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author

Nurturant parents know about https://openvaers.com/covid-data and https://c19early.com/

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Feb 1, 2022Liked by Toby Rogers

As a former academic who taught linguistics, I really loved this essay. As I said in a comment on an earlier essay of yours, I think the term progressive has been coopted by authoritarian liberals and so has become meaningless. It has become necessary to explain to people that one is a leftist, but a libertarian leftist and not an authoritarian one. This causes great confusion because to many people libertarianism can only be on the right, and communism or socialism can only be authoritarian, so all leftists must be authoritarian. So I think we're in a period in which we are going to have to convince people that if you are on the left, you can be part of the libertarian movement as well. No matter whether you are a left libertarian or a right libertarian, it is the personal liberty that is the primary value. It helps if I have people imagine their ideal society, so that then we can talk about possible ways to organize it. I have begun to talk about the recent book The Dawn of Everything, about the more egalitarian societies in early city states. Some of them are very very early, either pre-agriculture or a combination of hunting and agriculture, and excavation shows that they did not have a top-down structure. They lived both as free individuals with private property, individually owned houses and gardens, AND as part of a community where they were expected to contribute. Some of these city states were large enough to have wards and ward representatives on a city council. There was no elite, no aristocracy. Everyone was expected to contribute part of their labor for the common good of the city, either tending common fields, herding animals, or hunting and gathering. But they were free to opt in or out, since they could freely move away and not participate.. The point of the book, as it goes around the world to talk about cities in every early culture, is that many forms of political organization are possible that we have come to think are impossible.

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author

Lovely comment. Thank you! 🙌

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I agree. I find this interesting in how I’ve found the Canadian convoy described…how it is fluid, organic, and constantly shifting, yet very self organized. I was sent a random text message the other night: do you support the Conservatives? Yes/No. My response: I support the truckers.

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"libertarianism can only be on the right, and communism or socialism can only be authoritarian"

Right and left are directions, not political opinions.

Libertarianism is classic liberalism, ie the non-agression principle, ie respect for property, ie the natural law as opposed to an artificial one. The contrary is socialism, of which communism is a variant. Since freely agreed transactions are replaced with constraint, socialism requires a ruling class and is equivalent to authoritarianism.

I don't understand the notion of "left" or "right" libertarianism.

There are an infinity of flavors of socialism, not of the natural law.

You seem to imply that the concept of associations for some kind of supposed common good is a characteristic of "the left": Of course not.

But in any case, as long as people are free to "opt in or out", it does not run against libertarianism: Your libertarianism and mine are not different.

Progressivism in my experience has always been another word for socialism ie authoritarianism: The socialist always pretend that their use of constraint will produce more progress - due to their moral and intellectual supriority. That is a superstitition. It is easy to demonstrate that non-agression alone produces the optimal social outcomes (prosperity, equality...)

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That sounds like a utopian place and to think humans could pull it off. I had read that the first Americans did not need police.

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Feb 1, 2022Liked by Toby Rogers

Yes, that's true. Indigenous Americans had no police and no system of punishment for crimes. Bad human behavior was controlled by consent and was not that common. You lived in a community and the entire community would be shamed by your actions. Everyone would know, and your particular clan would be expected to pay reparations for what you had done. That would be a positive motivation to not commit crimes. And of course a lot of the motivation to commit them in the first place would be gone. However, I don't mean to suggest that all tribes lived like that. There were some authoritarian tribes as well, and some had social stratification as well as slaves. Same with the city states in early history. And I don't want to suggest that they were utopian, because we weren't there and I'm sure there were squabbles and some people hated each other, etc. They seem to have achieved unity, though, by having a particular deity they worshiped that was unique to the town, so there would have been rituals associated with that, and feast days and so on. That would have given each town a powerful sense of identity--"this is how we do things here and that's what makes us special."

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And yet, as idyllic and egalitarian as those primitive city-states were, they are no more.

What went wrong, and why?

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Feb 1, 2022Liked by Toby Rogers

I'm not sure there's a complete answer to that, but there are things we can guess at. However, it is important to note that they DID last for hundreds of years; in some cases, up to a thousand years. So much longer than current political arrangements have lasted so far.

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author

Or 60,000 years according to the latest research on indigenous people in Australia.

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Feb 1, 2022·edited Feb 1, 2022

I wonder whether it is 1) the threat of violence from “others” that forces us into “super”communities/states/nations and/or 2) the threat of loss of economic viability to larger economic entities that benefit from margin advantages due to scale? It seems that larger entities can be more efficient to a point, but at some point they tend to become corrupt and monopolistic with an immoral prioritization of expansion. Another way to think about this is through the lens of competition. Competitive forces make us more capable/productive, but there is a limit to their efficacy. I believe that is where judgment steeped in ethics or morality comes into play. That is why the combination of a competitive/capitalistic/meritocratic economic system with a robust democracy can be so effective while simultaneously somewhat “noisy.” The push/pull of power between the two is necessary as we constantly try to maintain equilibrium.

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I think you make a good point about the threat of violence being something that makes humans acquiescent to top-down authoritarianism, and surely that is one of the reasons why egalitarian city states eventually after hundreds of years were overthrown. Probably natural disasters and climate changes were another reason they eventually dissolved. However, in my opinion your other option, benefiting from margin advantages due to scale, would only be a factor if people ALREADY had a capitalist mindset. Why would they be thinking of accruing more when they had what they needed? If they had an interest in accruing "more" it would be devoted to the deity--the temple, etc. These city states did a lively business of trade with other cities, and each city tended to specialize in products such as jewelry or pottery or metalwork that would then be traded with other cities. However, they did not seem to have had a system whereby an individual artisan could accumulate wealth and "move upward" in society, because there was no "up." All we know is that houses and gardens seemed to be around the same size as each other, and that household goods in each house seemed to be about the same, with no house having riches, while other houses had little. There was no sign of servants. However, each house was individually decorated, sometimes quite dramatically, to make it unique. I'm sure there was competition on a small scale in such societies--who was the more successful hunter, whose pottery won the most admiration, but one thing that characterizes such societies is that the group teases and takes the piss out of anyone who gets a big head. Competition and success never translates to POWER. This is characteristic of ALL the societies like this with a literature or written records, so we know it was pretty common. We see it in most of the major epics. This seems to have been a conscious choice in these societies, because clearly others made different choices. So I completely disagree with you about societies based on competition, meritocracy and capitalism. Growth and capitalism by nature can only benefit an elite; capitalism carries the seeds of its own destruction within it.

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Feb 3, 2022·edited Feb 3, 2022Author

In the effort to make sure I was being fair to George Lakoff's views on the pandemic I just listened to a 45 minute podcast he did on the topic:

https://soundcloud.com/user-253479697/freedom-empathy-vaccines-death

And I discovered that Lakoff has a Substack now too ("FrameLab" with Gil Duran):

https://framelab.substack.com/p/liberty-vaccines-and-death

Listening to the podcast was painful. If anything I've been too generous to his views in my article above. He has clearly not read a single study on vaccine safety and effectiveness. And he appears to know no actual conservatives because he completely misrepresents their views. Lakoff and Duran create a straw man caricature of conservatism that does not exist in the real world and then they proceed to tear it down and set it on fire. This is bad faith and extremely disappointing.

When I teach, I operate from the belief that any class worth its salt becomes a meditation on the human condition. Lakoff's views on the pandemic are cheap and completely wrong. There is room, indeed a huge need, for a nuanced conservation about different worldviews during this crisis. But progressives seem completely unable to have that conversation right now.

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Feb 6, 2022Liked by Toby Rogers

Yet you're willing to use his views on progressives in order to tear them down. If his views are so bad faith, why are we to trust what he has to say about progressives?

Your article mentions two parent models, but only examines one. You take those model assumptions at face-valur and use them to frame progressives as hypocritical and failing on their responsibilities.

When you finally examine how that model perceives the other side, however, suddenly you have concerns about authenticity and whether it's a fair representation at all -- though, only as it pertains to conservatives.

When you already believe that progressives all blindly follow the same orders and mindsets, what conversation is there to be had? You were willing to use Lakoff's views to prop your own position up when it suited, but dismissed it out of hand when the views on the other side were examined. The very article appeals for critical thinking and unbiased due diligence as a responsibility -- do you hold yourself to same?

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author

Those are fair points. I do think progressives are acting in lock step and contrary to the values that attracted me to the movement in the first place. So I think Lakoff understands his own tribe pretty well and personifies their recent intellectual drift, even though apparently he knows few actual conservatives.

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I, too, have spent a great deal of time reading Lakoff’s works and even presented on the Strict Father/Nurturant Parent paradigm at a leadership conference years ago.

While my politics are wildly divergent from his today, I have never forgotten the game-changing power of framing as well as the capability of metaphors to shape thinking.

Thank you for calling attention to these valuable lessons and how we can use them to reclaim cultural, neurological, and political spaces, Toby.

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author

Thank you Margaret! 🙌

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Maybe talk more about how we can use them in our conversations with say, our family members so we can regain some credibility rather than being assumed to be senescing.

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Great writing again.., I have tried to think of how to describe or a word picture that fits the leadership of Ron De Santis or Christy Noem in providing a less draconian approach... Christy emphasise that she trusts her people to make wise decisions (as did Sweden)

I think that brings maturity, ie when ever we trust our kids to take responsibility they may fail but mostly they will try and grow by doing so...

Authoritarian parents destroy kids and don’t allow them to mature...those who are too permissive breed insecurity because there are no rights or wrongs

But wording these concepts is crucial as you say...

Some call it servant leadership but it’s encapsulated in Jesus words do Unto other as you would have them do unto you..

I wouldn’t want to mandate a faulty vaccine to others but they are happy to it to me..

I am left aghast at the abdication of responsibility by so many .. they simply don’t want to look...At the adverse effects because vaccines now have a cult status among the informed ... this hasn’t happened by chance it’s been a deliberate brainwashing...

Keep it up

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author

I like the notion of servant leadership. I've come to appreciate the deep wisdom of many conservative principles. At the end of the day, individuals must be able to make decisions for themselves. Freedom and responsibility are inseparable.

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I prefer to stop thinking of these representatives as “leaders”. I don’t need to be led, thank you.

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You make an important point here and I agree. Our use of 'leaders' for elected representatives places them in a position of authority, which is true, but authority we extended them. It also creates a framing. They serve us. We should say, rather than 'leaders', elected servants. That will reorient the frame.

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Servant leadership... Two enlightened variations:

The king-type leader has a talent (or wisdom) for recognizing the talents of others and appoints or delegates accordingly.

The politician-type leader acts as a mediator between opposing sides and seeks a win-win compromise rather than winner-takes-all domination.

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Feb 1, 2022·edited Feb 1, 2022

In Canada, we call our governmental wonks, including the employees in various supporting departments, civil servants.

That is important and often forgotten.

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Feb 1, 2022Liked by Toby Rogers

The left's deconstruction of American history that results in something like the 1619 project is based on the premise that all political ideology is disingenuous. That is to say that the only ideology is that of power. According to that view, the founding fathers merely instituted a system that perpetuated their wealth and influence and therefore the founding of the United States is nothing special or even something horrid.

I call this the doctrine of power. Any left ideologue who embraces it views ALL political positions as tactical-- they are a means to the end of acquiring power. One day they may support all women and the next day some other woman might be the kind who shows up when you "drag a hundred dollar bill through a trailer park."

For example, Marcuse's Repressive Tolerance argues (with a lot of useless and contradictory verbiage) that the left should, while praising tolerance, make every view but theirs forbidden. In other words use the rhetoric of free speech and tolerance to ruthlessly suppress any other viewpoint or idea. Seems like some people took that one to heart, huh?

Another example, in Mao's Yenan Forum he discusses Lu Xun. Lu Xun's writing was very influential in awakening popular discontent against the late Qing dynasty. Mao, however, isn't comfortable with sharp witted patriots penning critical works and so he explains that such literature was useful then but now every writer and artist needs to support party messaging (or else!) That discussion is why I laugh at anyone involved in art and left wing politics at the same time. Good luck with your model opera and propaganda posters since nothing else will be permitted, comrade!

Personally, I've never favored progressive views of any sort, so I've always taken a dim view of nearly any argument that seems to lead to expansion of government power. Liberty and government authority are part of a zero sum system. Giving to one takes from the other. I think Thomas Sowell calls it the tragic view of the world. Whereas a well-intentioned progressive might envision that some new grant of power to the government will result in whatever fine things the plan promises, we of the tragic view first think of the unbridled hubris with which that power will be handled. Sadly and indeed tragically, we have been proven right time and again. Indeed, I've thought of myself as a cynic since my early teens, and even I was not nearly pessimistic enough to see us getting to where we are so fast.

What I'm getting at is: when it comes to people asking for power, assume the worst. All I have ever seen from progressives is the struggle for more power and I have learned to completely disregard any justification they provides as to why they want it.

Progressives should change completely to accomplish their aims through community and persuasion not government. No matter how much less grand their ambitions must then be. It will limit the collateral damage to all of humanity when things inevitably go wrong.

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author

I was drawn to the principles but up close I saw that the Democratic Party is entirely transactional at this point.

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Feb 1, 2022·edited Feb 1, 2022

I offer you my favorite very lengthy quote from Robert Heinlein. It explains everything really. Left is reform and right is business for our purposes. This is the quintessence of all my attitude towards politicians.

"Political manager—I was even a reform politician once…but only once: Reform politicians not only tend to be dishonest but stupidly dishonest —whereas the business politician is honest.”

“I don’t see that Lazarus. History seems to show—”.

“Use your head, Ira. I don’t mean that a business politician won’t steal; stealing is his business. But all politicians are nonproductive. The only commodity any politician has to offer is jawbone. His personal integrity —meaning, if he gives his word, can you rely on it? A successful business politician knows this and guards his reputation for sticking by his commitments—because he wants to stay in business—go on stealing, that is—not only this week but next year and years after that. So if he’s smart enough to be successful at this very exacting trade, he can have the morals of a snapping turtle, but he performs in such a way as not to jeopardize the only thing he has to sell, his reputation for keeping promises.

“But a reform politician has no such lodestone. His devotion is to the welfare of all the people—an abstraction of very high order and therefore capable of endless definitions. If indeed it can be defined in meaningful terms. In consequence your utterly sincere and incorruptible reform politician is capable of breaking his word three times before breakfast— not from personal dishonesty, as he sincerely regrets the necessity and will tell you so—but from unswerving devotion to his ideal.

“All it takes to get him to break his word is for someone to get his ear and convince him that it is necessary for the greater good of all the peepul. He’ll geek.

“After he gets hardened to this, he’s capable of cheating at solitaire. Fortunately he rarely stays in office long —except during the decay and fall of a culture.”

-from Time Enough for Love by Robert Heinlein

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Please explain what transactional means here. Or anywhere!

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Feb 1, 2022Liked by Toby Rogers

I used to think I had a “political” opinion or position.

I have found myself afloat, and could not point to a single one right now anywhere in the world.

I only know that the dignity and rights of every human being must be treasured.

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Welcome! You're now a conservative/libertarian. The ideals you value are found nowhere near the left/progressive ideology.

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Feb 1, 2022Liked by Toby Rogers

The question becomes how many progressives were in it truly for the betterment of mankind, or were in it to bask in unearned moral superiority. The latter naturally fell in with the unquestioning dogma of the pharma-Vax religion. If your heart is set on the betterment of mankind, then you will be open to seeing evidence that contradicts your initial biases or conclusions. However, it seems that many "progressives" were in that camp for the unearned accolades and have been easily appropriated as useful idiots under the quasi religious banner of "The Science"

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Progressivism is so focused on a Utopian ideal, that laws of nature fall to the wayside. The only way to enact their desires is through force and control. Without Covid it would have taken longer, but the march of Progressivism was always towards fascism.

The strength of the individual, strong traditional values that are centered around the nuclear family, and a belief that the laws of nature (including human nature) are unbendable is what keeps conservatives in a more emotionally healthy and happy place than those constantly chasing others down a path towards a fictional unicorn.

https://etana.substack.com/p/2022-will-be-written-by-us

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And just after I posted this I hopped back onto Twitter, and I shit you not this was the first tweet. "Gay penguin couple become first-time dads at New York zoo"

https://nypost.com/2022/01/31/gay-penguin-couple-become-first-time-dads-at-new-york-zoo/?utm_medium=SocialFlow&utm_source=NYPTwitter&utm_campaign=SocialFlow

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“Peak Libtard is indistinguishable from vicious, biting satire.”

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Exactly. Look at the NYT: if you read it as satire, it’s savage.

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If they are good parents I have no place judging them. They chose to be together and as long as humans did not alter their choices in any way I just don’t see the problem.

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They showed these penguins on a zoo show on "Animal Planet."

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Feb 1, 2022Liked by Toby Rogers

This nurturant parent (who was injured by Pfizer #1) thanks you for writing this!

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author

I'm sorry that you were injured by them.

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Feb 1, 2022Liked by Toby Rogers

Thanks. I should have known better - was previously injured by a HepB vax. But, my son is immunocompromised, and at that point it looked like they were reducing transmission, so I thought I was taking a calculated risk for him.

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author

Pharma spends billions of dollars on behavioral psychology research and propaganda and they know the buttons to push.

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Feb 1, 2022Liked by Toby Rogers

Yes. And my SIL is a doc and med school professor at a major university hospital who "gets CDC reports every day and knows the truth", so button pushing from multiple fronts.

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founding

Rather than a rescue of the word progressivism, which implies to so many these days an encroachment on their lives by something that will inevitably sclerose into an overbearing bureaucracy, I would rather see this:

I would rather it be pointed out to the Dems that the essence of the word liberal is the opposite of what they have been doing. A Thomas Jefferson liberal could not twist into a bureaucratic suppressor of individual liberties and could not ever, within an original liberal definition, force another person to suffocate their own breathing or to take a medical treatment. Historically, liberalism is closer to and more compatible with libertarianism than anything the Dems have been doing.

Liberal civil rights activists of the last half century have advocated for the rights of victims of torture and poisoning. We were horrified about Tuskegee, but the Dems shamefully re-enact it now on the whole population that they can get their now fascist control over with their attempted mandates.

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author

Yes, that's what's been lost. Dems fear the working class now. They fear their former base and so they are determined to keep them in a state of constant fear lest they wake up, rise up, and overthrow the system.

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Feb 1, 2022Liked by Toby Rogers

"When we become too attached to an ideal, the first thing that we lose is respect; first for the people around us, and eventually for ourselves."

Miguel Ruiz Jr., The Five Levels of Attachment

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Feb 1, 2022Liked by Toby Rogers

Chris Hedges wrote eloquently about this in 2010 in his book 'Death of the Liberal Class'. https://www.boldtypebooks.com/titles/chris-hedges/death-of-the-liberal-class/9781568586489/# He recognized that the liberal class had become elitist, ineffectual and oblivious to the issues their voting base - labour, women, people of colour, marginalized. They became a caricature of what they once were - fighters for truth and freedom against the oligarchs. The bullied became the bullies. Classical liberals like me are politically homeless and bewildered at the complete transformation of our culture by this elitist political cadre. Liberals used to represent those who wished to be free of fascism. Now they ARE fascists. It's all so crazy-making.

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author

Oh I'll have to buy that book! Thank you! "Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?" by Thomas Frank is also excellent.

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Feb 1, 2022·edited Feb 1, 2022

Thanks! I like Thomas Frank's work.

May I suggest this audiobook on Scribd? https://www.scribd.com/audiobook/237614526/Death-of-the-Liberal-Class

He has many other titles on Scribd as well: https://www.scribd.com/search?query=chris%20hedges

FREE with 60 day trial: https://www.scribd.com/g/6fks6s - $8.99 USD monthly subscription which includes all current titles:

eBooks

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Documents (which includes free downloadable classic book titles not available elsewhere)

It's one of those hidden online resources that has proven to be a goldmine over and over again. It's one of the MOST valuable subscriptions I have. In fact I have over 400 titles on my reading list. I've been using it since 2017.

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Feb 1, 2022·edited Feb 1, 2022Liked by Toby Rogers

Wow! Brilliant. As someone who believed I was left of centre, to be called a "Trumpster, far right racist, science denying redneck..." (we're Metis) has been an eye opener, to say the least. Your point about "robots" is well taken. Some of the Twitter feeds I stumble onto (docs no less) repeat talking points, and their followers all chime-in, invoking parallels to the "Stepford Wives" ("souless androids") or "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." Thanks for contextualizing some of the insanity.

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Feb 1, 2022Liked by Toby Rogers

I would agree with you, under normal circumstances.

However, it seems the global population is caught in the midst of a trance, “mass formation” (Matias Desmet) how this was managed -I think we can thank the mainstream media, it reaches even the furthest corners of the earth these days, but we are also in on the birth of the New Religion. The Cult of Covid, which will no doubt link up with the more primitive Climate worship which extends back into ancient mythological times. Once upon a time, the population who didn’t bow to the New Religion what ever it was, were put to death.

Seems nothing much has changed.

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Feb 1, 2022·edited Feb 1, 2022Liked by Toby Rogers

Never better stated. You go to the vital organs of a thought and expose all of it - kind of like an autopsy. I’ve attended a couple so I speak from experience. Artery fat looks like chicken fat and seeing it will change your eating habits. If only the people who saw the media’s lies about the Iraq war, the Vietnam war, and about every other important event in history would look at it as though it was an autopsy they would be surprised at the yellow fat. It took me disagreeing with this injection to be put out as aligning with right wing conspiracy and lose all credibility to be able to see the media clearly. That place where execs send out kids hungry for a place in the sun, dress them up in Clark Kent glasses, and tell them to be creative in their lies and vitriol. Chris Hayes and his teeny boppers come to mind., Yes, I should not have been irritated with Glenn Greenwald for speaking truth about H Biden’s laptop just to get rid of Trump. As an apology to Dr Atlas I bought his book and highly recommend it. There are no experts in DC - just egos. You deserve to be in the company of other fearless and clear thinkers on this platform.

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