Tendown August 21, 2016

Sunday, August 21, 2016

237 is here.  This is Tendown 238

1. Kissinger?

2. Impractical Movements

3. A good Piece about the Campaign.

How is it “economic reductionism” to campaign on a program that seeks to unite the broad working class around concerns shared throughout the class across race, gender, and other lines? Ironically, in American politics now we have a Left for which any reference to political economy can be castigated as “economic reductionism.”
It is similarly instructive that a strain of identitarian feminists repeatedly sought to characterize support for Sanders as coming mainly from sexist men on the Left. This was an adaptation of an earlier hoax about the existence of a phalanx of misogynist “brocialist” men who threatened feminists with rape or other violence for their reluctance to subordinate feminist concerns to a male-centered class-reductionist socialism.
It’s immensely revealing, and exposing this is one contribution the campaign made that I never anticipated, that we now have a “left” in the United States for which socialism is considered a marker of backwardness. It’s good that that is now clear; it’s always good to know where people stand in relation to class struggle.
4. Papelbon's Trump Song
The line about "rap" probably gives away the game.

Now maybe players don’t, or shouldn’t, care whether the home fans like them. If a Nationals player did care, though, he probably wouldn’t have wanted to wear a T-shirt reading “Obama can’t ban these guns” to hislet’s-make-amends spring training news conference. Nor would he have, on multiple occasions, played a political anthem while reporters were inside the Nats clubhouse.
The ditty was called “Vote For Trump,” and it included promises that “the wall will get built by Mexico” and that Trump would “bring back country [and] get rid of rap,” also noting that “if you don’t like it you can all just kiss our ass.”

6. Trillions?

7. Climate Change

We’re used to war as metaphor: the war on poverty, the war on drugs, the war on cancer. Usually this is just a rhetorical device, a way of saying, “We need to focus our attention and marshal our forces to fix something we don’t like.” But this is no metaphor. By most of the ways we measure wars, climate change is the real deal: Carbon and methane are seizing physical territory, sowing havoc and panic, racking up casualties, and even destabilizing governments. (Over the past few years, record-setting droughts have helped undermine the brutal strongman of Syria and fuel the rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria.) It’s not that global warming is like a world war. It is a world war. Its first victims, ironically, are those who have done the least to cause the crisis. But it’s a world war aimed at us all. And if we lose, we will be as decimated and helpless as the losers in every conflict--except that this time, there will be no winners, and no end to the planetwide occupation that follows.

8. Thinking about a Clinton Presidency (or why you shouldn't tell protesters at the convention that they're being ridiculous to curry favor with your fancy friends, Sarah Silverman)

The burgeoning social movements of the left should take a cue. The historical record is clear: Progress in America happens when militant social movements are willing to make life uncomfortable for liberal presidents, whether it be the sit-down strikes of the 1930s or the civil rights marches of the 1960s. Activists now have more tools in their political box, thanks to their online networks. Environmentalists, for instance, scored big by making the Keystone pipeline the target of their ire, combining targeted protests with online pressure campaigns to make it clear that Democrats—Clinton among them—couldn’t count on their vote until they landed on the right side of the issue.
Would President Clinton be annoyed by constant, nagging pressure from her left? Would her ferocious loyalists denounce the ungrateful dissidents for undercutting party unity in the face of Republican opposition? Yes, no doubt, on both counts. But if the left takes a chapter from Warren, from BLM, and from Sanders—and from the countless centrists and right wingers who have pressed their issues and images onto her for decades—Clinton may actually end up thanking them for the pressure.

Conservatives’ zeal for reining in government turns into something else when marginalized groups, or groups they disdain — people of color, women, LGBT Americans, low-income Americans — suffer under the only form of “big government” conservatives don’t seem to mind. In Baltimore and other cities, the police are essentially “big government in a blue uniform,” engaging in unchecked, arbitrary use of power against black citizens, without fear of punishment, and with the full authority of government behind them.

America is a land ruled by fear. We fear that our children will be abducted by strangers, that crazed gunmen will perpetrate mass killings in our schools and theaters, that terrorists will gun us down or blow up our buildings, and that serial killers will stalk us on dark streets. All of these risks are real, but they are minuscule in probability: taken together, these threats constitute less than three per cent of total annual homicides in the US.[9] The numerically greater threat to our safety, and the largest single category of strangers who threaten us, are the people we have empowered to use deadly force to protect us from these less probable threats. The question for Americans is whether we will continue to tolerate police violence at this scale in return for protection against the quantitatively less likely threats.

And one more...

that's all for this time, I'll be back next time...if there is a next time...

Your pal,  Jim

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