Friday, August 21, 2015

Your happening world, too much

RIP: Julian Bond, Former N.A.A.C.P. Chairman and Civil Rights Leader, Dies at 75. He was a charming, witty, and very smart speaker - and in his day, possibly the best looking guy ever to be in politics, before or since. I was crushed when I woke up Sunday and his departure was the first thing I read. I always wanted him to be president - he would have been a great one.
As evidence of Julian Bond's unchanging good looks, here's a photo of him as a child, hanging out with Paul Robeson.
John Nichols in The Nation, "Julian Bond Built Coalitions, Practiced Solidarity, and Showed Us the Future."

"Is it rolling, Bob?"
* NYT: Bob Johnston, 83, Dies; Produced Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash Albums
* Guardian article, Legendary Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen producer Bob Johnston dies and obituary
* Rolling Stone Bob Johnston, Bob Dylan Producer, Dead at 83: Columbia Records staffer worked on 'Blonde on Blonde,' Johnny Cash's prison LPs and Leonard Cohen's 'Songs of Love and Hate':
And, though none of the headlines mention it, he produced The Byrds and Simon & Garfunkle, too.

RIP Yvonne Craig, 78, who played Batgirl in the Batman TV show and the green Orion slave girl in Star Trek (original series) and guested on many other popular shows of the '60s, including The Many Lives of Dobie Gillis.

Bill Scher is an old friend of The Sideshow from back when the liberal blogosphere was wild and energetic and we used to link to each other a lot between here and Liberal Oasis. But Bill is a bit more partisan and mainstream than I am, and I'm not surprised to see him with an article at Politico dropping the old line about how Bernie shouldn't be primarying Hillary because it might weaken her in the general election. Um. Well, anyway, Josh Holland says a more accurate title for this article would be "Bernie Sanders learns it's tough to herd cats," but someone thought it was better to call it "Bernie Sanders, Progressive Enemy #1." (I don't blame Bill for that - my experience is that editors always do that crap.)

It's funny, I keep hearing about how Bernie Sanders doesn't connect with people of color, but I keep seeing videos like this from people of color....

Just how bad is Bernie on the middle east? Still much better than everyone else.
* Juan Cole, "The Middle East Policy of President Bernie Sanders"
* "Bernie Sanders' Stance On Israel Has Caused Some Tension For Him In The Past"
* "Bernie Sanders Explains Puzzling Education Vote - It's Because Accountability." I need to read this one again, I'm still not sure it makes sense.

World Socialists don't think Bernie is a socialist. Actually, I think he's what we used to call a "liberal", as in "liberal government," which is the form of government Thomas Jefferson thought he was creating.

Interesting that CNN has a a fairly positive article, "Could a 'President Bernie Sanders' deliver?"

I love the way Hillary Clinton's surrogates criticize him as a socialist because he wants to expand Social Security and Medicare. I love the way they claim the media is giving Bernie a pass by never mentioning that he's a socialist - as if I have ever yet seen any coverage of him that didn't mention it. This one is very nice indeed, since the questioner is asking an intelligent question (!) for which McGaskill was completely unprepared.

Thom Hartmann on "Why Republicans Vote for Bernie" - I'm not sure Ann Coulter is serious about being afraid Bernie can beat any Republican, but she's probably right all the same. And it doesn't matter - it never has - that most Americans believe the same things Bernie does if it doesn't translate into votes. The public first has to hear his message, and with Hillary Clinton doing her damnedest to minimize debates and thereby reduce his exposure, that could be hard. And on that front, "Martin O'Malley raises legal questions with Democratic debate plan." By this time in 2007, there'd been six Democratic debates.

Ralph Nader with some good advice for Bernie Sanders.

Andy Borowitz, "Sanders Shamelessly Pandering to Voters Who Want to Hear Truth"

I realize she probably feels like she has to say this, but for me, it's a great reason to support Bernie: "Hillary Would Consider Naming Obama To Supreme Court After 2016 Win"
Hillary Clinton seems to have some rather unpleasant-looking campaign bundlers, including "Gordon Giffin, a former lobbyist for the Canadian company working to build the Keystone XL pipeline. Giffin is also on the board of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, which paid Clinton $990,000 for speeches she gave immediately before announcing her presidential campaign." - and prison industry lobbyists.
* And Bruce Dixon says, "From Roosevelt Island to Rikers Island - Hillary Clinton Can't See Mass Incarceration "
* "The Clinton dynasty's horrific legacy: How 'tough-on-crime' politics built the world's largest prison system "
* In an open letter to the DNC and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz CREDO announces it will not support Hillary Clinton because of the way the debate schedule suppresses democracy - they'll take your signature.

On the other hand, "Hillary Clinton sways the doubters at Wing Ding: She attacked her speech with a vigor Iowans - and even skeptical liberals - said they'd never seen from her before."

"Donald Trump Told the Truth and You Didn't Listen."
Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic, "What Do Donald Trump Voters Actually Want?"

R.L. Stephens on the usefulness of new black leaders who connect with the white elite, "Dear #BlackLivesMatter: We Don't Need Black Leadership." I'll have to think more about whether I agree with this. It sounds true in some ways but not in all ways.

Stephen Colbert shocks South Carolina schools by funding every single teacher-requested grant

"Justice Department Says Homeless Shouldn't Be Cited, Sit/Lie Laws Unconstitutional."

"New Statue in Germany Illustrates Just How Much the Rest of the World Opposes the U.S. Police State [...] Berlin, Germany 'This past Friday life-size bronze statues of Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning were unveiled in Berlin's Alexanderplatz Square in front of German politicians and activists. In Germany and much of the world, the three are considered heroes in the fight for freedom of information and speech, for their respective leaking of classified U.S. documents."

"Flamethrowers, given up by military, are now being sold to the public." What could possibly go wrong?

"When Public Servants Refuse to Serve the Public [...] Government in particular has an obligation to dismiss any employee who claims a right to discriminate against citizens."

Ryan Cooper in The Week, "America's despicable, hypocritical persecution of Chelsea Manning: Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. Army private who was imprisoned for giving thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, was recently threatened with torture for supposedly violating the conditions of her detention. As yet, the charges have not been officially verified. But Manning, who since her conviction has transitioned to female and been hired by The Guardian as a columnist, read the charges to one of her supporters, who posted them online. They are unbelievably petty. She is charged with: 1) sassing a guard; 2) spilling food on the floor; 3) possessing some books and magazines, including the Catilyn Jenner Vanity Fair issue; and 4) possessing an expired tube of toothpaste. There is to be a hearing on Aug. 18. This is exactly the kind of trumped-up nonsense a pissed-off bureaucrat out for revenge would come up with. And as punishment, she apparently faces unlimited torture, in the form of "indefinite solitary confinement.""

Laurie Penny in The New Statesman: "Europe shouldn't worry about migrants. It should worry about creeping fascism [...] The behaviour of the British and wider European elite towards migrants is not simple inhumanity. It is strategic inhumanity. It is weaponised inhumanity designed to convince populations fracturing under hammer-blows of austerity and economic chaos that the enemy is out there, that there is an 'us' that must be protected from 'them'. There is a reason why David Cameron's precise suggestion as to how to deal with the desperate human beings coming across the channel is 'more dogs and fences'. There is a reason that Angela Merkel's response, in June, to a demonstration where the bodies of drowned migrants were buried on the front lawn of the Bundestag was stony silence. All of this has happened before. All of this, in fact, is precisely what the European Union was established to prevent."

Since marijuana legalization, highway fatalities in Colorado are at near-historic lows.
* Medical Marijuana States See Painkiller Deaths Drop by 25%
* So, which is it? "Colorado Sells $34 Million in Marijuana in One Month: $3.4 Million Goes to Schools, and Crime Down 15%," or "Crime Is Up in Colorado: What That Tells Us About Pot Legalization"? (I admit to cracking up when I got to the claim in the last sentence that journalists "wouldn't blindly trust coal-industry statistics on the environmental effects of strip mining," since, of course, they do.)

"Matt Taibbi: America Has A 'Profound Hatred Of The Weak And The Poor'."

I'll give The Washington Post some credit for the article "Black and Unarmed" for actually being about the real issue instead of just casting it as another campaign race article. I've heard lots of people talking about the importance of BLM but damn few actually talking about police killing unarmed black people (or other people). This article is at least somewhat informative, although it still seems to express far more concern for police officers than for the citizens they kill. It's obvious to everyone that the police are out of control and something has gone very wrong with policing in America, and no, bodycams - while I think they are a great idea - are not The Answer. There is something deeply wrong with both the way cops are being armed and trained and the way politicians are using them.

"Obama Announces Ban on Sale of Military-Style Equipment to Police Departments." I almost stood up and cheered when I read that headline until I remembered that (a) this is Obama, and his good news usually turns out to be a sham, and (b) since the only charge cop departments are having to pay are shipping and handling, they already aren't selling them this stuff, they're essentially giving it away. Also, the article says that "some" equipment will no longer be sold to them, but doesn't say what. No more desk lamps? Seriously, what actual change is really being made?

Atrios reminds us that one reason some Labour Party hacks are so adamantly opposed to a Corbyn leaderships is that it would cost them their jobs.
* "Gordon Brown urges Labour not to be party of protest by choosing Jeremy Corbyn " - because there will likely be no place for Brown in a Corbyn leadership, either.

"Ex-Baltimore Cop Gives Brutally Honest Interview On Police Corruption & How The System Is Engineered Against Blacks & Latinos!" - This 30-minute video is really worth hearing.

It's official: Texas Executed An Innocent Father After Prosecutor Hid Evidence In Kids' Arson Deaths. That guy should be on trial for murder.

"It's Time to Admit It. Israeli Policy Is What It Is: Apartheid."

John Oliver exposes the disturbing world of Christian televangelists: 'This is about the churches that exploit people's faith for monetary gain'. I couldn't see the video there in "my" country, but a search on YouTube found what appears to me the same thing, and I could see this phone call.

"WATCH: Navajo Activists Chase John McCain Off Reservation: "Given the federal government's silence in the wake of the EPA's accidental Gold King Mine spill that contaminated rivers near the Navajo Nation, perhaps yesterday was not the day for U.S. Senator John McCain and Arizona governor Doug Ducey to visit the reservation. [...] To be clear, our government is doing a terrible job addressing the concerns of Natives. It is nothing short of obtuse to visit the Navajo Nation in their time of utmost need to talk about building a museum when they are in the midst of a crisis no one is paying attention to. It is foolish to think Natives would welcome anyone who has had no problem signing away sacred indigenous sites in the name of corporate greed."
* Native American Council Offers Amnesty to 220 Million Undocumented Whites
* This map is a .pdf of the tribal nations, and includes lots of names you've never heard before (including the actual name of the people who were known to whites as "Comanche"). Story here. No, no, not this map!

"How a dubious statistic convinced U.S. courts to approve of indefinite detention" - Radley Balko on fact-checking the phony statistics behind extreme laws.

Important news for convention goers: "It's About Damn Time: FCC Says Convention Centers Can't Block Wifi.

"Christians Putting Bibles in Schools Flip Out After Atheists Hand Out Humanist Literature!"
I guess I missed a similar event earlier this year: "Florida schools hand out Satanic colouring books to children"

The famous Robert Frost poem we've read wrong forever

TRUMBO, official trailer. Whew, I can't wait! (And here's an altogether different trailer for a different movie about Trumbo from the last decade.)

"Elise Andrew F*cking Loves Science" - I confess to being surprised. I've always enjoyed the posts I've seen from her page, of course, but this isn't quite how I pictured the person behind it.

Two Cellos. I'm sorry I can't figure out how to link directly to the version of this I originally saw (on Facebook), which didn't include a title so I wasn't prepared for suddenly recognizing the tune. Cracked me right up. :)

Pretty: Time-Lapse: Watch Flowers Bloom Before Your Eyes

Strangely work-safe: "The Hitachi Magic Wand Throughout Art History

Interactive kinetic sculptures by John Edmark

Miss Piggy & Nathan Fillion

Everybody has a crazy old aunt. Alas, Molly West, who was apparently too "pink" for the family, died recently, before Rick Perlstein could ever meet her. And now he knows who she was.

I haven't been able to find this on YouTube, as yet, but if you can get Facebook, this is a lovely (and short!) bit of animation, especially if you love the Beatles.

4 comments:

  1. Re: Julian Bond. He was an effective leader and did a lot to advance the causes of civil rights for a lot of people. What I remember though, is the crush I had him as a young teen getting into politics. I thought he was one of the best looking men in public life. RIP, sir, you lived a good life.

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  2. The Obama-Clinton wing of the party is the best enabler of the GOP out there.

    Interesting to see the same thing happening across the pond, with Tony Blair and company trying to sabotage Corbyn.
    ~

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  3. Nice Beatles video, thanks ! I passed the link on to a Beatles-mad relative who passed another from the same series back to me. :-)

    https://www.facebook.com/TheBeatlesRockBand/videos/132190361288/?pnref=story

    PS - Go Bernie!!!

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  4. Holy Bernie-palooza! Like what Taibbi had to say, as always. Also agree with Nader--especially the part about putting things in a global context (i.e. the wee space between Stalin/Mao & Scandinavia). I'd add one more item to his list. Lefties know what the difference is between the Clinton-Obama wing of the party and the tiny sliver represented by Sanders, Warren etc. Far too many rank and file dems and voters at large don't. At this point he's not competing with GOP lunacy but with a deeply unpopular/unpopulist neoliberal. So, if Sanders wants me to get onboard wholeheartedly, stop sheepdogging lefty voters into a big D tent that has shit on us for years and start directing your fire, without mercy, on Hillary. IOW, show that you're in this thing to win it.

    Start delivering speeches like here are some examples of our overwhelming problems. This is how the GOP has/will continue to address them. This is how corporate lapdog dems have/continue to "solve" them, and this is how an authentic dem-socialist/FDR democrat has in the distant past, and could in the future.

    Alternatively, roll over and watch her take the nod and win or lose, see a new new deal put off for another 4-8 years. Warren 2024, yeah, that'll solve everything.

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