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Showing posts from 2018

Dracula: Film, Radio, Record, and Television Versions

Here’s a neat playlist I made of currently available (and good*) versions of Dracula on the Tube of You, including Nosferatu and Orson Welles’ 1938 radio play. Click-ez vous.
*E.g., there is a 2006 BBC version of the novel that is so bad that all concerned should have stakes hammered into their hearts before the beheading and garlic-stuffing.

The Shape Lives: 40 Years of Halloween

How About We Just Do This? Varoufakis: 2008 and the International New Deal we need for the post-2018 world – OECD Keynote, 14 SEP 2018

Donna said that I might be being too negative. So I said, “No, I’m not being negative—you are!” and stomped off haughtily to pack my neckerchief and tie it to my stick. When I finally run away, that’ll really show her! I am currently sitting on the couch with my stick, awaiting her return from work. I wonder if I can stay indignant till then. (You: “You can. Easily.”)

Grendel [Stretching lazily.]: “Fine, go already. Anything is better than listening to you talk.”Doug: “I am your main caretaker, by the way.”Grendel [Instantly perking up.] “Oh, do please go on! For I do so love to hear you preach.” [Blinks brightly; plots ripping out Doug’s throat as soon as he falls asleep.]
So, here’s some positivity: this is, at minimum, a species-preserving first step. Totally, totally, totally doable. (Could be a typo in the title—post-2008 world? Crappy title, basically—but good sense.)

Not even all that “left wing,” except insofar as the Democrats’ near-total rejection of Keynesian/FDR-LBJ-ish moder…

How Dismantling an Obscure Tax Created an American Aristocracy

First in an ongoing series with tax experts on the various ways in which the rich have warped taxation to further enrich themselves, and, even worse, further impoverish the already poor, or near-poor. Pure immorality; evil, even, were I a fan of that term, and I'm not.

In conversation with Gore Vidal and Noam Chomsky-1991

Fuller version than what’s been out there for years. Two smart cookies.

“Counterproductive and Dangerous”: Nuclear Arms Race Feared as U.S. Quit...

“President Trump has announced plans to pull the United States out of a landmark nuclear arms pact with Russia, in a move that could spark a new arms race. President Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in 1987. The INF banned all nuclear and non-nuclear missiles with short and medium ranges. The treaty helped to eliminate thousands of land-based missiles. On Saturday, Trump vowed to build new nuclear weapons. We speak with Daryl Kimball, director of the Arms Control Association. He previously led the Coalition to Reduce Nuclear Dangers. He has been advocating for the U.S. and Russia to preserve the INF Treaty.”

The State of the U.S. Empire | Interview with a Former Insider of the US...

“Published on Oct 19, 2018. In this interview we talk to a retired U.S. retired Army Colonel (31 years) and the former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell (2002-2005), Prof. Lawrence Wilkerson, about the state of the U.S. Empire, its foreign policy and the ideology and forces that influence it. In addition we talk about various conflicts & crises that include Iran, Syria and climate change.”

Noam Chomsky Oct 17, 2018 - On Contemporary Capitalism

Typically wide-ranging and interesting. Which is why you’ve never seen him on major media news shows.

Laura Ingraham, Steve King (R-Iowa): Pretty much xenophobic, racist fascists

Yep. Sorry -- if you like them, you're scum, too. I don't care if we grew up together or you're in my family or among my in-laws. That's the deal.

Hey, I ain't a liberal; I hate identity politics; I don't believe in safe spaces; and I'm neither an epistemological nor moral relativist, so, yes, I think people should take moral responsibility for their actions (and inactions) in the world.

So, those two -- and you -- are scumbag fascist garbage fit only to be politically defeated (and socially ostracized). Not coddled; not "understood"; not listened to. No.

What progressives should and would do if and when they win is actually fix whatever bit of this neofascist orgy is economically based or driven. Which should shave off a bit of it.

The rest of you? Literally couldn't care less about you except insofar as you're a problem to be solved.

And many liberals and "centrists" will read that and start to cry. OK, fine, you go compromise …

Bingo: Politico Spreads FAKE NEWS About Bernie Sanders

Conclusion: Politico's terrified of a second Sanders run. Watch them wet themselves here.

Ages of various people mentioned in the segment above:

Sanders: 77; born 9/8/41Biden: 75; born 11/20/42Warren: 69; born 6/22/49
Oh, and by the way: Trump: 72; born 6/14/46.

Is age an issue, perhaps? Sure. Sanders will need a very strong, good-on-day-one VP, is what it amounts to, as well as a very detailed publicly released medical profile.

Other than that, let's talk policy. Oh, wait--Politico can't do that as its views are way off from those of the Democratic base, so they'll just try to manufacture some dissent.

Paul Jay on the US-Saudi ‘Special Relationship’

Interviewed for an hour by Ben Norton; from a live stream so a bit live-streamish, but this is, after all, the Real News Network. So bear with it.

The Forward is doing excellent journalism on "The Canary Mission," a far-right smear-site connected to liberal Jewish donor organizations

The Forward, of course, is staffed by self-hating Jewish antisemites, just like me, which is why I like this series. Ever since 1897, all they've done is hurt the Jews.

And that semi-satirical sarcasm is not too far off from what really existing political discourse is in the US: who can most successfully broadcast the stupidest, most knee-jerk, narcissistic, hyper-sub-marketed identity-politics bullshit to the greatest number of braindead, suicidally ignorant consumer-drones.

This is known as "democracy." Just as the fact that supposedly liberal Jewish organizations are funding these McCarthyite yahoos, along with a host of other far-right organizations, is "liberalism."

See where endless identity-leg-humping gets you? Smack in the middle of the far-right. Something for the essentialist identitarians on the left to, like, you know, consider. And shit. Which of course means I hate trans people and frankly every possible subaltern imaginable. QED.

Anyway, read up…

Happy Halloween! -- Horror of Dracula, 1958, with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee

Don't say this blog never gave you anything. And go pay for a rental of the restored, high-def version of this great horror film on iTunes or something, since you've seen it for free...or choose to become one of the undead, because Hammer's got some pretty freaky lawyers, I hear. They enforce copyright beyond the grave.

Horror Of Dracula,1958. from Bella Plume™ on Vimeo.

And here's a neat playlist of stuff from the Tube of You on the history of Hammer Studios.

Trumpful Realism?

This is sick. Trump makes himself and fucking Lincoln the center of attention, with Lincoln’s face unseen, like Muhammad’s, but gazing clearly at Trump. Everyone else crowds in to bask in their dual glow. 

Yet Trump’s literally above Lincoln in the composition. Sickening. And the vague 19thC background…with a woman, oddly smack in the sweet spot—and not a dusky one to be seen. Reactionary Thomas Hart Benton?

Where’s Hoover? (He's nearly hiding behind the post.) It's all obviously about proximity to power and greatness. I read that the artist, who made an equally disgusting Democratic version, put the woman in both, marching up to the table. Which pretty much is the alpha and omega of feminism to most latte-sippers, a trait they share with the Trumpian fascists happy to see Sarah Palin, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Susan Collins, Betsy De Vos, you name 'em on the fascism train. One of the leaders of the fascists in Germany (AfD) is a fucking lesbian after all

Maybe liberals shoul…

Khashoggi Picked the Wrong Prince

It’s all cheap entertainment, I think, "really-existing journalism," with a few exceptions: White Hat, Black Hat, have at the Janus-faced outrage machine. Analysis means you’re with the terrorists, but here's some frame-broadening analysis of something other than personalities and intrigue.

From 2013: Noam Chomsky "On Western Terrorism" Interview

Always useful to look in the mirror. Unpopular and utterly necessary, in personal and political life. In life, basically.

From 2015: Yanis Varoufakis | Full Address & Q&A | Oxford Union

From 2010: How Dems Allowed the Tea Party to Rebrand the GOP

"No one could possibly have known or predicted," part n in an infinite series.

Well, no one but Paul Jay and about umpteen million people across the country and world. As Chomsky's said many times, it takes a real education to be able to miss what's right in front of your face.

Dylan Thomas reads "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"

If progressives had any guts, this would be their mantra. Fuck "hope"--by which most people mean "guarantees of a happy ending"--this is all you need.

“How Fascism Works”: Jason Stanley On Trump, Bolsonaro and the Rise of F...

Paco de Lucía & Al Di Meola - Mediterranean Sundance

Mark Blyth on "Story in the Public Square": A Political Economist with a Funny, "Populist" Attitude

Go find and read or watch every single thing of his you can find. Right now. Why are you still reading this and not googling his name?

Capitalism will eat democracy -- unless we speak up | Yanis Varoufakis

Brilliant. When you're not full of shit, you can actually give a "TED talk"--ie, "make a speech"--that is truly illuminating. Varoufakis may be the world's most useful citizen.

Michael Mann: We Are Even Closer To Climate Disaster Than IPCC Predicts

Continue shopping! It's all a big Chinese hoax! Dig this lie:

"In fact, even this report is overly conservative, as these IPCC reports often are. It turns out that in some ways this latest report has actually understated the amount of warming that we’ve already experienced because of the burning of fossil fuels and the increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. And so arguably we are actually closer to those 1.5 degrees Celsius and 2.0 Celsius thresholds, temperature thresholds, that are discussed in the report. We’re probably closer to them than the report implies. We probably have less carbon left to burn if we are to avoid crossing those thresholds."

More antiscientific bullshit, unlike what Rush Limbaugh tells you, can be found in the report ("The Truth About Climate Change") noted in the segment.

Hillary Clinton Is Right: You Don't Play Civil-Footsies with a Party that Supports This

Here's the headline: "AP Investigation: Deported parents may lose kids to adoption."

Link here
These people are morally lost--they're fascists, plain and simple. The plain and simple meaning of the term, gleaned from long experience in the 20th century. Not an insult; not a "boo-word," and not outrage-inducing for its own sake. Read this one article (you won't) and judge for yourself: "The Five Stages of Fascism," Robert Paxton.

Go ahead--read it. I promise you there's a cute cat picture at the end, and you won't believe what happens next!!!!!!
It's just the fact of the matter, and this is just one aspect of the proof thereof.

Yeah, fellow lefties, I know all about Hillary, Obama, the 2.5m deportations under Obama, and all the rest. I get it. I get how neoliberal Democrats helped open up the political space for a Trump. I get it all--and this is still worse, even if Jimmy Dore, that epic fool I choose from many to stand for the u…

Robert Fisk on the Death of English

Pretty much on point, one has to admit, whatever quibblings may obtain.

Here's the link, and it's worth reading alongside Henry Giroux's recent piece here and Orwell's classic "Politics and the English Language." Ya can't say we weren't warned. ("Doug, I don't even read blogs, and I tuned out after I read the first sentence here. Now I'm off to my Yale reunion.")

If reading any of these articles is too much for you, rest assured that I'll be putting up an edutainment-spiked, interactive PowerPoint that covers the main points with a bunch of awesomesauce cat photos--and you won't believe what happens next!!!!

IPCC's New Climate Report: We Could See Irreparable Damage by 2040

Here’s the NYT on this report. Here’s the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

As for the interview above, this very nice lady is fooling herself—local efforts won’t do it. Go large and loud is the only hope, if “hope” we need.

A posthumous honor for the man who saved the world, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Zero hyperbole: read [link], learn, and then, hopefully, act--before it's too late.

A documentary from 2015 on this just one of dozens upon dozens of near-extinction events since 1945. 

Weak Underfunded IRS Behind Trump's Wealth and History of Avoiding Taxes

The important point is not about this or that bad apple but rather the fact that the barrel itself is rotten.

Recent interview of Chomsky in Brazil

In English, on a wide range of issues.

A Short History of U.S. Meddling in Foreign Elections

Noam Chomsky's Report of His Visit with Lula, the "Soft Coup" in Brazil, and What it Portends--for All of Us

Sanders Calls for Kavanaugh Perjury Investigation - Where are the Democrats?

Excellent commentary far more wide-ranging than the USSC fight. As per usual with Paul Jay--both the excellent and the wide-ranging.

Orson Welles, F for Fake: Just Sit Down and Watch It

It’s pretty much his finest film, I will venture. Utterly brilliant, but don’t read anything about it beforehand.

Bernie Lays Out the Two Options for Trump and Kavanaugh

That's about the fucking size of it, right there.

Who Is Telling The Truth?

This pretty much sums it up. Fair-minded; unimpeachable.

Kavanaugh Hearings: Toxic Masculinity is 'Endemic' to the Far Right

UK Labour Alarms Elites With Plan to Democratize Workplace, Public Owner...

Here are some damn good ideas that should be business-as-usual in all civilized societies--for starters.

Yanis Varoufakis: Is Capitalism Devouring Democracy?

You'll learn more from this forty-five-minute presentation than from a year of listening to NPR, reading the NYT, or frankly taking a college economics course.

Nothing amazing about it other than the fact that he both knows the basic macro truth of the history and the current situation, and comes out and says it. 
It's really not that hard, especially for mere citizens (theoretically, at least; if we're anything more than consumers) like us.

Jeremy Corbyn with Yanis Varoufakis at the Edinburgh Book Festival, Augu...

Here's Varoufakis's very good organization, DiEM25, Democracy in Europe in 2025.

Is a New Global Financial Crisis Imminent? Mark Weisbrot and Gerald Epstein

The study mentioned in the intro, The Crisis Next Time: Planning for Public Ownership as an Alternative to Corporate Bank Bailouts (which takes the opposite view), is here and an interview with author, Thomas Hanna, is here.

The Collapse of the American Empire?

Orson Welles, The Other Side of the Wind | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix

My level of anticipation for this new Welles film has caused about a four-thousand year regression in my worldview/beliefs. I am literally propitiating the gods for a good future outcome, and would gladly slaughter a virgin if only I could find one in Rhode Island. At the same time, since I’ve fully embraced doublethink under the pressure of my mountainous anticipation, I am literally trying to convince myself that it will suck so that I can still enjoy it if it turns out to be mediocre (for him). 
I am deeply proud of how quickly I hurled out the window all the collected, hard-won knowledge and wisdom of humanity just because there’s a new Welles film. I figured you would be, too.
The film, all kidding aside (You: “He was kidding?”), isn’t some thrown-together cash-in thing: it was mostly completed with apparently full instructions on how to edit the last bit about forty years ago, but typically Wellesian financial and then family-legacy squabbles kept it on ice/unfinished, other than …

Recommendation: Buy, Borrow, or Steal (and then Read) the Library of America's Debate on the Constitution

Bernard Bailyn edited this wonderful collection [link below] of the Federalist Papers, the anti-Federalist Papers, and a ton of other stuff--and all put in chronological order so you can easily follow the argument in near-real-time.

Essentially, these are the greatest op-eds ever written, as far as I know. Plenty to laud, plenty to damn, plenty to learn. And the mofos tended to, like, you know, do good writes as like all them guys had did, just like as today's American especially Trump does!

Woah: when looking online for a link to this edition just now, I found out that there's a sale at the LoA: you can get both volumes, plus their volume of Jefferson writings, for six bucks.

Not that I'm any kind of expert, but I'd recommend the following for background:
Isaac Kramnick's intro to the Penguin edition of the Federalist Papers (at least back-in-the-day's edition)Bailyn's Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, and Gore Vidal's Inventing a Nation. …

The ever-excellent Jonathan Cook: Why we’re blind to the system destroying us

"In another hundred years, if we still exist as a species, our system will look no less corrupt – probably more so – than its predecessors. Neoliberalism, late-stage capitalism, plutocratic rule by corporations – whatever you wish to call it – has allowed a tiny elite to stash away more wealth and accrue more power than any feudal monarch could ever have dreamt of. And because of the global reach of this elite, its corruption is more endemic, more complete, more destructive than any ever known to mankind. A foreign policy elite can destroy the world several times over with nuclear weapons. A globalised corporate elite is filling the oceans with the debris from our consumption, chopping down the forest-lungs of our planet for palm-oil plantations so we can satisfy our craving for biscuits and cake. And our media and intelligence services are jointly crafting a narrative of bogeymen and James Bond villains – both in Hollywood movies, and in our news programmes – to make us fearful an…

The Guardian: "Are hurricanes getting worse?" Answer: Yes, silly, and it's due to global warming

I know this is all just liberal propaganda, but just in case you're not a braindead Trumper....

More of this silly "science" bullshit here: "Climate change means Hurricane Florence will dump 50% more rain":
"Hurricane Florence is set to bring 50% more rainfall to the US east coast due to human-induced climate change, according to a landmark forecast that has outlined the influence of warming temperatures upon the looming storm.
An attribution study by scientists ahead of Florence’s landfall, expected in North Carolina on Thursday, found that the storm will be about 50 miles (80km) larger in diameter than it would be if human activity had not warmed the planet.
The hurricane is expected to bring about 50% more precipitation, delivering as much as 20in (51cm) of rainfall in coastal areas, due to climate change. The forecast was completed by researchers at Stony Brook University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
'Dangerous climate change is here, it’s…

Bernie Sanders: A new authoritarian axis demands an international progressive front

Leak From Censored Israel Lobby Film Exposes Anti-Palestinian Operatives

Here's the documentary Al Jazeera did on the pro-Israel lobby in the UK: same idea as the US one, using an undercover reporter, which is now banned in Freedom's Land and Bravery's Home and at the behest of many but including that brave defender of civil liberties, Alan Dershowitz. Of course.

Ariel Dorfman: I thought democracy in Chile was safe. Now I see America falling into the same trap

"Again, Chile provides a blueprint, warning us that democracy can be subverted only if large multitudes stand by and look away while it is corroded and demolished. Our deepest values are in most danger when people feel defenceless and despairing, mere spectators watching a nightmare slowly unfold as if there was nothing they could do to stop it, ready to abrogate their responsibility. It is ultimately the passivity of those silent accomplices that eats away at the fabric and foundations of a republic, leaves it vulnerable to demagoguery and dread. The main lesson that the Chilean cataclysm bequeaths us is to never forget that the rights we take for granted are fragile and revocable, protected only by the unceasing, vigilant, vigorous struggle of millions upon millions of ordinary citizens. Salvation can’t be outsourced to some sort of heroic figure who will ride to the rescue. The only real saviours are the people themselves. Unless we understand this, we risk awakening one day in …

Israel: US cuts to UNRWA deepen funding crisis for Palestinian refugees ...

Blurb: "US President Donald Trump has cut funding for UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, which helps some 5 million Palestinians. DW's Tania Krämer went to Hamas-controlled Gaza, where UN employees are facing a funding crisis.

For a related story, go to: "Germany to boost funds for UN Palestinian agency""

The Intercept: Dear Anonymous Trump Official, There Is No Redemption in Your Cowardly Op-Ed

Noam Chomsky: The Alien perspective on humanity - Jung & Naiv: Episode 284

What Can I Do About Climate Change?

Just in case anyone actually cares beyond virtue-signaling—and “caring” means “acting on what you know and say.”
Since you no doubt think I’m being self-righteous, or using this issue just to primp my feathers and compete with you, in typically neoliberal/upper-10-percent fashion, over the thickness or length of our respective “moral resumes,” just make all the bad feewings go bye-bye by presuming my ratio of knowledge-to-action is nearly infinite, unlike yours, which means you’re morally superior to me, which means there’s no need for your defensive reaction, as I’ve just ceded to you the entire field forever: you are a far better person than me. Now, then, and forever. I am the merest cringing worm fit only for squashing.
OK, now that that’s out of the way, there are no defenses left, right? No need to shoot the messenger or obsess about his tone, style, mode, native language, font choice, or fashion sense, since he just committed suicide. Right? I suck; you rule. Ignore the fact that…

The Most Moral Army in the World: Israeli Defense Forces Storm the Latest Ship Attempting to Bring Medicines to Gaza

I received this eyewitness account with a request to publicize it widely. This is my first, but not last, attempt to do so. Other attempts forthcoming.

I changed absolutely nothing: I received it in Word, converted to Pages, and cut-and-pasted the whole thing in here.

Events from 29 July when the Israeli Navy stormed the Freedom Flotilla al-Awda hijacked and diverted it from its intended course to Gaza to Israel.  By Dr Swee Ang, medical doctor on board the al-Awda, 4 August 2018 _________________________________________________________________________________ The last leg of the journey of al-Awda (the boat of return) was scheduled to reach Gaza on 29 July 2018. We were on target to reach Gaza that evening. There are 22 on board including crew with USD 15,000 of antibiotics and bandages for Gaza. At 12.31 pm we received a missed call from a number beginning with +81... Mikkel was steering the boat at that time. The phone rang again with the message tha…

Extreme Heat Could Make One Third of Planet Uninhabitable

And here is a huge NYT article on how we blew fixing this forty years ago. Meanwhile, Trump wants to press his foot on the gas, literally: burn coal, drill everywhere, frack, kill pollution regs. All of which will help kill your children. So keep supporting him.

Noam Chomsky: Survival of Organized Human Life is at Risk Due to Climate...

Smotherhood in an Age of Fear

So, in re: this....
How about we show some concern for the fact that because of climate disaster, no matter how supervised and buckled in, no child alive today will have any kind of decent, organized civilization to live in by the time they're our age?
Is that a danger worth attending to? Mightn’t it be just a tad more reasonable a fear? It’s not mentioned in the article, as opposed to juvenile diabetes.
Asking for a friend...please give me an answer or policy position that:
1. Requires no effort or expenditure from me; 
2. Doesn’t offend the averaged social attitudes and behaviors of my cohort and thus threatens to lose me any standing among my fellow cohortees if I follow it; 
3. Doesn’t threaten my self-image as a moral paragon of a parent and citizen dead-set against anyone who would threaten my rational choices; and
4. Why are you writing this instead of supervising your 4-year-old daughter’s resiliency-enhancing coding training session—neglecter!
Other than that, I’m willing to do a…

Noam Chomsky on Russiagate and what the mass media is ignoring

Just a small omission: the survival of civilization. I mean, be fair.

Trump Voters Are SICK Of You Making Fun of Them!

The poor wittle fascist bots is so hurted by your speech acts. It hurted them so bads it even maked the center of the Resistance (TM), the keeper of the light of democracy (which dies in darkness), go cry-cry.

What horrors these little fascist psychos have to go through just because theyre fascist psychos. Can’t we all just hug thems?

The cult of self explored in new film Generation Wealth

Chomsky on the Resurgence of Authoritarianism, and What to Do About It

An interview from Truthout:

Is it possible to counter this rise in extreme populism? In this exclusive Truthout interview, the world-renowned linguist and public intellectual Noam Chomsky — the author of more than 100 books and thousands of academic articles and popular essays — offers his unique insights on this and more, bringing into the analysis issues and questions that are rarely addressed in the current debates taking place today about the resurgence of political authoritarianism.

Noam Chomsky, recently interviewed in Mexico with Lawrence Krauss

Noam Chomsky Interview

Published on Jul 5, 2018

Noam Chomsky will co-chair a fundraiser benefiting the San Fernando Valley Refugee Children Center in North Hills, CA which helps unaccompanied minors secure legal and social services. Noam Chomsky addresses America's immigration crisis. American philosopher, historian, social critic and political activist Noam Chomsky sits down with journalist Giselle Fernandez to discuss the growing immigration and refugee crisis on the U.S. southern border, the Trump Administration, political propaganda, North Korea, global climate change and American morality in this informative and thought provoking 45-minute interview conducted June 2018 at the University of Arizona, Tucson.