’ll remember, we did recommend you read the interview Mr. Carlson gave to the Swiss group Die Weltwoche—because it’s a good one.
Ah well, Don from Texas’ email is not what prompted us to write today.
Rather, two other events we failed to mention this week did. We’ve been preoccupied with post production for our upcoming video The Great American Shell Game.
The first event, of course, is the Federal government shutdown. The second is a shift in the immigration crisis at the Southern border of the United States. We’re confident Don G is concerned with both.
The premise of our Shell Game video is simple. With the right hand the government and the corporate media want you to look at all “they” are doing to address multiple crises in society. With the left hand are the real causes and effects of these crises, you as a citizen, a voter—even as a normal human being—have to deal with.
The government shutdown is a prime example. The details are plenty, so we won’t belabor them here on a Saturday, other than to point out what a shell game it really is.
Of course, we feel bad. The media interviews, ad nauseum, members of families in the military and air traffic control who live paycheck-to-paycheck who must still work but won’t be getting paid.
Lost or not mentioned at all is the larger issue that Rep. Matt Gaetz and his cronies in the Freedom Caucus are really concerned about:
Ah yes, the debt.
“Whichever party is in Congress or the Oval Office,” John Gabriel, who furnished the above chart points out, “it just keeps getting worse.”
Gaetz and the Freedom Caucus are pressing the issue. For their efforts, they are called “lunatics” and “clowns” and accused, as Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy did, of wanting to “burn the place to the ground.”
Apparently, McCarthy and the rest of the members of Congress would prefer the country—and the middle class—languish in a long, slow depression. At least, they won’t be “seen” to have been the acute cause of any financial or economic crises.
The second sticky wicket for the Freedom Caucus is the disaster at the Southern border.
The most widely repeated footage from the border this week featured Federal Customs and Border agents cutting razor wire to save a group of illegal immigrants who’d crossed the Rio Grande and were huddled on the bank in danger of being swept away by the river.
Of course, anyone with a modicum of humanity feels empathy for the plight of immigrants. But what is not seen is even sanctuary cities in the North, like New York, are financially strapped trying to feed, house and educate the hordes.
“Both the US and the EU are in the midst of an ongoing and accelerating migrant crisis of unprecedented scale,” writes Wiggin Sessions alum John Robb. “In the US, over the last three years alone, there have been ~6.5 million apprehended migrants and ~1.5 million ‘gotaways’—enough to become the 13th largest state.”
Robb writes an incisive e-letter called Global Guerillas, in which he articulates how a networked system of government, media and shadow organizations actually function. Of the migrant crisis, Robb observes:
Neither the US nor the EU appear to be able to contain or solve this crisis. National decision-making has broken down. In the vacuum created, opportunistic corporations, non-governmental organizations, and criminal groups are exacerbating the crisis to loot the system.
Robb goes on to identify a root cause of both the government budget crisis and the failure to address immigration in any useful or meaningful way.
“The capitalist Western nation-state,” Robb summarizes, taking a broad historical view, “victor of a five-hundred-year battle for supremacy between alternative systems has become a victim of its own successes.”
The globalization and networking it used to cement its victory at the end of the 20th Century is hollowing with each successive crisis.
“With each event,” Robb suggests, “The Hollow State:
Loses Control. Over its physical security (the border, criminality, etc.), national dialogue and debate (due to networking), finances (multinational corps, budgets, etc.), and more.
Bleeds Legitimacy. Due to the complexity of the new environment, the nation-state finds itself increasingly unable to make decisions, and when it does, it overreacts. This failure has led to a significant loss of legitimacy.
Is Looted. As the nation-state becomes weaker, alternatives arise to exploit the opportunity. These corporations, wealthy individuals, criminal groups, NGOs, rogue institutions, and tribal political networks find ways to exacerbate crisis events and loot and coerce the system as it becomes vulnerable.
Congress fiddles while Washington burns. And the nation gets looted.
If ever there was a time for a less than civil tone, we might ask our friend Don G., wouldn’t this be it?
Enjoy your weekend,
The Wiggin Sessions
P.S. “I’ve read that 75% of television advertising revenue is from pharmaceutical companies,” reader Bill M writes, provoking us to wonder. Mr. M is not sure if that statistic is true or not, but arrives at this conclusion all the same:
Since people tend to believe what they’re told to believe, I get the message that we are simply being thought-controlled by pharma propaganda, which explains nearly every aspect of our deteriorating society.
Hmn. Another shell in the game… we’ll take a look.