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Showing posts from August, 2016

From "Yes We Can" to “We Will Not”

“This is certainly a moment in our history that you don’t want to miss,” continued Belafonte, on the festival. “We’ve been trying to figure out how to let people understand that more fully and the best way for us to describe it is sort of like a multicultural, predominantly black Woodstock.T.I. is one of my favorite rap artists so the news that he's organizing a Blackstock is pretty exciting even though I might not be multicultural enough to participate (which is no problem because there are already hundreds of music festivals for people like me) and I'm excited to watch the performers from the safety of my living room couch through the infernal Internet - I'm assuming there will be a live stream of this 21st Century Black Woodstock. This fact alone will make it significantly different from the original "Woodstock" which took place in the middle of August at a farm in Catskills almost 50 years ago because, aside from an documentary film and soundtrack, Woodstock…

Might

“I wish there were somebody I could be comfortable voting for. I might have to vote for Hillary Clinton, even though I have big reservations about her,” he added.  Wolfie is coming around to the unavoidable truth, just as Richard Armitage and Brent Scowcroft have admitted and the HuffPo editors remind their readers at the end of every Trump related story.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S. It is odd that support from Paul Wolfowitz doesn't automatically send Democrats into hyperventilating spasms of writhing, hate spewing terror - think a possessed Linda Blair with crucifix in bloody vagina from the Exorcist movie. But the fact is, the Democrats don't mind because they never actually meant any of that stuff they said about the former Deputy Secretary of Defense in…

TwitterWall

Build the Wall! (it's already built)

With the advent of cable television I used to marvel at the strange juxtaposition of images and sound that could be created by randomly tapping buttons on the TV remote control - a magic wand if there ever was one. From evangelical preachers to gladiatorial combat to pop music decadence to natural wonder to high drama intrigue, comedy, space aliens, commodities reports, quiz shows, etc. etc. etc. all tied together (or fractured as the case may be) by thousands of commercial advertisements for sugar water and beer, real estate, every drug imaginable, house cleaning supplies, cars, travel packages, and a bunch of other weird shit I'd never buy no matter how much money I had. The paradoxes that this activity conjures to the eye and ear create a wall of insanity that blocks out the authentic world of day to day existence and calling this wall "the media" is inaccurate and wrong - it mediates nothing - instead it insulates and contains…

Cocktail Cabal

I don't mean to pick on poor old E.J. Dionne Jr., the friendly and very ernest Democrat opinion writer who's lived his life scurrying around the labyrinth of the Administrative State and sipping cocktails with inside the beltway power players. He's not a Trump supporter, nor should he be - he must be dead set #NeverTrump including armed resistance if necessary because a Trump presidency would not only disrupt his lucrative livelihood and damper the ocean of money sloshing around the 495 kiddy pool that keeps the glorious cocktail parties well stocked with booze and hors d'oeuvres. For Dionne, Trump is an existential crisis that must be stopped and this Bostonian who makes his home on a tree lined Bethesda street inside the belt-way will do whatever it takes to destroy the Elvis from Queens. Politics is politics, but this is war.

But the other day E.J. did bring a smile to my face with his WaPo op-ed "Trump’s sour Virginia cocktail" with the mirthful tag line…

A Lesun for us all - Citius, Altius, Fortius

Like most things, when the money goes in, the sport goes out and this is certainly true of the Modern Olympic Games. Not that I object to the games in principal - the idea of bringing the worlds nations together in a celebration of sport and peaceful competition is probably a good thing and, aside from the pagan heritage that obfuscates deity, celebrates nationalism and sets man on a pedestal with a precious metal sphere hung around his neck, it's probably a good thing. That's not to say that I wouldn't make improvements (if I could) starting with nocking down the number of days the Olympic Games are played - my number would be 5 a symbolic representation of man alluded to by the modern flag of 5 rings. To accomplish this compression of the Olympic schedule many sports would need to be cut from the list of events. This pruning would require the removal of all team sports (except rowing), all racquet sports, most gymnastics (including Trampoline which is awesome but doesn&…

Bland Obomination

Review of House of Cards - Season 2


Frank: Good Morning Jackie
Jackie: Richard Russell?
Frank: Civil Rights Act 1963.
Jackie: Not everyone can be on the right side of history.
Frank: Not even Lyndon for a time but he would have never become majority leader without him.
Jackie: Well there's no Johnson Senate building.
Frank: No, he had to settle for a Presidential Library

I'm thinking, "is this what these frigg'n Democrat scum actually say to each other behind closed doors on Capital Hill?" I mean, I don't know, I've never sat in on these meetings, but Beau Willimon has and I assume he's writing from experience. Yes, a photo of Richard Russell on the receiving end of one of those infamous LBJ harangues the bumpkin from Texas was so fond of administering to his "subordinates". "Right side of history?" - I know they talk like this to the public, but do they actually say this stuff to each other in serious tones when they're behin…

Simultaneously authentic and illusory

The Met has given British artist Cornelia Parker some spare cash to construct a PsychoBarn on its roof deck garden. Built from wreckage of rural America and formed from the British imaginings of gothic Americana this ghastly creation sits atop NYC's treasure trove of beautiful art and is framed against the upper east side skyline of Manhattan. Terrified city dwellers must be shocked to see a potent fabrication of this archetypal symbol representing everything they left behind when they packed up and took the bus down I-80 East. Now they can gawk and chuckle at the authentic illusion of their own imagination.

Kenya believe Xi AI must be crazy?

One of the joys of living in a mid-Atlantic state here in the USA is the opportunity to feast on Chesapeake Bay callinectes sapidus in a regional delicacy known as crab pick'n. It's not for the squeamish because you've got to pull apart a steamed crab, piece by piece, and use every ounce of dexterity your nimble fingers possess to fill your belly but for those who make the effort the rewards are rich. Last weekend I was spreading newspaper across my dining room table and preparing to dump a bushel of blues in front of a group of hungry humans when my eye caught something very unusual - impossible really - it was the Sunday Review section of the NYTimes.  As long time readers of the KOTCB blog know, I do not buy the New York Times and have not done so since October 1994 so seeing the newsprint on the table came as something of a shock. Front and center was Michael Eric Dyson's question "Barack Obama, the President of Black America?" from the June 26th edition…

EXTRA, EXTRA, Read All About It

Exclusive: Vietnam moves new rocket launchers into disputed South China Sea
This Reuters headline popped up on my Twitter feed today so I just had to read the news.
"The United States is also monitoring developments closely." I bet we are, especially since we're the ones making it happen. But as is their custom, Reuters blames the Jews for all the worlds problems.
"Foreign officials and military analysts believe the launchers form part of Vietnam's state-of-art EXTRA rocket artillery system recently acquired from Israel.
EXTRA rounds are highly accurate up to a range of 150 km (93 miles), with different 150 kg (330 lb) warheads that can carry high explosives or bomblets to attack multiple targets simultaneously. Operated with targeting drones, they could strike both ships and land targets." So proliferation of battle drone technology spreads world wide - what could possibly go wrong? And why is everyone militarizing the SCS anyway? I just don't think Re…

Evan McMulligan

After floating the comical idea of President French the "leaders" of the #NeverTrump crowd are asking for a second chance to get it right. This time his name starts with Mc, he's a Mormon, CIA bungler (Middle East, North Africa and South Asia), Goldman Sachs Investment Banker and Capital Hill bureaucrat. And he's bald! Some do-over.
"It’s never too late to do the right thing" Now he tells us. Too bad it took him so long to figure that out. Never say Never.

Quick, go donate now before he figures it out again.

nomination package

There are many things the Obama administration is able to get away with due to some strange arrangement they seem to have with the national news media and the US congress that seems to not give a damn about anything important or illegal or unethical they do. I'm not just talking about the usual right-wing griping points like using the IRS to target political enemies or bowing to world leaders which are frustrating transgressions of law and etiquette but rather, important stuff like:


Expanding the endless war theater across the African continentPaying ransom for hostagesPutting more US troops in IraqNuclear proliferationArming and training Vietnam That kind of thing and the biggest of these, to my mind, is drone warfare. Not because I'm squeamish on the prospect of whacking Jihadi scum - I'm not - but because drones are a sword that can cut both ways and someday someone will be droning us. And I doubt they'll have a very rigorous "nomination package" process wh…

No longer

You'd think that a CIA lifer who screwed the pooch on 9/11 and then couldn't find the terror attacks mastermind for almost ten (10!!!!!) years would (well, kill himself actually) keep his head down and mouth shut on pretty much any subject other than fly fishing lures and wine. But today "non-partisan" spook Michael Morell gave America his clear eyed assessment of the presidential race with the hilarious headline "I Ran the C.I.A. Now I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton." In the NYTimes of all places! The headline "I Ran the C.I.A" appearing in The Gray Lady imbuing the author with some kind of legitimacy gave me a mild brain aneurism but once I lay down for a half hour or so I was able to read the op-ed. The first paragraph almost sent me back to bed:
"During a 33-year career at the Central Intelligence Agency, I served presidents of both parties — three Republicans and three Democrats. I was at President George W. Bush’s side when we were attack…

the "gray zone" of coexistence

Rabbi Marc Schneier wrote a nice article the other day in The Hill (the Pravda of our Administrative State) declaring this counter-intuitive premise: "To end terrorism in Europe, Muslims and Jews must reach out to each other". Maybe, but I have my doubts. He did write something interesting in the article that requires deeper reflection.
So while sympathizers of ISIS represent only a tiny percentage of European Muslims, we risk enhancing the appeal of ISIS and its aberrant ideology by indulging in anti-Muslim rhetoric and cracking down indiscriminately on the wider Muslim population. Indeed, provoking such a response is exactly the response ISIS seeks to elicit, eliminating what is known as the "gray zone" of coexistence between European Muslims and the Western societies they inhabit. This "gray zone" is very problematic for everyone in Europe and you'd think that the Rabbi would understand the danger it invites. The gray zone is world wide and coexis…

UNTUCKit and watch the world spin out of control

We live in a shabby, informal age where taste and decorum are seen as obsolete or, even worse, unwanted artifacts of a bygone era. Where this disintegration of standards began is difficult to pinpoint but the it's nadir has been reached with UNTUCKit - a fashion company that has "designed" a shirt that is meant to be worn untucked. Appalling but absolutely aligned with the times it is a red flag signaling societal collapse and horrible depravity that is the new normal. For those few who still care about their appearance and how ones personal conduct impacts the society they live in - here is how it's done.