19 August 2017

My hunch is that there are many, many women and men like Amy McGrath in this country, who have the patriotic spirit necessary to be good public servants in Congress but who, alas, did not have the judgment to be born to well-known elite families or to look craggy and weathered quite like Bernie.  The Democratic Party should remember this every day.

I urge my readers to consider a donation to McGrath's campaign.  It will be people like her who can take back the House for accountability and democracy, or not at all.

16 August 2017

Max Kellermann wouldn't be a bad president for the next week or so.  Thanks, ESPN.

04 August 2017

Banking - with its gray functionaries and experts - has taken the place of the Church and its priests and, controlling credit, manipulates and propels the faith - the scarce, dubious confidence - that our time still keeps.  And it does it in the most irresponsible way, devoid of scruples, seeking to squeeze marginal profit out of the confidence and the hopes of human beings, fixing the credit of which everyone can partake and the price which everyone must pay for it (even the credit of nations, which have docilely abdicated their sovereignty).  In this manner, controlling credit, banking governs not only the world, but also the future of humans -- a future that the crisis is always shortening and making expire.

And if today politics no longer seems possible, this is because the financial power has indeed sequestrated all the faith and all the future, all time and all expectations.  In this hard situation, while our society that believes itself secular remains in servitude to the most obscure and irrational of religions, it will be well for everyone to reclaim credit and future alike from the hands of these dismal, discredited pseudo-priests, bankers, professors and functionaries of the various rating agencies.  And maybe the first thing to do is to stop looking so much at the future, as these guys exhort us to do, but instead turn our gaze back to the past ... Archeology - not futurology - is the only access road to the present.

Giorgio Agamben, ending of an essay in La Repubblica, Feb. 16, 2012  (my translation)

Martin Shkreli, despite a valiant defense of his character from august pillars of the investment sector, has been found guilty of three counts of fraud.  (This particular jury was composed of seven women and five men, which seems relevant when one considers Shkreli's chief hobby, harassing women online.)

I am gratified to see that the "don't call me a misogynist liar, I'm just Rain Man" defense didn't work this time.  Invariably deployed to protect straight white men from the consequences of their own actions, this may be Dustin Hoffman's most lasting legacy to Euro-American culture. 
One trial witness last month, Schuyler Marshall, a Dallas-based real estate company chairman who invested in one of Shkreli’s later hedge funds, said that Shkreli reminded him of the film character Rain Man, the autistic savant played by Dustin Hoffman, who has extraordinary mathematical powers but difficulty relating to others.
Under cross-examination, Marshall said that he was not claiming Shkreli was autistic, but that: “The reference here was that this was just an intensely focused, bright guy who knew his stuff.”