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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Democrats Make History, Nominate First Candidate Under FBI Investigation

It's a corrupt party, corrupted by big money and an uncontrolled lust for warmongering. It ran a rigged primary. Why not nominate a corrupt woman disliked by most of its own members?

"Her image has never been worse," states the Washington Post's Aaron Black, in running down Clinton's "brutal poll numbers" that are now even worse than her Republican opponent's terrible approval ratings.

What does this say about America? What does it say about the Democratic Party that nearly all elected Democrats, including all New Mexico's federal delegation, came out in support of this Neoliberal darling of the Neocons (in exchange for promises of campaign cash we learned later) even before they knew who else was going to run for president?

We are an irrational people. People are being called "stupid" for not wanting to vote for Hillary Clinton, who helped make the Democratic Party the party of Wall Street and convinced it to abandon working Americans.

The mother in Syria who was fleeing Clinton's war and saw her dead child wash up on a beach, the father in Libya who saw his child die while he tried to put its guts back into its belly after it got bombed by the warplanes Clinton sent, they don't see how it's "stupid" to not want this woman in direct control of the US military.

The hundreds of thousands of people who have been killed by the multiple wars she voted for and then started herself may not even know that Clinton is one of the biggest cheerleaders for war America has, or that she's been a central figure in unnecessarily, stupidly, for no good reason ramping up tensions with nuclear armed Russia and China, who don't have 800 military bases spanning the globe and aren't engaged in multiple wars, but they don't think it's "stupid" that many people prefer a candidate who says he won't do to them what has been done to them by Hillary Clinton, who promises even on her campaign web site to do more of of it.

Americans don't seem to think very clearly when they get swept up in the media hype about politics. We certainly don't think about the consequences of our actions, the dead people over there, the people having trouble getting by over here. We are an irrational people, and at the Democratic Party convention in Philadelphia today we just did something very irrational. We nominated Hillary Clinton for president.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Leaked Email Story Eludes Establishment's Control

(Update: 4 p.m. - Schultz thrown overboard to save weight as Clinton ship sinks and Trump pulls ahead in some key swing states.)

The leaked DNC email story has overnight become the top topic at Google News, which means it has the most news outlets posting stories about it. I posted about the emails Friday and have since updated that post.

The media, eager to install establishment approved Hillary Clinton as president over Donald Trump, who doesn't have ruling class approval, had been playing down the email story but was forced to cover it when Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Schultz decided not to not speak at this week's convention in an attempt to prevent a revolt of Bernie Sanders supporters, who are very aware of the email story and have caused it to trend on social media repeatedly despite efforts by social media gatekeepers to remove the email story from circulation. Schultz, like most elected Democrats, including all of New Mexico's, openly supports the conservative Clinton and rigged the primary election to favor Clinton over Sanders, the upstart liberal.

The situation in the US parallels almost exactly what's happening in the United Kingdom where the conservative Labour Party establishment is trying to unseat the peoples' choice for leader Jeremy Corbyn. The Labour Party and the Democratic Party have for years furthered economic policies that go directly against the interests of their bases, and promoted never ending warmongering, and the people they depend on for votes finally got fed up with it and are in revolt.

Note: My local paper this morning, its lead story obviously filed before the leaked DNC email story got out of control, paints a picture of Democratic Party unity and doesn't even mention leaked emails.

The Ledgend of Georgia O'Keeffe

The first Georgia O'Keefe retrospective outside the US is underway in London and Michael Prodger of The New Statesman provides UK readers with an introduction to her that concentrates on her time in New Mexico. I've never paid much attention to O'Keefe so this was pretty enlightening. The New Statesman is similar to The Nation magazine in that it covers both Leftist politics and the arts.

Black Place II - Georgia O'Keeffe

Neither had I heard of Mabel Dodge Lujan who first brought O'Keeffe to the Land of Enchantment and who was an interesting character in her own right.

People like Lujan and O'Keefe make today's feminists seem tame and domesticated, just as many radicals of the past make today's seem clueless and timid. I think America having gone through the McCarthy and Reagan eras almost back to back and then immediately coming under the domination of Neoliberal Capitalism might have something to do with it.

Prodger mentions a couple other artists who like O'Keeffe were legends in their own time but whose artistic ability didn't always live up to their reputation -- he mentions Frieda Kahlo as one where it didn't-- whereas in some cases, he contends, as with Picasso and Georgia O'Keeffe, it did.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Governor Martinez endorses Donald Trump from a balcony at the El Dorado Hotel

Actually I was only wishing this was Susana Martinez. It's is a Los Alamos, NM eye doctor but listen to a few seconds, especially around 2:30 where she starts getting wound up about Hillary Clinton, and imagine the governor at a staff meeting ordering her cabinet heads to get New Mexico's last in the nation economy moving. This is a well spoken and forceful woman and the only one I can think of who can be angry, smile and gesticulate all at the same time. She's quite remarkable but one has to wonder; is she just idiosyncratic or is everyone like this in a town where atomic bombs are made.

Note: For those unfamiliar with our governor she was busted last winter for throwing beer bottles off a hotel room balcony during a drunken Christmas party at a hotel on Santa Fe's historic old world plaza and has until now declined to endorse Donald Trump.

Friday, July 22, 2016

#DNCLeaks Confirm A Rigged Process

Update 7/23/16 9:20 p.m. - some lurid details have emerged, such as plotting at the DNC to use Bernie Sanders' "potential atheism" to undercut his chances against Hillary Clinton. In another email Debbie Schultz, DNC chair, calls Sanders an "ASS" for not dropping out of the race. The hash tag #BernieMustDisavow has been trending on Twitter all day with comments like this:

A trove of 20,000 Democratic Party emails released today by Wikileaks confirms what Bernie Sanders supporters complained about throughout the primaries -- the Democratic National Committee chaired by Hillary Clinton supporter Debbie Wasserman Schultz rigged the primaries in Clinton's favor. This is the overwhelming consensus on Twitter, anyway, and there's a lot to it.

First, though, interestingly, the hash tag #DNCLeaks, which had almost immediately shot to the top of Twitter's "trending" list, soon disappeared altogether. Now, it 's not even possible to type that hash tag into the Twitter search bar -- if you try, it "auto corrects" to #dncleaks bernie, which means anyone looking for tweets about the leaked emails won't find very many, therefore they'll no longer be widely circulated. Strange.

I say there's a "lot to it." Much of what people are finding in the emails so far is circumstantial and concerns smaller matters like the pettiness of Schultz and her staff. Even without the leaks, though, official, conservative Democratic Partydom was hardly secretive of its efforts to install the conservative neocon Clinton as the nominee over the heads of the mere citizens and without going through the messy process of democracy. One example is that the debates were limited to a few and scheduled on weekends and opposite things like sporting events, which dovetails with the conventional wisdom that the more people know about Clinton the less they like her.

Another is that elected Democrats, most of whom are also "superdelegates" like New Mexico's Martin Heinrich and Michelle Grisham, endorsed Clinton long before the primaries began. As it happened, this was more than an effort by elites to circumvent the democratic process and decide what's best for the common people. Those early endorsements turned out to be in return for cash and were part of a Clinton/DNC scheme by which state politicians were promised campaign donations in return for the endorsements.

Ironically, when Sanders began to give Clinton a serious battle for the nomination, the Clinton campaign ended up not coming through with the money. Which might be why Heinrich, Tom Udall, Ben Lujan and Grisham are sending out a flurry of email donation solicitations that talk about nothing but Donald Trump -- I get two per day sometimes from Heinrich.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Redtexsin Speaks

In the previous post I was musing about the contemporary trucker -- who are they -- after the respondents to an online poll in an industry publication overwhelmingly voted for Donald Trump. One trucker  left the following comment after an article about a Michigan pilot program that will let the state police conduct roadside saliva tests for drugs. The enabling legislation, passed by Michigan's Republican legislature and signed by its Republican governor, was named after a couple that was killed in a wreck with a  trucker who tested positive for marijuana use.

Red as in red? Well read anyway.

Truckers Want Trump

At least those readers of Overdrive Magazine's online version who responded to an online poll. I can't say with much precision how representative Overdrive's readers are of the trucking industry. The demographics of trucking are changing from what I see during my nightly run between Albuquerque and Holbrook. Southerners once dominated trucking. They made up am inordinate share of the drivers and set the tone for the culture. Think of all those truck driving country music songs and movies. Then came Rush Limbaugh, Clear Channel and the conservative domination of talk radio and eventually the TVs in truck stop restaurants were almost all tuned to Fox News.

But on I-40 in New Mexico and Arizona I see a lot of Asians, Indians, i.e. of India, especially Sikhs, and eastern Europeans -- Russians, Romanians and so forth. It might be a different story in the country overall. I just can't say now since I'm not around the country these days. A lot of the drivers I see are on their way to and from the West Coast, mostly California, and some drivers have stopped going to California because you have to own a newer truck that meets that state's stricter emissions regulations, and it appears to me that these other ethnicity are picking up the slack. A lot of the independents owner-operators and small companies are Asians and you're starting to see mid sized companies out there that have Indian sounding names, as in from India.

As for why truck drivers want Trump, the comment section under the article provides a few clues before it becomes, like most comment sections at truck drivers online magazines do, a President Obama critiquing contest.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Palestinian Genocide - Full Speed Ahead

Khalek here describes how during the Democratic Party platform process, proposals that the platform should call for an end to of the occupation of Palestine by Israel were repeatedly voted down by Clinton delegates, who emitted "“the loudest boos of the day,” according to CNN."

Clinton, in keeping with foreign policy positions that have drawn her the support of leading Republican Neocons, is probably the most pro Israel candidate ever.

Palestine, America's endless wars, the bloated military industrial complex that sucks resources away from Americans' dire needs at home, not to mention that the policies of low taxation on corporations and the wealthy that will ensure the bankruptcy of American schools and social needs, will continue.

Polls indicate that no working class constituency wants more war, but at least one party's platform and policies should reflect that. It's hard to see how you can vote for Hillary Clinton or any Democrat who supports her and her war mongering, take from the poor and give to the rich policies, and be for humanity.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Direct Democracy

The conservative Albuquerque Journal actually posted a guest column today by someone promoting direct democracy: let the people decide things and do away with politicians, we have the technology now, argues Robert Wright, who is described as an Albuquerque resident.

What Wright is postulating is essentially what Anarchists want. Power would be decentralized, spread among the people.

The term Anarchism unfortunately has picked up other, negative connotations, partly because of the other meaning that term has come to have but partly because it's considered a Leftist ideology, but it has a long and respected tradition as a philosophy and ideology. It shares many characteristics with Libertarian philosophy, which also has somewhat of a credibility problem, but much of that, I think, is that it's become associated with conservatism and the Republican party. Anarchists and libertarians actually have much in common. Both recognize that our current system of elected representatives, and the concept of the nation-state that precedes it, are designed to protect monied and landed interests -- rich people, in short.

Wright has thought out a lot of the ramifications and implications of such a system and admits he hasn't thought of everything. Such as, I'll toss in, the ability of some one or some group to demagogue such a system, but our current system can be abused that way, too.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Arthur Berman

"The uprising seems to be about immigration and borders but it’s really about hard times in a failing global economy."

Petroleum geologist Arthur Berman has a column at in which he lays out the role oil has played in the global economy in the post WWII period and says that good times follow lower oil prices, bad ones higher oil prices, period. And that also, the conditions that led to the "golden era" in the US during that period, that populists like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, and myself, often hearken to, aren't likely to return.

He says renewable energy "will be increasingly part of the landscape but its enthusiasts are also magical thinkers," and ends with:

"The future for oil prices and the global economy is frightening. I don’t know what beast slouches toward Bethlehem but I am willing to bet that it does not include growth. The best path forward is to face the beast. Acknowledge the problem, stop looking for improbable solutions that allow us live like energy is still cheap, and find ways to live better with less."

 I'd add that we might also think about transitioning to a kind of economy that's based on peoples' needs and not profit. It's been done before and can be again.