[sigh] 4&20 goes vanilla …

There is a “Gresham’s Law” in economics that says that good money forces out bad. When paper currency hits the market as legal tender, for instance, silver dollars flee. There’s also, in TV radio and movies, the rule of LCD – or lowest common denominator. Dumb people decide on content for all of us for the simple fact that there are so many of them and they are highly susceptible to ads. They are gold! They decide our programming choices! They are the reason we have Big Bang Theory and Game of Thrones and Grey’s Anatomy, and why the following …

… I know exactly what happened at 4&20. William Skink wrote the following:

In a few flurries of tweets between myself and former Blackbird blogger, Jay Stevens, I’ve witnessed the ease in which progressives are manipulated.

That probably was the last straw. No doubt the hive has been buzzing about Skink for months, just as they did when Dave Sirota actually had an interesting radio show here in Denver.One morning I turned on the radio, and found that he had been replaced by a very dumb Democrat. THEY DO NOT LIKE BEING CRITICIZED!

Stevens, who fancies himself some kind of political wonk, must have taken umbrage at the notion that he is easily manipulated (which he is), so now Skink is being replaced by Stevens, and lordy knows the j-girl, ever on top of matters D, will reappear. I expect the numbers to rise there as there are many, many dumb Democrats, and they do NOT tolerate we who find them shallow and boring. Right Pogie? (I am already banned, I am sure.) They feed on each other. They love to talk their talk. Why, it will be the Norma and Rob show! Pete will feel free to write there again, as I won’t be around to frighten him. (Petey: BOO!)

Sample of the future: Says Stevens:

Jon Tester is a US Senator. We’re no longer in Iraq. We have a Democratic president. And there are still plenty of issues that should energize us, unite us.

Yessirree, Tester picked up the Burns agenda, Iraq kicked Obama out against his wishes, Obama became Bush III, and Stevens, true to form is oblivious and thinks it’s all cool because these are Democrats, and oh yeah, he’ll be supporting Hillary, the psychopathic Neocon, once Bernie turns his support over to her on the first day of the convention.

How do I know this? It’s not calculus. I just know things. I do not say that Democrats are predictable. They are, but let’s be fair here: they are also uninformed. Maybe they are lacking in self-awareness, but let’s be fair. They are also authoritarian, censorious, and mean. But let’s be fair here: They do not go deeper than election day. It’s all they can muster, intellectually speaking.

That’s the nicest thing I can say.

Anyway, I have never promoted my blog, as I have been saying for years that I simply need this outlet, that I like to read, write and argue. Some 230 people follow me, some even read the posts I imagine, but I don’t know what that 230 number means. Getting those numbers is maybe like a teenager having 764 friends on Facebook – it’s pretend circulation.

(I was deeply shaken when I found Piece of Mind shut down early last week. I need this. Please don’t take it away from me Jay! Please. I know you want to! I know you’ll take it off your blogroll. I know you Jay! You’re thin-skinned, shallow, and like having power.)

I would imagine that those 230 plus the hundred or so that hit this place daily would not mind a different voice now and then. So I welcome any of the more thoughtful people of 4&20 here to write and comment. Honestly, I don’t anticipate any takers, as people are afraid of my issues, but nonetheless, the welcome mat is out to William, Swede, Steve, Steve and JC to write here, to comment here without my interference. I am not the overlord, I do not censor, and I do not appeal to dumb people.  Norma Duffy has never visited here, never will. Rob Kailey claims he doesn’t. There’s always that.

I’ve had fun with all of you. I like that all don’t get along. I hope we never do. That is a sign of intelligence.

About Mark Tokarski

Just a man who likes to read, argue, and occasionally be surprised.
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35 Responses to [sigh] 4&20 goes vanilla …

  1. steve kelly says:

    Bizarre! And not a word of thanks to JC and William for keeping the lights on all those years. Without them, there’d be no plug to pull. What grace.

    Thanks you two, it’s been a real joy to read your stuff — in Montana no less… Excellent run, just excellent.


  2. Craig Moore says:

    Last I checked blog owners are free to set the rules and chart the course of discussions any way they choose. You do the same given your banning of at least one person.


  3. Steve W says:

    I could argue with you deep and wide about some of your assumptions and conclusion but I haven;t the time right now. (for example, your assumption that jhwygirl is going to write or start writing more for Jay. Maybe she will. But I’m hoping and lobbying her to start a new blog with JC and Liz. They are on good terms to the best of my knowledge, and even though you two can’t stand each others guts, jhywgirl isn’t a dem cheerleader in the slightest. Sure there are local and legislative Dems she likes and supports (me too) but she is deeply aware of the dark side of the Democratic party. She’s no sheep. But because you hate each other you don’t know any of this. I’m not telling you this to defend jgirl, she’s quite capable,and i’m not telling you this so you will like jgirl. She can’t stand your guts, but that has zero to do with your feeling about Democrats, or about the JFK assassination. It’s personal, not political. I’m telling you this to point out when you lump everybody together you are bound to make major mistakes about your conclusion. You are capable of following a line of faulty assumptions and then arriving at a faulty conclusion. So stop and check yourself along the way and before you arrive at a conclusion or a definitive statement, ask some more questions.

    Actually I came by to see if you saw Rob brown nosing over at 4&20. It’s rather definitive. Then i read your piece. (Another thing about jgirl. She hates Robs guts too. So look up thread and check out where your conclusion(s) completely ignores that fact. Cause it does. ) Enough of this.

    I wonder what Swede is going to do?

    See you later. Gotta go post at 4&20 while i still can.


  4. Don’t really care about all that shit guys. The blog has gone gray again. Like I said to Pogie, you can’t really be this boring voluntarily. Someone has to be paying you.


  5. Honestly, I’ve never read a j-girl post all the way through. She loses me mid-sentence first sentence. If you say there is some there there (Skink says the same thing) I suppose I should take another look, but all I get out of her is duckspeak, quack quack. I just don’t care about the stuff she writes about, it’s all so small town. She bores my ass.


    • Steve W says:

      Different subjects interest different people. Which is good.
      Anyway I just signed off 4&20 for my last time. What a prick Jay turned out to be.


  6. Big Swede says:

    Couldn’t help to think that Jay has turned into Christopher Walken and the posters Stepford wives.

    Vinilla indeed. Do we really need another Cowgirl?


  7. steve kelly says:

    Or maybe he just wants to be a cosmic cowboy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83hMLbHBdBU


  8. lizard19 says:

    this really blind-sided me. thank you to those who are similarly upset by this move. if jhwygirl does start writing more frequently, that would be a good thing. I have nothing but respect for her, especially knowing she paid a price for not always following the Dem party line, which contributed to her stepping back.

    I only realized what happened this morning. I wasn’t sure why I couldn’t access 4&20 on my phone, but I hadn’t checked the site for the last 24 hours. reading Jay’s post this morning has me very, very angry. I don’t know what else to say. JC, we need to talk. I’m just as concerned as you are about our intellectual property.


  9. I found here with WordPress that when they shut me down last week I lost access to nine years of writing, and that I had nothing in writing to protect my property. If you don’t have something in witting guaranteeing ownership of your work, you don’t own it. You are at his mercy.

    In law, if it ain’t between the corners of a sheet of paper, it ain’t.


    • lizard19 says:

      well, I did ask for it by criticizing too many local Democratic efforts, like Hill’s Uber legislation, Medicaid expansion on the backs of the poor, local efforts by Copple to ban sitting on sidewalks to sanitize downtown Missoula from those unsightly homeless people, the Indy’s treatment of Ochenski, etc.


      • The flavor of this transition, from good writers with good insight to a good writer with good insight who chooses not to use it smacks of political maneuvering. The facts of politics are as available to Jay as to all of us, and yet like Pogie he sets it aside and rather chooses to engage in political puffery. He’ll harp on the virtues of Democrat hacks like Tester, ignore the facts on the ground about Iraq, day in and out in the coming months leading up to the next summit in our fake reality, the 2016 election.

        I have said that I cannot imagine these people doing this for free, as it is so rote and mechanical, like a job. If Jay truly does not see through Tester and is clueless about places like Iraq, then he is stupid. If he is not stupid, then his actions have purpose. He is knowingly advancing the career of a fraud, and leading others to ignorant opinions about matters beyond their reach anyway. People who behave like that for [pay are] cynical, and without pay, pathetic. .

        I have long suspected that these people who write day in and day out in such a blatantly shallow manner, refusing to ever go in depth on anything, are paid hacks. If so, blogging merely imitates politics, where reality is money changing hands behind a facade of public posturing. Of the remaining Montana blogs, Cowgirl, 4&20 and Pogie, are all fronts for the Democrat Party with paid hacks daily writing daily prose, chum on the water for the party faithful, then the Democrats have succeeding in corrupting yet another enterprise. There is no further need to understand anything about them. They are cardboard cutouts doing workaday manual labor. .

        I hope that you and JC move on and that the intelligent and discontented readers of 4&20 follow you to a new site. It is hard to start up cold and you’ll have no support from the usual suspects. You have offended people whose names you don’t even know. I wish I could help more than I can, but I’ll do anything I can. I am too busy engaged in my thing, which receives McCarthyist-like sneering, to be of much use to you.


        • Steve W says:

          Jay’s not as good of a writer as either JC or liz imho.

          I was reading his stuff at The Erie Reader (The opinion section) and it kind of long-winded. He can write, but it’s not compelling. He is a professional and as such he churns it out and fills up the space allotted, whether it’s worth filling or not.

          I doubt he’s going to write much for 4&20 since he lives far away in MN. In his “open letter” he said he doesn’t even know if he’s keeping the lights on.

          I seriously doubt anyone at ID is paid. There isn’t anywhere near the production one would see at a paid site. It’s a hobby. And the writing kind of copies all the other political writing/editorial writing in both style and content. Nothing new there. People grew up reading Will George or the NYT opinion page and then they try to emulate it because they think that’s how writers write.

          JC, on the other hand rights more like an historian. Lots of facts. Which I like. Liz was writing those great poems-as-editorial-news. Think we are going to see Will George or the NYT doing that? Hell no, it’s too creative, interesting, and it takes too much time and thought.

          Another great writer is Matt Koehler. Very concise and extremely informative.

          Mt dream blog would have Liz, JC, Matt the K and jhwygirl. A nice and diverse line up of lefty writers who can really write and who all have different strengths and areas of expertise.


          • Again, the writing at ID and Cowgirl is predictable, almost as if coming out of a Tinpan Alley tune factory. One thing I’ve noticed about Pogie, that when called out, he cannot debate, that is, he doesn’t offer a coherent answer to critics, but shames them and, in my case, bans. He’s thin-skinned, almost as if hiding away. He’s got no chops.

            The Cowgirl factory is an 8-5 M-F effort, each post similar in content, none offering anything deeper than current partisan efforts. d good r bad. If you read my Sherlock Holmes quote upper right, it’s all there: “By a man’s fingernails, by his coat-sleeve, by his boots, by his trouser-knees…” We can figure these things out. We do not need to be splained to.

            If you are on your own, and if you are a writer, you are going to improve day by day, and cover new material, even change your own opinion now and then. It does not happen, ergo, paid hacks. I stand by that.

            If Pogie churns out his Ryan Zinke bad bad John Jon good tripe voluntarily, if that is all that ever transits his cranium, then he is a stupid man. If he is on his own as a writer he is going to improve day by day, and cover new material, even change one of his opinions now and then. It does not happen, ergo, paid hack. I stand by that.

            I know this for sure, having read of it in a book by Kevin Phillips, not the gospel, but seems logical: For local right-wing radio talk show hosts, the RNC puts out talking points each day, and writes short opinion pieces to be read on air as the host’s original views. Dave Berg in Billings used these things, and it was so easy to spot. RNC saw the need to manage the talk radio herd.

            Could it not also be that in the world of blogging, the political manipulators saw that forum was going to have to be reined in, and so they hired Jay and Matt, Pogie, and set up the Cowgirl blog to keep control of the new medium? That Cowgirl is a party apparatus is easily seen in that it was promoted in the Washington Post, something only party insiders could bring about. Her introduction was a professional rollout.

            That’s how politics is done. 90% is hidden from view. Surface phenomena can be ignored.


          • Steve W says:

            Cowgirl certainly appears to be a professional operation. Pogie, no.

            Pogie is in ideologue/partisan who thinks if he writes about the bad stuff Repos do people will suddenly see the light.

            After spending 3 years canvassing and fund raising on the doors, I can guarantee you that not one human has read Intelligent Design and then , as a result, voted the opposite candidate of what they were going to do.

            That said there is a cumulative effect especially in people who haven’t really thought about the candidate or the issue . Like gwb said, you have to catapult the propaganda, but as far as changing minds that are made up, very little of that goes on through the written word. We know that if you have a band wagon and a lot of exited happy people, for a short time, you can attract followers. Group think does change things to a small degree politically.

            Pogie’s best stuff is his media critique. And that one time he was pissed of at some local union, I forget which or why, but it surprised me that he called out such an old and trusted member of the Democratic coalition.

            Talking points are produced by all sides especially those big and professional enough to actually employ people to analyse and produce the message and who have a network of media willing to play along. That would be the Repos and the Dems

            I seriously doubt someone is paying Pogie. Although like the rest of us he’s exposed to the talking points through the media and then he repeats. So do we, sometimes. Cause it’s in the air.

            As for 90% it depends on what you mean. The core of any electoral effort is the master voter file. That’s held. No one gets that except the top of the campaign.

            But as an example, lets take the Bernie Hillary question. I seriously doubt Hill and Bernie are coordinating so Bernie can deliver Hill his voters.

            I don’t doubt Hill sees that as a possibility that could work out for her, and having a challenger, any half way credible challenger, is far better for Hill than coronation.

            But i can’t believe Bernie is rigging a deal like that. Not because it would be unheard of or because I’m naive about power. But because I can’t see any possible up side for Bernie, at this point in his life to do that. He’s not a Democrat, but in order to run in the primary he’s got to agree to support the nominee. (Too bad no body got Lieberman to sign on to the same thing, but that was almost the reverse situation.)

            No, to believe that Bernie is knowingly planning on delivering his voters to Hillary is as big as a stretch as believing Hillary has become a populist. She is talking like she’s a populist, but her whole life has been spent being a corporitist. I know more believe she;s a populist than I believe Bernie is willingly tossing away everything he has repeatedly worked for and done his whole life. Bernie could have and would have sold out far sooner were that the case.


          • The idea that someone would read a blog and change their mind is beyond the pale. That does not happen. Blogs, as I see them, are merely herd management devices, a way to toss out talking points and keep the rabble in line. Those who do read blogs tend to be more politically active, though not necessarily astute. Blogs toss them bones.

            The idea that anyone gets a phone call or message and is told to write something – it happens no doubt, but far more likely it’s a culling and selection process where the most reliable bloggers have been selected and stay in business by financial incentive.

            Assume for sake of argument that Pogie receives a check, say a couple of hundred a month, from the MT party – on a teacher’s salary, that’s all it takes. He knows what to write, they know he’ll be dependable. The check would keep him from getting uppity.

            There are other possibilities, but the fact that he never changes his tune, never gets better, moves into new territory, or bites the hand, speaks of a highly rigid automaton incapable of critical thought, that is, a stupid man, or one who is getting a check. (Or both.)

            The idea that Pogie is good at media criticism implies that he understands journalism, but to him it is just like politics, what you see is what you get. If journalists advance and are are paid and selected based on lack of curiosity, why not bloggers? They would complement one another.

            Why are the only three Montana political blogs of note now Democrat shills? Why was Skink booted, Jay selected? How does that work without money?

            The Bernie/Hillary question is not even complicated. He doesn’t have a chance. He knows this. His candidacy will change nothing. He will draw the progressives in the party to support him. During the time that he is running, he will contain any rebellion against Hillary. At the convention, he’ll meekly concede.

            It will be politics as usual, progressives having nowhere to go. Why would Bernie do this? We know he is wiretapped, as all do them are. If he has anything seedy, like boinking an intern, it is known. He might have been blackmailed. If he has no scandal going on, one can be invented. Then again, he might just be a beard. The fact that he dissed Netanyahu without retribution from AIPAC speaks volumes, if you know how to listen.

            Votes don’t matter, but perceptions do. Hillary is being cautious, managing her wings. Progressives can’t win anything, but can hurt her somewhat. That small threat is under management via Bernie.


  10. Rob Kailey says:

    Some more of that stellar critical thinking of yours, Mark. Not once have I written that I’m not reading your site. What I have said is that occasionally there are interesting things mixed in with your delusions, and the delusions themselves are frequently good for a laugh. What I have said is that there is no point to commenting here, sadly even with one.

    For the record, Craig is correct. It is awfully hypocritical to bitch and moan about others banning people when you do it yourself every time you have a tantrum. Just because you have reinstated me (for now) to avoid the appearance of hypocrisy, doesn’t make your judgments any less laughable.

    Just for curiosity’s sake, didn’t you also ban Max and Larry Kralj. Why yes, yes you have.


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