Category Archives: Blogs' Archive

Why Free College is Great

There are many advantages to free college. It would reduce unemployment since a high percentage of people 18-22 would be in school, and working part-time jobs at most. It might reduce crime a bit, too, by the same logic. It would certainly make a big difference to a lot of people’s lives, and that’s a good thing.
The biggest advantage to it, though, and the reason it makes perfect sense to pay for it with tax dollars, is that it will benefit society as a whole. Trade schools are included in Bernie’s plan, so within a few years of implementation, a lot of people will be graduating with mad skills in plumbing, automobile repair, electronics, and so forth. That will make it a lot easier to get things done, and done well.
It will also increase the raw number of physicists, mathematicians, doctors, botanist, chemists, engineers and architects. That increases the field of people who have a realistic chance of finding a cure for cancer, designing buildings which are comfortable to live and work in and have a negative carbon footprint, perfecting robots who can do all the work, synthesize chemicals which can raise everybody’s IQ by 10 points, and inventing a practical flying car.
It may cost a bit to transition to the system, and Bernie has explained how to pay for it, but it will bring much more money into the economy in the end.

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Pete Seriously Fucks Up

Once upon a time, candidates careers were destroyed over much less. Muskie’s wayward tear, Howard Dean’s scream, Biden’s plagiarized speech, Dukakis being photographed in a tank and looking like a total dork. But, now we are in the Trump era, so I don’t know.
Our current story takes place in South Carolina. It’s the first of the primary states with a large black population, and Buttigieg is not the most popular person in the world with black people. In fact, as mayor of South Bend, he’s been precisely on the wrong side of the whole Black Lives Matter movement.
So, I guess he felt he needed to do something, so he came up with “The Douglass Plan.” Now, I’ve only scanned the table of contents. It looks like he says some nice things about education and prison reform, but it seems a lot of the money is going into grants for black entrepreneurs. Not exactly horrible, but it seems very much like an Andrew Yang solution to a problem that’s more complicated than that. That said, my problem is not with the plan itself.
It’s not even with the fact that the illustration accompanying the plan is a stock photo – a bit tacky for a major campaign, but hardly criminal. The picture is of a black woman squatting down to talk at face level with a black child – a nice photo. Which was shot in Kenya. I don’t know why they couldn’t have taken a photo of some black people in South Carolina but, again, that is not the problem.
The problem is that Buttigieg reported that 400 prominent South Carolinians had endorsed the plan, which kind of implies that they endorse Buttigieg.
Of the three most prominent black people on the list, two politicians and a minister, one said that she thinks the issues in the plan need to be discussed but that doesn’t mean she’s voting for Buttigieg, and the other two said something more along the lines of “WTF? I didn’t put my name down for this shit.”
It gets worse. Half the names on the list were white people, some were not South Carolina residents, a few names appeared on the list twice, and several couldn’t be located at all so may just have been made up names.
Apparently, the campaign sent out an e-mail to a bunch of people and said “If you don’t want to endorse this plan, please let us know before 4 p.m.” So, people who didn’t read the plan at all, or just glanced and then ignored it, had their names on the list.
The main thing for me, the reason I think this should end his campaign, is not so much the cheating aspect of it. It’s the ‘how stupid does he have to be to think he could get away with this’ aspect of it. This was a public, online thing. Did he think people wouldn’t notice that their names were on his list? Does he understand how the internet works?

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Which Way Will They Break?

How will the blue no matter who people react when Bernie is nominated? They will be split, obviously. Groups are always split when a new factor is introduced. It’s true in nature. When there’s a boulder in the stream, there are suddenly two streams. So it is with people.
The question is, where is the fault line and how big is the split? Here is my prediction: the rank and file centrists, the people who enthusiastically voted for Hillary and still blame Bernie somewhat for causing her defeat will be angry, and bitter, but they will come around because they are regular human beings who want the best world possible for themselves, their children, their country and the world.
The people who actually control the Democratic party may pay lip service, because you don’t actually come out against your party’s nominee traditionally (a few Democrats, like Manchin, may actually defect) but they will secretly be rooting for Trump. They have huge amounts of money and don’t want to pay taxes. (Pelosi and Schumer are in this category)
The media will continue to be anti-Bernie. I wouldn’t expect Rachel Maddow, or Trevor Noah to actually support Trump, but the basic media bias will still be there. The major networks, and the big newspapers, will continue to ignore Bernie’s large and enthusiastic rallies, and will gladly talk about Trump constantly.
But as long as we keep focusing on his policies, with which a huge majority of the American people agree, he will win.

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A Maze in Tchaiovna

I went to a lovely poetry reading last night, after a pretty good one the night before because they never co-ordinate these things. But it’s the one last night I want to write about.
It was at the relatively newly re-opened A Maze in Tchaiovna, and it was my first time at this location. It’s a short walk from Dejvicka Metro Station, on Kafkova St., which I find weirdly appropriate. I doubt they chose the location based on the street name, but it’s very cool.
It’s bigger, and even more complex than the last place. On my first futile attempt to find the poetry reading, before going back upstairs to the bar to ask directions, I passed many isolated rooms where people were playing chess, or cards, or just hanging out.
When I found the performance area, which is maybe a bit bigger than the last performance area, but similar. Some tables and chairs, lots of loose chairs, and a corner of couches. The stage is nice and large, and no microphone was needed. It was completely sealed off from outside noise. Perfect.
The thing that struck me right off the bat was that I didn’t know anybody there. Like I said, there’s no co-ordination between these events. I may have seen a couple of them at different poetry events, and talked to a few before the night was through, and one girl came in later who I’d met at the poetry reading last night, but essentially, it was a crowd of random strangers, so I had no idea what to expect when I got up on stage to do my “I’ll Vote Blue No Matter Who just as long as it’s Bernie” song. Well, the reaction was great, everything I could have hoped for. People were clapping along, giving callback to the lines, and I was loving it. It’s like wherever you go, all you have to do is mention Bernie Sanders and all of a sudden you’ve got a mini Bernie Sanders rally on your hands.

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The Crowded Field

Yeah, so Mike Bloomfield and Deval Patrick have joined the race, which sort of devalues all of the debates that have been held so far, but never mind that.
Billionaire Mike Bloomfield becomes the second billionaire in the race (on the Democratic side) and the second former Republican (after Warren) and the second mayor (after Buttigieg) who is thoroughly despised by his African-American constituents, which is kind of a key demographic for the Democrats.
Patrick Deval is a former governor of Massachusetts, but is closely linked (along with Mitt Romney) to Bain Capital. He is a black man but, like Corey Booker, he’s nothing but a grifter and unlikely to gain the votes of people who are struggling to get by.
Neither one of them has a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming president, so why are they even getting into the race?
Here’s my theory, call me crazy if you like.
The DNC, whose main goal is denying Bernie the nomination at all costs, is not only worried that Elizabeth Warren won’t make it across the finish line, based on her limited demographic, and a few little scandals here and there (the Indian thing is nothing compared to the daughter-being-a-health-care-for-profit executive thing), but that she plus all the other losers in the campaign won’t be enough to stop Bernie from getting 51% on the first ballot. So, they’re flooding the field a bit more. Their logic is that if Patrick can get 5% of the delegates, and Bloomberg say 2%, that means that Warren, Biden, Buttigieg, Harris, Klobuchar et alii only need to get 44% of the delegates between them and it goes to the 2nd ballot, where the DNC can do whatever they want.
If Bernie continues to surge, they will add still more candidates.

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The Impeachment Begins

I guess the impeachment began today, or at least the hearings of the investigation to decide whether to have an impeachment or not began, but it’s the same thing. From what I’ve heard, the most exciting event of the day was that a drag queen from New Jersey was in attendance.

That’s O.K. The important thing is that it has begun. There will be hearing every day for a while, and on some of those days things will leak out that will lead to other things that will lead to other things, and on other days there will be a lot of people saying “I don’t recall” 56 times in a row and that doesn’t look very good, either.
And, on some of those days, Trump supporters in the House and Senate will say “That’s it, the bozo crossed the line that time, I’m out” and another pundit will suddenly turn on him, and this will have a cumulative effect because there won’t be any turning the other way.
Of course, it will be the Ukrainian thing highlighted in the hearings, and in the news, for now, and that’s not bad. He’s guilty as sin and the extra added bonus is that it shines a light on Biden’s corruption as well.
There are dozens of other incidents and issues that should be highlighted as well, Ivanka’s exceptions to the tariffs, weekends at Mar a Lago paid for by the taxpayers, the connection between Anthony Kennedy’s resignation and forgiveness of Trump’s debt by Deutschebank, and his taxes, OMG I do hope they eventually get to his taxes.
But I’m not too bothered if it doesn’t happen in a hurry. The best thing that can happen for the Democrats is if they can drag this out until the middle of next summer and the Republicans will be forced to choose between backing someone who might get sacked in disgrace and then thrown in jail on state charges sometime in October, or pick another candidate.

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Support

I find it very unfair that Tulsi Gabbard gets so much criticism because a few right-wingers here and there have endorsed her. David Duke is the most notable of these. It is weird, because she’s not exactly pure white, and I suspect it’s just that she’s physically attractive (or else it’s deliberate shit-stirring on his part) but either way, it does not mean that Tulsi is a right winger, or condones those people.
On the other hand, I have noticed a tendency among Sanders supporters to reject any tainted support. The tl;dr version of this blog is that I think maybe we’re going a bit over the top. I love the purity of Sanders’ message, but politics is, indeed, messy.
Peter Daou is a former Hillary person who is now openly supportive of Bernie, and tweets brilliant tweets. A lot of Sanders supporters have trouble accepting this, and say things like ‘He’s still a piece of shit” which isn’t very nice, and certainly not very productive. If someone shows up late for the party, they should still be welcome to the party, especially if they bring wine.
You still see Sanders supporters talking shit about Sarah Silverman, which is, to use her own word, ridiculous. 2016 is over. This is the 2020 election.
And, I’ve seen plenty of skepticism on the left about Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian’s endorsement of Bernie. Lighten up, people. Watch their show, don’t watch their show, but an endorsement is an endorsement.
Today, in the news, there was a bit that actually came from the Sanders’ campaign. He’d been given a donation by a billionaire, and they (the campaign) sent the check back immediately.
On the one hand, the donation was only for $470 (no idea why she chose that amount), but it’s not the kind of billionaire donation that is an attempt to influence policy. Maybe she’s just a very rich lady who truly thinks Sanders is the best for the job. So, I kind of think the money should have been accepted. Yes, there is a class war going on. That doesn’t mean all billionaires are evil, that we shouldn’t ever try to deal with them as individuals.
Then I saw that she’d also donated to Harris and O’Rourke. O.K., that part I don’t understand, but it still doesn’t mean she expected any quid pro quo.
Don’t get me wrong. I feel Sanders is the best man for the job because he’s the candidate with the most comprehensive plan for saving the planet, with the best plan for creating jobs and eliminating homelessness. He’s the candidate who will work hardest for universal health care, legalize marijuana and close private prisons, clear student debt and make universities free, and much, much more.
And I agree with him that billionaires, by and large, are a blight on society. This is just a slight disagreement about tone and tactics.

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