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, 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