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Showing posts from June 24, 2018

There’s an Easy Answer to Why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Won: Socialism

From The Intercept; worth reading. The reaction from the Republican lunatics teaches you nothing: everyone from Obama to Ocasio-Cortez are, to them, Stalinists.

But the reaction from Democrats and/or liberals? Very instructive. A taste:

Ocasio-Cortez’s socialist message is not an incidental part of a larger demographic story. And her socialism shouldn’t be treated as a virus opportunistically riding the vector of her Latina form. Socialism is inextricable from Ocasio-Cortez’s success because it’s the secret behind her ability to do what the Democratic party has long failed to do — articulate a holistic progressive vision for America.
And here’s the link to the interview in Vogue mentioned/linked in the Intercept piece.

Most Ignored and Most Far-Reaching Supreme Court Ruling Yet: Anti-Trust ...

Blurb from The Real News, which did this segment with the wonderful Bill Black, a regular contributor and economic advisor to Bernie Sanders in 2016:

“A major Supreme Court ruling, Ohio vs American Express, was completely ignored by most media outlets, even though it will have potentially devastating repercussions for consumers in the so-called ‘platform economy’: Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, Facebook, etc. White collar criminologist Bill Black explains the consequences.”

Living Colour - Cult Of Personality, or, All You Need To Know About Trump Supporters

Look in my eyes, what do you see?
The cult of personality
I know your anger, I know your dreams
I've been everything you want to be
I'm the cult of personality
Like Mussolini and Kennedy
I'm the cult of personality
The cult of personality
The cult of personality Neon lights, a Nobel Prize
Then a mirror speaks, the reflection lies
You don't have to follow me
Only you can set me free

I sell the things you need to be
I'm the smiling face on your T.V.
I'm the cult of personality
I exploit you still you love me
I tell you one and one makes three
I'm the cult of personality
Like Joseph Stalin and Gandhi
I'm the cult of personality
The cult of personality
The cult of personality Neon lights, a Nobel Prize
A leader speaks, that leader dies
You don't have to follow me
Only you can set you free You gave me fortune
You gave me fame
You gave me power in your own god's name
I'm every person you need to be
Oh, I'm the cult of personality
I'm the cult of, I'm the cult o…

Sotomayor’s Dissent from Upholding of Travel Ban

The introductory paragraph follows but read it in full here; a worthy dissent to an appalling, if unsurprising, ruling:
The United States of America is a Nation built upon the promise of religious liberty. Our Founders honored that core promise by embedding the principle of religious neu­trality in the First Amendment. The Court’s decision today fails to safeguard that fundamental principle. It leaves undisturbed a policy first advertised openly and unequivocally as a “total and complete shutdown of Mus­lims entering the United States” because the policy now masquerades behind a façade of national-security con­cerns. But this repackaging does little to cleanse ­Presidential Proclamation No. 9645 of the appearance of dis­crimination that the President’s words have created. Based on the evidence in the record, a reasonable observer would conclude that the Proclamation was motivated by anti-Muslim animus. That alone suffices to show that plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of …

“Is There a Jewish Gene?” Richard Lewontin, NYRB, 2012

Actual population genetics and cultural analysis from a guy who’s an expert in both.

This bit may well be the most important, and it has squat to do with science:
The question of ancestry has been of human concern in virtually all cultures and over all times of which we have any knowledge. Whether it be a story about the origin of a particular tribe or nation and its subsequent mixture with other groups, or curiosity about a family history, there is always the implication that we understand ourselves better if we know our ancestors and that we, within ourselves, reflect properties that have come to us by an unbroken line from past generations. As treasurer of the Marlboro Historical Society in Vermont, I am the recipient of requests for printed copies of the Reverend Ephraim Newton’s mid-eighteenth-century history of our town, 70 percent of whose pages consist of “Genealogical and Biographical Notes” and a “Catalog of Literary Men.” Over and over our correspondents write of the “pride” …

Trump’s Special Snowflakes All Hurted By Deserved Rejection: “Sad!”

Usually not a fan of Valenti but she’s spot on here. Trump supporters—the weakest snowflakes on the planet—love to whine and cry about how it’s “prejudiced” for people to hold them accountable for their actions. Actually, judging by the only evidence anyone ever gets about what MLK rightly said was “the content of one’s character” (that is, what people should be judged by, as opposed to the color of their skin, place of origin, sex/gender, religion or lack of it, sexual orientation, etc.)—which would be one’s actions, of course—is the very opposite of prejudice. But the opposite of prejudice is now “prejudice,” in pure Orwellian-fascist style, whereas the cheering on of caging children in concentration camps is perfectly OK. Laudable—and we’ll have a tantrum if you call it “prejudice,” because to do so is now defined as “prejudice.” 

Hey, it’s the parents’ fault, anyway, right?

(Reality check: that was literally the same argument given by the Obama admin when people asked why an America…

Caliph Donald Trump and the Rise of the Christian Taliban

The Billionaire Class is Not Fit to Rule - Paul Jay

“The urgency of the situation is startling. The more I look at it, the more it scares the hell out of me. But that’s sort of the point. We need to tell people the whole truth about the urgency of this historical moment. The existential threat of the current moment. Of course, it feels overwhelming, but it does not have to be paralyzing. People can say we are being alarmist, but it’s past time to be alarmed. 

While the fight for health care for all, a higher minimum wage, unionization, against systemic racism, mass incarceration and other necessary reforms are just and critical to engaging people in struggle, we also need to tell people the whole truth about just how critical the big picture is. 

While the Trump presidency is a cabal of criminals, billionaires and far-right ideologues, it must first of all be seen in the context of the threats to our very existence, not merely reduced to the daily scandals and twitter storms. There is no need to treat working people as infants. The cultu…