Monday, June 29, 2015

Maybe I can find a reading group

I read French pretty will and I have been hoping to significantly improve my reading of Spanish.

I don't need to speak it or understand it when spoken and literature is not my first priority, but I would love to be able to read news, history, political thought, and the like in Spanish without too much pain.

You would think it wouldn't be that hard to find instructors/group leaders.

US now has more Spanish speakers than Spain – only Mexico has more

Retention elections for the Supremes?

Ted Cruz thinks they would keep the Supremes honest

I don't.

It's not a bad move but, alone, it won't work.

Our republic needs to be made a bit more national and a bit more democratic.

The reason why the Supremes get away with their dishonesty and the only excuse they have for it (google "living constitution") is that the Article V amendment process is too cumbersome and not just undemocratic but anti-democratic.

Were a more democratic and straightforward process available that excuse for usurpation would disappear.

This is what we have now.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of it's equal Suffrage in the Senate.

Something both more national and more democratic would be as follows.

Let amendments be ratified, instead of by the states as required by Article V, by two-thirds approval (simple majority, you say? OK.) of those voting on the question in three (two? four?) successive national plebiscites, separated by intervals of two years, on the same ballot as elections for federal offices.

In addition to the means specified in Article V, let amendments be proposed by national initiative, some minimal number of signatures being required to get an amendment on the ballot.

That number could be fairly large, but there should be no requirement that the signatures come from more than one state or region or even locale.

Since this is intended as an expression of citizen sovereignty, there should be no restrictions as to political content and no pre-screening for PC or other criteria of moral or political acceptability.

And neither should there be any after-the-fact screening of approved amendments allowing the America classe politique, establishment, or elites, the slightest hint of a veto on the popular will, thus expressed.

Although it would be helpful if the classe politique would take steps to clean up the existing hot mess of lies that is current constitutional jurisprudence by proposing amendments for passage that would make the thing say what the lies say it says, where this is actually likely to be wanted by enough voters, steadily enough.

Amendments to clearly legitimate Medicare and Social Security and Obamacare, for example.

Or the national and not just interstate regulatory power of the Congress.

Or to revamp birthright citizenship to restrict it to children with at least one parent an American citizen or both parents legally resident aliens, say.

Or to specify who is and who is not a person.

Or to introduce sensible qualifying restraint to the absolute language of the First Amendment, and to extend it so as to provide reasonable protection of employees from employers.

Or to clarify which of the amendments in the Bill of Rights do or don't bind the states and locales.

Or to provide a rational legal footing for application or invocation of the equal protection clause.

The trouble is, both parties are very heavily invested in our current arrangements.

And both would likely find such steps toward nationalism objectionable and toward democracy terrifying.

Stiglitz sounds like Krugman. Or vice versa.

Greece, austerity, and the eurozone

Bernie Sanders

They like him for what he says.

But they don't like his silences.

Old.

White.

Male.

Bernie Sanders Predicts He'll Win White House

Well, there really is an attack on marriage

A war on marriage, actually.

It's about attitude control.

Control of morality.

I've Slept With 99 People -- Why I'm Looking for My 100th and Feeling Not the Slightest Bit of Shame, by Zoe Ligon

Next lie heading down the pike

Justices Breyer, Ginsburg Say It Is 'Highly Likely' The Death Penalty Is Unconstitutional

More of the PC agenda will soon be discovered to lurk, hidden, in the oldest parts of the constitution, unbeknownst to anyone for more than two centuries.

Greece. Breaking up is hard to do.

Krugman

The euro was a mistake, and austerity is a stupid and cruel economic horror.

It has been obvious for some time that the creation of the euro was a terrible mistake. 

Europe never had the preconditions for a successful single currency — above all, the kind of fiscal and banking union that, for example, ensures that when a housing bubble in Florida bursts, Washington automatically protects seniors against any threat to their medical care or their bank deposits.

. . . . 

[N]ext week the country will hold a referendum on whether to accept the demands of the “troika” — the institutions representing creditor interests — for yet more austerity.


Greece should vote “no,” and the Greek government should be ready, if necessary, to leave the euro.

. . . . 

But they [the Greeks] shouldn’t [vote "yes"], for three reasons. First, we now know that ever-harsher austerity is a dead end: after five years Greece is in worse shape than ever. Second, much and perhaps most of the feared chaos from Grexit has already happened. With banks closed and capital controls imposed, there’s not that much more damage to be done.

Finally, acceding to the troika’s ultimatum would represent the final abandonment of any pretense of Greek independence. Don’t be taken in by claims that troika officials are just technocrats explaining to the ignorant Greeks what must be done. These supposed technocrats are in fact fantasists who have disregarded everything we know about macroeconomics, and have been wrong every step of the way. This isn’t about analysis, it’s about power — the power of the creditors to pull the plug on the Greek economy, which persists as long as euro exit is considered unthinkable.


So it’s time to put an end to this unthinkability. Otherwise Greece will face endless austerity, and a depression with no hint of an end.

Not hearing much from anyone else on the American left about this.

A Guardian editorial

The Guardian, though leftist, is indissolubly committed to Europe and the euro.

They see all the cruelty and stupidity and failure in austerity that Krugman sees, but still can't bite the bullet.

Not for the first time, they blame Syriza both for it's apparent willingness to torpedo both and for the failure of the German bankers, the IMF, and other major creditors to "even meet them [the Greeks] one quarter of the way," which they have not been willing to do, as the Greeks have pointed out.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The public adopts whoppers

Same sex unions are to marriage what transsexuals are to women (or men).

They are an imposture that fools no one.

They are even less successful, as hoaxes, than the Emperor's new clothes that, at any rate, fooled him.

The case is different for civil unions, which are exactly what they are and don't pretend to be another thing.

Hence this commonly made analogy is wholly inept.

It was no surprise that the Supreme Court held Friday that there is a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. 

It is very difficult to distinguish the case from Loving v. Virginia, which in 1967 invalidated state laws forbidding miscegenation. 

There was, as an economist would say, a “demand” (though rather limited) for biracial marriage, and it was difficult, to say the least, to comprehend why such marriages should be prohibited. 

In fact the only “ground” for the prohibition was bigotry. 

The same is true with respect to same-sex marriage. 

No more than biracial marriage does gay marriage harm people who don’t have or want to have such a marriage. 

The prohibition of same-sex marriage harms a nontrivial number of American citizens because other Americans disapprove of it though unaffected by it.

Exactly the same defense could be made of a man who wanted to marry his daughter, both his daughter and his son, and his horse.

Even granting that the relevant prohibitions of these things, or their legal nullity, are wholly gratuitous interference in the lives of others motivated by nothing but bigotry, what in the constitution prohibits such interference by states or inferior jurisdictions, exactly?

Nothing at all.

Loving, too, was a liberal hoax, by the way, as has been every decision based on a constitutional privacy right and all of the notoriously liberal decisions based on the equal protection clause.

Just saying.

Judge Posner couldn't care less.

How to understand Frederick Douglass's bitter remarks on the Fourth of July

Frederick Douglass

“What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”

What is the value of "free institutions" to those upon whose backs they rest?

If Dred Scott was rightly decided (and I am not convinced it was), by the way, FD was not a citizen of the United States and never could be.

John C. Calhoun

His politics combine the republicanism of the Roman Optimates with slavery based on racism.

Consider his views on slavery, civilization, and "free institutions."

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The President's Eulogy of Rev. Pinckney

He hits exactly the right note, as he often does.


His answer to David Brooks and others who miss the point is this.

Removing the flag from this state’s capital would not be an act of political correctness. 

It would not an insult to the valor of Confederate soldiers. 

It would simply be acknowledgement that the cause for which they fought, the cause of slavery, was wrong.

The imposition of Jim Crow after the Civil War, the resistance to civil rights for all people was wrong.

It would be one step in an honest accounting of America’s history, a modest but meaningful balm for so many unhealed wounds.


It would be an expression of the amazing changes that have transformed this state and this country for the better because of the work of so many people of goodwill, people of all races, striving to form a more perfect union.

He does not say, and it is not true, that it needs to come down because it offends an entire race.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Wow. Look at Bernie go.

Hillary Clinton's lead over N.H. Democrats dwindling, poll finds

Holy Moley. Read it all.

Somebody should bomb ISIL into the stone age

Not us, but somebody.

Terror attacks on three continents

CNN

I think the latest numbers of dead in Tunisia and Kuwait are much higher.

An illustration of liberal globalismo

Liberal cosmopolitanism has its own culture war.

The Guardian on gay marriage

A deplorable constitutional lie

They should have left this to democracy and to the states.

Supremes force gay marriage upon the states

The justices found that, under the 14th Amendment, states must issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and recognize same-sex unions that have been legally performed in other states. 

Justice Anthony Kennedy delivered the majority opinion and was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. 

The Supremes have always lied about the law and the constitution, and have done so with great and generally increasing frequency since 1937, when they stopped lying to write conservatism into the law and the constitution and began lying to do that for liberalism.

In most ways I am as pleased with the results as any liberal, though in some not as in the present case.

But I am generally much more unhappy with the method.

On the other hand, there are these key points to remember.

Social life is impossible without coercion, which in turn is impossible without violence.

And coercion is made more palatable and violence less necessary by some of the lies of religion and morality, as well as others, though often coercion and even violence are involved in determining which lies shall be imposed on and by the law, the state, and social institutions, and in daily life.

Culture war occurs when organized partisans seek to coercively impose opposing sets of lies, generally religious or moral, upon the government and thence upon society's major institutions.

Since the mid-20th Century, the liberal lies of the Supremes have been mostly of that sort, concerning race and sex and the laws and institutions related to both.

In many cases including the present case, such rulings by the Supremes have been effects rather than causes of liberal victories in the contemporary culture war within the Occident in general and the US in particular.

The moral agony of David Brooks

The Robert E. Lee Problem

Hat tip to Steve M.

My comment at Steve M's was this.

Now, if Lee had sponsored an officers' plot to assassinate Jefferson Davis and end the war by surrender to the Union forces, it would be fine, though some might think it perhaps a bit over the top, to memorialize and honor him.

Otherwise, as for their supposed private opinions on slavery or anything else, it does not matter what these allegedly honorable and decent men said or thought. 

It matters what they actually did, when push came to shove.

A Reconstruction variant of the Nuremberg trials would not have been out of place or unduly harsh, not for war crimes per se but for crimes against humanity related to secession and war for the defense and advancement of slavery, itself a crime against humanity, though the concept would have had to be invented nearly a century earlier than it actually was.

Anyway, the present issue fissures into at least two parts.

One is the question what to do about public honoring of the Confederacy and those who fought for it, and the answer is that the relevant public authorities need to stop all that, take down the flags and monuments and rename the schools and streets, etc.

And the other is the question what to do about private honoring of those things and people, and the answer is to resist with public obloquy but not coercion.

But as to that last, on this matter as on others I think the First Amendment needs to be enforced as a suitably qualified guarantee of the freedom of employees against employer retaliation, as well as a suitably qualified guarantee against government coercion or retaliation.

Here I realize I am more on the side of individual freedom of opinion, speech, and association than liberals generally are, and that my preference is directly opposed to the activities of our contemporary Red Guards of PC.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What was The Lost Cause?

Ta-Nehesi Coates

He has it right from beginning to end until his own racism gets the better of his quite clear knowledge of the relevant history, and he writes this.

The Confederate flag should not come down because it is offensive to African Americans. 

The Confederate flag should come down because it is embarrassing to all Americans. 

Is it, and should it be, embarrassing to black Americans?

To all white Americans?

Still, before that, his is the best piece I have yet seen on the matter.

The world has been devastated by whole armies of honorable men

Republican White House hopefuls struggle over the flag

Romney and the SC governor days in the lead, the GOP hopefuls have carefully, gently, and oh so politely agreed the flag ought to come down.

But meanwhile, many conservative pundits defend the indefensible by attacking the attackers and some old fashioned Southern Republican politicians defend the honor of the Confederate soldiery.

And they all know perfectly well it's not only about the flag.

State Sen. Lee Bright, Cruz’s South Carolina co-chair, has emerged as one of the most vocal opponents of the move. 

Bright told the Charleston Post and Courier that taking the flag down was akin to a “Stalinist purge,” a claim he expanded on in an interview with POLITICO on Tuesday.

“It’s not just the flag,” Bright said. 

“They want to take down the Confederate monuments; I’ve gotten emails from people who want to rename streets. … Anytime you want to basically remove the symbols of history from a state, that’s something that just is very bad. … These are honorable men who fought for their homes, their home state; to disgrace them in the name of political correctness is just wrong. They’re not here to defend themselves.”

They should rename those high schools and streets after Grant, Sherman, Lincoln, Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, and the like heroes who fought to crush the slave empire of the Confederacy and end slavery in the renewed and stronger Union, forever.

And the Union dead, hundreds of thousands of honorable and decent men, many devoted volunteers but many also barely willing draftees, dragged off to war just like their opposite numbers in gray.

The German armies of World War Two were full of decent men drafted to fight, as well as honorable professionals.

Likewise Stalin's forces throughout his reign.

Blah, blah.

Stalin's armies occupied the Baltic States and half of Poland, subjecting them to the red nightmare, and tried to do the same for Finland.

After crushing Hitler's forces - with a helpful assist from Americans and Brits - and raping half the women and girls in Germany, they imposed that same nightmare on all of Eastern Europe.

Hitler's armies crushed everyone they could at the cost of tens of millions of innocent lives, supporting tyranny everywhere including at home, a key war aim at which they succeeded being the killing of millions of Jews to make the continent Judenrein.

The armies of the South fought, killed, and died to maintain a brutal and racist slave empire in North America that its leaders meant to expand both north and south.

So much for armies of decent and honorable men.

They are not actually the issue; The Lost Cause for which they fought is the issue.

And some of the living white people - and of the living black people, too, white ancestors being common among them - of the South will have to get used to the idea of having ancestors who fought for so awful a cause it is impossible that any honorable or decent person could wish to commemorate and honor them for their service.

As a good many of them no doubt already have.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

They're getting it. It's not just about the Confederate flag.

The Guardian

From Texas to Tennessee, flags and monuments and busts and all the rest, aimed at honoring slavers and racists, slavery and racism, need to come down.

It's a movement to sweep it all away.


We'll see how far it gets.

But reparations and civilian disarmament are still baloney.

Unless the reparations are to come from the black African countries where the ancestors of the current blacks sold the ancestors of black Americans descended from slaves into their bondage.

Far too many of today's whites are descended from people who arrived in the country after slavery, or from people who opposed it, or from people who actually fought in the Civil War against it, or from people who were, generation after generation, among the powerless at the broad and by no means exclusively black bottom layers of society.

The racist myth of universal white guilt ought not to be accepted in place of earlier racist myths.

More

Not every white person in the South looks at the "Lost Cause" with contempt and, if his own ancestors were involved and his own kin still insist on taking pride in it, then personal shame and bitterness, as well.

Haley Barbour, a leading voice of the new Southern Republican Party and the so-called "New South."

During Reconstruction, whites loyal to the Rebellion and rejecting the new order of racial equality were denied the vote.

Something to think about.

Cruel and violent racism

Man cited in 'Charleston manifesto' speaks out

With humans, it just doesn't stop.

Humans love this stuff.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Far from the madding Philistines

Classics education

Timothy Egan ignores the Civil War and the Union dead

NYT

America must apologize for slavery, he says.

Not the states of the Confederacy, The United States of America.

There, I think, he is mistaken.

Since the failure of Reconstruction, it is the South and no one else that has chosen and still chooses to celebrate its crime.

It is true that American culture as a whole, and especially pop culture, is far too indulgent toward the Confederacy.

There is far too much "brother against brother," a kind of "moral equivalence," involved.

The collapse of Reconstruction was too complete.

But it is only the South that actually was the Confederacy, that actually broke the Union and fought the bloodiest of our wars on our own soil for nothing else than the expansion and perpetuation of race-based slavery, a human institution damned twice over for horror.

And it is only the South that never left off honoring and celebrating as heroic that "Lost Cause," and championed since then the cause of unending racist cruelty, violence, and oppression.

Public monuments, events, or commemorations of the Confederacy and its struggle are as perverse and horrible in the American South as would be such a public embrace of the Nazi past in Germany, Bavaria, or Munich.

America can only be better, not for forgetting, but for rejecting this past.

We Americans who have all along celebrated Lincoln and the Union dead should think again whose image we would find more congenial on our currency, Jackson the racist destroyer of the Cherokee Nation or Harriet Tubman, heroine of the underground railway.

And think again of the propriety of adopting and celebrating distinct national holidays at least for each of the defeat of the Confederacy, the emancipation of the slaves, and the end of slavery forever with ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment.

Holidays to be celebrated everywhere in the country, most especially including the South.

And this is NOT a time for tu quoques.

Charleston

Charleston church shooting

Based on what has emerged so far, it seems this was a flat out hate crime, and no one disputes that point.

The dolts and political fakers are insisting that a mass murder of blacks motivated by racial hate is per se terrorism, and that news media and others who are not calling the Charleston shooting that are racists using a double standard.

That idea is reportedly very popular on social media, the voice of the ignorant and irresponsible at their worst.

On Fox News, too.

Ditto.

Of course, as we learn more about the ideas and intentions of the young, white, and hateful shooter it may well emerge that this was an act of terrorism, however absurd.

Reportedly, he said he wanted to start a race war.

From the story, this.

Roof spent about an hour at the historic African-American church before the massacre, attending the prayer meeting with his eventual victims, Charleston police Chief Greg Mullen said.

Witnesses told investigators the gunman stood up and said he was there "to shoot black people," a law enforcement official said.

He answered one man's plea to stop by shooting him, said Sylvia Johnson, a cousin of the church's slain pastor who has talked to a survivor.

"'No, you've raped our women, and you are taking over the country," he said, according to Johnson. "... I have to do what I have to do."

All the victims were shot multiple times, according to Roof's arrest warrant.

"Prior to leaving the bible study room he stood over a witness ... and uttered a racially inflammatory statement," the warrant said.

Investigators are looking into whether Roof had links to white supremacist or other hate groups, a law enforcement official said. 

There's no indication so far that he was known to law enforcement officials who focus on hate groups.

In an image tweeted by authorities in Berkeley County, South Carolina, Roof is seen wearing a jacket with the flags of apartheid-era South Africa and nearby Rhodesia, a former British colony that a white minority ruled until it became independent in 1980 and changed its name to Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe has been ruled ever since by the racist, kleptocrat thug, Robert Mugabe, and I have no idea whether the native Africans of that country would have been worse off ruled by Ian Smith.

And not much whether the whites of that country would have been much better off.

SA got off to a much better start with black rule, and is so far apparently in better shape.

Reportedly, Roof was arrested the day after the shooting, more than 200 miles from Charleston.

He confessed when interviewed.

The police have independent corroboration that he was, in fact, the shooter.

On Thursday, investigators did a trace of the handgun used in Wednesday's shooting and determined that it was a .45-caliber handgun Roof purchased from a Charleston gun store in April, two law enforcement officials told CNN's Perez and Bruer.

Roof purchased a Glock .45-caliber model 41, which holds 13 rounds, a federal law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation said. 

Witnesses have reported that Roof reloaded a number of times.

Roof's father and uncle contacted police after surveillance camera images of the suspect were made public, according to the arrest warrant. 

His father told authorities his son owned a .45-caliber handgun.

Joe Roof, his grandfather, said Roof was given "birthday money" and that the family didn't know what he did with it.

Interesting timing.

The wedding of Roof's sister, planned for this weekend, has been postponed, according to the Rev. Tony Metze, pastor of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Columbia, South Carolina.

He certainly upstaged her, didn't he?

North Carolina still flies the Confederate flag on public buildings, a fact only slightly less annoying that it would be if the Federal Republic of Germany flew a flag with a great big swastika.

The "It's part of our history" excuse just doesn't actually excuse.

Anyway, that has emerged once again as an issue.

Lindsey Graham says that flag is "part of who we are," referring, I suppose, to South Carolinians.

Or maybe just the white ones.

Not something to brag about, I think.

This seems just weird.

Back in 2000, civil rights activists successfully lobbied to have a much larger Confederate flag removed from the Capitol dome. 

But there was a compromise. 

The South Carolina Heritage Act decreed that just about all other tributes to Confederate history would be virtually untouchable. 

The only way to change anything of that nature -- including the smaller flag that was erected on the State House lawn -- would be to gain the endorsement of two-thirds of lawmakers.

Really?

Does the constitution of South Carolina allow its legislature to pass a law that includes a stipulation that it cannot be repealed by the same legislature without a two thirds majority?

Doesn't sound plausible.

Which doesn't mean the pinheads who actually passed that law couldn't or didn't include such a stipulation, or that its supporters couldn't or haven't claimed it was valid, ever since.

Oh, and the same story about the flag controversy says this.

And Republican presidential contender, Sen. Lindsey Graham said of his home state, "At the end of the day, it's time for people in South Carolina to revisit that."

KOS

Laura Clawson says this is Roof's website.

The Last Rhodesian

Race hate, big time.

The Daily Mail

Friday, June 19, 2015

What's left of the hard left?

Racism, hatred, the endless litany of charges true and false, the furious rejection of capitalism, the damnation of the centuries long explosion upon the world of European civilization, all these things remain.

The bad advice has gone out of sight to evade the laughter and fury of a world pretty thoroughly disabused.

But the ludicrous, even malevolent utopianism is still there, really, just beneath the surface.

In power - in sole, unchallengable power - they would be as horrific as ever, as soon as possible, I have no doubt.

Still very good reading, though.

Good practice in French or Spanish, say.

Les damnés de la terre.

Las Venas Abiertas de America Latina.

And those who have come in from the cold in Latin America and elsewhere, who have decided to live within the limitations of legality and democratic mass politics, can do much good despite their hates and their delusions.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Trailer Trash

Watching The Killing again on Netflix.

I had forgotten what murderous, worthless trash Rosie and her family were.

The Killing

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

For a Greek exit

The Telegraph opposes currency union.

If flatly favors a Greek default and exit from the Euro.

The Telegraph view

Ah. More progress.

Russia beefing up nuclear arsenal with 40 new ballistic missiles

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, said on Tuesday that Russia would add more than 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear arsenal this year and a defence official accused Nato of provoking a new arms race.

Putin made his announcement a day after Russian officials denounced a US plan to station tanks and heavy weapons in Nato states on Russia's border as the most aggressive US act since the Cold War.

What about girlface?

Rachel Dolezal defiantly maintains 'I identify as black' in TV interview

Rachel Dolezal, the civil rights activist accused of misrepresenting her race, declared on Tuesday that she still identifies as black – and that she does not “put on blackface as a performance”.

Speaking publicly for the first time since her white parents revealed she was not of African American descent, Dolezal continued to speak in the unapologetic tone of her Monday resignation as president of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP.

Rebutting accusations from her brother and a legion of commenters across the world that she is guilty of blackface, Dolezal said resolutely: “I don’t, as some of the critics have said, put on blackface as a performance.

“I have a huge issue with blackface. This is not some freak, Birth of a Nation mockery blackface performance,” she said in an interview with NBC’s Today show, referring to the 1915 film that portrays Ku Klux Klansmen as heroes. 

“This is on a very real, connected level how I’ve actually had to go there with the experience, not just a visual representation.”

It is true that on some occasions white performers in blackface have mocked black people in a racist spirit.

But black performers have done the same.

Male performers have cross dressed on stage to mock women, no doubt sometimes in a spirit of genuine misogyny.

But women have played such roles, too.

In Shakespeare's day, women's roles were played by men cross-dressed and made up to look like girls.

Were they guilty of girlface?

Why isn't Bruce Jenner guilty of girlface?

Was Divine?

On stage and on film, great actors like Laurence Olivier wore blackface in performances that certainly did not mock, belittle, or deride blacks.

See, for instance, Othello and Khartoum.

Blackface as a stage convention is no more racist than cross-performing is sexist, but it is now impossible due to the triumphant racism the contemporary left inherited from the New Left, in which the latter was encouraged by the machinery of international communism, with which it extensively collaborated.

This is good and interesting, but sadly too short.

Cross gender acting

On the other hand, the Wikipedia article on Blackface is about 75% left wing race propaganda.

Blackface

Pages full of crap

Don't you hate web pages that are so full of crap that they never finish loading?

Jesus, what a mess of junk.

Krugman the optimist

Democrats Being Democrats

Livin' a lie

Dolezal’s Resignation Letter

For centuries, all over Europe, Jews in very large numbers hid their identity under a public appearance of Christianity to survive persecution or to avoid discrimination, or actually converted.

From Iberia of the late 15th Century to the Russian Empire of the 19th and 20th Centuries to the Germany and Eastern Europe of the Nazi period, the tactic was common as dirt.

The phenomenon of "passing" is, I think, relevantly similar.

The CMW not only of the PC left, lost in admiration for real and imaginary martyrs who "tell truth to power," has trouble with this.

But aren't these just particular cases in which an innocent party denies the truth to someone who would wrongfully use it as a reason to harm that same innocent party, or others who could be protected by a judicious lie? 

Why suppose that others, however malevolent, have an unconditional right to these or any truths?

But none of that has much to do with the present case, it appears, which seems to me very strange, but not a reason for anger.

True enough, there has been a lot of lying involved.

But surely not to anyone's harm?

An important question for liberals

Well, a question-begging question, a type of question that plays a common role in propaganda.

At what point does an exchange of cultures cross the line into appropriation?

Monday, June 15, 2015

Too much heat in the kitchen

Rachel Dolezal, Accused of Pretending to Be Black, Resigning NAACP Post

The NAACP has emphasized you don't have to be black to be a member or hold a position of leadership in the organization.

They did that when she was first outed as a fraud in the media.

All the same, this was a pretense the left would not buy, and she has been subject to constant attack from white and black liberals even while she has suffered limitless mockery from the right.

She might well be partly American Indian even if she is not in any slight degree black.

It's common enough, anyway among French Canadians - though it is often viewed as rather a plus, so doubtless for lots of folks its just a family myth.

Does she have any Canuck ancestry?

Maybe we all need a DNA test from Ancestry.com.

Whites in the US, if asked for ethnicity, generally go with what they think is predominant in their personal mix, if any one ethnicity covers more than half, looking back as far as their grandparents - maybe great grandparents - and what the family says about them.

Otherwise, depending on the culture of the family in which they were raised, they are apt to say "mixed" and let it go at that.

But Indians in the US are like blacks.

It varies a lot among the tribes, but a person can be accepted as Indian with as little as 1/8 Indian ancestry.

The one-drop rule had to do with law, slavery, and racism and not objective estimation, and overstates the thing, but with some exceptions people count themselves and are counted by others as black with even less than 1/8 black ancestry.

my family history proves choosing a racial definition is hard

A very interesting story of Anatole Broyard, told by his daughter.

Leave it to H. L. Gates to out AB as black.

It was enough for Gates (and the state of Louisiana) that he was partly black and, not surprisingly, raised in a black neighborhood by parents who counted themselves as black (Gates describes them as "high yellow") while they lived in that state, but no longer when they moved to the North.

Gates, himself, is less than half black.

In America, today, you're still black if you look even a little black.

If America ever gets over its fixation on race people will be counted and count themselves black, white, or whatever if they are more than half black, white, or whatever; otherwise they will just be mixed.

Yahoo vs the death penalty

It's not the method that bothers them.

In fact, the method is a godsend to them, as even conservatives have signed onto the CMW (conventional moral wisdom) that beheading is barbaric, disgusting, horrifying, terrifying, and morally as bad as, say, genocide or even (gasp!) racism.

Saudi Arabia beheads 100th person this year

Spitting in their eye

U.S. ambassador to U.N. visits Ukraine, slams Russian 'aggression'

Glenn Reynolds gets it right, points up lessons that will not be learned

What if Pearl Harbor happened and nobody noticed?

About 14 million current and former federal employees are in a state of collective panic over the loss of their information. 

Former State Department employee Matthew Palmer was quoted as saying, "Who is in danger? I listed friends on those forms and my family members. … Are some hackers going to start going after them?"

Possibly. 

The U.S. military, even in its current somewhat shrunken state, remains an irresistible force in conventional warfare. 

But this trove of information is perfect for "fourth-generation warfare," in which conventional strengths are bypassed in favor of targeted attacks on a stronger nation's weaknesses. 

With this sort of information, China will find it much easier to recruit agents, blackmail decision-makers and — in the event of a straight-up conflict — strike directly at Americans in the government, all without launching a single missile.

. . . .

This isn't like a broken code, where we can just change things around and be almost as good as new. 

Once out, this information will remain current for years, and there's no easy or effective way of doing much about that.

But we can learn our lesson, at least. 

The United States is highly vulnerable to cyberwar, and not very good about defending against it, especially in the lame-and-inept government IT sector, which has not distinguished itself in terms of competence. (Remember HealthCare.gov?)

For the federal government, one lesson is that really important stuff shouldn't be put online at all. 

Paper documents have their problems, but at least they can't be hacked and stolen en masse.

For the rest of us, the lesson is that we should probably think twice before entrusting the federal government with our own information. 

Because if the feds can't protect their own sensitive data, on behalf of people who work for the federal government, how good a job are they likely to do on behalf of the rest of us mere citizens?

All over Mitt Romney

He's not only not running, he has declared he is not running.

But the left blogosphere is all over him, anyway, with an almost daily message of scorn and hate.

Mitt Romney looks into Hillary Clinton's eyes and sees ... latte

BooMan, the anti-progressive

He has repeatedly opposed direct election of senators and direct election of the president.

He has opposed reform of the senate to make representation of the states in that body proportionate to population, as it is in the house.

He writes on these topics during news lulls.

The Popular Vote is a Bad Idea

Odd.

There is only one good argument in favor of indirect election of the president, and that is the argumentum ad Hitlerum.

If the people elected Hitler the Electors could ignore them and choose George Washington, instead.

The value of the Electoral College lies exactly in the constitutional legitimacy of "faithless Electors."

Take that a way and there is nothing left of the EC but another constitutional machine for privileging the voters and power of small states over populous ones.

Boo does not make this argument.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Reports concur, the Greeks are not bluffing.

Good. Maybe that message will sink in. It hasn't, up to now.

Sometimes people are just too bloody complacent about their own power to listen until you whack them in the head.

Greek premier Alexis Tsipras threatens Europe's creditors with a "big no" unless they yield on debt servitude

The radical wing of Greece's Syriza party is to table plans over coming days for an Icelandic-style default and a nationalisation of the Greek banking system, deeming it pointless to continue talks with Europe's creditor powers.

Syriza sources says measures being drafted include capital controls and the establishment of a sovereign central bank able to stand behind a new financial system. 

While some form of dual currency might be possible in theory, such a structure would be incompatible with euro membership and would imply a rapid return to the drachma.

The confidential plans were circulating over the weekend and have the backing of 30 MPs from the Aristeri Platforma or 'Left Platform', as well as other hard-line groupings in Syriza's spectrum. 

It is understood that the nationalist ANEL party in the ruling coalition is also willing to force a rupture with creditors, if need be.

. . . .

Mr Tsipras warned over the weekend in the clearest terms to date that Greece's creditors should not push him too far. 

"Our only criterion is an end to the 'memoranda of servitude' and an exit from the crisis," he said.

"If Europe wants the division and the perpetuation of servitude, we will take the plunge and issue a 'big no'. We will fight for the dignity of the people and our sovereignty," he said.

. . . .

The creditors argue that 'Grexit' would be suicidal for Greece. 

They have been negotiating on the assumption that Syriza must be bluffing, and will ultimately capitulate. 

Little thought has gone into possibility that key figures in Athens may be thinking along entirely different lines.

Tasos Koronaki, the party secretary, said on Sunday that attempts to split the party will fail. 

"The government will not enter into any agreement that is not accepted by the parliamentary group. We are more united than ever," he said.

Finance minister Yanis Varoufakis told Greek television that his country cannot accept an "unachievable fiscal plan" and warned creditors that the minimum damage from Grexit would exceed €1 trillion for the European financial system.

Globalism and NATO expansion on Obama's watch

The two major parties are very nearly Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum on so much of foreign policy.

U.S. plans to store heavy arms in Baltic

Snowden belongs in prison

He had no idea what the hell he was taking when he reportedly stole over 1.7 million highly classified documents, some of them so heavily encrypted the Russians and Chinese had to make major efforts to crack them.

But everyone working in the intelligence community, government or not, civilian or not, is made to know perfectly well that secrecy is a very serious matter.

He cannot play dumb.

And crack them they have, the Chinese and the Russians; and even the known results are not pretty.

Britain pulls out spies as Russia, China crack Snowden files - report

Efforts to protect him from his just deserts are deliberate, subversive efforts to undermine enforcement of security by the US and perhaps even other Occidental governments.

They are treasonous in spirit.

Yes, I refer to The Guardian and many of those who publish in it, on the Comments page or not.

Snowden and those who aided him all belong in prison.

A Democrat's family values

Bernie Sanders

Guaranteed paid sick leave, maternity leave, and annual vacation for all Americans, for example.

"Transgressive," say the liberals. But not in a good way.

This is really, really important to them.

And it's really, really important for them to drive home with a sledge hammer that (a) transgendering is real but transracialing (?) is not, (b) all morally decent and good people play along with the former and condemn the latter as a profound and hurtful offence, when a white person "passes" as black, and just another in the long history of white crimes against black people.

I guess this will go on for days.

Severely Black, The Rachel Dolezal Story

So why did they defend Pocahontas, the senator from Massachusetts?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Liberals and liberty, again

The Tenure Conundrum

The institution of academic tenure was started by progressive reformers in the late 19th century to protect academic freedom. 

The idea was to assure that faculty members could not be fired because of their views.

Why exactly should academics, public or private, enjoy protections or liberties not available to us all, anyway?

My own view is that we all should be free not only to have but express our views without risk of being fired, so long as neither having nor expressing those views conflicts with requirements of or qualifications for our work.

And this freedom should be protected by law.

Liberals everywhere oppose any such universal guarantee, as it would take away their most potent weapon from the PC thought and speech police.

And are they, in the age of PC, the best folks to trust to uphold this protection even for academics?

I think not.

Ghosts of marriage future

The same-sex marriage bait-and-switch

The S&P, neoliberal agenda

The aim of global finance capitalism?

A supranationally integrated economy firmly out of the reach of "party politics."


They attack national sovereignty to avoid popular sovereignty and establish unchallengable corporatocracy.

The dystopian future of so many novels and films is their goal.

The cosmopolitan left is not resisting but helping.

As for the counsel of "independent" experts, well .  .  .  .

S&P is the only major ratings agency to still give the UK a top rating of AAA, because it views the UK economy as flexible and diversified.

The other two, Moody's and Fitch, both downgraded the UK in 2013 over worries about its economic growth and the country's ability to repay its debt.

Earlier this week, the independent watchdog the Office of Budget Responsibility warned that years more spending cuts would be needed in order to bring the national debt under control.

No hint that one might raise taxes, you see.

Reality approaches

It is not unreasonable that the prosperity of banks should depend on that of the world at large.

But the opposite?

"Too big to fail" is a more pervasive problem than one might have thought.

Greek default fears rattle markets

The Greeks were not kidding.

They are done with the German, neoliberal dictatorship of austerity.

But the game of chicken continues.

China returning to red autocracy?

The fall of Zhou Yongkang

No fast track for O

TPP is an atrocity against labor, national sovereignty, and ordinary Americans.

Another neoliberal betrayal.

US lawmakers reject trade proposal

Water rationing and politics

California orders historic water cut

Farmers to get less water, though pools are full and lawns green in many areas.

When is water rationing better than letting the market do its thing?

When the rich would fill their pools while the poor died of thirst.

Or paid outrageous prices for food, perhaps?

All the walls are made of glass

Computers and the Internet vs privacy,  data security.

The possibility argument

Suppose it is true that if the soul is possibly immaterial it is necessarily so.

Still, there seems to be an equivocation between the soul being conceivably immaterial and it being possibly so.

There is a difference between epistemic and objective possibility.

The former may reflect crucial ignorance that, if remedied, would both preclude it and exclude the latter.

If the case may be such then to invoke the former to prove the latter is begging the question.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Getting a new TV

Now that 4K HD is here, the wife and I decided to trash the 700 pound (I think), seemingly immortal 32" pre-HD Toshiba tube-job in the living room and replace it with a nice, light 1080 Samsung smart 40" TV.

We got it on sale at Best Buy and the Geek Squad set it up for us to work right with our living room VCR/DVD recorder/player, as well as play nice with our secure home wifi network.

No, that wasn't free.

But the TV was on sale and the savings on that almost covered the Geek Squad's price.

We love it, we love the picture size, we love the picture shape, we love the picture clarity, and we especially love using Netflix on this screen.

No sensible solution has a prayer

Here are two issues on which only extreme positions have any chance to prevail.

Gay unions.

The chief reason to oppose gay marriage and favor civil unions instead is that gays in a civil union needn't have the same rights as married couples, and in fact the rights conferred by civil union would have to be specified by state law and might vary considerably from one state recognizing such unions to another.

Chief among the rights that ought in prudence to be denied gay couples, I think, for the sake of the children, and barring exceptional circumstances, is the right to adopt.

The case of lesbians might be a bit different.

This is just one of the issues concerning which the intervention of the Supremes based on legal lies has not advanced the general good.

Michigan Governor Signs Adoption Ban For Same Sex Couples

Abortion.

The chief reason to oppose late term abortion at will is that it differs from infanticide in no significant fashion, and one opposes infanticide at will.

So late in the process, what lives within the mother really is quite literally an unborn child.

But that is not to say those who argue in favor of euthanasia are not in at least some relevant cases right, and when they are their arguments seem to favor allowing euthanasia equally of infants and of the unborn.

It seems unlikely that in the later stages the mother's physical safety could be better protected by abortion than by induced live birth, but if in actual fact such were the case then I suppose abortion ought to be allowed then, as well.

The law does and should require that parents make sacrifices for their children, but I don't know that it does or should require in any definite way any significant sacrifice of physical health, bodily integrity, or well-being, much less a sacrifice of life.

On the other hand, the chief reason to favor allowing abortion at will quite early in pregnancy is that, just as an acorn is not an oak tree - not even a sapling - , neither a zygote nor a fetus is an infant.

None of the forces engaged in the controversy are interested in so moderate a solution.

This is another of the issues concerning which the intervention of the Supremes based on legal lies has not advanced the general good.

SCOTUS May Keep Abortion Front And Center In 2016 Race

Transgendering is a little different.

Currently medically impossible, this is a faux issue on which the already victorious position is egregiously false, stupid, and malevolent and the losing side bellows in impotent rage.

O'Brien demanded, "How many fingers am I holding up, Winston?"

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The left has issues, too? Bruce Jenner, again.

Caitlyn Jenner is a woman, and we must embrace her

Dick, balls, and all, he's a woman and they must embrace her.

When they do, will that be a club in his pocket or will he just be glad to see them?

Anyway, Ms Burkett won't be embracing him anytime soon.

What Makes a Woman?

Feminist eyewash.

OK, I admit it.

I didn't actually read all of either article.

Why on Earth would I?

Racist feminazi is regular Salon columnist

Why?

Try to imagine Salon running columns by anything remotely like this woman's white male (or female!) opposite number.

Maybe Amren would do it, but no one else.

Phooey.

Why ask why?

As a white female rapper mistakes appropriation for artistry, black women remain pushed to the sidelines

Salon and the liberal sensibility

They are shocked.

Just shocked.

Ann Coulter: It’s “electoral suicide” for Republicans to do anything except “drive up the white vote”

First, do no harm

À propos de Bruce Jenner.

The Ideology of Caitlyn Jenner

Never mind the stuff about Voegelin and ideology.

Look at the empirical issue whether this does any good.

Sex changes are not effective, say researchers

Transgender Surgery Isn't the Solution

Fifty-Six Shades Of Gender Insanity

"Sex Change" Surgery: What Bruce Jenner, Diane Sawyer, and You Should Know

The transgender movement began as the brainchild of three men who shared a common bond: all three were pedophilia activists.

Did you know this about Kinsey? I didn't.

Even if this would be helpful - and that is obviously not established - if done in a society in which everyone conspired seamlessly to play along with the naked emperor's delusions, ours is not that society.

So, do partisans of this procedure think it can possibly be helpful in a largely hostile society disposed to scorn and mockery?

Are the doctors who carry out these "transformations" just being completely irresponsible?

Are they showing, in fact, a callous disregard for the well-being of the patients who are making them famous?

Or are they perhaps merely intolerably stupid, themselves?

Come to that, even if this would be useful, provided the emerging global society of many billions all played along with this fantasy, would that make it desirable for the whole global society to do so?

Desirable to the point of inflicting punishment on people who decline to join the pretense?

Monday, June 8, 2015

Ask Tom Paine about political attempts to tie the hands of future generations

Most of these folks will be dead by 2050 and all of them by 2100.

G7 leaders agree to phase out fossil fuel use by end of century

Huge costs will be imposed by this on the ordinary people of the G7 nations, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and the United States, for which China, India, and the rapidly industrializing portions of the Third World, not to mention Eastern Europe and Russia, will be deeply grateful.

And to make it worse, there is this.

She also announced that G7 governments had signed up to initiatives to work for an end to extreme poverty and hunger, reducing the number of people living in hunger and malnutrition by 500 million, and improving the global response to epidemics.

Poverty campaigners reacted with cautious optimism to the news.

The participant countries – Germany, Britain, the US, Canada, Japan and Italy – would work on initiatives to combat disease and help countries around the world react to world epidemics, including a fund within the World Bank dedicated to tackling health emergencies, Merkel announced at a press conference after the summit formally ended on Monday afternoon.

Out of whose hide do you suppose all that will come?

The rich will, of course, continue to do just fine while the G7's 99 % get crushed.

This is the real pensee unique.

Making new enemies on the left

Not for criticizing Hill's bellicosity and its results in Libya and elsewhere, but for attributing it to a sex role insecurity and overcompensation he also ascribes to others.

Apart from that, his view of Hill, Bill, war, and Wall Street is pretty common on the left.

Nader: Hillary Tried to ‘Overcompensate’ for Gender with ‘Shocking’ Militarism

Most of the left has been really mad at him since his runs in 2000 and 2004.

Splitter, you know.

Or maybe . . .


Not a communist, not anything so intelligent or learned, but a personable blockhead.

Chauncy Gardner in robes, with a Huckabee jaw.

Francis' interpretation of Catholic social teaching certainly sounds more radical than that of his predecessors.

In Argentina he insisted that his priests should see the world through the eyes of the poor, by living among them, and he brought that approach with him to Rome. 

Evangelii Gaudium - the document which got Rush Limbaugh so worked up - argues that inequality creates "a state of social sin that cries to Heaven".

Pope Frances has also said that unemployment is "the result of a worldwide choice, of an economic system that led to this tragedy, an economic system that has at its centre a false God, a false God called money".

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Nobody's fooling George Will

Bernie Sanders, neither Independent nor Socialist

He's got his facts right about socialism and social democracy, though he boos when I hurrah, and vice versa.

It's not how you say it, it's what you bother to say

When biases collide

NRO says in an article about the NYT's reporting of Marco Rubio's and his wife's traffic tickets (few and uninteresting as they are),

Mrs. Rubio’s traffic violations are news that’s fit to print, but the self-proclaimed newspaper of record has taken scanty interest in the peregrinations of former president Bill Clinton aboard an airplane nicknamed The Lolita Express, bearing him to a destination with an even worse nickname — “Pedophile Island” — in the company of Jeffrey Epstein, today a convicted sex offender. 

There are some aspects to that story that are considerably more interesting than failure to come to a complete stop: Clinton traveled in the company of a pornographic actress (her business is listed in Epstein’s records as “massage”) and many times in the company of Sarah Kellen who — you’ll have to go to Gawker for this, as the Times must yawn — “was believed by detectives in the Palm Beach Police Department, which was the first to start unraveling the operation, to be so deeply involved in the enterprise that they prepared a warrant for her arrest as an accessory to molestation and sex with minors. 

In the end, she was never arrested or charged, and federal prosecutors granted her immunity in a 2007 non-prosecution agreement that described her as a ‘potential co-conspirator’ in sex trafficking.”

Well, I guess we all know what Bill admired about JFK.

Ah, the good ole days, when the press covered up everything for everybody.

The new "Caitlyn" Jenner

Though Wikipedia today (6/7/15) relates that he has not had "sex reassignment surgery" (massive surgical alteration of the genitalia) and says he may never do so, Bruce Jenner is apparently pretty far along on the trail of cosmetic medical moves essential to a pretense of transformation that still cannot achieve reality, even when as thoroughgoing as current medicine can make it.

[Aside:

Recently it was said in a report that he continues to prefer women as sex partners and so when "transed" would become a homosexual woman, though now Wikipedia says he has taken to describing himself as asexual.

/Aside.]

He is, then, a cross-dressing man with a significant hormone imbalance that was at his request brought about for cosmetic effect.

Or, as they say at the porn sites, he is a  "shemale."

The result is certainly striking.

The shoulders are maybe too heavy (?) and I could be missing a point, but there's nothing much to see in this picture that doesn't look like a woman.

And not many 65 year old women - and very likely fewer 65 year old men - with grandchildren (Jenner was born in October, 1949) look like that.

Introducing Caitlyn Jenner


For the most part, conservatives seem to have met the event with derision and anger.

Fox on 'Caitlyn' Jenner

[Aside:

Interesting new PC term: misgender, v.t., to refer to a man dressed up as a woman with masculine pronouns.

Divine, perhaps the most famous cross-dresser of his generation, was asked about the practice of referring to such men with feminine pronouns and, considering himself a homosexual man, rejected it, according to Wikipedia.

All the same, a gay friend years ago insisted to me that "there is no reason to call Divine a he."

/Aside.]

The Weekly Standard

[Aside:

The author attempts satire after the example of Juvenal, but as his piece shows just reporting this story is already satiric in the mold of, say, It Can't Happen Here.

Or maybe something by Swift.

Excerpt:

Then there are Caitlyn’s enthusiasts/enforcers in social media. 

A Twitter mob tarred-and-feathered Nickelodeon star Drake Bell, who was foolish enough to tweet that he’d still call Bruce Bruce. 

(“Ok Drake, your name is now Donna,” tweeted @Onision. “Enjoy being called what you don’t identify as, Donna.”) 

CNN’s media watchdog, Brian Stelter, couldn’t help but notice that some people were “misgendering” Caitlyn. 

“After all,” he tsked, “Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover was very clear, ‘Call me Caitlyn.’ ” 

An ACLU lawyer wrote that even mentioning a trans-person’s “birth-assigned sex is an act of hatred.”

The pronoun police at GLAAD distributed a helpful tip-sheet for journalists who should now see that Caitlyn “is—and always has been—a woman.” 

GLAAD commanded journalists to “avoid the phrase ‘born a man’ when referring to Jenner.” 

And the fierce guardians of free speech in the press did what they always do in such situations—they hung their heads and bleated obediently, cisgenders terrified to misgender. 

The Washington Post’s LGBT/straight etiquette columnist (yes, they have one) highly recommended GLAAD’s tips. 

And a Post colleague went so far as to set up a Twitter bot that would automatically correct anyone using “he” instead of “she” when writing about Brucelyn.

/Aside.]

But not all of them.

Lindsey Graham comes out for Bruce/Caitlyn

He will pay for this.

The story indicates the author, Ian Millhiser, kept a sharp lookout for any "misgendering" by Graham.

He reports there was none.

Don't count on that Republican fix

House GOPers: Obamacare Fix? Ha, Our Constituents Don't Get Subsidies!

Who are the real class warriors?

Oh, right.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Nobody's indispensable?

Boss telling woman that 'babies need their mamas' is not discrimination, jury says

Perfect example why employers pay men more and prefer them in employment and promotion.

Too, when single men get married or become parents they get more committed to their jobs.

When single women get married they quit, or they get pregnant and quit, or they get pregnant and take maternity leave without quitting and then, when it's time to come back, they quit or come back only briefly before going home to be with their babies.

Single women who become moms are pretty iffy, too.

These are pretty much the norm, not the exception.

Men as a group are better, more reliable, and more committed employees.

But, increasingly, women want the same pay and the same advancement opportunities as men, despite all that.

The employers' viewpoint is easily understood; theirs is the "market solution" beloved of conservatives fiscal and social, as well as libertarians.

The women's viewpoint is easily understood; radical feminism notwithstanding, the roles of moms and dads in reproduction and child care continue generally to be quite different, and women do not want to lose out at work because of what everyone knows they need and may want to do as parents.

In our society in which women want and need to work, the market solution penalizes families and is powerfully anti-natalist in a way that chiefly affects people likely to do a good job of parenting.

And it hurts them all the more the further they are down the social pecking order, in view of the fact that employers commonly regard employees of these classes as easily replaceable semi-moronic chimps, though it costs them much year after year that they never realize they are losing by such contempt.

Conservatives are the inevitable allies of employers in all this, both the sociocons/Christian Right and the fiscal conservatives/libertarians; Main Street and Wall Street, hand in hand.

Progressives, of course, not being all that wedded to the market, social conservatism, or legal enactment of God's will as revealed in the Bible (or anywhere at all) in any case, are the natural potential sponsors of so much of the feminist agenda as strengthens rather than attacks the family.

Bearing in mind all the while that progressives do not consider changes making participation in marriage, parenthood, and parenting less compulsory and more a matter of free choice as attacks on the family, though such changes are counted as exactly that by sociocons and the Christian Right, and have had a notably depressing effect on fertility throughout the Occident.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The rabble seize the moment

Baltimore police department requests federal help to combat surge in crime

Baltimore police are seeking federal assistance to combat a surging crime rate as the city deals with the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, an incident that sparked days of intense protests.

Police commissioner Anthony Batts said on Wednesday that the department had requested more federal agents and prosecutors to be dispatched to Baltimore after the city recorded 43 murders in May, the highest murder rate in the city since 1972.

. . . . 

Batts said that during and since the looting and protests, 27 pharmacies and two methadone clinics had been broken into.

“There’s enough narcotics on the streets of Baltimore to keep it intoxicated for a year,” he said.

Batts said that increase had thrown the city off-balance. He also linked the violence to turf wars between drug dealers.

FIFA corruption at the top

The executive committee were bribed to vote for South Africa for the 2010 World Cup

More to come.

Why you're supposed to elect Democrats

Pennsylvania Rolls Out Back-up Plan In Case SCOTUS Rules Against Obamacare

Pennsylvania became the first state Tuesday to publicly put in motion a back-up plan to protect its federal health insurance subsidies in the event the Supreme Court dismantles a key part of President Obama’s health care law.

Tuesday evening, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf announced the state this week had submitted an application to the federal government to take over the state's federal exchange. 

The move would allow Pennsylvania residents to continue to receive federal subsidies towards purchasing health insurance if subsidies on the federal exchange are invalidated by a ruling in the King v. Burwell case expected later this month.

Pennsylvania would also need the approval of its GOP-led legislature if it wanted to set up its own exchange.

"There is no reason to deal with it right now," Steve Miskin, spokesman for the state’s House Republicans, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

I sent him a note on the governor's website to thank him for his action.

This is crap.

GOP open to extending ObamaCare subsidies

If they kill the mandates the thing will financially unravel, anyway.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Would Hill like to be Bernie's VP?

Bernie talks to Katie Curic

Bernie Sanders says he isn’t running for president to push Hillary Clinton further to the left nor to become a candidate for vice president on a potential Clinton ticket.

“No,” Sanders told Yahoo News’ Katie Couric on Monday. “My goal is to win this election.”

Full disclosure: I signed up to help his campaign and made a contribution.

More will follow, the longer he stays in.

Well paid mush-heads in suits

Supreme Court unleashes its inner libertarian

An example of this libertarianism?

In EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, the store refused to hire Samantha Elauf, a practicing Muslim, because the headscarf that she wore because of her religious obligations conflicted with Abercrombie's employee dress policy. 

The justices said this was unlawful discrimination by the store because it refused to bend its policies to accommodate Elauf's religious beliefs.

Actual libertarians must be pulling out their hair.

Gene Debs, not Che Guevara

The Democratic Party’s Growing Radicalism

This just about sums up what burns both the right and so many on today's left about Bernie.

Bernie Sanders — democratic socialist, 73-years-old, a man who is on the outer edges of American politics and on whose wall hangs a portrait of Eugene V. Debs, the Socialist Party presidential candidate of the early 20th century — is setting Democratic hearts aflutter. 

True enough, it's in large part a question of dosage, but despite the picture on his wall Bernie is far more a social democrat than Gene Debs, while the latter was indisputably a socialist, properly so-called.

And the Progressive movement beloved of Democrats was and still is less socialist than even mere social democracy, devoted only to more democratic government and to government control of our capitalist economy for the public good.

Think Wilson, Taft, and TR, not Gene Debs.

For that matter, think both Roosevelts, in fact, and LBJ, and Nixon, and Obama.

Everything the progressive movement from the late 19th century to our own time has done for America the right loathes and wants to undo, and persistently smears as radical, revolutionary, anti-American, totalitarian, socialist, and even communist.

Hence their rage, today, at Sanders, De Blasio, and Warren.

All the same, it is absolutely telling that BS has a picture of Gene Debs on his wall and not a picture of Che.

The politics of Debs himself, committed democratic socialist and Socialist Party leader, anti-interventionist, repeated presidential candidate, and bold defender of free speech before and during Wilson's war America, were far from those of that Leninist revolutionary totalitarian, Che Guevara.

Like Debs' but even more so, Bernie's politics are profoundly gradualist and democratic rather than revolutionary and dictatorial, as well as Old Left rather than New.

Like all the progressive presidents and the entire Old Left, Sanders' is a politics of class rather than identity.

And he seems to fall in as well, perhaps more so than Obama and certainly more so than those more influenced by the New Left and its ideas, with the practical nationalism of historic socialism, social democracy, and progressivism, aiming as an American politician and office holder at harnessing the American economy to the good of the American people.

Does he do better among seniors than Hillary?

Would he do better than any Republican?

Bernie Sanders’s Message Resonates With a Certain Age Group: His Own

Bernie Sanders: A Man With a Cause

But it's not just Republicans who have no political memory.

Welcome to the United States of Amnesia.

Sanders is running for a cause—a resurgent progressivism that was conceived during decades of wage stagnation and rising inequality, born during the great financial crisis of 2008, and announced on the political stage by the street protests of the Occupy Wall Street movement and the widespread public support they engendered.

Really?

Progressivism - even resurgent progressivism - was born in 2008?

His commitment to it was born in 2008?

Oh, my.

To the extent this is true, by the way, Bernie is not yet getting seniors previously Republican to come home to progressivism and the Democratic Party.

During a general election, almost all of Sanders’s supporters would vote for Clinton over Jeb Bush or any other Republican[.]

But I think he would, in the general, if he got to be the nominee.