The Women’s March

O.K., the women marched yesterday, several million of them, apparently, and in many different cities.  Signs were carried, I’m sure speeches were made, and women felt very validated to be with so many other women who all approved of women being women.  I’m sure there were some men there, too, because a lot of men approve of women, and giving more rights and powers to women, and then of course there are some guys who will say absolutely anything to get laid, but I’m not sure that old tactic is working for anybody  in this case.  I don’t know.  Out f the millions of people involved, it probably worked for somebody.

What now?  Were any causes advanced?  Did they decide on a slate of candidates?  I doubt it.  I’m sure there were a lot of Hillary loyalists there, and some Tulsi supporters, and all of them claiming to be part of the same resistance, which isn’t really possible.
I suppose a lot of friendships were formed, and phone numbers exchanged, and those are  good things which can help people to organize down the line.  I don’t want to be too critical because I’m sure it was very important to everybody who was there, but I don’t know that it accomplished much.  I  don’t know  if street protests ever accomplish much.
We need to get some progressive candidates elected this year, but I’m still not sure we agree on who those candidates should be.  So, we’ve still got a long way to go, and we haven’t even started, really.

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Good Ideas, Simply Expressed

Like many people my age, I read a lot of Buckminster Fuller when I was young, and was seriously impressed by him.  I’m not sure any kids today still read him.  That’s partly because most kids today read nothing at all, and partly because he’s not current.  They still read Tolkien, and they still read Dahl, and maybe a couple other writers from that era, but Fuller is not that entertaining.

I revisited him a couple of years ago, and realized part of the reason.  He’s not really a great writer.

Yes, he had one brilliant, amazing idea, which I believe is absolutely true and the world would be an infinitely better place if more people accepted that idea.  (the  idea is that the world could be an absolute paradise, if we so chose.  We have the technology to make it so), but that doesn’t mean that people were riveted to the page, that his words resonated in their memories.  The idea resonated with a few people, but the exact words, not so much.
One of his flaws as a writer was his love of big words and long sentences.  He was a very smart man, who obviously wanted other people to know how smart he was.  Also, he pretty much never quoted anybody else, or cited other people’s  ideas.

I wonder if the world wouldn’t be a very different place if Fuller had been a better writer.  Or, if it would make any difference at all.  Maybe just not enough people are good readers.

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Inherit the Shit

“He who troubleth his own house shall inherit the shit.”- Poopverbs, 11:29

There are some people who just like stirring up shit.  Either that, or they just make inflammatory statements because they sound very witty  at the time and then when it blows up in their face because they didn’t really consider both sides of what they were saying, they say “Oh, well, hell, you know me, I just like stirring up shit,” as if that excuses them from being a total  moron, and usually, in fact, it does because most people are perfectly ready  to  give them the  face saving option and let everybody walk away from the argument.

Had a guy over at one of my Bernie pages today ranting and raving about what a horrible dictator Assad is and how could liberals excuse him, etc…, in seemingly total  obliviousness to the fact  that the U.S. has been trying to get rid of Assad for well over a year now and, clearly, it hasn’t worked.  Assad has a pretty good hold on power in Syria and most people prefer him to the alternative because the alternative is ISIS, or getting the fuck bombed out of them by Americans, and maybe both.  Nonetheless, with all of the possible topics to talk about, he’s decided that’s the one important one.

Then, at a poetry group I frequent, there  always seems to be somebody jumping up to attack a poem, and not even the worst poems, because there are some stinkers, for sure, when you can post anything, a lot of crap gets posted.  And the criticisms are invariably petty and nonconstructive, basically saying “this is dumb, this is boring.”  Why do they do that?  If there’s a legitimate criticism, sure, but it  seems people do it just  to be mean, and it isn’t just one person, either.

People suck.

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Down The Memory Hole

I wrote about this a  couple of days ago, maybe a week, how Discovery Channel is recycling old programs.  It embarrasses me to  say I  didn’t notice it for a while and I wonder how many times I’ve watched the same program, thinking I’m learning things about space and how the universe works, but I’m just seeing the same information over and over again.
But, it makes me think of something that happened a couple years back, which was never explained to my satisfaction.  Two scientists in Canada discovered signals from 234 different solar systems – suns very like our own.

Experts rushed to say it was not proof of extraterrestrial intelligence (even though it kind of is) and that more research was needed.  And from that day to this, no further research has been done, at least not publicly.  I tried looking for recent articles on it and found nothing more recent than about 7 months ago.    All of the articles said things like “it could have been human error,” which of course it could have, but it could have been  not human error, too, and “lots of stars give off anomalous signals,” which I’m sure is true, but when you get the same anomalous signal 234 times, it’s not anomalous any more.

I would understand (and appreciate it) if they could  come up with some information disproving the Borra-Trottier findings.  But, they’re trying to consign it to the same memory hole as Building 7 and the guys on the grassy knoll.
Which makes me think it’s real.

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Who, What, When, Where, Why and How?

There was a special election for a state Senate seat in the state of Wisconsin, and a lady Democrat beat out the Republican in a district which had gone for Trump in 2016.  Does this mean a blue wave is coming?
That is not at all the right question.  We don’t even know who this  woman is, and the story totally fails to answer, or even address the question.  Does she support universal health care?  Legalization of marijuana? Green energy initiatives?  Will she refuse to accept corporate money?  We don’t know.  The  article didn’t say.

Meanwhile, over on The Young Turks, Cenk Uygur is interviewing a woman running for congress, and she seems very nice, and she’s a nurse, which is a good thing, but… there are right wing nurses and there are left wing nurses and there are nurses that are in between.  I certainly don’t have any problem with a nurse running for congress, but that’s not what I want to know.

Journalists (and it’s not just an American phenomenon, other countries are no better) have totally abdicated their prime responsibility, which is to give the public the information it needs to make informed decisions.  So, can you blame people for  voting badly?

They need to go back to the 6 basic questions we all learned in journalism school:  who, what, when, where, why, and how.  Who is she?  (“a nurse” is not enough.  “a Democrat” is not enough.)  What does she stand for?  When did she decide to get involved?  Why is she running?  How will she change things?

I used to think social media would supplant journalism, because there is time enough to ferret out all these answers.  Even with no journalists involved, somebody has to know the answers.  It’s not working out that way, however.  Citizen journalists are almost as poor at journalism as real journalists.  We need to work a whole lot harder at it if we expect politicians to somehow, suddenly  become responsive.

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The Middle Class vs. Everyone Else

The most encouraging thing I saw today was from a representative of the  EU, who said (I’m totally paraphrasing) “You know, this Brexit thing isn’t inevitable.  If Britain wants to just forget about it, we’d be willing to leave things just the way they are.”  I think that is what is going to eventually happen because, as much noise as the Tories make about it, they know they are just spouting racism and bullshit to please their  base, and that actually leaving  the EU would be a disaster for Britain.

Speaking of their base, they really are very similar to America’s Republican party.  The core leadership is from among the ultra-wealthy. ( In Britain, that also  means titled, but whatever.  Money is money.)  And yet the  vast majority of their voters are not wealthy, or terribly well educated, at all.  As in America, they are the people who are worried that foreigners might take their jobs because they are the ones in jobs that foreigners could easily take.  Stacking boxes, cleaning houses, picking fruit, stuff like that.  Jobs for which English isn’t a requirement.
Between those two groups is a wide gulf, populated by people who aren’t among the filthy rich, but are smart enough to know the rich aren’t on  their  side.

So, the Republicans and, and the Tories, get the extreme rich and the  extreme (white) poor, and the Democrats (and the liberals) get the rest.
It’s no wonder they are trying to destroy the middle class.  The middle class votes against them.

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Manning for Senate

Chelsea Manning is running for Senator from Maryland, and I think  that is  absolutely fantastic.  She is somebody who has put  herself on  the line to bring the  truth to the American people, and she is somebody  who has paid a pretty steep price for that.  7 years in prison, and a good chunk of it in solitary confinement..  If anybody in America is anti-government, it is Chelsea Manning.

There is ample precedent for someone going from prison to politics.  Jean Valjean, of course, even though he’s fictional.  Nelson Mandela.  Former Czech president and founding father Vaclav Havel.  Uruguayan president Jose Mujica.  In fact, in South America, it’s not all  that uncommon.

I can’t think of any other examples of transgender people who’ve achieved high office, but the possibility of physically changing  your gender is still a relatively new one in  human history, so first time for everything.

Will she win?  I don’t know.  I imagine progressives will support her massively.  Establishment Democrats might  want to go against her, but they won’t be able to because  it wouldn’t be PC.  Of course, the Republicans will vote for whoever the Republican is, even if they fuck goats.  So, we’ll see.  It’s Maryland.  Always a toss-up.

I’m just glad to see that she’s come through  her ordeal  stronger and  bolder  than  ever before, and  I support  her 100%

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