At this point, what it would take to unify the Resistance would be something like a younger female version of Sanders, and I don't see anyone like that on the national stage.And now we have Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Thursday, August 2, 2018
I have a friend who is represented by Senator Patricia Murray (D-WA.) Senator Murray made the budget deal with Paul Ryan that cut off my friend’s unemployment benefits on my friend’s birthday. Now (says my friend) my friend voted for Senator Murray during the last election with difficulty. And yet my friend is an educated activist who will determinedly vote for the lesser evil. Someone who had lost their house or had years of unemployment and is not ideological? Why would they vote Democratic? Why would their family, friends, and neighbors? The amazing thing, perhaps, is that the Presidential election was as close as it was.
I'm not going to say that economics was the whole story of that election; many factors came together to bring the Republicans to power. Sexism was a part of it, racism was a part of it, and bad press was a part of it. So was treason. But those memories of long times out of work and losing homes were also part of it.
Jobs matter. Homes matter.
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Reputable firearms manufacturers proof test firearms – fire them with a round that is more powerful than usual – to ensure they will operate safely. This is a dangerous procedure. Reputable manufacturers have safety practices in place for it. Most of the 3-D printing processes produce rough parts; they need finishing. Do this wrong with your gun and you will have an explosion when you fire it. (And you may have one anyway, even if you do everything right.)
If you print your own gun you're the tester. It's your hand at risk.
In this bird's view, this whole thing is overblown. It's not hard to make firearms with modern machine tools; hasn't been since the late 19ᵗʰ century. A 3-D printer is just another way of doing that. The hard part is making safe, useful, good-quality firearms through a safe manufacturing process.
On the other hand, the censorship that is imposed on 3-D printed firearms is of concern. Really don't want random officials deciding what designs we can make.
Monday, July 16, 2018
When you or I break the law, we do harm, but we do no harm to the law. When the police break the law, they do harm to the law. When prosecutors and judges accept this, and when elected officials do not act, they do harm to the law.
Richard Nixon was a traitor, responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of US soldiers. His Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, still alive, still lauded, was perhaps equally culpable. Yes, he was that bad.
I am left thinking that the Republican Party has been disloyal for over 50 years. The foreign policies it advocates fail so desperately and shamefully, and are so unpopular, that they are left undertaking crimes to enable them and to conceal them.
Friday, July 13, 2018
US citizens who work with a foreign power to “levy war against the United States” are guilty of treason (Article III, US Constitution.) It was the Russian military that levied the cyberattack charged in the grand jury indictment obtained by Mueller today. “War” or not? Hmmm… – tweetTribe is the widely-respected Carl M. Loeb University Professor and Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard.
Sunday, July 8, 2018
A response to Dinesh D'Souza and a short history of American fascism in the second half of the 20th century and the early 21st from David Neiwert.
Prof. Kieran Healy: academic snark about economists: “We know it’s not a myth because over the past 30 years historians exhaustively documented its precursors, political scientists traced its structure and diffusion, sociologists analyzed its consequences, and economists published a paper discovering it this week.”
Antifa shows up ready to rumble; the fascists show up with firearms.
Joshua Dukes tries to stop Marc Hokoana from using pepper spray, Elizabeth Hokoana, Marc's wife, shoots Joshua Dukes.
James Fields drives into a crowd of peaceful protesters, killing one and injuring others. The President condemns “violence on many sides.”
Desperate refugees come to the United States and the United States steals their children.
Mild and limited resistance to the fascists bring down a storm of complaints about “civility.” Murder, assault, and child theft bring at most half-hearted objections from the same people.
Civility in answer to raw hatred can be complicity. The offenses from the resistance are not to be compared with the greater violence from Trump, the Republicans, and their supporters.
Saturday, July 7, 2018
Even if the Democrats retake the House and Senate in November, even if they impeach Neal Gorsuch for the perjury he committed during the confirmation hearings, even if they punish the people who have stolen refugee children at our border, it will be at least 20 years to recover from the damage Trump and the Republicans have done.(So how come there is no angry raven emoji?)
But this is not likely. The rule of law at the Federal level is over for at least a decade to come. We are now governed by the whims of the wealthy and powerful. We are back into aristocratic politics, where knowing the character of the wealthy and powerful will be necessary for almost any significant business or political success.
The next likely moves from Trump are withdrawing from the WTO and NATO. Living in that America will be very much like living in the old Soviet Union; we will work very hard for poor wages and be asked to patriotically bless the most awful products of American industry, while the rest of the world forges ahead.
Meantime, environmental degradation will continue. The seas will rise.
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Rather than picking a fight, I left out W. E. B DuBois, Cornel West, and Glen Ford. Arguably, socialists could claim Martin Luther King, Jr. He didn't call himself a socialist, though in private correspondence he wrote about socialism. Instead he talked about anti-poverty activism.
Socialists have been opposed to racism for over a century and many prominent African Americans activists have been socialist.
A short list of prominent African-American socialists: Paul Robeson; Richard Wright; Langston Hughes; Ella Baker; Angela Davis; Bell Hooks.
I'm getting testy about this. Many people are trying very hard to erase the entire history of the African-American left. Researching these major figures online was surprisingly difficult, though I am sure that historians who study such matters are aware of their politics.
I am not entirely sure why these peoples' socialism is being written out of history. It seems to be partly a factional dispute among African-American activists. I think also that the American white fear of socialism bears some part of the blame. Black and white: Americans don't want to acknowledge how much the United States owes to socialism and how much the loss of socialist factions in the USA has cost us.
Sunday, July 1, 2018
Meantime, environmental degradation will continue. The seas will continue to rise.
Saturday, June 30, 2018
Over a month ago, Jim Wright asked “Describe to me that candidate. Folks, give me a list of the attributes a Democratic candidate MUST have in 2020 for you to show up and vote.”
I thought about that for a while, and then I wrote “Turning Out the Left” in which my answer was, broadly, a socialist with integrity and courage.
And here is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who I didn't even know about when I wrote that post.
I called it. I gloat.
Friday, June 29, 2018
But whatever the case, I think it likely sexism within the Democratic Party played a part in her loss.
(We now pause to observe a bird banging its head against a cage.)
Are Bitcoin and similar digital currencies subject to 51% attacks by state actors?
Bitcoin et al are neoliberal by design. Would it be possible to create a digital currency or similar system that would be Keynesian by design?
Thursday, June 28, 2018
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
The full extent of this failure will be felt in all aspects of our lives. Civil rights, women's rights, labor rights, yes, but also such fundamentals as enforcement of contracts against wealthy institutions. We had a foretaste of that in the failure to respond effectively to massive fraud in the real estate market. It will spread to other markets. Steady employment will probably become a thing of the past.
I don't see how our current economy will be able to survive in such a legal regime; our very lives will be in danger.
Korematsu was not excluded from the Military Area because of hostility to him or his race. He was excluded because we are at war with the Japanese Empire, because the properly constituted military authorities feared an invasion of our West Coast and felt constrained to take proper security measures, because they decided that the military urgency of the situation demanded that all citizens of Japanese ancestry be segregated from the West Coast temporarily, and, finally, because Congress, reposing its confidence in this time of war in our military leaders—as inevitably it must—determined that they should have the power to do just this.Trump:
The forcible relocation of U. S. citizens to concentration camps, solely and explicitly on the basis of race, is objectively unlawful and outside the scope of Presidential authority. But it is wholly inapt to liken that morally repugnant order to a facially neutral policy denying certain foreign nationals the privilege of admission …What Chief Justice Roberts wrote about Korematsu is flat false: it also was not explicitly about race. In fact, by saying that laws that are de facto racist while not prima facie racist on the face are acceptable, he is replicating the racist logic of Korematsu as well as the long history of laws written in euphemisms, echoing the logic of Plessy v. Ferguson (“separate but equal” only of course it never was equal), and that of Dred Scott v. Sandford, which found that since people had been enslaved they were not people in the sense of the Constitution. This use of euphemisms show plainly that the authors very well know that what they decided was against an honest construction of the law.
If judges consistently construe law to be consistent with the whims of the powerful, rather than the spirit and letter of the law, there is no law, only the whims of the powerful. Until the composition of the Court changes, there is no rule of law in the United States.
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Not at all coincidentally, all three of the Court's women dissented.
There is no law any more, only the whim of the Court's conservatives.
There will be more analysis forthcoming but, in addition to the specific awfulness of this decision, it is deferential to dictatorial power on the part of the Executive, which, at a time of enormous abuse of such power, is idiotic.
In the coming decades we will probably see the Court rule in favor of various racist, sexist, and classist policies. We will see attempts to re-implement the system of racial segregation at the state level. I do not believe the fight is lost. People will fight, and fight hard. In many states they will win. But we will likely enter a period of internal terrorism; a second Civil War.
Thank you Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Alito, Gorsuch, Kennedy, and Thomas. Thank you Democratic Senators who didn't fight the nominations of Alito and Gorsuch when it mattered.
Goodbye to the United States for at least a generation.
Monday, June 25, 2018
The Democratic Party has for a long time existed as a coalition between liberal and conservative wings. That coalition is under great stress, yet it is the only thing that might stand against the fascists. (See this old post for analysis.) – twitter
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Since that day we have had a drumbeat of authoritarian decisions from the Trump Administration. He has alienated long-time allies and given concessions to Kim Jong-Un, one of the most brutal dictators. Again they promulgate the fascist policy of culling the unfit by withdrawing medical care. Now they talk of establishing concentration camps for the children taken from their parents.
And you who thought that a Trump Administration would not be so bad: you have cursed yourselves. You who are participating: you have cursed yourselves. Do not think now that you will now escape judgement.
Perhaps he had always known, somewhere in the deepest recesses of his mind, that he would indeed eventually take that last step into Satanism, but if so, he had very successfully suppressed it. – James Blish, The Day After Judgement
No-way Jews own the banks. No-way Jews own Hollywood. Jeez, this is public information, it's easy to check. Jews have done OK in the USA, but the superrich are still largely WASP.
Time was, Jews were lynched in the South.
Every Jew in the USA is the child or grandchild of refugees. Every single one of them.
Jews hoped, for a long time, they could be accepted in the civilized countries of Western Europe, the most civilized of which was … Germany. When the Jews of Europe direly needed refugee, the United States turned them away. Jews can pass, Jews can act like they fit in, but when the chips were down and the jackboots march, Jews will die.
After the Holocaust how can you even write this?
The Rothchilds are one superrich family – there are dozens of those. They don't run the world banking system.
You don't say because Beyonce is rich and successful that black women run the music biz.
Most of the people who talk about the Rothchilds running the world – they're white. In fact they're white supremacists. Some are outright Nazis. Please, do yourself a favor and don't give credence to your enemies.He blocked me.
We are evolving in reverse.
I think Bernie is getting a bum rap, and Hillary Clinton got a pass on some pretty awful things. And, regardless of all this we've got to come together and fight the fascists. This means that, on the one side, the left has to swallow its objections to the center, and on the other side, the Democratic leadership has to stop trying to push the left out. It's a lot easier to get people to turn out for you when you haven't pushed them away.
The Democratic leadership is still acting as though a meaningful compromise with the Republicans is possible, and that is a chimera. And here is Sanders out there saying it. Good. I don't see how he could win the Presidency, but he's good in the Senate and I hope he stays there and keeps fighting the good fight. Meantime, lets do as much as we can to turn out the vote this year.
I am thinking that Kamala Harris may be the best choice for the Democratic Presidential candidate in 2020.There was no response.
Democratic Party centrists are turning into fascist sympathizers.
I think there's a good chance the Resistance will loose the next two elections. The Democratic leadership, as far as I can tell, does not recognize an existential threat. It is still trying to shoot the party of its left wing at a time when Democrats need all the support they can get. The left wing is discouraged after 20 years of attacks from from the Democratic leadership. They're not going to turn into fascists, but they are going to be unenthusiastic supporters of the Democratic Party, and isn't that how we got into this mess?
The Democratic leadership is an obstacle. Some Democratic candidates might as well be Republicans. Most of them are rich and insulated by their wealth from the hardness of most people's lives. (As David Dayen reminded us recently, every single bank deregulation bill of the past 30-40 years was bipartisan.) The Senate Democratic leader voted to confirm a torturer for Director of the CIA. And so on, and on.
If the goal is to build a Democratic coalition that defeats the fascists of the Republican Party, it will take strong leadership and careful planning to both satisfy the liberals and keep the more conservative factions in the Party. At this time, I see no interest in building such a coalition in the Democratic Party leadership. With the Democratic leadership opposed and no major leftist leader within the party, I do not see how the left is to be brought to enthusiastically support the Democratic Party in the next four years.
Thursday, June 7, 2018
The DOJ, responsible for upholding the rule of law, is not defending the people in a frivolous lawsuit to say that without the mandate, the rest of the ACA can’t be enforced. – https://twitter.com/ASlavitt/status/1004897703401312256This is, for many reasons, disgusting, and three Department of Justice lawyers have already quit over it. But I want to draw attention to the contempt for the law on the part of the highest law enforcement official in the USA shows. This is what happens when you put a racist southern prosecutor in charge of the Department of Justice. Lawyer Nicholas Bagley comments:
I’m frightened for what this says about the rule of law. […] The Trump administration has just announced that it doesn’t care that a law was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. All that matters if that it hates the law and has a (laughable) argument for casting it aside. That’s not a rule of law I recognize. That’s a rule by whim. And it scares me.The rule of law will be decades recovering from the damage the Roberts Court and the Trump administration has done to it.
It occurs to me that the claims the Bernie Sanders cares only about class issues and not at all about racism and sexism erases generations of African-American socialism, a long and proud intellectual history to which Sanders himself, though Martin Luther King, Jr., is heir.
Here's a few names and faces, from the Democratic Socialists of America.
Wednesday, June 6, 2018
"The Shirley Exception is a bit of mental sleight of hand that allows people to support a policy they profess to disagree with. It's called the Shirley Exception because … well, I mean, *surely* there must be exceptions, right?" – Alexandra Erin (@alexandraerin) on Twitter.
Thursday, May 24, 2018
Monday, May 21, 2018
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Thursday, May 3, 2018
I don't have any ideology in this area beyond objecting to the deaths of nearly 100 million and wanting to avoid a catastrophic global war, which seems to me scarcely an ideology at all.
If humans keep on believing that wars are a way to resolve conflicts, which many do, and the wars keep increasing in intensity and scope, as they have, and the weapons and strategies in capability, as they have, then there will be nothing left of human civilization. Opposing that is not idealism but pragmatism.
Regardless of what could have happened in the 19th and 20th century, it is important to continue efforts to make war less and less likely.
We need a new ideal of governance. It is not enough to insist that a polity be democratic internally; it must exist in a world order of polities which respect each other. I do not see how this is achievable without most of those polities being themselves democratic internally; a ruler who tyrannizes their own people will not hesitate to go conquering.
Audrey Hepburn nearly died of starvation when she was 16. She was living in the Netherlands in 1944 when Nazi Germany blockaded the country, and her weight dropped to 88 pounds. She had lifelong medical problems as a result of malnutrition from ages 9 to 16.
And yet she became an iconic beauty. After the 1930s, a period of epic poverty, we had a generation of knife-slender models. The trend, from what I remember, actually started in the 1920s, with the stylish uncurvy flapper, but it was after the lean depression and war years that the extremely slender woman became a model of femininity. And to this day we have women starving themselves to copy that look.
There is a lot of history here I do not know. It may be that part of the reason that emaciation became popular was because it was made popular; there were a lot of men who were threatened by the emergence of independent women and who wanted to make women weaker and ashamed of themselves. Or maybe not. But this is true: part of the model of beauty for a generation was an emaciated woman who was a survivor of wartime starvation.
Monday, April 30, 2018
Just another day, making America great again.
Sunday, April 29, 2018
F'ing fascists and their sympathizers. Does Margaret Haberman really think it's going to do her or the USA any good, to suck up to these people?Suddenly, now that they are powerless, the Democrats are the party of the working class.
And Jeff Yang, citing Alisa Harris on homeschooling:
This is damning. 36% of kids pulled out of school for homeschooling were removed by families who have been accused of abuse. And 47% of all cases of child torture involve kids who were removed from school for homeschooling.Meantime, on support of Trump from supposedly-moderate press outlets:
I think the publishers, as well, are in the tank for Trump. They are so afraid of the Democrats that they will support Trump, even if destroys the USA.Maybe I should start calling Twitter Screamer. There seems no way to scream loud enough any more.
I don't know what is is about even the most moderate socialism that so terrifies a faction of the rich, but they are terrified.
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Wikipedia: misinforming the masses since the beginning of the millenium.
Pompeo is a Christian religious conservative whose beliefs inform his politics. He spoke at length of how religion informs his political ideals on video at the Summit Church God and Country Rally 2015. In that speech he approvingly quoted the Robert Russell/Joseph Wright prayer which contained "We have worshiped other gods and called it multiculturalism. We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle." In his own words, he said "We are engaged in a struggle against radical Islam, the kind of struggle that this country has not faced since its great wars."
There is a great deal more in that speech, but to flesh this out, I would have to listen to the speech in its entirety, take notes, and research them, which would be a considerable investment in time.
We are rightly afraid of John Bolton as National Security Advisor. Perhaps we ought also be afraid of Michael R. Pompeo as DCIA.