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Algernon Moncrieff

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Member since: Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:49 AM
Number of posts: 5,585

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Mike Davis, California's 'prophet of doom', on activism in a dying world: 'Despair is useless'

The Guardian

What do you think Americans should be doing right now?

Organize as massively as possible: non-violent civil disobedience. Instead of just fighting over environmental legislation in Congress, ending up in a bill that’s as much a subsidy to the auto industry and to fossil fuel as anything else: start sitting-in in the board rooms and offices of the big polluters, all these meetings where the Kochs and other oil producers sit down with Republican politicians.

In 2020, there were massive street protests all over the US, and the world, after the police killed George Floyd. Yet you’ve argued the left in America has surrendered the streets to the far right. Why?

Republicans are doing a splendid job of combining protest movements with electoral politics. It’s not only that Republicans have mastered low-intensity street-fighting, it’s that they’ve also been able to sustain a dialectic between the outside and the inside in a way that progressive Democrats haven’t been able to do.

Both of our kids [the couple’s now 18-year-old twins], all their friends turned out for Black Lives Matter. So much attention was given to the participation of whites in the protests, but I think the most exciting part was the number of new immigrant kids, Latinos, who were in the thick of it. After summer 2020, they kind of became orphans. What to do, where to protest, what to join, how to conceive of the possibility of a life dedicated to struggling for social change – all of that went unanswered.

The base for a more activist, more aggressive, but also more strategic left politics exists. Students in inner-city high schools in California are a sleeping dragon. If you measure things by opinion polls, this generation is more leftwing than the 1930s. A huge number of people under 30 say they’re in favor of socialism or they’re prepared to listen to arguments for socialism. That’s astonishing.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sun Sep 4, 2022, 06:20 PM (8 replies)

Russia suddenly really, really wants to 'protect' Donald Nuclear Secrets Trump


The Daily Beast brings us this one. As a Russian military expert waxed on about his concern that the American "campaign of fomenting hatred" against Trump could lead to his "political assassination" on one of the state's propaganda shows, host and Russian State Duma member Evgeny Popov piped up with one proposed solution:

"We should ask [Russia’s] Federal Security Service to start protecting our Donald."

Whether Popov's plan would involve sending Russian security agents to Florida to "protect" Donald or the scenario would be one in which Donald is spirited away to a Moscow apartment is not clear, and it won't do you much good to ponder it because this is Russian state television, where Duma members come up with wacky plans like this on a daily basis. The first possibility would have Russian special agents volunteering to protect Mar-a-Lago, the place where Donald Trump was keeping state nuclear secrets as personal mementos and the place that FBI agents still can't be 100% sure they've cleared those nuclear documents out of.

The second possibility would have Donald Trump fleeing to Moscow for political asylum, which Russian strongman Vladimir Putin would probably find even more appealing now that he knows Donald might bring along extra-special thank you presents. It's also the plan that would get the most American support. Yeah, by all means—set Donald Trump up with his very own Moscow residence. He likes tall buildings, and he loves balconies.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sat Aug 13, 2022, 01:38 AM (4 replies)

Why the DOJ won't talk about its investigation of Donald Trump


These developments come after Republicans have spent much of the week attacking the DOJ and insisting that it comment on the ongoing investigation. As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in an angry statement implying that the Justice Department is inappropriately keeping important details about this investigation secret, “the country deserves a thorough and immediate explanation of what led to” the search. He added that Garland “should have already provided answers” and “must do so immediately.”

But McConnell, who once served as a deputy assistant attorney general within the Justice Department, almost certainly knows better. The Justice Department has explicit policies and very strong norms that prevent it from speaking publicly about ongoing investigations, and these policies are bolstered by external rules that bind the department’s lawyers. All of these limitations exist for very good reasons. They not only protect the Justice Department’s own investigations, they also protect potential suspects from being disparaged by the government before they are charged with any crime.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Sat Aug 13, 2022, 01:17 AM (5 replies)

Majority don't regret switching jobs during the great resignation


However, CNBC has chosen to focus on the vast minority with regrets.

But not everyone who joined the so-called Great Reshuffle is better off.

More than a quarter — or 26% — of workers who quit regret their decision, according to a recent survey of more than 15,000 job seekers by Joblist, a job-search platform.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Fri Aug 12, 2022, 11:51 AM (5 replies)

Anne Heche is 'not expected to survive,' family says in statement

Source: CNN

(CNN)Anne Heche, who remains hospitalized after crashing her vehicle into a Los Angeles residence last week, is "not expected to survive," according to a statement from her family and friends shared with CNN by a representative.

"Unfortunately, due to her accident, Anne Heche suffered a severe anoxic brain injury and remains in a coma, in critical condition. She is not expected to survive," the statement read. "It has long been her choice to donate her organs and she is being kept on life support to determine if any are viable."

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2022/08/12/entertainment/anne-heche-family-statement/index.html
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Fri Aug 12, 2022, 11:24 AM (10 replies)

Are you buying a MegaMillions ticket (or two) (or more) today?

Yes, it's throwing dollar bills into a wishing well. But I wouldn't mind becoming an instant multimillionaire.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Fri Jul 29, 2022, 01:52 PM (34 replies)

The Nazification of American Education


The mean-spirited, far-right DeSantis and his Republican allies have inverted an insight taken from the renowned, late educator John Dewey who recognized that politics required informed judgments, public dialogue, dissent, critical exchange, judicious discrimination, and the ability to discern the truth from lies. Instead of embracing these democratic elements of education as central to creating citizens with an open mind and with a willingness to engage in a culture of questioning in order to expand and deepen the conditions necessary for a flourishing democracy, DeSantis and the GOP are doing everything they can to remove such practices both from schools and other cultural apparatuses that function as teaching machines. Under such circumstances, DeSantis and the GOP are producing what Dewey claimed amounted to the “eclipse of the public,” which he considered the most serious threat to the fate of democracy.[1] DeSantis has put into place a range of reactionary educational policies. These include banning books and critical race theory, requiring educators sign loyalty oaths, and forcing them to post their syllabus’s online. He has also instituted legislation that restrict tenure and allows students to film faculty classes without consent, and much more. [2]

Not only are these laws aimed at minorities of class and color, but this GOP attack on education is part of a larger war on the very ability to think, question, and engage in politics from the vantage point of being critical, informed, and willing to hold power accountable. More generally, it is part of a concerted effort not only to destroy public education, but the very foundations of political agency.[3] DeSantis poses a dangerous threat to higher education, which he would like to turn into “a dead zone for killing the social imagination, a place where ideas that don’t have practical results go to die and where faculty and students are punished through the threat of force or harsh disciplinary measures for speaking out, engaging in dissent and holding power accountable.”[4] In this case, the attempt to undermine schooling as a public good and democratic public sphere is accompanied by a systemic attempt to destroy the capacity for critical thinking, compassion for others, critical literacy, moral witnessing, support for the social compact, and the civic imagination. DeSantis justifies these acts of repression by claiming that “Florida schools have become socialism factories” and that students at all levels of education should not be subjected to classroom material that would make them uncomfortable.[5] This is code for a pedagogy of repression that revels in deception, kills the social imagination, depoliticizes students, and transforms schools into militarized punishing machines, propaganda factories, and components of the security-surveillance state. In many ways, the GOP and DeSantis approach to education is not unlike what Putin is doing in Russia. As a senior Kremlin bureaucrat, Sergei Novikov, recently put it, Putin’s goal is “impart state ideology to schoolchildren….We need to know how to infect them with our ideology. Our ideological work is aimed at changing consciousness.”[6] Indeed! Max Boot, writing in The Washington Post, argues that DeSantis’ educational policies represent “one of the most alarming assaults on free speech and academic freedom [and reveal] a troubling pattern of authoritarianism and vindictiveness that would be extremely dangerous in the Oval Office.”[7]
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Mon Jul 25, 2022, 09:54 AM (2 replies)

I don't believe the right wing media

Put it on shirts hats and bumper stickers the way the fundies did since the 70s, because the idea of a "liberal media" at this point is a farce.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Thu Jul 21, 2022, 03:43 PM (1 replies)

Daily Kos asks: Why do you think Democrats have had so much trouble winning elections?

They posted the question in their Facebook feed. I post it here.

What do you think?
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Thu Jul 21, 2022, 11:28 AM (42 replies)

Gavin Newsom says Democrats need to 'organize with more ferocity of focus,' put GOP 'on the defense'


When asked about Biden’s low approval ratings, Newsom pivoted and brushed it off to say that both Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron have lower approval ratings than Biden, adding that it’s difficult “these days for anyone in leadership to have more than a 40 to 50%” approval rating. He says people are justifiably angry and frustrated after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, international economic issues, and political strife.

But, Newson added, “You have to recognize what you’re up against, and right now, we're up against the ruthlessness of the Republican Party.

"That's not a cheap shot. You see what's happening to all the progress we've made in the 21st century, all of the rights that we in many ways have taken for granted that had been afforded since the ‘60s, are being rolled back in real-time," Newsom said. "This is a totally different moment." He adds that the Democratic Party needs to "wake up with a different mindset" and go beyond “advancing the collective cause.”

"That's where the party comes in. Democrats need the Democratic Party—not the president, not a speaker … the party, the infrastructure, I think, has to organize with more ferocity of focus, more determination to set the agenda, set the course, and put the other party on the defense," Newsom said. “They are dominating the narrative. The facts are not on their side, but they’re dominating the narrative. And in this world, right now, you dominate the narrative. You win. And that’s what I’m worried about,” he said.
Posted by Algernon Moncrieff | Tue Jul 19, 2022, 11:55 PM (20 replies)
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