Quote of the Day

"Buzz, buzz."--Hamlet

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, October 31, 2016

Are You Afraid?













How can voters at this late stage not know which of the candidates they favor--if they favor one at all?

I keep reading that there are vast numbers of undecided voters. Really?

It's mind-boggling.  I've never bought into the idea that this miserable race is all that close, despite the fluctuating polls, which have never, btw, shown Trump with a lead.

The vast majority of MSM have pushed for Clinton all the way, and because most Americans are incapable of thinking without the crutch of television and the mainstream press, well, Clinton is a lock.  She'll crush Trump.

I'm voting Stein because it is all I can do, in good conscience, to counter the nonsense.


TS 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Jesus...

A jury of their peers, evidently. Like other actual idiots.

The issue was unproven absolute "intent."

As in, "It wasn't my intent to vandalize and rob this bank, your honor. I just got momentarily sidetracked!"

Jesus...

Reality means nothing anymore, if it ever did.


TS

Movie of the Week



"There's a gulf..."

Weekend movie.  Enjoy!


TS

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Drum Beat

Counter-Intelligence is a must-see documentary from Scott Noble and Metanoia Films, made four or five years ago.

Here is a link to Part 5, "Drone Nation."  It opens with a devastating critique of US drone war/policy/assassination by the excellent lawyer/journalist Glenn Greenwald.

All of Noble's work is worth watching.

If you think anything will change under Hillary, you're silly.  It's likely to get worse, with more devastating results.

Or maybe you're fine with the status quo, which is even sillier.


TS

Great Rant


According to the mainstream media, in a recent speech in West Palm Beach, Donald Trump finally completely lost it. Sawing the air with his tiny hands in a unmistakeably Hitlerian manner, he spat out a series of undeniably hateful anti-Semitic code words … like “political establishment,” “global elites” and, yes, “international banks.” He even went so far as to claim that “corporations” and their (ahem) “lobbyists” have millions of dollars at stake in this election, and are trying to pass the TTP, not to benefit the American people, but simply to enrich themselves. He then went on to accuse the media of collaborating with “the Clinton machine,” presumably to benefit these “global elites” and “international banks” and “lobbyists.”--CJH

I really like this writer's work.


TS

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tom Clark


Things wrought.

Always provocative.









TS

Happy Birthday!

Did you know Picasso was born on this day in 1891?

It's true.

I remember being in college when Picasso passed; my friends and I were drinking.

We toasted him.


TS

Lost in Sports

The Blazers open their season tonight, partially in conflict with game one of the WS.

A man needs two or more devices to watch all the excitement.

Unfortunately, all I have is a computer and a poor ISP that won't allow me to stream anything.

Maybe I'll read a book and check the results tomorrow.


TS

A Baseball Medley



In time for the World Series, a baseball medley.  A few of the owners, players, managers and visitors who frolicked in Vaughn Street Park and Portland's old Multnomah Stadium over the years.

Buy the book.  Portland was once a great baseball town.  Now it is Soccerville USA, or something rancid like that.


TS

Yep


Exaggerating the degree of fascism serves no useful purpose. But the portents are nonetheless real, nowhere better seen than in cutting beneath the surface of the final presidential debate. The absence of policy-discussion itself mocks professions of political-ideological differentiation between the major parties. There really is very little, a consensus on the militarism-advanced capitalism nexus which by itself prevents alternative courses of action leading to other than cosmetic variants of what I am terming centrist fascism, a lockstep of ideology, structure, and political culture concentrating power of elite groups which themselves are unified in thought on what might be called full spectrum dominance, whether we speak of foreign economic policy, the environment, or other areas defining modern times.--NP

The good professor says so.

Fortunately, the World Series starts tonight so that we might find an escape route for the short-term, mere days before the election.

Speaking of--watch the show of inevitable militarism, patriotic fervor, and asinity that comes with baseball.

Will the first 100 Days come replete with a nuclear exchange with Russia?  Them bad Russians...

Bonus coverage:  Talking points.


TS

Monday, October 24, 2016

Do You Know Baseball?


Two great teams, two excellent managers.

Ought to be entertaining, though I, in my waning years have lost touch with the game overall.

How the Cubs were created.

How Cleveland crawled out of the slime. (Ha!)  I'm with CL on this.  Cubs win or I kill myself.

TS

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Mysterious Aches


Awoke in the middle of the night with bad right-shoulder pain. WTF?

I took a long walk yesterday, but WTF?  How does that mild exercise translate?  Sore calves, knees, thighs I get, but my shoulder?

Did I take too many jump shots from the top of the key?  Uh, no...

Did I sleep on it improperly or make a bad move?  Who knows, I was asleep until I wasn't.

I think I preferred life ten, twenty, thirty years ago...


TS

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Over the Top


I know of at least one former Chicagoan who is beyond himself.

CL is ecstatic, but never content. Not until the Cubs win it all.

Quite a story.


TS

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Excellent Piece


LEER, South Sudan -- There it is again. That sickening smell. I’m standing on the threshold of a ghost of a home. Its footprint is all that’s left. In the ruins sits a bulbous little silver teakettle -- metal, softly rounded, charred but otherwise perfect, save for two punctures. Something tore through it and ruined it, just as something tore through this home and ruined it, just as something tore through this town and left it a dusty, wasted ruin. 

This, truth be told, is no longer a town, not even a razed one. It’s a killing field, a place where human remains lie unburied, whose residents have long since fled, while its few remaining inhabitants are mostly refugees from similarly ravaged villages.--NT

From one of America's best young journalists.


TS

Here We Are

















"I saw them, the wheels that move the meanest perversion of virtuous Political Machinery that the worst tools ever wrought.  Despicable trickery at elections; underhanded tampering with public officers; cowardly attacks upon opponents, with scurrilous newspapers for shields, and hired pens for daggers."

Charles Dickens, American Notes


TS

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

What's New?




















"You pompously call yourselves Republicans and Democrats.  There is no Republican Party.  There is no Democratic Party.  There are no Republicans or Democrats in this House.  You are lick-spittlers and panderers, the creatures of the Plutocracy."

Jack London, The Iron Heel

Rather than absorb tonight's political nonsense, watch this.

Catch Part II as well.


TS

Freak Show Tonight!

The phrase “debt and entitlements” reflects a misguided, inside-the-Beltway financial mindset. Economist Dean Baker had the same reaction I did: why tie debt to “entitlements” (Social Security and Medicare), rather than defense or other government spending – especially when Social Security is forbidden by law from contributing to federal deficits?

This is not the first time Social Security has been badly served in this year’s debates. The third most popular question submitted for October 9’s so-called “town hall” debate was, “Do you support expanding, and not cutting, Social Security’s modest benefits?” It became even more timely after this week’s announcement that Social Security’s next cost of living adjustment will be a “measly” 0.3 percent, an average monthly increase of only $5 per month, despite the fact that drug prices and other medical costs have soared.

But that question was never asked. And Wallace’s “debt and entitlements” phrasing suggests that he’ll use the moderator’s role to misinform viewers about Social Security, much as Martha Raddatz did in the 2012 vice-presidential debate.

As for the other subjects: “Foreign hot spots” is an odd phrase. Why this penchant for euphemisms? Why not say “military concerns,” or “armed conflicts,” or simply “war”? That topic certainly warrants more debate. And asking these two candidates about “fitness to be president” is just an invitation to trade insults – which, in this race, is about as necessary as encouraging 1964’s Muhammad Ali to insult Sonny Liston.--RE

A clear and concise view of what happens tonight, which is why I have no interest in watching or listening to the bullshit.


TS

Autumn Abstract



I kinda like this one.

I hope I'm not unknowingly torturing anyone.  You don't have to listen, but if you do bring your empathy.


TS

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Speak Out

Hillary Shmirrillary















A most disagreeable oligarch.

Good luck, America!


TS

Pure Music, Man



Still messin' around.

Not quite right, but close.  Plus my Finale drops out inconveniently for several measures, usually about two-thirds into the composition. Mmm...


TS

Rothko

But if his art finally fulfilled his inner striving, his outer life was fraught with anxiety: two uneasy marriages (the second, longer one producing two children), deep quarrels with old friends, a bitter resentment toward emerging younger artists, festering dissatisfactions. In addition, he was concerned about keeping his art from Philistine eyes. “I have a deep sense of responsibility for the life my pictures will lead out in the art world,” he wrote to one museum director, refusing participation in a show.

The concern was famously exhibited in 1958 when he agreed to do a series of murals for the swank new restaurant, The Four Seasons, in the highly acclaimed new Seagram building on Park Avenue. Despite extensive preparatory work, Rothko returned the money advanced him, angrily declaring after viewing the site, “Anyone who will eat that kind of food for those kinds of prices will never look at a picture of mine.”--GG (LARB)

When depression becomes a dangerous time.


TS

Monday, October 17, 2016

Hedges


Bill Clinton transformed the Democratic Party into the Republican Party. He pushed the Republican Party so far to the right it became insane. Hillary Clinton is Mitt Romney in drag. She and the Democratic Party embrace policies—endless war, the security and surveillance state, neoliberalism, austerity, deregulation, new trade agreements and deindustrialization—that are embraced by the Republican elites. Clinton in office will continue the neoliberal assault on the poor and the working poor, and increasingly the middle class, that has defined the corporate state since the Reagan administration. She will do so while speaking in the cloying and hypocritical rhetoric of compassion that masks the cruelty of corporate capitalism.--CH

Chris Hedges delivers the goods again.


TS

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Don't Be a Traitor!














Don't be a fool.  Give to CounterPunch.

A rich CP supporter is matching every $100 or more contribution.  Do it.

Imagine that.  Giving to CP rather than Hillary.


TS

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Where We Are












Disgraceful.

Attacking artists is one of the things fascists do so well.


TS

Storm

At home listening to the OSU Beavers.

My Ducks, gratefully, have the weekend off.

The atmosphere is calm at the moment here and in Corvallis.

Storm moving in they say.


TS

Friday, October 14, 2016

Beyond Hillary

Repelled by Donald Trump’s pussy grabbing, Republican politicians are scattering like roaches exposed to strobe lights. (This just in: Many of the roaches are crawling back.)

Paul Ryan is “sickened” by Trump. Sickened by the image of pussy grabbing.

So is John McCain who pronounced Trump’s behavior demeaning to women and said, “… impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy.”

Recall that McCain returned from captivity in Viet Nam and abandoned his first wife Carol, after a disfiguring accident left her five inches shorter. According to friends, McCain was appalled by Carol’s changed appearance. In other words, McCain left the wife who held the family together when he was a war prisoner, the wife who endured 23 operations. Yet pussy grabbing is “demeaning” to women. Also recall John McCain’s singing, “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” to the tune of “Barbara Ann.” Yet pussy grabbing is “demeaning” to women.

There’s nothing lower than a pussy grabber. Right.--MCB

Ha, ha, hilarious.  Another actual feminist speaking out.  I love it.

More bad news?  You're kidding me, right?


TS

Give or STFU*

The annual fund drive for CP is ongoing and important.

It ain't like NPR, a stultifyingly stupid radio-propaganda network.

Give, or be a miser.


* I kid.

TS

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dylan

















Make that one Nobel Prize for Literature to Robert Zimmerman, aka, Mr. Bob Dylan.

Like many children in the West, my grandson is named for him, just as Bob named himself after Dylan Thomas, another fine poet.


TS

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Balls



TS

The "Real" Ken Bone

I thought this was funny.  The real Ken Bone coached basketball at Portland State a decade ago before moving on to Washington State for a short run.

He had a good team at PSU, not so much in the tougher PAC-12 with WSU, where ex-Oregon coach Ernie Kent replaced him a couple of years ago.

TS

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Notes from Underground

HRC's emails.

I know people personally who want Assange and Snowden to go to jail, which is where they may eventually end up if the plutocrats have their way.

Wouldn't be the first injustice imposed by the U.S. imperial court of lawlessness.

I know people personally whom I don't respect in this regard--two-faced liberals lacking the basic foundation of a spine.

To deny the whistleblowers and call them traitors undermines the many truths they have exposed about reality.

I guess folks just don't want to know what is going on...else they have a faith in something I cannot see.


TS

Up Close

Anger over U.S. military operations abroad was the most commonly cited factor in motivating "homegrown terrorists," according to a secret FBI study reviewed by The Intercept on Tuesday.

The study, conducted in 2012 and titled Homegrown Violent Extremists: Survey Confirms Key Assessments, Reveals New Insights About Radicalization, also found that there was no clear path to "radicalization" and that predicting future attacks remained effectively impossible.

A unit in the FBI's counter-terrorism department interviewed agents and analysts responsible for almost 200 cases throughout the U.S. involving "homegrown violent extremists," finding that they "frequently believe the U.S. military is committing atrocities in Muslim countries, thereby justifying their violent aspirations."--NP

Of course, but the Clinton family is oblivious.

What next?  Chelsea?

Well, Chelsea Manning would be okay.


TS

Medley/Abstract



A taste.


TS

Stein

“The American people have very serious issues before us, and we need to get past this debate over whether Hillary or Donald is more corrupt, who has the more offensive history.

“Let me, you know, just say, there are critical issues before us. The American people have really had it economically. This recovery has been a recovery at the top, despite some minor—minor suggestions that income is rising. Indeed, this is only a small amount among lower- and middle-income families…An entire generation is locked in debt. Black lives are struggling for safety, walking down the street or driving down the street. Millions of immigrants are living in fear of deportation. Donald Trump has shown that the Republicans are the party of hate and fearmongering, but the Democrats are the party of deportation, detentions and night raids.

“We have wars for oil that are massively expanding, have no end. The Obama administration is now bombing seven countries. This is bankrupting our budget. Half of our discretionary budget is being spent on these wars, which are not making us more safe, but rather less safe. Almost half of your income taxes are going to this massive Defense Department, which is not really not a Defense Department, it is an offense department.

“And the climate is in meltdown. We are seeing superstorms now in the Caribbean, a thousand people tragically killed in the country of Haiti, illustrating again how it is people of color and people in undeveloped nations and poor people who are really on the front lines of climate change; extended drought, continuing fires in the—in the West of the country. We have a climate crisis here.

“And these two are bickering about who is more abusive and who has been more derelict in their responsibilities towards the American people. And I—personally, I think they’re both right.”--Jill Stein

We need say no more.


TS

Piece/Duet for American Indians



In solidarity.


TS

Monday, October 10, 2016

Calling Someone Dumb, Are You?













She stepped into a pile of dog shit and seems blissfully unaware of it.

The friendship with Scalia makes more sense now.  Why would she even broach the question of legality in this instance?

I wonder if some of the cocktail parties she regularly attends are secret protofascist meetings with an agenda?

A constitutional amendment to make all forms of protest illegal might be in the works, and Ruth isn't sure, still unclear in her top-flight legal mind.  Get one of the two stooges in the White House and a couple of more on the Supreme Court and there you have it.

Dumb?  I'll tell you dumb.  It's consenting to an interview with Katie Couric.

Here's a question.  Why does a SC Judge feel the need to be on a corporate TV show?

To sell a book that ignores history?


TS 

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Don't Miss It!

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump could field questions about guns, social security, climate change, and getting big money out of politics when they face off for the second time during a town hall debate on Sunday night. 

But the matter of Trump's misogynistic attitude toward women, exemplified in a leaked recording that has caused a growing list of Republicans to (many said belatedly) withdraw their support for the GOP nominee over the last 48 hours, will be front-and-center. 

News outlets reported Sunday that debate moderators Anderson Cooper of CNN and Martha Raddatz of ABC "have adjusted their plan for the debate in light of the Trump tape," as CNN Money put it, and both candidates will be asked to address the tape's troubling contents.--CD

Sideshow.  Garbage sale tonight!

A common sense view.


TS

Saturday, October 8, 2016

I'll Watch


The Washington vs. Oregon game kicks off at 4:30.  A lot of people will be watching around the country because these teams are going opposite directions.

I'll be watching, but I don't see how the Ducks can possibly hang with Washington.  Oregon's defense is a huge problem, one they won't overcome this year.

I wouldn't fire the staff. Teams can turn around over time.  It happens every year, depending on the influx of talent.

But what do I know?


TS

Shocked

Did Trump finally say something offensive!?

I don't believe it for one moment.






TS

Friday, October 7, 2016

New Piece



This making music thing (if you can call it that) is a lot of fun. I approach it like I do everything. If I like the project I go with it, damn the world!

Thanks to CD for turning me on to Finale NotePad.

I really feel sorry for you poor people, but I can't help it.


TS

Zinn












Missed but never forgotten.


TS

Off Her Rocker


Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton went further than President Obama in glorifying her country, saying that she can’t “understand people who trash talk about America, who talk about us as being in decline, who act as though we are not yet the greatest country that has ever been created on the face of the earth for all of history.”--BC

She is demonstrably unfit to be POTUS.

Good god what are people thinking?

Vote Stein.

The voting turnout is never great in the US; it might be abysmal this year.


TS 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Show Me the Money














Give.  CounterPunch is nearly half-way home on its annual fund drive.

BTW, if CP survives, I might get published there again one day.  You do want to see that happen, don't you?


TS

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Cleverly Inane

Oregon football is having a down year, much like those I remember most well from my adolescence and college years in Eugene in the last century.

Oregon has been decent for the past 20-years, since "The Pick," which is, in football years, not that long ago.  There's lore behind it, which I won't get into.

The losing bothers the ignorant, though it hasn't much to do with anything important.

It's driving some Oregon fans over the edge, even though it was entirely predictable based on the proven logic of the cyclical in sports.  Programs rise and fall, like empires in general. They rise again and fall--like a lullaby.

The head coach is taking most of the heat, but the truth is there's plenty of blame to go around for Oregon's dip.

A larger point is that there are plenty of dip-sticks in Oregon's fan base now, just as there are surrounding every major college program these days.

In my day there was nothing to cheer about with Oregon football, except for the pure pleasure of being in the stadium and watching a college football game--no record of achievement to mourn in passing, just solid ineptitude year after year.

So there was never any cause to go crazy about current events, mounting losses, the end of football history!

Kinda like politics yesterday and today, there's a record of nastiness on the books.

A while back a national writer whose name escapes me, perhaps George Schroeder of USA Today, compared Oregon's program to a Ferrari, the sleek, expensive auto.

That was "clever"--if typically overblown--sports writing, but now people have taken to claiming the car has crashed. It's become a cliche, of course, an easy metaphor to extend to the inane.

Here's a post from a Duck fan at the CBS 247 Sports affiliate, Duck Territory, wherein the contributor sees it about like I do:

Super necessary thread. I also hope someone uses the car analogy again for the 1500th time. It's super clever.

But....if we are using the car analogy let's at least be accurate. He was given the keys to a Ferrari and drove that Ferrari as fast he could for two years. The third year the Ferrari got damaged in a wreck and none of his mechanics had the right parts to get the car back on the road immediately, but once the part came in he was back driving that Ferrari as fast it would go, right up until that damn part failed again. In his fourth year of owning the car he hired some new mechanics hoping he could keep the Ferrari on the road, well the parts keep breaking and the most important part, the one that kept breaking last year, is on recall so he had to get a refurbished part and it just doesn't provide the same ride. 

It turns out he wasn't being a very good car owner though and and wasn't taking it in for regular maintenance or using the right fuel. The front end is now shot, and the rear differential is out of balance.

Now the car is broken down and will be expensive to fix.

Anybody sick of the car analogy yet?

Good job "Duckwad" at Oregon 247!


TS

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Speak It


As Emmett Rensin ably enumerated for Newsweek, young people did not support Sanders because they are, in Clinton’s recorded words, “new to politics”. They flocked to him because they have very different politics than she does. Clinton’s comments remind us just how different, and suggest her rhetorical commitments to parts of the Sanders platform won’t find reflection in her appointments.

And at bottom, they reveal a politician who still holds to the old Thatcher motto that defined the neoliberal era’s boost phase: there is no alternative. The impacts of deregulation and free trade are real, Clinton says in the tape, but organizing for radical change is just role-play fantasy politics. As she brushed it off in Virginia, it reflects “a deep desire to believe that we can have free college, free healthcare … you know, Scandinavia, whatever that means.”--AZ

She's a dumb ass crashing through that "glass ceiling" thing.  As the kids say, LOL.

It is comforting, however, to note that actual feminist intellectuals despise her as much as I do.  If that makes me a feminist-intellectual sympathizer, I guess I'm in.  Ha!

And poor Sanders just can't help himself.  He's such an idealistic dweeb it isn't funny--his idealism being that he believes he matters now.


TS

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Plimpton


Six books and several dozen Sports Illustrated articles into his journalistic career, George Plimpton still couldn’t type the words “participatory journalism” with a straight face. “‘Participatory journalism’—that ugly descriptive,” he writes in the first pages of Shadow Box (1977), sighing over his Underwood. Though he became nationally known as the subgenre’s paragon and the term pursued him into his obituaries, Plimpton was only a journalist in the sense that James Thurber was an illustrator and Robert Benchley a newspaper columnist. He went places, spoke to people, and wrote down his observations, but the reporting wasn’t the point. What was the point? The storytelling, the humanity, the comedy.--NR

I was a big fan of Plimpton's work, particularly Paper Lion.


TS

Amazing Rant


I took this photo on my drive home from work last night. I was dog tired. So tired that even my teeth and toes ached. In the true spirit of corporate capitalism, whether at the level of the state or private business, I am presently working two jobs while being paid for one. I am doing it to care for my kid. I am doing it because if I make it five years and two months longer into this job, I will retire with a pension.--KN

An amazing rant from an Arizona artist.


TS