Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Post #666: Random Observations

My house is a very, very, very weird house
 
Not enough sleep.
The following are a thread of unrelated comments that I have posted recently on various websites or out in the Facebooksphere. No animals were harmed in the making of this article.

********************
 
1. About Last night:
 
I got about an hour and a quarter through the vice-presidential debate last night; I could go no further than that. Tim Kaine impressed me a helluva lot more than Mike Pence - which is damnation by ever-so-faint praise due to the fact that, in a more ordinary time, Kaine wouldn't impress me much at all. Pence, the governor of Indiana, is such an extremist chucklehead, I sincerely believe he could make George W. Bush look like Albert Einstein. There is a very nice woman from Indianapolis who communicates with me on Facebook. Her name is Phyllis Crill. Early this morning she offered these choice nuggets of opinion:
 
"Since I live in Indiana and know what a moron Pence is, I didn't even attempt it. I also have a blood pressure problem. I don't know how you could have possibly watched an hour and a quarter without your head exploding from Pence's stupidity. We here in Indiana monitor our blood pressure regularly because we never know when another of Pence's nutso schemes may be reported via the MSM and we have to reach for the blood pressure meds."
 
Indeed.
 
2. The Continuing Implosion:
 
Regarding the comical train-wreck that is also known as the Donald Trump Campaign, it's impossible to believe at this stage that there might not be a method to his madness. As stated here before, I have this nagging suspicion that the Donald is, in fact, purposely engaged in a covert attempt to permanently end the Republican Party. Trump played his roll in the GOP primaries to utter perfection. He studied the process as thoroughly as any candidate in history. He understood that the only way a candidate can possibly receive the nomination from that disgusting party is by stomping about the country saying a bunch of jaw-droppingly mean and stupid things - and that's exactly what he did. What makes the Trump campaign unusual, though, is that normally, once the candidate has won the Republican nomination, he always slithers back to the center during the general election. Trump has made no such effort; in fact, judging by the way he is handling himself, one could be forgiven for thinking that the silly bastard is running for a Mississippi congressional seat! 2016 sure is an amusing year.

3. President Clinton II:

This has got to be the most obvious no-brainer in American political history: Hillary Clinton will be sworn in as the forty-fifth president on January 20 of next year - which is only a little over three months away. Maybe she will turn out to be a true progressive. Maybe not. Her choice of Tim Kaine was hardly a reassurance to those of us who lean leftwards. Nothing personal against the guy: He's a smart man and he seems to be a good one - but he's hardly the fightin' liberal that we were hoping for. At this time next year I could be eating these words. We'll see. In the meantime I remain depressingly ambivalent.

4. My Take on Tattoos:

This is where I'll probably consign myself to hopeless and eternal old-fuddy-duddyism. So be it. I've wanted to post this message for a long time but have always chickened out at the last moment. Fortunately I'm drunk enough at the moment  to be not so inhibited - inebriated, yes - but not inhibited. Consider this a little public service message for each of my young friends who are contemplating adding a tattoo to his or her body. Tattoos can be beautiful and I've seen a few in my day that I greatly admired. The problem is that they're beautiful only to a point. This message is genuinely ironic on my part given the fact that the office  in my house that I work in looks out directly across the road onto a thriving tattoo parlor.

Shown above are two different images of the same tattoo, fifteen years apart. Listen, kids, before you enter the tattoo parlor, don't forget that it’s going to be a part of you for the rest of your lives.

Have you ever had a good look at a tattoo that is twenty-five years old - or older? They’re unrecognizable from what they originally were. After thirty years, they’re usually nothing more than a dark green blotch.

One night in 1975, my father held a party in Toronto for some of his business associates that he wanted me to attend (I was sixteen at the time). He insisted that I wear one of those awful, mid-seventies, polyester leisure suits that were the fashion rage of the day. I wore it on that one occasion - and never wore it again. Had someone told me then and there that, once I put the thing on, I would be forced to wear it until the day I died, I would not have put it on - trust me.

At one time, I wore my hair very long. Today I keep it relatively short. Forty years ago, I loved Elton John. Today his music sounds almost sophomoric to me. In 1976 I liked to wash down my meals with Orange Crush. In 2016 I can't stomach the stuff. Why? Because I am older and my tastes have changed. What might seem really cool to you at eighteen could very well seem repulsive to you at fifty-eight. This is an essential fact of human nature.

Flash forward thirty years into the future, when you are still a relatively young person. Every morning, as you dress, you’ll look into the mirror and say out loud: “What the hell was I thinking?”

Tattoos are a fad. Fads come and go. When this fad finally goes the way of the polyester lesuire suit, your tattoo will remain. Think about that.

FUN FACT: Laser surgery to remove a medium-sized tattoo costs nearly fifty-thousand dollars; and bear in mind that it only fades them somewhat - it doesn't totally remove them. That procedure requires a skin graft - which costs tens-of-thousands of dollars more.

Roughly ninety-five percent of the women who get a tattoo regret it in less than five years. There is a much cheaper method of hiding a tattoo: a cream that only temporarily camouflages it. It’s quite popular now for the simple reason that so many people are embarrassed by the tattoos they got as young adults. The problem with this method is that it doesn’t look natural; in fact it looks perfectly hideous.

I implore you: Don't mar your unique beauty with a goddamned tattoo. You WILL regret it; I guarantee it. Fortunately, forty years after the fact, that polyester leisure suit is barely a vague memory for me. It will be a different case forty years from now with regard to your tattoo.

If there is a young person in your life who is considering going down this one-way road, please share this little tirade of mine with them.

5. Au Revoir, Mr. President!

It's amazing how with the passing of the years, time goes by more quickly. it doesn't seem possible that nearly eight years has come an gone since Mr. Obama went to Washington. I'm not going to lie to you: this president has been a major disappointment in a lot of areas. But, given all he has had to contend with - particularly the complete idiocy of the Republican opposition - he and his family have held themselves up admirably, with great dignity and grace. Will he be remembered as a "great" president? I don't know the answer to that question; but it's a cinch he'll at least be remembered as "near great". That's not a bad showing either. History will have a lot to say about "The Obama Years". I can't wait to read some of it.

I like Barack Obama. I like him a lot...

BUT I'M JUST CRAZY 'BOUT MICHELLE!

********************

Autumn is my favorite time of the year. Happy October everyone!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

AFTERTHOUGHT:

The photo at the top of this piece is a night shot I took some months back of the house I live in. The window on the second floor to the left is where I'm typing this tantrum you're reading. The house is nice but the area I live in is a bit weird. In addition to the tattoo parlor there is an adult book/video store, and a bar called "Cravings" that is so decrepit, no one has been able to keep it open for more that a few months at a time. It also sits right on top of an extremely busy, two-lane highway. Here's how bad the area is: I moved into the neighborhood and property values actually went up for a change!

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

The House I Live In
by Frank Sinatra

This 1965 recording by the Frankster is what it's all about.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBlkiJa4qMI

The children in the playground
The faces that I see
All races and religions
That's America to me....

I always loved this one.


25 Comments:

At 3:18 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Comments Phyllis Crill:

LOL. I think I may have exaggerated a little about everyone monitoring their blood pressure, but I am afraid I didn't exaggerate about Pence. Someone commenting on a post about Pence noted that he had eaten salads smarter than Pence. I think that is probably true.

 
At 3:49 PM, Blogger The New York Crank said...

In the section on tattoos, I believe there is a typo. You refer to a "skin graph" when you talk about removing tattoos. If I got a graph on my skin, the only way I can think of would be to tattoo it on, thus adding to the number of tattoos you have.

Not that there's anything wrong with committing an occasional typo. I make them all hte tne.

Yours crankily,
The New York Crank

 
At 5:23 PM, Blogger Luke said...

Most are saying that Pence won the debate. I disagree. Unless of course, lies don't matter. If a debate winner is decided by calm presentation, I'll admit Pence won. If a debate is decided by facts and an honest presentation of what a candidate stands for, Pence lost, badly. Maybe Kaine kept interrupting because Pence was lying just about every time he opened his mouth. Pence's statements were so full of provable lies I can't imagine anyone could take him seriously. No surprise since we are living in a fake image society. Facts don't matter as long as you look good and sound good, even if you are insulting and lying. It's a mystery to me why Trump is so popular. I guess I don't live in an image society. I'm old fashioned. I believe facts and honestly stating policy positions should win a debate.

 
At 10:47 PM, Blogger Yiskah said...

Hey Tom, I will never regret getting my tattoo. It was 1989, I was 19, and I hoped then, and it has remained true, that every time over the years when I will look at my tattoo I will remember how it felt to be 19- so vital, so idealistic, so free!

 
At 9:59 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

You are correct, oh cranky one. The proper word is "skin graft".

I feel so silly!

 
At 12:14 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

Luke,

Do you believe what Bill Clinton recently said about Obamacare?

Do you still believe that if you like your Dr, under Obamacare, you can keep your Dr.?

Do you believe anything HRC said about her emails?

Do you believe raising taxes is the way to prosperity for all Amereicans?

Now, who was lying?

 
At 7:15 PM, Blogger T. Paine said...

Tom, I find myself in complete agreement with you on tattoos. I have never understood the craze.

As for Obama, considering the level of scholarly historical research these days, he may very well be "remembered" by adoring historians as "near great". The truth is that he has been aloof at best and downright dishonest in his breaking down of our constitution and its checks and balances. He has created a far more dangerous world, both domestically and internationally.

I weep for my kids and grandkids because they will have to live in this world that our ever-left-leaning society has created.

As for me, I have nowhere else to where I can retreat in this world, and evidently there are not enough people educated regarding history, civics, and economics to support me as allies anymore.

Reagan was right. "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

Regardless of which corrupt egotistical authoritarian that wins this election, our freedom that has been eroding for decades will finally come to an end. Thanks progressives.

 
At 10:14 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Coming out of hibernation... while I've continued to follow, I've held back from commenting. The silliness of the commentary just got to be too much to stomach.

T Paine - good thoughts. And, it needs to be said that the "progressives" that have sunk us sit on both sides of the political aisle. Neocons and statists fill the halls in Washington.

All of our political confusion is a symptom of the disease of loss of culture. There was a time when there was an American culture, of sorts - at least some fairly commonly held values. What we have now (at least in the political sphere) is a cacophony of individual combatant factions vying for supremacy - with no commonly held values or goals. Whatever the opposite of culture is - is what we have. Individual autonomy, where the only valid value is that all values are equally valid. And, essentially, political might makes right.

Consider an excerpt from 1990 essay by Richard John Neuhaus, "Why We Can Get Along" (title being a response to Rodney King incident)

"But first we must know what liberalism we are talking about. According to one liberal doctrine, the liberal regime is based on belief in the autonomy of the individual, historical progress, the essential goodness of man, and public skepticism about moral truth. The liberal regime of, for instance, the American constitutional order is very different from that, and the difference is a difference of kind. Its origins, doctrines, and practices are explicated by, for instance, The Federalist Papers and Tocqueville. The religious foundation and development of this kind of liberal regime are traced by historians such as A. D. Lindsay, while theologians such as Reinhold Niebuhr and John Courtney Murray have in recent times explored with great care its presuppositions and practice. This kind of liberal regime is based on a belief in the responsible person in communities of legitimate interest, and in man’s capacity for good ambiguously joined to his inclination to evil. It is agnostic about historical progress, and understands itself to be premised upon public truths, as in “We hold these truths to be self-evident . . . .” Such truths, in turn, are derived from and point to authority that transcends the regime itself, as in “Nature and Nature’s God.”"

If we cannot bring back classical liberalism, and bring back true conservatism, our political process is done. In the vacuum of a workable republic, some other form will assume power - more likely than not, a despotism.

 
At 12:47 PM, Blogger Luke said...

Majormajor,

I'm not that partisan, or gullible.
Was Hillary part of the debate I wrote about?
I'd love to hear the replacement program Republicans have for the ACA.
They are all lying, but your supposition seems to claim Trump is honest and has all the answers to all our problems.
Start a blog, I'd love to read your thoughts.
You can stop by and read mine. Be sure to leave your criticisms.

 
At 1:36 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Send us a link to your blog, Luke. I'd be interested to read it.

Tom

 
At 2:08 PM, Blogger T. Paine said...

Harley A, exceptionally well said. Sadly, too many people find such notions as "right and wrong", "the rule of law", and "self-evident truths", as listed in our Declaration, The Federalist Papers, and the Constitution to be archaic and irrelevant these days.

That is how we get progressive candidates such as Hillary and Trump as the nominees for both major parties. The irony is that we have good people, such as I suspect our host Mr. Degan is, that still lament that these nominees are not progressive enough. One wonders if we had a Stalin or Mao (minus the pesky penchant for killing millions of their own people) that ran for our president, if that person too would be "too far to the right" for most progressives these days.

Trump has tried to usurp the mantle of conservatism, but he plays the part like a really poor B-list actor. His core values are those things that enrich and empower himself, just like Hillary. ...Indeed just like nearly all progressive politicians these days, in both major parties.

 
At 3:01 PM, Blogger Luke said...

Tom,
If you click on my name you should get my profile page and a link to my blog. If that's not working, my blog address is: jermac1955.blogspot.com

 
At 3:17 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

Luke,

The GOP has offered several replacement plans for Obamacare, check out their website for examples.
The reality is the left wants single payer, and if nothing else, the failure of ACA is the "gateway" to single payer. The left loves it when someone else pays for their stuff.

But the truth remains that what Bill Clinton said about the ACA is true.

HRC lied about the origins of her first name. It's your vote, cast it wisely.

 
At 5:11 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...


Harley and TP seem unaware of, or unconcerned with, the influence and power of global and national corporatism and how it was accumulated by buying politicians and dictating government/public policy.

Even rabid Trump fans get that much of the picture. They know they’re getting the short end of the stick. Their delusion is they think liberals and minorities are the ones who are in charge and scooping up the wealth. Same old far Right propaganda. ALWAYS blame liberals and ignore the ravages of neoliberalism.

If Harley and TP can't understand, and differentiate, classical liberalism and progressive liberalism from neoliberalism, their lectures leave much to be questioned.

Old white men may whine about the "disease of loss of culture", but they fail to see the reactionary rise of Trumpist neo-fascism behind that whine.

Progressive and classical Liberals as well as minorities, have advocated for equal rights, equal treatment by the justice system, democratic participation in government, and a fair economic system that works for everyone.

They are feared and treated as threats, as if they had something to do with the neoliberal forces that have taken over much of our government, and decimated our jobs and standard of living. But we can’t even discuss deregulated capitalism, corruption by Big Money, and the failure of their dog-eat-dog Free Market god. They won’t hear it.

Angry old white men’s inflamed hate and anger, along with blame and scapegoating, do nothing to further civility and reasonable discourse. That self-righteous culture scorns compromise as well as civility. That's not the culture we want to preserve. But that is what the far Right tea party “conservative” movement has wrought. No wonder they whine about “true conservatism” now.

Conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed. And above all, “The Free Market” knows what’s best for all humanity.

So many conservative Christians are unaware of the fact that the Free Market, aka Mammon, has infiltrated their faith. Greedy televangelists mercilessly fleece the gullible; for they understand faith itself can be a profitable commodity in the free market. The fleeced don’t understand their TV ministers have more love for their “Free Market commodity” than for their fellow man.

Trump supporters are afflicted with the same sort of cult mentality. They see him as their savior, the “only one” who can fix America. How is that any different from their mockery of “Obama the messiah”?

Here’s hoping true conservatism will seek the truth and reject the greed of neoliberalism, as well that of shameless con artists on TV.

But I wonder how those believing they alone have all the answers, and a monopoly on morality, can be bothered with that.

 
At 8:44 AM, Blogger ArchieBunkerNYC said...

The long winded puff piece above which profiles "old white men" conveniently ignores the failure of Obama's signature Big Government controlled program ObamaCare which affects 20% of the economy.

Even Bill Clinton knows the Chickens have come home to roost for Obamacare.

The nationwide ObamaCare implosion, as predicted, is occurring in real time today. Only those who refuse to take off their rose colored "Hope and Change" glasses who don't understand basic economics fail to see the ObamaCare meltdown.

Those evil notions to marxists "Competition" and "profit" are the two pillars that guarantee lower prices, higher efficiencies and continuous Consumer satisfaction. "Competition" forces others to constantly improve with better goods and services at better prices. "Profit" forces everyone to do it efficiently, eliminating waste.

With the progressives ObamaCare cannot fail, it will be put on life support and can only survive with the redistribution of the taxes of "old white men" pulling the wagon to keep it afloat like all the other failed government run programs which know what’s best for all humanity.

Should we be surpristed that these progressive architects and politicians blame everyone but themselves for the failure of ObamaCare? amirite?

 
At 1:00 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

The patented "Angry White Man's Commie card" is played again. Yawn.

Ignorance and far right ideology promotes hysteria, anger and hate. And make no mistake, the commie card reflects all of the above.

The bigots' commie card has been played against dissent from their extreme anti-democracy ideology by angry white men since Hitler. Is that the best they got?

It seems they are frightened by our Constitutional regulation of commerce and general welfare. I guess Putin is more to their liking. Ironic, isn't it?

Gotta admit the commie card is a lot easier than rational discussion. Thinking is for those hated "liberal elites", amirite?

How can they pretend to know what they are talking about if they do not understand, let alone acknowledge, the existence of neoliberalism.

They bow to their Free Market false god in utter ignorance of their servitude to the global corporatism that robs our sovereignty and livelihoods.

These same fools, dupes and propagandists believe that enriching insurance company suits by billions of dollars contributes to better health care. Really?? That's some strong koolade.

What can we expect their views to encompass when they are bowing and on their knees, defending and worshiping the mammon they serve.

Imagine the increase of hate crimes, racism, and thuggery if Archie and his fellow Trump cultists win the election.

I can't wait for tonight's town hall debate. How drunk will one get if the drinking game calls for a shot every time Trump distracts by mentioning Bill Clinton?

Party time.

Still can't wait for November, "Arch"?







 
At 8:42 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

T. Paine: "That is how we get progressive candidates such as Hillary and Trump as the nominees for both major parties."

You are kidding, right?


"The irony is that we have good people, such as I suspect our host Mr. Degan is, that still lament that these nominees are not progressive enough."

Since I can only assume that you weren't kidding, then the only other alternatives are that you're totally out-of-touch with what's going on in the country and world today and thus, ignorant...or, as Dave Dubya suggested already, you're unconcerned with it because you can't understand, and differentiate, classical liberalism and progressive liberalism from neoliberalism.


"[Trump's] core values are those things that enrich and empower himself, just like Hillary. ...Indeed just like nearly all progressive politicians these days, in both major parties."

You are totally out of touch. I'm starting to realize that the ideological base of your sacred Republican Party has amalgamated so extremely and quickly into a fascist soup of thuggish racism and perverse anti-"everybody", that your conservative instinct is to lash out and blame the liberals.

Sorry, Mr. Paine, the old familiar memes don't play anymore. If you're looking for scapegoats -- you and Harley -- it's best you immerse yourself in readings dealing with corporatism and neoliberalism. You'll find your real enemies carrying both banners.

 
At 10:25 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

DD - warning, Mozart has stolen your identity...

 
At 10:28 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

Seriously, DD blasts me for many points I never made - were never addressed (or meant to be addressed) in my comment. My comment was not intended as a comprehensive essay on politics in America. It was meant as more of an "olive branch" if you will, but obviously not received that way.

Read both my post and his posts and judge which come across as angry and "having all the answers"...

 
At 4:02 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Harley,
Unless you are an angry white man, most of my comment wasn't directed at you personally. If you see your name mentioned in the sentence, it was addressed to you.

Perhaps you were well intended, and kudos to for your effort. But once again, far Right ideology framed and distorted that intent.

Tossing in the old con blame-the-liberals/progressives for everything was about as much "offering an olive branch" as Trump’s apology for being a sex offender, by accusing Clinton of being worse.

Blaming and accusing progressives for the damage wrought by global corporatist neoliberalism is a low blow. Ignoring neoliberalism reflects ignorance, or highly selective narrow, agenda driven, partisan thinking.

It is scapegoating and demonizing. Now your party leader is openly emulating the malevolence of a dictator, intent on jailing his opponent. This is your party leader’s idea of culture. This angry white man culture. Incivility, blame and hate from the far Right can just as easily be seen as loss of culture.

And don’t blame liberals for the "loss of culture". That’s not an olive branch. It is a dog whistle used by all racists. Unless you offer specifics, it reminds us of David Duke’s admonition that voting against Trump is treason to white heritage. Political confusion is fed by the lies of Trump and his party.

Voter suppression by Republicans is another part of that rabid authoritarian, pro-torture, anti-democracy far Right ideology. Their embrace of the corruption enabled by Citizens Unite only adds to their open hostility to a “culture of democracy”.

This is what “True conservatism” looks like from the middle and left.

You are welcome to educate us on how true conservatism reflects democracy, equality of rights, and fairness under the law. If you can, then you have found common values with progressives. And it would reject the party of Trump and his fellow hateful servants of mammon. Calling them “progressives” is seen as ignorance. Progressives don’t reduce food stamps and cut taxes for the rich. What is so confusing about that?

Democrats don’t care enough for the little guy. Republicans care even less.

 
At 8:55 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Harley A. "Read both my post and his posts and judge which come across as angry and 'having all the answers'..."

Possibly a statement such as, "If we cannot bring back classical liberalism, and bring back true conservatism, our political process is done", implies having all the answers.

Harley, Dave Dubya's commentary has never seemed "angry" to me -- not in the usual sense, anyway. If you do detect anger, I would suspect it's because conservatives such as yourself and T. Paine, and others, blame today's crisis on liberalism -- ignoring, or totally discounting, the real causes brought on by corporatism, neoliberalism and permanent war. You both refuse to acknowledge that corporate and elitist money have taken over control and the direction of government, in every branch and almost at every level. Instead, you both choose to scapegoat liberalism.

It is amazing to me that both of you gentlemen ignore the eight-hundred pound elephant in the room.

 
At 11:51 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

JG - given the fact that I read David Stockman, enjoy following Paul Craig Roberts (to mention a couple), I am fairly well read (and largely in agreement with) what both you and DD say on crony capitalism and/or corporatism - and, probably on illegitimate war as well. And, I have actually posted thoughts along those lines on this blog more than once. I'm not "far right" - hardly that. I don't assume a "directional label" as they really don't mean a lot at the end of the day. They are all issue-sensitive and relative to some starting point. As generalizations, they aren't very helpful.

So, I'm not sure how one single post, that wasn't meant to address the above issue, should lead to being taken to task for it. When, ironically, I likely agree for the most part with what he had to say on it.

Nor was I attacking or "scapegoating" liberalism. I was quoting one man's analysis of its modern expression and implying my agreement. I don't agree with most of the fundamentals of progressivism, but I do believe there was merit in (now dead) classic liberalism. Nor do I deny that there are charlatans of all stripes that claim liberal and conservative labels, when in fact they are petty crooks with no true ideological grounding.

DD's commentary (and yours, frankly) was aimed at his projection of what he thinks I am and not the simple observation I made in my post. That I stand by. Because, he was WAY off base.

Now, if my post has uncharacteristically implied I have all the answers, I apologize. I will try to be more open and fair-minded like the rest of the blogosphere... Careful, you may get wet, as that was dripping with sarcasm.

 
At 6:43 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...


TP:
...our freedom that has been eroding for decades will finally come to an end. Thanks progressives.

Harley:
T Paine - good thoughts. And, it needs to be said that the "progressives" that have sunk us sit on both sides of the political aisle.

Are we to accept this as just more harmless "locker room talk"? Women and progressives are just too sensitive, right?

 
At 11:55 AM, Blogger Harley A. said...

DD -
You may accept it however you want to accept it. Or don't accept it. No secret, I don't agree with progressive philosophy for the most part. Progressivism is not patently a leftist ideology, though it does seem to tend that way, but that's a different discussion. On rare occasion, its political out-workings might cross paths with what I believe, but it's pretty rare. I have strong feelings, but perhaps my assertions got closer to hyperbole than they should have. Classical liberalism is far more appealing to me personally, though I wouldn't be in lock step all the time with it either. You have to admit, this forum is a difficult one to maintain your cool in.

On that note, you shouldn't use guilt-by-association innuendo to imply I'm a Trump supporter. I am not. What I am (like you) is a victim of a broken system that gives us two ridiculous, non-choices to grapple with. That's why I tend to lean towards JG and look to cast a vote against the system.

Look, we can agree on many high level values (and I suspect we do), while vehemently disagreeing on how to interpret reality and make policy. On that, we seem to have disagreement.

In that same spirit, my commentary about "culture" had more to do with the technical definition (which I'm sure you know), rather than my own preferences as to what my ideal culture would look like. My point was (meant to be), absent a cohesive bonding agent (no matter what it looks like), we will continue to dissociate and dissolve as a society. And, lead to continued political turmoil and confusion.

Not sure what else to say. I'm not the far-right bogeyman you seem to want to make me out to be. On the other hand, if I offended you, I apologize. I don't want to be offensive.

 
At 10:32 AM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Harley,
I’m not offended by your remarks so much as noting the same old blame-the-progressives game. Far Right media and Republicans have demonized and blamed people like me for decades.

Apart from that instance your remarks are far more thoughtful than certain other commenters. I have clearly stated progressive values and I would hope you find some overlap. Progressive and classical Liberals as well as minorities, have advocated for equal rights, equal treatment by the justice system, democratic participation in government, and a fair economic system that works for everyone. The split is Classical liberalism and neoliberalism lean towards policies that favor banking and corporate interests, while resisting constitutional regulation of commerce and providing for the general welfare.

Republican conservatism has gone beyond Classical liberalism to authoritarianism, demonization of dissent, and outright voter suppression. Trumpism and class warfare result from that ideology of resentment and scapegoating.

JG and I are merely noting the absence of neoliberalism in the blame game. I’ve yet to see a conservative even use the term. The crash of ’08 wasn’t caused by unions, educators, journalists, or even welfare recipients. It was caused by economic elites and white collar criminals on Wall Street. Progressives get the blame.

And like Obama being blamed for Bush’s war-spawned ISIS, liberals are blamed for damage done by neoliberal economic elites. That is the con in con-servatism. I would think “true conservatism” would be more rational and compassionate, but authoritarianism, resentment, greed, and neoliberalism itself, have too large an influence in today’s version of Republican conservatism.

Perhaps True Conservatives need to reclaim the mantle from Rush Limbaugh.

 

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