Friday, July 22, 2016

If Only...

This just demanded reposting (I last posted it on March 10), as it's so a propos given the seriousness what we've witnessed in Cleveland this week. Please pass it on, not just to dems and independents, but to Republicans you may know. A serious and thoughtful piece of political campaign publicity at a moment in history that called for seriousness on the part of voters. We are, perhaps, laughing a bit too much at what appears to be an absurdist candidacy. We may be laughing at our peril.. 

Would that Hillary could come up with this thoughtful a tv spot, but she'd be too busy trying to cover her bum, as she campaigned for Goldwater that year. To her eternal regret, no doubt.

Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself?

Consider the following, from Steven Thrasher in today's Guardian, a rare journalist who, using words that actually have meaning, can see the forest for the trees, and feels no compulsion, as many american journos do, to spare tender readers  the truth of their denial. He may be right, as Michael Moore recently suggested on Bill Maher, that Trump will be the next POTUS. As we all stop laughing just long enough to hear the terrifying news.
Folks in the know agree, Hillary simply doesn't have what it takes to defeat his calumnious appeal to people's weakness - fear.  What did FDR warn us? We have nothing to fear but...

As a sidenote, there was a noticeable absence of the word "democracy" in Trumph's Mussolini-style speech last night. So... more in common with that smug dictator than just style. Here's Thrasher:

"As Trump was warmed up by a real estate developer, I felt as if I wasn’t living in reality, but inside a virtual reality scenario dreamt up by Ayn Rand. But as I watched Trump bark about “law and order”, obedience, “law and order,” immigration and “law and order” again, it dawned on me how real this was.
I was looking at the next president of the United States.
Trump’s ginormous face glowering down in condescension from the screen above, tackily framed in by gold, made me think of North Korea. Alas, there’s no escaping how American this Trump phenomena is.
Trump had one goal in his speech: to convince a poorly educated and scared population to imagine him as president. He did that. He was helped by the fact that American society is deeply invested in white supremacy, and his speech was the crowning moment of what looked like a four-day white power rally. He drummed up (fake) immigrant fears, stoked (overblown) dangers to police, and went off his prepared remarks to talk about immigrants. He spoke of refugees fleeing wars, yelling: “We don’t want them in our country!”

The crowd loved it, and Trump will win a significant portion of the white vote. The only question now: will that get him to 270 electoral college votes? Mitt Romney won more white votes than Reagan and still lost. Demographics could spare us this bigot."

Et tu, Hillary?

Sunday, July 17, 2016


Remember the TV guy....

"Would YOU like to be Queen for a Day??!!"


  I mean... seriously? President of the United States? The guy who hasn't read a book in twenty years? And 40 % of my fellow countryfolk believe he's the man who should control the nuclear launch codes? Or don't they know that comes with the job?

 Just how stupid are we?

Will Trumppence be the new coin of the realm??

And, lest we forget how all this really started... read and consider what a NY Times commenter had to say today.  Not ALL of us are stupid, Hil and Don.

Tim Kane

is a trusted commenter Mesa, Az 52 minutes ago

"In regard to Bush-the-inferior: The American people got it right, by only a wisker, and chose Gore (by 500,000 votes). It was the establishment elites that got it wrong - by blocking votes in Florida, and by voting in the Supreme Court (the elite of establishment elites) for W.

It was the American people that put Lincoln in office, it was the Supreme Court that gave us the Dred Scott decision.

W under-reacted to 5 major warnings concerning terrorism and then over reacted afterwords, in the same way as Wrong-way Nelson. Dry drunk indeed.

We (the United States and we the globe) won't know whether or not we have survived W for perhaps another 75 years.

Almost all the problems of the world today from black lives to white fears to Euroscleroris to Eurosceptics, global warming etc... are the result of or made a thousand times worse by the massive concentration of wealth that began in the U.S. under Reagan but made vastly worse by W.

W. moved over $12 trillion from the 99% (demand side of the economy) to the 1% (supply side) of the economy and covered his tracks with cheap money creating a housing bubble. When the credit ran out, demand cratered.

That kind of wealth concentration has undermined decision making here and in Europe and has created an underclass where once the middle class lived, from West Virginia to Granada Spain.

Meanwhile Bush spends his time painting pictures of his toes as they pop up out of the water at the other end of the bath tub. That's Psychopathy."

Swivel eyed loons everywhere - be prepared to get back in your boxes.

Amen, brother.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

What Hath Ronnie/Margaret Wrought?

                         If You're Not At The Table
                          You're On The Menu.


Mr. Jefferson

So here (link) is Kenneth Rogoff with his take on the democractic failure that was the Brexit vote. And below is Mr. Jefferson's response.

"Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves. Call them, therefore, Liberals and Serviles, Jacobins and Ultras, Whigs and Tories, Republicans and Federalists, Aristocrats and Democrats, or by whatever name you please, they are the same parties still and pursue the same object. The last one of Aristocrats and Democrats is the true one expressing the essence of all." --Thomas Jefferson to Henry Lee, 1824. 

Wonder what he meant exactly by "constitutions", how he envisioned that.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Post US Election: Where Not To Move To in Europe?

So maybe you're thinkin'...." hmmm... given America's steady slippery rightward slide of the last several decades, the crowning glory of which is this year's US election, maybe old reliable Liberal Europe is the place to be."...   Ahhh .. not so much.  Scroll down to this map of "political tendencies" reflected in the most recent Euro elections.  Hmmm.. Spain. Portugal. Italy. Greece ... those states looking a bit more kindhearted, non?  Of course their respective experiences with fascism were different than those of the rest of Europe, the lingering memory more recent.

Here's the interesting bit about the New Right Wingers in Austria, and everywhere for that matter:  their candidates claim that being able to make statements and voice opinions that are "no longer taboo" (according to the BBC) is – Hurray! – striking a blow for Freedom of Speech! How Trumpish!  That this supposed "Free Speech" is but a Dog Whistle of bigotry and racism appealing to voters angry about societal changes and pressures they don't understand or accept their part in creating gets little press or analysis.  What does it say about Western democratic society that expressions promoting violence, hate, resentment, inequality, ignorance and blind fear of The Other, and blatantly anti-Christian sentiments are no longer taboo?   These are the opinions voters claim their candidates have "freed" them to voice.  And a media greedy for clicks and profits, too cowardly to actually analyze why the public finds all this so sensational, provides them with no end of platforms from which to blow that Dog Whistle til the hounds of fascism are all safely home at last.

How is this emblematic of civilized society?  Some say Rome fell in part because it lost its sense of identity, what it originally stood for, that its government became a sham, a mere showcase for ideals it no longer put into practice. An anti-Republic of haves and have-nots.   If  those who fail to study history are bound to repeat it, is anyone still cracking the books? Apparently not the media, not in Austria.  Nor in the US as Trump supporter numbers aren't far behind the Austrians.

The Dean of Boys in my old high school, Mister Drulis, was a massive presence. Looming over the hallways, his job to ensure each student was where he was supposed to be. And laggards beware.  Though we mocked him mercilessly, his voice got you moving in a hurry, always the same embarrassing question, and after all these years his voice and that question seem to echo more and more often in my head:

 "What are we doing here, People?"

Feel the Bern.

Rise of nationalism in Europe graphic

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Was the Revolution Televised? Did We Miss it?

Gil Scott Heron.... always right on.... More so now than ever..

Repeat refrain:  "This ain't really a life, ain't really a life, ain't really a nothin' but a movie"..

Saturday, May 7, 2016

A Thing of Beauteous Wonder

Miles below the world of human political madness, this thing of amazing beauty and elegance sails the deep water ocean known as the Enigma Seamount. That we can observe such things is yet another gift of science.