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20170426

There is no cure for deluded

I read a Facebook post from an old high school friend that is selling his expensive boots for $100 cause apparently he needs the money.
The poor guy lives in Oklahoma now. He lived in Texas after leaving Illinois. Her was always deluded as all hell. We argued over his voting for that idiot charlatan Ronald Reagan. He was a big supporter this last election of the even more shitheaded Ben Carson.  Once Carson dropped out he became a Trump supporter. So all his adult life he's been a diehard republican.
 This guy doesn't have, and never had had much more than a pot to piss in. His parents never had much more than a pot to piss in and it was always a rental pot since they to my knowledge never owned a home. They would be homeless and destitute were it not for Medicaid and Social Security but they hate FDR.
 My old buddy a few months ago needed money to send his daughter on a trip with her drill team, I guess it was her drill team, to Disneyworld to perform.  He was scared she couldn't go cause he didn't have the money so he, like with his boots, went to Facebook calling for donations. I sent him a check for 75 or $100. Don't remember but I did get a nice thank you from his daughter. Truth was I would have paid for her trip if I had to. And I am fortunate enough, or smart enough, whatever, with my money to be able to pay for her $800 trip. I did good Democrat things. Was a union negotiating committee member and with support from my fellow comrades achieved pretty good pay and benefits so my brothers, sisters and I could pay for an $800 trip to Disney World.  Voted for people I believed had the best interests of Working Americans in mind. My friend did neither of these things. He hates Unions and Democrats. Repeats the tired republican bullshit about them destroying America and they're "Socialist."  Even though his parents would have starved or froze to death years ago were it not for that "Socialist" FDR and Social Security.
 Even living in the republican bastion of Oklahoma and still having to ask for help to pay his bills and give his daughter something he still blames Democrats for his lack of financial independence.
 I was more than happy to help my old friend out. By the way, he is an evangelical nutjob as well. But I do wonder if he would do the same for me, or anyone else. As a republican he could justify his lack of charity as tough love. No doubt he would do that. No doubt like his parents that profess hatred of socialism, he will cash his Social Security check and sign up for Medicaid. Quite frankly, after nearly 40 years of friendship with this guy. Being the one he could turn to. Raising three kids that talk to me. I didn't mention his Christian divorce and the children that don't talk to him. While certainly not wealthy I am financially secure enough to give an old friend $800 to send his daughter on a once in a lifetime trip while he can't. I figured my example and commitment to progressive policies would help him see the light.  But it hasn't. I am pretty confident my fellow Wulfsheaders that read this are wondering why I am still friends with this guy. I'm wondering that myself.  Unfortunately there are at least 50 million people like him. Diehard republican voting fools still waiting for trickle down to work for them. But counting on Social Security to keep them afloat till it does. But it's not socialism when a good Christian republican American cashes the Social Security check. At least that's what they tell themselves. These people lie to themselves to validate their blissful ignorance. There is no convincing them. Next time he needs money I think I'll send him a message telling him Trump and the spirit of Reagan want him to stand on his own two feet. It's all about personal responsibility. But I will send him the pictures of my kids at Disney World and look forward to his being able to pay his bills as soon as trickle down economics starts working for him.
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20170425

Centrism is Bogus

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The best critique of centrism you'll ever read is a Twitter conversation, says John Aziz.

In the words of Jim Hightower:



The fact of the matter is Centrism is indefensible.

This is not to say that some—politicians, of course— have not made their career out of it, and highly successful ones too, at that, in their bid for office.

Of recent date, the ongoing French presidential election comes to mind:



There are those who have tried to defend it...



Tony Blair is right about one thing: It is indeed quite mistakenly that centrism is perceived "as a sort of splitting the difference between right and left."

It makes it seem innocuous in a misleading kind of a "fair and balanced" sort of a way. Which is the reason why political demagogues have found it so easy to sell as a bill of good.

Centrism is nothing of the sort, of course.

It is, in fact, much more violent and way more pernicious.



French writer and essayist, Éric Zemmour, commenting on the current French presidential election and the centrist campaign of presidential contender Emmanuel Macron, speaks of it as a "return to the Orleanism of the July Monarchy."



The video, a segment of content intended for broadcast on radio,  is in French (subtitled in French).



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20170419

Réfléchissez ! (Political Remix)




The captions read:

IN ORDER TO DEFEAT TRUMP
WHAT WAS NEEDED WAS TO SUPPORT SANDERS

LET US NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE!

Hat tip to Zaid Jilany, who wrote a very thorough paper on the surging campaign of French presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon.





Jean-Luc Mélenchon famously told French télévision last year that were he the president of France, he would give citizenship and the Legion of Honor (France's highest order of merit) to Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.

It has been catching...


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20170417

Good folks, lock up your sons and daughters

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For a good laugh in the morning, read the Washington Post.

Case in point, this hilarious article, just published yesterday:



LOL! Reading WaPo's take on the upcoming French election, one would think that Jean-Luc Mélenchon is Atilla the Hun.

It is kind of amusing, come to think of it, how the same dynamic we had, here, in the U.S., is now playing in France.

Basically, the establishment, or the party of the status-quo (for lack of a better term) would rather, if it came to that, lose the election to the candidate on the right that they have been maligning as Satan incarnate (Donald Trump on our side of the Atlantic, or Marine Lepen, in France) than win with a "leftist", like Bernie Sanders in the U.S., or Jean-Luc Mélenchon, in France. (The headline on the WaPo article originally described Mélenchon incorrectly as a communist. It was changed to reflect that he is a "leftist.")

And the reason is plain, propaganda-wise, for the apostles of the status-quo, a victory of the far right (or of, say, someone of a sulfurous reputation, such as Donald Trump) is always easier to explain away and dismiss: the establishment can blame the defeat of their candidate on the racists (and/or the misogynists), I suppose.

If a "leftist" wins, well then, how are they going to spin that? "The Martians did it"?

Besides, the unspoken secret (known to all), here, is that, ideologically, the establishment (all the so-called "centrists") has always felt more at home with the far right than with the "leftists".

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20170413

The Problem with the DNC

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Oops! I didn't know we couldn't talk about Syria!



I don't know, perhaps the DNC splash page ought to be updated so that the faithfuls understand more clearly what their place is within the party.



It is possible that, when it comes to Syria, the DNC splash page about "getting the facts," "sharing your thought," and "holding Trump accountable" is no longer relevant.



There, I fixed it for you:


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20170412

A message from the DNC

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Heresy or Apostasy?

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What?! GASP! How more blasphemous than that can one be?



Thanks for the heads-up, citizens!

That's right! Members of the Democratic Party, like Tulsi Gabbards, better watch their tongue, if they know what's good for them.



Woe betide the Progressives who gets on the bad side of the Neocons and their Clinton Democrats allies, for the DNC Inquisitors are notorious in their zeal.

The DNC Ordo Hereticus is the largest of the DNC ordos and its Inquisitors watch for insurgents within the Imperium's own party.



Although primarily concerned with monitoring the Ecclesiarchy, the DNC has expanded its jurisdiction to encompass the other perceived internal threats to the Imperium: witches, mutants, heretics, traitors and other "progressive" deviants.

Some inquisitors within the DNC have been specializing in the identification and eradication of rogue "progressives." They may have numerous cells of Acolytes at their disposal, which range from hive-toughened flamer squads, trained to purge large infected areas, to precision assassination cells, which remove and replace key political figures that have succumbed to the "progressive" lure.
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20170411

The Project For The New American Century is alive and well

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I know... Tough, ain't it?

Not everything, you thought it was going to be, was it, sir? The office of the Presidency, I mean.

Or, maybe, not at first, that is.



But don't you worry about a thing, Mr. President, do as you're told, and nothing bad need happen to you.

Giving it enough time, the gentleman may even come to enjoy it. I mean, think of the glory, sir, being the commander-in-chief and all.



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20170406

Moment of Truth

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Is he still his own person?

Or has he been compromised by the CIA already?

The Project for the New American Century is alive and well: And here they go again.

If Trump does give in, knowing what his initial position (that he had made clear on the topic, not only while he was still running as a candidate, but also, via official channels, once in office) is, it means his presidency has been compromised and the CIA is ruling the country insofar as foreign policy is concerned.

Now, what was it Harry Truman had to say about the CIA?



If Trump feels his presidency is threatened, he'll give the Neocons what they want.

Related Posts:
           - Are we all neocons now?
           - Softly, softly, treads the Mungle

Update:


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20170301

Welcome To The Real World

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The French were all exited thinking Hollywood really, really dug Isabelle Huppert in her role in “Elle,”and that she was going to win the Oscar for best actress—they are so cute.

LOL

Welcome to the real world, suckers!!!

And what is the real world? The real world is whatever Hollywood says the real world is.

Or what the media tells you it is.

Or the political establishment and their cohorts (MSNBC, Fox News, John Steward, John Oliver, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera). Their name is Legion.

That said, I have no opinion whatsoever regarding who should have won best actress (considering I haven’t seen any of the movies nominated for best actress, this year, or for that matter, any, hardly at all, of the movies nominated in any category.)

I am sure Emma Stone was very good in “La La Land"—if Hollywood says so, it must be true.

Anyway, and without further ado, here is the list of the winners:



And...

Best Documentary, Short Subject
“Extremis”
”4.1 Miles”
”Joe’s Violin”
”Watani: My Homeland”
”The White Helmets”

Very predictably, The White Helmets won the Oscar in the short documentary category despite the film being denounced by some of its detractors of being a "contrived infomercial".



Welcome to the real world!

The White Helmets, by the way, is the group to which we owe the Mahmoud Raslan's propagandistic exploitation photograph of “the boy in the ambulance” from Aleppo, circulated to intensify the drumbeat for direct U.S. military involvement in Syria.

The photograph famously (or infamously) made the rounds of main stream media worldwide, including, for those of us who watch TV-5 Monde, on well-meaning but politically naive French talk shows such as On n'est pas couché, the now overly simplistic (ever since Aymeric Caron ceased to be one of the polemicists on the program) night-show, hosted by Laurent Ruquier,



The nice thing about Hollywood and the Oscar, or talk-shows like On n'est pas couché, is that they are a useful gauge of the toxicity of mainstream propaganda.

The same thing goes for the papers. Take the Washington Post for instance, if I am curious about, say, what the next CIA's taking point might be for the day, all I have to do is read the column of David Ignatius, who will faithfully publish whatever his CIA sources tell him.

But then again, no one ever accused Davis Ignatius of being politically innocent. Or is he, now? And could he maybe just possibly be—Ah, what was that term again?—a "useful idiot"?



As a rule of thumb, the more naive the medium (Hollywood, a columnist or the host of a talk show), the better.

The way I look at it, if political propaganda were an intoxicating gas, well then, Laurent Ruqier would have to be the idiomatic canary in the coal mine.

Regardez comme il est beau:



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20170208

Vous Voudriez au Ciel Bleu Croire...

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Nobody ever accused The Verge of being the brightest star in the sky, but their political take on Arrival did help explain, to me, why some of my semi-politically engaged friends, like Lara, or someone, whose claim to activism is more spiritually inclined, like my good friend Abigail—only the names have been changed to protect the innocents—would reportedly feel touched in such a deeply personal and emotional way by the film, a well-meaning, if somewhat dated movie, imho, which might have felt fresher and more original had it been made, say, three or four decades ago, at a time when advances in cognitive psychology and cognitive linguistics was renewing interest in the Sapir–Whorf hypothesis, and the New Age movement was at its peak—but apparently the critics loved it, so what do I know?



I mean, "America’s colossal missed opportunity"? Seriously?

The commentator, here, is literally equating what the female lead, in the movie, achieved for (I quote) "global cooperation," "working together," and "communicating and keeping open minds about [one another]," to what Hillary Clinton (I quote) "a massive talented diplomat with years of experience," would have achieved for America and the rest of the world, if only she had won the last presidential election.

Are we talking about the same Hillary Clinton?

And is anyone who didn’t vote for HRC "basically evil"? I am not sure.  Just trying to make sense of the commentator’s take on the result of the election, where she explains that while she saw in Arrival an "argument that most people are basically good," (I quote) "looking back at it after the election," she finds it "hard to believe in that argument [that people are basically good.]"

Perhaps, and not too surprisingly in those turbulent post-electoral times, there is a certain measure of expected political-spin, here, and, to a certain degree, some element of propaganda in all this. One must keep in mind, after all, that for all practical purposes, The Verge has been and remains a media network operated by Vox Media, the same Vox Media that owns the Vox website, derided for its so-called "explanatory journalism." (Glenn Greenwald, among others, criticized Vox for "suppressing reporting that reflects negatively on [the Democratic Party] and instead confin[ing] itself to hagiography" in the run-up and aftermath of the election.)

But, I think, there is more to it than that. There is something about the thread and the commentator’s take on the whole thing, that causes me to suspect that, quite possibly, she’s sincere and genuinely believes what she’s saying.

And what about my good friend, Lara, for that matter?

Or starry-eyed Abigail?

I don't know. According to cognitive dissonance theory, it is said that there is a tendency for individuals to seek consistency among their conditions (i.e., beliefs, opinions, actions). As a result, a person who experiences inconsistencies tends to become psychologically uncomfortable, and so is motivated to try to reduce the cognitive dissonance by actively avoiding situations and information likely to increase the psychological discomfort.

Most certainly, deep in the human psyche is a pervasive dependency to the psychological shelters, people do create for themselves.

A. A. Attanasio had that quote, that I love, which says essentially that we are made of our stories, and because we do create those stories from nothing, with strength, they make us whole.

It all depends on the stories, of course.

This is the reason why one must be vigilant about the kind of stories one tells oneself.

While it might appear, of course, easier and emotionally comforting to reduce one’s understanding of the world to a simpler black and white "reality," in which people are either good (those who vote like you do) or evil (those who vote differently than you do), the real universe is always more complex. And so are people.

The point I have been painstakingly trying to drive home, here, is that, simply put, Hillary Clinton is NOT Louise Banks (the fictional hero of Arrival).

Really, really wishing that this were the case doesn’t make it so.

Basically, there is a reason why characters like the one portrayed in the movie (that of an expert linguist) by Amy Adams are not the same kind of characters usually cast in the role of politicians in other movies, or in the real world.

If what we know of history is of any relevance, it appears doubtful that the female of the species behave any differently than their male counterparts in any position of power, and, while in terms of breaking the glass-ceiling, a female POTUS would certainly be a positive development, there is no reason to believe she would behave any better, nor any worse, because of her gender, than the males of the species, especially when it comes to a person with such a polarizing hawkish reputation and foreign policy track record as Hillary Clinton (which either registers as a positive or a negative, depending on one’s level of political awareness and what one's opinion might be in support of or against "regime change," America's role in the World, and the kind of hegemonic geopolitical policies advocated by the Project for a New American Century).

In the end, when it comes down to it, even the fictional character of Louise Banks fails the test, and doesn’t, in her interaction with Ian Donnelly (when he asks her if she’s ready to have a child), exhibit the behavior of a person who believes that "people should work together, COMMUNICATE (emphasis mine), and keep open minds about each others."

A point another commentator, on that same thread on The Verge, addresses, possibly unwittingly, when responding to the question of whether she would make the same choice Louise Banks made:



Even Kaitlyn had to agree (—up to a point):



The title of the post, "Vous voudriez au ciel bleu croire," is a line taken from Louis Aragon's poem, "J'entends, J'entends".






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20170126

Sssssmokin!

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When you durst do it...



Then you where a man...




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