Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Flava out

A bigger loss to the world than the outgoing Sec o' State.  RIP Craig Mack.


Resistance Genealogy, or shake the family tree of hypocrites and bigots and see what comes out...

Sec o' Stateless

It is strange times when I can say that I made a bigger contribution to American diplomacy and public diplomacy than the outgoing Secretary of State. But that is where we are at these days.....

Although let's be honest what really got Tillerson fired: his willingness to admit that Russia was guilty in its cloak-and-dagger games in the UK.

And apparently the Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy Steve Goldstein was also fired.  I definitely made a bigger contribution to American public diplomacy than he did. 

It would all be comical if it wasn't so awful.  As I have long said, Trump is an albatross for American diplomacy and public diplomacy.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Guns and White Supremacy

"Gun violence is rooted in white supremacy. We can’t solve the first without understanding its connection to the second.

Discussions of gun “rights” in the United States usually revolve around debated interpretations of the Second Amendment. But if we truly want to understand the influence of guns in our society, we need to center the debate in a much earlier period, one before the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

In Colonial America, gun ownership equaled power. More specifically, it meant the power to control the means of violence and use those means to suppress the voices of the disenfranchised. Throughout the 17th century, almost all the English colonies along the Eastern Seaboard passed legislation prohibiting women and slaves from owning guns and forbidding the sale of guns to native peoples. By the 18th century, gun ownership had become a defining feature of white masculinity in the English colonies and guns played an integral role in Colonial men’s public displays of that masculinity."
-Nathan Wuertenburg, "Guns rights are about keeping white men on top"

Wednesday, March 07, 2018


Is gentrification micro-colonization?  Is it micro-class warfare?


"Our opponents are the opponents of mankind. Their point of view is not just: their point of view is injustice. It is understandable that they defend themselves, but they defend robbery and privileges, and to understand here does not mean to excuse as well. He who is a wolf to man, is no man, but rather a wolf. Today goodness means where the bare self-defense of the great masses becomes the final battle for the position of command, the destruction of which makes goodness impossible."
-Bertolt Brecht

Thursday, March 01, 2018


"Republican Party Motto:

 'We believe in small government that doesn’t interfere with businesses or personal liberties — unless you don’t share our extremist views on guns, gods, gays and gynecology.'"
-Mrs. Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Le Petite Prince

Je suis très fier d'annoncer que j'ai traduit mon premier livre: Le Petit Prince. 

 I am very proud to announce that I have translated my first book: The Little Prince.

 L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux....

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Brutal Origins of Gun Rights

"These days, debates over the Second Amendment invariably turn on interpreting the connotation of “militia” in the stipulation that: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Liberals will often argue that gun ownership was always intended to be tethered to participation in institutions like the early Colonial Army or today’s National Guard. Conservatives tend to retort, in so many words, that “the people” were always meant to have guns as such, since an armed citizenry functions as a putative check on tyrannical government over-reach. When polled, a majority of Americans say they believe the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms, regardless of participation in formal militias, whether “for hunting” or, as the Supreme Court ruled in 2008 District of Columbia vs. Heller, for lawful “self-defense.”

A distinguished scholar of Native American history, Dunbar-Ortiz dismisses these debates as a red herring. As she pointedly notes, at the time of the Second Amendment’s drafting, other lines elsewhere in America’s founding documents already provided for the existence of formal militias, and multiple early state constitutions had spelled out an individual right to bear arms besides. What the Second Amendment guarantees is instead something else: “the violent appropriation of Native land by white settlers … as an individual right.”

On the brutal origins of gun rights in the New Republic.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Russia's Clash with the West is about Geography not Ideology

"Western leaders do not need to sympathize with Russia, but if they wish to make effective foreign policies, they do need to understand it. Communism may have vanished from Europe, but the region’s geography has not changed. Russia is, as it has always been, too large and powerful to embed within Western institutions without fundamentally changing them and too vulnerable to Western encroachment to acquiesce in its own exclusion."
-Benn Steil, "Russia's Clash with the West is about Geography not Ideology"

Opium and America

"To see this epidemic as simply a pharmaceutical or chemically addictive problem is to miss something: the despair that currently makes so many want to fly away. Opioids are just one of the ways Americans are trying to cope with an inhuman new world where everything is flat, where communication is virtual, and where those core elements of human happiness — faith, family, community — seem to elude so many. Until we resolve these deeper social, cultural, and psychological problems, until we discover a new meaning or reimagine our old religion or reinvent our way of life, the poppy will flourish."

Beautiful, fascinating, dark and haunting piece by Andrew Sullivan on on Opium and America

On Soros

A great piece on why Soros is a bogeyman, of the anti-Semitic variety, to conservatives.

Shrugs and Shudders

"Nothing has reshaped Canada’s modern economy more than free trade with the United States.

But that doesn’t mean the country is staring at economic ruin if the current negotiations over the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement collapse, and the agreement is scrapped.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is just one among many Canadians who have suggested that the trade deal is far from critical to the country’s economic survival.

“We will not be pushed into accepting any old deal, and no deal might very well be better for Canada than a bad deal,” Mr. Trudeau said in Chicago this month. His government supports Nafta, but it has rejected many of the demands put forth by the Trump administration as conditions for keeping the three-country trade pact, to which Mexico also belongs.

The prime minister’s remarks may have been a negotiating tactic. But many trade experts say the changes to the world’s trading system that have come about since Canada and the United States opened their mutual border in 1989 mean that an end to Nafta would not be a devastating blow to the world’s 10th largest economy."

On how Canada may shrug, rather than shudder, if Trump jettisons Nafta.

Doctors, Revolt!

"This begins with our own training. Certainly doctors must understand disease, but medical education is overly skewed toward the biomedical sciences and minutiae about esoteric and rare disease processes. Doctors also need time to engage with the humanities, because they are the gateway to the human experience.

To restore balance between the art and the science of medicine, we should curtail initial coursework in topics like genetics, developmental biology and biochemistry, making room for training in communication, interpersonal dynamics and leadership."
Dr. Rich Joseph, "Doctors, Revolt!"

H/t Dr. Bones.

The beginning of the end

"What these young people have is special. They are too hurt and shocked and angry to be told to calm down. They are too social-media savvy to be fazed by bots and trolls and insane conspiracy theories. They were born in the post-9/11 age and are too fearless to be made to back down by bullies like the NRA’s resident Cruella de Ville Dana Loesch and her fellow travelers on the right. And they can easily spot the BS of a president, who has to hold a palm card to remind him to care when he speaks to them about their terrifying experiences.

And what they are demanding is so rational it’s impossible to argue against it: an end to the ability of a teenager who can’t legally purchase Sudafed, rent a car or buy a beer to obtain a weapon of war, and to turn his anxiety, depression or suicidal thoughts into mass slaughter."
-Joy Reid, "Remember This Week: It’s the Beginning of the End of the NRA’s Reign of Terror"

Saturday, February 24, 2018

On professions

Cat-sitting, after knight-errantry and public diplomacy, is the noblest profession known to mankind.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

On Causes

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.”
-Eric Hoffer

Monday, February 19, 2018

Illegitimacy and Bots

"Whatever Trump’s specific awareness at the time of the facts alleged in the indictment, we know Trump and his most senior aides knew that the Russian government was involving itself in the campaign on his behalf, and endeavored to encourage and conceal the meddling.

The fact that the election turned out to be so close is perhaps the crowning achievement of the conspiracy. With a budget of over $1 million a month to target swing state voters with disinformation on social media, multiple troves containing thousands of stolen emails, “news” outlets at your fingertips, the complicity of a major party political nominee, and impunity from American law, could you move 80,000 votes in three states?

It’s clearly not crazy to believe the answer is yes, and thus that the crimes that made the election unfair also determined its outcome. In an election so close that many individual factors were decisive, a major foreign espionage attack surely could have been as well. The difference is that the other factors were seemingly legal, and internal to American politics.

There is no mechanism in American politics to annul a corrupted election, and a congressional majority determined to prop up a president who cheated his way to power can assure he serves out his term. But a question mark like the one that now hangs over Trump’s victory is a potent political fact unto itself, and acknowledging it is perhaps our best means of stigmatizing the bad deeds Trump engaged in to win the presidency. We can’t ignore it because it feels uncouth, or even because those who want to undermine American democracy are surely thrilled that an argument over whether the election was stolen for Trump is now inevitable."
Brian Beutler, "Reckoning with Trump's Illegitimacy"

Meanwhile, more info out on how an alt-right bot network helped derail Sen. Al Franken

Trump, panicking, reveals the depths of his awfulness

"It was a new low, hiding behind the bodies of dead children and teachers to shield himself from accountability.

He blamed Democrats for not passing gun control when it was Republicans who torpedoed a compromise bill after the Sandy Hook massacre. David Hogg, a 17-year-old survivor of the massacre at his high school, spoke for many when he responded on “Face the Nation”: “President Trump, you control the House of Representatives. You control the Senate and you control the executive. You haven’t taken a single bill for mental health care or gun control and passed it. And that’s pathetic. … Are you kidding me. You think now is the time to focus on the past and not the future to prevent the death of thousands of other children. You sicken me.” I suspect a significant majority of Americans would agree with that sentiment."
-Jennifer Rubin, "Trump, panicking, reveals the depths of his awfulness

Wednesday, February 14, 2018


"I'm down for the struggle and the snuggle."

And other hilarious #ActivistPickUpLines.  Happy Valentine's Day.

We’re defenseless against Russian sabotage in the midterm elections. And Trump’s not helping

"The Republicans’ culpability in failing to move swiftly to protect our democratic machinery is stunning. At some point, their 2018 opponents will start asking: Why aren’t Republicans protecting American democracy against Russian aggression? The answer is that Trump’s ego seems to take precedence over the country’s defense — and congressional Republicans are too timid to force action.The Republicans’ culpability in failing to move swiftly to protect our democratic machinery is stunning. At some point, their 2018 opponents will start asking: Why aren’t Republicans protecting American democracy against Russian aggression? The answer is that Trump’s ego seems to take precedence over the country’s defense — and congressional Republicans are too timid to force action."
-Jennifer Rubin, "We’re defenseless against Russian sabotage in the midterm elections. And Trump’s not helping."

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Abu Hurayrah's catsitting services, take three. This is my buddy, Che.

"If you have the capacity to tremble with indignation every time that an injustice is committed in the world, then we are kitty comrades." -Che Guevara

Le Renard

On ne connaît que les choses que l'on apprivoise, dit le renard. Les hommes n'ont plus le temps de rien connaître. Ils achètent des choses toutes faites chez les marchands. Mais comme il n'existe point de marchands d'amis, les hommes n'ont plus d'amis.
-Le Renard, from Le Petit Prince.

Bibi Bribery

Looks like the Israeli Police are bringing bribery charges against Bibi. Fantastic.

I still blame Bibi for Rabin's assassination. The Middle East would have been a very different place today if it wasn't for Bibi's incitement.

I also blame him in-part for the radicalism of both the Republican Party and the Evangelicals.

When he is in jail, Israel will be better off and the world will be a safer place.

Monday, February 12, 2018


"If you have the capacity to tremble with indignation every time that an injustice is committed in the world, then we are comrades."
-Che Guevara

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

America is Not a Democracy

"Yet even in this bastion of deliberation and direct democracy, a nasty suspicion had taken hold: that the levers of power are not controlled by the people.

It’s a suspicion stoked by the fact that, across a range of issues, public policy does not reflect the preferences of the majority of Americans. If it did, the country would look radically different: Marijuana would be legal and campaign contributions more tightly regulated; paid parental leave would be the law of the land and public colleges free; the minimum wage would be higher and gun control much stricter; abortions would be more accessible in the early stages of pregnancy and illegal in the third trimester....

The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
-Yascha Mounk, "America is Not a Democracy"

And sadly, we won't get to vote that worthless piece of white bread, Rep. Trey Gowdy out of office.  That blowhard is retiring.  Some of you may remember that it was an outraged Gowdy who, amidst one of his endless Benghazi investigations furiously denounced the State Department for having time for Culinary Diplomacy but not time for his worthless hearing. 

Gowdy, as if he was choking on a bowl of borscht, has since lost his voice completely on investigating the Russian attacks on our election 2016.  I wish you a lifetime of indigestion....

Friday, January 12, 2018


Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, 
With conquering limbs astride from land to land; 
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand 
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame 
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name 
MOTHER OF EXILES. From her beacon-hand 
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command 
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she 
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, 
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, 
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. 
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, 
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Trump America

Trump America is a celebration of white supremacy.