Archive for April, 2019

hear about the high school stage production of “The Producers”?

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

In its array of “readings” this month, Harpers Magazine includes a list of “shocking” things abounding various Political candidates of 2018’s political season.  One of which was a nazi swastika.

To clarify, the swastika was in the background, in a public school display of various historical photographs, for an ad by the Republican Senate candidate in Michigan.  (The candidate, incidentally, “happened to be black”.) Appropriate, I’d suggest.  Was it worth making an issue of?  No.

I suppose it was worth doing the due diligence and blurring the image out, or skipping to some other background for the purpose of speaking while wandering a school hallway.  Not so much because any sane person would decide that the appearance of the swastika in the background within a lot of historical educational materials would signify some kind of signal to white nationalists and neo-nazis that this black Republican Senate candidate is with them, but just so that it won’t end up, without clarification of the situation, included in a list of “shocking things” in campaign commercials, rendering the list one mite more pointless.

the problem of political incorrectness

Sunday, April 28th, 2019

Shifting through the odd “bullet point” list of “offensive” statements by the latest Trump Fed pick, what I’m struck by in uneasy “mixture of ‘sure’ and ‘not really'” which is what is always going to end up roiling this project and will mar it as an effective political “hit”…

… Aside from the sense that the Nixon parallel we have is Trump is thinking through no later than his presidency on “what he wants”…

… or, for that matter, the always problematic political reality of “Never Apology” and “punch forward” — political pluses otherwise tend to be weak…

Untangle some of it.

That said, Moore did bring up the recent CNN article that looked into a number of columns Moore had written between 2000 and 2003 for the National Review, including one where he declared that women should be barred from announcing college basketball games, mocked the idea of women officiating basketball — a sentiment he doubled-down on in the next column, and an entire article arguing against pay equality in pro sports.

The last one is the loaded “not necessarily without point” (depending on what the argument is, and I suppose “You Must Watch the WNBA if you watch the NBA” is the sort of “cultural elitism” against the heartland the Paul Krugmans must contend with in dealing with this sort of sorting out) that confounds the whole “bullet point”s.  But the one I’m fascinated by is this 2002 “bit” on college basketball broadcasting…

1. No Women. Here’s the rule change I propose: No more women refs, no women announcers, no women beer venders, no women anything. There is, of course, an exception to this rule. Women are permitted to participate, if and only if, they look like Bonnie Bernstein. The fact that Bonnie knows nothing about basketball is entirely irrelevant.

2. Bonnie Bernstein should wear a halter top. This is a no-brainer, CBS. What in the world are you waiting for? To quote the immortal Wayne of Wayne’s World, “If Bonnie were president of the United States, she’d be Babe-raham Lincoln.

7. More probing interviews by Bonnie Bernstein. Did I say this already? I welcome readers’ ideas about further reforms in this sacred institution.

Funny ha ha in the pages of the National Review.  The thing about this is that I don’t exactly have a problem with it and would just want to roll my eyes on it — (exaggerated satire with no real point)– if it were from someone not seeking an executive position.  The problem I end up with this theory that all I want to see published from a looming Fed chairperson, two decades down the line, is dry economic arguments or coursework.  You leave the crass “marketing of entertainment to the caveman consumer” business to your pundits not entering government officialdom.  It suggests a lack of seriousness of purpose.  Seek your fun and games outside the published realm.

then and now

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2019

It’s a little weird that the National Review seems to have just now discovered the existence of “TERF”s, “trans-exclusionary radical feminists”.  Or maybe the weird thing is that in this article on current politics of trans-genderedness, when they swerve about and place the comments of some “self described radical feminists” who object to various fissures of the burgeoning matter, the common acronym isn’t used.

Three articles from The American Mercury, circa 1951, strike me as oddly fascinating.  Two articles lamenting the “new style” of literature — apparently a homosexual casting couch producing barely concealed homsexual literature which is marketed by the party-keeping gate-keepers of the literary scene .  (And here I always thought Gore Vidal considered 1946 the very brief literary scene renaissance.)  The next article proposed a “New Style” in humor — seen in the then in the infamacy television business — and quit laughing at the drag performances of Milton Bearle — you’re eating up Homosexual propaganda!  It’s about what you may suppose you’d see as a concern.  Then we get to an article matter of factedly pointing out after whatshername returned from a gender conversion surgery in France the existence of trans-sexuals in our midst — an oddly positive article, though of course with a suggestion of invisibility as they skip from one sex to another and skip towns to assume their new identities.
Naturally adding that the stake and issues very considerably, even as the milestones get shoved into a clear cut manichean whig/progressive bending “history”, but make of that what you will.

today’s new york times articles

Sunday, April 21st, 2019

An old debate that predates computers (how much do you incorporate tv into the curriculum, and does the corporate forces that would give you Channel 1 have the best educational interests at heart?)  Willington, Kansas’s education system taken over by the Technological Overlords.   The kids stare at screens all day.  Theoretically are becoming technologically savvy, aren’t they?

Zuckerman builds connections!

May as well note this article about Israli ultra-Orthodox Jews and “technology”.  I’m more amused by the line of a subset of them who object to building Settlements or even a Jewish state, something that shouldn’t be happening “until the Messiah comes about”.  Interesting take, ain’t it?

Moving into the city of Aurora, a paroled former mass killer of something called the “Ripper Gang“.  I hasten to suppose that in the current era where letting inmates out and working against “mass incarceration” is a bi-partisan, if halting, issue that people convicted of taking part in multiple murders — even if they have turned to Christ in the meantime — will be a sore spot.  We are thinking more along the lines of drug possessions and the like, aren’t we?

And the right wing milias on the border, you know… helping out.  Appears to be a later story than the print edition, new developments — the man profiled arrested for about what you’d think as he acts the vigilante — doing the job until the government gets around to building the wall.




Does Bill Weld … matter?

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

George Wallace’s primary in 1964 argued for some troubles in a distant future, Eugene McCarthy in 1968 coaxed Bobby Kennedy in, Ronald Reagan had fun in 1976 as did Teddy Kennedy in 1980 dividing their parties… and Pat Buchanan in 1992 demonstrated a leaky support at one end of his electorate…

Even the Republican challenger to Nixon in 1972 had a Republican constituency to it, bad showing notwithstanding.

We can even point to the odd primary battles Obama faced in 2012 against gadfly progressive bloggers and mullet headed felons in some rust belt as showing up with Bernie Sanders versus Hillary Clinton and then slumping forth to Trump… the erosion of a part of the Democratic base.

The question before us:  Does the primary challenge of Bill Weld… matter?  It’s a tough nut to crack, in terms of finding just what his constituency is — because, ultimately, we’re circling back to mostly a campaign against boorishness and a bit of cronyish behavors…

Is Weld running on free trade — ironically setting himself up against just the thing Pat Buchanan (the last major party candidate challenge to an incumbent that mattered or showed some wobbliness for the incumbent) was running against —

Buchanan sometimes seen as a proto-Trump, his ’92 campaign a show for the future…

The problem with it all is… Trump’s deviations from any Republican Orthodoxy on domestic policy has ended up checked by the Republican Congress critters, and one Mitch McConnell.

Foreign policy hawkishness?  (Never ever talk to North Korea’s depot)  Hell — foreign policy dove-ishness (Rip off the Iranian deal, why do you?)    Maybe

“Insulting our allies, eroding our military alliances abroad, cozying up to dictators—there’s no limit to the damage that can be done.”

After an odd hic-up on “spending” (sure, and we’ll see if there’s a constituency there) … We’re swerve down to immigration.  I guess bringing us back to Bush 2000 and his attempts (successful) at bringing in Hispanic and Latin Americans to the Republican fold.  Reform ICE or displace it.  Perhaps he can hammer out a policy that the Democrats can pluck up.

“Twenty states do permit . . . crossover voting, which is more than a beachhead. I’m looking forward to the campaign.”

Might any Democrat sneak over and throw their hands up at the odd clown car nature of the Democratic primary and tip up Weld’s number to something symbolically embarrassing?  (Of course, the marker there would be George Wallace in 1964 amongst some Michigan Republicans — and that didn’t count for anything much in the general election.)

Other than that, pulling together the slice of the vanished “Never Trump” Republicans into one tent directed to voting for him will be a “we’ll see”.

Next question: after shaping his politics for a play in Libertarian Party politics… is he shape-shifting a bit more again?  (The good news is drug policy has come to be not horribly determinable… though Trump’s “Jeff Sessions” policy had held up the rearguard pretty well.)

a dumb trump tweet here, and the emerging debate

Tuesday, April 16th, 2019

“So horrible to watch the massive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.  Perhaps flying water tankers could be used to put it out. Must act quickly!”

It appears this tweet from the President was deleted.  Judiciously, I suppose, as it was immediately mocked, or corrected: “wouldn’t help.”  My comment upon hearing of Notre Dame’s fire — “Wow.  That’s insane”.  My comment upon hearing about the President’s tweet: “that’s a parody, right?”

Nay.  Of course not.

“I play this game in my head.  President Trump or President Bush –”
“Oh, you mean who said it?”
“No.  I mean, who do I prefer…”
“Oh, god.  Like it’s come to that point where we have that idea.”
“Because, most people right now would say ‘of course President Bush’, but… I don’t know — there’s some areas where I’m vaguely in some aspect in agreement, like –” (hobble to justify my premise) “, or at least in some understanding of how the voters in Wisconsin and rural Michigan voted for him.  And, like… some area of –”
“I understand”
“Some things with an isolationist foreign policy, for instance, if he could ever stick to parts of it, but… But then he goes ahead and blows it.”
“Look.  I’ll say.  Give me a choice Trump versus Bush and I’ll say — Obama, and leave it at that.”
“Or, I end up in accidental agreement.  Like, he comes out and says ‘send the illegal immigrants to the sanctuary cities’, and I’m thinking — ‘yeah.  sounds good.  as opposed to the ice facilities’, but then I think… no f— you for making me agree with you.”