01/04/2015 archive

Anti-Capitalist Meetup: The Pope’s Possible Future Role in Cuba by Galtisalie

There can be no immaculate conception of socialism …

Aneurin Bevin, 1945;

or of our posts about socialism.  

I had hoped this post would be the fabulous coming out ceremony for a pamphlet I have been working on in my spare time for over a year on the need for a global social compact. I view Pope Francis as being a potential key Gramscian player in this prospect. I was going to highlight how Cuba may present a unique opportunity for the global social compact paradigm. But, as they sometimes do, real world events in my little world have taken precedence over the Holidays, and the pamphlet is not complete. Nonetheless, I feel I can still take an abbreviated stab at the post I mentioned week before last in a comment on MrJayTee’s excellent Cuba post:

a look at the Cuban constitution, Cuba’s survival of the fittest/meanest capitalist island neighbor immediately to its east, and the potential helpful role of Pope Francis

(My patient, kind but busy tovarishch MrJayTee prefers I keep my posts short anyway, so perhaps this is divine providence.)

Before I get into the meat of this post, I need to get some slights, and caveats, out of the way. Let me begin by “apologizing” to socialists who happen to be Catholic for the Immaculate Conception invocation, but it seemed to fit my situation, and, 55 years into both experiments, it seems to fit Cuba’s as well. That cultural reference got Aneurin Bevin, the founder of Britain’s National Health Service, in trouble with this important left subgroup seventy years ago. But what the hell, Bevin, and after him the Castro brothers, did more to help the working class have earth as it is in heaven than any pope or archbishop of Canterbury in my estimation. So, please accept my laurel and hardy handshake and nonpology.

As for caveats, for stinging critique by me of the Catholic Church’s anti-women, anti-GLBT, and in general anti-human policies, and its tendency to produce smarmy moralizing with little or no praxis to produce change, please see here and here, respectively, including ditty about:

the unelected Constantinian conservative RC majority of the SCOTUS, the Republican Party’s politburo, the vanguard in robes of U.S. political corruption and global neoliberalism, his humble flock, who put capital unction into the grotesque shunning of humanity that is institutionalized social repression

In a nutshell, while I have taken the gloves off with Pope Francis’s street cred, I believe in working with him too.

I do need to add one last preliminary sting:

No, Pope Francis, I do not buy that you did all you could to protect your own priests from right wing killers/torturers in Argentina’s Dirty War. I will not battle that history out in this post, but suffice it to say that you could have placed your prestige, and your body, on the line to protect them, but failed to do so.

To see how a real moral leader leads by example, please read Gramsci’s 1925 speech directly to the face of Mussolini and the Italian parliament.

Moving right along …

Throwball Playoffs 2015: Wild Card Evening NFC (Lions @ ‘Boys)

Now normally I’d have no trouble at all rooting against the ‘Boys since their fans are the biggest assholes in professional sports- ignorant, loud, and irrational.

On the other hand I haven’t much forgotten the Lions’ Ndamukong Suh stepping on Aaron Rogers.

We won’t get a rematch of that if the Lions advance.  As the lower seed they’ll face the Seahawks and the Packers will get the Panthers.  If the ‘Boys advance they’ll face the Pack at Lambeau where General Winter will crush them as they deserve to be crushed.

Game time 4:30 on Faux.  Consider this an open thread too.

Throwball Playoffs 2015: Wild Card Afternoon AFC (Bengals @ Bolts)

I think we’re all pretty clear by now that I don’t like franchise shopping and extorting communities for stadiums that teams ought to be buying with their own money because, except on rare occasions, they sit like great white elephants on acres of parking that could and should be parks except for 8 days a year when they suck all the money out of the municipalities they’re supposed to be such an engine of prosperity for and deposit it all in the off the books coffers of the team owner’s concession stands.

And of course if I ever needed a team to illustrate that story it would be the Bolts.

Other than that there are only 2 teams I actually like, one because of geography who are not in the playoffs and likely never will be again as long as Tom Coughlin is coach, and the other is the Packers who get right what every other professional franchise in any sport get wrong.

So it’s not that I don’t like the Bengals, it’s that I don’t much care about them one way or another unless they’re playing a team I really hate.

Like the Bolts.

The Bengals could win.  The Bolts defense is nothing special, but the Bengals Quarterback is a choke king who has 1 Wild Card win for 4 appearances in the last 4 years.  In today’s game he has a $1 Million bonus riding on the outcome.  It will be interesting to see if that motivates him.

The game starts on CBS @ 1.  As yesterday there is no guarantee I’ll be around to live blog, so it’s open thread.

On This Day In History January 4

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.

January 4 is the fourth day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 361 days remaining until the end of the year (362 in leap years).

On this day in 1987, Spanish guitar great Andres Segovia arrives in the United States for his final American tour. He died four months later in Madrid at the age of 94.

Segovia was hailed for bringing the Spanish guitar from relative obscurity to classical status. Born in Spain’s southern region of Andalusia–the original home of the guitar–Segovia studied the piano and cello as a child but soon became captivated with the guitar. Knowing of no advanced teachers of an instrument that was generally banished to the cafes, he taught himself and in 1909 gave his first public performance at the age of 15. To successfully render classical material, Segovia invented countless new techniques for the guitar, and by his first appearance in Paris in 1924, he was a virtuoso. His American debut came four years later in New York City.

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: The guest on Sunday’s “This Week” are: Sen.-elect Ben Sasse (R-NE); Sen.-elect Thom Tillis (R-NC); and Rep.-elect Mia Love (R-UT).

The roundfable guests are: Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren; television and radio host Tavis Smiley; The Washington Post political reporter Robert Costa; and CNN Contributor Margaret Hoover.

Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Mr. Schieffer’s guests are: Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY); Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD); former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA); and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE).

His panel guests are: David Ignatius, The Washington Post; Gwen Ifill, PBS; Susan Page, USA Today; and Dan Balz, The Washington Post.

Meet the Press with Chuck Todd: This Sunday’s MTP guests are: Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser; DC Metropolitan Police Department Chief of Police Cathy Lanier; Kaya Henderson, the Chancellor of DC Public Schools; retired Gen. Daniel Bolger and Sarah Chayes, senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The panel guests are: Buzzfeed NewsJohn Stanton; Yahoo‘s Matt Bai; New York TimesHelene Cooper and NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell.

State of the Union: CNN has not revealed who will be hosting this week’s program. The announced guests are: soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY); Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY); Rep.-elect Debbie Dingell (D-MI.); and Rep.-elect Barbara Comstock (R-VA).

Six In The Morning

On Sunday

 Sony cyber-attack: North Korea calls US sanctions hostile

 4 January 2015 Last updated at 07:52


North Korea has described new sanctions imposed in response to a major cyber-attack against Sony Pictures as part of a hostile and inflammatory US policy.

The US placed sanctions on three North Korean organisations and 10 individuals after the FBI blamed Pyongyang for the cyber-attack.

North Korea praised the attack on Sony but denied any involvement in it.

It came as Sony was about to release The Interview, a comedy about a plot to assassinate North Korea’s leader.

Sony initially cancelled plans to show the film, before deciding to release it online and at a limited number of cinemas.

Sunday’s Headlines:

Dresden crowds tell a chilling tale of Europe’s fear of migrants

War with Isis: The West is wrong again in its fight against terror

The year ahead in science

Jewish settlers attack US officials visiting West Bank

Villagers: Boko Haram abducts 40 boys, young men in northeastern Nigeria

The Breakfast Club (Waist Deep in the Big Muddy)

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.

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Breakfast Tune: Waist Deep in the Big Muddy (Featuring Tom Morello, Taj Mahal)

Today in History

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffers a massive stroke; Louis Braille, inventor of the reading system for the blind, is born; Former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura is sworn in as the governor of Minnesota.

Breakfast News & Blogs Below

Throwball Playoffs 2015: Wild Card Evening AFC (Ravens @ Steelers)

Probably not around for this one either.  Forget the hype about Le’Veon Bell, he wasn’t going to be much of a factor anyway.  The Ravens suck on the road, but they have great run defense.  Fortunately for the Steelers they have Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown.

The Ravens may be a contender next year, now they are a tune up for the Steelers and a rest day for Bell.

Game @ 8 pm on NBC.  This is an open thread.