morning 02.12.17

Stop comparing Trump to foreign leaders. He’s a distinctly American phenomenon. All true. It’s the Hugo Chávez comparisons that are the most maddening. Yes, Chávez was despotic, populist, kinda corrupt, but as Johnson points out, it’s whose interests Chávez served that make him an entirely different creature. The same goes for Huey Long. When the press throws around the label of populism instead of fascism, they’re deliberately obfuscating. Huey Long was distinctly American, but unlikely the also very American Trump, it’s the interests Long served that made Long what he is. How tyranny is used matters. Trump does not serve the working poor and the oppressed. Never forget that.

Leader of Spain’s Podemos party re-elected in resounding win. I haven’t kept track of Podemos closely, but Pablo Iglesias has seemed good to me. It’s not time to work within the system anywhere. It’s designed to smother (genuine) reforms. Taking to the streets matters. This is why people turning up at all of the town halls in the U.S. are scaring the fuck out of elected officials right now. I wish that the American left had someone in his generation as prominent.

A new, liberal tea party is forming. Can it last without turning against Democrats? This headline is dumb. It’s not liberal. Hell, it’s unclear yet who some of these people are. Most of the normal Democrats I’ve connected with on Facebook despise Pelosi and Schumer. There is almost as much rage and disgust for the Democratic Party as for Republicans. Many are still addicted to the Daddy Obama narrative, but that could die down once they realize he’s not riding in on a white horse. Quite a few other protesters are leftists, but some of the people showing up at these town halls are actual conservatives who are already feeling betrayed. The Chaffetz town hall proves that.  This is why Schumer and Pelosi hate this. There is a re-alignment underway. I’m cheering for socialism, but who knows if it will prevail. Regardless, it feels like liberal and conservative brands are exhausted.

I stumbled onto this through a decent blog I follow that debunks pseudo-history. He’s a brilliant guy who is well-versed on a wealth of unhinged fringe shit that I love to wallow in, but he gave away the game the time by a few assertions about “leftist” politics. He’s probably a libertarian New Atheist of some kind. It’s great how mad they get at the idea of an older Great Sphinx. I’d disagree with John Anthony West in that anthropologists and climatologists are moving back the dates on quite a few things quite nicely. Science isn’t corrupted, just some smug old assholes who refuse to adapt their original theses. There was no Golden Age. It was a long slog of expansion and contraction. I’ll concede that. Sometimes fringe people stumble onto some good ideas through very questionable methods. Anyway, I’ll listen to any old kooky person talking about Gurdjieff and Schwaller de Lubicz if I have the time.

 

Podemos statement in support of Greece

When it comes to money and finance, I’m a clueless shit. It’s not something that bothers me, as it’s designed that way. It’s a secret society designed to fleece ordinary citizens. Yesterday, I was baffled at the breathless, one-sided coverage on NPR in the car on the financial crisis in Greece. All I could remember was Greece was one of the countries that was screwed over most in the economic crash of 2008. Why is all of the coverage talking about Greek corruption and incompetence, casting the creditors as incredibly patient and compassionate? How does that work? I’d been following other news stories too closely and once at work, I was too busy to debunk the bullshit I’d been hearing. NPR always skews its reporting in the favor of banks, so I should have known the score instantly.1

Verso Books has a statement from Podemos standing in solidarity with Greece. Aha. I figured as much, but I greatly appreciate the story being broken down into concepts my brain understands, about democracy, not finance-speak gobbledegook.

Why the hell these munificent creditors are trying to squeeze blood from a stone, while the people who pillaged Greece in the first place are still working for the banks, collecting obscenely inflated bonuses, is absurd.

 

  1. The only exception to the incessant chatter of how austerity is the only sane path I heard was some human interest anecdotes, interviews with pensioners. []