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.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Great Rant

Don’t agonize over the creature now president. The impetuosity, bigotry, and misogyny of the man who makes retard jokes is neither new, nor unique. He’s actually quite precedented.

This shit was normalized years ago. The only shocking thing about it is that people are somehow still shocked. Because the president-elect simply unifies under one big toxic tent all the worst component parts of his numerous vulgar hypocrite predecessors.

For a quick pick me up, just pause to consider our nation’s many discredited past generations of white christian landowners. Truman, Johnson, and Nixon always said nigger. JFK’s sexploits so enraged LBJ that he’d bang the table and shout he had more women by accident than Kennedy ever had on purpose. And Johnson shook his dick at people.--AC

Rant of the day is hilarious, in a good way.


TS

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Big Game Tonight














In Eugene tonight: UCLA and Oregon jump it up at 6 p.m.

Will be interesting to see if Oregon can hang with the Bruins.  I would expect not.

Hope I'm wrong.  A good diversion for the evening, however.

Final: UCLA 89, Oregon 78.

UPDATE: Wrong again.  Oregon wins a thriller 89-87.  Look at that, I got one of the totals correct, just the wrong team.  The other score had the right digits, but in the wrong order.

Hmmm...


TS

Monday, December 26, 2016

Sordid Tale



For those unfamiliar with, new to, or fuzzy about the details of what happened, here is the entire sad, sordid story of the rise and fall of Will Vinton Studios.

In 1977, I was introduced to Vinton at his Northwest Portland studio. There it was, the Oscar statue Vinton and Bob Gardiner won for Closed Mondays, the short Claymation film that started it all.

Vinton pulled the Oscar down and let me fondle it before placing it back on the shelf behind his desk.

The article is 3-years old but worth a read.


TS

Obama's World

Further, the law authorizes grants to non-governmental agencies to help "collect and store examples in print, online, and social media, disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda" directed at the U.S. and its allies, as well as "counter efforts by foreign entities to use disinformation, misinformation, and propaganda to influence the policies and social and political stability" of the U.S. and allied nations.--LM

The absurdities continue to mount.

But hell, it doesn't matter.  George Michael is the important story, blah, blah, blah.

This brilliant John Pilger film is the sort of project the power-elite--Democrats and Republicans-- want to silence.  It has the famous scene with John Bolton, who accuses Pilger of being a commie after the journalist destroys Bolton's arguments in a tough Q&A.

With Bolton likely to settle into the Trump administration in some capacity, Obama and the criminal Congress have paved the way toward a proactive assault on dissent and a free, anti-corporate press.

The repression is worsening folks, get ready for it.

Again, I suggest that something in the streets massively larger than BLM and Standing Rock will be the only recourse for ordinary citizens eventually.


TS

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Performance Art


A number of writers and critics have noted the astounding smugness and outsized indignation of white liberals during this election season. The Clinton supporters, basically. And I think it is useful to examine the relationship between the media and the Clintons. For no political mafia has ever penetrated Hollywood and NY media to the extent the Clintons have. Shows such as Madame Secretary and House of Cards could well have been scripted by the Clinton inner circle. Hell, by Bill himself. And outlets like Huffington Post and MSNBC and CNN operate as the press outlets for the DNC.

But the real nadir of media capitulation and bad faith was the response to the brutal murder of the Russian diplomat Andrei Karlov in Istanbul, on video, at an art opening. The western press spun this as a freedom fighter attacking the brutal Russian empire and defending Allepo. Almost nothing was said about the family of the slain Russian, or about terrorism. I guess terrorism doesn’t exist if its directed at the enemy du jour. The celebrations on the streets of Aleppo seemed to have been erased by western TV and print editors, too. And all of this is in line, of course, with Hillary Clinton’s (and her advisors) pathological and obsessive hatred of Putin. And with the Clinton imprint on mainstream media.--JS

Top of the list.


TS

Who Knows?


To say that my work has been uneven over the years would be an understatement.

Blogging is a curse in that regard.  One blogs, and one fucks up a certain percentage of the time. The main reason I don't subscribe to Twitter is that I know what I'm incapable of--that is always having the insight it takes to not come off as ridiculous at inopportune times.

Blogging came first, and it is as dark and full of trap doors as things need be for me, and in any case many of the things I say here could be tweets.  Besides, I don't have dexterous enough fingers to cope with our instant news/celebrity culture.

I'll leave it to others, including our moronic president-elect, to attempt to explain themselves via the twitter world.

It's been the year that was, whatever it was, that is for sure.  Here's what RBPB published in this the sixth year of its existence.

Charles Deemer's 3 Plays About Family.

My collection of opinions (the serious ones), Along Came the Death Squad: Political and Scattered Notes.

Two videos I claim among a cluster of attempts:  Here and here.

Good enough?  Good lord no, but tangible in an increasingly ridiculous world.

So good riddance to 2016.  Like you, I can't wait to see what the despots and assholes, as well as the good people of the world, have to offer in '17.

For my part, I'll bring out a book or two and improvise and publish some more music.  I plan on doing this until I die, and I've already arranged to pass the enterprise on to my family to do with what they please when I'm gone.

Worthwhile?  Who knows?

A piece from my book.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and good luck.  (My sentiments exactly.)

To all of my visitors from around the world, no matter your faith or political persuasion, thank you for helping to make 2016 a good year.

You're growing in numbers and return visits.  I look forward to your continued interest, however fragile or complete, in my detritus.


TS

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Breaks of the Game

Broken legs in the NFL today.

Mariota
Carr
Lockett

Love this game for its pure violence.



TS

Friday, December 23, 2016

No Shit

No politician or security official wishing to retain their job can tell a frightened and enraged public that it is impossible to defend them. Those in charge become an easy target for critics who opportunistically exploit terrorism to blame government incompetence or demand communal punishment of asylum seekers, immigrants or Muslims. At such times, the media is at its self-righteous worst, whipping up hysteria and portraying horrifying but small-scale incidents as if they were existential threats. This has always been true, but 24/7 news coverage makes it worse as reporters run out of things to say and lose all sense of proportion. As the old American newspaper nostrum has it: “if it bleeds, it leads.”--PC

''...reporters run out of things to say..."

How true.

How's the "war on terror" working for you these days?

It's been very kind to the corporate-media world.

Some nuts and bolts on the domestic front.


TS 

Path of the "Elite"

The U.S. government has quietly started to ask foreign travelers to hand over their social media accounts upon arriving in the country, a program that aims to spot potential terrorist threats but which civil liberties advocates have long opposed as a threat to privacy.--NP

A can of worms, the creepy kind that are crawling around in the belly of the Empire.

In Obama's defense, with a name like Nadia the writer has to be a Russian agent, which means this is anti-American propaganda of the highest order.

The policy doesn't differ much from the "Registry;" in fact it could be more dangerous, which is why Trump will back it all the way.

It's a "beautiful" thing...

Ha!


TS

Thursday, December 22, 2016

NIN



Bow down before the ones you serve
You're going to get what you deserve...


TS

Sloth

Ain't into it lately.

Have a job to do as well and I'm procrastinating a wee bit.

Editing a book by a Massachusetts writer.  Will have to push my self-imposed deadline back.  Not a difficult editing chore at all, but my sloth/inattentiveness a problem.

Need a new year and a fresh start.  If the writer can hang with me his book will be the first one I publish in 2017.

Glad I don't have a McJob these days. Would hate to disappoint the world with my lazy ways.


TS

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Show Time



Saw a good one in Malik Monk yesterday.  Reminded me of this, though Pete was a better passer.

That said, the game has changed a lot, particularly the stress on defense.

Still, I don't know if today's players could have stopped Pistol, who averaged 44 a game over three seasons before the 3 pt. line was instituted.


TS

Friday, December 16, 2016

National Treasure



Watch all of it.  Noam and Harry at the end are wonderful.


TS

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

July 2016 Revisited


He growls, rants, shouts, digresses, careens from shtick nugget to shtick nugget, rhapsodizes over past landslides, name-drops Ivanka, Melania, Mike Tyson, Newt Gingrich, Bobby Knight, Bill O’Reilly. His right shoulder thrusts out as he makes the pinched-finger mudra with downswinging arm. His trademark double-eye squint evokes that group of beanie-hatted street-tough Munchkin kids; you expect him to kick gruffly at an imaginary stone. In person, his autocratic streak is presentationally complicated by a Ralph Kramdenesque vulnerability. He’s a man who has just dropped a can opener into his wife’s freshly baked pie. He’s not about to start grovelling about it, and yet he’s sorry—but, come on, it was an accident. He’s sorry, he’s sorry, O.K., but do you expect him to say it? He’s a good guy. Anyway, he didn’t do it.--GS

And so it goes, or went.


TS

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Rah Rah

One could contend that just a tad bit of disrespect was shown toward Helfrich and his program after a 4-8 season that included some blowouts but also close losses to Nebraska, Colorado, California and Oregon State.

Mullens needed 72 hours after the Civil War loss to think about Helfrich's future, while the coach and assistants recruited for the Ducks? Wrong.

The UO sports information department needed to post a Helfrich firing story replete with details of the coach's downfall? Wrong.

And, in my humble opinion, the most egregious disrespect happened at Taggart's news conference when Michael Schill, a law professor and university president, said he had one piece of advice for the new coach, based on his limited knowledge of football: "Go find a great defensive coordinator."

Brady Hoke, the outgoing defensive coordinator, didn't deserve such a public slap in the face. UO's defensive woes happened because of youth, suspect recruiting and development, and player transgressions, and not just from schemes and play calls. It was just the wrong thing for the school president to say. Lacked class.--JV

Good story by Ducks' beat writer Jason Vondersmith of the Portland Tribune.  He nails it when he says the UO brass showed disrespect and a lack of class throughout the firing (Helfrich) and hiring (Taggart) process.

I would add they showed a level of confusion that shouldn't have been there.

With what Oregon has coming back, Taggart will be an immediate villain in the opinion of Oregon's savage fans if he doesn't go at least .500 next year.  Even that might not be enough to stymie the grumbling of the most idiotic.


TS

Let it Snow (Probably Won't)

Forecast says snow tomorrow afternoon and evening.

One report said 6 to 8 inches possible.

Another said perhaps 2 inches max.

My feeling is if it's going to snow let it snow.

The biggest Oregon snowstorm in my memory occurred in 1969.  I was a senior in high school. Had at least 4 ft., and I loved it. I looked forward to Maine's snow a few years later as I prepared to move to the east coast.

I wasn't disappointed. It's beautiful there in a deep snowfall.  You're a nobody if you don't have a plow fixed to front of your rig.

My daughter lives near the Canadian border in Minnesota.  They've got plenty of snow this year and a temp of -1 degrees.

Older now, not sure I could handle that for long stretches.  Suited me fine as a young person.


TS

Show, Don't Tell

So if we’re serious about being a self-governing republic, we have to demand that President Obama declassify as much intelligence as possible that Russia may have intervened in the 2016 presidential election.

Taking Donald Trump’s position — that we should just ignore the question of Russian hacking and “move on” — would be a disaster.

Relying on a hazy war of leaks from the CIA, FBI, various politicians, and their staff is an equally terrible idea.--JSc/JSw

Inasmuch as good sense has taken a backseat to scapegoating in recent weeks, this is probably a stretch at present.

People would rather wallow around in the muck of a partisan blame-game.


TS

Animal Farm


McCain, Graham and much of the GOP military industrial complex establishment, want to ensure no détente is achieved by Trump and Putin. The CIA, whose raison d’etre (and budgets) was/were linked to the existence of an all-powerful USSR, argued to the very end that Glasnosts and Perestroika were merely devious plots by the Soviets to lull the US into a state of complacency. Fortunately, Ronald Reagan ignored them and proceed to cautiously make peace with Mikhail Gorbachev. To state the obvious, an institutional bias against Russia remains to this day in the CIA. This does not mean we should reject any reports or conclusions the CIA tenders, but they definitely should be thoroughly interrogated for their veracity. Moreover, there are legions of intellectuals and policy consultants whose sense of self-worth and market value is linked to the idea of an expansionist Russia.--JS

Horse sense confronts the Bear, delusions in the time of mass hysteria.

Nader speaks.


TS

Monday, December 12, 2016

Them Bad Russians

Any new left party needs to abandon the fraudulent tactics of so-called “identity politics,” in which a basically pro-corporate Democratic Party has sought to appease and cajole support for its corporatist candidates and agenda by catering to individual issues of various groups leaning its way by default. Instead, the really big issues need to be tackled head on: expanding Social Security, making Medicare universal for everyone of all ages, restoring genuine progressive taxation on the wealthy, ending foreign wars, closing overseas bases and slashing the military, obeying international law (including treaties with sovereign Native American nations), making public college free to all, nationalizing support for primary and secondary education so that all communities have well-funded, quality public schools, declaring a national mobilization to quickly end reliance upon fossil fuels to combat climate change, and creating jobs for everyone through a massive public spending program on job training and infrastructure repair and modernization.--DL

Yes, sir.  That is the ticket, and nothing else will do.

This is very good as well.


TS

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Incomplete Team

Oregon survived Alabama, a charger with Avery Johnson in front.

Oregon needs a power forward who can score.  Big need, may be the downfall of this year's Ducks.

Solid, but missing Elgin Cook, the only player the Ducks had last year who answered Hield in the Elite Eight.

Oregon just missed on TJ Leaf, who chose the Bruins over the Ducks. Too bad, the missing piece...


TS

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Entertain Me


I almost signed on for basic cable with a pretty good offer from Comcast, but figured without ESPN it wouldn't make a lot of sense for me.

Maybe later, if I ever catch up after paying for my summer visit to family in Minnesota!

I understand some pretty decent series run on network TV these days, but would I watch them?  Don't think I'm disciplined enough.  Nor enough of a TV fan in general...I caught "American Crime" as a delayed ABC stream, loved it, but eventually lost track and interest.

I've had Netflix in the past, probably better for me.  I've yet to see season two of "Narcos." Loved season one.  I guess I'm a binge watcher.  That is how I finally partook of "Breaking Bad."  Probably wouldn't have had the patience to watch it as an original series, would have missed segments and had to look it up later on disc or Netflix anyway.

Home Shopping Network?  Ha ha.  Network "news" programs?  Ha ha ha ha. Forty channels and nothing on TV...

Streaming at the pirate sports site I use probably good enough for my bowl season.  I've been watching a little college basketball that way lately.

Works, if not pleasantly, with a little effort battling the ads and one particularly nasty outfit that pretends to be Microsoft, offering to help you clear the virus that is about to destory your computer, rob your bank account, and steal your credit card numbers.  I called them last night when the scammers shut me down.  Guy said, "Hello, Microsoft."  I said, "Let me talk to your supervisor."

He hung up on me.  Can you believe how rude the world is these days?

More laughter ensued.


TS

Friday, December 9, 2016

Happy Weekend!

I'm sorry.

I often over-post political stuff here at RBPD, but this one is so cogent and funny that I cannot resist.

I'll try to gather myself this weekend and tame my menacing opinions, which are so far out of tune that it is commie-cal.

BTW, I recently reviewed my entire bibliography.  Know something? I'm a political animal, screw me!

Even my baseball book is full of political poison!

This book is a disgusting political nightmare!

Have a good one everybody!


TS

Smoke

Back in the 1990s, Alexander Cockburn and I coined a term for how the mainstream press goes about disclosing acts of government villainy that the newspapers had previously connived with or worked to conceal, and often both. We called this technique the “uncover-up.”-- JSC

This is important, be sure to check out the links in the story, including this one.

No folks, it wasn't just the Midwest Deplorables who pushed Herr Trump into power.

The University of Oregon prof referenced in this story by St. Clair is the founder of this magazine and website.

Good reason to be smeared in the land of the free?  Only if you are of a certain political persuasion.


TS

More of the Same

On Wednesday at a ceremony marking the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, U.S. Pacific Command Commander Adm. Harry Harris told a crowd of thousands that, “You can bet that the men and women we honor today — and those who died that fateful morning 75 years ago — never took a knee and never failed to stand whenever they heard our national anthem being played.”--MJ

Rah rah Navy!  Beat Army!

Another jokester military man who might fit nicely into Trump's administration.

Let's just keep building this thing into full-blown fascism and get it over with.


TS

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Snow, No Snow














I see tiny white flakes coming down.

They're calling for a snowstorm, freezing rain, high winds.

None of it is happening yet.

Portland panics again!

Seriously, everything is closed down here in Ptown.

UPDATE:  Snowing now.  Almost time to go out and make a snowman or have a snowball fight!


TS

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Limited Identity

It seems that many Democrats are determined not to change, not to learn any lessons from the 2016 election.  Instead of trying to figure out what went wrong, they are clinging to denial and self-righteousness.  During the election, “I’m With Her” was used to silence internal opposition.  Gung-ho Democrats dismissed the idea that liberals could have legitimate qualms about full throated support for Hillary because of her war-mongering, close relationship with Wall Street, and only passing concern for the economic struggles of large segments of the population.--ER

This is a righteous essay.

Also it is indicative of why many leftists argue that the Democratic Party is irredeemable.  So many of the party's apparatchiks are tied up in the DP status quo that they'd be committing economic suicide by changing directions.

Look at something as obvious as the way liberals fight poverty. Millions of jobs literally depend on the existence of poverty, just like millions of other jobs depend on perpetual war.  Poverty in other words is institutionalized, right alongside banking, the university system and the military.

Mainstream politics is a fight between those who want to control or profit off the poor and those who would rather ignore them. Poverty assures a pool of soldiers will be there to control the poor who are not militarized--a perfect storm that has terrorized our perceived/manufactured enemies globally for years, and which has come home to roost.

In the name of fighting "terror" we are fighting us.

This is the definition of a quandary, divide and conquer is a capitalistic emoticon. Stress the con.

Unable to confront the harmful effects of our class structure in realistic or meaningful terms--Hillary and her minions' biggest failing--Democrats have nothing to offer but cultural swagger. Dems generally make better movies, write better books, give better lectures, even dance better than Repubs.

They don't mind outcasts, as long as outcasts abide by their rules. Diversity and  multiculturalism are okay, unless they involve a conflict with "national interests," code for the potential obstruction of globalization.

Their wars are now humanitarian.  Their exceptionalism is exceptionally real--to them. The drones hum along; few notice or care, unless profit is the quest.

What they cannot do with either conviction or clarity, even if they wanted to, is alter the class structure and the necessity of economic exploitation, the engine of capitalism.  That would be anathema to their own interests.

So lately Dems talk the game of equality, but they can't play it--here or abroad. That makes them the hypocrites in the equation.

This is why I detest where we are.  This is why I'm bored by it and maintain it must all come down.


TS

Willie Taggart/Give it Time

Kudos to Oregon for hiring an African American coach with a record of turning programs around.

A first for the university in football.

Now we must watch and see if he is as good as his backers say he is, a group including Tony Dungy and the Harbaugh clan.


TS

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Moyers Strikes Out


More liberal nonsense.

HRC herself never believed or advocated for half the policies on this wish list. That was to a large degree her problem!

Has she changed her mind about anything? Fuck no, she's still crying, incapable of anything except mourning her miserable campaign while remaining unwilling to admit her inability to tell the truth or confront reality.

What a fantasy world comfortable liberals live in!

The only way the U.S. will be able to deal with its present rise of neofascism is, I dread thinking, through the power of the bullet and hand-to-hand combat in the streets.

A martial crackdown and slaughter of historically immense proportions--a genocide--would surely follow given the absolute power the militarists, inclusive of Trump and the right and neoliberals like HRC and Congress (a fascist cabal), are prepared to use to protect American imperialism and the homegrown colonization of our citizens as reflected through the burgeoning police state.

That said, Moyers isn't about to retire or back off.  Good on him. He's had plenty to offer in his mid and late-years--but this is just silly, even as a joke or satire.

He'll collapse at his computer before quitting-time.

So will I most likely, fighting off this kind of crap.


TS

Warmongers at Work

I’ve devoted my academic career to spotlighting propaganda, writing numerous books on the subject. So it’s more than a little disturbing when I see references to “propaganda” in the corporate press that completely obscure the broader role that manipulation plays in reinforcing domestic political-economic elites’ agendas and in padding the pocketbooks of corporate media conglomerates. Empirical media studies have documented since the 1970s the overwhelming government dominance of the news. Government control of the news is uncontroversially labeled propaganda in dictatorships like North Korea and the old Soviet Union, but when journalists working for private media corporations willingly roll over for government interests, allowing them to monopolize newspapers and the airwaves in favor of their own agendas, we call it “objectivity.”  So it is in an effort to add some sanity to our modern discussion of propaganda that I draw CounterPunch readers’ attention to the longstanding existence of fake news propaganda in U.S. media.--AD

Anthony DiMaggio gets it right.

A little something more just for you.

Something funny, pointed and apropos.


TS

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Water

On Sunday, the first official day of the Veterans Stand for Standing Rock action, thousands of veterans continue to pour into the Oceti Sakowin camp.

The veterans have traveled from all over the United States to protect the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and its supporters from ongoing police violence as the water protectors maintain their peaceful stand against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

"I felt it was our duty to come and stand in front of the guns and the mace and the water and the threat that they pose to these people," Navy veteran Anthony Murtha, who traveled to North Dakota from Detroit, told Reuters.--NK/CD

Water protection is a start, but much more must follow.


TS

Friday, December 2, 2016

Have a Great Weekend



I would advise that you smoke pot and listen to this with real intent over the weekend.

Don't thank me.  Just listen.


TS

Time to Look Ahead

I would have rather bathed in vomit than voted for Hillary Clinton.  I thought that before she astonished the world by losing to Donald Trump, and I have not changed my mind.

That Trump is likely to be an even more awful President than George W. Bush changes nothing.  As of now, for sheer awfulness, the Bush presidency is the gold standard.  It wasn’t just the class war he waged (on the wrong side) or his assaults on civil liberties; Bush broke the Middle East, with consequences that will continue to reverberate for years to come. The Donald could be worse.

Nevertheless, I do not regret not voting for Hillary and trying to persuade others to do the same – not one bit.--AL

Preach it, brother Levine.


TS

RP Thomas














Untitled


cello splinters

on top of

flat jesus

a boot still on the road

dusty drinks of beer

dog on wood

slowly drifting by

but not you.
                         -- RP Thomas

TS

Lament



Thanks to Lee Santa.


TS

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The General and the Fool

The news that President-elect Donald Trump called in disgraced retired Gen. David Petraeus for a job interview as possible Secretary of State tests whether Trump’s experience in hosting “The Celebrity Apprentice” honed his skills for spotting an incompetent phony or not.-- RM

Take it from this one-time insider who knows his stuff.

McGovern is among the most authoritative analysts around. Minted by the U.S. Army and the CIA, he is a more-radical Andrew Bacevich, a reader of tea leaves regarding U.S. foreign policy.

Like CounterPunch's full stable of commies, he has likely earned the Russian propagandist tag in the eyes of the Washington Post and New York Times.

That is, he is critical of where we are.


TS