The Evening Blues - 8-9-17



eb1pt12



The day's news roundup + tonight's musical feature: Ikey Robinson



Hey! Good Evening!


This evening's music features jazz banjo player Ikey Robinson. Enjoy!



Ikey Robinson - My Four Reasons

"My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes."

-- President Ronald Reagan


News and Opinion


The Madman With Nuclear Weapons is Donald Trump, Not Kim Jong-un

For once, Donald Trump has a point. “We can’t let a madman with nuclear weapons let on the loose like that,” he told Philippine President Roderigo Duterte, according to the transcript of their bizarre phone conversation that was leaked to The Intercept in May. The madman that the U.S president was referring to, of course, was North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. The madman that the rest of us should be worried about, however, is Trump himself, who — lest we forget — has the sole, exclusive and unrestricted power to launch almost 1,000 nuclear warheads in a matter of minutes, should he so wish.

Most nonproliferation experts — as well as former President Jimmy Carter and a number of former Pentagon and State Department officials, both Republican and Democrat — agree that the brutal and murderous Kim, for all his bluster, is not irrational or suicidal but is bent on preserving his regime and preventing a U.S. attack. Nuclear weapons are a defensive, not an offensive, tool for the North Korean leadership — which, as Bill Clinton’s defense secretary William Perry observed on Fox News in April, may be “ruthless and…reckless” but “they are not crazy.” ...

Consider Trump’s reaction this week to a confidential U.S. intelligence assessment — leaked to the Washington Post — that the DPRK is now able to construct a nuclear warhead small enough to fit inside its missiles. “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” the president declaimed, in response to a reporter’s question at his Bedminster Golf Club on Tuesday. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening beyond a normal state. And as I said, they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”

How is this not an unhinged response from the so-called Leader of the Free World? ... Republican Senator John McCain, who has never met a “rogue nation” he did not want to bomb, invade or occupy. “I take exception to the president’s words,” McCain said on Tuesday, adding: “That kind of rhetoric, I’m not sure how it helps.” I mean, just how crazy do you have to be to advocate a preemptive nuclear strike that even McCain cannot get behind?

No 'imminent threat of war' with North Korea, says US secretary of state

Rex Tillerson has sought to calm nerves in the wake of an exchange of aggressive rhetoric between Donald Trump and the North Korean regime, insisting there was no “imminent threat of war” and that Americans could “sleep well at night”.

The US secretary of state was talking to reporters on the way back to Washington from a tour of Asia hours after Trump had threatened to engulf North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” and Pyongyang responded by saying it was “carefully examining” a plan to carry out a missile strike on Guam, and create an “enveloping fire” around the US territory in the Pacific 3,400km (2,100 miles) from the Korean peninsula. ...

Tillerson defended Trump over his bellicose language, which shocked US allies and has been heavily criticised in the US and around the world as reckless. “What the president is doing is sending a strong message to North Korea in language that Kim Jong-un can understand, because he doesn’t seem to understand diplomatic language,” Tillerson said. “I think the president just wanted to be clear to the North Korean regime on the US unquestionable ability to defend itself, will defend itself and its allies.”

Has Trump Threatened Nuclear War on North Korea?



Trump has taken us to the brink of nuclear war. Can he be stopped?

This his was the moment many Americans, along with the rest of the world, feared. This – precisely this – was what alarmed us most about the prospect of Donald Trump becoming president of the United States. Not that he would hire useless people or that he would tweet all day or use high office to enrich himself and his family or that he’d be cruel, bigoted and divisive – though those were all concerns. No, the chief anxiety provoked by the notion of Trump in the White House was this: that he was sufficiently reckless, impulsive and stupid to bring the world to the brink of nuclear war.

Of course, cooler heads might soon prevail. China might find the diplomatic back-channel that persuades North Korea to step back from the current clash with Washington. The Pyongyang regime might calculate for itself that, despite its latest threat to attack the US airbase in the Pacific island of Guam, further escalation risks its own survival. Or the generals that now flank Trump – John Kelly as chief of staff, Jim Mattis as defense secretary – might succeed in talking their boss down from the ledge.

But make no mistake. Trump’s remarks on Tuesday have pushed the US to the precipice of nuclear confrontation with North Korea. We have to hope that both parties will step back, but be under no illusion that the brink is where we stand. And Trump put us there. ...

Trump’s predecessors have all understood the approach put so memorably by Theodore Roosevelt: “Speak softly, and carry a big stick.” Meaning, that if you carry a big stick, you don’t need to speak loudly. Indeed, you ought to speak softly, so that you don’t ever have to wield that stick. The risk Trump has created is that he will now feel compelled to follow through on his threat, lest he be seen to lose credibility. His “fire and fury” talk has, therefore, put pressure not only on Kim but on himself. He has painted himself into a corner.

Forget Russia. Is Provoking a Nuclear War with North Korea Grounds for Impeachment?



'Stop the Insanity': Demand Grows to Strip Trump of Nuclear Authority

Reacting to Trump's "crazy" comments and to the growing fear that the U.S. is inching closer to nuclear war, activists and lawmakers urged Congress to revive legislation that would strip the executive branch of the power to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike.

"No U.S. President, certainly not Trump, should have sole authority to initiate an unprovoked nuclear war," wrote Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.).

In an interview with MSNBC's Chris Hayes Tuesday night, Markey said Trump's comments "bring us back to August of 1945, when nuclear weapons were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki." ...

Others echoed Markey's call for legislation that would remove the power to launch a nuclear first strike from the president. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), pointing to previous reporting by Common Dreams, highlighted the urgent necessity of removing the power to launch a nuclear first strike from the hands of the president—a move that has proven to be immensely popular.

In May, as Common Dreams reported, more than 500,000 people signed a petition expressing support for the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017, a bill introduced by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) that, if passed, would bar the president from launching a nuclear strike without congressional authorization. 

Who would Jesus bomb?

Megachurch Pastor Says Trump Has God's Approval to Start Nuclear War

After President Donald Trump threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" on Tuesday, many began to worry about the prospect of nuclear war.

Not Texas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress.

Shortly following the president's remarks, Jeffress—who is also one of Trump's "evangelical advisers"—released a statement declaring that "God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong-un," the leader of North Korea.

A Rightist Revolution: Allan Nairn on Trump Admin's Radical Agenda to Roll Back Social Progress



This fella is on to something:

The End of the American Experiment

It’s safe to say, I think, that the American experiment is at an end. No, America might not be finished as in civil war and secession. But it is clearly at an end in three ways. First, to the world, as a serious democracy. Second, to itself, as a nation with dignity and self-respect. Third, its potential lies in ruins. Even if authoritarianism is toppled tomorrow, the problems of falling life expectancy, an imploding middle class, skyrocketing inequality, and so on, won’t be.

What does America not have that the rest of the rich world does? Public healthcare, transport, education, and so on. Every single rich nation in the world has sophisticated, broad, and expansive public goods, that improve by the year. Today, even many medium income and even poor nations are building public healthcare, transport, etc. America is the only one that never developed any. American leaders are pretending like the relationship above is a great, confounding mystery. Like dumbfounded dinosaurs watching the mushroom cloud engulf the land, never — not once — in American media will you read a column, hear a voice, or see a face discussing the above. ...

Working societies — if they are to endure, grow, and cohere, if they are to prosper, hang together, and really mature — need moral universals. Moral universals are simply things that people believe everyone should have. ... Moral universals anchor a society in a genuinely shared prosperity. Not just because they “spread the wealth”, though they do: because, more deeply, moral universals civilize people. ...

So: what really went wrong in America? Moral universals civilize people, but there aren’t any moral universals. The public goods universals result in educate, inform, train, school people, let them live long and peaceful lives. But Americans — whether it is today’s extremists or yesterday’s slave-auctioneers and owners — believe that moral universals are just a “cost”, a “tax”, and so forth. They have never seen — and still don’t see — the benefits: the civilizing process that democracy depends vitally on.

Americans Are Dying Younger, Saving Corporations Billions

Steady improvements in American life expectancy have stalled, and more Americans are dying at younger ages. But for companies straining under the burden of their pension obligations, the distressing trend could have a grim upside: If people don’t end up living as long as they were projected to just a few years ago, their employers ultimately won’t have to pay them as much in pension and other lifelong retirement benefits.

In 2015, the American death rate—the age-adjusted share of Americans dying—rose slightly for the first time since 1999. And over the last two years, at least 12 large companies, from Verizon to General Motors, have said recent slips in mortality improvement have led them to reduce their estimates for how much they could owe retirees by upward of a combined $9.7 billion, according to a Bloomberg analysis of company filings. “Revised assumptions indicating a shortened longevity,” for instance, led Lockheed Martin to adjust its estimated retirement obligations downward by a total of about $1.6 billion for 2015 and 2016, it said in its most recent annual report. ...

Absent a war or an epidemic, it's unusual and alarming for life expectancies in developed countries to stop improving, let alone to worsen. “Mortality is sort of the tip of the iceberg,” says Laudan Aron, a demographer and senior fellow at the Urban Institute. “It really is a reflection of a lot of underlying conditions of life.” The falling trajectory of American life expectancies, especially when compared to those in some other wealthy countries, should be “as urgent a national issue as any other that’s on our national agenda,” she says. ...

There’s no simple answer for why longevity gains are slowing. For years, economists and public health experts have been trying to ascertain what’s behind America’s troubling death trends, among them a rise in death rates for certain demographic groups. A much-discussed 2015 paper suggested that mortality was rising for middle-aged white Americans, citing suicides, drug overdoses, and alcohol, collectively sometimes referred to as “deaths of despair.” Women have been particularly affected

Even the formerly staid, moderate members of the think tank community now have ants in their pants and are in a full-blown Putin panic. Worth reading in full.

Our Russia Fixation Is Devolving Into an Assault on Political Discourse

In July, [the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) announced] that it was creating the Alliance for Securing Democracy (ASD), which would seek “to work to publicly document and expose Vladimir Putin’s ongoing efforts to subvert democracy in the United States and Europe.” The ASD, which according to a GMF spokesperson is “funded by a group of American private individuals and small family foundations,” is, in reality, an alliance between longtime Republican neocons and Democratic war hawks such as William Kristol, David Kramer, former CIA acting director Michael Morell, Hillary Clinton foreign-policy adviser Jake Sullivan and former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul.

On Wednesday GMF announced the creation of a new project under the auspices of the ASD, Hamilton 68, taking its name from Federalist Paper 68, which expounds on the danger of foreign influence on American democracy. According to a press release announcing the project:

Hamilton 68 will help journalists and ordinary people alike identify Russian messaging themes and detect active disinformation or attack campaigns at the start. This will reduce the effectiveness of Russia’s attempts to influence Americans’ thinking, and deter this activity in the future.

... So far, the site has listed mainstream news outlets like TheAtlantic.com and conservative sources like TheDailyCaller.com and FoxNews.com alongside Russian-funded outlets like RT.com and SputnikNews.com on its watch list.

There are a few problems with the new project, the first being that the tweets GMF highlights as “Russian propaganda” cannot be said to be propaganda by any meaningful measure of the term. ... Why does GMF cite tweets linking to stories on police brutality and a widely bellicose pronouncement by Senator Lindsey Graham? The import of GMF’s project is clear: Reporting on anything that might put the United States in a bad light is now tantamount to spreading Russian propaganda.

Journalist Allan Nairn on Trump Administration's Revolutionary Dismantling of U.S. Government



Despite Historically Low Interest Rates, Consumers Are Paying an Average of 14 Percent on Credit Card Debt

On August 7 the Federal Reserve released an updated report on consumer debt. It raises more questions about how the big Wall Street banks are making all those billions of dollars in profits. Since 2012, the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note has yielded below 2.5 percent for the majority of that period. But according to the Federal Reserve chart above, on all consumer credit card accounts assessed interest, the interest rate charged to consumers has moved from 12.96 percent in 2012 to 14 percent as of May 2017. ...

From 2012 to the end of the second quarter of 2017, total consumer debt has expanded from $2.9 trillion to $3.855 trillion on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the latest Fed report.

One has to seriously question if the persistent subpar growth rate of 2 percent or less for the U.S. economy and the continuing closures of retail stores is directly related to the obscene interest rates being charged to U.S. consumers by the mega Wall Street banks that hold the majority of credit card debt. The 14 percent average rate blurs the fact that many consumers are being charged in excess of 20 percent on their credit cards.

LA wants city contractors to reveal if they work on Trump’s wall

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reported the City Council voted to draft a law requiring companies seeking or doing business with the city to disclose financial connections to the controversial wall, whose bidding process has been stalled over disputes about its fairness. 

The proposed law wouldn’t ban firms that worked on the wall from doing business with L.A. altogether, but its backers hope it’ll inform Angelenos about connections to a project with an immense impact on the city.

“We want to know if there are people who do business with the city of Los Angeles … who wish to profit from building a wall that would divide us from our nearest and dearest neighbor, Mexico,” Councilman Gil Cedillo said Tuesday. “Immigrants are the foundation, here in Los Angeles, of our economy. They are tightly woven into the social fabric of this city. And you cannot separate them or divide their families here in this city without disrupting the character of this city.”



the horse race



FBI conducted predawn raid of former Trump campaign chairman Manafort’s home

FBI agents raided the Alexandria home of President Trump’s former campaign chairman late last month, using a search warrant to seize documents and other materials, according to people familiar with the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Federal agents appeared at Paul Manafort’s home without advance warning in the predawn hours of July 26, the day after he met voluntarily with the staff for the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The search warrant was wide-ranging and FBI agents working with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III departed the home with various records. Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort, confirmed that agents executed a warrant at one of the political consultant’s homes and that Manafort cooperated with the search.

Manafort has been voluntarily producing documents to congressional committees investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The search warrant indicates investigators may have argued to a federal judge they had reason to believe Manafort could not be trusted to turn over all records in response to a grand jury subpoena. ...

Manafort has provided documents to both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate and House intelligence committees. The documents are said to include notes Manafort took while attending a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in June 2016.

The Source of Trump’s Real Clout

Since before the election, poor white voters largely have been blamed for the rise of Donald Trump. Although their complicity in his election is clear and well established, they’re continually targeted as if their actions are the primary reason Trump won. But in fact, higher-earning, college-educated whites supported him at even greater rates. t’s quite easy to brand the working class as the most rabidly xenophobic and racist group of whites. Whether they’re brandishing Confederate flags or vociferously vowing to “Make America Great Again,” their beliefs about white supremacy are completely exposed for the world to witness. It’s much harder to see how those atop the economic pyramid not only greatly benefit from white supremacy but actually use racism to their advantage — generally from behind the scenes.

In short, when we hold the working class responsible for white supremacy, other whites are absolved of racial wrongdoing. By allowing the spread of civic ignorance, by propagating historical lies and political untruths, and by engendering an insidious form of racism, upper-class whites are undoubtedly just as culpable — if not more so — than working-class whites in the quest to maintain white supremacy. Certainly, there is no apology for the racism of working-class whites, nor any excuse; but we should seek to understand the ways in which white supremacy and power are completely intertwined. Throughout American history, the economic elite have used vile forms of racism to perpetuate the current hierarchy — politically, socially and economically. White supremacy is most commonly conceptualized as a way for lower-class whites to feel socially superior to people from other ethnic backgrounds. More important, though, white supremacy is a tried-and-tested means for upper-class whites to grow their wealth and power.

Whether pitting laborers of different races against each other, stoking racial fears through a sensationalistic and profit-driven media or politically scapegoating entire nationalities, America’s white elite have successfully modernized age-old strategies of using racism to prevent the formation of a broad coalition of people along class lines.





the evening greens


Speaking Truth to Power on Climate Change: Why the Report Leaked

The final draft of the U.S. Global Change Research Program's Climate Science Special Report, prepared and meticulously peer reviewed by dozens of federal climate scientists and academic consultants, is as weighty as it is stark. And after an eleventh-hour leak to The New York Times, it may become as definitive as the thoroughly footnoted body of science it encompasses.

Overwhelming evidence, the report says, shows that manmade climate change is being felt every day, and is worsening fast. ... Would the Trump Administration deep-six the report? Some scientists involved in the process reportedly were worried about that.

So someone arranged to get it published on the website of The New York Times—a leak that broke protocol but ensured that no last-minute blue pencils could be surreptitiously applied by anyone politically inspired to meddle with the opus, a part of a long formal process that by law produces a National Climate Assessment every four years. ...

Peter Frumhoff, director of science and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said that "federal scientists' concerns that the administration will try to change or suppress this report are well-founded. The Trump administration has consistently demonstrated its lack of regard for science and evidence, including on climate change." ...

The publication of this fifth edition lays down a marker. It would be hard, for example, for any revisionist to try to undo the EPA's landmark "endangerment finding" that underpins regulations of carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act without taking into account the findings that are so completely laid out here.

The Pacific Northwest’s fiery week warns of hotter times to come

With excessive heat warnings and temperatures reaching the triple digits from northern California through Washington state (places where air conditioning is far from a given), it’s a bit hard to fathom that this week should have been even hotter. All-time records could have been set up and down the coast, if it hadn’t been for the thick smoke streaming down from more than 100 massive forest fires in British Columbia, about 500 miles north.

You heard that right — the smoke in places like Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver was so thick it changed the weather. At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, smoke even kept flights from taking off. (From the air, you couldn’t even see the ground.) In Seattle on Thursday, the air quality was worse than in Beijing. ... This interplay between fire and hot weather has inspired a bleak and eerie feeling for people in this part of the country. As climate scientist Sarah Myhre writes for Seattle’s alternative newspaper, the visceral experience of climate change in the future might feel a lot like it does this week in the Emerald City. ...

In a normal year, Seattle reaches 90 degrees only three times. In this week’s heatwave alone, Seattle may reach that mark seven days in a row. In parts of southern Oregon, temps rose above 110 degrees this week even despite the smoke. And the latest forecast shows that the smoke might stick around for at least another week. ... As the New York Times points out, only about one-third of Seattle’s homes have air conditioning. The inability to cool down is a public health hazard in extended heatwaves like this; studies of hyperthermia consistently show that it’s the lack of overnight recovery time that can become deadly.

‘Flash drought’ could devastate half the High Plains wheat harvest

It’s peak hurricane season, but the nation’s worst weather disaster right now is raging on the High Plains.

An intense drought has quickly gripped much of the Dakotas and parts of Montana this summer, catching farmers and ranchers off-guard. The multi-agency U.S. Drought Monitor recently upgraded the drought to “exceptional,” its highest severity level, matching the intensity of the California drought at its peak.

The Associated Press says the dry conditions are “laying waste to crops and searing pasture and hay land” in America’s new wheat belt, with some longtime farmers and ranchers calling it the worst of their lifetimes. Unfortunately, this kind of came-out-of-nowhere drought could become a lot less rare in the future. ...

Recently, as the climate has warmed and crop suitability has shifted, the Dakotas and Montana have surpassed Kansas as the most important wheat-growing region in the country. The High Plains is now a supplier of staple grain for the entire world. According to recent field surveys, more than half of this year’s harvest may already be lost.



Also of Interest

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

How Congress ‘Learns’ About Russia

Sphere of Influence: How American Libertarians Are Remaking Latin American Politics

We let the 2007 financial crisis go to waste

Exposed: Bombshell Media Coverup of Clinton-Lynch Tarmac Meeting

Trump’s Opioid Commission Had Some Stunningly Good Recommendations. He Ignored Them for 80s Drug War Nostalgia.

Video: Refugees Seeking Asylum in Europe Are Instead Arrested and Beaten by Police in Lesbos

This Is the Drilling Method for Most US Oil But Regulators Offer Almost No Oversight

Pipeline Payday: How Builders Win Big, Whether More Gas Is Needed or Not

Elon Musk: Boring Company commits to 600mph Hyperloop and tube network


A Little Night Music


Ikey Robinson & His Band - Got Butter On It

Banjo Ikey Robinson - Pizen Tea Blues

Ikey Robinson - A Minor Stomp

The Rhythm Aces (Jabbo Smith, Omer Simeon, Cassino Simpson, Ikey Robinson) - Jazz Battle

Banjo Ikey Robinson & His Bull Fiddle Band - Rock Me Mama

Jabbo Smith & His Rhythm Aces (w Omer Simeon, Alex Hill, Ikey Robinson) - Tanguay Blues

Jabbo Smith & His Rhythm Aces (w Alex Hill & Ikey Robinson) - Michigander Blues

Howard Armstrong, Ted Bogan, Ikey Robinson - Railroad Blues

Jabbo Smith w/Ikey Robinson & His Band - Ready Hokum

The Hokum Boys - Gin Mill Blues



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Comments

smiley7's picture

thank you for the news and blues and banjos!

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joe shikspack's picture

@smiley7

heh, there aren't a lot of blues banjo players, but i enjoy the heck out of them and i'm glad when they turn up on my list of musicians.

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Raggedy Ann's picture

Sure enjoyed the tunes today. I love music from that era - thanks much, joe!

Regarding North Korea and Herr Drumpf's emotional, unchecked remarks, I commented in another essay - we are mere collateral damage to the oligarchy. It is a term used to dehumanize us all.

Have a beautiful afternoon, folks! Pleasantry

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If you acknowledge it, you can change it.
AMERICAN PRIVILEDGE: When INTERVENTIONISM is just a word to you because it's not your front door those drone strikes come knocking on. ~Caitlin Johnstone's friend

joe shikspack's picture

@Raggedy Ann

i'm pretty sure that the elites don't really give a damn about the rest of us, either individually or in the aggregate. it seems like a major die-off of the underclasses would suit them just fine.

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Arrow's picture

Nice to see Umair Haque quoted. That;s one of his better essays,
He's rather burned out on Twitter. His Tweet from today..."fuck it, i'll say one more thing even tho i know twitter's like a cancer for you me the future and our mental health".

Hope he keeps writing essays at least.

Oh and thanks for all the usual good stuff.

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Reality is leftist. Naked aggressive capitalism can’t fix the world it broke. - Umair Haque

https://medium.com/bad-words/reality-is-leftist-1399401fd93c

joe shikspack's picture

@Arrow

i've been keeping an eye out for his essays since you recommended him. this one was right on target. after reading arendt's excellent essay last night, haque's essay had some additional resonance.

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QMS's picture

it's funny, the first video played fine, the rest are giving me an error occurred, this video is not available. Any clues as to the what-abouts?

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challenging authority is healthy exercise

QMS's picture

@QMS never mind, it's my confuser (tm) that is creating these problemos. Great music, none the less..

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challenging authority is healthy exercise

joe shikspack's picture

@QMS

glad you got it figured out and are no longer confusilated. Smile

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QMS's picture

@joe shikspack brings in a lot of otherwise discordant chords. Lol

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challenging authority is healthy exercise

divineorder's picture

I haven't felt this way since the heady days of the Cold War ! /s

Dr. Jill Stein tweeted a call for people to oppose the administration chosing war with NK. She also tweeted the following:

The reaction of Dems agents on Twitter has been to use this as another occasion to blame the election loss on JS. Again. Still. Heh.

But a former DK fper I follow on Twitter had this:

I salute JS for her many years of working for ending endless war.

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

QMS's picture

@divineorder

I salute JS for her many years of working for ending endless war.

working for ending endless is a pretty heavy concept.

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challenging authority is healthy exercise

divineorder's picture

@QMS

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

the heavy lifts. She was arrested several times during her first run for the Presidency because of it.

Here's a wiki article I found interesting ....

Perpetual war, endless war, or a "Forever War", is a lasting state of war with no clear conditions that would lead to its conclusion. These wars are situations of ongoing tension that may escalate at any moment, similar to the Cold War. Today, the concepts are used to critique the United States Armed Forces interventions in foreign nations and the military–industrial complex, or wars with ambiguous enemies such as the War on Terror or the War on Drugs.

Heh. Have a good one!

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4 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

i'm doing pretty well, thanks. i got to sleep late today, take a nice walk and do a little work around the house. the weather cooperated spectacularly and the garden was full of butterflies today.

aside from that nasty mr. trump trying to get us all nuked, it's been a pretty swell day. Smile

heh, scott does really well with the snark. i join you in thanking "kingmaker jill" for her efforts to end the endless wars of choice.

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divineorder's picture

@joe shikspack We are holed up from the heat in our old shack out in the TX Hill Country. Drove into Austin to day for jb's six month oncology exam and she got another good report. 5.5 years of recovery 'cancer free' ! I had a liver function test run in relation taking statins for the first six months and the tech drawing the blood completely missed. She asked how was I and I said well it hurts. She looked down and no blood. Heh. Tried it again and viola. I told her many people over the years told us wish they could travel like we did but didn't have the time. We always asked 'Why not become a teacher?' There answer was invariably 'Oh I couldn't do that job!'

Heat index values here are expected to be over 100 here for the next days. This old single walled shack is hard/expensive to heat and cool, so for that and other reasons we are anxious to get back to Santa Fe where the temps are in the low 80's in the day and high 50's at night. Have to unpack and store our safari equipment since our place in Santa Fe is so tiny, try to see a few more relatives, the 'hot foot it' on back up to Santa Fe! A friend or ours there is backing up Dana Cooper and we would like to be there for that. Who knows if we will.

Also like to get back in our fitness/yoga classes and volunteer work for WildEarth Guardians as well.

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3 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

it's wonderful to hear that she is still acing her tests. much continued success!

good luck with your liver tests!

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@divineorder

Mollie

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"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)

is appalling, since it has damn near brought we 99%ers to death's door here.
Pensions becoming more solvent due to earlier death.
Money to be made right there, investors!
My client swung by to tell me MD Anderson, a world-renown caner treatment center, rejected him as a patient because he did not have Obamacare, was just a heartbreaking thing.
AARRGGHH!

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joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

yeah, i was pretty appalled when i read that headline. i'm sure that there was rejoicing on wall street as they read that article. more money for the oligarchs.

sorry to hear about your client's troubles. i hope that he is able to get competent, compassionate healthcare for his condition.

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@joe shikspack He is going to eat a better diet.
Nobody will treat him.
NOBODY WILL TREAT HIM.
He teaches Sunday School at a local Baptist Church, and we spent a solid hour talking about God's Will, and on my turf, "The hand we are dealt."
This is shitty, horrid, killing of poor people country, even greedily depriving life to white, middle class men.
He is a Republican.
Where the fuck are they?
Why am I, a lib and for all practical purposes a damn COMMIE ATHIEST worried about him, to the point of sleeplessness and nightmares?
Just not a good day.
Just not.
Lawyer Bashers, of which there are many, can just kiss my ass, step into my shoes, and deal with this day in and day out.

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joe shikspack's picture

@on the cusp

has he considered seeking asylum in a country that gives a damn about their fellow human beings?

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3 users have voted.

@joe shikspack He has delivered himself up to the Lord.
Maybe he is right. Maybe nothing we say or do matters.
He agreed with me that all of us will be surprised.

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divineorder's picture

@on the cusp She was eventually treated there but not sure what they did to make it happen. No money, NAFTA sent his nice paying factory job to Mexico and he has struggled for years.

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

@divineorder In 1997, when my husband refused their recommended treatment, they called him at our home while I was at work, told him they believed I was essentially trying to kill him. I guess they had not seen the $800,000 drain on my savings account to zero.
I loved him. I will always love him. No matter what happens in my life, I love him the best of all people I have ever known.
He was amazingly cool. One date.
married.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

evening, but wanted to drop by to say 'thanks' for tonight's News & Blues. Will be back later this evening to check out all the news.

(Pretty sure that I'll have a comment about Christie's opioid crisis recommendations, but it will probably be tomorrow evening. Still scrambling to take care of some unexpected business this evening.)

Today was a tad cooler than forecast, probably because of the considerable cloud cover. Whatever the reason--I'll take it!

Wink

Haven't been able to catch as much news as usual, but, hope we're not heading to war, or something. The little bit that I have tuned into Cable News the last couple days, makes me think that I'd better start practicing 'duck and cover.'

Everyone have a nice evening, and stay cool!

Bye

Mollie


“I believe in the redemptive powers of a dog’s love. It is in recognition of each dog’s potential to lift the human spirit and therefore– to change society for the better, that I fight to make sure every street dog has its day.”
--Stasha Wong, Secretary, Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD)

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"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 your weather has cooled off, it's been pretty cool up here in maryland for the last few days (thank you flying spaghetti monster!)

have a good one!

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First, does Trump have any power over foreign and war policy? I don't get much the feeling that Trump is charge. So bombastic Trump will be bombastic Trump.

Pundits have said, and right so, that Trump articulates current policies in a crass way. Rhetorically he rips the current away from those who hold power and who have done worse. Oh look, Trump is behind Obama in the number of people his admin. has deported.

In terms of war, Hillary, Obama, and Bush used "polite language" and caused the death and destruction of multiple nations. So as long as Obama looks like the kool kid, it was alright for him to drop over 50,000 bombs on human beings his last two years in office. All of this was for real covering it with "polite language" while Trump who has not even come close to their destruction causes a panic.

Maybe just maybe, people will realize the issue is imperialism and endless war, and not the rhetoric propelling them.

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Unabashed Liberal's picture

@MrWebster

comment was said tongue in cheek. (In case it sounded serious.)

Only reason I didn't follow it with a 'wink,' was because I had just used one in the prior paragraph.

Have a good one! Pleasantry

Mollie

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3 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)