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, August 19, 2017

Normalization of Racism, Bigotry, Fascism

The white supremacy that some of us see as more insidious is not reflected in the simple, stereotypical images of the angry, Nazi-saluting alt-righter or even Donald Trump. Instead, it is the normalized and thus invisible white supremacist ideology inculcated into cultural and educational institutions and the policies that stem from those ideas. That process doesn’t just produce the storm troopers of the armed and crazed radical right but also such covert true believers as Robert Rubin from Goldman Sachs, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Tony Blair and Nancy Pelosi—”decent” individuals who have never questioned for a moment the superiority of Western civilization, who believe completely in the White West’s right and responsibility to determine which nations should have sovereignty and who should be the leaders of “lesser” nations. And who believe that there is no alternative to the wonders of global capitalism even if it means that billions of human beings are consigned permanently to what Fanon called the “zone of non-being.”--AB

Worth repeating.

Here in Oregon, our lone right-winger Rep. Greg Walden is an obvious fascist representing Republicanism, witness his support of Ryan and Trump during the dog days of the healthcare debate. His famous "impassioned speech" from the House floor defended the armed thugs who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in an earlier display of his contempt for democracy.

On the neoliberal side, Oregon's Democrats are less obvious, but no less culpable as they struggle with propping up capitalism while attempting to appease the underclasses and gift anti-fascism with a blurb or two on occasion, thus keeping their "liberal" credentials in order.

We know where all of these characters stand in truth--with business, the workers and poor be damned!


TS 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Untitled/RP Thomas













(RP Thomas photo)

my views are as yours.

I'm reading poetry right now.

It's a really stupid world out there.

horse racing makes sense quite often.

so does beer.-- RP Thomas

Note:  RP Thomas turned me on to Charles Bukowski many years ago, before Buk was well-known. Drink and the horse races are legacies of Buk's lit of course, and worthy of our admiration. Bukowski wrote for real people, and the academics loathed or ignored him. 

Thomas let me crash at his place one summer when I was between women and contemplating my move to Portland, where I've lived for 40 years.

Forty years...imagine that.  I find it both unreal and terrifying!


TS

Clean Sweep













Admit it.  You love the carnival.


TS

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Best Commentary

Trump’s remarks were a firehose of gasoline gushed onto a political firestorm. Almost giddy with the easy political points to score, Democrats rhetorically lashed Trump to the Klansmen and Nazis he defended.  Nearly the entire Republican leadership took to Twitter to denounce bigotry, even Senator Orrin Hatch, who had earlier said Trump was “not a racist,” after Trump attacked federal judge Gonzalo P. Curiel’s fairness because of his Mexican heritage, tweeted, “We should never hesitate to call out hate. Whenever and wherever we see it."--TMK

This is a nuanced view of where we stand.

The hypocrisy of the economic elites who support the status quo and then cry racism is staggering. There are many neo-fascists in Congress who are paying lip-service to Charlottesville.

They're not as obvious as Trump about their hate, but it's real. The US is teeming with racist autocrats in high places.  The US is a fascist state.  Its top pols are the reason, not the cure, for why fascism is spreading.  I'm speaking of both American parties, which is one party guided by wealth and heap big nonsense beginning with the lie that America is a democracy.  Fuck that.  The US is a police state. Its exceptionalism is a mirage.  

Look how the pols initially fell in line behind Trump, who ran a racist campaign. If they didn't support him, they'd have moved to oust him by now.  Sadly, they are as corrupt as he is.

Here's another cat who can spell it out better than I can.

The so-called "resistance" is a joke being perpetuated by neoliberal outfits like the HuffPost, etc.


TS

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tell a Stranger
















George

Shock and awe,
fire and fury,
Politicians have a special way
With words--nasty.

Don't they?

It's indecent.

With the time we have left
Our struggle is clearly limited
To what we can do
To salvage ourselves

While the ruins smolder
Around us.

Tell a stranger.


TS

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Post-Slavery Blues

The cries of white men with the burning torches in Charlottesville, Virginia, were familiar to her. Their anger was, too.

The continuous news coverage over the weekend prompted her own highlight reel of memories that included racial taunts, attacks and fears she’s lived with since she was born in the thick of the Great Depression. She couldn’t erase them if she wanted. “You never forget that feeling of being preyed upon,” said my grandmother, Clemmie. “It’s something I’ve been experiencing my entire life. I’m far from alone.”--JT

A good read at "The Undefeated."

All whitey has is a sad case of the post-slavery blues.  Dig it, the politicians are lying when they try to tell you that racism is anti-American.  It's as American as it gets and has been for hundreds of years.

What is more dishonest than a Congress that will not admit it is the machine of oppression and inequality?  That Trump hasn't been ousted by now for his incompetence is telling in more ways than the Tweet-happy Senators are capable of grasping or admitting, because it is power and not justice that makes them happy.

Consider this.

And this.

In other words our myth of exceptionalism is as fake as the Orange Jackass.


TS

Monday, August 14, 2017

For the Record























Marshall McLuhan’s chestnut “the medium is the message” contains some of the most important theory about mass media to have emerged in the past century. In its honor, we might propose another slogan—less conceptually tidy and alliterative—that brings to mind the arguments of critical theorists like Theodor Adorno: “the economy is the culture”—the economic mechanisms that govern the “culture industry,” as Adorno would say, determine the kinds of productions that saturate our shared environment. In a purely corporate capitalist model, we consume culture—that which is marketed most aggressively and distributed most plentifully—and often discard it just as quickly. In an economy that doesn’t make profit the fulcrum of its every move, things go otherwise. The lines between consumers, creators, and communities become blurred in weird and wonderful ways.--OC

What a great website and resource for serious cultural thinkers and researchers.


TS

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Path of Totality



Pretty cool.  Portland's obscuration is set at 99.2 percent.  Shit like this must have scared the hell out of the ancients, leading to all sorts of myths and rituals.

Now people are camped out near Madras in central Oregon, where the obscuration will be 100 percent for over two minutes.


TS

Friday, August 11, 2017

Your Weekend


The weekend CounterPunch is loaded again and you will not have time to read all of it, but once you get started go for it.  Read as much as you can, and don't miss this piece, an off-the-cuff combination of the serious and absurd, by yours truly.

I first published the fake conversations between Dooley and myself here in 2012, so one might assume the material is dated--that is unless you intuitively understand that not much has changed but the personalities now in charge.


TS

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Bombs Away














"O Bomb I love you
I want to kiss your clank eat your boom
You are a paean an acme of scream
      a lyric hat of Mister Thunder
O resound thy tanky knees
BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM
BOOM ye skies and BOOM ye suns
BOOM BOOM ye moons ye stars BOOM
nights ye BOOM ye days ye BOOM
BOOM BOOM ye winds ye clouds ye rains
go BANG ye lakes ye oceans BING
Barracuda BOOM and cougar BOOM
Ubangi BOOM orangutang
BING BANG BONG BOOM bee bear baboon"

--Gregory Corso

A brilliant poem by Corso.

About Gregory Corso.

He (Corso) once explained his Utopian vision to Contemporary Authors: "I feel that in the future many many poets will blossom forth—the poetic spirit will spread and reach toward all; it will show itself not in words—the written poem—but rather in man's being and in the deeds he enacts. . . . A handful of poets in every country in the world can and have always been able to live in the world as well as in their own world; . . . and when such humankind becomes manifold, when all are embraced by the poetic spirit, by a world of poets, not by the written word but by deed and thought and beauty, then society will have no recourse but to become suitable for them and for itself. I feel man is headed in such a direction; he is fated and due to become aware of and knowledgeable about his time; his good intelligence and compassion will enable him to cope with almost all the bothersome, distracting difficulties that may arise—and when he becomes so, 'poet' will not be his name, but it will be his victory."--PF


TS

Monday, August 7, 2017

Is He Any Good?



It's a Jim Carrey!  I must have it!


TS

Friday, August 4, 2017

Dismal Dollars

Soon after he entered office Donald Trump abandoned the populist rhetoric that got him elected and began pushing programs that benefit connected plutocrats. Soon after he entered office Barack Obama abandoned the populist rhetoric that got him elected and began pushing programs that benefit connected plutocrats. Soon after he entered office Bill Clinton abandoned the populist rhetoric that got him elected and began pushing programs that benefit connected plutocrats. Astute readers may detect a pattern here.--RU

A complex reality.



TS

Tan Lines

I read "On the Beach" for the first time the other day, finishing it as the US Congress passed a law to wage economic war on Russia, the world’s second most lethal nuclear power.  There was no justification for this insane vote, except the promise of plunder.

The “sanctions” are aimed at Europe, too, mainly Germany, which depends on Russian natural gas and on European companies that do legitimate business with Russia. In what passed for debate on Capitol Hill, the more garrulous senators left no doubt that the embargo was designed to force Europe to import expensive American gas.

Their main aim seems to be war – real war. No provocation as extreme can suggest anything else. They seem to crave it, even though Americans have little idea what war is. The Civil War of 1861-5 was the last on their mainland. War is what the United States does to others.--JP

Pilger speaks.


TS

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Long Life

I confess, I loved Notre Dame in the Ara era.

That makes me old, but I'm not a Catholic!



TS

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Picasso at 83 and 90




















I think we can agree, Picasso went insane.


TS

Monday, July 31, 2017

Hot Town



Gonna be aswelterin' all week, up round 100 degrees.  Damn.


TS

RIP Sam Shepard

Shepard arrived in New York in 1963 with no connections, little money and vague aspirations to act, write or make music. "I just dropped in out of nowhere," he told the New Yorker in 2010. But Shepard quickly became part of the off-off-Broadway movement at downtown hangouts like Caffe Cino and La MaMa. "As far as I'm concerned, Broadway just does not exist," Shepard told Playboy in 1970 -- though many of his later plays would end up there.--AP

Didn't know Sam was so sick.  ALS is brutal and sad.

My favorites were "True West" and "Fool for Love."


TS

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Scouting Around

I was dishonorably discharged from the Cub Scouts for conduct unbecoming a scout. I was stripped of my merit badges, my sash, my scarf. It was a scene resembling the opening of that old TV show “Branded” with Chuck Connors. I had brought shame on my troop by decking the Scoutmaster’s son. I was eight years old.--JSC

This is one of the funniest and cogent damn things you'll read this year, I swear.


TS

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Alvin Lee



The late great Alvin Lee and Ten Years After.

Seriously, this gets funkier every time I watch it.  I wasn't a big fan until I began to look back, and then it occurred to me that AL could play and just rolled with it.

The scatting ain't too bad either.

Dude died of heart disease, too young at 68 in 2013.


TS

Friday, July 28, 2017

Good Stuff


With all these weaknesses, Trump’s only possible political role is to serve as the front man for congressional Republicans, who do have thought-out political ideas and programs, and dangerous ones. They hoped he would play, or could be forced to play, that role for them. The Republican Party is itself a precarious mix of factions—hardline libertarians, religious fanatics, neocon hawks, and legacy Chamber of Commerce types—all of whom are frantically trying to stay united around their one common priority: the worship and protection of capital. They need a leader who can mediate among them, and be an effective and reassuring presence to the public, helping them put over policy changes that are going to devastate the lives of most Americans. What they got instead is an incoherent, peripatetic, self-obsessed incompetent, who can’t control his cabinet, his family, or his mouth, and who only further confuses their agenda.--JK

Good read here, funny and astute, and of course scary at the level we all know these days.


TS

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Real McCain


This is the story of the real John McCain, the one who has been hiding in plain sight. It is the story of a man who has consistently put his own advancement above all else, a man willing to say and do anything to achieve his ultimate ambition: to become commander in chief, ascending to the one position that would finally enable him to outrank his four-star father and grandfather.

In its broad strokes, McCain's life story is oddly similar to that of the current occupant of the White House. John Sidney McCain III and George Walker Bush both represent the third generation of American dynasties. Both were born into positions of privilege against which they rebelled into mediocrity. Both developed an uncanny social intelligence that allowed them to skate by with a minimum of mental exertion. Both struggled with booze and loutish behavior. At each step, with the aid of their fathers' powerful friends, both failed upward. And both shed their skins as Episcopalian members of the Washington elite to build political careers as self-styled, ranch-inhabiting Westerners who pray to Jesus in their wives' evangelical churches.--TD

Don't cry for John McCain, an ignoble swine.


TS

Wasted

Had an abscessed tooth pulled Monday.  Feeling a little better, and hoping no further complications arise.

The combination of antibiotics and OTC pain killers has me wasted and sleeping fitfully.

Frankly, I'd rather have a cocktail.  Healing is boring.


TS

Monday, July 24, 2017

Nixed

My hoped-for agreement with the woman ex-Marine in my apartment complex unfortunately never materialized.

Said she's a private person and wants to keep it that way.  No convincing her otherwise.

Too bad.  I would guess any lady Marine might have a hell of a story to tell.  Just as importantly, I think the public is curious.

Well, what can you do?

TS

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The Fraud, Pelosi

A recent Washington Post and ABC poll finds that just 37 percent of Americans think that the Democratic Party “stands for something.”  Fifty two percent say it’s about nothing more than opposing Trump.

The 37 percent is right. The Democratic Party stands for something, alright.  It stands for the socio-pathological system of class rule and environmental ruin called capitalism – and for capitalism’s evil Siamese twin imperialism.

So does the far more openly right-wing Republican Party, of course, but that’s fairly common knowledge.  It’s more complicated with the Democrats, who like to pose as being “on the left” while carrying water for Big Business.--PS

From the pen of Paul Street, a must read.


TS

Friday, July 21, 2017

Read On

Trump is a hundred shades of awful, but he is not a dedicated theocrat or free market theologian or Second Amendment fanatic.  And although his misogyny is blatant and pronounced, at least he doesn’t think that he is on a mission from God to deny women reproductive rights.

Neither is he a neocon, intent on bringing Russia to its heels.  He may not even be a bona fide climate change denier.

He is a conman, and these are roles he plays at campaign rallies and on TV– because he is working a con on benighted folk who really do hold some or all of these views, as well as on (slightly) more enlightened citizens who are too pissed off by the status quo to care.--AL

A good weekend read for you my favorite RBPD worshipers, loyalists and dedicated faithful.


TS

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Prison Time

The most biting chapter in Brown’s brilliant and bitter book was titled “The Abandonment.” Here Brown went into pointed detail on how a host of Black bourgeois elites (Brown’s hall of shame included William Julius Wilson, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Condoleezza Rice, Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, Vernon Jordan, Alexis Herman, Armstrong Williams, Ellis Cose, Thomas Sowell, Chris Rock, Russell Simmons, Cynthia Tucker, Jesse Jackson, most members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and of course Oprah Winfrey) aligned themselves with the bipartisan, and pseudo-color-blind neoliberal racism of the Clintons.  These Black misleaders joined the Clintons and other white elites in blaming the Black poor for their own oppression, in backing the vicious removal of millions of poor Black women and children from the welfare rolls, and in supporting a savage “three strikes” crime bill that drastically expanded the nation’s racist mass arrest and incarceration system.  These and other Black “leaders” functioned as what Brown called “new model House Slaves” and Black “Slave Overseers.” “It was this New Age racist-era abandonment of principle, this shrugging of shoulders and turning of backs by Blacks and former friends,” Brown wrote, “that had set the stage for the unchallenged prosecution of a thirteen-year-old Black boy.”--PS

Mr. Street.  Read it and weep.


TS

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Consider This

David's Singh's father wrote to me about a recent anti-war essay he liked that I published at CounterPunch.

Read the website devoted to the legacy of his son, who committed suicide in 2016 rather than be conscripted into Singapore's national service.

The kid was 18, gay, an artist and a conscientious objector.  In Singapore, where every 18 year-old male must acquiesce to the mandate, there is little support for such lives of resistance.

I post this in solidarity with David Singh's father, family and friends.


TS

Monday, July 17, 2017

Hedges on Debs

Eugene Victor Debs, whose home is an infrequently visited museum on the campus of Indiana State University, was arguably the most important political figure of the 20th century. He built the socialist movement in America and was eventually crucified by the capitalist class when he and hundreds of thousands of followers became a potent political threat.

Debs burst onto the national stage when he organized a railroad strike in 1894 after the Pullman Co. cut wages by up to one-third but did not lower rents in company housing or reduce dividend payments to its stockholders. Over a hundred thousand workers staged what became the biggest strike in U.S. history on trains carrying Pullman cars.

The response was swift and brutal.--CH

A long and informative piece by Chris Hedges at Truthdig.

This one is superb as well.

And this one by Paul Street.


TS

Weather Report

This is how I like it.  July is always good here.  August usually brings the real heat.

I'd haunt the outdoor cafes and bars if I had any money.


TS

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Revisited


This is a fucking nice piece, squared with my own philosophy and MO.

Read it, please.







TS

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Classic



TS

Depth?

This time of year I usually get revved up about the approaching college football season.  I'm a little tame this year, but I'll probably be back to normal soon enough.

As I've written here before, the biggest drag for me is the way the business side of the game has taken over.  But what can you do?

Big-time conferences get started with their month-long fall camps in about two weeks, so the 2017 season is rapidly approaching.

If you've followed this blog even casually since I started it in 2010, you know I'm an Oregon Ducks fan.

Of course it is widely known that Oregon fell off last year after a decade-long stretch of winning seasons that included two national title games--both losses unfortunately.

The former staff didn't recruit enough good players on the defensive side of the ball in recent years, but offensively the Ducks were their usual dynamos.

So the old staff is gone, but the same defensive players are back.  It could be a rough first year for new head coach Willie Taggert.  Every game will likely be a shootout, which is a risky way to collect wins.

Here is Oregon's 2017 depth chart as predicted by ChileDuck, a fan who lives in Ogden.  Barring injuries, defections or suspensions, he's usually spot on, so we shall see.


TS

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Yep


Terrorist threats have been exaggerated beyond belief to manipulate a frightened, but also a growing impoverished population. The threat level was assigned colors, and each time the color vacillated towards the red, the nation drops all of its grievances, fights for equality, jobs and health care and unites in hating Muslims, people they never met.--RB

Dr. Ramzy Baroud with an important essay.


TS

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

No Shit

But you wouldn’t know it from listening to the 2016 presidential campaign. Both Trump and Hillary Clinton's economic addresses focused much more on the middle class than on the poor, a New York Times analysis found. And transcripts of the three presidential debates show the middle class was mentioned thirteen times compared to just four mentions of poverty, the poor, or low-income people.

In ignoring the poor, Clinton and Trump have plenty of company.--EP

Why do politicians ignore the poor?  Good question.

Here is one SOB who needs to be taken out of the equation.


TS

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Women in the Marine Corps


I've been in a funk and unable to do much work recently.  However today I made a discovery that has me thinking about a possible next project.

I have unfinished items everywhere, but I tend to lose interest in them as a habit. They're products of an unfocused and undisciplined mind, a wandering mind. This one feels right.

I introduced myself to a young woman who lives in my building and discovered she was once in the Marines.

Interesting.  That's the story.  I want to know more.

I'll have to ask her and then I'll have to write it all down.

Feels like a project worth pursuing, so we shall see.


TS

Friday, July 7, 2017

Tips



Vonnegut was very good.  Not everyone believes he was because he made everything so simple. Doing that was his genius.  He made me laugh, which is important to me as a reader.  The pleasure in reading comes first.


TS

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Delmore



















Baudelaire

When I fall asleep, and even during sleep,
I hear, quite distinctly, voices speaking
Whole phrases, commonplace and trivial,
Having no relation to my affairs.

Dear Mother, is any time left to us
In which to be happy? My debts are immense.
My bank account is subject to the court’s judgment.
I know nothing. I cannot know anything.
I have lost the ability to make an effort.
But now as before my love for you increases.
You are always armed to stone me, always:
It is true. It dates from childhood.

For the first time in my long life
I am almost happy. The book, almost finished,
Almost seems good. It will endure, a monument
To my obsessions, my hatred, my disgust.

Debts and inquietude persist and weaken me.
Satan glides before me, saying sweetly:
“Rest for a day! You can rest and play today.
Tonight you will work.” When night comes,
My mind, terrified by the arrears,
Bored by sadness, paralyzed by impotence,
Promises: “Tomorrow: I will tomorrow.”
Tomorrow the same comedy enacts itself
With the same resolution, the same weakness.

I am sick of this life of furnished rooms.
I am sick of having colds and headaches:
You know my strange life. Every day brings
Its quota of wrath. You little know
A poet’s life, dear Mother: I must write poems,
The most fatiguing of occupations.

I am sad this morning. Do not reproach me.
I write from a café near the post office,
Amid the click of billiard balls, the clatter of dishes,
The pounding of my heart. I have been asked to write
“A History of Caricature.” I have been asked to write
“A History of Sculpture.” Shall I write a history
Of the caricatures of the sculptures of you in my heart?

Although it costs you countless agony,
Although you cannot believe it necessary,
And doubt that the sum is accurate,
Please send me money enough for at least three weeks.

Delmore Schwartz

Lou Reed's mentor and friend.

About Baudelaire. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Still Waiting

The U.S. Constitution that the Founders enshrined thirteen years after breaking off from their capitalist parent and mentor England was a shining monument to the privileging of property rights – the rights of the propertied Few – over human rights and democracy. In the Constitutional Convention debates that produced this most un- and anti-democratic charter, the leading Framer and slaveowner James Madison backed an upper U.S. legislative assembly (the Senate) of elite property holders to check a coming “increase of population” certain to “increase the proportion of those who will labour under all the hardships of life, and secretly sigh for a more equal distribution of its blessings.”--PS

You say you want a revolution, oh yeah.


TS

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Don't Protest



Armed and dangerous.


TS

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Roth's Last Dance

Referring to himself in the third person as he ponders his career, Nathan Zuckerman, through whom Roth so often spoke, ruminates in Zuckerman Unbound: “All he wanted at sixteen was to become a romantic genius like Thomas Wolfe and leave little New Jersey and all the shallow provincials [behind].” But as it turned out, “he had taken them all with him.”--SM

Nice piece here on Philip Roth's love affair with his home town of Newark, NJ.

Roth has always been one of my favorite writers.  At 84 he says he's published his last book.



TS

Friday, June 23, 2017

Tight


The Beavs fall but have another chance tomorrow.  The CWS is a double-elimination tourney and OSU has split a pair with LSU.

Rubber match...

This is quality baseball worth watching.  Things will be tense in Omaha tomorrow.

TS

Bell and Boucher to Golden State


The NBA champions Golden State went after Jordan Bell in the draft with the 38th pick, then signed Chris Boucher to a two-year deal.

Damn, the Warriors know what they're doing.  Might be why they're the champs. With the B boys in the fold there'll be hell to pay for opponents attempting to get to the rim.

Add two shot blockers to that already great team?

Won't be fair.


TS

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rall Again


“I am not a member of any organized political party,” Will Rogers said ages ago. “I am a Democrat.”

So frustration with America’s officially-licensed nominally liberal political party is not new. Even for them, though, I can’t imagine that any party ever worked as hard to pull defeat from the jaws of victory as the Dems are doing now.--TR

The mess is blooming.

TS

Monday, June 19, 2017

Psychopathy Explained



Can't seem to face up to the facts
Been so nervous can't relax
Can't sleep bed's on fire
Don't touch me I'm a real live wire.


TS

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Van the Man



It was time
again today
to escape the torrent
the fading away
the fortune tellers' lies
and empty noise.


TS

Friday, June 16, 2017

Santa in PDX

The Sandpoint, Idaho photographer, Lee Santa, was in Portland last week to shoot the Joe Lovano concert.  See the photos here.

We published Santa's "A Journey into Jazz: Anecdotes, Notes and Photos of Jazz Fan" in 2014.  The book has earned wide praise, and you can buy it here.



TS

Thursday, June 15, 2017

'Tis True

We’ve seen this before. Muhammad Ali, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Craig Hodges, Tommie Smith and John Carlos all faced similar treatment after using their platforms to take principled stands. Kaepernick has made millions of dollars in the NFL, so he will be fine either way. But there are many lessons to be learned from this situation.

One important lesson is how the owning class relies on patriotism to help protect and secure its position in society. The notion of patriotism is one that tells the American working class that they have a deep, common bond with the American capitalist class. This, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth. As being consistent with capitalism, the owning-class minority has driven the working-class majority into widespread deprivation in order to secure more and more wealth for itself. One way to hide this reality is to create an artificial bond based on geographic and cultural nationalism—patriotism.--CJ

A Colin Jenkins piece at Truthdig.

On the college front, Oregon has the number 10-rated class for 2018 at this time.  Maybe the new coaching staff can get 'er done, right?


TS

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Yep

The not-so-new Democratic Party had its claws on the People’s Summit this past weekend in Chicago. Readers might think that after so much greed and profit from war and after such loss of human resources, that someone would stand up and shout: “What’s the matter with you people… can’t you see the obvious… can’t you see the handwriting on the wall!”--HL

Good piece.

Rall on fire.


TS

Friday, June 9, 2017

Home



Hedges in Portland, KBOO benefit.


TS

Push

The question now is whether the Democrats will change.

So far, despite the title of the New York Times article, the answer is no. Although there is widespread voter support for single payer, Nancy Pelosi says the party is not going there and is funneling advocates’ energy to the state level, even though state single payer systems are not possible without federal legislation. At the national level, Democrats are paying lip service to Medicare for All: “We need to get there eventually but right now our task is to fix the ACA” is the current talking point.

The reality is that the political currents have shifted. The public is not going along with the con. People want solutions to the healthcare crisis, not more tinkering with the current failed healthcare system. Across the country, the message is clear that the public supports National Improved Medicare for All. And whichever political party in power embraces this will see a surge in popularity.--MF

Corporate Dems can't figure it out, or refuse to at any rate.

B is for bone.


TS

Another View



Scheer has been there and done that.  The 81 year-old maestro is still strong.


TS

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Summer Ahead

CounterPunch mandate.

Read it all every day.

While you're at it.

We need real clarity now more than ever.

That's all. Very sketchy WiFi these days.


TS

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Go Beavs!


OSU is blowing Yale away.

Been 10 years since the Beavs won the CWS.  Is it ordained?





TS

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Money Hole

Military spending is the biggest waste of federal tax dollars ever. Both political parties are equally complicit.

The militarism scam is the best-kept secret in American politics.--TR

Or as Gen. Smedley Butler put it, "war is a racket."

The top one-hundred U.S. defense contractors.


TS

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Fallibility of Hubris



Whether any American liberal wants to or not, anyone who is mourning Manchester needs to hear it said: We’re crying over the horror in Manchester today because yesterday Hillary Clinton was laughing about the horror she inflicted on Libya –including the killing of Ghaddafi by those protected Salafist proxies who sodomized him with a bayonet: “We came. We saw. He died. [big smile, joyous laugther]” Yes, exactly that.

Ha, Ha. Maybe she can get a gig in a comedy club in Manchester.

Really, knowing what we do about Libya through to Manchester, does any of the outrageous things we’ve from Trump equal the despicableness of Hillary’s perverse glee in this video? It’s an image not to be forgotten.-- JK

Pilger speaks!

Another "must read" from TE.



TS

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Small Talk


I can remember back in the day when bus drivers were as least as smart as Ralph Kramden.

This is why I never attempt to engage a city bus driver in conversation.  It's too dangerous.

As an aside, nobody was more surprised than my painter colleague and I when we were once thrown off a city bus coming home from a job just because the swine driver felt for some unfathomable reason that we were, in the middle of a conversation about work, talking shit about him.


TS

Friday, May 26, 2017

Long Weekend

Memorial Day weekend.  Get out there and do something.

And remember to remember.

My WiFi is bad right now, so visit again next month and I might have something to tell you.


TS

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A Fan's Note

Lived through the power outage, a harrowing affair.  My senior center was closed, but the meals were saved thanks to the tenacity of the Elm Center staff!

The MOW people rock!

Speaking of food, as in food chain, here's an interesting piece.


TS

Monday, May 22, 2017

Two

If journalists were doing their jobs as laid out in widely accepted political theory and First Amendment doctrine—to hold power accountable, especially when the checks and balances built into formal institutions of the republic fail—they would not settle for liberal pieties but instead would embrace the radical analyses that have animated the best of journalism throughout history. Tom Paine, the greatest journalist of the Revolutionary era, never settled for the liberal pieties of his day, which may be why he’s rarely remembered as one of our “founding fathers” despite his considerable contributions to independence.--RJ

One for the road.

Two for the road.


TS

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Branded and Dying

The assignment is to go up to Boston to cover the third annual Content Marketing Conference, a sold-out, $1,250/ticket, four-day powwow for 300 marketing professionals flown in from San Fran and Toronto and other prosperous North American cities. They will sleep at the conference hotel in $349/night rooms with swanky waterfront views. The Struggling Writer is picked up at the train station by a taxi and deposited at the corner of a dingy half-block. The taxi departs hastily. The S.W. finds the entrance to the Airbnb rental, a narrow building adorned in uninspired graffiti.

The Content Marketing Conference takes place in a wing of the Westin Hotel. The spectacular, light-filled lobby is abuzz with men and women ages 20s to 50s in biz attire tapping on laptops, while others quickly wheel compact travel luggage over polished marble. A long escalator to the second floor is decorated with decals of male and female Superheroes soaring through space: neon-green faces, neon-green capes. Spandex-enhanced anatomies accompany motivational implorings such as “Rid the World of Bad Content.”-- Tablet online

Pretty funny and clever, if not up to the standards of Hunter S. Thompson as infiltrator and skeptic.


TS

Thursday, May 18, 2017

RIP Chris Cornell



I figure there have been but a handful of singers max who were able to sing this song and get it right.  You know, the composers; another one in his raw and intriguing way was Chris Cornell.


TS

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Race is On

Great news developing out of Bend, in Oregon's 2nd Congressional District. The potential ouster of Republican Trumpster Greg Walden, the arch-conservative corporate lackey/congressman who helped write the Trump/Ryan anti-health bill, just got a jump start.

This will only work if Eastern Oregon voters come to their senses, but a high-profile candidate like Rachael Scdoris-Salerno can't hurt the cause.

If fame is what it takes to unseat a corporate-backed henchman, I'm all for it.


TS