Gaslit Nation




My skin acted up.

For those playing the home game, I have pemphigus foliaceus. Google it if you want, but be prepared to bleed.

It took eighteen months and four doctors to diagnose. According to the organization, and there’s one for every disease, the average patient sees five doctors in a year, proving that I’m my mother’s son…as in it’s illegal to be sick and if I just hang in there it will go away when the truth is if the medical establishment doesn’t know what’s going on keep searching, keep going to more doctors, because you are right and they are wrong.

And despite everybody e-mailing me their fakokta solutions, none of them work, because pemphigus foliaceus is an immune disorder, anything topical is palliative at best, in order to speak to the underlying condition you must get Rituxan, which is what they give lymphoma patients.

But the last thing I wanted to do was go to the infusion center.

But I did.

At first you’re freaked out. They take your temperature. They don’t allow anybody but the patient inside. And after being indoors for weeks, the thought of touching an unprotected door handle was overwhelming.

So, you sit in a chair for four to six hours as they drip this poison into your body, you go home and fall asleep and for the following three or four days you’re off-kilter and then you’re back.

And then you have to do it all over again.

That’s right, two infusions exactly two weeks apart.

But the problem is you don’t get the total beneficial effect for two months. Maybe you see some improvement in two weeks, a month should show results, but meanwhile, I’m itching up a storm, my legs are covered in giant red blotches, if I hadn’t experienced this before, I’d be freaking out.

But the problem is since we’re all at home, we’ve got too much time to think about our problems, there are few distractions. As for going out protesting…the dermatologist asked me if I was taking self-quarantining seriously, she emphasized how important it is.

So I’m home.

But at night I go hiking. Where fewer and fewer people are wearing masks.

Yup, Trump and his minions won. They don’t look manly, what are the odds of infection anyway, let’s all return to normal. And you may feel fine, but you’re supposed to be protecting me, and you’re not.

So I’m driving to the park last night, and I had to go when it was still hot, to beat the curfew, and Howard Stern is talking about Blackout Tuesday, how he grew up in Roosevelt, New York, which went from white to black seemingly overnight. And he’s castigating those whites who are so self-righteous but who he knew would move immediately if a black family moved in next door. And it was so riveting, that I wanted to continue to listen.

But I was out of cell range.

So I pulled up Gaslit Nation instead.

Gaslit Nation is a podcast hosted by Sarah Kendzior and Andrea Chalupa. Sarah tweeted that the episode would be delayed because they wanted to get it right, they wanted to cover the insanity of our president and our country that had occurred in D.C. earlier.

And I remembered this. And downloaded the podcast. Usually I stream, that’s what unlimited plans are for, but, like I said, I was gonna be out of cell range, for about ten minutes.

And at first it was just talking heads in my ears.

And then…

The episode is entitled “Reichstag Fire.” Do you know about the Reichstag Fire?

Probably not, American schools are so busy teaching to the test that kids don’t learn anything, they don’t emerge fully-rounded citizens.

Anyway, Hitler took power, and then a month later there was this fire. The Nazis blamed the fire on the communists, when in truth it was a single perpetrator. But that didn’t matter, Hitler, et al, quashed the communists, the resistance, so there would be no contrary opinions, and then immediately passed a law getting rid of most civil liberties. You had to keep Germany safe, right?

Now I don’t want to make this about Hitler and Nazis, and that isn’t the point anyway. It’s all about authoritarianism.

And Kendzior and Chalupa are experts on authoritarianism. And that’s where we’re headed.

Forget the hoi polloi white nationalists and other Trump supporters, go straight to the top, go to Trump, that’s where the problem resides.

In other words, be afraid, be very afraid.

You keep saying it can’t happen here, and then it continues to do so. Wake up!

Sarah and Andrea walk you through the authoritarian playbook. Bringing out the military is a key element. And what is making me write this tonight is last night’s stories of unbranded cops. Because Sarah and Andrea predicted this in the podcast I’d listened to just hours before! You don’t know who is a cop and who isn’t, who is on your side and who isn’t, who to trust and who to not.

“A dangerous new factor in an uneasy moment: Unidentified law enforcement officers”:

So, Trump and his cronies are blaming the problems on antifa and other leftist organizations. This is conscious, truth is irrelevant, it’s about scapegoating and eliminating dissent. You want to be safe from the rioters, right?

This is why involving the military is such a big deal. Force is needed to quiet opposing opinion.

But Mark Zuckerberg keeps saying disinformation is fine and “The New York Times” prints the Cotton opinion piece demanding the military be employed.

Sarah and Andrea rip “The New York Times” a new asshole. The paper was wrong about Iraq, it’s wrong about so many things. It’s complicit with those in power. And this is absolutely true, the “Times refuses to review Kendzior’s new book, because it’s just too dangerous, it might piss off the owners of this country.

And then there’s the denial. Yes, those in power, both in D.C. and the media, keep saying they didn’t foresee the troubles, and therefore they can’t be held accountable. It’s all about accountability. And I’m sure you noticed that they’ve arrested more people on the streets of Minneapolis than were arrested on Wall Street in 2008.

And isn’t it funny that Trump couldn’t get it together to fight Covid-19, but he lost no time jumping to action when it came to fighting dissent in the wake of the death of George Floyd. There you’ve got his priorities.

In other words, we’re on the road to autocracy and the trusted sources are not to be, trusted that is.

I know, I know, this sounds like apocalyptic drivel, but you just couldn’t conceive of what is happening now, whereas both Sarah and Andrea detailed it completely back in 2016, when Trump got elected.

But they’re in their early forties and not part of the media elite.

That’s right, Ronan Farrow is a hero because he stood up to big old NBC and then the “The New York Times” criticizes the accuracy of his work and there’s a pissing match and now Blackout Tuesday supporters are hassling Alec Baldwin for launching his podcast with Woody Allen two days ago. He should have respected the blackout.

Alec bit back, said he thought Woody was innocent, after all the only place he’s been convicted was in the court of public opinion and that he, Alec, is sick of politically correct behavior that achieves nothing.

In other words, we’re not fighting over the major issues. The two Allens, Satchel (Ronan) and Woody, dominate the headlines in big media and no one is covering what’s happening in the streets until there’s outright revolt.

Change always comes from outside. New York and D.C. like it just the way it is. Furthermore, the right has been trying to cancel California, demonizing it because of its power, as goes California, so goes the nation, without the Golden State’s economy, the entire U.S. craters.

So, the public has been neutered. Social media is pissed upon because that’s the only place regular people can communicate.

So, now is the time to listen to outsiders. Listening to the “Reichstag Fire” episode of Gaslit Nation will be the most important thing you do today. Turn off the television, forget the minute by minute news, take an hour to get historical insight into where we are now.

Trump is not unique. He’s just the latest in a long line of authoritarians. And one thing is for sure, he doesn’t want the truth revealed. He doesn’t want you to know about his dealings with Russia, he doesn’t want you to see his tax returns, he wants no investigation into his administration’s behavior and…

You sit at home and rely on checks and balances. From a do-nothing Congress and a right wing packed court system. Never forget, the Supreme Court handed victory in 2000 to Bush.

Write Sarah Kendzior and Andrea Chalupa off. Write me off. That’s what you’ve been doing for decades, pursuing wealth and ignoring process, if you can understand it at all.

But now is the time to wake up, to understand our democracy is hanging by a thread. And that the Republicans won’t save you, the Democrats won’t save you, the media won’t save you…

But you have to save yourself.

This one is on you. It’s your responsibility. To educate yourself and act accordingly.

And there’s no better place to start than with the “Reichstag Fire” episode of the Gaslit Nation podcast.


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