03 February 2016

In his Iowa caucus night speech, Bernie Sanders ironically saluted the Washington Post as one of his chief media critics.

Today on washingtonpost.com, we have learned that:

1.  The Zika virus "could inject fear back into sex." 

2.  A random black dude from the SEAHAWKS is a "Broncos safety sent home after prostitution sting near Super Bowl site."

3.  John Kerry is a pussy because he won't immediately send American soldiers into Syria to "force compliance" from the Assad regime on being good to its people.

4.  And of course, Sanders is "authentically wrong" and basically a lefty Ted Cruz because he talks about corporate corruption.

02 January 2016

"Professor Warren," to the tune of the Bee Gees' 'More than a Woman'

Four years into hope and change
I saw you rise from academe
They never really tried before
But now you're fighting for the dream

Suddenly you're in the news

Just like th'economics guys
You got the right wing working hard
Just trying to cover up their lies

Reform agenda, that's my paradise
My only chance for solvency
And if I lose you now it just won't suffice
Oh say you'll never leave the Senate
We can make it shine
With the CFPB just an FY at a time

Professor Warren
Professor Warren, you were
Professor Warren
Professor Warren, you burn

Time was there were socialists 
In Congress and the city halls
And they should come down from the shelf
Let history repeat itself

Households gotta make ends meet
People so indebted they resort
To selling plasma for
11 bucks an hour, no more

This is the only way our Left should move
This is the only way to go
And if I lose your voice I know I would cry
Oh say you'll always be that firebrand
We can make it shine
With the CFPB just an FY at a time...

21 October 2015

Let's Play Final Fantasy VI Part 27: Banquet with the Emperor

Minutes 9:44 to 11:45 sum up recent developments in American foreign policy quite well.

13 October 2015

Five Questions for All at Tonight's Debate

1.  When did you last visit a homeless shelter?  Describe your experience.
2.  When did you last visit a prison?  Describe your experience.
3.  A hurricane as strong as Sandy in 2012 strikes Washington DC.  What would you do?
4.  If Congress sends you an appropriations bill that spends $100 billion on "crisis pregnancy centers", what would you do?
5.  Should the Electoral College be abolished?

29 September 2015

Scott Walker, who has never passed up an opportunity to stiff the ordinary citizen with the costs of his lifestyle, was probably forced out of his presidential run by federal labor authorities.  To me, anyway, that seems the most plausible theory.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported:

The State Patrol is rescinding the $4-an-hour raises given to Gov. Scott Walker's security team and cutting the unit ... The move comes after the U.S. Department of Labor ordered WISDOT to award overtime pay dating to May 19, 2013, to nine officers in the state Dignitary Protection Unit, which provides security for Walker 24 hours a day, seven days a week ... Walker's political operation in April agreed to pay travel costs for the security team, but taxpayers continued to pay for their salaries and benefits, including their overtime costs.  [as reported in the Wisconsin Gazette of Sept. 10, 2015]

02 September 2015

A Warning Against Wage Theft from the Iliad

[Poseidon speaks to Apollo]
Young fool, what a mindless heart you have.  Can you not even
now remember all the evils we endured here by Ilion,
you and I alone of the gods, when to proud Laomedon
we came down from Zeus and for a year were his servants
for a stated hire, and he told us what to do, and to do it?
Then I built a wall for the Trojans about their city,
wide, and very splendid, so none could break into their city,
but you, Phoibos, herded his shambling horn-curved cattle
along the spurs of Ida with all her folds and her forests.
But when the changing seasons brought on the time for our labor
to be paid, then headstrong Laomedon violated and made void
all our hire, and sent us away, and sent threats after us.
For he threatened to hobble our feet and to bind our arms,
to carry us away for slaves in the far-lying islands.
He was even going to strip with bronze the ears from both of us.
Then you and I took our way back with hearts full of anger
and wrath for our hire which he promised us and would not accomplish it.
Yet to his people you give now your grace, and you will not
try with us to bring destruction on the insolent Trojans
evil and complete, with their honored wives and their children." (21: 441-460, Richmond Lattimore translation)
Two weeks after Woodstock a conference opened at the infamous Hilton in Chicago, where across the street a rally was commemorating the countercultural victims of the 1968 Democratic convention.  The conference opened with a prayer for the Lord's blessing in the struggle against the "humanistic, godless effort to destroy the sanctity of the home and the well-being of America."  That was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem.  Then the chairwoman, a Mrs. Albert Flemming, asked the cameramen in the back to turn down the TV lights.  When the cameramen didn't respond, someone shouted, "Who the hell wants the news media anyway?"  The National Convention on the Crisis in Education had come to order.  Delegates came from twenty-two states, groups with such names as Mothers for Moral Stability (MOMS) and Parents Opposed to Sex and Sensitivity Education (POSSE).  The hallways burbled with talk of ... the classes that taught about copulation between people and livestock.  The moral dissolution society was falling to as surely as snow to spring.  And the villain responsible for it all:  a woman named Mary Calderone.  The former medical director of Planned Parenthood, Calderone had come up with the idea for her organization, the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States, at a 1961 conference of the National Association of Churches ... Her supporters saw themselves as the opposite of subversives.  'The churches have to take the lead,' Dr. Calderone, herself a Quaker, would say, 'home, school, church, and the community all working cooperatively.'

from Rick Perlstein, Nixonland

25 August 2015

Who is Bernie Sanders Campaigning For?

Bernie is campaigning for a small child - I'll call her Hadiya - in Madison, Wisconsin who is not getting enough sleep.  Her thin, vulnerable frame covers the space of two seats on the bus that her mother relies on to take her to work or social service agencies or something else that is important in her life.  I feel a need to be particularly quiet when I sit near her lest I rob her of this precious recharging sleep time.

Hadiya is old enough to be going to school, perhaps first grade, and I wonder - well, I wonder a lot of things.  Does she have a stable home address?  If not, are there places she is spending the night that just do not afford her a safe space to sleep?  Is Hadiya's mother battling a drug addiction - smoking, maybe - that makes the expenses of mothering a low priority? 

When Hadiya turns 18, the year might be 2027.  Will the United States have attended to repairing and upgrading its vital infrastructure, improving mass transit in cities so that Hadiya does not need to buy a new car to have the mere potential for independent living?  Or will all of our national budget be swallowed by corporate welfare giveaways (to health insurance giants especially) and bloated military missions which involve frantically bombing Asian and African nations that are on the wrong side of our network of imperial alliances and hoping that this is "degrading the capabilities of terrorists?"

I can't say for sure that a President Scott Walker or Jeb Bush would spell certain disaster for Hadiya, in any direct sense.  The question here is - what kind of country are we going to leave to her in adult life?  Do we want, and want badly, a country that cares about its own citizens, even the poorest?  Or are we content with yet another crumbling jalopy empire [h/t], a siglo de oro USA where the gold is all immured in Phillip II's palace, and the masses push, shove, and claw for a crust of bread or clean water?

This is why Bernie Sanders is campaigning, and why I am supporting his candidacy.