Daily Archive: 09/14/2014

Sep 14 2014

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Women and Solidarity … United, We Must Stand! by NY Brit Expat

I have recently been thinking a lot about building a feminist movement irrespective of our differences of analysis and experiences of oppression and exploitation. As I often do when looking for assistance, I turned to those that have experience and a wealth of information hoping to learn from them.  This time, I turned to Bell Hooks (Feminist Theory: from Margin to Center), for inspiration and she provided so many brilliant insights, that I am going to reference some of her many ideas throughout this piece.

 photo 744503be-f6b8-4a08-bb16-a1af88e9d69a_zps88112721.jpg


Feminism is often defined as a movement and an analysis that maintains that women must have equality in the economic, social, cultural and political spheres. It has never really been a singular movement; it is more correctly defined as a collection of movements trying to achieve the aims of equality for women in various spheres. The need for this movement derives from the clear inequality that women face on a daily level whether in the home, at work, in ability to access things from the most basic fundamental right of controlling one’s own body to accessing the same work at the same pay as men, from equal and shared responsibility for household labour and raising children to accessing the political sphere on an equal level to men.  

Sep 14 2014

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: Women and Solidarity … United, We Must Stand! by NY Brit Expat

I have recently been thinking a lot about building a feminist movement irrespective of our differences of analysis and experiences of oppression and exploitation. As I often do when looking for assistance, I turned to those that have experience and a wealth of information hoping to learn from them.  This time, I turned to Bell Hooks (Feminist Theory: from Margin to Center), for inspiration and she provided so many brilliant insights, that I am going to reference some of her many ideas throughout this piece.

 photo 744503be-f6b8-4a08-bb16-a1af88e9d69a_zps88112721.jpg


Feminism is often defined as a movement and an analysis that maintains that women must have equality in the economic, social, cultural and political spheres. It has never really been a singular movement; it is more correctly defined as a collection of movements trying to achieve the aims of equality for women in various spheres. The need for this movement derives from the clear inequality that women face on a daily level whether in the home, at work, in ability to access things from the most basic fundamental right of controlling one’s own body to accessing the same work at the same pay as men, from equal and shared responsibility for household labour and raising children to accessing the political sphere on an equal level to men.  

Sep 14 2014

Rant of the week: Jon Stewart – The Big Bang Strategy

The Big Bang Strategy

Sep 14 2014

Morons

Hey, it’s the highest functioning level of mental disability.  You can work under supervision.

All these effing geniuses: Ezra Klein, expert-driven journalism, and the phony Washington consensus

Thomas Frank, Salon

Sunday, Sep 14, 2014 07:00 AM EST

In a recent article on Vox, Ezra Klein declared that his generation of Washington journalists had discovered political science, and it is like the hottest thing on wheels. In the old days, he writes, journalists “dealt with political science episodically and condescendingly.” But now, Klein declares, “Washington is listening to political scientists, in large part because it’s stopped trusting itself.” Klein finds that political scientists give better answers to his questions than politicians themselves, because politicians are evasive but scientists are scientists, you know, they deal in “structural explanations” for political events. So the “young political journalists” who are roaring around town in their white lab coats frightening the local bourgeoisie “know a lot more about political science and how to use it” than their elders did.



The powerful in Powertown love to take refuge in bewildering professional jargon. They routinely ignore or suppress challenging ideas, just as academics often ignore ideas that come from outside their professional in-group. Worst of all, Washingtonians seem to know nothing about the lives of people who aren’t part of the professional-managerial class.

How well-known is this problem? It is extremely well known. One of the greatest books of them all on American political dysfunction, David Halberstam’s “The Best and the Brightest” (1972), is the story of how a handful of poli-sci geniuses got us into the Vietnam War. How political science conquered Hanoi, you might say, except that it didn’t exactly work out like that.

You can see this dysfunction for yourself in the headlines of recent years. Ever wonder why the foreign policy authorities never seem to change, keep coming back, despite racking up shattering failures like the Iraq War? It’s because of the way Washington worships expertise, and the way these authorities have perched themselves atop a professional structure that basically does not acknowledge criticism from the outside.

Ever wonder why the economic experts never seem to change, keep coming back, despite racking up such shattering failures as the housing bubble and the financial crisis and the bank bailouts? Ever wonder why a guy like Larry Summers gets to be chief economist at the World Bank, then gets to deregulate Wall Street, then gets to bail Wall Street out, then almost gets to become chairman of the Fed, and then gets to make sage pronouncements on the subject of-yes- inequality? It’s for the same bad reasons: Because D.C. worships expertise and because Summers, along with a handful of other geniuses, are leading figures in a professional discipline dominated by what a well-informed observer once called a “politburo for correct economic thinking.”



“Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don’t listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People – powerful people – listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don’t criticize other insiders.”



Allow me to drop a single, disturbing data point on this march of science. You might recall that Democrats controlled the House of Representatives from the early 1930s until 1994 with only two brief Republican interludes. What ended all that was not an ill-advised swerve to the left, but the opposite: A long succession of moves toward what is called the “center,” culminating in the administration of New Democrat Bill Clinton, who (among other things) signed the Republicans’ NAFTA treaty into law. Taking economic matters off the table was thought to be the path of wisdom among expert-worshipping Washingtonians, but it had the unforeseen consequence of making culture that much more important for a large part of the population. Democrats were eventually swamped by all the crazy grievance campaigns of the right, which has splashed back and forth in the mud of the culture wars ever since.

In 2010, the two parties repeated the act, with D’s embracing the extremely unpopular Republican bailout strategy (and a more modestly unpopular Republican healthcare program) and R’s pretending to be some kind of ’30s-style protest movement waving signs in the street.

Not getting this is standard in the comfortable and well-educated precincts of Washington, D.C. All political contests are battles over the center, everyone here knows that, and so Democrats who wish to win must always move to the center, meaning to the right. That the noble pursuit of the median voter might somehow bring defeat is beyond comprehension.

So a data-minded commentator like Nate Cohn is able to look out over the blasted moonscape of Appalachia and conclude that a party of the left has nothing it might conceivably offer the people there. If Democrats wish to win back the seats that Republicans have taken away from them in such stricken areas, the Dems must either become more conservative themselves or sit audaciously on their butts for a couple of decades while some new generation is born and grows up to populate the boarded-up towns and collapsing houses of the deindustrialized hinterland. Those are the only choices.

The fatalism here may be science-driven, but still it boggles the mind. Today, the right is out there organizing and proselytizing and signing people up for yet another grievance-hyping mass movement. Over the last 40 years they have completely remade the world, and at no point did they play by the centrist rules.

But the Democrats chase nobly on after grand Washington bargains and sign more free-trade deals and make endless compromises with Wall Street-and then can’t figure out why such achievements don’t win them the adoration of the people in the hard-bitten countryside. No matter. They’ll simply wait for a new generation to come along, a new public that is more enlightened, better able to appreciate the fine distinctions between the parties, that is capable, at long last, of making the rational choice.

Sep 14 2014

On This Day In History September 14

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

September 14 is the 257th day of the year (258th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 108 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this Day in 1901, U.S. President William McKinley dies after being shot by a deranged anarchist during the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.

President and Mrs. McKinley attended the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. He delivered a speech about his positions on tariffs and foreign trade on September 5, 1901. The following morning, McKinley visited Niagara Falls before returning to the Exposition. That afternoon McKinley had an engagement to greet the public at the Temple of Music. Standing in line, Leon Frank Czolgosz waited with a pistol in his right hand concealed by a handkerchief. At 4:07 p.m. Czolgosz fired twice at the president. The first bullet grazed the president’s shoulder. The second, however, went through McKinley’s stomach, pancreas, and kidney, and finally lodged in the muscles of his back. The president whispered to his secretary, George Cortelyou  “My wife, Cortelyou, be careful how you tell her, oh be careful.” Czolgosz would have fired again, but he was struck by a bystander and then subdued by an enraged crowd. The wounded McKinley even called out “Boys! Don’t let them hurt him!” because the angry crowd beat Czolgosz so severely it looked as if they might kill him on the spot.

One bullet was easily found and extracted, but doctors were unable to locate the second bullet. It was feared that the search for the bullet might cause more harm than good. In addition, McKinley appeared to be recovering, so doctors decided to leave the bullet where it was.

The newly developed x-ray machine was displayed at the fair, but doctors were reluctant to use it on McKinley to search for the bullet because they did not know what side effects it might have on him. The operating room at the exposition’s emergency hospital did not have any electric lighting, even though the exteriors of many of the buildings at the extravagant exposition were covered with thousands of light bulbs. The surgeons were unable to operate by candlelight because of the danger created by the flammable ether used to keep the president unconscious, so doctors were forced to use pans instead to reflect sunlight onto the operating table while they treated McKinley’s wounds.

McKinley’s doctors believed he would recover, and the President convalesced for more than a week in Buffalo at the home of the exposition’s director. On the morning of September 12, he felt strong enough to receive his first food orally since the shooting-toast and a small cup of coffee. However, by afternoon he began to experience discomfort and his condition rapidly worsened. McKinley began to go into shock. At 2:15 a.m. on September 14, 1901, eight days after he was shot, he died from gangrene surrounding his wounds. He was 58. His last words were “It is God’s way; His will be done, not ours.” He was originally buried in West Lawn Cemetery in Canton, Ohio, in the receiving vault. His remains were later reinterred in the McKinley Memorial, also in Canton.

Czolgosz was tried and found guilty of murder, and was executed by electric chair at Auburn Prison on October 29, 1901.

Sep 14 2014

The Breakfast Club (Wake Me Up When September Ends)

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

America mourns victims of Sept. 11th attacks; Theodore Roosevelt becomes President; ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ written; Monaco’s Princess Grace dies; Baseball season cancelled due to players’ strike.

Breakfast Tunes

Sep 14 2014

Punting the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Punting the Punditsis 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 “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with George Stephanopolis: Guests on Sunday’s “This Week” are: White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough;  Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

At the roundtable, the guests are: Democratic strategist Donna Brazile and ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are Secretary of State John Kerry; Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX);  Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY); and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

His panel guests are Bill Rhoden of The New York Times and CBS News Special Correspondent and anchor of The NFL Today, James Brown.

Meet the Press with Chuck Todd: On Sunday’s MTP, the guests are White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; former Secretary of State James Baker; and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Reporting from the Middles East are NBC correspondents Richard Engel in Erbil, Iraq, and Bill Neely in Damascus, Syria. Also NBC host Andrea Mitchell reports on Hillary Clinton’s visit to Iowa.

The roundtable guests are Nia-Malika Henderson, National Political Reporter, The Washington Post; Helene Cooper, Pentagon Correspondent, The New York Times; Mike Murphy, Republican Strategist; and Jim VandeHei, President and CEO, POLITICO.

State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Ms. Crowley’s guests are White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; retired Major General Paul Eaton; retired Lieutenant General James Dubik; Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MI); Mike Wise, sports columnist for the Washington Post; and Sen. Tom Harken (IA).

Her panel guests are former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney; former Romney adviser Lanhee Chen; CNN Crossfire host S.E. Cupp; and CNN Commentator LZ Granderson.

Sep 14 2014

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

ISIS Extremists Claim to Behead British Hostage David Haines

 

 By Phil Helsel

Terrorist group ISIS released a video Saturday purportedly showing the execution of British aid worker David Cawthorne Haines.

If confirmed, it is the third time the organization, which has seized large swaths of Iraq and Syria, beheaded a captive and released a video of the execution, intending to send a message to Western nations. Britain recently said it would send machine guns and ammunition to Iraq to help that government battle the militants, and it is weighing whether to participate along with the U.S. in possible airstrikes in Syria against the terror group.

Haines, 44, like others in taped executions by the terror group, is forced in the new video to read a script in which he blamed his death on British Prime Minister David Cameron and the British government’s decision to join the U.S. in its battle against ISIS.




Sunday’s Headlines:

Pakistan floods: military blows up dikes to save cities from floodwaters

Social media heats up Scottish referendum

‘Turkey directly supported al-Qaeda in Syria’

‘SA spooks fixed Guinea poll’

Mystery, beauty, and a dash of menace: Twin volcanoes in Lake Nicaragua are little known adventure destination

Sep 14 2014

To Anacreon in Heav’n

With the unsung verses and refrains.

To Anacreon in Heav’n, where he sat in full glee,

A few Sons of Harmony sent a petition

That he their Inspirer and Patron would be;

When this answer arrived from the Jolly Old Grecian:

“Voice, Fiddle, and Flute, no longer be mute,

I’ll lend you my name and inspire you to boot,

Refrain

And besides I’ll instruct you, like me, to intwine

The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’s Vine.”

The news through Olympus immediately flew;

When Old Thunder pretended to give himself airs.

“If these Mortals are suffered their scheme to pursue,

The devil a Goddess will stay above stairs.

Hark, already they cry, in transports of joy,

Away to the Sons of Anacreon we’ll fly,

Refrain

And there with good fellows, we’ll learn to intwine

The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’ Vine.”

“The Yellow-Haired God and his nine fusty Maids

From Helicon’s banks will incontinent flee,

Idalia will boast but of tenantless shades,

And the bi-forked hill a mere desert will be.

My Thunder no fear on’t, shall soon do its errand,

And dam’me I’ll swing the Ringleaders I warrant.

Refrain

I’ll trim the young dogs, for thus daring to twine

The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’s Vine.”

Wait.  Full Stop.  Rewind.  Weren’t we just in favor of that?  To continue.

Apollo rose up, and said, “Pry’thee ne’er quarrel,

Good King of the Gods, with My Vot’ries below:

Your Thunder is useless” – then showing his laurel,

Cry’d “Sic evitabile fulmen,[7] you know!

Then over each head, my laurels I’ll spread,

So my sons from your Crackers no mischief shall dread,

Refrain

Whilst, snug in their clubroom, they jovially twine

The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’s Vine.”

Next Momus got up with his risible Phiz

And swore with Apollo he’d cheerfully join –

“The full tide of Harmony still shall be his,

But the Song, and the Catch, and the Laugh shall be mine.

Then, Jove, be not jealous of these honest fellows.”

Cry’d Jove, “We relent, since the truth you now tell us;

Refrain

And swear by Old Styx, that they long shall intwine

The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’s Vine.”

Ye Sons of Anacreon, then join hand in hand;

Preserve Unanimity, Friendship, and Love!

‘Tis yours to support what’s so happily plann’d;

You’ve the sanction of Gods, and the Fiat of Jove.

While thus we agree, our toast let it be:

“May our Club flourish happy, united, and free!

Refrain

And long may the Sons of Anacreon intwine

The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus’s Vine.”