The Private Position of Tom Perez

Hillary Clinton once famously said that she had “public and private” positions.  She got a lot of flak for that but it was probably one of the most honest things she ever said.  I’m sure every politician has some private positions.  Even Bernie Sanders must have at some point thought “Damn, that Wasserman-Schultz bitch is a conniving weasel” or “Corey Booker really is as much of a toadying corporate tool as everybody says he is, isn’t he?” but I have never heard him express those thoughts in public.

Once you realize that’s the case, it becomes easier to dissect their statements, and get a bit of triangulation on where they stand.  Let’s take Tom Perez for example.  He said that it would be ‘impractical’ to hold a debate dedicated to the environment.  That’s actually his public position, dumb as it sounds.  He said that all the debates are going to be on all topics, because if you have a debate about the environment, next thing you know you’re going to have to have a separate debate about Medicare for All, or immigration, or education, or how to make taxes fair, or closing private prisons, or legalizing marijuana, or….well, you get the idea.
But, it really wouldn’t be impractical at all.  Logistically, it means renting a hall and sending out invitations.  Not much more difficult than that.
Since every debate means TV viewers, it’s the closest thing to free advertising that you can get and any party leader worth their salt is going to want to have a million of them.
So, what is Perez’ private view?  His private view is that they must stop Bernie at all costs, and if you have a debate on the environment, precisely 4 candidates are going to come out looking good: Bernie, Tulsi, Mike Gravel, and Jay Inslee.
And he does not want that.


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Bieber v. Cruise

This could well be the stupidest story of the last 10 years that hasn’t had “Florida Man” in the headline.  Justin Bieber has challenged Tom Cruise to a cage fight.
Why, I don’t know.  And, if Tom Cruise is a rational adult, he could just ignore the request and then there will be no story at all.  However, I’m not sure being a rational adult is Tom Cruise’s strong point.  I don’t know, I don’t know the guy, but he’s a Hollywood mega-star, with all the ego and the madness that involves, and he’s a scientologist.  I don’t know if that will make him more or less likely to accept the challenge, it just adds an extra element of weirdness to the whole thing.
Would it be a good fight?  Who, in fact, would win?  Don’t really know, don’t really care, but…Bieber is 30 years younger, a couple inches taller (but only a couple), and looking rather fit.  On the other hand, Tom Cruise does his own stunts, so they say, so he’s probably pretty fit.  Most people are thinking Cruise would kick his ass, but mostly they’re basing that on his film roles.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s a win/win.  I’m not a big fan of Cruise, I’m like the opposite of a fan of Bieber, and I see cage fighting as a strange phenomenon, perhaps a worrying sign of our civilization’s decadence, but a hell of a spectacle.
You can bet I would watch the hell out of that fight.

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Two New Poems

Last night I blew off writing my blog because I’d smoked too many joints and found myself, at 11:30 in the evening, staring numbly at the screen and not able to type, much less form a coherent thought.  Then, this morning, I forgot all about it.  So, it is noon and this is my make-up blog and I’ll write another one tonight.
On the positive side, as I was strolling through Facebook this morning, oblivious to my neglected bloggerish responsibility, I did get a couple of poems written, on a couple of points which people are discussing now.

The first was political:

Democratic Socialism
Socialist Democracy
the order of the words you use
does not mean all that much to me
words are labels that we choose
to name the ideologies
when, in fact, we ought to be
more focused on the policies

I see people raising this point, saying Bernie is not really a Democratic Socialist, he’s really a Socialist Democrat, and they might indeed be well meaning Berners who are just terminally nerdy, or they might in fact be trolls, I don’t know.  I am, however, always reminded of a scene from Life of Brian

The second one was in a discussion of Rocket Man, the Elton John biopic, which it seems most people are liking.  I haven’t seen it yet, and, I must confess, I haven’t seen Bohemian Rhapsody yet, either.  Everybody loved that one, too, but some die-hard Mercury fans complained that it cleaned up his life story a bit.  As I said, haven’t seen it, so my opinion isn’t really valid, but in theory I side with the director on that one.  If films followed real life with slavish accuracy, we’d just hate everybody.  So, I wrote this.

A biopic of a popular person

is, in fact, required to be

if you want to please the fans

a hagiography


And that’s it for last night’s blog this morning.

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A Day in Olomouc

I love kids, I really do, and the smallest ones most of all, but on the other hand I am really glad my own are past that stage, to the point where we can leave them by themselves, without too many worries.

Today, Helena and I took a trip to Olomouc.  Just a day trip, because we had coupons for the train ride, and who needs a better reason than that?  I’d never been there before, is also a pretty good reason, I guess.

It was a lovely day.  Had an ice coffee with ice cream, toured a Cathedral – a fairly impressive cathedral, but I got bored with cathedrals a long time age, seen one, seen ’em all, so couldn’t wait to get out of there.  Walked on, saw the David Cerny statue of a cat burglar hanging from a ledge and the cool thing is the it moved along the railing, and its legs swang very convincingly, and they’ve made it a sound show as well, as in occasionally it says things like “Do prdele!”, so   is it high art or low comedy, that is the question.  Carried on through old town square and environs, down an ally of old, brick buildings, and then we had lunch.  Helena wanted something Czech, and nice, but I won out.  So we had Viet Namese, and it was great.  I had noodles with seafood in a curry sauce.  Not the hottest curry sauce I’ve ever had, but it was a big portion and had enough shrimp in it to keep me happy.  Shrimp are to seafood what cashews are to nuts.  Like you’ll order a seafood pizza and it’s all just bloody crab, in the way that mixed nuts are almost all peanuts.  So, if you’re ever in Olomouc, I highly recommend Maison Viet.
To walk that off we went to the Rosarium (Rose Garden) and the Botanical Garden, where we sat by a pool of carp with water lilies and contemplated the many forms of nature.  Continued on, stopped in a mall for a while, because that’s one of the tourist attractions of any city according to Helena, and then jumped on a tram and rode around the city for an hour, seeing sights while resting our feet, and then it was time to head home.
We took the Pendolino, which is like a luxury train, I guess.  It was basically like any other train, but with an air travel theme going on.  You know, snack cart rumbling up and down the aisle, complementary newspapers and bottled water, that sort of thing.
All in all, a beautiful day and well spent.

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It’s All Good

We Berners can be a defensive lot.  Some might call it paranoid, but I think in view of the fact that the primaries in 2016 WERE rigged against him, and in view of the fact that the DNC not only has never apologized but gives every indication of doing the same shit again, I consider a bit of defensiveness justified.
On the other hand, I’m a short attention span sort of news junkie, and often make assumptions based on a headline or a very quick perusal of the article, sometimes just of a synopsis of the article.
Still, when Time Magazine wrote an article on Bernie Sanders, and put his picture on the cover, and a lot of Berners attacked the article, saying it was a hit piece, I defended Time.  Partly because hey, they gave him space and put his picture on the cover.  That’s got to be good, right?
They persisted, so I read the article.  While it is a bit passive aggressive and implies that Bernie should try to be something he’s not, I think overall it showed why Bernie Sanders will be a great president.

The article said he cared more about policy than actually trying to relate to people, which is kind of a strange thing to say of someone who draws overflow crowds wherever he goes, but I’ll entertain the thought.

If you want somebody who’s good at shmoozing with the crowd, or making babies smile, you might go for Biden, or Harris, or Warren. But, we’ve tried the experiment of a president ‘you’d want to have a beer with,’ and it did not work out so well.
Bernie’s got the right policies. He’s got policies that will get people back to work, and at decent wages. He’s got policies that will clean up the environment, and improve American schools, and roads, and bridges. He’s got policies which will make the world a safer place.

Voters want that more than they want a selfie.


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The Environmental Debate

I do love Tulsi Gabbard because she’s the strongest anti-war candidate, and her resigning from the DNC to support Bernie in 2016 was an act of tremendous political courage and ethics.  Of course, I still love Bernie, and I think he’s going to be the next president, if he can get past the DNC.  Mike Gravel is cool, but he’s not serious.  Then there’s Jay Inslee.  He’s among that group of candidates who poll at 1% or lower, but he’s not a political outsider like Marianne Williamson or Andrew Yang.  He was governor of Washington, so that’s something.
And he’s running with the environment as his central issue.  He thinks there should be a debate dedicated to climate change.  The DNC has said no.  Let me repeat that.  The Democratic National Committee has said that they specifically do not want to talk about the subject of climate change.
I can’t imagine why.  Oh, it might hurt some candidates.  Like Beto O’Rourke, who does not support a ban on fracking, and anybody who takes money from oil companies, or who has ever voted for an unnecessary pipeline, which is most of them, actually.
Also, this (and the fact that they’ve fiddled with the rules to qualify for debates 3 and 4) makes me worried that the Democrats are planning to get by on just 4 or 5 debates before the primaries again, which means they’ll probably schedule them opposite football games again, which is an absurdly bad strategy.  It’s what they did in 2016.  Meanwhile, the Republicans were having something like 20 or 30 debates, giving all their candidates lots of TV time.  Look who won that election.
Of course the Democrats should have one debate dedicated to climate change.  They should have one debate about taxing the rich.  They should have a debate about education.  They should have a debate about health care.  They should have a debate about legalizing marijuana, ending private prisons, and school shootings.  They should have debates about ending unemployment, and homelessness, and  fixing our infrastructure.  They should have a debate about foreign affairs.  They should be having shit-tons of debates.
And let the best candidate win.

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A Disturbing Mindset

There’s an ad I saw several times on Facebook and I don’t know why, because it’s an ad for a game and I’m not a gamer at all, and I find it a bit disturbing.  I’ve also been getting hit with a lot of ads for a Game of Thrones game lately, but that’s truly an innocuous fantasy and I’m not disturbed by the content.
Now, when I say ‘disturbed’ I’m not suggesting that it should be banned, or censored.  I banned my own kids from playing Grand Theft Auto, but never suggested it be pulled from the market or anything.  This is sort of the same.

The initial line of the ad is “Would WWIII be survivable?” or something like that, and then a whole bunch of pictures of apocalyptic battle scenes, and then “Lead your nation to Victory” or something G.I. Joeish like that.

The thing is, it’s actually like they’re selling the idea of WWIII.  Even cigarette packets have to warn that the damned things might kill you, slowly and painfully.  This is saying “Hey, nuclear war might not be so bad.  You could live with it.”  I guess, sort of in a Hunger Games/Water World/Escape from New York sort of way.  If a lot of people you hated got wiped out and just you and your friends and family, at least those in your family you like, could survive in the woods in Montana or something, it could actually be kind of awesome.

Of course, most people will see it as a harmless game, and for those who see it that way, that’s what it will be.  But, our current political landscape seems to indicate that there are a lot of people out there who don’t do so well in the distinguishing reality from fantasy category.  I’m afraid that this is going to get them ready to vote for nuclear war.

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