Thursday, April 30, 2020

Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun


FL blocks medical examiner pandemic death reports

See this report. Why is the Florida Dept. of Health blocking the real pandemic death stats from medical examiners? Because the State has plans to reopen businesses and the real stats would frighten people from coming out. Another case of Repugnantans putting the economy ahead of human lives.

Scientists are predominantly Democrats

Once again proving that facts have a liberal bias.

"A new study by the Pew Research Center finds that the GOP is alienating scientists to a startling degree. Only six percent of America’s scientists identify themselves as Republicans."

The Twilight Zone music

This one popped up this morning.

The geometry of thought

Following up on this cogsci article, this new article in Nautilus supports the previous work about how spatial motor schemas extend into abstract conceptual mapping. Excerpts:

"We, unlike our computers, represent information in geometrical space.[...] The brain represents concepts in the same way that it represents space and your location, by using the same neural circuitry for the brain’s 'inner GPS.' [...] The hippocampus’ place and grid cells, in other words, map not only physical space but conceptual space. It appears that our representation of objects and concepts is very tightly linked with our representation of space."

"One of the ways these cognitive spaces can benefit our behavior is when we encounter something we have never seen before. Based on the features of the new object we can position it in our cognitive space. We can then use our old knowledge to infer how to behave in this novel situation. [...] Cognitive spaces are a domain-general format for human thinking, an overarching framework."

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Rising discusses latest covid-19 stats

They used stats from the NYT showing that in the US the mortality rate is about 5.2%. Compared to the 0.1%  mortality rate of seasonal flu, c-19 is 52 times that. The world stats show about a 7% mortality rate. The US had 25,000 new cases alone yesterday, so sure, let's go back to business as usual. Not! Especially with new research showing alarming transmission methods and stats.

Bernie's email and petition about NY primary

Got this in my email today:

On Monday, the New York State Board of Elections made the disgraceful and undemocratic decision to cancel their state’s presidential primary later this year.
This means that our campaign will receive no delegates from New York, weakening our ability to fight for a progressive platform and progressive rules at the Democratic Convention. It also means our voters are less likely to turn out, which will hurt progressive New York candidates who are still facing primaries. 

This is an outrage, an assault on democracy and must not be allowed to stand.
While we did not have the votes to win the Democratic nomination, our campaign was suspended, not ended, because we believe that people in every state should have the right to express their preference. 

Let's be clear. New York will still be holding a primary election on June 23. Voters will cast ballots for congressional candidates and other down-ballot offices but, because of the heavy-handed decision of two members of the State Board of Elections, they will not have the opportunity to vote in the presidential primary.
No one asked New York to cancel the election. 

The DNC did not request it. The Biden campaign did not request it. And our campaign communicated, very strongly, that we wanted to remain on the ballot. Given that the primary is months away, the proper response should be to make the election safe — such as moving entirely to vote by mail — rather than eliminating people’s right to vote completely. 

The truth is that the New York State Democratic Party has never taken a particularly progressive approach toward democratic participation. In fact, quite the opposite. They have a very checkered pattern of voter disenfranchisement. For many years, New York has had one of the lowest rates of voter turnout in the country. 

In addition to being a blow to American democracy, New York state's action is also a clear violation of the approved delegate selection plan of the Democratic National Committee. At a time when all of us, including Joe Biden, are deeply concerned about Donald Trump’s attacks on our democracy, we must fight back against this action in New York state. 

If states violate the DNC party rules regarding delegate selection, they can lose their ability to send delegates to the convention. And this is exactly what must be done.
If this outrage is not remedied, the Democratic National Committee must strip New York of all its delegates at the 2020 Democratic National Convention. New York, and every other state in this country, must understand they cannot violate the rules of the DNC with impunity. While the New York State Democratic Party is trying to take away progressive voices in this election, we are asking you to make yours heard: 

Thank you for standing up for democracy and thank you for making your voice heard on this important issue.
All our best,
Team Bernie

Do our models get in the way?

My discussion with the Growing Down Podcast crew.

Moore and company response to criticism

Of their recent film Planet of the Humans. They note that some environmental groups have sold out to Wall Street in effect green washing corporations. But the underlying dynamic causing the problem in the first place is constant growth: In the corporate bottom line, in population and in customer consumption.

It's dysfunctional corporate capitalism that must be addressed. And changed NOW. Private health insurance has abandoned millions who have lost their jobs because their insurance was tied to that job. If someone who contracts the virus and survives, they do so with a financial crisis awaiting them. People can't make their rent or buy food without a job. The government is making funds available in this dire time of need. We CAN make drastic changes when we need to. The pandemic has shown that the system is so broken that we NEED to drastically change it not only now but continue the changes after the pandemic as well.

The pandemic has proven the lie of the complaint that "we just can't be idealistic, that we need piecemeal, incremental change." It has been made crystal clear is that with the stay-at-home and quarantine measures we've seen drastic reduction in climate-causing pollution and some regeneration of environments. We can have rapid change when our lives depend on it. We now need to realize that with the climate crisis our lives depend on that too. And if we don't initiate urgent and necessary measures to address it we WILL end right back up in the same situation as this pandemic. And far sooner than we'd hope.

And Pence heads the pandemic response?

Dumpsters really think they are above the laws and rules everyone else must follow. And now this? In a place that requires masks and treats covid patients? By the person in charge of the pandemic response? Seriously?

PS: And what's up with the Mayo Clinic for letting him get away with it? Pence should have been refused entrance if he wouldn't wear a mask. Kiss poisoned ass much Mayo? Maybe put some Mayo on that shit sandwich?

How the Dem Party rigged delegate counts

538 notes that the DNC has decided to reinterpret a rule for 2020 that "any candidate who is no longer running loses the statewide delegates they have won and those delegates are then reallocated to candidates still in the race." Previously this was not how they applied the rule. 538 goes on to discuss how this will cause Sanders to lose up to a third of his delegates going into the convention. Delegate count is important because a candidate needs at least 25% of them to get representatives on committees. Also, the higher the delegate count the more leverage one has to influence policy and the platform. So really, WTF is up with the Party?

Vigeland on cancelling NY Presidential primary

Continuing this post, Emma notes that the other races in the Primary will go on via mail. So WTF is up with the Presidential primary? It is obviously a Dem Party ploy to reduce Bernie's leverage at the convention. There is no other reasonable explanation. Do they not want the progressive vote? Do they even care about winning? It seems they don't, so WTF is up with that?

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The road to fascism

Make no mistake; we're on it folks.

AOC and Warren: Stop corporate mergers

Certainly at least during the pandemic. If we can get that passed then perhaps down the road we can get some real financial reform back on the table? That is, after Dems keep the House and take back the Senate and Presidency.

The pandemic has made abundantly clear

That we need Medicare For All NOW.

I'm fine, really

Is 6 feet enough for social separation?

It depends according to this 4/17/20 Science News report. Perhaps we need 6 degrees of separation?

"In the case of a sneeze, droplets can travel up to eight meters (23 to 27 feet), Bourouiba reports March 26 in JAMA. [...] Coughs also can propel aerosol droplets beyond six feet, evidence suggests.[...] Aerosol droplets containing infectious SARS-CoV-2 particles can hang around in the air for hours, a March 17 study in the New England Journal of Medicine found."

As to catching it from an object:

"Researchers think indirect contact is the main way people catch viruses, says Qingyan Chen, a mechanical engineer studying how infectious diseases spread at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Indirect contact might involve an infected person using their hand to cover a cough or a sneeze, then touching a cup or another object. If an uninfected person handles the object, the virus could transfer to that person’s hands. An unwitting nose scratch, eye rub or finger food snack could then infect that person. That’s why handwashing is so important."

Will the Dem Party ever learn?

So New York removes Bernie from the primary ballot. WTF, really? Bernie requested to stay on primary ballots to accumulate leverage going into the convention. A reasonable request. So does Biden and the Dem Party want our progressive votes or not? It sure doesn't seem like it, unless they are of the abusive notion that the best was to get us to obey is to kick us when we're down. Ain't gonna work. Egberto Willies responds:

"The Democratic Party continues to do things to pull defeat from certain victory. It is moronic that they would deny those who want to vote for Bernie Sanders in New York the opportunity to do so. When Bernie suspended the campaign he did so stating he wanted to remain on the ballot to give his support base representation at the convention. That is a method not to disenfranchise the democratic process of building a consensus platform. If the Democratic Party continues to disparage Bernie voters they will pay dearly. They must understand that Bernie voters are a movement independent of him. He just became the carrying torch. Democrats continue in this modal at their peril."

How long will this go on?

Seems like it.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Maher: Our factory farming is like Chinese wet markets

It's not just the cruelty of factor farming, but those conditions are breeding grounds for diseased meat and poultry that make their way into our diet causing us harm and/or death. Unfortunately those who don't give a shit about animals also don't give a shit about us dying from their unsanitary practices. Solution: Outlaw factory farming for the sake of public health.

Warren endorses 20 women but not The Squad

Biden selecting Warren as VP might bring over some of the Bernie vote. But there has been some push back about how she ran her campaign, at times appearing to back off or hedge on progressive policies. And especially her promoting some of the establishment negative frames about Bernie.

And now this. I wonder why she ignored The Squad? Three of them are getting big-money Dem challenges. Maybe once again she's playing politics to get in Biden's and the DNC's good graces? It does though make progressives wonder that if she achieves the goal of VP or a Cabinet position will she still fight for progressive policies?

Who creates wealth?

Could it be...workers?

How some people handled the lockdown

New Zealand has pandemic under control

This is how you do it. NZ took early action by closing he borders, going into strict lock-down and doing large-scale testing. Their new cases are now in the single digits with 19 dead overall. Now there "is no wide-spread, undetected community transmission." They are also "going full force with contact tracing." Consequently they are downgrading to alert level 3 which allows businesses that don't required face-to-face contact to open. The will still keep other businesses and schools shut down, still prevent mass gatherings, keep their border closed and still encourage people to stay home.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Planet of the Humans

The blurb:

"Michael Moore presents Planet of the Humans, a documentary that dares to say what no one else will this Earth Day — that we are losing the battle to stop climate change on planet earth because we are following leaders who have taken us down the wrong road — selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America. This film is the wake-up call to the reality we are afraid to face: that in the midst of a human-caused extinction event, the environmental movement’s answer is to push for techno-fixes and band-aids. It's too little, too late.

"Removed from the debate is the only thing that MIGHT save us: getting a grip on our out-of-control human presence and consumption. Why is this not THE issue? Because that would be bad for profits, bad for business. Have we environmentalists fallen for illusions, “green” illusions, that are anything but green, because we’re scared that this is the end—and we’ve pinned all our hopes on biomass, wind turbines, and electric cars?

"No amount of batteries are going to save us, warns director Jeff Gibbs (lifelong environmentalist and co-producer of “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Bowling for Columbine"). This urgent, must-see movie, a full-frontal assault on our sacred cows, is guaranteed to generate anger, debate, and, hopefully, a willingness to see our survival in a new way—before it’s too late.

"Featuring: Al Gore, Bill McKibben, Richard Branson, Robert F Kennedy Jr., Michael Bloomberg, Van Jones, Vinod Khosla, Koch Brothers, Vandana Shiva, General Motors,, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Nature Conservancy, Elon Musk, Tesla.

"Music by: Radiohead, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Blank and Jones, If These Trees Could Talk, Valentina Lisitsa, Culprit 1, Patrick O’hearn, The Torquays, Nigel Stanford, and many more."


We all compromise every day to survive. But we'll jeopardize our very survival by refusing to compromise over the most important decision we can make that affects those daily lives?

Dump's new product line

His best product yet. There can't be any transmission if we're all dead. Call today while supplies last!

Friday, April 24, 2020

Shine some disinfecting sunlight on this lying sack of s___

It's not just me saying fascism is coming to the US

Chomsky said it. Scahill said it. Now this article reiterates it.

"In short, as the two contenders with a chance to win the presidential race, Biden and Trump are offering a choice between neo-liberalism and neo-fascism. To hear a small but significant portion of the U.S. left tell it these days, that's not a meaningful choice. Some say preventing the re-election of Trump isn't important. That amounts to ignoring political reality, an evasion with potentially vast consequences."

"'We should make no mistake,' longtime progressive journalist Juan Gonz├ílez said days ago, 'that this country is edging closer and closer to neo-fascist authoritarianism.' That reality doesn't stop some on the left from evading it—preferring to conflate the two major parties to a degree akin to denial. [...] But here's a key point: People who deny or downplay the real threat of neo-fascism consolidating itself via Trump's re-election are, in effect, serving as enablers for the forces of the virulent extreme right that already controls so much of the U.S. government."

Biden's got a point

And it's a good one when compared to the alternative.

The Squad fights for us in the stimulus Bill

Omar, Pressley and AOC comment on the latest bailout for the rich. They of course lost, as most Dems voted for the Senate Bill, which doesn't provide any more money for we the people. It does show us though that if we the people want to get the hand up we need and deserve we're going to have to elect more reps like The Squad.

Who do Sanders supporters want as VP?

Rising discusses a new poll asking Sanders supporters which VP candidate they prefer. Warren gets the most support. They are less likely to support Witmer and Abrams, but they are least likely to support Harris. It would appear that if Biden wants the Sanders voters, which it also appears he needs to win, this would be his best bet.

Interview with Las Vegas mayor

Another idiotic Dumpster who wants to open Las Vegas casinos and tells Cooper the casinos will just have to compete for the lowest infection rates. It's the American way! Not the America I know and love. The Dump virus is even more deadly than the pandemic, and is using the latter to kill people for profit.

Dump wonders about injecting bleach

Our Presidunce is a complete idiot. There's no way around it. As a press briefing yesterday, where the Homeland Security science chief was discussing what disinfectants kill the virus outside the body, Dump wondered if "there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning?" Yeah, he's got a great brain all right. Doctors immediately afterward warned against it, noting that it's dangerous and "a common method that people utilize when they want to kill themselves." Have at it Dumpsters. Self-select out of our gene pool.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Rolling Stones - Living in a Ghost Town

New music in response to the pandemic.

How to confuse your doctor

I'm going to try this at my next prostate exam and tell him: "Turn about is fair play."

For all those Repugs who make this false equivalency

Aka fake news.

Colbert strikes again

With some more helpful pandemic advice.

Day 29 of lockdown

This one made me laugh.

AOC will vote for Biden

She declared it unequivocally yesterday. You can't get any more progressive than AOC. So how about it progressives? Are you as progressive as her?

Ball: Capitalism has failed

The pandemic has made this crystal clear to Krystal. And to the rest of us too. Crapitalism (intentional spelling) is in the intensive care unit but it's time to pull the plug on it and not resuscitate. THAT is what we should let die, not our citizens. And the sort of socialist measures that we have to implement now should be maintained in the aftermath. Bernie was right after all. Too bad it took this horror show to prove it.

We are under a terrorist attack

From the terrorist in the Blight House.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Scahill: The consequences of a Dump re-election

Scahill is well aware of Biden's many faults. But withhold your vote for Biden and accept these consequences. Thing is, you'll be f___ing over the rest of us in the most horrific way. Take a breath, think about that. Scahill asks: "What is the moral and strategic choice?" He explains below.

"What would happen if Trump wins the election in November? In practical terms, it would be a nightmare. Trump would emerge emboldened beyond imagination. What minuscule restraints that currently exist would be wiped out entirely. He would almost certainly be in a position to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with yet another atrocious extremist. An ability to further stack the court will have a multigenerational impact on a legion of issues; among them are voting rights, civil liberties, corporate power, workers’ rights, civil rights, women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, executive power, and the climate. No one should minimize the dangers of Trump remaining in office. And his reign will hit the most vulnerable the hardest, much like the coronavirus, and the terrors will ricochet for many years to come. Trump encourages and emboldens racists and bigots and embraces far-right ideology and action. Four more years of this will be deadly."

Johnstone berates whining liberals

Caitlin gives some tough love and sage advice for those who think Bernie and Chomsky are traitors to the cause.

"If you’re experiencing emotional suffering over Bernie Sanders or Tulsi Gabbard for endorsing Biden, or Chomsky for endorsing lesser-evil voting, you really have nobody to blame but yourself. You wouldn’t have to knock these people off the pedestals you put them on if you hadn’t put them there in the first place. [...] You’ve got no business abdicating your rightful authority over what’s true to Bernie Sanders, to Noam Chomsky, or to me. Your responsibility to know the truth about reality is yours and yours alone. [...] Don’t abdicate your authority to anyone else and no one will ever let you down for using the authority you gave them incorrectly."

I'd add that now Bernie and Chomsky are facing the truth and giving it to us straight. That's what trust in my authority tells me. And if we want to retain any measure of personal authority and its free expression then face up to the fact that 4 more years of Dump could very well eliminate that right we hold so dearly. But hey, don't trust me; trust your own authority and take responsibility for it.

Uygur: Push Biden for concessions

Cenk makes the point that with Biden we can continually push him and progressives will get some concessions. That ain't gonna happen with the alternative and FAR worse. But we will have to hold Biden's feet to the fire; that's on us. But it is on Biden to give progressives something to vote for if he wants to win. And there are some initial signs he is going in the direction, so let's keep pushing him.

Rodrigo y Gabriela - Hanuman

Need a break from all the bad news? Some new music from this virtuoso guitar duo. I love how Gabriela does both rhythm and percussion with so much exquisite technique. And then there's Rodrigo's flighty leads.

Pink Floyd - Money

This one comes to mind given how Repugs want business to go back to usual at the cost of human lives. As noted in the song: "Money is the root of all evil today."

Perez knows DNC has to earn progressive votes

And said as much. DNC Chair Perez is meeting with Jeff Weaver of the 2016 Bernie campaign to see how they can coordinate concessions to Bernie's agenda. Note that to date the Biden campaign has already conceded lowering the Medicare eligibility age and forgiving college student debt for low-income families. Perhaps this will reassure at least some of the Bernie supporters that Bernie's agenda will at least be partially implemented. Which, by the way, is a LOT more than we're going to get from Dump or the Repugs, meaning nothing. Ask yourself if you want something or nothing. Or likely worse, total fascism.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Chomsky: Likens never Biden crowd to Nazi enablers

David Packman discusses Noam saying it (1:05 in the video). Specifically he compared it to the Communist Party failing to support the Social Democrats against the Nazis, claiming they too were fascists like the Nazis. Now die-hard never Biden folks are having a fit. I've said as much too with the same response.

New study on hydroxychloroquine and covid-19

A preliminary study submitted to the New England Journal of Medicine that has yet to be peer-reviewed noted that hydroxychloroquine "for treating the new coronavirus showed no benefit in a large analysis of its use in US veterans hospitals. There were more deaths among those given hydroxychloroquine versus standard care." You can also see the story at CNN.

Zimmerman: The Liar Tweets Tonight

Sung to the tune of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."

Dump and Repugs pogrom on the poor

The wealthy funders of these idiotic rallies protesting reasonable measures to curtail the virus is their pogrom on the poor. They want older and poorer people to die because they feel they are a drain on their wealth and power. You know, all those evil social programs that help people with a hand up. Atrocious! Let's make sure they are killed off so that we can attain even more wealth and power with fewer impediments from those unworthy of life itself. Now where in history has this happened before? Let me see...

The tiers of a clown

The last post, in my wyrd way, associated with this song.

Speaking of tyrants

Recall this on Cowan's comments about 2nd tierants in the AQAL (aka kennilingus) community. The link to the original article is here. The only correction I have is that I'd substitute "absolutely" for "almost."

"The ‘tier-anical’ view often assigns superiority and spiritual cleverness to the 'second tier' and relegates the first tier to second-rate status, creating categories for greater and lesser mortals with the second tier nearer to transcendent being. It’s an almost dichotomous perspective that is far from the intent of the theory which grants strengths to each level because each is appropriate and useful in its context."

Who is the tyrant?

It's obvious most Dumpsters will be oblivious to such accurate satire. But here's hoping it gets through to at least a few Dump supporters that aren't completely gone.

New cases of virus traced back to Milwaukee voting site

Of course anyone who respects medical science knew this would be the case. And now there's evidence. Remember this when it's your turn to vote, hopefully by mail and not in person. And remember this when the controlling Repugs in your State demand that you vote in person and not by mail.

"Officials have identified seven people who appear to have contracted COVID-19 through activities related to the April 7 election, Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik said Monday. Six of the cases are in voters and one is a poll worker, Kowalik said. By the end of this week, officials hope to have additional information on the cases that were reported between April 7 and Monday, she said."

Best materials for home made masks

From this recent study. Dump's suggestion of scarves, like all of his suggestions, are disastrous. As for materials, "denim, canvas and paper towels were among the best." Also 100% cotton t-shirts work well. One of my favorites is men's cotton underwear.

Dump and Biden equivalent evils?

I'm encountering a number of those who identify as liberal who just can't see the difference between Dump and Biden, as if they are equivalent evils. True, Biden is no Bernie but as bad as Dump? So they're not going to vote for Biden? Sorry folks, that is truly insane. But I give up trying to convince you, as I see that's hopeless. I guess the only thing to wake you up is 4 more years of Dump and the obvious and complete slide into the sort of fascism that takes away your right to even whine on Facebook.

Bernie and Jayapal: Health care for all during pandemic

They proposed a Bill in their respective chambers that would pay for all healthcare costs related to the virus during the pandemic. Millions have lost their insurance due to the shut down of the economy so they are stuck with the bill. That is, unless Congress enacts this Bill to help us out in this dire time of need. 

Again, another great idea that will never get past McConnell and Dump. The Bill at least shows that they are truly caring about humanity. But that too apparently has no effect on the majority of voters, even those identifying as Democratic. These are truly very sick times indeed in more ways than one. It's doubtful that we will ever recover in those many ways.

WHO: Reopening businesses too soon will cause resurgence

And yet idiots in the US are barging ahead despite the medical science. WTF is wrong with these Governors that they will risk human lives to prop up their failed ideology? This is truly insane.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Aerosmith: Dream On

And the last one associated to this one. Weird how that works. "Everybody's got their dues in life to pay."

Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams

This one popped up today. "Everybody's lookin' for something."

Smoke 'em if you got 'em

Where it's legal, of course. ;)

AOC on purity tests and reality tests

I have once again encountered a Democrat who finds the likes of Bernie and AOC to be "radical left." That they just don't understand how the world works, that they are idealistic and want what is not possible. This has to do with their demand to not accept corporate PAC money, that it's an unrealistic purity test that shoots itself in the foot because you need more money to compete in elections. And yet Bernie and AOC, while not accepting that sort of money, nevertheless raised more money for their campaigns than their opposition who took it, completely proving that argument false.

The Princeton Report makes clear that politicians that accept corporate money end up voting for policies that favor their corporate benefactors, plain and simple. And those that do not take that money end up supporting policies that benefit the majority of we the people. This is not mere correlation but a direct cause that big money has corrupted out government. If we want a government of, for and by the people then we simply must get big money out of government and institute publicly-funded elections. Of course to ever achieve that requires that progressives who don't take that money get elected in the majority so that we can finally enact laws to that effect. So we the people must keep fiercely working to achieve that goal until we get there.

These progressives merely have values which support what the majority of Americans want: A government that represents everyone, not just the 1%. The are not idealists or radicals, just true representatives of a real democracy. Framing to the contrary is part and parcel of the reigning corrupt, corporate narrative that detests that democracy. The underlying truth is that these progressives have a commitment to serving we the people and what's best for us, and of fighting the forces that want to prevent it. Let's reinforce often that narrative which exposes the lies and supports the reality of what needs to be done to enact it. Let's make that the true test which challenges the corrupt reality and replaces it with a better one.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Teachout: The problem of monpolies and...

Corporate pubic corruption is here. The abstract:

"Defining corruption as the exercise of public power for private, selfish ends, many theorists have argued that individuals can be corrupt even if their actions are legal. This essay explores the knotty question of when legal corporate action is corrupt. It argues that when corporations exercise public power, either through monopolistic control of a market or through campaign contributions and support of governmental actors, they are subject to the same responsibilities of anyone who exercises public power. Therefore, as a theoretical matter, we should call corporations corrupt when they exercise public power selfishly, in a way that puts their own interests over the public’s interests. Because they make legal corporate corruption less likely, global anticorruption campaigns should therefore emphasize antimonopoly laws and campaign finance laws."

Dump's price for the pandemic

Even more of a clown than normal.

Dump's song

Good one.

Metamodernism: The good, the bad and the ugly

According to Justin Carmien. The bad: Too much empire building via hypercomplexity. Akin to my criticism that we get attached to our model building, particularly this obsession with complexity. And we don't stop to examine our assumptions and premises about that complexity. More bad: The assimilation of the many to the one like The Borg. The ugly: Fear mongering that if we don't get with the MM program, with The Real, True One, we will all go to hell sans the hand basket. He likes Bonnitta's idea of releasing complexity. I call it hier(an)archical synplexity. His solution of interconnected localization sounds a lot like the collaborative commons to me.

Her quarantine gardening project

One World Together at Home's finale performance

With Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, Lady Gaga, Lang Lang, John Legend performing The Prayer.

Pew Research issues polling

Following up on recent posts, Pew came out with this report at the end of last year on the differences between Democrats and Repugnantans on specific issues. I'll just highlight a few issues on which the majority in both Parties agree. There is a general theme here that comports with The Princeton Report: That our economy is rigged, corporations have too much power, they don't care about we the people, and they should pay their fair share of taxes. These are the issues we should focus on in upcoming elections. See the link for much more detailed specifics.

Majority of public says U.S. corporations have “too much power.” Nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) say major corporations in the U.S. have too much power; just 22% say they have the right amount of power, while only 4% say they have too little power. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to view corporate power as excessive; still, majorities in both parties express this view (83% of Democrats and Democratic leaners, 62% of Republicans and Republican leaners).

Majority favors raising tax rates on high incomes. A majority of the public (58%) says tax rates on household income over $250,000 should be raised a little or a lot, while 16% say rates on high incomes should be lowered a little or a lot; 22% say they should be kept the same as they are now. Across most partisan and income categories, there is more support for raising than lowering tax rates on high incomes; the only exception are Republicans with family incomes of $100,000 or more, whose views are divided.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

The Princeton Report

Continuing this post on issues polling, see the Princeton Report. The abstract follows:

"Each of four theoretical traditions in the study of American politicswhich can be characterized as theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy, Economic-Elite Domination, and two types of interest-group pluralism, Majoritarian Pluralism and Biased Pluralismoffers different predictions about which sets of actors have how much influence over public policy: average citizens; economic elites; and organized interest groups, mass-based or business-oriented.

"A great deal of empirical research speaks to the policy influence of one or another set of actors, but until recently it has not been possible to test these contrasting theoretical predictions against each other within a single statistical model. We report on an effort to do so, using a unique data set that includes measures of the key variables for 1,779 policy issues.

"Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism."

The road to fascism

Is paved with such tactics.

Could it be...Satan?

Or maybe our current health insurance industry?

Speaking of The WHO

I hope we won't get fooled again.

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Who is the ugliest of them all? Dump always projects blame onto someone else instead of looking in the mirror to see the real problem. Then again, he has no reflection, both literally and metaphorically, since he's just a blood-sucking vampire on our world that shuns the daylight of truth.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Who exactly wants to open up business so quickly?

Them and their idiot Presidunce. If only we could just let them cull their own herd. But they will kill innocent people and their children with their moronics.

Hartmann: Dump's new eugenics

Thom supports my repeated notion that this pandemic is Dump's death camps, equivalent to the Nazi camps but in a new form.

US Intel informed Blight House in Nov of the virus

According to this report:

"US intelligence agencies alerted Israel to the coronavirus outbreak in China already in November. [...] US intelligence community became aware of the emerging disease in Wuhan in the second week of that month and drew up a classified document.[...] US intelligence informed the Trump administration, 'which did not deem it of interest,' but the report said the Americans also decided to update two allies with the classified document: NATO and Israel, specifically the IDF."

Intelligencer: How Dump is like Hitler

Take this seriously forks. It's from 2016 and now more relevant than ever since we've seen in the past 4 years the accelerating path to fascism. The parallels are striking and the end result is likely to be the same if not worse. See this recent Chait article about that path.

"All this is to say that German conservatives did not see Hitler as Hitler — they saw Hitler as Trump. And the reasons they devised to overcome their qualms and accept him as the head of the government would ring familiar to followers of the 2016 campaign. They believed the responsibility of governing would tame Hitler, and that his beliefs were amorphous and could be shaped by advisers once in office. They respected his populist appeal and believed it could serve their own ends. [...] Their myopic concern with specifics of their policy agenda overcame their general sense of unease. [...] Think of the supply-siders supporting Trump in the hope he can enact major tax cuts, or the social conservatives enthused about his list of potential judges, and you’ll have a picture of the thought process."

"That reality is stark. Trump’s admiration for ironfisted dictators, not only in Ba’athist Iraq but Russia, China, and North Korea, is the ideological lodestar of his long history of political musings. Over the years, Trump has weaved left and right on health care, abortion, taxes, and even the issues currently central to his campaign, like immigration and trade, but has never wavered from his foundational belief that strong leaders are those who crush their enemies without restraint. Whatever norms or bounds that we think limit the damage a president could inflict are likely to be exceeded if that president is Trump. Those Republicans who publicly endorse Trump because he probably won’t win may be making an error on a historic scale."

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Ana: Biden is better than Dump

She is certain Biden will not support truly progressive policy, but she admits he is going to be far better than Dump. She also doesn't agree with Bernie supporters who are angry with him for endorsing and working with Biden. Bernie said he would ultimately support the nominee and he did. Also Bernie is continuing to work on getting more progressive planks in the Democratic platform, which Ana praises.

Hendrix on a Gibson Les Paul?

Laura Cox is a guitar virtuosa and gets the chords and notes right, but it just doesn't sound the same as a Fender Stratocaster.

Chris Hedges fired at Truth Dig

This is what happens when you dig too much truth that wealthy owners don't want to hear. There's much more after that in this interview. For example: "The liberals don't want to confront their own complicity in the reconfiguration in the political and economic system to create a corporate oligarchy and a world of such vast income disparity and power" (11:34).

Now focus on the down-ticket races

Two examples.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

I disgree with Krystal on Biden

I 'feel' the same way. And yes, the lesser of two evils is a shitty reason to vote for Biden. But where I disagree with her is when she claims that Bernie and progressives get nothing out of the deal. I'm sure that Bernie has been negotiating for at least some concessions. And we and he will continue to fight for more.

With Dump we get absolutely nothing. Worse, we'll likely get far, far less as we slide every further down the fascist path. Voting for Biden is not rolling over and giving up; it's facing reality and continuing to fight for our principles where we have at least some chance of getting something. I agree more with AOC on this.

You're fired!

If only.

The Pope's revolution

I've liked this Pope from the beginning. And now another reason to do so.

"Over the weekend, Pope Francis made known his intent to radically changed Catholicism itself when he called for a 'revolution' in the concept of the Catholic Church. He said the Holy See should not be a top-down organisation with the pope in charge but rather an inverted pyramid where the summit — the pope — is below and in service to the 'holy faithful people of God' at the top, according to an Associated Press report."

Response to Johnstone

I like Caitlin and typically agree with her. But in this case the guy cleaning up the beach will be one of the first to be sacrificed in a fascist regime. We're already seeing it in the pandemic, where the lower classes who have to work, or the poor who can't work or are homeless, are disproportionately getting the virus with some dying.

So keeping out of politics with the excuse it has nothing to do with me, when in reality is has everything to do with you, is sticking one's head in the (beach) sand. Yeah, the beach will continue to get dirty under Biden, but that's still better than having the beach lined with dead bodies.

Take back the framing of words

Even well-meaning progressives sometimes say we shouldn't call our agenda socialism, even democratic socialism. In so doing we surrender the meaning of terms to the opposition. Instead we should take back those words and expressions and frame them more accurately. Hence Bernie sticking to democratic socialism and defining it more to its original meaning. In discussing libertarian socialism Chomsky did exactly that. "We have to start by decoding our whole system of intellectual distortion before you can even talk" (5:00).

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Dump said he has total authority

Did you think I was joking or exaggerating about US fascism? Think again. From this piece:

"When President Trump was asked during Monday’s news briefing what authority he has to reopen the country, he didn’t hesitate to answer. 'I have the ultimate authority,' the president responded, cutting off the reporter who was speaking. Trump later clarified his position further, telling reporters, 'When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total and that’s the way it’s got to be. … It’s total. The governors know that.'"

AOC: Joe has to give us more than a couple of bones

From a recent interview:

"I've always said that I will support the Democratic nominee. But unity is a process, and figuring out what that looks like is part of this whole conversation that I think Bernie and Warren and other folks are a part of as well. [...] While Biden is the nominee, we also know that he didn't win because of policy—I don't think he won because of his agenda, he won because of different factors. In state after state after state Democratic voters support a progressive agenda. [...]  I think people understand that there are limits to what Biden will do and that's understandable—he didn't run as a progressive candidate. But, at the bare minimum, we should aspire to be better than what we have been before. [...] I don't think this conversation about changes that need to be made is one about throwing the progressive wing of the party a couple of bones—I think this is about how we can win."

Warren: 4 steps to protect voting rights

She has a plan for that! ;) It is a good one though.

Grim makes a case for Biden

Joe is claiming he'll be the most progressive president since FDR. While we know to date that just ain't so Joe it's up to us to hold him to it. And while we probably won't get all the things we've hoped for through him, we at least have a shot at getting some progressive policies enacted.

So Grim encourages us to quit our bitching and get busy pushing Biden toward what we want, make some inroads that can be expanded on with future Presidents. We won't have any say whatsoever with the alternative. In fact, if we lose this one we might never have ANY say ever again.

Impervious to facts

Amazing how simple, irrefutable facts don't impress certain people.

Your MFA cost

Compare with the last post. Yeah, you pay more in taxes but you pay FAR less overall. If you're a real bargain shopper this is the best buy.

If you get a public healthcare option

Take it. If most of us do then the next step is Medicare For All.  As you well know this is what  you face if you don't.