Clubhouse is a greenfield for whitesplaining

In the department of what’s old is new and what’s new is old, I’ve used Clubhouse a bit more. It is hard to explain how it is different from old-school talk radio other than not being limited by spectrum and therefore able to handle an infinite number of channels. However, the same could be said about Zello, an app from 2007 that supports public channels. Clubhouse has a Follow button so it is easy to get into the same channel as your friends. Maybe Zello never had that?

Here’s a conversation that I couldn’t resist joining (as an audience member), “Black Voices for Trump 2024”:

It was fascinating to hear how a substantial sized group of Black Americans process the messages being sent to them by the white elites with BLM signs on their lawns.

Some excerpts:

  • “If you’re Black in America and put your mind to it, you can be whatever you want to be.”
  • On how she talks to Black Democrat friends: “If Trump were impeached, how would it help your community?”
  • “Biden has been issuing executive orders at a furious rate. What has he done for the Black community?”
  • “Why are they trying to feminize all our men?”
  • “Once all of the illegal immigrants are naturalized, the Democrats will never talk to us again. We will be behind Hispanics and Asians and won’t be relevant.”
  • “Biden is cut from the same cloth as Strom Thurmond. Why would you vote for someone like that?”
  • “Obama set off five proxy wars in Africa”
  • “I’m finishing a PhD on the War on Drugs.”
  • To a white participant: “You will never know what it’s like to be Black and I will never know what it’s like to be white. We just have to find common ground.”
  • Woman: “I tell my white friends not to apologize to me for white supremacy because that makes me feel that they’re saying they are superior to me. I grew up in Alabama and my father had a third rate education, but he was able to raise us without my mother having to work and we never felt that there was something we couldn’t do.”
  • Woman from Texas: Trump stopped the revolving door of illegal immigrants who would get deported and come back a few days later. Despite this, the Black neighborhoods of Texas continue to be wiped out via population replacement with Hispanic migrants.

I posted these in real time to a Facebook post. In an aside, I noted “I am waiting for a platoon of white Democrats from San Francisco to set these folks straight regarding the proper way to be Black!” Right on cue…

  • White-looking guy named Arjun: “I’m a multi-Ethnic person.” [But if you saw his profile photo you would likely say that he is white.] He thanks the group for their respect and humanity. Says he comes from a different place politically. Disproves the idea that white liberals offer Blacks empty words by speaking for about 2 minutes and saying nothing.

A bit later….

  • Arjun is back. Talking about working at a farmer’s market in the Tenderloin and “genuinely perplexed” by the fact that only 10% of the customers at this farmer’s market are Black. “A true travesty”. He posits that maybe Black people don’t know how to cook.

(Arjun was right about one thing: when Trump haters showed up they were heard out in full, not interrupted, and responded to respectfully.)

The meeting continues…

  • 35-year-old:: “I didn’t vote for Trump in 2016. Everything Trump was doing once in office was creating opportunity for me. So I voted for him in 2020.”
  • Guy who went door to door in a white liberal neighborhood recounts all of the whites that told him that he shouldn’t be supporting Trump because he was Black. “Do you really need to know what Joe Biden’s policies are to vote Donald Trump out?” asked a white say-gooder. “Yes, ma’am, that’s what politics is about.”
  • “White women are getting all of the contracts, jobs, and minority preferences set aside for Black people to make up for Jim Crow.” (Nobody chimes in to point out how difficult it is to be a white woman in North America.)
  • LBJ’s welfare policies were a Trojan Horse because the welfare system’s incentives destroyed the two-parent Black family. We were rats in an experiment for the white liberals of the 1960s.
  • “Didn’t nobody rob my mom’s liquor store in the ‘hood because she had a cross around her neck and her right hand on a Glock.” (What would Mom think about Uncle Joe’s latest call for commonsense gun control?)

Arjun can’t be in every room 24/7, so I think that means Clubhouse needs (nay, demands) an army of well-meaning white folks who can explain to these conservatives why they ain’t Black.

(Separately, one aspect of the room that was interesting was how much better informed and thoughtful regarding policy these folks were than my friends who are in the credentialed elite (tenured professors, management consultants, etc.). Where the credentialed elite expresses hatred for Trump either for personal reasons or because Trump does not give the credentialed elite sufficient respect, the Black conservatives were interested in the Trump administration’s policies, not in the personality of Trump-the-person.)


  • First impressions of Clubhouse?
  • Interview excerpts with Denzel Washington, who is in sync to some extent with the above folks.
  • A Massachusetts Democrat on hearing about the above room: “Reminds me of the old (old) joke: The Massachusetts republican party will be meeting in the phone booth at the corner of Tremont and Clarendon this afternoon at 3 sharp.” When I told that there are 2,300 followers of the Black Conservatives club on Clubhouse, that hundreds were connected to the discussion for the 2+ hours that I listened, and that dozens spoke… “Ok, I wish them all well. I suppose it challenges the idea that blacks (et al) all think in one stereotypical way.” (who had this all-think-same “idea” other than him?)
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Facebook division and the Two Middle Classes

Happy Presidents’ Day, a.k.a. George Washington’s Birthday, a.k.a., Happy Birthday to a slaveholder.

In addition to owning slaves and behaving in a traitorous fashion to the British Empire to which he’d sworn loyalty as a military officer, George Washington had a reputation as a unifier of disparate American interests. Could he have unified us today?

First, we should ask why middle class Americans aren’t already unified. If Americans generally vote their pocketbooks, how can people with similar levels of income split into passionately different political camps, as evidenced by their dramatic rhetoric on Facebook. A possible explanation from “The Two Middle Classes”:

Politicians across the Western world like to speak fondly of the “middle class” as if it is one large constituency with common interests and aspirations. But, as Karl Marx observed, the middle class has always been divided by sources of wealth and worldview. Today, it is split into two distinct, and often opposing, middle classes. First there is the yeomanry or the traditional middle class, which consists of small business owners, minor landowners, craftspeople, and artisans, or what we would define historically as the bourgeoisie, or the old French Third Estate, deeply embedded in the private economy. The other middle class, now in ascendency, is the clerisy, a group that makes its living largely in quasi-public institutions, notably universities, media, the non-profit world, and the upper bureaucracy.

Standing between the oligarchs, who now own as much as 50 percent of the world’s assets, and the growing population of propertyless serfs, the traditional middle class increasingly struggles for survival against those with the greatest access to capital and political power. The power of this modern-day equivalent of the Medieval aristocracy, what the French referred to as the Second Estate, seems likely to grow; a recent British parliamentary study projects that, by 2030, the top one percent will expand their share to two-thirds of the world’s wealth, with the biggest gains overwhelmingly concentrated in the top .01 percent. One of the upshots of this concentration of economic power is that entrepreneurship is now declining even in the capitalist hotbed of America.

In contrast, the clerisy has a far less adversarial relationship with the uber-rich, since they operate in large part outside the market system. Like the Catholic Church in Medieval times, this part of the middle class enjoys something of a symbiosis with the oligarchal elites, the main financiers of NGOs, and the universities, and dominates the media and culture industries that employ so many of them. They are often also beneficiaries of the regulatory state, either directly as high-level government employees, or as consultants, attorneys, or through non-profits.

It’s an interesting theory. One major flaw in the article is that he accepts the bogus idea that American serfs are “propertyless”. A resident of the U.S. who has never worked and who will never work nonetheless holds substantial wealth (i.e., “property”). She is entitled to 100+ years of housing, 100+ years of health care, 100+ years of food, and 80+ years of smartphone service. Any children she chooses to have will be entitled to a free education and also, if they do not choose to work, free housing, health care, food, and smartphone. That’s $millions in wealth for every American on welfare (about 70 million people on Medicaid, for example).

If a person with $2 million in cash buys an annuity with the $2 million, do we say that she has suffered a $2 million loss of wealth? If not, it is absurd to consider Americans on our various forms of welfare as being without wealth.

Or consider the retired stripper who turned into a family court entrepreneur by suing Hunter Biden for child support. She may have already spent every dime that she earned in the gentlemen’s clubs and every dime that she has gotten from Mr. Biden. But as long as she retains custody of the cash-yielding child, she is not without substantial wealth. (And anyone who reads “Child Support Litigation without a Marriage” can replicate her success!)

How to explain the current era of Peak Sanctimony?

Like their Medieval counterparts in the old First Estate, members of the contemporary clerisy insist that they are motivated not by self-interest but rather by pursuit of the common good. They constitute “the privileged stratum,” in the words of French left-wing analyst Christophe Guilluy, operating from an assumption of “moral superiority” that justifies their right to instruct others. This power is greatly enhanced by their control of culture, most media, the education systems—eight in 10 British professors are on the Left—and throughout the bureaucracy.

Readers: What do you think of this article? If we believe it, could a figure analogous to George Washington actually accomplish anything today in terms of unifying Americans who, in fact, do not have common interests? And who would that figure be? It couldn’t be someone from the military, since we no longer have military victories. What about a Great Scientist? Dr. Fauci perhaps?

Inside the Washington Monument (November 2019):

The view from the top, which I posted on Facebook with “Massive crowd for the Trump inauguration.” (#NotFunny?)

Speaking of Trump, if we wanted to include him in Presidents’ Day this year and going forward, which of his achievements should be highlighted?

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Can Democrats kick all Republicans off all House committees?

“Dem-led House, drawing a line, kicks Greene off committees” (AP):

A fiercely divided House tossed Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene off both her committees Thursday, an unprecedented punishment that Democrats said she’d earned by spreading hateful and violent conspiracy theories.

Democrats hold the majority of seats in the House. Why not do this for all Republican representatives? Republicans are, by definition, people who have voluntarily affiliated with the party of insurrection, racism, sexism, and anti-LGBTQIA+. Why should they be treated differently than Marjorie Taylor Greene?

One advantage of this approach, from the Republicans’ point of view, is that they could take two years off. They’re not going to be influencing legislation, so why come into the Capitol every day to participate in a farcical process?

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Dr. Andrew Yang, PhD in Mansplaining?

From a male-identifying friend on Facebook:

Being a progressive does not mean simply giving people more money and stuff. It also means thinking in critical and integrative ways, connecting the social, economic and cultural. In fact, thinking this way can both save money and improve lives through providing meaning.
Here is Andrew Yang on maternal health: “One way I think we can help combat maternal and infant mortality in NYC–both of which are unconscionably high in much of the city–dramatically expand the use of doulas and midwives. Doulas are the truth. Women help women.”
Just one more reason why I support Andrew Yang, a deep, integral thinker, for Mayor of NYC.

Can this be true? Twitter says yes:

This is like a PhD thesis in mansplaining. Perhaps Dr. Yang also said “We’re pregnant” before his children were born.

(Director of Baby Production in our household corporation rated her doula “useless” and elected to fly solo (except for the full hospital team that was present) the next time we were pregnant.)


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Landfill all of the Trump-hatred books?

From our local public library’s new and featured books section:

And, upstairs in the children’s section:

Given the demographics of this Boston suburb, it may not be the right time to #Resist having working-class Black Americans pay higher taxes so that wealthy white families can have their student loans forgiven

Trump is gone, right? Will people still want to read books about Trump, books about resisting Trump, books about a former president’s elderly wife who was defeated by Trump, etc.? Once President Harris is in charge, is there still a market for a book about the shortcomings of “White Male America”?

What happens to Trump hatred once Trump himself escapes to Florida and/or, depending on how intensively he is hunted by Democrats and their attorney generals, beyond the borders of the U.S.?

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Should we hire Guatemalans to guard the U.S. Capitol?

My friends on Facebook are delirious with joy that Washington, D.C. is being closed off to ordinary people and that more 26,000 U.S. military troops are guarding the Capitol against potential domestic enemies. I’m not sure why the 3,800 D.C. police officers, 2,300 Capitol police officers. U.S. Secret Service agents, FBI agents, U.S. Park Police, et al. cannot protect the U.S. government from its subjects. But I wonder if it could be done at a lower cost.

“Migrant Caravan, Now in Guatemala, Tests Regional Resolve to Control Migration” (New York Times):

As many as 7,000 migrants from Central America are hoping to reach the United States to escape poverty intensified by hurricanes and the pandemic. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. has pledged to ease asylum rules.

Wielding truncheons and firing tear gas, Guatemalan security forces on Sunday stepped up their efforts to stop a caravan of thousands of Central American migrants who have surged in from Honduras in recent days in hopes of reaching the United States.

Shortly after dawn on Sunday, migrants tried to force their way through the phalanx but were beaten back by security forces with truncheons, shields and clouds of tear gas, according to the local news media and a video circulated by the Guatemalan government.

“Fortunately, our security forces managed to contain this pitched battle,” said Guillermo Díaz, director general of the Guatemalan Migration Institute. “We managed to calm everything in a very complicated situation.” He added, “We are talking about national security here.”

Instead of mobilizing costly U.S. military forces, why not pay the Guatemalans to keep us safe from ourselves?

Separately, I had always wondered why we needed to spend nearly $1 trillion per year on a military that served no apparent purpose. The Soviet Union was mostly an enemy in our own minds. Canada and Mexico still haven’t invaded. Our military didn’t do anything to stop up to 29 million undocumented migrants from crossing the border and settling down in recent years. Maybe the real purpose of the U.S. military is simply domestic policing?

Tikal, Guatemala, from 2000 (captured with the Mamiya 7 medium format camera):

And the flower market in Chichicastenango

Before coronapanic, friends regularly traveled to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Antigua, Guatemala for Spanish lessons and relaxation. Why not travel there to find folks with a proven track at controlling a determined crowd without lethal violence?

Update from Facebook:

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Our paranoid friend who fears Facebook’s power

A friend of a friend quotes Benito Mussolini (not as much like Hitler as Donald Trump, but perhaps better acquainted with Hitler on a personal level):

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”

He wrote this on top of a tweet expressing concern about the power of an alliance between Silicon Valley’s Big Tech firms and the rulers of the U.S.:

As a demonstration of how irrationally paranoid this guy is for imagining that a combination of political rulers and corporate cronies would suppress his speech via deplatforming, Facebook has deplatformed him… Here’s what he got when trying to post an innocuous update:

(Confusingly, it says that he can’t “go live” despite the fact that he wasn’t trying to “go live”. Nor is he a business and therefore wasn’t attempting to advertise.)

What was the attempted update? “I’m really looking forward to President Biden’s wise leadership.”


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The Capitol coup is a teachable moment

From a friend with kids in high school in a rich Boston suburb…

One of the beautiful things about remote school is that I get, for the first time, to hear what teachers say to taxpayers’ children. Excepts from the “Advanced accelerated” math teacher’s 30-minute monologue (within a 50-minute class period ostensibly devoted to mathematics):

This is not about politics. My politics are clear to you, but it’s not. It’s not up for discussion. All reasonable people agree that what happened in Washington yesterday was a coup. Armed people, who are in charge, tried to take over the government. They had guns, they had bombs. That is the definition of a coup. . […] I know some of your parents had very clear reasons for voting for Trump. It’s okay, it is just their values are different from mine. These values conflict with our 200+ year old democracy. Everyone agrees about the election, except ONE person and those who blindly follow him. … You can be scared. I want you to be scared. … We need to address this s**** so that it f**** never happens again … When Obama was President, the country was flourishing. Now it’s falling apart.

Some kids in the class listened together in an Instagram chat. One asked, “If a cross in the classroom is not okay, how is this?”

[It is okay for parents to vote for Trump despite their values conflicting with democracy? Wouldn’t it make more sense to expel them as we expelled the Loyalists?]

The harshest attack from the teacher was on the students themselves:

Your generation is failing us. This is on you. It is your fault!!!

[Queried, my friend responded “That is correct, he actually said it was the kids’ fault (for not standing up to the tyrant and their terrible parents, some of whom voted for him).” Me: The kids learned about Gandhi so they were supposed to emulate him by going on a hunger strike at home until the parents put out the correct yard signs? But Maskachusetts voted correctly and by a parent-proof margin. And the mostly-not-peaceful protesters were mostly from other states. So, with respect to this issue, why does it matter how anyone in MA voted or what anyone in MA has as a lawn sign? (Separately, do high schools teach “after his wife, Kasturba, died in 1944, Gandhi began the habit of sharing his bed with naked young women: his personal doctor, Sushila Nayar, and his grandnieces Abha and Manu, who were then in their late teens and about 60 years younger than him.”?(Guardian))]

That was math. How about English?

Teaching moment gone wrong. My daughter’s English teacher decided to ask this question on a free-for-all jamboard: “The Capitol Building: what is one idea or fact that DID NOT surprise you?”


  • liberals got mad
  • americans are fighting for their freedom
  • All of the hypocrites because this happened before [during BLM?]
  • that liberals would say how bad this was, when they did very violent things during blm
  • it did not surprise me that our soon to be EX PRESIDENT did almost absolutely nothing to control this situation

The teacher acted quickly to condemn “students who wrote inappropriate things.”

In the middle school

6th grader, comparing to elementary: “I like middle school because the teachers are actually helpful and they’re not Black Lives Matter and Rainbow Flag-oriented 24/7.”


  • “Democrats were for occupying capitols before they were against it” (Washington Post): “Thousands of protesters rushed to the … Capitol Wednesday night, forcing their way through doors, crawling through windows and jamming corridors.” That is how one newspaper described the storming of the Capitol — not the one in Washington last week, but the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., a decade ago. Back then, thousands of pro-union activists — many bused in from out of state — rampaged through the historic building in an effort to stop a vote on collective bargaining reform legislation. … House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) praised the occupiers for an “impressive show of democracy in action” and tweeted as they assaulted the Capitol that she continued “to stand in solidarity” with the union activists. In other words, Democrats were for occupying capitols before they were against it.
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MLK was right: a riot is the language of the unheard

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (not to be confused with Dr. Jill Biden, M.D.), at 1:51 in this 1966 interview:

A riot is the language of the unheard.

Is it fair to say that Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook have moved this statement from “possibly true” to “definitely true”? There were some rioters and now they (and some additional millions of people who also failed to support Presidents Biden and Harris) will be “unheard” for the next few decades.

From the service that unpersoned Donald J. Trump:

Leading to a question:

Twitter was comfortable with potentially inflammatory speech, apparently, in 2017:

Can Donald Trump and his supporters don the mantle of victimhood or survivorship? Signs of abuse:

Should we look at some these these, e.g.,

  • Control what you read, watch and say
  • Punish you for breaking the rules, but the rules keep changing!
  • Tell you it is for your own good and that they know better
  • Call you names or shame you for being stupid or selfish
  • Dismiss your opinions


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