The Evening Blues - 10-9-18



eb1pt12



The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Cow Cow Davenport



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features boogie woogie and blues piano player Cow Cow Davenport. Enjoy!



Cow Cow Davenport - Mama Don't Allow No Easy Riders Here

“People have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take.”

-- Emma Goldman


News and Opinion


True Revolution

A radical change in human behavior away from its patterns of oppression, exploitation, war and ecocide will necessarily involve a drastic transformation in humanity’s relationship with thought. I’ve been saying this over and over again in different ways for a long time now, and yet I still get criticisms saying that I have useful insights but I don’t provide any plan of action. The transformation in human consciousness is the plan of action. I really don’t know how to say it any clearer than that. And I will go so far as to say that that it is the only plan of action which will pull us out of our destructive patterns and into a healthy state of collaboration with each other and with our ecosystem. Unless we radically change the way we function above the neck, we will keep killing, consuming and destroying like a bunch of mindless automatons until everything is dead. I really don’t see any other way out of this.

I understand the criticism, though. When people read about the problem of capitalist ecocide and oligarchic strangulation, they don’t want to hear a bunch of stuff about mass ego death and spiritual enlightenment, they want to hear about nationwide demonstrations or organizing the working class or forming a new political party or cryptocurrencies or ending the Federal Reserve, or something along those lines depending on where they believe the problem is localized. In general, they want a fairy tale about people coming together to effect drastic, sweeping changes and turn the status quo on its head, which they will do because something something reasons, cough cough.

Seriously, why do people think revolution happens? Why do they believe their ideas have a chance of winning out over the existing paradigm? ... People are not going to deviate from their patterns and suddenly begin shrugging off ruling power structures for no reason. Revolutions historically happen for one of two reasons: (1) things get sufficiently bad to make people lash out against their government out of sheer desperation, and/or (2) people are manipulated into revolting by other powerful forces. Historically neither of these things ever lead to the creation of a stable, beneficent government that takes good care of its citizens or the world, so neither will be sufficient for creating a world in which humanity takes good care of itself and its environment, and even if that were not the case it’s unlikely that either will ever be allowed to occur by an establishment so powerful and skillful at manipulation as the US-centralized empire.

So if there is to be a people’s revolution which is effective in both (A) removing our oligarchic oppressors from power and (B) leading to the creation of a healthy, harmonious new paradigm, it will necessarily come from a place that is historically unprecedented. It will involve people rising up against existing power structures not because things got so bad they had no choice, nor because they were manipulated into it by other rival power structures, but because people realized collectively that it is in their best interests to do so. This would require a level of wisdom and insight that the majority of human beings simply do not possess right now. Right now, most people are very easily manipulated into advancing establishment interests by plutocrat-controlled media, and until that changes there will never be an effective and beneficial revolution.

America Is on the Road to Becoming a Fascist State>

In a compelling essay for The New York Review of Books this month, Christopher R. Browning, a leading historian of the Holocaust and Nazism, outlines the frightening parallels between the United States and the Weimar Republic. “No matter how and when the Trump presidency ends,” he writes, “the specter of illiberalism will continue to haunt American politics.”

Jason Stanley would agree. A professor of philosophy at Yale University and the author of “How Fascism Works,” he contends that failures of democratic governance have forged a society eerily reminiscent of pre-war Germany—one in which there’s a growing appetite for the kind of ultranationalism espoused by Donald Trump. Indeed, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has openly praised the Immigration Act of 1924, which not only created quotas and bans on certain immigrant communities but served as a model of sorts for Hitler’s “Mein Kampf.”

“The idea in fascism is to destroy economic politics,” Stanley tells Robert Scheer in the latest episode of “Scheer Intelligence.” “The corporatists side with politicians who use fascist tactics because they are trying to divert people’s attention from the real forces that cause the genuine anxiety they feel.”

This anxiety is not exclusively or even primarily economic. As Stanley is careful to point out, people of color have suffered far greater hardship, and yet they are increasingly drawn to progressive populism. Instead, he posits, Trump and his ilk are channeling a noxious strain of patriotism that creates a nostalgia for a past that never existed. “When you see the dominant group made to feel like they’re the victims in the face of all the facts,” Stanley notes, “that’s when you know that fascist politics is taking grip.”

[Transcript at link. - js]

Israel Told to End 'Outrageous' Detention of US Student Held for Alleged Crime of Supporting BDS

Hundreds of academics, journalists, and human rights advocates are calling for the release of Lara Alqasem, an American student who has been detained at Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv for a week after being accused of promoting the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement led by Palestinians and supported by those who oppose the Israeli occupation, its apartheid policies, and its ongoing violation of international laws.

Alqasem has been detained by Israeli authorities since arriving in Israel last Tuesday to study human rights at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her deportation was ordered despite the fact that she holds a student visa. Her detention is now the longest ever in a BDS-related case, and has drawn condemnation from critics of the country that claims to embrace democratic ideals. ...

The Israeli strategic affairs minister, Gilad Erdan, offered to release Alqasem if she apologizes and renounces the BDS movement. Appealing the government's decision to detain her, the student has argued that she never actively participated in a boycott and said she would not promote them in the future. Her supporters argue that such promises are beside the point, however, calling on Israel to end its intimidation of critics and the suppression of free speech.

"Alqasem shouldn't have to commit to anything. Boycotts are a legitimate tool for expressing political protest in a democratic country, whether we're talking about that country's citizens or foreigners who received visas to enter," wrote the editorial board of Haaretz on Monday.

US Ambassador to UN Nikki Haley resigns

Trump just accepted Nikki Haley’s resignation as U.N. ambassador

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will resign at the end of the year. The former governor of South Carolina reportedly offered her resignation to President Donald Trump last week, which he accepted, according to Axios.

Within half an hour of the news breaking, Haley and Trump met in the Oval Office in an event open to the press, where Trump confirmed Haley’s resignation but said she’s able to return to the administration in any capacity, adding “she’s very special to me.” Haley will leave her post at the end of the year, Trump said.

Yesterday, the watchdog organization Citizens for Ethics called for an investigation into Haley’s use of gifted flights on private planes, though it's unclear whether that action is at all related to Haley’s reported resignation.

As Nikki Haley Resigns, Critics Forced to Clarify That "Pro-War, Pro-Imperialist" Sycophant for Trump Is No "Moderate"

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley unexpectedly announced her resignation on Tuesday, but informed critics are raising their voices in the aftermath of the news to make sure nobody gets away with describing the outgoing diplomat—who said she will serve in the position until the end of the year—as anything other than what she is: a sycophant for President Donald Trump and a horrible war-monger who used her powerful position to push a neoconservative foreign policy while undermining global goodwill, overtly attacking human rights, and making the world a more dangerous place.

While some news outlets and commenters ignored historical evidence as they attempted to frame Haley as a "moderate" voice in the Trump administration and Republicans applauded her "moral clarity," progressive critics hit back hard against such blatantly false characterizations.

"Moderate?" exclaimed political commentator Amir Amini in a tweet responding the New York Times' story about the surprise resignation. "Haley spent every minute of her time at the UN threatening innocent nations w/ war, terror and literally bullying and trying to blackmail (and miserably failing) the entire [world] into supporting her agenda dictated by the military industrial complex." ...

According to journalist Glenn Greenwald, the reason outlets like the Times describe Haley as a "moderate" is "because she affirms all of the standard pro-war, pro-imperial orthodoxies that are bipartisan consensus in Washington. That's why [Bill Kristol, founder and editor of the right-wing The Weekly Standard] reveres her. She was a Tea Party candidate, but 'moderate' means: loves U.S. wars & hegemony." Before Trump's hiring of John Bolton as National Security Adviser, Greenwald added, "Haley was probably the most pro-war, pro-imperialist high-ranking Trump official, and therefore the most beloved Trump official by the war-loving U.S. media. She held every conventional foreign policy view that has generated so much destruction."

Neo-Nazi convicted for domestic terror on Amtrak train was part of Unite the Right rally

A card-carrying neo-Nazi who attended the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison Friday for stopping an Amtrak train in Nebraska to “save the train from black people.”

Pictures of Taylor Michael Wilson marching in Charlottesville started circulating online over the weekend after news broke that the 25-year-old Missourian had been sentenced for the Oct. 23, 2017, train incident, deemed an act of "domestic terror." Wilson broke into the secure engine compartment of an Amtrak train as it traveled through rural Nebraska, and pulled the emergency brake, bringing it to a screeching halt. As passengers received word that someone had broken into the compartment, some panicked and tried to escape through the train’s windows, according to court documents.

Two months earlier, Wilson had traveled to Charlottesville to participate in the violent ‘Unite the Right” rally, according to the complaint, and video stills that surfaced Saturday showed him marching alongside James Alex Fields Jr., the young neo-Nazi who rammed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, sending bodies flying and killing Heather Heyer. ...

When law enforcement apprehended Wilson on the train, they discovered he was armed with a fully loaded .38 caliber handgun and a loaded speedloader. Passengers also found his backpack containing another four loaded speedloaders, ammunition, a knife, a hammer and a gas mask. At the time of his arrest, Wilson was also carrying his membership card to National Socialist Movement, a hardcore neo-Nazi group.

Three cheers for the man who made Justice Rapey McPerjurer's appointment possible. Oh wait, I only have two middle fingers, darnit.

Obama’s Resistance to Investigating the Bush Administration Allowed Brett Kavanaugh to Skate Onto the Supreme Court

One of Barack Obama’s first decisions after being elected president continued to haunt the country over the weekend, as Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as the fifth hard-line conservative on the Supreme Court. In January 2009, George W. Bush left office with an abysmal 22 percent approval rating, the lowest ever recorded. Almost everyone with anything to do with his administration was considered politically toxic. With full Democratic control of the federal government, calls came for an investigation into the scandals of the Bush administration, including torture, mass surveillance, and war profiteering. While some called for criminal prosecutions, others wanted hearings or an independent investigation that would — at minimum — put into the public record the details of who did what and when. At the least, the argument went, Democrats could ensure that the GOP had to wear the Bush administration for years; that the officials involved in wrongdoing would be written out of polite society; and that future administrations would not revert to those practices.

Obama refused. “We need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards,” he said famously on January 11, 2009, days before he took office. Had he looked forward far enough, he would have seen one of the chief boosters of the torture program elevated to CIA director, and a Bush administration attorney with complicity in a wide array of its most controversial programs lifted up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Kavanaugh’s rise to the Supreme Court is the result of elite institutional failure. The judge was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts on Saturday evening, even as demonstrators banged on the doors of the court. ...

Three allegations of sexual assault — the first was broken by The Intercept — and and FBI investigation weren’t enough to sink Kavanaugh. Nor were indications of perjurious testimony — in part because a trove of documents relating to Kavanaugh’s time with the Bush administration that is currently being analyzed by the National Archives, including emails and memos about surveillance, torture, and Kavanaugh’s involvement with a hacking scandal, won’t be released until the end of October. ... With proper public understanding of Kavanaugh’s role in the unpopular policies of of the Bush White House, that role may have been disqualifying by itself. ...

Over the past decade, the political world has done everything possible to minimize and forget the crimes of the early to mid-2000s. The effect has been felt ever since. Members of the Bush administration and their hangers-on have spent their time working diligently to return to good standing in the social and professional worlds they once dominated in Washington and New York. Allowing them to reintegrate into elite society has had almost as catastrophic an effect on American politics as Donald Trump. ... Kavanaugh’s career should have ended at the D.C. District Court of Appeals. His new role as Supreme Court justice is what happens when democratic societies don’t hold criminals in the government accountable for their actions. At a bare minimum, everyone involved with the Bush administration’s war in Iraq and post-9/11 torture and detainee programs should have been thoroughly discredited and rejected from polite society. That they weren’t may end up being one of the defining moments in the 21st century.

Trump falsely says Kavanaugh was 'proven innocent' at swearing-in

Donald Trump, speaking at a triumphalist White House ceremony, has made the baseless claim that the new supreme court justice Brett Kavanaugh was “proven innocent” of allegations of sexual assault. In what he acknowledged was a break from tradition, the US president told a packed East Room on Monday: “On behalf of our nation, I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the terrible pain and suffering you have been forced to endure. Those who step forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation, not a campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and deception.”

Trump, often criticised for rubbing salt in national wounds rather than healing them, continued: “What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency, and due process. Our country, a man or woman must always be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.” Clarence Thomas, who was confirmed to the court in 1991 despite sexual harassment allegations by Anita Hill, joined applause in the room. Sitting beside him, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal justice, did not. All eight sitting supreme court justices were present.

The president added: “And with that, I must state that you, sir, under historic scrutiny, were proven innocent. Thank you. You were.” He turned to shake the hand of Kavanaugh, who said, “Thank you,” as the room erupted in applause again.

The judge was found neither guilty nor innocent of allegations brought by research psychologist Dr Christine Blasey Ford that, when he was 17 and she 15 in the 1980s, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, groped her and tried to remove her clothes while putting his hand over her mouth to stop her screams.

The ranting, tearful Kavanaugh was not in evidence on Monday, though his air of self-assurance and self-destiny was. Early in his remarks, he praised Trump’s “deep appreciation for the vital role of the American judiciary” and thanked him for his “steadfast” and “unwavering” support. “Mr President, thank you for everything.”

Yale Legacy Admission Brett Kavanaugh Is Now the Swing Vote on Affirmative Action at Universities

During his Senate Judiciary Committee testimony, new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh took obvious pride in getting into Yale, citing it as evidence that he didn’t have a drinking problem. “I got into Yale Law School. That’s the No. 1 law school in the country. I had no connections there. I got there by busting my tail in college.” But, as with much of his testimony, this wasn’t exactly true: Kavanaugh’s grandfather had gone to Yale University for undergrad, just as Kavanaugh later did, making him a legacy student. And admission to an undergraduate institution can more than double a student’s chance of getting into that institution’s graduate schools. Getting into college, especially Ivy League schools, is traditionally as much a matter of who you know as it is what you know.

For this and other long-recognized structural reasons, it has historically been more difficult for minority applicants to get accepted into institutions of higher learning. The remedy for this society-wide disadvantage became known as affirmative action — the idea that admissions officers would affirmatively work to consider the relative advantages of wealthier, whiter candidates against less affluent, browner candidates, in order to level the playing field. The practice of considering race in admissions processes now faces a new legal challenge, and with Kavanaugh on the bench, the Supreme Court could be poised to strike it down. The Wall Street Journal editorial page on Monday anticipated just that outcome, if Chief Justice John Roberts decides to go for it:

With the politics surrounding the Court so polarized, [Roberts] might be more cautious than warranted on issues where the Court needs to clear up its own indecision. One of those issues is the constitutionality of racial preferences, about which former Justice Anthony Kennedy continued the legal hair-splitting of Sandra Day O’Connor. Justice Kavanaugh is likely to join the other four conservatives.

That the blow would be dealt by a legacy Yale admission from Georgetown Preparatory School is perhaps as fitting as it is ironic.

Kavanaugh Lied, A Truncated FBI Investigation, & Democrats Search for a Backbone

Brett Kavanaugh: divisive fight fades into silence on justice's first day

Brett Kavanaugh took his seat on the supreme court on Tuesday after one of the most divisive fights in recent American history. ... On his first day in the job, all that seemed quickly to fade into silence. Kavanaugh’s elevation was briefly acknowledged by Chief Justice John Roberts, who expressed his “great pleasure” in welcoming the new man on to the court and wished him “a long and happy career”. But those remarks were immediately forgotten amid the mundane business of the court.

Lawyers stood up by the half-dozen. As they were sworn in, Kavanaugh talked quietly with Justice Elena Kagan, sitting to his right. Both laughed at the other’s remarks. ...

Although there were a handful of protesters outside the court before its session began – dressed as characters from The Handmaid’s Tale, they shouted “Believe women” – they had dispersed by the end of the first case. There were still some television cameras outside but they weren’t broadcasting. Tourists strolled around the grounds. Disruptions on sidewalk came not from partisan vitriol but passersby, riding scooters.

The political and cultural impact of the Kavanaugh fight will resonate for months if not years. But around the court, on day one, it was as if it never happened.


Kavanaugh will be on the US supreme court for life. Here's how we fight back

Nothing in the constitution fixes the number of supreme court seats at nine. The size of the court is set by legislation, and has varied over time. We started with six. We’ve gone as high as 10 (when Abraham Lincoln was president, and Congress worried about a reactionary supreme court invalidating his wartime measures). Only recently, Republicans held the court to eight members for a year in the wake of Antonin Scalia’s death. So, then, the next time the left has some political power, why not just expand the size of the supreme court and add another handful of justices? Make Brett Kavanaugh a gifted and energetic member of a 10-to-5 minority. Don’t get mad, in other words: get even.

This is called “court-packing”. And although it enjoys a long and distinguished history in America, anyone who suggests it today will be met – swiftly – by serious and sober realists, all of whom who are eager to explain the reasons that this cannot possibly work. Their arguments tend to take one of a few forms. First, they say, this idea is counterproductive. If the Democrats pack the courts, Republicans will retaliate by packing the courts even more when next they are in power. (“It’s time,” these people assure you, “for some game theory.”) That is, if the left expands the court’s membership to 15, then the Republicans will expand it to 17, or 19, when they are in power next. And that makes sense until you remember: didn’t the Republicans already adjust the size of the court (shrinking it to eight, by refusing to consider Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination) when they had the power to do it?

And if, in a decade, the right did further expand the court and take back control of it … how would that leave the left in any position that’s worse than now? This objection (“what if they retaliate?!”) feels, in present circumstances, a bit like worrying that if the Allies invade Normandy, the Nazis will shoot at them. It’s not wrong, exactly, but it seems bereft of some of the essential context.

Another objection is more romantic. Court-packing, some worry, would destroy the legitimacy of the supreme court as a non-partisan institution – it would say farewell to the court as a forum where neutral principles, rather than ideology, governs. Whereas the game theorists of the prior objection are mostly annoying, this objection is almost sad: what can one say to it but “Oh, honey?” ...

At bottom, though, opponents of court-packing have a burden to supply a superior alternative. The court is firmly in the grips of young conservatives who will serve for decades. What is to be done? Writing more persuasive briefs is not a hopeful strategy. Term limits don’t even begin to solve the problem. Accepting defeat is a non-starter. And so although court-packing is deservedly controversial, its skeptics on the left must nonetheless answer a question to which they have yet to supply a convincing answer:

Do you have a better idea?

If you participate in these sorts of things, here are links to two petitions to impeach the SCROTUS (Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court Rapist of the United States): Credo Action and Free Speech For People

“Keep your Marxist hands off Gritty”: WSJ writer fumes over allegations that a furry mascot is antifa

Gritty, the bright orange, furry, 7-foot creature of Philadelphian origin, is no longer a simple mascot for a hockey team: Antifa activists have co-opted him as their own. In fact, they so effectively claimed Gritty as a working-class, leftist icon that the Wall Street Journal was forced to publish an anguished op-ed Monday demanding that these people keep their “Marxist hands off Gritty.”

“The same leftists who want statues of Thomas Jefferson removed are now petitioning for Gritty to replace Mayor Frank Rizzo on a downtown mural,” Jillian Kay Melchior said in the Wall Street Journal op-ed. “Gritty belongs to Philadelphia, not to far-left activists. Still, in an era when everything from Nike and the NFL to your local restaurant is a political battlefield, this development is as predictable as it is sad,” she said. “Not only can’t we have nice things; we can’t even have silly, creepy things.”

Leftist activists immediately latched on to Gritty after the Philadelphia Flyers introduced him as their new mascot in late September. The socialist magazine Jacobin, for example, first tweeted on Sept. 26 that, “Gritty is a worker.” An anti-capitalist Gritty parody account sprouted up on Twitter on Oct. 2, and it has already amassed thousands of followers.

The Daily Beast reported last week that Gritty is an “anti-fascist now, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” But it’s more than just a joke on the internet. When Donald Trump visited Philadelphia last week, protesters showed up carrying signs that showed Gritty waving an antifa flag and wearing anarchist imagery.





the evening greens


The Trump administration has entered Stage 5 climate denial


To date, the Trump administration has pinballed between Stages 1, 2, and 3, calling climate change a Chinese hoax, disputing the degree of human causation (100% since 1950), and claiming it’s not a threat.  But the purpose of climate science denial is to obstruct climate policies, and science denial doesn’t hold up in court.  Unlike in the political realm, judicial decisions are generally based on evidence. ...

At least the Trump administration doesn’t deny basic climate science in this report, but worse yet, they’ve taken the nihilistic viewpoint that we’re screwed and nothing we do matters. Like the other stages, this is simply another form of climate denial meant to protect fossil fuel industry profits at everyone else’s peril.

Climate Scientist: As U.N. Warns of Global Catastrophe, We Need a “Marshall Plan” for Climate Change

Fifty-Thousand Come Together in Germany to Defend Ancient Forest and Fight Coal

More than 50,000 people from across Europe gathered near the Hambacher Forest in western Germany on Saturday to defend the area from the expansion of coal-fired energy and demand much more ambitious climate action. According to Greenpeace, one of the organizers behind the demonstration, the enormous crowd made up of local farmers, environmental activists, church groups, local residents and supporters from other countries, including Italy, France and the Netherlands. It was the largest-ever anti-coal demonstration in the Rhineland.

Those attending carried large banners declaring "Farmers against coal" and "We will end coal" as they assembled in a massive field and demanded that the RWE energy group be forbidden from further logging in the nearby Hambacher Forest, the largest of its kind in the region.

"This rally is about demanding that the German government break the deadlock of a climate policy that has failed to reduce carbon emissions for nearly a decade now, but it also is about showing governments everywhere that a growing climate movement is demanding an end to dirty and outdated fossil fuels," said Martin Kaiser, executive director of Greenpeace Germany. "The German coal phase-out needs to start here and now and the last coal plant needs to shut down by 2030 if we are to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement."

The mass protest comes in the wake of a legal victory in which a German court forbade RWE from carrying out a clear-cutting operation of the forest.

Robotic bees could pollinate plants in case of insect apocalypse

Intensive modern farming methods and the unravelling consequences of global climate change are said to have put the future of the common bee under threat like never before. But in Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands a group of scientists working on long-term solutions to some of the world’s thorniest problems have developed a solution that could have come straight from a sci-fi novel: robotic bees. By reproducing some of the complex wing motion patterns and aerodynamics of fruit flies, in particular, researchers in the university’s newly opened Robohouse, a hub for Dutch expertise, believe they will be able to create swarms of bee-like drones to pollinate plants when the real-life insects have died away. ...

Matěj Karásek, a researcher working on the project, said: “The use we see for this is pollination in green houses. The bee is under threat due to our farming methods and we don’t know what their future will be. This is one solution.”

The Netherlands is one of the world’s largest exporters of agricultural and food products in the world. Bees are responsible for pollinating 80% of the edible crops grown in the country. et of the 360 different species of bee in the Netherlands, about half of them are threatened. Globally, the dramatically falling numbers of pollinators in recent years has been blamed, in part, on the widespread use of pesticides. ...

Karásek told the Guardian: “I think within five to 10 years we will have the technology to make the drones much smaller and we could see them put to use in greenhouses.” The developers are working to find a commercial partner for the project. Delft university’s Robohouse, opened six weeks ago, has been established to bring the country’s brightest engineering minds together with the private sector.



Also of Interest

Here are some articles of interest, some which defied fair-use abstraction.

Fossil Fuels Are a Threat to Civilization, New U.N. Report Concludes

Five Reasons Why the GOP Rushed to Confirm Kavanaugh

Chris Hedges: Homeless America

The Fifth Online Vigil for Julian Assange

Goodbye, Columbus: holiday in decline as brutal legacy re-evaluated

Nowhere to Go: Refugees Fear Closure of Greek Camp That Has River of Sewage and 12-Hour Waits for Meals

Here’s the Unpopular, Right-Wing Agenda That Brazil’s President Wants to Ram Through in a Lame-Duck Session

Leaked Transcript of Private Meeting Contradicts Google’s Official Story on China

Waste Watch: US Dumps Plastic Rubbish in Southeast Asia


A Little Night Music


Cow Cow Davenport - That'll Get It

Cow Cow Davenport - I'm Gonna Tell You in Front So You Won't Feel Hurt Behind

Cow Cow Davenport w/Ivy Smith - Cow Cow Blues

Cow Cow Davenport - Hurry and Bring It on Home

Cow Cow Davenport - State Street Jive

Cow Cow Davenport - Chimes Blues

Cow Cow Davenport - Alamabama Strut

Cow Cow Davenport - The Mess Is Here

Cow Cow Davenport - Texas Shout



Share
up
18 users have voted.

Comments

Arrow's picture

So the climate is fucked anyway. So, let's just relax and build more
SUV's. That's the answer!

Question: When did the US government turn into a 'Peoples Temple' death cult? Should we just mix the kool-ade and end it right now?

Sheesh!

up
9 users have voted.

I want a Pony!

enhydra lutris's picture

@Arrow
the Reagan & Clinton years There was a 4 year gap for Bush the elder, our first CIA president, to do whatever the hell it was that he thought he was doing beyond simple imperialism. It accelerated steadily up through "all of the above" Obama to the point where we saw the clown king of coal narrowly whup the global queen of unlimited fracking.

I vote we mix a different kind of kool aid, the kind that the Airplane distributed to the crowd at Winterland one New Year's Eve, lots of it.

up
14 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

joe shikspack's picture

@Arrow

heh, if the populace was not so extensively diseducated and brainwashed, they would probably recognize that they are ruled by members of a death cult.

our biggest challenge in preserving the species would seem to be fighting the programming of the masses.

up
9 users have voted.
dance you monster's picture

. . . we need a bit of perspective.

First off, that robotic bee program is being explored in the Netherlands, where social bees (the ones that have colony collapse due to pesticides) do most of the pollinating. The scientists also admit their effort is for plants grown in greenhouses, where presumably staff don't want honeybees buzzing them.

But seriously, do ya think this could be cost-effective for growing plants? Or is this a way to get the whole mini-drone thing accepted by the public?

Let's ignore the fact that they do not address solitary bees, the ones that do not nest in hives but live alone and can't spread ailments to others, and the ones that do not sting, and the ones that pollinate plants much better than honeybees ever did. Let's ignore that they do not consider any of the many flies or butterflies that also pollinate plants. Let's assume that all those flower-ready critters never existed. Do we think then that a flying robot is going to be an inexpensive pollinator? Or do we think that robotics engineers are simply looking for a way to design something with another, more cost-effective purpose?

up
8 users have voted.
OzoneTom's picture

@dance you monster
Bumblebees, wasps and other pollinators as well.

Bee-related: Something that seems hopeful on the subject of colony-collapse

It's Paul Stamets -- who among other things has made it his mission to save the world with fungi.

up
6 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@dance you monster

great to see you! i hope all is going well.

heh, well, just about any scientific/engineering advance is either financed by or later appropriated by the military - since they always have vast quantities of money available.

frankly though, it struck me as i was reading the piece that the very wealthy chemical industrial poison industry will probably wait until the technology is somewhere near maturity, purchase the rights to it, purchase the governmental authorities are necessary to exterminate the remaining pollinators and then sit back and rake in the profits on the sales of their robotic pollinators.

up
7 users have voted.
Raggedy Ann's picture

I know I talk revolution incessantly, but I do think it is necessary in the whole scheme of things. Additionally, I agree with Caitlin, even more, about human consciousness changing in order to realize real change. I've written before - this is coming. We are in transition - a shift as it is. What is happening to us - in our world - are the actions necessary to make that shift. Change will come - it will be in the 2030's, but the human condition will improve. If your interested, read this: https://masteringalchemy.com/sites/default/files/shift_ebook_english_0_0...

I found this gem today - she sings my song - I just don't agree with the ending, but that's ok!

Have a beautiful evening, folks! Pleasantry

up
11 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

joe shikspack's picture

@Raggedy Ann

i sure hope that this cosmic consciousness thing works out and that life in the 5th dimension is comfy, because our 3rd dimension politics doesn't seem to be changing at a happy pace.

i love the music video, thanks!

up
6 users have voted.
Azazello's picture

Right now, most people are very easily manipulated into advancing establishment interests by plutocrat-controlled media, and until that changes there will never be an effective and beneficial revolution.

Yes, there other media but still, even now, television the most powerful by far. Television defines the world in which millions of people think they live. Speaking of which, Who Doesn’t Love Identity Politics? Of course people love identity politics, it's all over the box all the time.

up
11 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@Azazello

up
11 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

divineorder's picture

@enhydra lutris

Yes. Kill your TV!

Never have had one in 48 years of marriage. @enhydra lutris

up
10 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Mark from Queens's picture

@Azazello
He's sharp, and funny too.

Been reading him now and then these past few years and have rarely been disappointed. Usually in Counterpunch I think. Great wit and incisive insights.

May buy a couple of his books that were linked. Though not from Amazon. Was just in very cool bookstore upstate earlier today called "Inquiring Mind Bookstore." Picked up a Cambridge University published one called "Media Bias, Perspective and State Repression: The Black Panther Party." Gonna take the plastic off right now and sit on the couch after the boy gets put to bed...

Still an insane Upside Down mondo bizarro we're spinning in, as far as I can tell.

Hope you're all well.

up
10 users have voted.

(thirty three and a third at TOP)

"If I should ever die, God forbid, let this be my epitaph:

THE ONLY PROOF HE NEEDED
FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD
WAS MUSIC"

- Kurt Vonnegut

snoopydawg's picture

@Azazello

The ruling classes love identity politics because they keep the working classes focused on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and so on, and not on the fact that they (i.e., the working classes) are, essentially, glorified indentured servants, who will spend the majority of their sentient existences laboring to benefit a ruling elite that would gladly butcher their entire families and sell their livers to hepatitic Saudi princes if they could get away with it

up
11 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@Azazello

yep, the idiot box is probably the largest impediment to cultural advancement that exists currently. a successful boycott of mass media might be the most revolutionary action that could be taken.

up
8 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

up
5 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

joe shikspack's picture

@enhydra lutris

have a great evening!

up
2 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

That he is now out living the high life and making sh*t loads of money after what he did and didn't do during his tenure galls me to no end and what makes it worse is how many people want him back in office. Grrr.

What?

Over the past decade, the political world has done everything possible to minimize and forget the crimes of the early to mid-2000s. The effect has been felt ever since

.

How can people forget what Bush did when his policies have been made permanent? BTW. It took 3 years for Kavanaugh to be appointed to the federal court.

Here are some of Kavanaugh's awful decisions that he made during the Bush administration that helped turn America into the police state its becoming. Or is.

The ACLU compiled a report in August detailing his many troublesome perspectives, highlighting his past decisions on surveillance, free speech, presidential and congressional war powers, and as a result, the overarching iron fist of government power that few care to challenge, choosing instead to fight for control of the institution at large.

Here's another that shows how he helped destroy our civil liberties and is worth a read.

The Biggest Threat to US National Security Is the US Government

Kavanaugh said that since the 4th Amendment excludes only “unreasonable” searches and seizures (such as seizures of all of this private information from everyone), it doesn’t exclude the “bulk collection of 2 telephony metadata” (collection of both phone numbers in each phone conversation from and/or to anyone in the United States), because a “critical national security need [“preventing terrorist attacks on the United States”] outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by this program.”

As a consequence, for each American, the US federal Government knows everyone whom you call, and who calls you — it knows all of your phone-contacts — and it does so because everything in the US Constitution can be overridden by any “critical national security need” such as “preventing terrorist attacks” such as occurred on 9/11, which attacks hadn’t at all been enabled by the then-existing lack of such police-state measures here. Kavanaugh’s opinion simply ignored that fact — didn’t even discuss it. Instead of that’s having produced the ‘intelligence failure’, the US Government — especially the US President — prior to 9/11, had refused to allow its agents to inform the US President of the actionable information that they had found and that they were struggling to get to him prior to the attacks. Bush didn’t want to know, until the attacks had already occurred. He demanded deniability.

As regards the reason why this police-state procedure which Kavanaugh backs is needed now, after 9/11 — though it had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks (except for the latter’s having served in far-right-wingers’ propaganda such as Kavanaugh’s opinion, as being the alleged excuse for the ‘intelligence failure’), and though martial law hasn’t yet even been declared in the US — no one has publicly said anything. But is it really “reasonable” that the Government permanently stores all of this telephone-data from everyone, even if a given citizen does not, and in many instances doesn’t get to see it even on the phone-bill? Who actually benefits from this? It’s a severe situation that isn’t seriously being publicly discussed; such discussion is effectively banned in at least all of the major ’news’ media (which pretend to be concerned about protecting citizens’ most-basic rights — and not only about their own).

This website has a lot of great articles. There's one about how even though we outspend Russia it's making weapons that are superior to ours. Not only that, but we are $21 trillion in debt and Russia is addressing its poverty problems and the Russian people have universal health care while this country is destroying social programs and we will "never, ever have universal health care."

up
7 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

How can people forget what Bush did when his policies have been made permanent?

apparently it is shockingly easy. there is an endless stream of distractions, pageants, sports, beer and skittles, celebrity mud shows, titillations and outrages. then there are the existential concerns that plague the vast majority of the population who barely scrape by.

for the most part, the vast majority of us don't have the mind-space to spare for much more than getting by.

though we outspend Russia it's making weapons that are superior to ours. Not only that, but we are $21 trillion in debt and Russia is addressing its poverty problems and the Russian people have universal health care while this country is destroying social programs and we will "never, ever have universal health care."

heh, i refer you to mr. orwell:

"From the moment when the machine first made its appearance it was clear to all thinking people that the need for human drudgery, and therefore to a great extent for human inequality, had disappeared. If the machine were used deliberately for that end, hunger, overwork, dirt, illiteracy, and disease could be eliminated within a few generations. And in fact, without being used for any such purpose, but by a sort of automatic process - by producing wealth which it was sometimes impossible not to distribute - the machine did raise the living standards of the average human being very greatly over a period of about fifty years at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries.

But it was also clear that an all-round increase in wealth threatened the destruction - indeed, in some sense was the destruction - of a hierarchical society. In a world in which everyone worked short hours, had enough to eat, lived in a house with a bathroom and a refrigerator, and possessed a motor-car or even an aeroplane, the most obvious and perhaps the most important form of inequality would already have disappeared. If it once became general, wealth would confer no distinction. It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small privileged caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realize that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance. To return to the agricultural past, as some thinkers about the beginning of the twentieth century dreamed of doing, was not a practicable solution. It conflicted with the tendency towards mechanization which had become quasi-instinctive throughout almost the whole world, and moreover, any country which remained industrially backward was helpless in a military sense and was bound to be dominated, directly or indirectly, by its more advanced rivals.

Nor was it a satisfactory solution to keep the masses in poverty by restricting the output of goods. This happened to a great extent during the final phase of capitalism, roughly between 1920 and 1940. The economy of many countries was allowed to stagnate, land went out of cultivation, capital equipment was not added to, great blocks of the population were prevented from working and kept half alive by State charity. But this, too, entailed military weakness, and since the privations it inflicted were obviously unnecessary, it made opposition inevitable. The problem was how to keep the wheels of industry turning without increasing the real wealth of the world. Goods must be produced, but they must not be distributed. And in practice the only way of achieving this was by continuous warfare.

The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent. Even when weapons of war are not actually destroyed, their manufacture is still a convenient way of expending labour power without producing anything that can be consumed. A Floating Fortress, for example, has locked up in it the labour that would build several hundred cargo-ships. Ultimately it is scrapped as obsolete, never having brought any material benefit to anybody, and with further enormous labours another Floating Fortress is built. In principle the war effort is always so planned as to eat up any surplus that might exist after meeting the bare needs of the population. In practice the needs of the population are always underestimated, with the result that there is a chronic shortage of half the necessities of life; but this is looked on as an advantage. It is deliberate policy to keep even the favoured groups somewhere near the brink of hardship, because a general state of scarcity increases the importance of small privileges and thus magnifies the distinction between one group and another. By the standards of the early twentieth century, even a member of the Inner Party lives an austere, laborious kind of life. Nevertheless, the few luxuries that he does enjoy - his large, well-appointed flat, the better texture of his clothes, the better quality of his food and drink and tobacco, his two or three servants, his private motor-car or helicopter - set him in a different world from a member of the Outer Party, and the members of the Outer Party have a similar advantage in comparison with the submerged masses whom we call 'the proles'. The social atmosphere is that of a besieged city, where the possession of a lump of horseflesh makes the difference between wealth and poverty. And at the same time the consciousness of being at war, and therefore in danger, makes the handing-over of all power to a small caste seem the natural, unavoidable condition of survival."

up
7 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

but jb and I were inside at our stretch and strengthen class so didn't get wet on our e-bikes!

RE your excerpt on True Revolution , came across this:

For no good reason sharing a picture of white rhinos from this year's Kruger visit:

297-800x600 eb comment 10 9.jpg Fresh from a red dirt mud bath, this family of white rhinos graze in Kruger National Park, June, 2018.

up
8 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

thanks for the link, i skimmed part of it - looks interesting.

heh:

up
3 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

on addressing climate change.

'One for the History Books!': Dutch Court Puts World on Notice by Ordering Government to Move Faster on Emission Cuts

The government of the Netherlands, said the court, "has done too little to prevent the dangers of climate change and is doing too little to catch up."

IMG_2661.JPG

What's the chance that when this dude's boss flees to his bunker this guy will knock him out and take it for himself?

up
9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@snoopydawg

well look at that. there's a court in the netherlands that has some values that a decent person might recognize. i wonder if the fact that the netherlands is about a quarter below (current) sea level and only about half of its land is about a yard or more above (current) sea level figures into the urgency of the court.

perhaps they didn't get the memo that climate change is a chinese hoax. Smile

up
4 users have voted.
WindDancer13's picture

up
10 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

Raggedy Ann's picture

@WindDancer13
Thanks for posting this video. Powerful stuff. I need to watch it a few more times. Pleasantry

up
8 users have voted.

"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

WindDancer13's picture

@Raggedy Ann

and will watch again. This piece is just too powerful to take in at one or
two sittings.

up
6 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

joe shikspack's picture

@WindDancer13

thanks for the video, it is quite excellent.

it looks like trump is the greatest master of identity politics that has ever been. seriously, i think that his abilities in manipulating people through identity politics are worthy of the sort of superlatives that he often showers himself with.

up
6 users have voted.
WindDancer13's picture

@joe shikspack

of days, waiting for the site to settle in, so I am very glad I finally got to share it (one less tab open = ))

Thanks for all the news and links.

up
4 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

zoebear's picture

@WindDancer13

comedy act on Netflix long before he took over for Jon Stewart. Smart, funny, incisive, he was especially adept with his observations about Americans.

Then he took over on the Daily Show, started wearing those nice Armani suits, rubbing elbows with the power elite, and his act started to change. He began to assimilate into American culture during the election startling well. Co-opting the mores he used to eviscerate, he jumped on that wagon train with every other talking head speaking on behalf of the establishment with such alacrity, I got whiplash from watching him.

Unfortunately for us and art form of comedy, targeting the establishment not becoming its mouthpiece is what makes great comedy. Otoh, I'll bet he's making a shit load of more money then he did from the shekels he got out on the road with his actual comedy act. But, hey, at the end of the day, that's what really matters, eh Trev?

up
6 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

zoebear's picture

@zoebear

my comment was not directed at the video, but Trevor Noah's shift as host on the Daily Show during the election. Which, unfortunately undercuts any serious topic he covers because he has become an unreliable messenger.

up
4 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

WindDancer13's picture

@zoebear

Daily Show host gig. However, when he first started I was bewildered by the question of whatever possessed people to chose him to replace Jon Stewart (lol, in fact, I thought "they" had slipped a right-winger in on me), and I quit watching the program. I just recently started watching him again, and he has become much, much better. This piece, though, I thought was exceptional.

He will still never be Jon.

up
3 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

zoebear's picture

@WindDancer13

Trump material is pretty low hanging fruit comically speaking. Otoh, I don't own a TV, so the subject of watching late night comedians all plucking fruit from the fecund TrumpTree is a rather moot point for me to make in the bigger picture.

up
5 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

QMS's picture

time to wake up!

up
6 users have voted.

Intelligence is being redefined as the ability to repeat ever more complex instructions.

joe shikspack's picture

@QMS

they say that waking up is hard to do... Smile

up
4 users have voted.
divineorder's picture

may be ending!

Heh.

...
CODEPINK Retweeted

...

up
9 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

snoopydawg's picture

@divineorder

IMG_1861_2.JPG

She was rude, insolent and condescending to the other UN members on a regular basis. I don't know why people didn't walk out when she spoke.

up
9 users have voted.
joe shikspack's picture

@divineorder

i'm glad that she put herself out of our misery. with any luck, voters will reject her rejoining our misery already in progress at a later time.

up
4 users have voted.
The Aspie Corner's picture

up
5 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

joe shikspack's picture

@The Aspie Corner

thanks for the video, i think that he's right about dore moving further to the left.

up
2 users have voted.
zoebear's picture

How grotesquely mercenary that our hired gun ingenuity is spending their time not on creating robots to ward off the pests damaging our crops, but instead on creating robotic bees to take the place of the millions of bees dying from the pesticides we're using on our crops.

I wish this was a script from a bad sci if film instead of actual reality. Fucking insane.

up
10 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

The Aspie Corner's picture

@zoebear But the pigs will insist it's what's best for business.

up
3 users have voted.

Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

joe shikspack's picture

@zoebear

spending their time not on creating robots to ward off the pests damaging our crops

heh, you mean robots to attack the corporations hiring genetic engineers to create frankenfoods? Smile

up
6 users have voted.
zoebear's picture

@joe shikspack

Except the problem with GMO is not necessarily the actual product, regardless of what kind of crop is grown. The problem is why they created it in the first place: So that it would be pesticide resistant.

This means they can spray the shit out of it and the pesticide won't damage the crops or their proceeds. (Us, otoh, not so much) The same pesticides that are killing the bees, the same pesticides they are spraying on GMO crops are also showing up in umbilical cords.

A sobering thought.

If we could find a technological way to protect crops without spraying lethal chemicals on them, that would be ingenuity in the service of everyone except Monsanto.

Although, finding a poisonous venom we could spray in their boardrooms and then offering an antidote for $22 billion might be satisfying too Smile

up
6 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

joe shikspack's picture

@zoebear

If we could find a technological way to protect crops without spraying lethal chemicals on them, that would be ingenuity in the service of everyone except Monsanto.

well, there is an answer to that, but it is somewhat low tech.

end industrial farming.

there are methods prevalent in organic farming practices that manage to provide adequate crop yields and quality produce while at the same time drastically reducing petroleum inputs - in my view a win-win for the environment.

we could learn a lot from cuba, which had to suddenly revert from the industrial farming model to a more environmentally friendly model when it was unable to acquire the petroleum products in the 90's after the collapse of the soviet union.

up
5 users have voted.
zoebear's picture

@joe shikspack

It sounds like Cuba's agricultural success is a model we could learn from. Pity the U.S. likes gobble every good idea up, spit it out, and make it into shit.

“U.S. producers are eager to help meet Cuba’s need for healthy, safe, nutritious food,” Vilsack said.

Yeah, I'll bet they do. Real eager.

There's a reason why France, Italy, and Germany don't want to replicate our GMO crops. Hope Cuba does the same.

up
4 users have voted.

Soldier: What? Ridden on a horse?
King Arthur: Yes!
Soldier: You're using coconuts!
King Arthur: What?
Soldier: You've got two empty halves of a coconut and you're bangin' 'em together.

Thanks as usual for all the news, music and conversation that take place in the Evening Blues. Not looking to good on the environmental front with Trump and his nilhist views, the new government in Brazil and the potential attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency from the Supreme Court.

Agree with Raggedty Ann, we need the revolution in people’s consciousness. Can’t happen soon enough.

Things are beautiful here tonight. The rains have stopped and we are having some beautiful cloud formations with a glorious sunset behind them. The weather is turning colder this week; had snow of the mountains above town when we got up on Sunday morning and we are getting into the high 30’s and 40’s in the morning. The bicycle ride to exercise class this morning was bracing to say the least. Have a good evening all!

up
8 users have voted.

Life is what you make it, so make it something worthwhile.

This ain't no dress rehearsal!

joe shikspack's picture

@jakkalbessie

that revolution in consciousness, or even a change in the conventional wisdom can't come too soon. i am concerned that we are running out of time.

on the other hand, i am looking forward to fall arriving here. it is still quite warm for mid-october here. it was shorts and tee shirts today, with temps in the mid 80's and high humidity, tomorrow through friday looks to be the same. oh well, i guess my energy bills will stay low.

up
3 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

@jakkalbessie

Smoke & blood as French riot police charge union protest against Macron’s reforms

Videos in article.

Obama campaigned for Macron who is doing what congress and the SC are doing here. Destroying the social programs, revoking bargaining rights and other things that will transfer wealth to the upper class. Austerity policies are going global, but it seems that only the French have taken to the streets for 6 months or so. Glad to see teachers striking, but I'd like to see more industry workers strike at the same time. BTW the teamsters just screwed the UPS workers big time. Looks like more and more union leaders have sold out.

up
6 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

we've traveled 90 miles west, and are now only in a Tropical Storm Watch area--as opposed to smack dab in the middle of a Hurricane Warning, Storm Surge/High Surf/Rip Current Warning/Watch location.

Below's a live web cam of one point of expected landfall--Panama City Beach, FL.

And, here's the link and an excerpt to a piece that gj posted (at his essay) earlier.

PowerPost

The Health 202: GOP argument against 'Medicare for All' doesn't make sense

By Colby Itkowitz, September 10

. . . But the GOP sees an opening to seize back a little ground by going after Democrats who are pushing a more ambitious agenda, specifically the creation of a national "Medicare for All" health system.

Health-policy experts say there's a problem with the Republican argument: Medicare as it exists today -- a government-run service for all elderly Americans -- is the closest thing America has to socialized medicine. And there's nothing in Democratic proposals that indicate that expanding it would make the program less available for current recipients.

I'm too tired and stressed out to comment at length this evening, but, in a nutshell, I object to both the tone and the substance of much of the piece. Anyone who reads the various MFA proposals--and there are several--knows that none of them state that Medicare will 'become less available for current recipients.' That's not the problem.

The objections that I have are that they would replace Traditional/Original/FFS Medicare with a 'privatized' version--basically, a form of Medicare Advantage. And, in some instances, the proposed MFA plans are 'revenue neutral'--meaning that the new (Traditional) MFA program would not even be subsidized with taxpayer monies. Or, that Medicare beneficiaries would bear all the program costs.

Also, some of the proposals are basically HMO or ACO plans--which we want nothing to do with. If we did, we would have chosen to enroll in Medicare Advantage, which often imposes a 'gatekeeper' when it comes to the utilization of physicians and/or health care services such as lab tests, etc.

Of course, I've already posted links to at least two of these plans months ago--Medicare X (Bennet and Kaine) and Medicare E (Merkley and Murphy). More on this later, when things have settled down a bit.

Hope Everyone gets to avoid truly dangerous/bad weather. Have a nice evening, All.

Bye

Oh, notice Grijalva's sentiments regarding MFA following the SCOTUS ruling on the ACA in 2012.

'This' is why I'm so wary of the sincerity of Dem lawmakers when it comes to enacting/implementing MFA. It's deja vu all over again, in my estimation. *Sigh*

(I'll include this as part of my sig line for a while, since talk of MFA will probably ramp up in the weeks prior to the midterms.)

[Edited: Added/edited sentence.]

Blue Onyx

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

Grijalva #1.JPG

up
5 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

glad to hear that you are out of the direct path of the oncoming storm. i hope that you guys stay safe, warm and dry - good luck!

looking forward to your analysis of the action on health care legislation.

up
5 users have voted.
WindDancer13's picture

for these documents to be released to the public pre-Nov. 6.

a trove of documents relating to Kavanaugh’s time with the Bush administration that is currently being analyzed by the National Archives, including emails and memos about surveillance, torture, and Kavanaugh’s involvement with a hacking scandal, won’t be released until the end of October. ..

Suggestion: any rulings voted on by K between now and then also need to be highlighted. There will be something sooner or later that even the R voters (vs the elite) may not find so pleasing.

up
5 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

joe shikspack's picture

@WindDancer13

i suspect that whatever damage the scrotus does while he is installed in the court will not be overturned immediately if he is impeached.

one quick look at the major damage that he might create is covered in this article that i posted a link to above, but heck, i'm feeling generous, here it is again ... Smile

Five Reasons Why the GOP Rushed to Confirm Kavanaugh

up
4 users have voted.
WindDancer13's picture

@joe shikspack

way too many corporate, right-leaning Dems still to get the job done. (Note: It occurred to me last night that several of the Dems during the allegation hearing actually gave K an exit and either he was too blind, too stupid and/or too arrogant to take it....the out they gave him was his drinking. If he could have admitted to blacking out, he would have had an "excuse" for his behavior...or so he world thinks.)

Anyhow, I was thinking more along the lines of the midterms and exposing that information.

New thought: K is so anal (note how he arranges the desk and his environment) and uptight that I rather think he will keel over within the next year.

Thanks for the article (and your generosity = )). I was aware of many of the issues that were coming up from the SCOTUS calendar and posted some of them in someone's essay some time back, but the article has a number I missed.

up
3 users have voted.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

Unabashed Liberal's picture

herself to become Graham's successor as US Senator from South Carolina--if he replaces Jeff Sessions as AG.

Dunno if there's any truth to it, but, (on CNN) US Rep Mark Sanford--formerly governor of SC--remember, the one with the South American paramour, even said that he's hearing this scuttlebutt.

Whew!

Wink

Blue Onyx

"Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong."
~~W. R. Purche

up
4 users have voted.

"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

joe shikspack's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

sanford was the appalachian trail hiking enthusiast as i remember it. Smile

i've read the same rumor elsewhere today, so it's certainly making the rounds.

up
5 users have voted.
Pricknick's picture

Robotic bees.
Why was I so blind to the fact that we're screwed.

up
5 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

joe shikspack's picture

@Pricknick

as a teenager i enjoyed the dystopian fiction genre. apparently, those were manuals, not novels.

up
6 users have voted.
lotlizard's picture

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henryk_Broder

. . . for those who don’t read German and were curious what mimi and I were talking about in this comment thread:
https://caucus99percent.com/comment/373482#comment-373482

Not to be confused with the late American columnist David Broder, one of the three drooling heads of Cerberus, better known as “Fluffy” in the age of Harry Potter — the op-ed page trio consisting of David Broder, David Brooks, and Tom Friedman, fount of so much neocon nudging and posturing during the reign of Bush 43.

up
2 users have voted.