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Showing posts from October 21, 2018

Is President Trump Fascist? | NYT Opinion

Answer: yes, if you know anything about the history, sociology, and psychology of fascism.

Chomsky, Oklahoma City And Anti-Politics, 1995: Nailing Trumpism 23 Years Ago

And on the potential for fascism, even as of 1995, given the predictable effects of neoliberalism. Here’s the whole speech; well worth listening to.

Lewis Lapham: Can America Survive the Rule of a “Stupified Plutocracy”?

Janet Yellen Goes Stalinist: Maybe, We Should, Like, You Know, Regulate in order to Avoid Another Crash?

This will be seen even by most Democrats as crazy. 

Here's the article: "Janet Yellen sounds alarm over plunging loan standards" (paywall, Financial Times).

That's how far right we've gone in my lifetime.

Grow Up, People--and Fast: Trump is a Fascist. Period.

Trump the Fascist and his merry band of brownshirts had a ball blaming the media (to chants of "CNN sucks" when not "Lock her up!") for their own injection of vitriolic hatred into the already awful political system. This just hours after bombs were sent to CNN and many top Democrats. But somehow this is a problem on "both sides." 

You know, like in Charlottesville. Both sides.

You see, one side has a few people who won't let people who support tearing children from their mothers and putting them in a concentration camp in the desert finish their meals in peace. The other supports actual Nazis who run over protesters in cars and call for violence against their political opponents, which, yes, Trump has done, explicitly, in his rallies, including just last week, to say nothing of the hardly-even-dogwhistling.

You know, equivalent.

So, kids, if you can tear yourself away from your own career, exercise plan, and mindfully pursued personal happiness: what hap…

Sanity from the Person Who Should Be President: Sanders in the NYT on the Yemen Disaster


Quite moderate, really; I'd go further. But note how quite moderate sanity will be seen as unpopular and politically undoable. Would love to be wrong.

Withdrawal From INF Nuclear Treaty Brings us "Closer to Doomsday" Than a...

Gore Vidal's American Presidency, 1999

Terrific stuff. Vidal wrote that this was shown I think only once, and was followed by a panel of historians to point out its supposed excesses and errors. For an hour-ish essay/summary of two centuries of presidential history, it's pretty darn good; it's the framing that offends the scholar-squirrel court historians.

Here's a playlist in the same vein called "The History of the Really-Existing US Presidency" and starting with Vidal's documentary above but moving on to a mini-documentary with Vidal made a decade later expanding on the post-FDR period ("The History of the National Security State"), followed by extended comments by historian Peter Kuznick and Noam Chomsky.

My blurb: "Well, let's just say there are some little tidbits usually left out of the onanistic exercise that is textbook American history. A corrective thereunto follows." Just on historiographical grounds, for the sake of intellectual honesty, this whole playlist sh…

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

Full version than what’s been out there for years. Two smart cookies interviewed by an increasingly annoying Jay Parini.

“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.