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Are Gay Jokes about Buttigieg O.K. ?

Some people say “avoid the comments section, that way lies madness!” but I say the comments section is where it’s at. That’s were you find humor, and an occasional nugget of wisdom.
That is also, of course, where you find the large and seemingly unstoppable flow of ignorance, vitriol, and pig-headedness that is the mainstream of human culture.
It ain’t pretty, but it’s important to know it’s there.
Anyway, just now someone posted an actual headline from CNN that said “Sanders leads the pack, Buttigieg sneaks up the rear.” Now, that might not have been intended as a gay joke at all. It’s a common enough phrase, and we all know what is meant.
But, (or should I say butt?) in the comments section, people were going to town. It is a law of the social media universe that every pun is met by a whole wave of puns, because that’s an easy way to look clever and everybody in the comments section is an attention seeking 3rd grader at heart. I know I am.
Of course, the tone police came in. I’m a bit of a grammar noodge myself, so I totally understand the urge of people to come in and, instead of discussing the topic at hand, tell other people how the conversation should be regulated. So, I’m not criticizing people for saying “You shouldn’t make gay jokes about Pete Buttigieg. That’s not nice, and Bernie wouldn’t approve of that.” They mean well, and they’re not entirely wrong.
But if by some bizarre fluke Pete Buttigieg, the racist and not overly competent former mayor of a mid-sized Indiana city, were to get the Democratic nomination, does anybody think for one second the Republicans will avoid gay jokes?
They will be coming at us from every angle, 24/7, full volume, and they won’t all be jokes.
In fairness, the Republicans will have similar attacks on everybody. If Bernie gets the nomination we’re going to be hearing “Communist Jew!” all day long for months. But, Bernie can deal with it. He will keep explaining what Democratic Socialism really means, and so will his supporters, and the anti-semitic thing has its limits.
It appeals to Trump’s base, but most Americans don’t really hate Jews that much. We love Barbara Streisand, and admire Ruth Bader Ginsberg. We laugh our asses off at Ben Stiller movies, and some of us even like Adam Sandler.
Pete, on the other hand, does not have policies. At least, not any he has clearly articulated. So, the election will become a referendum on homosexuality. Which is not what we need at this time, and which we would probably lose.

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De Blasio's Endorsement

Just read an article (well, I read the headline and two or three lines down before I got to the big box asking me to subscribe which, fuck that) in the New York Times about how Bill De Blasio is set to endorse Bernie Sanders, and campaign with him in Nevada.
Now, regular readers will know I have little faith in the word of the New York (weapons of mass destruction) Times, but I can’t imagine they’ve got this wrong. It’s not as if the NYT wanted to write a story about a major U.S. politician endorsing Sanders, so they wouldn’t have made it up.
It is a welcome endorsement. Sure, he endorsed Hillary in 2016, as she humiliated him on stage with her bad comedy routine, but that’s bygones. He’s endorsing Bernie now.
He was mayor of New York City, the same position once held by Mike Bloomberg, so it’s good to get that perspective.
It is great that we’ve got endorsements from Cardi B and Lizzo and Killer Mike, artists I’d never heard of until they endorsed Bernie (I am 65, pasty white, and not exactly au courant with the musical trends of the young folk these days), but we’re still a bit short on endorsements from establishment politicians. De Blasio is a huge step in that direction.
So, thank you for your support, Bill! Together, we will make the world a better place.

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Cafe Souterrain Poetry Reading Feb. '20

Just got back from my once a month, multi-lingual, old brick cellar poetry reading and sidewalk recreational herbal ingestion period, and it was a good one.
Got there and saw it was in the main room, which generally I don’t like. The back room gives us isolation from the bar crowd. Nothing against the bar crowd, it is a bar and therefore it’s their objective to get as many people in to buy as many drinks as possible, but those who do not come deliberately for a poetry reading tend to have an indifference to poetry that is overwhelming. They talk as if we weren’t there, and it can be a noise war.
Anyway, I saw right away that we were in the main room, and during our 1st sidewalk recreational, concerns were expressed. But, it wound up being no problem at all. The poetry crowd grew throughout the evening, and the bar crowd dwindled.
Lots of people got up and read, many for the first time, and a way higher than average percentage of women, like maybe almost half. I always like that. It adds a different perspective. One girl read a short story about the very sad life, and somewhat bizarre suicide, of a lonely, 30ish woman with no friends and no social life, and it was horrifyingly sad.
There were poems in French, Spanish, German, Russian and Czech, I think one in Slovak, too. A couple of musical acts.
The scene was popping, so much that I had to leave early because tomorrow is a workday. It was not raining on the way home, but it had rained.

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State of the Race

Overall, I feel pretty good about the day in the race. Since Yang dropped out, I’ve been seeing lots of messages on my Bernie boards from Yang Gangers coming over to our side, and that is good news. Not just for their numbers. I have often noted their ability to mount a concerted campaign on social media, to speak with one voice, and maybe that’s an element we need.
A couple of others are out, too, like Patrick Duval. And, of course, Biden and Warren have pretty much lost all viability as serious contenders. Warren’s speech after the results were announced was downright embarrassing. She bitched at Sanders supporters for using bad language and said we’re ‘destroying politics.’
As to the bad language charge, I’m not sure what incident she’s referring to – could she maybe give an example? If it’s that occasionally we use curse words on line, then Liz Warren needs to get a grip.
As to ‘destroying politics,’ that sounds like a plus to me. Politics suck, politics is corrupt, and deceitful, and more often than not detrimental to the general public in every way.
We just want Medicare for All and a cleaner, greener environment. Nothing political about it.

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The Backlash to American Journalism

Well, we’ll see in the morning (Central European Time) who won in New Hampshire. I expect a solid Bernie win, but after the bullshit they pulled in Iowa, I am very, very nervous.
I did see a clip of some part of the problem news guy interviewing a lady in a diner in New Hampshire, and she said she voted for Bernie just because MSNBC was being mean to him, which was encouraging. I hope millions of people across America are starting to take that attitude.
They should. Chris Matthews, who was once upon a time a respected commentator (I used to respect him, anyway, maybe I was naive) has come completely unhinged, with his insinuation that Bernie Sanders is going to be executing people in Central Park. The way he arrived at that conclusion was a clear example of the denial that infests the Democratic party. I’m paraphrasing here, but I’m representing the gist accurately. “I just don’t know what Bernie means by socialism. He always talks about Denmark. How Denmark is such a great place with their Health Care and free college. But he never talks about Cuba.” O.K., let me break that down for you, Chris Matthews. He always references Denmark (and other European countries, and sometimes even Canada) because that’s the kind of socialism he means. What do you mean, you don’t know what he means? He told you what he means. We know you heard him, because you just said it back. The reason he doesn’t reference Cuba is because that’s not what he’s talking about. You’re the one who mentioned Cuba. Matthews also said the Democratic Party is the only thing standing between America and the abyss, which is pretty comical.
Then there is Chuck Todd, who compared Bernie supporters to Hitler’s brown shirts, which is seriously over the top. We may be argumentative, but we’re not actually throwing real world, physical rocks through people’s actual windows. We may occasionally tell an obnoxious person to fuck off, on social media, but we’re not throwing people through windows. We may advocate solar and wind energy, and Medicare for All, but we’re not advocating the extermination of any particular group of people. (Billionaire is not a race. If you are a billionaire and don’t like our comments about guillotines and such, you can always give away some of your money to a good cause, and people will like you)
So, yeah, journalists should not be surprised that they are not believed or trusted. It’s what happens when you lie all the time.

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Rainy Day

It was raining like a bastard when I got up this morning and left the flat at 7:30 to catch the train up to beautiful Kralupy nad Vltavou, where I teach for a couple of hours every Monday.
My plan was to try and get some poetry written on the train, mostly one I just haven’t been able to figure out the ending for. But, lo and behold, the last two lines just popped into my head as I was leaving the Metro and walking into Masarykova Nadrazi. Still early, had time to buy a ticket and a nut roll. At 17 crowns, you can’t beat it. Actually a filling breakfast.
Then, I saw on the board that my train was on platform 5. But, maybe I saw wrong. I got on the train and thought “This doesn’t look right.” It had different seats than the train I usually catch and it didn’t have the chyron with the destination and all. So, I asked somebody and he said no, it’s going to Neratovice which, since I have no idea where that is, I didn’t know if it would even be on my way. Tried to get off but the train started right then.
So, I had to get off at the first station, wait for the train back, and catch the next train from Masarykovo. Which was delayed.
I did, however, get out my poetry notebook and once I tacked on my brilliant final two lines, I realized they rhymed a little too perfectly. I’d rhymed live with live, and hive with hive.
So, I had to add a couple more verses to cover that, but I got it in the end.
And nobody was too worried that I was almost an hour late.

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Red Flag in Nevada

Emma Goldman has been named Voter Protection Director for the Nevada Democratic Caucus. It’s nice that they realize the need for a voter protection director, especially after Iowa was so fucked up that a lot of people may never trust the Democratic Party again. It’s also nice that they’ve agreed not to use the Shadow app. And Emma Goldman looks like a very nice lady. She probably has friends.
BUT, she is a paid staffer for Pete Buttigieg, and if that isn’t a steaming pile of bullshit, I don’t know what is.
I know all my vbnmw friends and family think I’m paranoid, and whiny, and ready to call foul at the slightest infraction because I’m Bernie or Bust, but dammit, the infractions keep coming. It doesn’t seem to matter how much we object to their cheating, Tom Perez does not resign, and they keep on cheating.
Here’s my suggestion: if there’s going to be a voter protection director, then there should be a voter protection director from each campaign, and they should all be together all the time and all use the same equipment and methods, so nobody can sneak off and do something dirty behind everybody’s back – which I am certain they are planning to do.
I don’t know what polling places in America are like now, but when I was living there, each polling place would be staffed by Democratic Volunteers and Republican volunteers, who would sit there all day and drink coffee and talk about their kids (my Mom did it a few times, she was very civic minded like that)
I don’t know that it was a perfect system. I’m sure political cheating goes right back to the days of John Adams, but at least they were trying. I’m very tired of this “We can cheat, fuck you, haha” attitude that the Democratic Party is taking.

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