Dec 02 2016

Cooper Union

Abraham Lincoln
February 27, 1860

I would address a few words to the Southern people.

I would say to them: – You consider yourselves a reasonable and a just people; and I consider that in the general qualities of reason and justice you are not inferior to any other people. Still, when you speak of us Republicans, you do so only to denounce us a reptiles, or, at the best, as no better than outlaws. You will grant a hearing to pirates or murderers, but nothing like it to “Black Republicans.” In all your contentions with one another, each of you deems an unconditional condemnation of “Black Republicanism” as the first thing to be attended to. Indeed, such condemnation of us seems to be an indispensable prerequisite – license, so to speak – among you to be admitted or permitted to speak at all. Now, can you, or not, be prevailed upon to pause and to consider whether this is quite just to us, or even to yourselves? Bring forward your charges and specifications, and then be patient long enough to hear us deny or justify.

You say we are sectional. We deny it. That makes an issue; and the burden of proof is upon you. You produce your proof; and what is it? Why, that our party has no existence in your section – gets no votes in your section. The fact is substantially true; but does it prove the issue? If it does, then in case we should, without change of principle, begin to get votes in your section, we should thereby cease to be sectional. You cannot escape this conclusion; and yet, are you willing to abide by it? If you are, you will probably soon find that we have ceased to be sectional, for we shall get votes in your section this very year. You will then begin to discover, as the truth plainly is, that your proof does not touch the issue. The fact that we get no votes in your section, is a fact of your making, and not of ours. And if there be fault in that fact, that fault is primarily yours, and remains until you show that we repel you by some wrong principle or practice. If we do repel you by any wrong principle or practice, the fault is ours; but this brings you to where you ought to have started – to a discussion of the right or wrong of our principle. If our principle, put in practice, would wrong your section for the benefit of ours, or for any other object, then our principle, and we with it, are sectional, and are justly opposed and denounced as such. Meet us, then, on the question of whether our principle, put in practice, would wrong your section; and so meet it as if it were possible that something may be said on our side. Do you accept the challenge? No! Then you really believe that the principle which “our fathers who framed the Government under which we live” thought so clearly right as to adopt it, and indorse it again and again, upon their official oaths, is in fact so clearly wrong as to demand your condemnation without a moment’s consideration.

But you say you are conservative – eminently conservative – while we are revolutionary, destructive, or something of the sort. What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried? We stick to, contend for, the identical old policy on the point in controversy which was adopted by “our fathers who framed the Government under which we live;” while you with one accord reject, and scout, and spit upon that old policy, and insist upon substituting something new. True, you disagree among yourselves as to what that substitute shall be. You are divided on new propositions and plans, but you are unanimous in rejecting and denouncing the old policy of the fathers. Some of you are for reviving the foreign slave trade; some for a Congressional Slave-Code for the Territories; some for Congress forbidding the Territories to prohibit Slavery within their limits; some for maintaining Slavery in the Territories through the judiciary; some for the “gur-reat pur-rinciple” that “if one man would enslave another, no third man should object,” fantastically called “Popular Sovereignty;” but never a man among you is in favor of federal prohibition of slavery in federal territories, according to the practice of “our fathers who framed the Government under which we live.” Not one of all your various plans can show a precedent or an advocate in the century within which our Government originated. Consider, then, whether your claim of conservatism for yourselves, and your charge or destructiveness against us, are based on the most clear and stable foundations.

Again, you say we have made the slavery question more prominent than it formerly was. We deny it. We admit that it is more prominent, but we deny that we made it so. It was not we, but you, who discarded the old policy of the fathers. We resisted, and still resist, your innovation; and thence comes the greater prominence of the question. Would you have that question reduced to its former proportions? Go back to that old policy. What has been will be again, under the same conditions. If you would have the peace of the old times, readopt the precepts and policy of the old times.

You charge that we stir up insurrections among your slaves. We deny it; and what is your proof? Harper’s Ferry! John Brown!! John Brown was no Republican; and you have failed to implicate a single Republican in his Harper’s Ferry enterprise. If any member of our party is guilty in that matter, you know it or you do not know it. If you do know it, you are inexcusable for not designating the man and proving the fact. If you do not know it, you are inexcusable for asserting it, and especially for persisting in the assertion after you have tried and failed to make the proof. You need to be told that persisting in a charge which one does not know to be true, is simply malicious slander.

Some of you admit that no Republican designedly aided or encouraged the Harper’s Ferry affair, but still insist that our doctrines and declarations necessarily lead to such results. We do not believe it. We know we hold to no doctrine, and make no declaration, which were not held to and made by “our fathers who framed the Government under which we live.” You never dealt fairly by us in relation to this affair. When it occurred, some important State elections were near at hand, and you were in evident glee with the belief that, by charging the blame upon us, you could get an advantage of us in those elections. The elections came, and your expectations were not quite fulfilled. Every Republican man knew that, as to himself at least, your charge was a slander, and he was not much inclined by it to cast his vote in your favor. Republican doctrines and declarations are accompanied with a continual protest against any interference whatever with your slaves, or with you about your slaves. Surely, this does not encourage them to revolt. True, we do, in common with “our fathers, who framed the Government under which we live,” declare our belief that slavery is wrong; but the slaves do not hear us declare even this. For anything we say or do, the slaves would scarcely know there is a Republican party. I believe they would not, in fact, generally know it but for your misrepresentations of us, in their hearing. In your political contests among yourselves, each faction charges the other with sympathy with Black Republicanism; and then, to give point to the charge, defines Black Republicanism to simply be insurrection, blood and thunder among the slaves.

Slave insurrections are no more common now than they were before the Republican party was organized. What induced the Southampton insurrection, twenty-eight years ago, in which, at least three times as many lives were lost as at Harper’s Ferry? You can scarcely stretch your very elastic fancy to the conclusion that Southampton was “got up by Black Republicanism.” In the present state of things in the United States, I do not think a general, or even a very extensive slave insurrection is possible. The indispensable concert of action cannot be attained. The slaves have no means of rapid communication; nor can incendiary freemen, black or white, supply it. The explosive materials are everywhere in parcels; but there neither are, nor can be supplied, the indispensable connecting trains.

Much is said by Southern people about the affection of slaves for their masters and mistresses; and a part of it, at least, is true. A plot for an uprising could scarcely be devised and communicated to twenty individuals before some one of them, to save the life of a favorite master or mistress, would divulge it. This is the rule; and the slave revolution in Hayti was not an exception to it, but a case occurring under peculiar circumstances. The gunpowder plot of British history, though not connected with slaves, was more in point. In that case, only about twenty were admitted to the secret; and yet one of them, in his anxiety to save a friend, betrayed the plot to that friend, and, by consequence, averted the calamity. Occasional poisonings from the kitchen, and open or stealthy assassinations in the field, and local revolts extending to a score or so, will continue to occur as the natural results of slavery; but no general insurrection of slaves, as I think, can happen in this country for a long time. Whoever much fears, or much hopes for such an event, will be alike disappointed.

But you will break up the Union rather than submit to a denial of your Constitutional rights.

That has a somewhat reckless sound; but it would be palliated, if not fully justified, were we proposing, by the mere force of numbers, to deprive you of some right, plainly written down in the Constitution. But we are proposing no such thing.

When you make these declarations, you have a specific and well-understood allusion to an assumed Constitutional right of yours, to take slaves into the federal territories, and to hold them there as property. But no such right is specifically written in the Constitution. That instrument is literally silent about any such right. We, on the contrary, deny that such a right has any existence in the Constitution, even by implication.

Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events.

This, plainly stated, is your language. Perhaps you will say the Supreme Court has decided the disputed Constitutional question in your favor. Not quite so. But waiving the lawyer’s distinction between dictum and decision, the Court have decided the question for you in a sort of way. The Court have substantially said, it is your Constitutional right to take slaves into the federal territories, and to hold them there as property. When I say the decision was made in a sort of way, I mean it was made in a divided Court, by a bare majority of the Judges, and they not quite agreeing with one another in the reasons for making it; that it is so made as that its avowed supporters disagree with one another about its meaning, and that it was mainly based upon a mistaken statement of fact – the statement in the opinion that “the right of property in a slave is distinctly and expressly affirmed in the Constitution.”

An inspection of the Constitution will show that the right of property in a slave is not “distinctly and expressly affirmed” in it. Bear in mind, the Judges do not pledge their judicial opinion that such right is impliedly affirmed in the Constitution; but they pledge their veracity that it is “distinctly and expressly” affirmed there – “distinctly,” that is, not mingled with anything else – “expressly,” that is, in words meaning just that, without the aid of any inference, and susceptible of no other meaning.

If they had only pledged their judicial opinion that such right is affirmed in the instrument by implication, it would be open to others to show that neither the word “slave” nor “slavery” is to be found in the Constitution, nor the word “property” even, in any connection with language alluding to the things slave, or slavery; and that wherever in that instrument the slave is alluded to, he is called a “person;” – and wherever his master’s legal right in relation to him is alluded to, it is spoken of as “service or labor which may be due,” – as a debt payable in service or labor. Also, it would be open to show, by contemporaneous history, that this mode of alluding to slaves and slavery, instead of speaking of them, was employed on purpose to exclude from the Constitution the idea that there could be property in man.

To show all this, is easy and certain.

When this obvious mistake of the Judges shall be brought to their notice, is it not reasonable to expect that they will withdraw the mistaken statement, and reconsider the conclusion based upon it?

And then it is to be remembered that “our fathers, who framed the Government under which we live” – the men who made the Constitution – decided this same Constitutional question in our favor, long ago – decided it without division among themselves, when making the decision; without division among themselves about the meaning of it after it was made, and, so far as any evidence is left, without basing it upon any mistaken statement of facts.

Under all these circumstances, do you really feel yourselves justified to break up this Government unless such a court decision as yours is, shall be at once submitted to as a conclusive and final rule of political action? But you will not abide the election of a Republican president! In that supposed event, you say, you will destroy the Union; and then, you say, the great crime of having destroyed it will be upon us! That is cool. A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, “Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!”

To be sure, what the robber demanded of me – my money – was my own; and I had a clear right to keep it; but it was no more my own than my vote is my own; and the threat of death to me, to extort my money, and the threat of destruction to the Union, to extort my vote, can scarcely be distinguished in principle.

A few words now to Republicans. It is exceedingly desirable that all parts of this great Confederacy shall be at peace, and in harmony, one with another. Let us Republicans do our part to have it so. Even though much provoked, let us do nothing through passion and ill temper. Even though the southern people will not so much as listen to us, let us calmly consider their demands, and yield to them if, in our deliberate view of our duty, we possibly can. Judging by all they say and do, and by the subject and nature of their controversy with us, let us determine, if we can, what will satisfy them.

Will they be satisfied if the Territories be unconditionally surrendered to them? We know they will not. In all their present complaints against us, the Territories are scarcely mentioned. Invasions and insurrections are the rage now. Will it satisfy them, if, in the future, we have nothing to do with invasions and insurrections? We know it will not. We so know, because we know we never had anything to do with invasions and insurrections; and yet this total abstaining does not exempt us from the charge and the denunciation.

The question recurs, what will satisfy them? Simply this: We must not only let them alone, but we must somehow, convince them that we do let them alone. This, we know by experience, is no easy task. We have been so trying to convince them from the very beginning of our organization, but with no success. In all our platforms and speeches we have constantly protested our purpose to let them alone; but this has had no tendency to convince them. Alike unavailing to convince them, is the fact that they have never detected a man of us in any attempt to disturb them.

These natural, and apparently adequate means all failing, what will convince them? This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly – done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated – we must place ourselves avowedly with them. Senator Douglas’ new sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure. We must pull down our Free State constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from all taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to believe that all their troubles proceed from us.

I am quite aware they do not state their case precisely in this way. Most of them would probably say to us, “Let us alone, do nothing to us, and say what you please about slavery.” But we do let them alone – have never disturbed them – so that, after all, it is what we say, which dissatisfies them. They will continue to accuse us of doing, until we cease saying.

I am also aware they have not, as yet, in terms, demanded the overthrow of our Free-State Constitutions. Yet those Constitutions declare the wrong of slavery, with more solemn emphasis, than do all other sayings against it; and when all these other sayings shall have been silenced, the overthrow of these Constitutions will be demanded, and nothing be left to resist the demand. It is nothing to the contrary, that they do not demand the whole of this just now. Demanding what they do, and for the reason they do, they can voluntarily stop nowhere short of this consummation. Holding, as they do, that slavery is morally right, and socially elevating, they cannot cease to demand a full national recognition of it, as a legal right, and a social blessing.

Nor can we justifiably withhold this, on any ground save our conviction that slavery is wrong. If slavery is right, all words, acts, laws, and constitutions against it, are themselves wrong, and should be silenced, and swept away. If it is right, we cannot justly object to its nationality – its universality; if it is wrong, they cannot justly insist upon its extension – its enlargement. All they ask, we could readily grant, if we thought slavery right; all we ask, they could as readily grant, if they thought it wrong. Their thinking it right, and our thinking it wrong, is the precise fact upon which depends the whole controversy. Thinking it right, as they do, they are not to blame for desiring its full recognition, as being right; but, thinking it wrong, as we do, can we yield to them? Can we cast our votes with their view, and against our own? In view of our moral, social, and political responsibilities, can we do this?

Wrong as we think slavery is, we can yet afford to let it alone where it is, because that much is due to the necessity arising from its actual presence in the nation; but can we, while our votes will prevent it, allow it to spread into the National Territories, and to overrun us here in these Free States? If our sense of duty forbids this, then let us stand by our duty, fearlessly and effectively. Let us be diverted by none of those sophistical contrivances wherewith we are so industriously plied and belabored – contrivances such as groping for some middle ground between the right and the wrong, vain as the search for a man who should be neither a living man nor a dead man – such as a policy of “don’t care” on a question about which all true men do care – such as Union appeals beseeching true Union men to yield to Disunionists, reversing the divine rule, and calling, not the sinners, but the righteous to repentance – such as invocations to Washington, imploring men to unsay what Washington said, and undo what Washington did.

Well, that was 1860 and after the bloodiest war in United States history the bigots and racists had to crawl and grovel for peace.

Which we were far too gracious in providing, but the sad fact is that bigoted and racist attitudes were uniformly accepted. Blacks were inferior. Lincoln’s “progressive” plan was to ship them all back to Africa (read the parts I have elided).

The War for Slavery was an economic war. Human property (Slaves) was the largest store of wealth in the Country and the Cotton Trade our largest export. I ask you to consider whether today we are engaged in a similar struggle and if our resolve should be less than Lincoln’s who sought to persuade by peaceful compromise.

As for myself- I can’t afford pants, my shoes are made of wood, there is no question about my class and though whiter than white my allies are Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X (OMG! He’s not only Black! He’s a Muslim!). I think religious and racial (for that matter sexual because deal with it guys, they are 51% and the people us chromosome damaged types show off for because we know they’re inherently superior) divisions are stupid because it’s 99 of us against one of them.

Allez les barricades!

Dec 02 2016

Writing Is Easy!

All you have to do is open up a vein!

You might think based on my internet history (all basically out there, I started on Daily Kos in April 2005) I’m a great fan of the Daily Show and Jon Stewart. Not so much.

For me it had utility. As a n00b (and a bright, paranoid, detail oriented, computer literate, and grounded in real world personal politics of the type that ruins lives forever one) it didn’t take me long to figure out the system that I would be working in. My very 3rd diary ever was the prescient and disturbing Naked dKos, you can look it up if you like, I won’t deign to give them a page hit or link. I could give you the whys and wherefores but what’s relevant for this particular piece is that it also became quickly apparent that if someone of my mindset were to survive I’d need a sub-community that appreciated (or at least did not ostracize) a pretty sardonic sense of humor.

So I found The Sausage Grinder of Snark (my tag btw) which covered the Daily Show and Colbert Report. It’s still the only thing I really miss. I was a nightly regular for years and filled in (and eventually took over) authorship. I’ve even continued it here (where it’s easier to post clips) long after my final exile (I’d say I wouldn’t go back if you paid me but the real question is- how much?).

I will not deny that the departure of Jon, then Stephen, and then Larry, has diminished my ardor a trifle and that the chaos of travel, life, scheduling, and events has led me to negligence. It’s on my list of New Year’s resolutions.

Now we cut to the chase- I’ve always had a beef about Jon’s interviews and attitudes which seemed far too “centrist” and “bi-partisany” for me. That’s code for capitulationist asshole. My position is waaay to the left of Institutional Democrats (Bernie isn’t a paradigm of virtue just the best we can do and don’t even want to talk about Dean who can’t sell out fast enough). I don’t argue to convince and build coalitions, I argue to win. It’s not easy being Green. You don’t just burn down the bridge, you dynamite the foundations and come back and do some dredging (yeah, that link doesn’t include the negative aspects, they want to spare your feelings which, being Green, I don’t give a rat’s ass about).

I’ve had that impression in trump (get over it, I was talking about bridges) of Trevor who, frankly, has seemed a more spineless weenie than Jon. People tell me his interview with Tomi Lahren was devastating because he let her most outrageous statements simply hang out there without response like some kind of jujitsu zen attack.

I kind of find that milk toast. Do you know what milk toast is? It is literally (meaning actual factual)-

Milk toast is a breakfast food consisting of toasted bread in warm milk, typically with sugar and butter. Salt, pepper, paprika, cinnamon, cocoa, raisins and other ingredients may be added. In the New England region of the US, milk toast refers to toast that has been dipped in a milk-based white sauce. Milk toast was a popular food throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, especially for young children and for the convalescent, for whom the food was thought to be soothing and easy to digest.

Not if you’re lactose intolerant.

So, what is the proper way, not just for a black person- for a person of any type, to protest injustice?

My short answer is every way possible.

(next- Cooper Union)

Dec 02 2016

Pondering the Pundits

“Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Paul Krugman: Seduced and Betrayed by Donald Trump

Donald Trump won the Electoral College (though not the popular vote) on the strength of overwhelming support from working-class whites, who feel left behind by a changing economy and society. And they’re about to get their reward — the same reward that, throughout Mr. Trump’s career, has come to everyone who trusted his good intentions. Think Trump University.

Yes, the white working class is about to be betrayed.

The evidence of that coming betrayal is obvious in the choice of an array of pro-corporate, anti-labor figures for key positions. In particular, the most important story of the week — seriously, people, stop focusing on Trump Twitter — was the selection of Tom Price, an ardent opponent of Obamacare and advocate of Medicare privatization, as secretary of health and human services. This choice probably means that the Affordable Care Act is doomed — and Mr. Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters will be among the biggest losers.

Eugene Robinson: Trump will helm a government of, by and for corporate America

Donald Trump promised to punish U.S. companies that ship manufacturing jobs out of the country. Instead, judging from the way he has handled the Carrier Corp. matter, he plans to reward them. Quite handsomely, in fact.

As should be standard practice with Trump, pay attention to the substance, not the theater. United Technologies, the parent company of air-conditioner-maker Carrier, has been threatening to move more than 2,000 jobs from Indiana to Mexico. Trump addressed this specifically during his campaign, vowing to hit the company with a punitive tariff.

“If they’re going to fire all their people, move their plant to Mexico, build air conditioners, and think they’re going to sell those air conditioners to the United States — there’s going to be a tax,” Trump said on “Meet the Press” in the summer. “It could be 25 percent, it could be 35 percent, it could be 15 percent, I haven’t determined.”

As it turns out, how about zero percent?

Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 02 2016

The Breakfast Club (Caring)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 photo 807561379_e6771a7c8e_zps7668d00e.jpg

This Day in History

Sen. Joseph McCarthy is censured; Scientists demonstrate the world’s first artificially-created, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction; Enron files for Chapter 11 protection; Colombian drug lord is shot and killed.

Breakfast Tunes


Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

From caring comes courage.

Lao Tzu

Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 01 2016

Bernie Sanders and Cornel West on Democracy Now

Bernie Sanders’ Full Speech in Philadelphia: The Future of American Democracy is at Risk

Democracy Now! Special: Bernie Sanders on Trump’s Victory & the Need to Rebuild the Democratic Party

Cornel West: Unlike Bernie Sanders, I’m Not Convinced the Democratic Party Can Be Reformed

Dec 01 2016

About That Recount

Jill Stein is not off her rocker with pushing for recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and, today, in Michigan. Here is one of the prime reasons:


It took less than an hour Wednesday for a jury to convict political activist Brandon Michael Hall on 10 counts of election law fraud, following a day-and-a-half trial in Ottawa County Circuit Court.

The 27-year-old Grand Haven resident, author of the West Michigan Politics blog and self-admitted political junkie, said the verdict wasn’t a surprise. Hall said that he had resigned himself to that possibility after the Michigan Supreme Court, during this past summer, determined his case should be tried as a felony. [..]

Hall was charged with election law fraud after forging signatures on petitions in a 2012 effort to get judicial candidate Chris Houghtaling (R) on the ballot.

Local courts initially agreed with Hall’s position that the case should be tried as a misdemeanor, based on a statement printed on the petitions, but the Attorney General’s Office appealed the case through the court system until the Michigan Supreme Court made the decision. That’s why it took so long for the case to come to trial. [..]

Hall has stayed busy the past few years working on various political campaigns across the country and most recently ran for the state House 89th District seat, but he was defeated in the Republican primary in August. He also worked on President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign.

“Donald Trump has made claim after claim calling the integrity of the election into question, but his Michigan campaign had no problem hiring a staff member facing election law charges,” Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, said following Hall’s conviction on Wednesday. “The fact that the Trump campaign and the Michigan Republican Party embraced Brandon Hall is just one more reason to recount and audit the vote in Michigan.”

Hall’s sentencing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27. He faces up to five years in prison.

We got problems and not just in River City.

Dec 01 2016

Pondering the Pundits

“Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Charles M. Blow: Donald Trump’s ‘Monster’s Ball’

If you’ve been in a funk over the results of this election: Buck up. It’s over. Dry the tears, push back against the malaise, burn away the fog and stiffen the spine.

There is work to do. Your country needs you, now more than ever. The loyal opposition needs your energy and your moral imagination.

You may be out of power, but you aren’t powerless. Righteousness is a self-propagating energy source. Indeed, there is most likely something to be gained in the midst of your loss. Sometimes, it is while wandering in the wilderness that purpose is perfected and voice is clarified. New champions will rise from these ashes, ones who may not now be apparent, and a new path forward will appear. Such is the way of the world; such is the precedent of history. [..]

Trump rode to victory on a cloud of vapors and vapid promises, and now he is assembling a counsel of acolytes and opportunists. Now each of us must demonstrate our fortitude in vocal, steadfast resistance.

Trump must be made to know, in no uncertain terms, that he was elected president and not anointed emperor.

Not every battle can be won, but every battle must be waged. This is the proving ground. Are you prepared to stand your ground?

Richard Eskow: Who Will Lead the Anti-Trump Resistance

The Donald Trump Administration hasn’t even started, and the President-elect is already unpopular. Only 42 percent of those polled in this “honeymoon” period approve of Trump. Voters were split (46-45 percent) on their approval or disapproval of his transition process.

Contrast that with Barack Obama’s popularity before he took office, when 83 percent of those polled approved of his transition process. (Less than half of voters approve of Trump’s three key picks so far: Mike Pence, Steve Bannon, and Reince Priebus.)

Trump’s diehard followers will undoubtedly seek out fake news from faux sources, including his own Twitter feed, to cling to the illusion that he’s fighting for them for as long as possible. But even they may be forced to face facts when Congressional Republicans target Medicare and Social Security, while Trump’s billionaire cabinet despoils the environment, attacks public schools, cuts cushy deals for Big Pharma, and gives tax breaks to millionaires and corporations.

Eventually, most Americans will realize that their lives aren’t getting any better – and are, in fact, getting worse. Where will they turn when that happens?

Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 01 2016

The Breakfast Club (Laboratory of the Mind)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

 photo 807561379_e6771a7c8e_zps7668d00e.jpg

This Day in History

Rosa Parks is arrested in Montgomery, Alabama; Former communist official Sergei Kirov is assassinated in Leningrad; Beatlemania arrives in America; Actor and director Woody Allen is born.

Breakfast Tunes


Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

The true laboratory is the mind, where behind illusions we uncover the laws of truth

Jagadish Chandra Bose

Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 30 2016

“No matter where you go, there you are.”

Buckaroo Banzai

How the Democrats could win again, if they wanted
by Thomas Frank, The Guardian
Tuesday 29 November 2016 07.00 EST

And here we are again. Today Democrats are wondering what went wrong, but before too many fundraising dinners have been digested they will have concluded they don’t need to worry, that demographics will bail them out sooner or later, and that the right and noble course of action is to proceed as before.

This will happen because what leading liberals cannot understand – what they are psychologically blocked from understanding – is that the problem isn’t really the white working class. The problem is them.

Let me explain what I mean by reminding you what this form of liberalism looks like. Somewhere in a sunny corner of the country, either right now or very shortly, a group of tech tycoons or well-meaning private equity investors will meet to discuss what went wrong in this election cycle. They will consider many things: the sexism and racism of Trump voters, the fundamental foreignness of the flyover, the problems one encounters when dealing with evangelicals. They will celebrate some activist they learned about from NPR, they will enjoy some certified artisanal cuisine, they will hand out prizes to the same people that got prizes at the last event they attended, and they will go back to their comfortable rooms at the resort and sleep ever so soundly.

These people think they know what liberalism includes and what it doesn’t include. And in the latter category fall the concerns that made up the heart and soul of liberal politics a few decades ago: labor and work and exploitation and economic equality.

To dedicate your life to concerns like these today is to sign up for obscurity and frustration. It’s to enter a world without foundation grants, without appearances on MSNBC, and without much job security. Nothing about this sphere of liberal activism is fashionable or attractive. Books on its subjects go unreviewed and unread. Strikes drag on for weeks before they are noticed by the national media. Labor organizers are some of the hardest-working but least-thanked people I know. Labor reporters are just about extinct. Promises to labor unions are voided almost as soon as they leave a politician’s lips.

If rich liberals had listened to such people, Donald Trump might not have been able to lure away so many millions of working-class voters. Maybe they will change their ways now? Perhaps the well-meaning folks at those Florida resorts will finally close ranks with working people and their representatives?

Put the question slightly differently: will the Washington Post or the New York Times take the sad fate of Democratic centrism as a signal to bring a whole new vision to their op-ed pages? Will NPR finally say to its cast of well-graduated tastemakers: you missed it just one time too many? Will the thinktanks and pressure groups of Washington finally be told by their donors: we’re shifting your grant money to people who care about deindustrialization?

I doubt it. Liberalism today is an expression of an enlightened professional class, and their core economic interests simply do not align with those of working people. One thing we know about professionalism is that it exists to shield insiders from public accountability. If coming up with a solution to what ails liberalism means listening to people who aren’t part of the existing nonprofit/journalistic in-group, then there will be no solution. Liberals would rather lose than do that.

If the unreconstructed Democratic party is to be saved, I suspect, what will save it is what always saves it: the colossal incompetence of the Republicans. This, too, we can already see coming down the rails. Donald Trump is getting the wrecking crew back together, and before too long, I suspect, he will have the country pining for Hillary Clinton.

Nov 30 2016

Why The Rory Hate?

I always identified more with Lorelai, to me the interesting thing about the show was her relationship with Richard and Emily. I felt it mirrored some of my connections with my parents which may seem pretty Ozzie and Harriet on the surface but which, if you’re a regular reader, you’ll know were dark and twisted enough to produce someone as obnoxious as I am.

I think I identified with the disappointment factor. I have all the skills and polish an upbringing and education of rare privilege can provide. I can ski and sew, I can properly place a table setting (cutlery, china, and crystal) and eat from it, I can put up a tent and start a friction fire (please don’t, it’s physically hard and mind numbingly boring).

I have taken the Poet’s Pledge-

To be peculiar in the most unusual way I can cook up
To write excellently, or more especially to be known to write excellently
To master bards of old and bards anew, or at least never give on that I haven’t
To advance in gestures of my own and not in the stirrings of a majority, except where money is at stake
To be perceived as morally suspect, no matter what the truth
To sniff at adulation and pooh-pooh honors no matter how much I crave them
To obey whim and eschew duty, or at least appear to
To rove ruffian-like across continents of poems with ease, or at least make them think so
To engage in ridiculous arguments, all hot and sweaty for my own position
To be judicious only in the judging of my own merits and mean about the others
To die young, or if I linger, to be ignored and abused well
To write tons of crap for every good poem I do write, and obfuscate the difference with rhetoric
To suck up to important editors with honeyed words, and cuff the assistant editors often
To bemoan the sorry state of poetry in my country and do not one damn thing about it
To speak so incoherently that everyone thinks I am a genius

Oh, did I mention that I write? That particular part is not original but I’ve never had great success sourcing it. I suppose this leaves me open to the accusation I’m a great writer but a poor reporter which bothers me not at all because I’m not a reporter.

I’m a critic.

And at that I’m a better journalist than most, actually I’ve won awards and stuff.

But the point of this is that I’m just as big a great screaming disappointment to my Richard and Emily (who did the best they could) as if I’d gotten pregnant at 16 and run away. I’m bright and talented enough but I’ve squandered it on passing fancies that I only wish were romantic passionate torrid encounters (or even some tawdry, sweaty, and cramped backseat sex) resulting in a very bright and talented child.

Whom in turn you expect to do… what?

If anything the controversy over Rory has made me more sympathetic to her. Do you expect her to redeem Lorelai’s failures or the Gilmore family name?

Number one- Lorelai is not a failure on any level. She’s a highly successful business woman who provided her child with every advantage and has a circle of people who love her (yeah, it would have been better if Sookie Not Appearing In This Episode were simply glossed over as busy with her own thing and closer to the truth at that).

Secondly- Rory is not obligated to be anything in particular. She already kicked ass in the DAR, do you think she should become an actuary like Richard? Yes I realize that he was not an office drone, he was one of those I regularly deride as Banksters- you don’t get a mansion in Hartford without screwing the poor people who give you money by denying their claims or insuring obscure derivatives that foreclose their homes. Ed Herrmann, who was by all accounts a pretty nice guy, would probably be the first to agree with me.

She’s 32 years old and unfocused? She’s questioning whether the profession she idealized as a child is actually her life goal?

Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits— a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.- Stockton

I think instead that is the reason so many Legacy Media voices are upset. You have to lick boots and put out to claw your way to the top by kicking down and sucking up. How dare Rory sleep with a source!

I’d call you whores and probably have but sex workers have far more integrity so to them I sincerely apologize.

If you’re a general fan and upset by #TeamLogan and sympathetic with Odette or freaked out by furries I say get a grip- women have sex, and they like it (or maybe not but if you’re emotionally supportive enough they’ll pretend to and get their jollies elsewhere) JUST LIKE GUYS DO! It’s 2016 not 1837 and the French don’t buy into that Victorian crap anyway. Grow up! Oh, and obviously the money that supports her lifestyle is Huntzberger. They can afford it, but so can the Gilmores.

The question I have is- “Are you living vicariously through Rory?”

I mean, she’s a fictional character but people who are exceptional fail all the time and one of the worst burdens (which I am still working out) is the guilt you feel for not being someone’s perfect vision of you, even if that vision is your own.

Older posts «

Fetch more items