Archive for July, 2011

Fred Newman and Jackie Salit: How to go from representing point eight percent of New York voters to 38 percent of American voters.

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

July 18, this item from Jacqueline Salit was cross-posted to “The Neo-Independent” and to the Huffington Post.  The “Neo-Independent” places it right alongside an old item from the recently deceased Fred Newman (“Deliberately Unsystematic Thoughts on a New Way of Running a Country,”), and links to two other pieces on the problems of America’s partisan governance.  The two pieces in tandem with Salit’s piece, as described by the politically becoming “Neo-Independent”:

Also included in this installment are three articles well-worth reading that look at today’s emerging independent movement: Mickey Edward’s “How to turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans” from The Atlantic, Jacqueline Salit’s “How Obama Can Be a Non-Partisan President” from The Huffington Post, and an analysis of the Pew Research Center’s recent study Beyond Red vs. Blue by Sarah Lyons, entitled “Independents are Not Moderates.”

I am hard-pressed to find Salit’s piece on any of the front pages of Huffington Post.  Looking over the “Politics” page, where Salit’s piece is categorized, I see a mass of items.   The most contentious and controversial items, and items involving figures of political scorn, have a a comments number in the three or four digits.  Others have comments in the 30-range.

Salit’s piece remains orphaned.  There is no there there.  She cross-reference from the Neo-Independent to the Huffington Post, and from the Huffington Post to the Neo-Independent.  Her advice for Obama to “woo the Independent vote”?

For many independents, it’s not enough for Obama to simply criticize Congressional leaders for their partisan intransigence. He has to show that he’s willing to back certain structural changes in the political process that make such intransigence more difficult. This means taking a stand in support of open primaries where independents can vote, which are currently under fire from right wing Republicans. And, imagine the shock waves that would follow an Obama appointment (in consultation with leaders of the independent movement) of two independents to vacant seats on the Federal Election Commission.

She would know because she is the Leader of the Independent Voter.
It’s interesting to compare this political analysis to the political analysis Newman put out following the 1990 New York gubernatorial race.  From a speech given on November 9, 1990 — “Community as a Hart in a Havenless World”, found in a book published collecting such things entitled “The Myth of Psycho-Analysis”.  (The only other excerpt I found in this book worth noting comes from same speech, so when I get around to that what he had to say about an article by Joe Conason in the Village Voice.)

Dr. Fulani went over some of the statistics from Tuesday, Election Day.  I don’t want to repeat them though I’m tempted.  Thirty-two thousand people voted for this sister(1) for governor of New York State.  What happened to those people as they’re talked about in the establishment press?  Well, they’re not people at all to the establishment press.  In the establishment press, they’re called “voters”.(2) And the establishment press says certain things about them as voters.  It says “They’re voters who only make up .8% of the voters who went to the polls so let’s dehumanize them.  We won’t even say they were there.(3) We won’t count them because they’re voters(4) and when you classify them, when you label them, when you label us, when you label the people here as voters, then you can say a whole bunch of things about us(5) which effectively say that we don’t count as people!  All those folks in jail, they’re not sisters and brothers in jail, they’re not sisters and brothers, human beings, they’re “prisoners!”  They’re “dangerous,” they’re “murderers,” they’re “statistics.”  They “cost us taxes.”  They’re not human beings because they’re appropriately labeled to deny they’re real people.  You don’t think the 32,000 people who voted for Lenora B Fulani are real people?(6) In fact, I suspect that some of them are probably in this room right now!(7) But the tens of thousands of those people who are not in this room tonight are not “voters.”  They’re women and men, Black, Latino, and White, they’re gay and straight, they’re human beings with pain and problems, with children, without children, they’re living, working, eating, right now, and they form a community of people, not “voters” but people,(8) who have the courage to come together and stand up and defy being imprisoned in the categories of those people who use language like, “This is OUR community; get the hell out!”(9)

(1) veering into a black dialect there.
(2)  How dehumanizing to call the people who voted “voters” in describing vote tallies.
(3)  Are the other 99.2 percent identified as “people” or “voters”?
(4)  Or, they won’t report them because they’re a rounding error?
(5)  You know that organization “No Labels”, which showed up on Meet the Press and had a quick splash of news coverage, and was widely seen as a “Michael Bloomberg for President” vehicle, and was composed of equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans wanting to do away with their “ideologies” and “interest ties” in the name of harmony?  It’s suspect thinking, but takes on even more suspect thinking by the way one of Bloomberg’s beneficiaries and people who’ll hob nob with “No Labels“– self labeled as “post-modern Marxists” — throws around their desire for lack of labels.
(6)  Picking the audience’s liberal bleeding hearts’s sympathies for the Prison Population and the Oppressed and transferring it to the supposed dehumanization of seeing their point eight percent vote tally either not reported or being reported as “voters”.
(7)  Something approaching one hundred percent of the audience, actually.
(8)  The Mario Cuomo voters were people too, who also bleed and breathe.  So, for that matter, were Pierre Rinfret’s voters, Herbert London’s voters, Louis P. Wein’s, W. Gary Johnson’s, and Craig Gannon’s voters.  Just sayin’!
(9)  This makes some sense in the whole context of Newman’s speech.  There was an uproar over them moving into some community, hence the impassioned victim-hood and stern defiance.

First Sighting

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Let the record show that Sunday July 17, 2011
was the first day I saw a person wearing an “Obama / Biden 2012″ t-shirt.

CEC Larouchie Waves Noose at Man While Saying “Welcome to Australia”.

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Because nobody noticed them in Copenhagen, the Larouchies apparently decided that they needed to up that ante and “push that envelope”.   This is a disturbing escalation of tactics on the Larouche Org’s part.  (The shortened footage is seen here.)

While he was opening a recent climate conference in Melbourne, a man in the front row waved a noose at him. “I was confronted with a death threat when I gave my public lecture,” Professor Schellnhuber said.
“Somebody got to his feet and showed me a rope with a noose.
“He showed me this hangman’s rope and he said: ‘Mr Schellnhuber, welcome to Australia’.”
The man and three friends went on to interject during the lecture.
“As I tell my colleagues from time to time, ‘Some day some madman will draw a pistol and shoot you’.

“It will happen — to me or somebody else. I’m pretty sure about that.”

This kind of alarmism has led to a spate of death threats against climate scientists, most recently in Australia where a heated public debate over a proposed carbon tax is currently raging. I’m not referring to the run-of-the-mill creepy, anonymous emails that many of us receive from time to time, but to blatant and open hate-mongering. Take the example of German physicist Hans Schellnhuber, who spoke at a conference in Melbourne recently. Accused of being a “green fascist,” his speech was interrupted by a member of the audience brandishing a hangman’s noose.

Here’s the Larouchie responses.

I:  great great job !!!!
u can be very proud brothers!
love from berlin.
II.  The people who were clapping when the patriots were dragged out are going to be fleeced like the sheeple they are.
III.  From the noose waving man himself, the 2:50 mark of their defense video:  “As it came to question and answer period after his speech, Hans Schellnuber explicitly said that he did not want any questions relating to the British Empire or the British Royal Family.  So that just shows you how much this guy is — an agent.”

And that is the sum total of what the Citizens’ Electoral Council, the Australian unit of the Lyndon Larouche Movement, got out of their “intervention”.

Counter-point:
I.  Thank you for exposing yourselves as you truly are: deluded, paranoid and fanatical. Green swastika? Hanging noose? You have truly outed yourselves!
II.  “the rope was yanked out of my hands and i was very quickly escorted out of the building”  your sense of entitlement, as if that was not a justified response, is hilarious
III.  I’m from Britain, and I can tell you there is no British ’empire’ here. I can also tell you that the British royal family is not pushing for a carbon tax, nor would they benefit if one was introduced. You are living in some bizarre fantasy world.
You are one seriously disturbed individual. Imagine that they would not allow you to speak at a science meeting. I guess you did not realize that such meetings exclude people whose IQ is less than their age. It’s one of those elitist things.
I blame Global Warming. It really has some really unforseen consequences, like driving people like you completely nuts.
IV.  a small portion of people start paying $10 a week, the biggest companies in the country pay a tax for their pollution on the environment = collapse of civilisation?  I don’t think so, start using your brain.
V.  I have not seen Australian retarded rhetoric in this quantity before. Marvelous! Thanks, CECAustralia, for making it easy to spot “stupid” in Melbourne!

Debating the meaning of Glen Isherwood’s actions, one question that pops up in my mind, though, is “Why bother?”   Anything from the CEC’s side ends up a rationalization of the true meaning: it was an act of intimidation, which ends up an answer to the current shortening of the wikipedia section about “alleged harassment”.   But parsing the thing anyway gets us to…

Personally, I would take it as a death threat. It certainly seems to me to qualify as a threat to kill under a Victorian definition of such:

and it’s perhaps a shame that no action was taken to charge Glen Isherwood.
Perhaps the lawyers here can clarify the matter?
As for Motl, the guy is a few sarnies short of a picnic.

I went to the four degrees conference on Wednesday and Thursday. Not one person talked about this “intervention” by a couple of larouchians. Total impact? zero.

i don’t think this was a death threat. rather they probably tried to present this as the noose with which “eco-fascists” like Schellnhuber want to kill most of humanity. this is in line with the hysterical rants that Pierre Gosselin (NoTricksZone) and others have blurted out in the last months (Schellnhuber’s Master Plan = Mein Kampf etc.).
about the larouchites: i always tell them if they think greening the moon/mars is so easy, they should start greening the sahara, which is after all much easier. when they’re done succeeding in that, i’ll start talking to them.

i’ve thought about it some more, it could have been meant as a warning as to what happens to fascists in the end, similar to the rant Luboš Motl gave some time ago, comparing Schellnhuber with Heydrich, and mentioning that Heydrich was in the end shot by “the people”:
Oh Gawd, are people really this crazy?

As for the hangman’s noose, perhaps the Larouche-bags would have us believe it was some touchy-feely sign of friendship? No, I can hardly believe any normal person on the receiving-end would think-so. It was a threat, plain and simple. Perhaps some of the Larouche dimwits now realise it was incredibly stupid, and it was. Effectively, they’ve taken careful aim and shot themselves in both feet.
Rather than threatening Schellnhuber with the noose, the guy’s theme seems to be something along the lines of: 1. people who believe in AGW think that our population is unsustainable. 2. therefore, people who believe in AGW want to murder people 3. to expose this, I’ll present you with a noose to show everyone explicitly what it is you want to do.
So I don’t think he was trying to threaten him as such, but out him as a wannabe murderer (a notion only visible through a LaRouche-o-scope). I do think he did a good impression of a guy who is completely batsh*t crazy.
I’d reach for my tinfoil hat, but I found out the other day that they are actually antennae, helping the shape-shifting lizard people to read your thoughts….

I don’t think that interpretation holds water. Crazy Larouchie guy says the noose is a “gift. . . a carbon-friendly rope.” If the intended message was that scientists want to kill everyone, the noose is not a ‘gift’ but a symbol of what scientists want to do.
The most charitable interpretation that is consistent with the guy’s words and actions is that the intended message was: environmentalists want people to die, so here’s a noose for you to kill yourself with. In other words: it wasn’t a death threat, it was a death invitation! Totally OK!
And yes, I know, the guy’s a none-too-bright lunatic. But he seems to be capable of dressing himself, so I’m going to make the assumption that he’s also capable of understanding exactly what message is conveyed by publicly presenting someone with a noose (one that he prepared earlier!). If he didn’t intend to convey that message, he could have pulled a different stunt.

I don’t think the noose can be plausibly interpreted as anything other than a threat (or perhaps, if we wanted to be really charitable, some kind of incoherent crazy-ass warning). Granted, it’s obvious that this guy doesn’t think too good and we wouldn’t expect his chain of reasoning to be remotely intelligible. But for that very reason, the ‘clumsy threat’ explanation is an order of magnitude more plausible than one which depends on the idea that this guy has mastered the concept of metaphor.

Isherman is demonstrably reckless in the way that he challenged Schnellnhuber with a noose, with respect to whether Schnellnhuber might fear that the threat might somehow be carried out. If Schellnhuber feared that it was a death threat, then I suspect that there is a solid case to say that Isherman made a threat to kill under 20(b).
IANAL, so I may be incorrect of course, but I reckon that if Schnellnhuber had made a complaint to the police, Isherman would be looking to gather a sum for bail, whatever his proclaimed intention might be.

For the people who want to cut the guy some slack, try the same “gag” with a pistol and see how it plays. (In your mind, of course.)
———– [No.  The pistol would be worse, as it gives the distinct impression of IMMEDIATE danger — one trigger.  The noose takes some doing, and we have only symbolism.  Mind you, this is sort of like parsing first degree and second degree and third degree crimes, but it’s an important distinction.) ——–

… Well, it gets them more attention than otherwise, I suppose:

Fast forward to Wednesday afternoon and I wandered from the office down to Customs House. Apart from some bizarre banners and pamphlets from the Citizens Electoral Council claiming that the carbon price has something to do with the queen, you could have been forgiven for thinking there wasn’t much going down.

Hm.  So… Congratulations, Larouchites. You just hanged yourselves with your own stunt.
Hey.  See what that commenter just did.  A metaphor!  Back atcha, like.

What the hell was this guy thinking? Holding up a noose? Climate scientists in Australia have been given death threats, the noose as a symbol means hanging someone until they’re dead…
WTF!
He has no scientific argument against, so he gave some kind of strange death-threat.

You couldn’t make this stuff up.
The thing is I bet the stupid kid was thinking the opposite of how his holding the noose up came across.
And we always get one of these commenters:  I generally think that the LaRouche folks are nutty but let me admit that in this particular case, their final conclusions are right on the money.
This next guy is, hypothetically, the Larouchies’ battle-allies.  But he does what is natural in discussing Larouche — isolate them away from his cause and then try to deflect them to the “Greenies” side:
In the video above, a LaRouche faithful boasts the he has shown Mr Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, a hardcore proponent of undemocratic green policies, a noose at the beginning of a talk. He was escorted from the room. A few others followed.
If you don’t know what the LaRouche folks are, the video above is enough to understand that they’re not climate skeptics just like you. I have encountered the LaRouche people a decade ago – as some very bizarre subclass of the truthers – and they believe lots of other crazy conspiracy theories. So in Schellnhuber’s case, it’s not too important that he wants to abolish democracy because of his green agenda: it’s more important that Herr Schellnhuber is a spy sent by the Queen Elizabeth! :-)
The LaRouche people may be trying to attract some climate skeptics but given the internal logic of their reasoning, it may be much easier for them to absorb lots of alarmists. :-)
These people must have so many crazy yet perfectly synchronized opinions about so many unrelated questions that the only explanation is that they must publish a magazine and everyone is obliged to literally believe every word that is written in it
.
Also see deflection to “other extremists”:
Okay, we have the same modus operandi as Greenpeace in Australia; we will not accept scientific trials, we will never accept facts which contradict our thesis, we will threaten, we will disrupt, and we will never stop our assault on logic and evidence, especially evidence we do not like.
I am uninterested in this.  As I am with some side issues — which popped up in the comments sections for these pages –on how open the scientists’ forum was to the public (comparison made to Bush / Cheney stopping Democrats from entering some town hall meetings).  Also, the only thing I know about Australian politics is that John Howard was Prime Minister for ever, and was replaced by the voters by a man of the more liberal of the two major Australian parties who once ate his own earwax.  He has since been replaced by the party, the ear wax eating incident having nothing to do with the party reshuffling.   The charge from Australia’s Shadow Science Minister that the death threats toward “global warming alarmists” are exaggerated out of that random assortment of anonymous email trolls and accumulated isolated incidents do not impress me here.   It is irrelevant to the point at hand, which is that the Lyndon Larouche Movement chose to wave a noose at a man while this has been a topic in public conversation.

Is Mr. Anthony Watts still trying to claim that there have been no death threats, or threats of violence, made against climate scientists?
As for the woman speaking at the library, her car windscreen was smeared with excrement – animal or human, does it matter? – and the words ”climate turd” written (also in excrement) across the car bonnet. Proof perhaps, of a climate dissenter with a Freudian complex indicating arrested development. […]
The unpleasant reality is several universities across Australia have been forced to upgrade security to protect scientists. This has ranged from deleting phone numbers from websites and removing names from faculty notice boards, to installing multiple card-swipe entries, office doors protected by punch-in codes, and moving researchers to areas with secure lifts.

Two of the most shocking cases involved young women who have had little media experience or exposure. One was invited to speak on climate change at a suburban library. Her brief was simple – talk about everyday things people can do to cut their carbon footprint, talk about climate books available at the library (list provided), leave time for questions, and mingle afterwards. The other woman was asked by a local newspaper to pose with her young children for a photograph to illustrate an article promoting a community tree-planting event. She was briefly quoted as saying planting trees could help mitigate climate change. Two days after the article appeared, she received emails containing threats of sexual assault and violence against her children.

And so it goes — back to “trying to link” — a repeating frame I’m familiar with from the Obama Hitler signs.  Note Think Progress did indeed call them Larouchites.  This blog doesn’t — should it? — it appears the Larouchies want to shuffle in and take all broader scope that comes with the association (negative though their carpet bombing is).  [And yep, it was a Larouchie, not Larouche.  But isn’t a Larouchie just an extension of Larouche, in their conceptualization of the matter?  Wikipedia has been grappling with that question with their article on the movement and the man.]

A LaRouche loony in the audience held up a noose and said, “Mr Schellnhuber, welcome to Australia.” Weird, yes, but not even remotely scary.
No.  It is remotely scary.  Sure, their reputation precedes themselves, and once identified they’re somewhat easily dismissed in terms of nooses, but Test it yourself and see.

More public reaction to the “Intervention”:

lol Larouchebags.
What a bunch of wilfully ignorant brain dead tossers the CEC is. Good grief anybody that lays any credence in the convicted criminal Lyndon LaRouche and his conspiracy theories has some serious mental health issues.
The LaRouche folks are entertaining! 😉 I’ve watched them for a couple of years – it’s just fun. The ultimate problem is that their Queen Elizabeth’s spies. What I like is that the fact that Herr Schellnhuber is a green fascist is already so obvious to everybody that it can be used as the first step towards much wilder speculations – e.g. his association with the British Empire.
The future of the species is looking a little bleak.
Perhaps the CEC spokesman should learn how to do up a tie properly if he wants to keep fighting the ECO-NAZI-JEWISH-ROYAL-BANKERS today.
WOW talk about Paranoid. Conspiracies everywhere. Even the Queen wants to over throw the world. You guys make Tony Abbott look like a Lefty (a big support of the monarchy). Myopia rein supreme in the minds of the gullible. The emperor never did get his new coat, he was wearing his old one all this time. PS: Once you evoke Godwin’s law you lose the argument (hence, once anyone align Nazism in an argument the game is over).
Wow, there is a whole lot of “stupid” bottled up in the members of that movement!

These folks are as wacky as a sack full of mad things having a particularly nutty day! I somehow ended up on their emailing list – I think I know who to thank for that one – so I’ve read their ‘literature’ and I assure you this is just the gibbering tip of the iceberg of crazy.
Can anyone think of a less likely Machiavellian super-genius than Prince Phillip, incidentally? Charles, perhaps?
There’s no way to argue with this stuff – what could the ‘agreed facts’ ever be? This isn’t just epistemic closure, it’s epistemic locking-the-door-and-throwing-away the-key!
There really is no position so manifestly daft that someone somewhere won’t take the trouble to hold it…
These nut bags have been setting up tables in the streets of Melbourne.
I thought of approaching them to see what they’re about.. but the funny looks and decidedly off vibe they radiated made me think otherwise.
Insane in the membrane.
Since arranging the assassination of Princess Diana, isn’t Prince Philip and the rest of his shape-shifting alien lizard-people too busy running their secret Nazi conspiracy world-wide drug-running operation? Or have I missed something? 😉

A bizarre mixture of apparently understanding Kepler’s laws quite well but at the same time believing Newton’s laws of motion are “dogma”, i.e. reaction is not the equal and opposite of action, it is according to “God’s law”, whatever that means. How about this quote:
Descartes and Newton typify the long list of intellectually corrosive, Venice-controlled figures in the history of actually and putatively scientific institutions. In the Eighteenth Century, the Berlin Academy’s Voltaire, Maupertuis, Algarotti, Euler, Lagrange, Lambert, and the French Encyclopaedists typify those corrupted figures of influence operating within scientific institutions directly under the control of Venice intelligence agents, such as Conti and Algarotti, to the purpose of eliminating the heritage of Cusa, Leonardo da Vinci, Kepler, and Leibniz from science. Immanuel Kant, the Marquis de LaPlace, Augustin Cauchy, and the circles of Germans and others under the control of Britain’s Lord Kelvin, typify the continuation of this Venice tradition during the Nineteenth Century.
Totally mad.

Oh man. After about twenty seconds, an uncontrollable facepalm reflex kicked in, and I had to watch the rest through my fingers. I was so embarrassed for the guy, it was painful.
But for all that, the level of unhingedness is worrying – for someone that far off their rocker it’s hard to predict what they might do next.

Forgive me father for I am about to sin…
“LaRouche Youth”? Is that anything like “Hitler Youth”?
You may now invoke Godwin’s law.

Next president of the flat earth society.

Broaden it out:

As we entered the building, people were handing out leaflets for and against climate action. It didn’t take much grey matter to work out there would be some political theatre coming up. As the good professor began to speak, a protestor leapt to his feet in the second row and waved a very large noose. He yelled about a climate conspiracy involving Queen Elizabeth, the royal family, and green Nazis. He was taken by the arm by a senior academic who vigorously escorted him from the auditorium.
Some of the more extraordinary views that surface during public debates, such as those of the CEC, are cause for reflection. What tortured paths bring one to the realisation that global warming is a monarchist, green nazi conspiracy. Why are some people drawn to gurus such as the CEC’s idol Lyndon LaRouche?

AND
Many years ago, during one of Larouche’s presidential campaigns (I forget which one), he managed to buy 15 or 30 minutes of national TV time.  He used it to make a more or less incomprehensible speech consisting of a lecture in which he used charts and maps.  I don’t know if anyone understood him, but most certainly the average viewer did not.  It would be easy to imagine that it was a parody of something.  The next day at work, I was having coffee with some people, none of them very educated, and it turned out that all of them had watched it.  These were people who would discuss various topics of which they had little clue, e.g., dark matter, but not only – not even mainly – scientific topics.  (I would annoy them quite a bit by correcting them.)  Well, in the case of Larouche, none of them could even figure out how to BS about what he had said.  Each person was hoping that someone else would speak.  This was completely out of character.  Finally, one guy, who could be quite an aggressive BS-er, looked down and said, “He might be on to something, but I had no idea of what he was talking about.”  Unfortunately, I don’t have the literary talent to convey the hilarity of this scene, but I thought I’d take a chance.  Maybe you can use your imaginations.

Yeah, back to the skeptics, of sorts:
CERN covering up a study that shows climate change from cosmic rays.

There are six candidates running for the Democratic nominations for various Congressional seats in the United States in 2012.  Kesha Rogers, Rachel Brown, Summer Shields, Diane Sare, Dave Christie, and Bill Roberts.  Brown and Sare have each received a small amount of media coverage by heckling prominent political figures — Boston-based Representative Barney Frank and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, while Kesha Rogers received some for winning the nomination in 2010.  Their candidacies, and heckling at Town Hall meetings, afford them a minimum amount of media attention and a minimum amount of party invitations.  There is no hope for the possibility of a type of “Tea Party Internet Radio” appearance that Rachel Brown garnered in 2010, and Jeffrey Steinberg is in safe harbors if and when he lauds these six candidacies on the Alex Jones Show.  But, in my ongoing interest of propping up hypothetically asked questions which will never come out, but would be asked if these candidacies were indeed considered legitimate figures for office, the six candidacies should be asked in a public forum about Isherwood’s noose waving.  Perhaps as a follow up question to a question about global warming, a debate moderator would do well to, prerferably with use of the short clip of Isherwood waving the noose and saying “Welcome to Australia”, if that is an appropriate way of confronting the issue.  Their opposing candidate, naturally, would be given an opportunity to respond — whether they be Barney Frank, or if Kesha Rogers wins the nomination again — Pete Sessions.

HEY!  You know what the coming attacks on the CEC are all about?

Rupert Murdoch!
They claim to be the true inheritors of the pre-Whitlam ALP tradition. If they above was all they stood for, they would be. Allowed on Murdoch’s TV station, they are obviously coming out of the shadows. Who will stand up for the real ALP tradition, or will it be ceded to the CEC and through them to LaRouche?

POST OFFICE TOUR UPDATE!
Dateline small town of 12,000 people that has a very inviting and walkable downtown:
I live in a small town of 12,000 people that has a very inviting and walkable downtown. I strolled to the bank yesterday and noticed that a couple of young people had set up a Lyndon LaRouche “Impeach Obama” table directly across the street from the town’s busiest restaurant.
As I passed their table, the young woman who seemed to be the brains of the pair asked me, “Do you want to save the United States?” I told her that indeed I do, but that following Lyndon LaRouche’s nostrums hardly seemed the way to go about it. “Besides,” I said, “it’s obvious from your portrait of Obama with the Hitler moustache that you’re not here to convert, only to provoke.”
She was from Marin and agreed that the extremity of her presentation was bound to persuade few, if any, that Obama is, as she put it, “leading the country into fascism.”
So I asked her why she had planted her flag in such hostile territory with little or no expectation of success. She shrugged her shoulders and ask me for a donation.

Dateline Grand Ledge

One hopes the organizers are not implying that Snyder himself is a Nazi. No good ever comes of such extreme comparisons, and as recently as Tuesday, a pair of LaRouchies set up camp in downtown Grand Ledge to compare President Obama to the Fuhrer.

An Obama poster hung nearby depicting him mustachioed like the infamous Nazi dictator.
“He’s the reincarcation of Adolph Hitler,” insisted Armando Cutino, 25, of Redford.
While Obama likely doesn’t have a huge fan base in the conservative waters of Eaton County, the Nazi comparison didn’t seem to be winning a lot of converts to the LaRouche cause. Only a trickle of people approached the LaRouche volunteers during the noon hour, mostly out of curiosity.
“How dare you!” yelled one motorist, who pulled over to complain that the LaRouchies had no right to spread their message in front of a federal building.

Hey!  It’s another one of “those commenters”:

While their approach might be “weird”, their message is clear….Pres. Obama is on a socialist rant and the next step after that is facism. If people don’t know what that is, look it up. It requires a dictatorship or the likes of how a communist country is run. That would be similar to Hitler. Don’t like it, then start realizing that we need govern’t to get out of everything, except what they were set up for under our constitution in the first place…….to protect. Period. End of the job description. No govern’t dept’s, like interior, ag, education, etc, etc. Get rid of those for a start. That’ll save us billions from the debt. Then downsize govern’t, in any shape or form we can. States should be funding schools, & most other agencies in your state. Not federal.
I don’t suppose I should mention to this Tea Partier that the Larouchies have a rather expansive view of government, and are not your friend. See too, by way of smearing your political opponent:
But now, if you dare to raise exactly that point, exactly the same people who were saying that start acting like those LaRouchies at the Town Halls, pretending that even talking about how to save money in Medicare means you want to kill

Dateline Belmont the pair – a young woman with a slight, pleasant accent and the equally-young African-American who would not give their names – came to inform people of their cause.
“We came here because there are human beings here,” said the woman.
The young woman said they hoped to inform Belmont residents of the “undebatable fact that Obama is conducting an illegal war in Libya” and that unless “the people have the guts to end this with (Obama’s impeachment)” then “what’s to stop a dictatorship” from happening.
Their presence brought a Belmont police car to see what was happening and relative scorn or silent indifference by most who passed by. One woman took cell phone photos of the pair which prompted the young woman to take her own photos of the woman.

Dateline Lake Buff The LaRouche Political Action Committee was reported to be insulting patients of a Lake Bluff doctor at the corner of Walnut and Scranton avenues at 1:57 p.m. July 8. Some episodes were described as confrontational. The officer was advised by Village Hall that the LaRouche Political Action Committee did not file a permit. The officer met with Donald and Judy Clark, who said they did not file a permit but had been at the intersection before. Donald Clark said he went to the police station and received verbal permission for that day, and he was given a copy of the permit form.
A resident in the 200 block of East Center Avenue lodged a complaint that a portable toilet had been placed directly across from his home and was requesting it be moved at 10:03 a.m. July 3. People were using the portable toiler and throwing their trash in his yard. The officer and the resident moved the structure down a short distance between houses so to not obstruct his view.

Dateline Phillipines Lest our organization and like-minded Filipinos be drawn into debates on political preferences, on anticipated and periodic elections, despite the insidious or expressed manifestations of opportunists among the opposing proponents and among the desperate incumbents, we must continuously and vigorously stress that the fundamental reason for the failure of our leaders to govern and promote our people’s welfare, is their negligence, and cowardice to confront the evil which has imposed its greed on Philippine society, and the rest of humanity.

Dateline Worcester:   I would like to note that the Larouche PAC will be meeting at the library on Tuesday, July 26.  No news yet on whether there will be singing.
(Serious question: why is there no Wikipedia entry for “Larouchian polyphony”?)
Now, I find the Larouche movement to be misguided and misleading at best and cultlike at worst (not to mention their posters make my skin crawl), but as there are other political groups that periodically meet at the library (Democratic City Committee among others), I don’t see how you can exclude the Obama-with-Hitler-mustache-ites.  I’m interested to see who might protest the Larouche PAC, though.  (More in a theoretical sense.  Please don’t protest them.  I hate having to run the gauntlet while returning materials.)

GLASS STEAGALL OR DIE:  NO OTHER OPTION!! (That slogan has a bit more relevance now that the Larouchies are running around waving nooses at their enemies…)

Canadian Survivalist Society, eh?
“Nationalist Bloc is emerging”, hm.
Well, you know what they’re saying about Ron Paul
He’s an utterly discredited perennial candidate – the Libertarian counterpart of Lyndon LaRouche. He provides comic relief to Republicans, just like Lyndon LaRouche provides comic relief to the Democrats.
Also Buddy Roemer:
Has Lyndon LaRouche gotten in yet? Knucklehead on July 18, 2011 at 7:22 PM. No-but Ron Paul’s in. Same thing. a

Letter to the editor for  Franklin Bell, Bluemont — Clarke County, Virginia
What is encouraging is the potential patriotic juggernaut two of those new co-sponsors represent[…] They exemplify a potential alliance of principle that is willing to put aside party politics for the cause of the nation.
The B lindfolded Lady with the Scales Won:
Ah Lyndon LaRouche. Here is a man made famous for bilking little old ladies out of their life savings. When I lived in Leesburg, on an early morning in October, 1986, I heard a commotion on Catoctin Circle. I looked out to see swat teams and armored vehicles marshalling for some kind of major bust. They raided the offices of Lyndon LaRouche. In 1988 he was convicted of fraud and tax charges and sentenced to 15 years in prison. Blind justice is not the fat lady, but she sings very well.

RIOTS LIKE THIS WILL SPREAD IN ALL NATIONS AS LONG AS THE PRESENT MONETARY FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC WORLD SYSTEM BASED ON THE BRITISH MODEL IS NOT CHANGED BY THE RESTORATION OF A GLOBAL GLASS-STEGALL ACT WHICH SEPARATES COMMERCIAL AND INVESTMENT BANKING. LAROUCHE PLAN WILL SAVE THE WORLD FROM PLUNGING INTO THE NEW DARK AGE COMPARABLE TO THAT WHICH OCCURRED IN THE 14TH CENTURY. IMF/WORLD BANK.INTER-ALPHA MONEY CHANGERS MUST BE THROWN TO THE MUSUEMS OF HISTORY NEVER AGAIN TO BE SEEN BY MANKIND.

“Inter Alpha Money Changers’, eh? Yeah, well… Interesting that the EIR “Ugly Truth of ADL” is on this blog as a source, and that this blog keeps popping up.

Also, now Don Nicolson officially is on board, when does Lyndon LaRouche’s candidacy get announced? tom hunter (2018) Says: July 12th, 2011 at 5:56 pm. Sheesh Andrew – should you not be over on this thread defending a party that thinks

Capitalist Pigs. Ayn Rand’s ass-kissing lovers, rightwing Libertarians (Check out Lyndon Larouche), Morons. Dumbasses.

PURGE IN LEESBURG???

No, I haven’t — nor will I — watch the video.  Tell me what precise minutes to look at and I’d go ahead and scan, but otherwise all I have is this.

In the latest Weekly Report, THE DEAR LEADER declared war on the boomers in the first portion, declaring them unfit for leadership in this nation. Which means, the boomers in the organization.
Now, it seems that NIGEL [Jeff Steinberg] was singled out for praise and merciful retention, as was Debbie. And, of course, the ancient Lyn himself.

The others have been, as of Monday post-luncheon, excluded from all future leadership… whatever that may mean. NIGEL and Debbie have spearheaded a change in the organisation.
Notably absent from the list of the retained is the man sitting next to Lyn at the moment of this declaration: EIR Senior Economist John Hoefle, who must have been at that Monday meeting.
How I wish the camera panned over a bit when Lyn was making this declaration… What was John doing with his giant hands? Wringing them? ….Or pooling the sweat in his palms?
At 12:30, Lyn muttered something like, “And that includes certain people in this room who xxxx”
ANYONE KNOW WHAT HE SAID??! Was he condemning John Hoefle as one of the heart-breaking failures from the boomer generation, or was it something else?!
At 21:30, THE DEAR LEADER repeats, for the twelfth time, “At the meeting on Monday, the fact that only ONE member of the boomers spoke up–apart from me, but I’m too old to be a boomer.”
He chuckles, and off-camera one can hear John chuckling too… forcing it out.
In other news, Sky Shields, beneficiary of a racist slip-up, is singled out for a leadership position going forward, mostly because he likes to play with Lyn (through Classical composition).
…Holy crap. At 48:00, the camera zooms in on John Hoefle, who’s practically in tears as he admits the total failure of his generation. He tells CYBORG and THE DEAR LEADER that the boomers [and he himself] are a broken down old car to be shoved out of the way if they can’t change. Which is what Lyn’s already done.
CYBORG nods and says, “Yes.” Everyone laughs, especially Lyn, who cryptically remarks to John, “So you got a good shot at that one, eh?” John says, “Yeah!”
Good shot at what? Getting shoved the hell out of the way?
Good Heavens.

Y’know, I really wanted to give this topic a rest until next month, but… but then came the damned noose.   And so it goes.  Yeah, well, Hey!  Wayne Madsen thinks Obama is CIA.  Wow, that’s… he should dig in one deeper to find the Inner Alpha Group.  Or, as Cliff Kincaid has it, he should go to the Communist well.

Good examples and Bad

Monday, July 18th, 2011

Odd moment that pops up and deserves a ponder.

I come up to a cross-walk.  The sign is on red, “don’t walk”.  There is no traffic.  Ordinarily I would go ahead and jay-walk BUT…

right behind me is a gaggle of children, being led by their school teacher or other temporary guardian.  Who are waiting.

I have no choice but to be a good citizen and example and wait for the crosswalk to change.  So I wait.

In this case, for a long, long time.

Maybe I should just walk ahead.  Give the children a lesson that when they get older, they’ll recognize the nuances of crossing the street — when to junk the rules.  I wouldn’t think about it except — apparently I was stalled right at the beginning of the stop mode and hence the long, long time.

Sexual Harrassment — Silberkleit sees Peni Everywhere!

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

See, you get rid of the Comics Code Authority and then all Hell breaks lose.

Archie Comics Publications has filed legal papers against co-CEO Nancy Silberkleit — claiming she has a history of bullying and sexually harassing employees … and she must be stopped!
According to the lawsuit, filed yesterday in NY, several employees have lodged complaints about Nancy’s “offensive” behavior … including one time in 2009, when she barged into a meeting and “pointed to each [attendee] and said, ‘PENIS, PENIS, PENIS, PENIS’ and then walked out.”
Nancy allegedly pulled the same “penis” stunt again in 2010 — but this time she also screamed out, “My balls hurt.”
Archie Comics claims it hired an outside firm to investigate the allegations — and the company recommended Archie cut ties with Nancy ASAP.
Now, Archie wants a judge to grant an injunction — barring Nancy from returning to the office … and preventing her from representing the company at the upcoming Comic-Con in San Diego.

And so it’s picked up and we see this title, which strikes me as a little sexist.  “Lady CEO”. I suppose the joke is that her alleged behavior is un-ladylike.

Sure, I understand this theory of things.  Nancy Silberkleit wanted to point out the gender imbalance at her meetings.  Apparently she was in rooms with, by counting the number of times she shouted “penis”, four men.  Debate the matter of whether this is sexual harrassment… and, you know?

See? For that matter, what they are describing could be more appropriately described as “anatomical harassment” – just because a penis is used in sex shouldnt’ mean that every reference to it is sexual. It’s also used to urinate.

Well, Jay Leno can put on his network tv show “Puppetry of the Penis”, so I guess we’ve crossed a threshold here.

In her defense, we have a classic “mass comment” line here, alleging some company politics:

“Jon Goldwater is up to no good and has been since day one at the helm. The company has been turned on it’s side and Mr Goldwater has gotten his employees to take sides in an effort to take control and throw Nancy out. Additional­ly, artists such as the legandary Stan Goldberg have been tossed aside (after 40 years) as the ultimate Archie Ambassador for no apparent reason. Goldwater will run the company into the ground and that is the ultimate shame of it all. Nancy has to hold her ground (this lawsuit will never stand), put a plan into place to have an equal voice and restore a sense of sanity and direction (including hiring back Stan Goldberg) into Riverdale once more.”

Yeah, but doesn’t Stan Goldberg kind of suck?  At once somewhat competent and reliable in putting out a whole lot of pages — something necessary for this company, but he’s no Harry Lucey, Dan Decarlo, or Samm Schwartz!  — but basically deteriorating in quality?  And I’m not the only one whose reaction when Archie Comics launched its latest “media attention grabbing gimmick after media attention grabbing gimmick” phase with “Archie Marries Veronica” to see Goldberg’s art and think that that’s unfortunate — that that’s what they put out to wider public viewing.   Is the problem that he was let go so slowly (from reports), — just slowly dropped the number of assignments, or when he was let go was he not given just compensation or appreciation of long term of service?   Stan Goldberg got a “Best Of” book on departing, right?, and moves on to that odd post-retirement (forced or otherwise) field of “Legacy project“s invited by cohorts at Marvel Comics, right?

Note to the reference to “modernization, some might say liberalization” round about the page for the following comment, and see the sticking up for Nancy Silberkleit here.  This reference is with one of the “media attention grabbers” being a gay character, I assume, posted in snarling.

At bottom, nobody cares about the company politics at Archie Comics, and the if there’s any further back-story of back-stabbing and marshaling into an anti-Nancy Silberkleit faction and a pro-Nancy Silberkleit faction, this is all washed out in the “Penis Penis Penis Penis Penis!”.  The presence of peni rather suck up all available oxygen, and there’s not much else for Silberkleit to do to counter-charge for grasps of media attention.  That being said, the attendees at San Deigo’s comics con are either more savvy than the general public or more anarchic, and the Archie Comics booth will prove an irresistible target for someone, I am sure.

It is funny that the only other story one gets when looking up Nancy Silberkleit in news is a fluffy positive press piece about a children’s book fair.

Friend of the National Parks, right.

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Eight members of Congress from Washington, from both parties, have received a Friend of the National Parks award from the nonpartisan National Parks and Conservation Association.

Hm.  Next paragraph?

One key lawmaker is visibly absent from the list — Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Washington, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee which has jurisdiction over the National Park Service.

The “bi-partisan make up” phrase is a bit of a misnomer.  The two Senators from Washington made the list, and the six Democrats in Congress.  And one Republican from the Seattle suburbs — Reichert.  So, it may not all that notable that Hastings didn’t make this “bi-partisan” list, except for the position he came into at the advent of the Republican Congressional take-over in 2011 — overseeing such things and all.

I suppose there’s an overlap here, but “Friend of Park” Reichert is also one of the Republican dissenters who threw his lot behind the Tyrannical Eco-Light Bulb:

Six of Washington’s nine U.S. House members on Tuesday voted not to roll back light bulb efficiency standards, in a test of the Tea Party’s clout in Congress’ lower chamber.
That’s the five Democrats and …
Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., was one of just 10 of 241 House Republicans to support the efficiency standards, which passed in 2007 with Republican sponsorship and were signed into law by President Bush.
And not Doc Hastings, as I guess you can expect.  Quick!  Someone find me the original light bulb vote!

Back to the Parks:

[Norman] Dicks is a notable “Friend,” having worked on the House Appropriations Committee to restore adequate funding to the Park Service.  Olympic National Park is in his district.

Differing definition on what it means to be a “friend” of the parks:

Doc Hastings has been active on park issues.  He cosponsored legislation that allows people to carry concealed weapons in national parks, reversing a 26-year Park Service policy.

See?  Friend of Parks!!!  Or at least Friend of some users of the park, the “most productive users” and all that…:

Can uranium mining on 1 million acres surrounding Grand Canyon National Park generate enough economic activity to offset any potential contamination of the watersheds that drain into the national park and the Colorado River? […]
“… With 2,200 uranium mining claims within 10 miles of the canyon, Congress can either choose mining interests or the generations of Americans who cherish this amazing place, the tourism industry and jobs that depend on it, and the millions of people who rely on the Colorado River as a clean source of drinking water,” he added.
Rep. Doc Hastings, who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, sees the Interior bill as accomplishing “the difficult goal of ending runaway government spending while still providing funding to both protect and harness our nation’s natural resources.”
“… the bill prevents the Interior Department and EPA from carrying out several unilateral policy decisions that could lock-up American energy, harm our economies, and cost thousands of jobs throughout rural America,” the Washington state Republican said.

AND…

Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources plans to go over a suite of bills that the Department of Interior says would exempt it from complying with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)–“the cornerstone law guiding environmental protection and public involvement in Federal actions,” as the Bureau of Land Management’s deputy director, Mike Pool, put it to the committee last month. The House could also vote on a bill that would strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its power to override state-issued permits for coal companies, factories, wastewater treatment plants, and other enterprises that dispose of their waste in waterways, if the terms of the permit do not adequately protect streams and lakes.

These are just a few of the ways that House Republicans are going after environmental laws, and environmental groups are flipping out. David Goldston, the director of government affairs at the National Resources Defense Council, told reporters on Monday that Republicans are “actually going back and changing fundamental statutes of environmental and health protections in ways that haven’t been true in 40 years.”

House appropriations bills must pass through the Senate and across the president’s desk, of course. But in the last round of financial negotiations, centered on April’s continuing resolution that funded the government for the rest of the year, anti-environmental riders that made it through the House became law. Those riders presaged the policies the House is looking at now. Congress backed off protecting endangered species by allowing Idaho and Montana to delist wolves. It also undid the Obama administration’s efforts to use public lands temporarily for conservation by classifying them as wild lands. The bills under consideration now advocate the exact opposite approach to the use of public lands: They will allow these tracts to be used quickly for energy generation without requiring that companies follow long-established procedures that protect animals, plants, and human health.

Much of this policy originated in the national resources committee, led by Representative Doc Hastings of Washington state. Hastings is the type of Republican who thinks the government should do everything in its power to bring gas prices down. That includes extracting oil and gas resources from public lands, even if those fuels will provide only a short and partial respite from the pain of paying $4 per gallon for gas. Oil and gas interest have contributed more money than any other industry to his campaigns.

Last I checked, the Doc Hastings wikipedia team had the entry state that the majority of Hastings’s campaign funds come from in-state.  You prioritize whatever information you want to prioritize, I suppose.
It is arguably better to reference the “Doc hastings wikipedia team” as having a broader focus — their most important editings on wikipedia probably concerns Jay Inslee.  —  Since my last post covering what they’ve done on wikipedia, there’s only one change at the article — an editor exchanging the phrase “far left” in favor of “liberal leaning” in describing the congressional seat Inslee moved to and won in 1998, though the rest of that section remains as the Hastings-istas wrote it — which is to say, silly.

Here, to be fair, is the final sentence in the Seattle PI column mentioning Hastings’s bringing concealed guns into the national parks — “Friends of the Parks” and all that:

He has also sponsored legislation to rebuild the Stehekin River road, a key access route into the North Cascades National Park.  The road was washed out in a 2003 storm.

Hastings — one of the boring ones in the 435 seat House, and one of the ones who are never going to lose an election again.  But I insist someone cover him specifically as,  even having accrued some power from the Republican return to Congressional control, gets no press except deep into articles.  See here.:

As the Republicans in Congress continue to push President Obama to approve deep budget cuts as a condition for raising the debt ceiling, most of them refuse to repeal a program that seems like a clear case of wasteful spending. In response to a World Trade Organization ruling that American cotton subsidies were unfair, the U.S. responded by sending $147 million in subsidies to Brazilian cotton farmers, in addition to the $835 million American cotton farmers received in 2010. The House recently voted to repeal this policy, against the wishes of most Republican members
141 of the 242 GOP representatives voted to preserve the measure. Notably, several of the House GOP’s top leaders voted to continue subsidizing Brazilian cotton farmers. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA-7), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA-22), and Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp (MI-4) all voted down the repeal despite the fiscally conservative rhetoric they have all deployed extensively in recent months. […]
GOP opposition to repealing the subsidy is especially striking in light of how common it has become on the right to criticize Obama for subsidizing Brazilian oil companies while restricting domestic drilling. Rep. Doc Hastings (WA-4), who earlier criticized Obama for trying to “shift our foreign energy dependence from one part of the world to another” by subsidizing Brazilian oil drilling, voted to preserve the program. So did Rep. Ted Poe, who in April blasted the president for “[giving] money to Brazil, while at the same time stonewalling drilling in our gulf,” also voted to preserve the payments to foreign growers.

Hm.  Good to know.  Might be a sign of the feebleness of our government on the world stage as much as anything else, right?  Right?

horse race coverage of the GOP’s 2012 bid at Obama

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

Watching as Michele Bachmann propel past himself in the polls in Iowa, Tim Pawlenty has commissioned his “Acti0n Film” director to film him and his wife talking about how Jesusy they are.

And a radio ad directs you to it.

Hm.

“Sarah Pulliam Bailey, a political reporter for leading evangelical magazine Christianity Today, says Pawlenty has failed to capture the imaginations of the Christian right because he lacks a certain, well, evangelical fervor. ‘You just can’t see Tim Pawlenty holding a tent revival,’ she says. And as right-wing Christians gear up to try to defeat a well-defined — if somewhat exaggerated — foe in President Obama, many want a combative hero they can rally around, not just tolerate. The problem: Pawlenty comes off like a Good Samaritan at a time when the religious right wants fire and brimstone.”

Wait.   Isn’t wanting fire and brimstone the definition of the “religious right”, or did I miss that “time” when the religious right wanted something else?

Maybe there was a time they wanted a TOPPS George W Bush Baseball Card!

Michele Bachmann‘s moment will pass — she’ll hit her political ceiling and the Republicans will nominate Mitt Romney — and he will have as good a chance as anybody else in becoming President.  But for the moment — and maybe for a good, long moment — she will get the royal flushing treatment.  She had a pastor — don’t they all?.  Her pastor called the Pope the Anti-Christ.  Maybe.   Well, I do that all the time, so why should I care?

Bachmann signs weird things about slavery.

“Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.”

Hm.  2 parent household, huh?

“Here’s the deal, the libs have gone out of their way to misrepresent us on this issue. There is no way that we are condoning slavery,” he said.

Marcus Bachmann gets panned by Jon Stewart and Jerry Seinfeld.

Gary Johnson has harsh words about Michele Bachmann.

Denouncing the document as offensive, Johnson said the pledge was nothing short of a promise to discriminate against everyone who makes a personal choice that doesn’t fit into the group’s narrow definition of virtue.
“While the Family Leader pledge covers just about every other so-called virtue they can think of, the one that is conspicuously missing is tolerance,” said Johnson in a statement.  “In one concise document, they manage to condemn gays, single parents, single individuals, divorcees, Muslims, gays in the military, unmarried couples, women who choose to have abortions and everyone else who doesn’t fit in a Norman Rockwell painting.”

And he’s winning nothing in the Republican nominating process.

Won’t even have pledges as momentos, like pledge-loving Rick Santorum.

Ron Paul is not running for another term of Congress.  This has lead to a mad scramble by candidates for The Libertarian Party.  And it means, more timely, that this is the end of his political career.
What, you think he’s going to win the Presidency?  Maybe … he has action movie trailer ads, like Tim Pawlenty!
He will move on to do commentary for Lew Rockwell and Alex Jones and have every word he utters somewhere dutifully put up in spots where a commenter can jump in and talk about the Jews.

Herman Cain does not have an action movie director for his ads — which are tailor-made for the internet — you have to get it under a minute and have higher production costs for television.

Newt Gingrich is attending a minor league baseball game in Iowa.  He’s still in the Race!

Mitt Romney current thumps Jon Huntsman in the Utah polls.  YET questions linger.

Romney is thus not Reaganesque but actually truly more Satanesque.

Somewhat more substantively here, an ad in waiting put together in 1994.

Roy Moore is in Denver.  Apparently he’s all recovered from his horse accident.

Newman, Newman, Newman.

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

I’ve long thought along these lines when looking at New York’s election system (adopted a few years’ back in some form in Oregon, and why I find the mechanics and stated purpose of the “Independent Party of Oregon” worthy of derision):

But if you read between the lines, the obituary shows that something is truly rotten in New York City’s politics, and in particular, the political party structure that exists in that state.

At bottom the cult leader, Fred Newman, had a good old fashioned political machine operating for transactional politics.  He moved a mass of followers to different political ends, tools which were useful for an assortment of political figures.

This is the problem with New York’s political system.

In the old heyday of New Deal and Fair Deal politics in New York, the legitimate  labor leader Alex Rose, head of the now defunct Hat, Cap and Millinery Workers union, created the Liberal Party, a political formation that for decades was the choice of much of New York’s independent voters to cast their ballots for candidates. This, despite the fact that the endorsed candidate was probably a Democrat and at times a Republican. There was nothing cult like about its leaders or its organization; it was a legitimate step to create an alternative for liberal New Yorkers to cast their ballot for a candidate they supported and still maintain their independence from both major parties. As such, the Liberal Party often functioned as the make or break line that a candidate needed to win a place on its ballot to win a New York City election.

Ron Radosh looks a bit too favorably at that third party Liberal Party “line”.  Roosevelt used the Liberal Party to break Tammany, actually.  After that, it operated something like Fred Newman / Lenora Fulani / Jackie Salit’s Independence Party, as a ballot line that needs votes to keep its third line — that needs to sustain its existence.  “Neither liberal nor a party” ran the joke.  It was no wonder the Conservative Party bounced its line status — this had an ideological reason for existing — Nixon sent veiled support for James Buckley’s Senate bid.  But we see the peculiar problem with New York’s political system pop up again in the last election — the Conservative Party nominated Rick Lazio, wanting to go with the expected Republican nominee — which ended up backing the more conservative primary candidate — Carl Paladino.

New York Times obituary of Fred Newman: Fred Newman’s influential role in New York life and politics defied easy description.
[…]As late as 2005, Mr. Newman wrote that he remained a Marxist, albeit what he called a postmodern one.

There isn’t much a person, hoping to wield influence on a convas of vote-getting, can do as a Marxist.  But there is some built-in-support for an “Independence” or “Independent” Party, based on the name.  And with it comes the accolades from his supporters such as:

A key architect of today’s independent movement has died. Fred Newman will be deeply missed.

Hm.  And, hm.
He was twice married and divorced. He is survived by his son, Donald; his daughter, Elizabeth Newman; and by Gabrielle L. Kurlander and Jacqueline Salit, his life partners in what Ms. Salit described as an “unconventional family of choice.”

August 9, 2000 NYT interview tih Lenora Fulana:
Mim Udovitch:  Well, there we disagree.  You’re a developmental psychologist, but not practicing, right?
Lenora Fulani:  I’m trained in social therapy, and I practiced for about seven years. But then I started running for president, and that kind of thing.

Can independents reform America? Nat’l Conference of Independents this weekend:  Jacqueline Salit, president of IndependentVoting.org, issued this invitation to independents considering attending

NYT obituary:  He founded a Marxist-Leninist party, fostered a sexually charged brand of psychotherapy

NYT 2000 interview– “Lenora Fulani, “the county’s leading African American independent.” — and here.:
Mim Udovitch:  One thing frequently noted about Fred Newman, whom you’ve described as your mentor, is that he sees nothing wrong in sleeping with patients. Is that correct?

Lenora Fulani:  What he’s challenging there is the traditional assumption of how therapy works, that there has to be some distance in order for it to be helpful. And we disagree with that, not just from the vantage point of whether or not you can sleep with somebody you’re doing therapy with, but also just in how close and how open you can be. It just gets sensationalized.

NYT Obituary:  He encouraged collective members to sleep with one another, an activity he called “friendosexuality.”

Newman, 1974:  “The two workers, revolutionary therapist and slave/patient, struggle together to make a revolution through their practice. The work is not to simply understand in a causal or logical sense but to engage in the practice of making revolution.”

NYT obituary: “It’s probably fair to say I was the dominant leader,” Mr. Newman said in an interview with The New York Observer in 1999. “I hope I wasn’t an authoritarian oppressor, but I think that’s probably accurate to say that.”

Whatever one concludes about Fred Newman (anything from vital trailblazer to cultist charlatan), he certainly was one of the most interesting figures in the history of alternative politics.
Sure.  Whatever.