• Thanks, and Goodbye

    August 13, 2017

    Tags:
    Posted in: Democracy, Post-Constitution America

    I’ll save someone the time typing in the Comments section — yes, yes, I won’t let the door hit me on the ass on the way out.

    I’m going to take a break with this blog. I may post here and there when I get bored, I may rerun some old things, I may do nothing at all. But after some six years and over 2,000 posts, I’m gonna do something else. Not sure just what yet.

    The reason is simple: the Internet has become too boring and too toxic. It is no longer a matter of having a thick skin, it is a question of why bother.

    The past election finally broke the idea of the informal interchange blogs thrive on, as it broke journalism. And as it apparently caused most of America to lose its mind.

    Partisan reporting devolved into partisan facts; for example, though the basics are black and white in how the government’s document classification system works, the mass of media allowed itself for over a year to believe that Clinton had no classified material on her email server because someone retyped things without the SECRET headers, then spent months telling everyone even if she did that did not matter, even after it did. There are plenty of other examples. For example, a large number of Americans now believe, based on no real evidence presented yet so far, that our government is literally controlled from Moscow. But mention the idea of a Deep State and you’re labeled a nut case conspiracy theorist. Sure.

    Journalism used to involve sources, people and documents — facts. Reporters told us how they knew something so we could judge the validity of the reporting. If the source on a new strategy toward India was an intern who quit last year versus a senior national security advisor, we could judge. Now, major stories are near-exclusively sourced anonymously, and often include second and third hand leaks and rumors, all jumbled together as fact. As long as the main story point supports a given bias (Trump is bad) most people seem to play along. As the old joke goes, that’s not reporting, it’s typing.

    Outside of some pretty dank hyper-conservative media, it is impossible to write about Trump except to ridicule him, and even that must be done in the most juvenile ways to pass muster. I can’t write about a decision, or compare something today to actions of the Obama administration, unless I also call Trump a petulant fool, a man-child, orange Cheeto, and state he is planning to start a war with China, Iran or North Korea this same day. Anything less than that and I am a fascist, nazi, rethugblican or just plain stupid. History has been rewritten on the fly to deify Obama, and even George W. Bush has seen a bit of a makeover. Anything other than overt attacks on Trump are labeled as support. There is nothing left to write other than grade school level insults.

    There is no point I can see anymore in researching and writing an explainer on how something like the Emoluments Clause works, for example, when the response is inevitably something like “You suxxxx, go f*ck Putin, stupid white man!!!!”

    I also see no real progress being made now that everyone is empowered to insult everyone else. It is not “resistance” to call me names for being straight and white. Legitimate political criticism of a politician is instantly labeled misogynistic. Or homophobic or sexist or racist.

    Oh yes, and I’m threatened by all this, I’ve heard a million times. Friends, I’ve been shot at, mortared, told I might go to jail under the Espionage Act, made to believe the government might seek to bankrupt me in legal costs, stuff like that. Trust me, your Tweet is not a threat. It’s just tiresome, repetitive, and unoriginal.

    The final straw for me is the attack on free speech from the left, the growing sense that the use of violence is an acceptable tool to silence offensive speech as long as you can say without irony your violence is the anti-fascist kind. Progressives, if you can’t see the wrong in using fascist techniques to fight fascism, I can’t help you. But God help all of us.

    So anyway America, enjoy. I’ll be over here in the corner with a water glass of tequila, watching as we tear ourselves apart, and wondering how long 300 million people can keep the lights on with a near-complete lack of civil discourse. Then again, I always was a big Mad Max fan.

    See you later.

    (Sound of the door slapping me on the ass as I walk away…)




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    Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

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  • Recent Comments

    • RICH BAUER said...

      1

      Peter, the fun has just begun! Not the time to sit in the sidelines.

      Look who is getting in the game:

      Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah)We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”

      08/13/17 9:57 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      2

      So you are makng good on your promise if you gave up posting to pass the torch of We Meant Well to me. Changng the name to We Meant Well and the Rest Can Go to Hell.

      08/13/17 10:03 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      3

      Already recruited staff writers for WMW + RCGTH

      My cousin Paul has lots of dirt on Diplomatc Security

      Richie Scallia has the skinny on the Deep State coup of these disunited states

      Mitch has volunteered to give the Texas slant on current affairs

      And Chuck will continue to do what he do.

      WTF. Someone shot at you?.

      08/13/17 10:14 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      4

      Alt-Trumpie will contribute too. Here is his first:

      Alt-Trumpie: “I strongly condemn the disgusting act of terrorism in Virginia by a loser white nationalist neo Nazi from Ohio, who was originally ftom Kentucky. (Seriously, what is the deal with Kentucky?) I have ordered DHS and the FBI to investigate this terrorist organization that threatens our citizens. Ths is the classic definition of terrorism, and anyone who refuses to admit it gives aid and comfort to terrorists. As your president, I promise to protect its citizens from homegrown terrorists.

      08/13/17 10:40 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      5

      Adolf Schickelgruber will report on WMW issues in Europe:

      His first report: An American tourist in Germany was beaten up by a passerby after he began giving the Nazi salute outside a cafe in Dresden, police said Sunday.

      The incident occurred about 8:15 a.m. Saturday as the man left a cafe called Europe in the Neustadt district of Dresden, police said in a statement. The district is known to be a liberal part of the town and a popular meeting spot for students.

      The tourist was identified only as a 41-year-old American man who was “severely drunk,” according to police. He suffered minor injuries, while the stranger who assailed him fled the scene, police said.

      Police said the U.S. national is under investigation for violating German laws prohibiting Nazi symbols and that they are still seeking the passerby for causing personal injury, according to the Associated Press.

      08/13/17 10:46 AM | Comment Link

    • Joseph Carson said...

      6

      Thank you for your work, your critique of the mental sloth/tribalism manifested in too many comments on too many thoughtful posts by informed bloggers as you is all-too-accurate.

      08/13/17 11:41 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      7

      Peter is alive and well in the Twitterverse.

      08/13/17 12:41 PM | Comment Link

    • john Poole said...

      8

      Can I buy a hard copy of all my pithy comments you’ve lovingly saved? We came out even on our Hillary her POTUS run but we didn’t up in the Susan McDougal work camp. Adios. John Poole

      08/13/17 12:45 PM | Comment Link

    • Tony Hammock said...

      9

      I’m very sorry to see you go, Mr. Van Buren.

      08/13/17 12:54 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      10

      TinaTurner/2020. TY PVB. Sorry for us all.

      08/13/17 3:22 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      11

      “The internet has become too boring…”

      If THIS is the crap you are blogging, then you are doing the right thing.

      08/13/17 3:39 PM | Comment Link

    • Andrew Hicks said...

      12

      I agree with your assessment, and your decision to walk away.

      All good wishes to you, and honor be to you for writing truth when people don’t want to see it, here and especially in your books.

      08/13/17 4:15 PM | Comment Link

    • Lisa said...

      13

      Dear Peter,

      You are a man who speaks the truth.

      You say, “The past election finally broke the idea of the informal interchange blogs thrive on, as it broke journalism. And as it apparently caused most of America to lose its mind”,

      and

      “… it is impossible to write about Trump except to ridicule him, and even that must be done in the most juvenile ways to pass muster.”

      Your post is sadly, entirely correct.

      I washed my hands of all it apres-election 2016. I saw it, I said it, and have been continuously and relentlessly attacked for my statement of the facts that I saw.

      No more NYT, no NPR for me — I am totally done with the hatred and lies from an ideology (liberalism) hijacked by fools. An ideology with which I once, and proudly, allied. They have lost any claim to the high ground.

      Life has become simpler. I have removed myself from the futility of confronting the hate.

      Like the Southerners say, “don’t bark up the wrong tree.”

      08/13/17 4:28 PM | Comment Link

    • Lisa said...

      14

      Rich Bauer,

      My eyes scanned up to your comment as mine transmitted.

      The internet IS boring. Entirely banal.

      There was a moment of hope, about 15 years ago. It is in the dirt now, as nasty as its denizens.

      08/13/17 4:31 PM | Comment Link

    • Martin said...

      15

      While I haven’t commented here before, I have been grateful for your informed commentary and courage. I wish you all of the best.

      08/13/17 5:10 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      16

      Lisa, dont blame the messenger.

      08/13/17 5:56 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      17

      Football is boring IF you only watch the Jets play.

      Music is boring IF you only listen to Top 40 play.

      08/13/17 6:00 PM | Comment Link

    • Sandy Jenkins said...

      18

      Your insights and analysis will be missed. Best of luck and I can understand your disgust.

      08/13/17 7:59 PM | Comment Link

    • Jonathan L. Seagull said...

      19

      Peter,

      So long, and thanks for all the fish!

      After seeing Charlottesville my thoughts are similar to you. The media is creating a dangerous and evil spectacle, and various groups (mostly on the right) are trying to turn it into civil unrest. For our sanity we all need to step away for a bit.

      08/13/17 11:34 PM | Comment Link

    • Josh Stern said...

      20

      Thanks for a lot of excellent, valuable posts. I read most over the past 9 months…commented on a few here, and a few when they appeared at antiwar.com

      I believe that the news & information media today is more out of touch with real events than ever before, causing most citizens to be poorly misinformed about the events affecting their world. This, rather than moral wrongheadedness, is corrupting public discourse. In that situation, we are all invited to try and reach as many people as we can with insights that are outside of the official narratives.

      08/14/17 3:21 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      21

      Good idea to take a break. There is too many angry voices as it is. Time for something completely different. I assume you are cancelling your Twitter account as well. No?

      PVB tweeted yesterday.

      Dumbasss motherfuckers think giving govt power to ban “hate speech” won’t impact. Sure, let Jeff Sessions decide what can be broadcast.

      08/14/17 7:16 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      22

      @Wemeantwell

      08/14/17 2:56 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      23

      Peter.

      You should have written the bulk of this one a long time ago.

      Your absolutely correct… The media is creating the strife and conflict…. And have been for many a year.

      Peace.

      Chime in every now and then to let it be known your alive and well.

      Peace….

      PS….

      Kind of dramatic steps to take to get away from Rich Bauer …hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

      Mitch

      08/14/17 9:12 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      24

      Mitch,

      So it is a good thing that intelligent voices like Peter go silent so the public has one less intelligent source of information?

      A father of one of the neoNazi marchers in Virgina has decided to break his silence:

      “it was the silence of good people that allowed the Nazis to flourish the first time around, and it is the silence of good people that is allowing them to flourish now,”

      08/14/17 10:46 AM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      25

      Rich.
      (can you hear my parental tone???)

      The “counter-protesters”… They are ” black lives matter”…..

      So…. Got enough to defend “black lives matter”…???????

      And if you would re-read Peters Essay….. You would see he’s done because of the media…. Not Trump….

      Its comparable to the following…..

      http://insider.foxnews.com/2017/08/14/newsweek-criticizes-melania-ivanka-trump-wearing-high-heels-public

      How exactly do you defend this crap?…. Exactly how do you “shape the argument”…. To reach your “objectives”… When things like that are your supporting evidence????

      With Peter…. I don’t blame him one single bit… I Personally know hundreds that have just stopped following events because of the toxic nature of the “media”.
      Peter just happens the be the Only journalist I’ve heard of that said enough is enough.

      Its actually fairly brave to publicly tell the media they are crack-heads.

      M

      08/14/17 11:59 AM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      26

      Peter, thank you for all you have done and your service. But if you take a permanent break, where will we get accurate news and insight desperately needed? The Post? The Times? Breitbart?

      Sorry, but your work is not done. Couldn’t this be a vacation and we get to look forward to your next wake up call? This is the hardest part perhaps, but you and your work are sorely needed and appreciated.

      08/14/17 1:50 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      27

      You’re very kind. Let’s call this a hiatus. I doubt I can keep my mouth shut forever.

      08/14/17 2:55 PM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...

      28

      Bauer ueber Alles.

      08/14/17 2:16 PM | Comment Link

    • jim hruska said...

      29

      PVB,
      yours was the only blog that i read every day.
      i have the utmost respect for your integrity.
      i shall miss you, but hope to tip a few with you should the opportunity arise.
      jim hruska

      08/14/17 2:17 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      30

      Any time, my friend!

      08/14/17 2:55 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      31

      Bruce……

      Do you serve Glühwein with that???

      Hahahahahahaha

      M

      08/14/17 2:24 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      32

      That is Über.

      08/14/17 3:10 PM | Comment Link

    • Mitch said...

      33

      Rich…..

      Ummmmmmmm..

      That’s a joke for the multi- linguistic….

      Which ‘Bruce’ clearly ‘ is…. And has been for a while now..

      Its actually a snow cone covered in about 100 proof whiskey.

      Quite awesome… If… IF…. Your not driving.
      …..

      Btw…. Hate media does not count as a second…. Or forth…. Language

      M

      08/14/17 4:43 PM | Comment Link

    • sidd said...

      34

      Mr. van Buren, thank you for your work.

      sidd

      08/14/17 4:55 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      35

      I am going to the OWN Network for news! She’s with Her! Thanks for Truth Peter!

      08/14/17 4:55 PM | Comment Link

    • lindaj said...

      36

      Will miss reading you. Glad to see the word “hiatus” further up this chain. Bon voyage.

      08/14/17 5:32 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      37

      Peter, I hope it will be a short hiatus and we will get to read your work again soon. Thank you so much. I’m going to miss your writings and voice-of-reason

      08/14/17 8:12 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      38

      Yeah, before the presidense outlaws stuff on the internet like this:

      “The Jews in the Warsaw ghetto are staging an armed revolt against the Nazis. It’s sad, this violence on many sides.”

      08/14/17 8:16 PM | Comment Link

    • Williams Chris said...

      39

      Thanks for your site. It was on my list of must-reads.
      I found intelligence, solid thinking, and compassion here.

      I understand why you need to let it go for a while–the madness is out of control.

      You did valuable work.

      08/14/17 11:00 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      40

      Good idea to shut the site permanently before the neoNazi DOJ demands our IP addresses.

      A Los Angeles-based tech company is resisting a federal demand for more than 1.3 million IP addresses to identify visitors to a website set up to coordinate protests on Inauguration Day — a request whose breadth the company says violates the Constitution.

      “What we have is a sweeping request for every single file we have” in relation to DisruptJ20.org, said Chris Ghazarian, general counsel for DreamHost, which hosts the site. “The search warrant is not only dealing with everything in relation to the website but also tons of data about people who visited it.”

      The request also covers emails between the site’s organizers and people interested in attending the protests, any deleted messages and files, as well as subscriber information — such as names and addresses — and unpublished photos and blog posts that are stored in the site’s database, according to the warrant and Ghazarian.

      08/15/17 10:50 AM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      41

      Read it on the 11 O clock News- it is later than you THINK.

      08/15/17 10:51 AM | Comment Link

    • liz said...

      42

      Nooooo, don’t go.

      Since I’ve stated that the Nazis had a right to march, I’ve also been called names and told I “just don’t get it.”

      08/15/17 11:46 AM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      43

      PVB, a “Must read”. Oh yeah. Wage Peace and Justice. Fuck you (sarcasm). Kumbaya…TY PVB

      08/15/17 3:39 PM | Comment Link

    • chuck said...

      44

      and others

      08/15/17 3:40 PM | Comment Link

    • khalid said...

      45

      After enjoying your occasional posts on Tom Dispatch for years, finally clicked through to this site about six months ago. Will miss your regular posting enormously. We’ve been headed to hell for a long time, but it seems to be going much faster lately. Thank you for giving what you could for now, hope it really is only a hiatus.

      08/15/17 11:16 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      46

      Yeah, what Chuck said.

      Donald Trump is a Damn Turd Pol. Flush him down the toilet.

      08/16/17 6:08 AM | Comment Link

    • Georges Tremblay said...

      47

      Peter,

      Mille mercis pour votre excellent travail. Je vous lis chaque jour.

      Revenez-nous vite!

      Georges
      From Québec

      08/16/17 9:27 AM | Comment Link

    • john Poole said...

      48

      Bauer- Trump is not of course the head of an oddball 3rd party or an independent. He heads one party of the two party representational democracy scam. An early demise of Trump would be very disruptive of the ruse of the two party algorithm.
      It may be that neither party wants him to self destruct.

      08/16/17 12:36 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      49

      JP, you are rtght.

      The REAL reason Peter is on hiatus is to form his strategy to run in 2020.

      08/16/17 5:27 PM | Comment Link

    • RICH BAUER said...

      50

      Trumpie: Thanks, and goodbye.

      The reason Trumpie is courting the neoNazi and white supremacist crowd is he needs them to protect him when he goes from the White House to the Big House.

      08/17/17 12:38 PM | Comment Link

    • Starknakedtruth said...

      51

      Thanks. Thanks for your brilliance in a raging storm of insanity. You will be missed. Best wishes.

      08/17/17 1:49 PM | Comment Link

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