Saturday, March 26, 2016

Marching On ...

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Man With The Blueberry Mint Moonshine Martini

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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dispelling The Myth Irish-Americans Didn't Mind St. Patty's Day Stereotyping

When Irish American eyes are smilin' | National Museum of American History

Image via The Smithsonian
Rather than acquiesce to unflattering stereotypes (as African Americans were often forced to do), Irish Americans demanded that postcard companies remove the offending lines from their annual offerings. Newspapers between 1909 and 1911 detail protests, boycotts, and calls for the police to confiscate the "indecent literature." 
Bigots like to say stuff like, "The Irish don't care about stereotypes, it's all in good fun," to justify their desire to make fun of other groups -- especially white guys wanting to indulge in some good old fashioned humor at the expense of blacks.

But, the Irish have a long history of minding. And they pushed back with protests and boycotts.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sometimes, Living Here In NC Is Exhausting

Tar Heel family illustrates why Trump appeals to the South | PBS NewsHour

PETE TILLY: This is my first time I have ever worked on political campaign. My family members are joining me, my son, my daughter-in-law, and my grandchild. It’s been such an awesome experience.

And, father God, we just thank you that you’re going to use Donald Trump for your glory in your kingdom, oh, father God.
Just beneath surface, barely concealed*, is the discernible motivation that drives this family. At no point do they come out and say it, but there's only one reason they're so willing to vote against their economic interests and support a demagogue.

I say "barely concealed," but they're actually in plain sight.
It's what they have in common with Trump: white supremacist ideological underpinnings. They want to send their kids to college, so clearly Sanders or Clinton make more sense for them. Their fears reinforce their feelings of supremacy though, and Trump is the man who speaks to them. (I was told to speak English when I came here, and I conformed, says the father -- a white man who came from Montreal as a child -- anyone who doesn't should go home. The unconscious bias on display is that his experience as a white Christian trumps all others.)

* In case you're not familiar with the code, H is the 8th letter of the alphabet. 88 is code for HH, which is short for Heil Hitler. Incredibly, this was never mentioned in the report.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Rainy DST Mondays Are Like

Pro Tip: if you only use DST, you don't have to remember if it's Daylight Savings or Daylight Saving Time. (The latter, BTW.)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Before You Accuse Me ...

Sick to death of whinging, entitled Democrats insisting a vote for anyone other than Hillary Clinton is tantamount to supporting the GOP and their band of radical, theocratic, bigoted, plutocratic, authoritarian nutters, I started drafting this post to argue against that kind of strategic voting against my best interests. Then a string of tweets caught my eye and I decided to save time and just storify that, so you'll find that below.

Look, I voted for Bernie Sanders in the NC primary -- voted early, the primary is this coming Tuesday -- and there is no chance I will vote for a Republican in the general. However, I won't be voting for Hillary Clinton in the general election. I've had it with Wall Street-funded neo-liberal hawks being in charge; won't vote for another.

I get where the sentiment comes from. I voted for Obama, twice in the general (with great hope the first time) and I voted for Gore, Kerry, and Bill Clinton before that -- although I supported Jerry Brown in 1992. (In 1988, I wasn't old enough to vote to in the general, fell a few months shy, but I was for Dukakis once he sealed the nomination. Had been pulling for Jesse Jackson.) After Obama's first term, I was considering switching to Green and voting for Jill Stein, but ultimately played the game, thinking better Obama than Romney. Had tried to work out a vote swap arrangement where I'd pledge to vote Stein if a Republican leaning Romney would pledge to vote for the Libertarian candidate, but nobody took me up on the offer. Obama's second term was certainly less a disaster than a Romney one would have been, and I shudder to think how quickly Romney and the Senate would have shoved a Scalia clone down our throats, but I still regret not voting against drones, secrecy, and no end in site for the wars in the Middle East, not to mention our disgusting relationships with Saudi Arabia and Israel. It's been eating me up inside that, by voting for Obama, I undercut all my blogging about Saudi Arabia persecutes secular bloggers, and about Israel's apartheid state. I'm against them, but I voted for an administration that has done nothing I can see to try to change either. So, I've been part of the problem.

What I won't listen to are claims that my vote is, effectively, for Drumpf, or whoever the GOP end up nominating. Just as the premise that Nader supporters cost Gore the Presidency, and delivered us into the hands of Bush/Cheney was rubbish, the argument is still naff. Nader supporters aren't to blame for Bush. That's the fault of (among others)  Gore and Gore supporters not being persuasive enough on the progressive issues that Nader championed, which people actually cared about. After the next election, I'll be able to argue my positions with a clear conscience because I won't have voted for another neoliberal.

Ollie's Got His Work Cut Out For Him

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Circle of the Walk of Life

Every movie ending is better when it's soundtracked by Dire Straits

Salomone contends that "Walk of Life" is "the perfect song to end any movie," and he tests that hypothesis by laying it over 50-plus classic endings. Bill Murray whispers in Scarlett Johansson's ear and leaves Tokyo behind, riding off into the sunset on Mark Knopfler's wistful synth-organ melody; the titular Friends decide to grab one last coffee at Central Perk while Knopfler sings about some dude busking in the subway. "Walk of Life" closes out comedies and dramas, sci-fi odysseys and character studies, happy moments and sad ones. It works with Inception just as well as it works with The Lion King.
I've take some grief for my enduring fondness for Dire Straits, and Mark Knopfler's solo albums and soundtrack work, in some cases perhaps deservedly. While I resist the notion that a "guilty pleasure" is a thing, I find myself willing to excuse some excessive synth & keyboard noodling in his compositions (the Local Hero soundtrack) that I scowl at in others. The songs still work for me, even when I recognize they shouldn't.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Common Sense Explains Why Voting for Any Neoliberal Will ‘Spread Terrorism'

Julian Assange Explains Why Voting for Hillary Clinton Will ‘Spread Terrorism’ - Truthdig

Stating that Clinton went above the heads of Pentagon generals when it came to Libya, he wrote: “Libya has been destroyed. It became a haven for ISIS. The Libyan national armory was looted and hundreds of tons of weapons were transferred to jihadists in Syria.”

He went on to state that Clinton did not learn from her mistakes, and set out to repeat history in Syria.

“Having learned nothing from the Libyan disaster Hillary then set about trying do the same in Syria. Hillary’s war has increased terrorism, killed tens of thousands of innocent civilians and has set back women’s rights in the Middle East by hundreds of years,” he wrote
I post this not to single out Hillary, because certainly a vote for any Republican will have the same result, and even Bernie Sanders has sounded more militaristic on occasion than I'm comfortable with.

Dr. Jill Stein is the only candidate who has never sounded like a blood-thirsty imperialist.

The Professional Chomsky Defamation Industry

Honest critiques of Chomsky are not to be confused with the defamation industry. It would be nothing short of a miracle if a man of Chomsky’s prolific output and breadth did not invite disagreement. He has published in excess of a hundred books on multiple disciplines, on science, on philosophy, on government, on economics, on the media, on history, often with a view to upset conventional platitudes. A critical appraisal of his work is useful to the student of political science, and the first to undertake such a critique ought to be those who share his ideals to make his analysis more effective. 
What is salient about the professional Chomsky hounders though is how little error they uncover. It is because they are not engaged in criticism, in the inspection of whether his arguments hold up against the evidence. They are simply practitioners of vilification.
Also salient: how many of these hounders are on the so-called Left. The gatekeeping is buttressed from both ends of the acceptable neo-liberal spectrum.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Thursday, March 3, 2016

And August Newspapers Said He Was Just Appealing To His Base ...

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

GOP Establishment Strategy Docs

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