Recent blog posts
About This Site
Fellow dangerous professor, M. Bérubé, explains the politics of now.
As a fan of the Mets and the Seattle Mariners, it will come as no surprise that I'm not a big fan of Alex Rodriguez. So I can't say that I'm disillusioned to learn that A-Rod is actually A-Roid. Not so good for baseball, though.
It will be interesting to see what follows. The Yankees have spent close to a half a billion dollars to restore their pennant chances, proving once again that they are evil incarnate. If they keep A-Roid, it is just a cherry on the top of their own immorality.
Another of the deadly legacies of the Bush era: the war against organized labor has put us all at risk. Consider the case of the poison peanuts. Multinational corporations try to degrade labor as much as possible to lower costs, and the results are often disastrous:
The Times story makes clear that the industry relies heavily on unskilled, temp labor and the result is lots of food safety problems. When this is combined with the usual Republican hostility to regulation, the result is a
Thanks to Bush and his ideology of crony capitalism, we're becoming a third world country.
The US economy has gone off a cliff, pulling the world economy along with it. All of a sudden, predictions of four years of bleakness are regarded as optimistic.
Nobel laureate Paul Krugman describes the situation:
We're circling the drain, folks.
When capitalists panic about the global economy, politicians start wars. Watching our domestic political spectacle, one this is clear: the capitalist class is concerned about itself, not our national well-being.
Robert Reich, at TPM Cafe, explaining recent developments in our ongoing capitalist royal screw-up:
The system fails everyone but the world's owners. When they profit, they keep the money. When they fail, we pay. Of course they are going to be irresponsible.
It is important to note, of course, that those who think of themselves as capitalists on a small scale — not the world's owners, the multinational corporations, but small business owners or the self-employed — are not capitialists in any important sense. They are getting screwed by the system as much as anyone.
It is time to toss capitalism into the dustbin of history. Alongside religion. And "reality" TV.
Wow. I believe that this is the first time in history that I have agreed with Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi about anything. He has an editorial in the Times today.
When religion and culture make a people think the land is theirs, they will use violence to secure their stake. Since both sides believe the land is theirs, they will either find peace together by living together, or will continue to try to kill each other.
Extremists on both sides (and some loopy American supporters of Israel) believe that they are justified in calling for the extermination of the other side. They are fanatics and must be treated as such by all reasonable, peace-loving people.
Jews and Arabs can live together in Israel/Palestine. As Qaddafi points out, they did before. One multi-ethnic, multi-religious state (though I hope they can come up with a better name than "Isratine") is the only lasting solution that is just.
Doghouse has some apt words directed as the asshole leaving the White House:
History will only deepen the judgment of the reality-based community. Bush was a total disaster. We are in for decades of suffering as a result.
He kept us safe, they say. (The 'they' being the dimwits and Christians who still think Bush is a leader.) Well, he kept us safe after we were attacked, at a time when another large scale terrorist event was unlikely, given the logistics and the inevitable response of any national government to 9/11. He might as well claim credit for keeping Earth safe from a comet impact.
A parable: A sheriff is responsible for protecting the train from robbers on its trip from New York to San Fransisco. The train gets robbed by brigands just after leaving NYC. When the train gets to SF, someone asks the lawman how the trip went. He replies, "Good!"
"Really, I heard the train was robbed."
"Well," the sheriff says, "after the robbery, I kept the train from being robbed again!"
Those tedious wingnut culture war hysterics don't know how to watch a film as art, or even as entertainment. For them, it is all about propaganda.
I am reminded of my usual conversations with my cat. No matter what I say, all she hears is blah blah blah cat chow blah blah blah.... That's just the way cats are. It strikes me that these wingnuts have the same mentality when they watch a movie or TV: blah blah blah an American flag! blah blah blah traditional gender role! blah blah blah woman having a baby not an abortion! blah blah blah....
As Roy says, let them blather about how much Americans want movies that confirm their views. They don't have any actual effect on Americans' entertainment preferences or the industry itself. We can point and laugh.
If you aren't reading Appletree then you deserve a kick in the ass. All the A-list blogs are filled with the same gasbags saying the same things. Appletree is the sort of place with a good mixture of politics, culture and humor. A good crowd of commenters too — including the village
I read it several times a day. Sometimes it makes me sigh, and sometimes it makes me angry. I usually laugh though.
Get over there now and see all the picture caption contests I've won.
(Don't ask me about the corn snake controversy. I don't know what that's about. Must be a West Coast Thing.)
More good sense from ol' Doghouse Riley:
I second that last suggestion. Have some self-respect, people.
Things just keep getting better and better. Obama won the election. And, now I won the latest photo caption contest at Appletree.
I don't recall ever feeling so proud of this country. Our problems have not gone away, of course, but this is a historical moment. There does seem to be a real, concrete hope that we can take a step forward with regard to the difficult issue of race.
Congratulations Present-elect Obama.
We progressives now need to keep the pressure on to make it possible for President Obama to govern to the left of where Senator Obama campaigned.
Let's give him credit, Senator McCain gave a gracious concession speech tonight. I was happy to hear him recognize the historical significance of this election, despite his disappointment at the result of the voting.
We'll have to wait and see if the Republican base finds its better impulses. But McCain ended his campaign with honor.
What kind of country do we want? Bob Herbert directs our attention to after the election:
It is time to end the sad, shameful age of Reaganism. It was a dismal failure.
We now need a new New Deal. Bring it on, Obama.
From the Nobel economist, Paul Krugman:
I hope that the election will be a decisive rejection of the politics of prejudice. I hope that circumstances force President Obama to govern to the left of where he campaigned. If these things happen, we will end the ugly chapter of Reaganism in American politics.
The Dems are on the side of history right now. They are also on the side of demography. That may explain why the "Republican rump," as Krugman puts it, has gotten itself into such an hateful state.
You really can't parody the wingnutosphere. They will eventually sink to every imaginable depth. No opinion is too loony or hysterical. Just give them time, and someone will assert it in all seriousness.
Roy at alicublog demonstrates.
Just as Lenin said: carpooling will be the death of Capitalism.
* I know that Poe's Law was originally articulated with regard to Fundamentalists, but let's face it, the far-right blog gasbags follow the same logic.
Adia Harvey, at Racism Review, has an insightful take on what an Obama administration would mean for the U.S. It would be historical, of course, but it would not transport us magically to a post-racial society.
We are much more likely to get to work on issues of inequality with Obama in the White House. But it will still require a lot of work on the part of progressives. If, as I think is the case at present, the financial crisis has made racism a luxury many whites feel they can no longer afford, Obama may win, and win decisively. But if he manages to find a way out of the economic catastrophe brought on by the insanity of laissez-faire extremism, and the economy begins to recover, whites in large numbers may well feel like they can afford their familiar beliefs about race.
Obama is only the beginning of our struggle.
I realize that this is kicking a deflated soccer ball*, but the Times reports on yet more evidence that BushCo will be remembered as the worst administration in our history. The fanatics really have no limits in the Bush White House. They have no respect for American culture, or U.S. law. They have no shame.
The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of the working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life. Between these two classes a struggle must go on until the workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of the means of production, abolish the wage system, and live in harmony with the Earth. -- IWW
In a democracy it is necessary that people should learn to endure having their sentiments outraged. -- Bertrand Russell
Let us strangle the last king with the entrails of the last priest. -- Denis Diderot
It's not that no one sees the straight line to Doomtown we've been on since Reagan, it's that there's big profits in it. The most superficially Christian and Other-Worldly-Yearning nation in the developed world is the one most likely to kill you for your shoes. -- Doghouse Riley
The true purpose of education is to try to foster in students a kind of critical cosmopolitanism, such that they learn, among other things, to question any notion that one’s nation or tribe is favored by God or destiny. -- Michael Bérubé
It is not enough to decry the existence of the Spectacle. We intend to use both art and theory as a battering ram against Capitalism and its false opposition, tribalism, in all of its mystical forms. We believe it is possible to move beyond the inexcusable savagery of everyday life. -- The Anti-Naturals
Smartest Blogs in North America
Sites I Read