Quote of the Day

In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.-- George Orwell

“I would rather be a swineherd at Amagerbro and be understood by the swine than be a poet and be misunderstood by people.” ― Søren Kierkegaard, Either/Or: A Fragment of Life

The opinions, rants and absurdities expressed herein belong solely to the founder of RBPD. Read with caution. Content may induce nausea, confusion, vertigo, tears, hallucinations, anger, pity, reflexive piety, boredom, convulsions, lightheadedness, a fit of ague, or an opposing view.

Books by RBP writers: Round Bend Press Books. For RBP's writing and editing services go here.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Charles Lucas

















Lucas' ceramic work at a remodeled McMenamins' hotel in Bend, Oregon.


TS

Saturday, June 25, 2016

7

I watched this game today.

ChiSox blasted seven homers and still managed to lose, the third time in MLB history a team has scored such ignominy.

Oddly--or perhaps ineptly--all of the home runs were solo shots. One was an inside-the-park job.

Such weirdness, but that's baseball.

TS

10




















If you say so.


TS

Subterranean Blues Again


CD folds his public blog.

He is full on secret agent now, but I have a feeling something more sublime and, dare I say it, subversive, will spurt from the hell fire of his restless mind.

Sad to hear this; there were always nuggets and gems therein.

I'm holding out for a position on the blessed list of secret readers with private access to his new reality.

Meanwhile, read this.


TS

The Cloning of the American Mind
















Like perpetual war, the effort to keep everyone tucked in and suitable for digestion has emerged with a vengeance.

Be damned if you do not fit the ultimate profile, whatever it may be; remember, there is a good chance you may never be an acceptable human being--or consumer.


TS 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Prine



The End:  "Sam Stone."

Poem of the Day: Naomi Lazard


TS

The Right Wing


Want to shut him up?

Use this ruse.

Works every time (excepting Cheney).

Scene:  Combined Cabinet and CFR Meeting

Bernie:  I'd like to say something.
Hillary:  What now, bumble bag?
Bernie:  I'm sorry, am I out of place?
Hillary:  When have you not been, creep?
Bernie:  Should I go greet the church ladies in the garden then?
Hillary:  Now would be a good time, farty pants.

(pause)

Bernie: I'm sorry, Hilly.
Hillary: You irrelevant little twerp.  Bill, get him out of here.
Bill:  Will do honey cakes.
Hillary:  Thanks sweetie pie.
Henry:  Well done, Hills.
Cheney: Indeed, Hilly.  That's some real authority there, gal.

(Bill leads Bernie out of the meeting.)

Bernie:  I protest!  I voted for you!

(Everybody laughs.)

Blackout:  The play is over


TS

Summer School

Anti-Trump hysteria is another problem. The Donald is at war with the party he will nominally lead. But even were a truce somehow arranged, he would still fall – because he is too much of a narcissist not to self-destruct. This is perfectly obvious, yet far too many liberals refuse to see it. For far too many others, the mere possibility of a Trump presidency is enough to get their lesser evil juices flowing.

Sanders may only be grasping for a face-saving way to surrender to Hillary, but he too, like that other Great Progressive Hope, Elizabeth Warren, is feeding the wave of anti-Trump hysteria.--AL

In case you haven't learned by now I'll remind you one last time, it's all here for your moral and intellectual edification.

Of course if you're unwilling to learn there's nothing to be done.


TS

Summer Farming

Summer to arrive tomorrow.

Sun god shows up just in time for the Blues Festival.

The "donation" is $10 (no reentry) firm this year, and war is still "peace."  A pass allows you to come and go as you please, but it's considerably more expensive.

In other words, money buys the freedom to come and go and everybody else gets farmed.


TS

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Still Mad



The End:  The Dixie Chicks.

Poem of the Day: Gwendolyn Brooks


TS

Good Read


I spent the weekend reading Cormac McCarthy's "The Road."

Maybe you've read it--it won the Pulitzer Prize in 2006 and a movie was made from it soon thereafter, which I haven't seen.

Hell, it was written like a screenplay, with striking imagery and naked dialogue.  A natural, like McCarthy had planned ahead for the big payoff.

A stunning book, if post-apocalyptic genres are your thing.  They're not mine generally, but this one transcended the form.

Not the least because the prose is like poetry in parts, but alas lost in others.

TS

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Con Job

The character traits of the Clintons are as despicable as those that define Trump. The Clintons have amply illustrated that they are as misogynistic and as financially corrupt as Trump. Trump is a less polished version of the Clintons. But Trump and the Clintons share the same bottomless guile, megalomania and pathological dishonesty. Racism is hardly limited to Trump. The Clintons rose to power in the Democratic Party by race-baiting, sending nonviolent drug offenders of color to prison for life, making war on “welfare queens” and being “law-and-order” Democrats. The Clintons do a better job of masking their snakelike venom, but they, like Trump, will sell anyone out.--CH

It's like the Spy vs. Spy cartoons I dug as a kid.

Chris Hedges blows it up.

Sanders supporters, however, were given a stark lesson in how the political process is rigged. Some are disgusted and politically astute enough to defect to the Green Party. But once they no longer play by the rules, once they become “spoilers,” they will be ignored or ridiculed by a corporate press, excoriated by liberal elites and chastised by their former candidate.

How true.


TS

The Beat Goes On

The last gasp of hegemony?

"We are occupied. Have you forgotten how put down we are?"--Jesus Christ Superstar


TS

Shut Up, Liz, You Moron


Tawdry, cheap bullshit.  Warren has entered the circus full-throttle as HC's hatchet girl.  Some role?!

Does she have a clue she's preaching to the choir?

I feel like I'm in a loop machine with the most distasteful cheap rhetoric imaginable cascading down on me, a quiet victim in the vacuum of the street having to listen to a carnival barker, aka the corporate media pushing Liz front and center.

Like, really center.

Talk about exploitation of the moment.  Naturally the equally tawdry website, which once claimed it would never treat Trump as anything more than an entertainment, is all in with this trash.

The HP was never my cup of tea (I was banned long ago for mocking one of Arianna's obnoxious self-help pieces), so what it does isn't surprising or out of the ordinary, and I can't say it has disappointed me.

But what a disappointment Warren has turned into.

TS

Saturday, June 18, 2016

CCR



The End:  Elections special, CCR.

Poem of the Day:  Hayden Carruth


TS

Detritus: Questions, Sideshows, and Liz Warren

Why do people waste ink on Donald Trump?

For the same reason they have from the onset.  A clown show that big media find irresistible. Ratings, rating, clicks, ratings and more clicks.

Sell me some toilet paper, the softer on my arse the better!

It is pathetic.  Even Liz Warren is like an obvious child now, ranting against the presumptive loser. She's wasting her time.

It's a good way to avoid expressing anything important, I guess. But she's being as foolish as the rest of the sideshow players.

I used to like Liz a little.  Now she's just evolved into another political hooligan.

Trump doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell to become prez.  The GOP is a joke.  Those not plotting against him in a convention coup have already jumped ship to Hillary.

Trump has his shrinking pool of thoughtless bastards.  We can't get rid of them as a society.  What is the point of trying when a real education is forbidden?

How many times can people cry fascist in a polity of oligarchs?  Minds are made up.  But you need to know that both parties trend toward fascism.

I read that Clinton is vaingloriously trying to win over the other dynastic shit clown, G.W. Bush, praising his time in the Oval Office now, trying to shovel in the neocons who are already, hilariously, in her corner. Another sideshow like this abysmal crap.

That's politics as they say.  She's certainly a malleable beach, I do have to confess.  She has about as much loyalty to her base as hubby Bill had for their marriage.  But then again, "times they are achangin."

But nothing will tear her from her ultimate loyalty.

Clinton and Trump, unless he's unseated in Cleveland.

Some fucking choice.  At least there is this in store for Philly.

It'll be interesting to see what happens in the Cleveland coup if it happens. The reaction from the far right ought to be interesting.

Some real potential for bloodshed would come out of it I do believe. Votes are stolen and locked up and rigged from the get-go.  When the right discovers this there could be problems.

Maybe the Trumpeters will be the first to show a sign of life and authentic anger.  They after all own the majority of the semi-automatics that do the damage in schools, movie theaters and dance halls these days.

I tend to agree with this guy's thinking.

"There must be some kind of way outta here said the joker to the thief."--Bob Dylan


TS

Cartoon of the Day
























TS

Friday, June 17, 2016

Do Yourself a Favor

The facile and indiscriminate use of the term fascism has led to a widespread misunderstanding and misuse of its meaning. Asked to define fascism, most people would respond in terms such as dictatorship, anti-Semitism, mass hysteria, efficient propaganda machine, mesmerizing oratory of a psychopathic leader, and the like.

Such a pervasive misconception of the meaning of the term fascism is not altogether fortuitous. It is largely because of a longstanding utilitarian misrepresentation of the term. Fascism is deliberately obfuscated in order to sanitize capitalism. Ideologues, theorists and opinion-makers of capitalism have systematically shifted the systemic sins of fascism from market/capitalist failures to individual or personal failures.--IH-Z

I suggest you start here and then spend the remainder of your weekend polishing off the remaining essays.

I'm not saying you must read it all; I'm saying you should read it all. For your betterment, of course. You do want to become a better person, don't you?


TS

Thursday, June 16, 2016

At Last

A Wisconsin congresswoman, "sick and tired, and sick and tired of being sick and tired, of the criminalization of poverty," plans to introduce a bill requiring drug tests for the rich before high-dollar tax deductions are approved.--CD

 Beautiful idea!  About time.


TS

You're Right (I'm Wrong)



There's a big buzz surrounding this collaboration by two singer/songwriters I've always enjoyed.

I'll have to see if they have a Portland date set up. (They don't.)

Spokane in July.


TS

Hendrix



The End:  Jimi sings Dylan.

Poem of the Day:  Alfred Noyes


TS

Christmas Offering

Some good news for CD.

His 1985 play Christmas at the Juniper Tavern will be staged by a group in Newberg (outside Portland) in December.

If you're in the area at the time check it out.  Plan ahead.

One of my favorite plays by CD, it is an Oregon play to the bone.  A Swami and his followers invade a small logging community in a time of deep recession, and hilarity soon follows.


TS

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

RP Thomas
















"Pipes in Color" by RP Thomas


TS

Funked Up



The End:  the Funk Vigilante.

Poem of the Day:  Seamus Heaney.


TS

Cornel West Interview

Cornel West (CW): We are at a crossroads in American history. We must choose between a neofascism in the making (Trump), neoliberalism in the decaying (Clinton), and a neopopulism in the ascending (Sanders). The establishments in both the Democratic and Republican parties are disintegrating. Obama is the last gasp of the neoliberalism that emerged under Carter: a massive response to the structural crises of the global economy in the mid-70s. This attempt to financialize, privatize, and militarize our way through deep problems—from the economy, education, incarceration, security and communication—has produced vast wealth inequality, cultures of superficial spectacle, and pervasive corruption in every sphere. Both political parties have been complicitous. Much hangs on how the Sanders campaign is treated in July, and what we critical Sanders-supporters do after July.--AlterNet

Beyond the corporate candidates.


TS

Hide and Seek

While experience, legislative know-how and judgment are Clinton’s central selling points, it’s still not clear how these qualities match her record. A Senate seat from New York is a rather influential position, yet in the run-up to that state’s primary, no one bothered to ask her to name a few of her signature accomplishments in the eight years she held office. Nor is it clear what positive achievements she can claim during her time as secretary of state—a straightforward question rarely posed directly to her. The GOP is certain to attack her on these points, and she needs to provide her own answers.--TH

No surprises here.


TS

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hell Broke Luce



The End:  Election special, Tom Waits.

Poem of the Day:  Walt Whitman.


TS

The Split

Throughout most of the 2016 presidential primaries, the media focused on the noisy and reactionary rift among Republicans. Until the battle between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders turned acrimonious in the home stretch, far less attention was paid to the equally momentous divisions within the Democratic Party. The Clinton-Sanders race wasn’t just about two candidates; instead, it underscored a series of deep and growing fissures among Democrats, along a wide range of complex fault lines—from age and race to gender and ideology. And these disagreements won’t fade with a gracious bow-out from Sanders, or a victory in November over Donald Trump. For all the talk of the Democrats’ need for “unity,” it would be a serious mistake to paper over the differences that came to the fore in this year’s primaries. More than ten million Democrats turned out in force this year to reject the party establishment’s cautious centrism and cozy relationship with Wall Street. Unless Democrats heed that message, they will miss a historic opportunity to forge a broad-based and lasting liberal majority.

To help make sense of what’s causing the split, and where it’s headed, we turned to 23 leading historians, political scientists, pollsters, artists, and activists. Taken together, their insights reinforce the need for a truly inclusive and vigorous debate over the party’s future. “There can be no settlement of a great cause without discussion,” observed William Jennings Bryan, the original Democratic populist insurgent. “And people will not discuss a cause until their attention is drawn to it.”--NR

I'll read it today.  Right now I think I'll go back to bed.  That's one nice thing about being old and free of the demands of people you'd rather not have running your life.  It's called retirement and being your own boss and I like it, as austere as it is.


TS

Monday, June 13, 2016

What the...

As the country continues to mourn the tragedy in Orlando and citizens search for answers, there remains a point in history that seems to have been forgotten by most news organizations covering the shooting and elected officials who have rushed to condemn the attack.

Nearly every news outlet, including The Oregonian/OregonLive, originally billed the attack as "the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history," but that isn't true.--Oregonian

Get your facts straight folks.  You're revealing your stupidity.

Pretty good thinking from a news group that doesn't do much of it.


TS

The Caveman's Song














You cannot turn a blind eye to the savagery of capitalism
Nor claim humanitarianism with guns blazing and “Mother”
Tattooed on your forearms as you set fire to the basalt and
Sod caves of the oppressed here and in the Mid World

You cannot pick the flowers that do not belong to you
Before reading the secret code blackened hearts traced
On cave walls while mourning loss and despising you
For your arrogance and ignorance of cultural caveness

You cannot speak of freedom while building pipelines
Through ancestral cavelands and putting more nails into the
Coffins of the cavemen you have labeled your enemies
Because they do not devote themselves to your sensibilities

You cannot uplift as you are tearing down the traditions
Of the village and the cave dwellers who haven’t money to
Buy the things they do not need to satisfy your urge to
Climb ahead on the Forbes list and create a personal legacy

You cannot continuously claim you are better than others
Who dance differently in ceremonies unaffiliated with
The television programming you have discussed at the
Water cooler with fellow cavemen as you pencil things out

You cannot obfuscate and rearrange and consult and grow
The business that is destructive to the community you are
Desirous of bringing out of the cave age in order to seize
The markets you covet in your global reach for cave lust

You cannot build up your forces to continue down the path
Of the righteousness you have claimed to be yours when
You pray to a God you have deemed holy by the purchase
Of His cave and your faith borne of delusions and decay

You cannot make a case for justice when you are yourself
Unjust and  multitudes are incarcerated for poverty and
Petty crimes which pale in comparison to your syndicated
Theft of everything imaginable in the forgotten cave world

You cannot beseech others under the threat of the cudgel
Which you keep in a belt tied to your waist like the cavemen
Who keep stones at the ready in loaded slingshots that do
No harm to the beasts with their hunger for flesh and bones

You cannot turn the tables on the solitary cavemen among us
Though you may try again and again to bring us into the failed
Fold of your imperium as has been proven time and again and
Forever in the cave history you're awed by yet have so sadly lost


TS

Central Library

















(Buddy Dooley photo)

TS

Denying Blowback


Platforms can matter. It is deeply wrong for the Democrats’ presumed “party leaders” to continue their relentless drive to obliterate all traces of “the Bern” that has kindled progressive crowds for these past months. Pressing Sanders to fall in behind Clinton with weeks still to go before the official enthronement smells rankly of the “elections” held in totalitarian states. Dissent has been, and remains, not merely a prerogative but a positive sign of diversity and open-mindedness in a party. For those so inclined, it will be perfectly possible to cast an anti-Trump vote in November without necessarily echoing every inflated claim of progressive success that has been or will be made for the Democratic Leadership Council’s compromises.--BW

They can and should, but it won't happen this season.  The Democrats are too stuck-in-the-mud, with their own influence and narrowed and honed power on the line.

HC hasn't fooled anybody. She is a consummate pol but an utter tool. The elite don't care how she was complicit with the rise of ISIL.

Follow the dots and you end up in Orlando.


TS

Two Kindle Chapbooks


I've released a pair of chapbooks at Amazon Kindle.

Look see at Round Bend Press Books.

Don't miss out.  You'll regret it later.

Priced for the lowliest of budgets! Genuinely satisfying reading!

"Simons is right up there with Carver as a major storytelling master. As an essayist...well, you already know the truth."--Buddy Dooley


TS

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Final Goal

A great one passes at 88.  RIP, Gordie Howe.










TS

Oregon's Best Prep Lineman Commits to the Ducks

Oregon's football recruiting is picking up.

Today the institution of higher learning, Phil Knight's dream school, snagged the commitment of a West Linn stud offensive lineman.

Smart choice, kid.  Oregon is numero uno.  Even Mitch approves!

Note: The video in the linked story is the wrong one.  Typical of 247 Sports, now part of the CBS family.

TS  

Run Green, Bernie, Run!

As I assume you are aware, the Green Party is already on the ballot in 21 states having a total of 310 electoral votes, which is 40 more than the 270 needed to win the presidency. The party is reportedly working hard to get on a number of other state lines too in time for November’s election and is already close to having 25 states with another 60 electoral votes. They’re not stopping there (and would do even better with some of your campaign money to pay for lawyers and petition gatherers). If you got that nomination, you’d be well on your way to being a viable national third-party candidate, and could work to get on the ballots of other critical states. This could be done in some states by getting smaller state parties, for example Peace & Freedom or the Working People’s Party to nominate you, and where no other option exists by fighting to get listed as an independent candidate.

Could you win in such a five-way race? I believe that in this unprecedented political environment, running against two candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who have the highest negative polling numbers in the history of polls, you could indeed win. You start with the more than 10 million people who’ve already voted for you once in the primaries (who would surely vote for you again in November), and since you have already run in all 50 states, your name recognition is as high as it could possibly be. Unlike Ralph Nader in his campaigns, you are virtually guaranteed as a third-party candidate to be included in the nationally televised debates in the fall, which will only increase your chances of winning. And you know you will be deluged with campaign funds from your backers in even greater amounts than during the primaries if you are running for the White House for real in the general election.--DL

Now here is the kind of thinking I like.

But is Bernie too much of a weenie?  The answer to that is obviously yes.  Good luck telling 10 million to vote Hillary.  Half of them won't vote because they'll be pissed and despise the Queen.  A quarter of them will vote Green. Some will vote Trump.  HC and the Libertarians will garner a few.

Democratic Party "unity" won't happen, thankfully.

And Hillary will still win in a landslide because the corporate moderates who might have voted for a decent GOP candidate will join her faithful faux progressives, her privileged "feminists" and her Wall Street overseers, carrying her to the White House--the Clintons returning to power, just like their nemesis Putin and his family returned to the Kremlin after a few years of constitutionally chartered exile.

We have quite a unique coalition now, and well-planned from the start.  Put up 17 idiots from the right, let them embarrass themselves and the country in a cheap, televised mud fight to the point of absurdity, and then make the move.  Build up the military, close in on the devils, wherever they are.

Follow the money, as they say in the crime novels, and you'll discover the truth.

Hillary Clinton is the de facto Dempublican, the monstrous head of the duopoly.

Up with the Red Lipstick Revolution!

Sad.  It could have been the Greening of America.


TS

March On

The old saying is that "everybody loves a parade."

Not true.  I don't like them at all.

I'd forgotten that the big one in Portland is today, the "Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade," or whatever it's called these days. I'm sure it has a hundred corporate sponsors again this year, so pick one and call it that.

It comes complete with breathless narration and Updates here.

I can hear a lot of bad high school marching bands as the parade passes near my pad.  When I was in school bands in the sixties I was forced-marched in parades, and I didn't like it even then.

I was a trumpeter, but in our marches I played a snare or bass drum. (Maybe that's why we were always out of step and sounded so ragged.)

Still, I must have been the best kid for the job because I was a pretty good trumpet player for that level, rotating between first and second chair.  I could keep time, barely.  I didn't care though.  The point, as with a lot of things, was just to bear with it and look forward to the day being over as soon as possible.

However, one good thing has happened since I watched my last Portland parade.  The display of military might has been eliminated.

But that's only because the tanks and rocket launchers, the troop transporters, jeeps and cargo haulers, the cruise missiles, the faux-replica Atom and Neutron Bombs on flatbeds, the privates high-stepping, the flags unfurling, the battalion guns spit-polished and shimmering under the sun--all the lethal stuff is now deployed around the world to protect our freedom and exceptional hegemony. Much of it has also been given to municipal and county police groups to help tamp down any and all threats by hostage-taking radicals in local communities.

That doesn't play in Portland, however, where the police state is frowned upon.  There's too big of a risk associated with having equipment out in the open here in Portland. The local terrorists in "Little Beirut" secretly plotting against the latte-drinking populace could get their hands on it--after polishing off their own lattes, of course.

That would not be good.


TS

Better History


I write as a feminist, a well-seasoned historian of American women, and a die-hard supporter of Bernie Sanders. Long-time colleagues disparage my loyalty to the Sanders campaign and chastise me, along with him, for not celebrating Hillary Clinton’s landmark achievement as the first woman to become the presumptive nominee of a major political party. I’m betraying my feminist principles, they suggest. Moreover, I’m denying the historical significance of Clinton’s victory, they pointedly add. Against this tide, I’m holding fast to my principles on both accounts. Both feminism and the historical moment weigh heavily in my decision.--MB

Brilliant essay here.


TS

Friday, June 10, 2016

Bike Ride













(Buddy Dooley photo)


TS

Morrison and Milosz




The End:  "Unknown Soldier," The Doors.

Poem of the Day: Czeslaw Milosz

TS

Just Say No


I don't know if it would help bring Sandernistas to the love shack, but it would certainly benefit Clinton down the road to have one less potential adversary in the Senate when Madam commences to lock and load, rock and roll, and drop a dose of shock and awe on Russia.

Don't do it Liz.  The VEEP'S job is to entertain with clownish performances outside in the rain when the church ladies show up for guided tours of the rose gardens.

At least that's what Biden was last seen doing. Or was it Dan Quayle? They're difficult to tell apart.


TS

Anniversary

A year ago this month CounterPunch published the title essay from my collection, Alt-Everything, the first piece I sent off to the online magazine as "A Brief History of the Counterculture."

Today my editor, Jeffrey St. Clair, published my twelfth piece, which doesn't sound like very many over the course of a year but nonetheless surprises the hell out of me.

The savvy editor has ignored a couple of other pieces that were perhaps too personal to fit into the design and purpose of CP, which is understandable. Years ago, when I started thinking about trying to publish my work, I read Writer and Writers' Digest, and the first and best bit of advice those publications invariably offered was "know your audience."

Know your reader.

Thus I figured something out as I started contributing to CP.   Its readers aren't interested in me personally; they want a point-of-view--meat, no potatoes. They want affirmation of how fucked up and bizarre politicians can be, or conversely, how bright and merry and dedicated to the public good they claim to be but seldom are. They want to know what you think about things--and what else do you have?

They may not agree with you, but that is why they're there, to mull over things that seldom get play in the mainstream press, twists in the story you might say.  Another view.

Here's the big deal for me, then. I fit in with the crowd of writers at CP, though many of them blow me away with their writing ability, breadth of knowledge, and political experience.  Some of  them are seriously funny folks; others are just serious.

I found a place that makes sense without having to go all mainstream and shit, which I've never been able to do anyway. (Look there, just now, I used the word shit.  Why?  Because that is what I see most of the time from the corporate media.  I could have used another, better word, but I didn't feel like it. I used the best word for me. Fuck the corporate media for not letting me use the word shit.  Those bastards would make me use "excrement." "Feces," maybe.  But more likely, "waste matter!")

Let me try it out. Politicians are waste matter!  Does that sound better?  No.

I'm not lying about anything or being self-deluding when I write my pieces. Whatever else they are (my waste matter?), they're basically my own situation room, my editorial opinions about the way I see things. So much waste matter is out there that it's hard to miss.

As my good buddy CD said the other day, "Opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one."

To which I always say, "You know something, you're right, and I'm one of the biggest assholes in the world."

But enough waste matter, enough scatology, enough boasting, enough about me!

Finally, in terms of visibility for Round Bend Press Books, which draws more visitors now (if few buyers), it's been fortuitous good luck that I've become a semi-regular contributor to a forum that I found engrossing from the moment I started reading it years ago.

If I think of something else that I'm capable of shaping into a reasonable piece, I'll submit again.   Maybe my good luck will continue for a while.

Hey, it beats trafficking in narcotics and weapons systems, though it is not nearly as lucrative.


TS

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Engaging History


My daughter is reading David Halberstam's "The Fifties" for a U.S. History class.

Your children in their pursuit of knowledge and excellence sometimes make outstanding choices that stun and  impress you.

Halberstam was an American genius; he was to the Liberal Arts as was Walton to basketball, a subject Halberstam wrote about in "The Breaks of the Game."

I warned my girl that DH also wrote sports tomes of deep meaning; I hope she understands old Pops' fascination with the cultural significance of sports, not only for himself but for this country and the world.

Even I, as a youth, admired Pele, for example.

Yet soccer bores me to death!

I kid, it's a great game of skill.  "The Beautiful Game."  If he were alive today, maybe Halberstam would have taken on the corruption that has roiled the game's governing body, FIFA, in recent years.

Here is Halberstam's final magazine piece before his death in an auto accident--a sad day that seems like yesterday--on his way to a Stanford lecture in 2007, age 73.


TS

Celebrating Women


Changa, an African American attorney, mother, and volunteer with Women for Bernie Sanders, recently explained to the Guardian, "Some women I encounter act as if I’ve betrayed some kind of secret society. I reject this brand of feminism. I’m not only voting for my gender, I’m voting for other issues."

"There are a lot of issues that affect low-income women, immigrant women and women of color that her brand of doing things is not going to address," she added--LM

Let's hear it for Naomi Klein and others who think Clinton is not all of that.

A segment of the Great CD-TS Chasm is up at CounterPunch.

Don't worry, it's mild stuff, albeit riddled with name-calling and twists of the knife.

It'll be the last of it.  CD has called for an armistice.


TS

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Bloodline, Season 2

Damn, the second season of "Bloodline" is unbelievably good.

This Netflix original blows them all out of the water--literally if you're following the scenarists.

I first fell in love with Sissy Spacek when she acted in the film and sang the soundtrack to "Coalminer's Daughter" decades ago.

Her performance as the matriarch of a truly messed up Florida Keys family in "Bloodline" is one of the best I've ever seen from an actor. As they say on the critics' pages, she is "mesmerizing."

All of the cast is.

Everything about the series, the writing, pacing, acting, storytelling, photography, editing, the shebang, is just incredible.  Pure artistry at the pinnacle.

The finest procedural crime thriller I've ever had pleasure to watch. Debased, unexpurgated escapism, but so well done it doesn't have a close second from my certainly limited POV.

Bravo!  I splurged for a month to watch this.  Best entertainment ticket I've ever purchased.


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Seriously?

CD has a lot more faith in Hillary Clinton than I've ever had.  I didn't like her from the get-go.

He seems to be captivated by gender politics these day, which I could give a fuck about. My position on all politics is that it would best serve all of our interests to find capable and honest leaders for every political job.  I could give a shit if they be men or women.

The playwright is now claiming he'll vote for her if he has to in a close race against Trump.  I figured he would, because I've read a lot of CD at his blogs over the years and he's never had a bad thing to say about the woman, never an argument against anything she has tried or said.

I can recall reading a blog post he once made lamenting that Clinton hadn't taken down Obama.  As irksome as I've found Obama at times, I never veered near that cliff.

He likes her, again fine.  I'm not disposed to argue about popularity contests.

But then CD goes on to make an outrageous claim--out of misinformation or a willingness to obfuscate--I don't know, but it reminds me of the Twain quote that I had on my masthead for a few months until recently: "Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please."

CD claims that Clinton attempted to draw up a health care plan (remember, she came charging out of the gate in 1993 with one) similar to what Sanders advocates, which is single-payer-one-stop-fits-all expanded Medicare.

Socialized medicine, in other words.

Bullshit must be called bullshit when it's ripe.  All Clinton has ever argued for, since her own failed effort, is maintenance of the Affordable Care Act.

In fact, Clinton has repeatedly vowed during her campaign that single-payer is off the table.

Women apparently love it.  Well, not the poorer ones.  They voted for Bernie if they voted at all.

What HC advocated for in reality from her White House hair salon was something similar to the ACA, the Romney-inspired, Obama-driven, health-care-industry-juiced charade that exists now.

Jesus, she's not about to piss off the big insurance and pharma industries and do something so utterly detrimental to their interests and her career!

Where in the hell do people think she got a big chunk of her money for this fiasco?

The Clinton Health Plan was but the first of her failed endeavors on the national stage.  It won't be her last, particularly if the left can stay somewhat motivated and energetic throughout her time.

Not to mention the more violent players in the Middle East and Africa. (Pssst...she's not going to subjugate them, and she doesn't make deals like Trump.)

The women of the world can unite around the symbolism and all of that, I suppose.  Join the Army and Marines, ladies.  Go get shot up over empire if it'll make you feel better about things.

And yes, I know some of you already have.  That's just not a category that earns my respect unless you saw the ravages of war and changed your mind about its advantages.

Funny, I can recall a conversation CD and I were having just the other day about voter naivete. Imagine that.


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W. Burnside Looking East















(Buddy Dooley photo)

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For and Against

The Onion nailed this one.








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Hep Cats and Cool Chicks

Cool Beatnik stuff from Tom Clark's blog.

Bonus link.








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Richie Havens



The End:  2016 election special, Richie Havens' "Handsome Johnny."

Poem of the Day: Henry Reed.


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California Blues

I have one of those sinking feelings that wash over me at times.

It's more pronounced than the one I suffered after Barack Obama became the first black president amid the hope and change I was all for at the time, but which quickly metamorphosed into a sucker-punch to the gut.

I can remember being goddamned happy that the phony "maverick" John McCain and his chosen idiot Sarah Palin were run off the scene in 2008, but things quickly soured.

In no time--or in a flash of time as it played out--Obama made a mess of an historical opportunity. Just as suddenly as he came to power, he caved.  He gathered around him the usual assortment of Washington power players and holdover Bush plutocrats and made a mockery of  everything, including the Nobel Peace Prize (War is Peace!).

In short order, he led a new wave of violence in Afghanistan.  He spoke fleetingly of his Gitmo promises and then let them slide without conversation.  He dosed the public with further bromides regarding U.S. exceptionalism. He played a lot of basketball--something new!--and golf.

He pulled out the new tech in the spirit of drone assassinations and other forms of sanitized death. He swore off the word "terror" but unleashed the American variety.

He revealed himself to be long on talk and short on substance.

He nodded to his racist fellow "public servants" when they callously obstructed his every move. Rather than fight back when a little struggle could have moved the day, he played it safe.

He had a mandate, which he squandered, not so much because he could have changed anything, but because he could have moved his trembling lips and fought back--he was positioned to shred the fuckers, but didn't.

He lost his nerve, if he ever had any.

So nay, this year's sinking feeling is different, more pronounced and obvious, as translucent as a Hillary Clinton diamond. No waiting for the ax to fall.  No expectations that she'll make a mess; she is the mess.  There was no learning curve this time, no discovery, no illusions about the future.

I see Hillary and Bill frolicking in the White House; old, wrinkled sex in America's illicit porn shop--with separate bedrooms, of course.

I wasn't sucker-punched this time.

One thing we can legitimately hope for as our summer turns to dark autumn and this oblivious season culminates. Trump should pay Lewinsky a couple of million to discuss that blowjob.

If she doesn't appear on the network pundits' programs to talk about it--the more often the better--somebody will have failed as far as choice programming is concerned--good solid American programming.

Fittingly, Madam is about to give us a national reaming.


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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ah ha...

Plan B will prove to be a harsh learning lesson for many determined young reformers. What they are now experiencing is a learning process with the hardest lessons yet to come—i.e. to discover that there is no way out of the U.S. current political crisis through either wings of the Corporate Party of America. Maybe then a grassroots movement of the growing legions of the discontented in the U.S. will be able to emerge into a truly independent political party in the U.S.--JR

A sensible analysis.

Come on, Jack is only saying maybe...


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Picnic in Philly, Or Cheese Without the Steak

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, other activists and I will march with Honkala. It is not as if we have a choice. No one invited us into the center or to the lavish corporate-sponsored receptions. No one anointed us to be Clinton superdelegates—a privilege that went to corporate lobbyists, rich people and party hacks. No one in the Democratic establishment gives a damn what we think.--CH

Despite his well-grounded recognition of the fraudulent nature of "democracy" as it is manufactured and packaged by our corporate overlords, Hedges will join Stein and other Leftists cum "revolutionaries" at the DNC.

Apparently he has deluded himself into believing a point can be made there, though it's hard to imagine what it is or why he would want to mingle with the rabble who know nothing about politics. Maybe he's just crazy enough to think, despite the teeming stupidity, er naivete, that will surely surround him at the dais, some disparate voices ought be heard.

Good to hear he hasn't thrown in the towel, I guess, but man what a waste of time!

Oh, have you heard?  Clinton has the delegates to win already.  My guess is Hedges will look away when Clinton and Sanders hug, and that will be disparaged as unrealistic and rude.


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Monday, June 6, 2016

Marley




The End:  Marley's "War."

Poem of the Day: W.H. Auden.


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Where is the Radicalism?

The problem I have with this--and it's frequently the case with CD's rants about Sanders--is that they usually offer nothing about the issues or what will make HC a better prez than her primary foe; it's all personality-based, all a rejection of BS because he won't quit and just shut the fuck up.  Or because CD is upset with the man's campaigning style.

Maybe CD doesn't think Clinton is classy either--it's hard to tell.  He seldom mentions her.

He isn't bound to, of course, but I wish he would.  Be nice to know what the critic actually believes.

CD's basic rant goes like this:  BS is too loud and abrasive; he's not calm and skilled like Robert Kennedy.  It's always about Sanders' stupid kids.  Sanders' uneducated rabble.

I'm sorry but this stuff comes off like the author is an implicit Clinton supporter who would rather bash her foe than talk about the woman's virtues.

Hey, even Ali finally admitted Foreman was a good dude.

But again I wonder if this is even the point.  Does CD care who wins? A lot of what he says indicates he may well not care.  His disgust for Sanders is the important thing to keep in mind.

There is nothing here that either attempts to validate HC's worldview in CD's eyes or takes BS to task for anything other than his campaign style.

I can only assume that CD is on board with everything HC says if he's not going to express areas of concern about her.  While focusing on what has admittedly been an at times shoddy Sanders' effort, it all sounds somewhat politically unhinged.

Here is another thing; you can claim to be a progressive and say that others don't "understand American politics" just because you disagree with them, but it doesn't resonate or even ring true.

Clinton went into this thing like she had it won without lifting a finger.  That is her arrogant nature. That is a major reason she's having to wait so long to officially close out her delegate count.

Personally, I think her arrogance makes Sanders' look like a field mouse.  I want to see some leather flying in Philly.

You can call millions of Sandernistas stupid because they don't understand American politics in the same fashion as you do, but simply dismissing them out of hand is short-sighted, and actually somewhat anti-intellectual.  In fact, there is a lot to be learned from what has happened this election.

While CD doesn't seem to think there'll be a carry-over of  "leftist" talk after Clinton's inauguration, I suspect otherwise. I think Sanders' showing has made a mark.

It certainly seems to have pissed off my esteemed friend, and it is very good from my prospective to see a little giddy-up in the process.

Clinton has as many or more blind followers as does Sanders, but I wouldn't presume CD believes that, either.

I don't like Clinton with a similar passion that CD has for Sanders, but one thing I'll always be sure to do in my critiques of her is talk about issues, foreign and domestic policy, the real nuts and bolts of democracy--not just a critique of style.  Style can get you there, can even make you popular--look at Obama--but it is hardly substantive.

I just don't understand the energy that it must take to continue beating down a candidate whose core principles I might have imagined would appeal to CD more than they evidently do.

CD has every right to disengage from debates about income inequality, foreign policy, educational policy, etc., but I say such a tactic makes for flaccid politics.  It's TV stuff.

A major problem with American politics is that people don't bother with issues; but curiously, the increasing distinction between the Democratic candidates sort of gave that truism a rest this year.

My defense of BS when he started--and I too wished he'd run as an independent or switched to the Greens--was based on his willingness to take on income inequality and a host of other issues HC is unwilling to confront.

Believe me, I'd vote for Hillary Clinton--if she wasn't Hillary.  Perhaps CD is pissed that the whole enterprise has been a waste of time and will come down to Sanders formally turning his back on his kids and declaring for Hillary.

I think there is more to what has happened than that, but on that morbid day when he calls Uncle! I'll cuss BS out as thoroughly as the next guy.

Maybe I've underrated my patience all of these years.  Rather than seeing all of this as an opportunity to shout back at Sanders, I've rather enjoyed watching it play out.  It brought some rare excitement--as tame as it is--to this election.


TS

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Priorities


What’s the difference between education and obedience? If you see very little, you probably have no problem with the militarization of the American school system — or rather, the militarization of the impoverished schools . . . the ones that can’t afford new textbooks or functional plumbing, much less art supplies or band equipment. My town, Chicago, is a case study in this national trend.--RK.

Let's bitch about something other than important stuff.


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Faux Progressivism

 The Sanders campaign, unmentioned in the Democratic front-runner’s speech, has increasingly offered a different kind of foreign policy — one rooted in diplomacy over war, global egalitarianism, and accountability to international law and broad movements against war and for justice. Yet in her bid to prematurely claim the Democratic nomination, Clinton failed to mention her more progressive rival even once.

Ultimately, Clinton’s failure to engage with this real, robust alternative — rather than just the cartoonish one offered by Trump — may say more about her own war-driven foreign policy than anything else.--PB

The calls to silence dissenters is rapacious, unending, boring.


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Mingling of the Classes
















(Buddy Dooley photo)


The building on the left is an expensive condo complex. The building on the right is Section-Eight housing.  This is integrated Portland.


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