Archive for the ‘Deep political thought’ Category

Interdependence Day

July 4, 2020

There are no free laps in the pursuit of Happiness.

While observing the anniversary of our declaration of independence from Great Britain, let’s also give some thought to the interdependence between ourselves and our fellow Americans.

E pluribus unum isn’t something you catch off a toilet seat. You’re supposed to catch it from your parents, teachers, friends, and neighbors. It can actually help shield you against a variety of social diseases, among them ignorance, selfishness, and stupidity.

We’re all in the same sandbox here. Let’s try not to shit in it.

‘La Cornada’

June 16, 2020

Oñate was no stranger to violence, so for him it was just another Monday in the Duke City.

There’s an old saying: “Fuck with the bull and you get the horn.”

Well, somebody did the one and got the other yesterday in Old Town.

Remember, kids, when you’re smashing the State, keep a smile on your lips and a song in your heart. And always assume that the other fella is packing.

It’s not just political power that grows out of the barrel of a gun. No bull.

Implausible deniability

June 6, 2020

“What’s all the hubbub … bub?”

And now, for your listening pleasure, Attorney General Bill “Droopy” Barr  performs “An Ode to Self-Exoneration” on the butt-trumpet:

“I’m not involved in giving tactical commands like that,” Barr told the Associated Press. “I was frustrated and I was also worried that as the crowd grew, it was going to be harder and harder to do. So my attitude was get it done, but I didn’t say, ‘Go do it.’ ”

Gee whillikers, a fella just can’t find good help anymore, even with the unemployment rate in double digits. This gasbag makes John Mitchell look like Clarence Darrow.

‘I alone can fix it’

May 31, 2020

“Boy, this must be a really secure location. It doesn’t look like there’s been a janitorial crew in here since … well, since forever.
Smells worse than Pence’s butt-breath in here.”

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Just ask Adolf Twitler, who got going … to the Führerbunker.

Inside the White House, the mood was bristling with tension. Hundreds of protesters were gathering outside the gates, shouting curses at President Trump and in some cases throwing bricks and bottles. Nervous for his safety, Secret Service agents abruptly rushed the president to the underground bunker used in the past during terrorist attacks.

After his evening in the bunker, Mr. Trump emerged on Saturday morning to boast that he never felt unsafe and vow to sic “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” on intruders.

Because of course he did. Right after he changed his underwear.

Hell ain’t half full

May 25, 2020

Through a glass, darkly.

You can’t spell “Memorial Day” without “me.”

The other night we revisited one of the great plague movies, Terry Gilliam’s “12 Monkeys.” A line delivered by Jeffrey Goines (Brad Pitt) has long been a favorite observation around El Rancho Pendejo:

“There’s no right, there’s no wrong, there’s only popular opinion.”

How do I feel about something? What’s in it for me? If enough people think the way I do, it must be Truth, yeah?

So count me among the unsurprised when I see people packing Maryland’s Ocean City boardwalk, standing shoulder to shoulder in pools at Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks, or crowding around some tool tossing money from a car in Daytona Beach, Fla.

“Disney’s closed, Universal’s closed, everything’s closed. So where did everybody come? On the first warm day with 50 percent opening, everybody came to the beach,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood told CBS Miami.

It practically goes without saying that Il Douche spent the weekend tweeting like a fat orange budgie on Adderall and urging Americans to go to church while he air-mailed divots to Jesus from one of his own golf courses. Dude brings a whole new meaning to the term “a bad lie.”

What does surprise me is that no matter who is “in charge,” or whether the enemy du jour is a Saudi with a box cutter, a highly communicable disease, or some other threat most Americans have never seen, some of us continue volunteering for and serving in the armed forces, or signing up for less celebrated duty at emergency rooms, cop shops, nursing homes, fire departments, pharmacies, sewage treatment plants, grocery stores, appliance-repair shops, hardware stores, restaurants, and delivery services.

I’m guessing that a lot of these folks would rather the customers hadn’t spent the Memorial Day weekend playing Beach Booger Bingo with a few thousand of their closest friends.

But hey, what do I know? There’s no right, there’s no wrong. …

Masque of the Red … Revolution?

May 7, 2020

¡Viva la huelga!

I’ve been wondering when someone in the mainstream media would write something about the potential for increasing union membership and labor strength in the Year(s) of the Plague.

Here’s a start. It’s short, focused largely on the so-called “gig economy,” and written before a Washington Post-Ipsos poll that indicates some laid-off and furloughed workers may be overly optimistic about whether they will be able to return to their old jobs.

How does an activist pitch a union to a worker with no job? Is a patchwork of small, decentralized, tightly focused labor organizations preferable to One Big Union? Are people ready to rethink their notions of who is an “essential” worker? Will stock clerks trump stockholders?

Nick French at Jacobin gives us a look at the protests that arose shortly after the Great Depression took hold. He argues that radical groups, among them the Thirties-vintage Communist Party, forged a bond of solidarity between the jobless and those still working that helped make FDR’s New Deal possible.

The conditions are different today, he concedes. But the public-health issue may give workers more leverage this time around. Writes French:

By forcing sick people to come to work, or by unnecessarily exposing people to coworkers or customers who might be infected, employers are hastening the spread of the coronavirus and putting everyone at risk. This means that all workers, employed or unemployed, have a common interest in these workers winning their demands.

Boy howdy. Dead broke is bad enough. I hear dead is worse.

• Addendum: As white-collar types join workers from the restaurant, travel, hospitality, and retail industries on the sidelines, experts say there’s no way to calculate how many jobs might come back as states consider lifting shelter-in-place rules. according to The New York Times.

Many businesses, particularly small ones, may not survive, while others are likely to operate with reduced hours and staff. The job search site Indeed reports that postings are down nearly 40 percent from a year ago.

“We don’t know what normal is going to look like,” said Martha Gimbel, an economist and a labor market expert at Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative.

• Addendum the Second: How should unions organize? From The Nation.

• Addendum the Third: Comrades, identities, and attachments. Also from The Nation.

Comrades, come rally. …

May 1, 2020

… whilst observing the proper socialist distancing, of course.

• Labor Day demonstrations reimagined worldwide.

• Virtual May Day rally, live on Vimeo.

• Amazon, Instacart, Shipt workers plan walkouts.

• Thousands of Americans expected to join rent strike.

Blech!

April 24, 2020

Maybe what we need is a Maglite/Clorox death ray. Let’s ask the aliens for the loan of one next time they pop round to butt-probe a hillbilly.

“And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute — one minute — and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning?” he asked. “Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”

Jesus, this guy is dumb. Dumber than a bag of sunsplashed hammers. Dumber than a sack of freshly bleached hair. A few French fries short of a Happy Meal.

Sure thing, Dr. Demento. Let’s all mainline some Clorox, with tactical flashlights up our keisters. You go first.

Turn turtle

April 23, 2020

The Turtle plays the old shell game. Original photo by Susan Walsh | AP

“I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route. It’s saved some cities, and there’s no good reason for it not to be available … My guess is their first choice would be for the federal government to borrow money from future generations to send it down to them now so they don’t have to do that. That’s not something I’m going to be in favor of. Or perhaps they might consider marrying into a wealthy maritime shipping family.” — Mitch McConnell on borrowing to assist state and local governments.*

* Except for that last sentence, which he’s never gonna say out loud the way he did when he was looking for a rich woman to marry.

The Charlie Fox Show

April 16, 2020

“Plan? Plan? What plan? Oh, that plan. Lemme keep looking, I’m sure it’s up here somewhere.”

Hm, lessee here:

• “Glitches prevent $1,200 stimulus checks from reaching millions.” (WaPo).

• “Small businesses in despair as fund for government aid runs out.” (NYT)

• “Trump’s ‘Open our country council’ runs into its own opening problems.” (NYT)

• “Clusterfuck: a complex and utterly disordered and mismanaged situation : a muddled mess.” (Merriam-Webster)