Open Menu; feel free to contribute… just about anything


(The last open menu is here; it was getting a bit long in the tooth…)

this is my first contribution that some clever bastard created.  (julian assange had retweeted it.)

51 responses to “Open Menu; feel free to contribute… just about anything

    • it just had to happen, didn’t it? i checked in with brown blaze’s twitter thang to see what was goin’ on with the demouria hogg vigils and protests, and found there is now a #hashtag: #ask rachel. some are side-splitting hilarious.

      I wonder how #RachelDolezal woke up feeling today. It’s her first day not being in blackface for…how many years?

      Elon James White ‏@elonjames · 6h6 hours ago
      “While we appreciate the work #RachelDolezal has done it does not negate the harm that has been caused by her deception.” – NOT the @NAACP

      yah, fdl-ers weighed in; i can’t think middle-class whites have a right to say: ‘it’s all good’.

      • Sadly, I must admit not knowing how to navigate Twitter. I’m a Luddite. FDL-ers? FireDogLake?

        • slow-brained i yam. here’s the wiki page on twitter; ya might scroll to ‘features’ (including what in blue blazes ‘hashtags’’ are) to understand it…a little bit, anyway. it’s a very strange way to communicate: in 140 characters or less, but the social movement folks use it a lot, as do those filming (livestreamng) actions with their camera phones. i’ll read it, too, eventually. ;-)

  1. wow, now that’s some epic solidarity with her (adopted) sisters, isn’t it?

    oof; her mama’s statements were purdy damning. wonder what their history is. er…was anything she claimed about herself the actual factual verifiable truth? poor thing; we hear about things people do because they want to be someone else, but…my stars.

    did you get my invitation to become an author? easy as pie, but only if ya can prove yer hieronymous bosch. or black. ;-)

    i do like a lot of her artwork, though; especially the paper collages.

    • No, didn’t see the invite, but I’d love to. As for my being Bosch or black, I don’t understand the question.

      • ah, i was havin’ some self-identity fun at miz. dolezal’s expense. hmmm; i just checked, and you’re not actually registered here, as i’d assumed cuz you have an avatar. but email me at, and i’ll walk you through it.

        i should have remembered you’d not likely know fdl is indeed firedoglake. many of us are refugees from there, or in many cases, the readers diaries portion that’s gone now: my firedoglake. anyway, here’s the discussion.
        twitter: i am not a member, but keeping track of the social movement actions almost requires being able to navigate it. many of the messages come with photos and images, too, and can bring an immediacy to a thread featuring them.

  2. an odd one: “Obama quest for fast-track trade bill on ice in House

    the trade adjustment ‘assistance’ part of the bill failed. the FTA passed, meaning er…monday they’ll try to twist bribe enough arms on both side of the aisle to…either do something or not.

    whoa, the media and twittersphere are going wild on the white naacp woman. man, it must suck to be her right now.

    i did get a boot outta this one: “McDonald’s McDogfood just hired former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs”

    “McDonald’s is trying to revive business after six straight quarters of same-store sales declines in the US.” If ya can sell most of the public obama bullshit, surely ya can sell 6 billion more burgers!

    • I’m confused – I thought Nancy Pelosi was whipping for passage. She came out with the plan to fail it by failing the trade adjustment assistance part. Big block of Dems did that by not voting for something they were supposed to like.

      Your point is well taken, wendye, but what is up with Nancy?

      • whooosh. well, i can’t speak for nancy, but what seems to be operative now is that she and other ‘progressive’ (?) dems figured that since both parts of the bill had to pass, killing what some (ahem) journalists call the dems’ sacred cow (TAA) would make defeating the FT authority bill altogether.

        here’s where it gets pretty strange theater for the dem base:

        “First, Democrats balked at the Senate’s proposal to cover part of the $2.9 billion cost of trade adjustment assistance by trimming future reimbursements to Medicare providers by some $700 million. GOP leaders agreed to replace the Medicare savings with something that looks like a gimmick — increased enforcement of tax laws — as part of a separate bill. But prodded by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), Democrats voted en masse against the trade adjustment portion of the package anyway as a way to stymie the TPA.

        “Our people would rather have a job than trade adjustment assistance,” Pelosi said on the House floor, glossing over the fact that the program is designed to help people obtain jobs. “If TAA fails, the fast-track bill is stopped. … I will be voting against the TAA to get a better deal for the American people.”

        now, that framing to my mind is just plain wrong: it’s not the lost jobs that make the ttp, tafta, and tisa ‘agreements’ so hideous: it’s the global corporate grabs, and the fact that the lowest common denominators in any of the signatory nations’ protections, regulations, etc. can be mooted out of hand. that, and of course the investor state provisions.

        but, here’s what pelosi had tried to finagle *instead* to sweeten the pot, so to speak:

        “After their defeat, GOP leaders did not second-guess their strategy. And they scoffed at suggestions from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that the fast-track package be linked to a highway funding measure.

        House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) opposition to TAA will make it harder for President Obama and his trade allies to persuade Democrats. Pelosi said that holding firm on TAA now will yield Democrats a more favorable trade package.”

        she’s been quoted more directly saying the highway bill (bridges, too) would create X number of jobs, etc. dunno if that’s to schmooze the big union bosses, ‘the anti-FTA base’ or what, but again: the TAA may have been the expensive failure republicans call it, and *jobs* should not be the main topic of contention, imo.

        but that all makes her look like she/they are in search of *a better and kinder FTA* to me.

        on edit: upon reflexion, TISA is about jobs, especially federal delivery services: i.e. the post office over fedex and USP, neither of the *unionized*, heh.

  3. Came across this at the local library. Thought some folks here might be interested in reading it.
    Elaine Scarry, Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing between Democracy and Doom

    The Constitution requires a Congressional declaration of war
    Nuclear weapons violate the Second Amendment requirement for authorization by the citizenry
    The social contract is a covenant for peace.
    The social contract and the double brakes on injury.
    Consent and the body
    Thinking in an emergency
    Against us all

    Closing point:

    At the close of the Second Treatise of Government (in the chapter examining the legitimate grounds for rebellion), Locke quotes a memorable observation about one of history’s tyrants: “And of Caligula…he wisht that the people had but one neck, that he might dispatch them all at a blow.” Nuclear weapons and the highly practiced arrangements for their use have made Caligula’s wish come true: the people of earth now have but one neck and can be dispatched all at a blow. It does not matter that the thermonuclear monarchs who preside over us today are ordinarily much nicer people than Caligula, for ti is the nuclear architecture itself that literalizes and monumentalizes Caligula; the individual personalities of our monarchs, and the always amusing differences among them, are at best a temporary check on a vast structure of cruelty that stands ready to be used. It is national monarchs, not terrorists, who have put this in place and readied it for use, whether by themselves or by stateless actors. And its it these colossal structures of illegitimate nongovernance that must be dismantled.

    Some will say that the two constitutional provisions presented here–Article I, Section 8, clause 11, and the Second Amendment–are not the best tools for dismantling thermonuclear monarchy. To this I say: if these tools look inadequate, it is only because they are at present lying unused on the ground. They will become very great tools once human hands pick them up and use them. We should use whatever tool can best accomplish the dismantling. If there is a better tool, please tell us what it is, and help us to see how to use it.

    I think this is worth read, if I can ever get into it. I also think that the use of drones has extended monarchy into arbitrary power over each individual life on earth. Playing God, deciding every Tuesday who shall live and who shall die.

    • bless miz scarry. this made my eyes well with tears (how could it not for people with any moral compass and formerly abiding trust in the rule of law?):

      “To this I say: if these tools look inadequate, it is only because they are at present lying unused on the ground. They will become very great tools once human hands pick them up and use them.”

      in a slightly different direction:

      “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”

      ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.) Roman Statesman, Speech in the Roman Senate 58 BC

      yes, indeed; terror tuesdays are prime examples of both treason within and constitution abuse writ large.

      also, new commenter/author jacob freeze added to your david harvey essay.

      yah, well, dunno if gibbs did or not, but mcDogfood is convinced he has the gift. ;-)

      on edit: i keep forgetting to ask if you’ like to be able to author diaries here; if so, registration seems to be required first, then it’s ticketty-boo from there on.

  4. Gibbs couldn’t, and he can’t.

  5. With other things going on in RL, long form has gotten short shrift recently. Although my comments turn out longer than expected. I’ll register when this situation changes. It’s a time and attention issue at the moment.

    • any time. it’s also quite hard to imagine spending loads of effort on posts that don’t have much reach into the world at large, such as this site. i dunno if you can compose essays on your facebook and get them out and about that way but i expect it might be possible. and this sites seems destined to be limited in features, such as better commenting forms, etc. the bidness upgrade only adds more bandwidth, and that’s not a great thing for the cost. big additions require outside servers, as you likely know already.

      so this just may be it: a boutique blogging site. ;-) ‘we are small, but we are doughty!’

  6. Well, we’d better STOP the BarBarack FastRacketeers! Cut the TPP OFF TOJObama’s Grater EastAsia Co-Austerity $pear!! And if Billary’s allowed to keep ducking TPP, we’re in for their depraved Destitutional Duarchy in the wake of its inevitable vitiation of US’ sovereignty!!!

  7. dunno what more ‘we’ can do; it’s in the critters’ and grifters hands by now. one of my senators got $53,000 for his yes to fast track vote.

  8. Jeff Kaye continues to earn his keep. Untangles the lies around the McCain-Feinstein bill that supposedly reins in CIA and DoD torture.

    • yes, he does, and more, as does jason leopold. scahill? well…

      which statesman or philosopher advised us that no law should be devised without the crafters and (eventual) consenters imagining that they will one day be on the receiving end of it?

      well, i might wish… okay, one love only goes so far in one’s (at least my) imagination. feinstein is simply vicious, but mccain: does he want revenge for having been tortured? he certainly hasn’t learned the *right* lessons from that experience, imo.

      lies. yes; an abominable nation of liars. again: the traitors within. and i’m remebering the NYT concern-trolling piece that eventually got to speaking of brennan worrying that obama was about to put the cia out of the torture business. but they hatched a plan that made *short term renditions* to torture sites around the globe…okey dokey. ipso facto: ‘we don’t torture’.

      in fact, that may have been the piece that announced ‘terror tuesdays’, as in: ‘oh, the poor beleaguered president’. dang, it’s a shame our diaries disappeared with ‘the change’ at fdl. i kept some here (not that, i expect), but i wonder if you and others did. your oeuvre was important.


    “Supporters of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa have gathered in the Plaza Grande, in the capital of Quito to welcome the President and give a show of support to the Citizen’s Revolution, which has been under a steady attack by wealthy right-wing opposition supporters.”

    • whooosh; so much like what’s been going on in venezuela over the past year. will obama declare ecuador a threat to US national security next? and human rights call out his administration for: (socialism)?

      i saw yesterday that evo morales had told the IMF to kiss his grits (but in a very polite way, of course. anti-neoliberalism an anti-capitalism on the march!

  10. AS to the TPPA, and with the exception of 15 Democrats in the House favoring a pro-trade agenda, the majority of the Democrats have learned that “trade” in the form of NAFTA and CAFTA, have cost America millions of jobs over these many years. Consequently, there is no “platform” among the neo-liberal Democrats in the House to advance Trade.

    • well, from my links and quotes waaay up yonder, it’s not what pelosi says; they want input on a *better deal*. i saw a headline that O and the R’s want to postpone a new vote until the end of july. dunno if that means they won’t just take it to conference with the senate, which bill does contain trade adjustment assistance language, for what that’s worth.

      but beyond tisa, i don’t think that even the prez or congress think this is about trade *or jobs*. given the leaked portions, clearly it’s just a corporate capitalist power grab for the elites, and a race to bottom for every day people…and the planet.

      but for bruce: i hate presidential politics, esp. so early on, but miz hillary finally took a stand: a lemonade stand! ;-)

      “Hillary Clinton on trade deal dividing Democrats: ‘Let’s make lemonade'”

      yes, yes, and bernie sanders finally mentioned…well, this…on june 13, according to james at KOS:

      “Yesterday, Bernie spoke about issues of mass incarceration and police brutality in Des Moines, Iowa. He highlighted the grotesque statistic that America incarcerates more citizens than China, as well as called for the demilitarization of local police forces and for law-breaking cops to be held accountable. He was also explicit in declaring that lethal force should only be used in extreme cases.”

      after noting that some think sanders is afraid to talk about race…. ;-)


    What the heck does this mean?

    “At the same time, the share of children born outside of marriage now stands at 41%, up from just 5% in 1960.”

  12. well,according to the commenters (in the main) the reasons are:

    amerikans are increasingly: godless socialists, promiscuous gay-and-minority-lovers due to the ’60s wildness and ‘feminism’, given more food stamps for having more ‘illegitimate chirren’, don’t take wedding vows seriously, amoral, feckless, and causing urban blight. but we are to rest assured that god’s plan for traditional nuclear two-hetero family plan is NOT irrelevant, and that the cleavers and ozzie and harriet are alive, just hiding in the soup waiting for paul ryan to become president. then: all will be well, so don’t worry, jacob. ;-).

  13. “Twenty-four kayaking protesters were removed from the water by the Coast Guard, as Shell’s massive drilling rig left Seattle on Monday morning to explore for oil in Arctic waters off Alaska.” (june 15)

    they were fined and released, and said they’d been treated well by the coast guard. their next planned protest was cancelled due to horrid weather. stay tuned.

    ‘obama approved arctic drilling on the same day as US spun coverups before the UN’ (abuses of native americans and the environment) censored news.

  14. Given that Wendy’s post from above on the pre-supposed “irresponsibility” of Americans and as espoused by the Right, I just couldn’t resist to this “pile-on” and done from a differing direction. Therefore, Enjoy!

    Tlatelolco’s “indigenous” Tax Policy That’s Pays-Off Our National Debt

    After having spent these past fifteen years of writing a regular political column for Native American and Chicano military vets, my well-honed skill set for writing satire, has much to be desired, in this instance, given that I am a much-maligned Optimist.

    Consequently, the 1980’s Libertarian Party “agenda” still remains with us despite five differing Presidents, and yet, all these Presidents will be fully recognized as conservatives by America’s historians of the future.

    And with this in mind, permit me to add a tad of satire to today’s political context and content whenever the Republicans and Democrats decide to address their Responsibility and Duty for defending America’s population from the obvious and anticipated Descent Into Poverty, for our mostly 300 million citizen-souls.

    And for those among us, our invaluable readers, and are not overly familiar with much of our Indigenous history or of our ever-present history and aptly recognized as the Chicano Movement—from here in the Sonoran Desert. In short, Tlatelolco is pronounced as “Fla-te-lol-co” and perhaps your attention will be drawn to the rest of this Commentary, and you will come away with the notion of “Fla-te-loco” and which is equivalent to the Libertarian Party’s continued aspiration for either a Flat Tax or No Tax Whatsoever.

    To wit, the Libertarians are being ‘written out” of any comprehensive history and you only need to ask a Republican and s/he will share this like-minded ambition. However and here in the Arizona, the Libertarian Party no longer exists, given that the Republicans in the State Legislature have
    accomplished its euphemistic immaculate birthing and accurately recognized as more “voter suppression” and for which has now been visited on and which will lead to the eventual demise of the Libertarian Party, writ large. As such, the former Libertarians have, for many years, been misguided Republicans and “will be coming home!” in the next election cycle.

    Therefore, we are anticipating a National Discussion on the Nation’s Debt, and yet, we are ever-hopeful that this Discussion does take place and there from, we are well-prepared for this national discussion.

    And from this standpoint, we project that our standardized behavior for being the much-maligned Optimist, will hold us in good stead and we Win The Day. Unfortunately, the Neo-liberals will “call” for this national discussion, but like President Bill Clinton’s call for a National Discussion on Race, he failed to show-up and yet, we did.

    Consequently, the European American “dicta” of “I don’t care…I’ll be dead… So what’s your point?” will rear its ugly head again and which will continue unabated into today’s political context and content or until we, the “racial and ethnics” become the overwhelming “majority” of the Progressives in our America. And after that, Telling the Truth and Shaming the Devil, comes full force. And yes, the former Army Rangers will be held in reserve and are not expected to be utilized.


    • oof, i just googledy-binged ‘Tlatelolco’, and read briefly of the 1968 massacre there; heinous, and it mirrors some of what’s going on there as we speak.

      but yes, your play on words is fun. i don’t reckon i know who’s a libertarian, a tea person, or any of that, to say the truth. as i’d understood it, there are several sorts of libertarians…including those who want to end the fed, end military adventures, legalize drugs to end the drug war and mass incarceration, etc. but that the party has evaporated in AZ is interesting.

      is that the key issue among your chicano vet friends: the national debt? but oy, isn’t the projected date for minorities reaching a population demographic of 51% even post-2045? (well, what the hell’ i’ll be dead, lol.)
      but more power to your optimism that the racial and ethnics will bring a better world, jaango. but as chéPasa was just noting on the #baltimoreuprising thread, it’s the entire *system* that needs replacing. ;-)

  15. Only a distaff Destitutional DieNasty would promote TPP as the main ingredient in concocting lemonade! For Chelsea (and consequently Charlotte)s’ sake, its prolly better Killery didn’t stay home and bake brownies (they may have had excessive e. coli content)!! Perhaps there IS a reason for ‘po-po’ “caution” against selling such home-brew on US’ streets!!! (Depends on what the definition of IS is; for $3 Billary)

    • yeah, i’d seen the lemonade stand bust somewhere else.

      but breaking: ‘US House passes standalone fast track bill’ they blew off the TAA, and will send their stand-alone to conference committee. (the senate version does have TAA language, dunno how much lucre allegedly involved, but i know a total of ONE person who was ‘retrained’ and actually got another job. seems it’s a silly way to go, really. what jobs? walmart greeter does take some know-how, but….

      • Maybe it doesn’t matter, wendye. Techtonic plates are shifting and just perhaps fast track/schmartz track. I just was over at rt following through the end of a Saint Petersburg economic forum live – moderated by Charlie Rose would you believe? (He was his nasty self of course, but Putin made the points.) I then scrolled through the two days of ‘live notes’ – very much was no doubt left out by rt, as I could tell after watching the couple of hours I did get truly live. Loved audience facial expressions and enthusiasm. Charlie did not win friends, but he was never booed, (which he did deserve.) Bravo, civilized world.

        Then I checked – complete whiteout, no comments or opinion pieces. Eerie.

        There’s a meeting between Putin and Tsipras to come today -they’ve already agreed to the pipeline through Greece.

        • naked capitalism is up now. i dunno how this hideous corporate deal works out, myownself. guess it’s in the hands of the senate conference committee for now. and any other potential signatory nations who might either pull out altogether, or make side deals with froman, damn, it would signal the death knells for the global rabble and middle classes! and the planet, of course.

          by the by, firestone’s piece at NC has the TAA figures all wrong, although it’s of small consequence, really, in the end. even he knows it’s a fig leaf from dems, in the end.

          yes, the guardian had the meeting between putin and tsipris, as well as a piece on the ECB giving greece enough funds to *maybe* allow banks to open on monday (the bank runs have been that bad).

          putin’s playing it close to the vest on possible loans to greece ahead of any profits post-2015 (?) pipeline completion. tsipris said something close to: “Yeah, we’re in the middle of a hella storm, but then, we live near the sea, so…”

          and yes, charlie rose is a schmuck. but at least he’s quite high on himself. ;-)

  16. Before I post what I came here for, wendye, let me just say you have made this a wonderful people-friendly site, and I haven’t yet read your latest post, but going as I know you do on sheer stamina alone, kudos to you for this accomplishment!

    Here’s my latest encouraging interview from the Real News – I won’t be around in 2045 I don’t think (will be quite a surprise if I am) but this is going to affect us all even before then, and it so makes sense.

    • bless your heart, and you’re very welcome, juliania. thank the goddess i won’ t be here by 2050, either, (and damn i hate to rain on parades) but what the hawaiian guests don’t say, is that neither will the polar ice caps, meaning a rise in ocean levels that will put massive numbers of islanders and low-liers into diaspora. it’s as it always has been: too little, too late, barring some sort of magic that can turn poison into medicine. mind you, it’s not that i don’t think that massive intentional prayers or thoughts by way of collective consciousness *couldn’t* produce the effects to neutralize what’s already been written (given the ppm that exist already). i have notes for a Water diary along those arguably silly lines that i keep putting off because other issues that seem to take precedence.

      but yes even small bits of Good News, or at least Better News can urge us toward some modicum of hope in the meantime, i reckon.

      and were it not for all of you who visit the café, feel welcome enough to add your two cents, links, and comments, it wouldn’t be a place worth creating posts, especially given its limited reach. and i’ve even enabled those social networking thingies, just in case! ;-)

      on edit: more to the point: if not for all of you, i’d just be here talkin’ to myself.

      • On that collective consciousness theme, here’s a short (yay) article on Pope Francis’s encyclical that has some amusing sidenotes – embellished in the Salon piece at Note 3. If I didn’t know that great minds think alike I might accuse the pontiff of stealing my own harangue that ‘dominion’ doesn’t mean ‘domination’.


        The Real News has some good conversation on the encyclical as well, but that’s enough link drops for today maybe.

        What stuck in my mind from the Hawaii bit was the Stanford guy’s explanation that electrification was the way to proceed – electrification of everything. He gave the example of 80% vs 20% wastage of the actual energy comparing oil to electric, with the latter channeling in solar, wind, and thermal. No nuclear, which I liked very much.

        I think there’s a Jewish saying:- It couldn’t hurt.

        • i’ll try to read it, ww; it’s just that with my online time, i’m usually collecting links for possible diaries, and following leads that often take me far afield from the original subject. but here is a piece that is a bit in dissent about the conventional thrill over the pope’s encyclical. i haven’t but scanned it, either… note: NOT homework, lol. and cool on you and the pope and great minds…

          yes, those numbers brought to bear looked good, but i know so little about it all. i invited a friend in toronto who’s worked on renewable energy for decades to come post here, but i have no clue if a site this wee could even tempt him.

  17. “Nothing in this world is indifferent to us,” says Pope Francis. As a moral ideal, this is very uplifting I guess, but the typical US citizen is indifferent to almost everything except his or her car/TV/cellphone.

    Who cares? It can be a real question, and the answer is usually “nobody.”

  18. About time, and good on the majority: ‘ Gay marriage declared legal across the US in historic supreme court ruling’

    With 5-4 ruling in Obergefell v Hodges, the justices determine the right to marriage equality falls under equal protection clause of 14th amendment

  19. Today I’m inspired by this:

    Good on you, Michael Hudson.

    Yes, lots to read and only one pair of eyes – at least there’s two of them.

    • oh, my. it is long, but he has been an inspirational economist, cutting right through the fog and bullshit of the troika. good on him, and i will try to read rather than scan. so greece will hold a referendum on the offered ‘deal’, eh?

  20. Well, I did have a look at the Andy Stewart piece.

    “. . .Almost every issue that the popular media claims to be a ‘major groundbreaking utterance’ from Pope Francis in reality is just a re-iteration of Catholic dogma and theology, glamorized with a steady dose of sensationalism, American media gloss, and plain stupidity. . .”

    I’m not sure why he’s so angry. Of course the ‘popular media’ goes for sensationalism and all the rest. Bad on them. The pope was just doing what popes usually do, write encyclicals and proclaim them. And of course this would be composed of Catholic teachings (Orthodox ones as well, by the way.) But indeed some rightwing Catholics did get in a tizzy about it, especially the ones denying global warming, so it was rather an important piece of writing, and a beautiful one at that.

    I did earlier comment that I thought the pope was too kind to genetic modification in lumping it together with plant improvements of a traditional sort. That I would attribute to ignorance rather than stupidity. But Mr. Stewart isn’t homing in on anything that Francis actually said in the encyclical, so I think his statements can be taken as a general ad hominem attack.

    I do have differences with the pope. I’m not Catholic. And neither are you, wendye, so you don’t need to read the encyclical; it is indeed very long. I read somewhere he was working on it even before being elected, so it’s not just a spur of the moment utterance. And because people listen to him, I’d far rather he be right on this issue than not.

    • why he’s so angry [On edit: maybe more frustrated, given all the hype] (and yes, you almost forced me to read the piece): his reasons are legion. not only that his encyclical was rather old, but that he still couldn’t bring himself to soften birth control and anti-abortion (even in the case of rape and incest) for the believers, obviously the fewer on earth needing energy resources the better.

      never mind cardinal spellman’s close relationship with the hideous homophobic but crazed anti-commnist nutter gay ray cohn (he died of aids from unprotected sex, and *had presidents on speed dial!*), but then skip to the pope’s essential defense of free market capitalism, while…kinda equivocating. there’s more, but i can see why he’s irked, esp. stirring in argentina and his reported failures.

      it may be because so many think he is indeed a liberation theologist that stewart is calling out how far from the truth that is.

      no, i’m not catholic, nor one whit religious, so the pope’s words mean as little to mean as obama’s, save for the fact that they matter to many.

  21. But dear wendye, this is the pope, not cardinal spellman (I’m sorry don’t know that story, just as well for me.) I don’t think he does defend free market capitalism – the last encyclical was clearly against the corporate mindset, not equivocal at all.

    I agree, I don’t think this was about liberation theology at all – it was about care for the earth and the priority that has to be given considering what a bad state humans have made of it. Very much in line with what our native people have been so forcefully saying about their homes.

    He will, practically speaking, be a leader that has basic spiritual views he is not going to forswear. He was elected for those. That’s far different from Obama whose spiritual views ought to be in line with American Constitutional values – he was elected for that – but aren’t. We share the earth with so many different worlds of the spirit inhabited by good thinking people! (Obama is not one of those – he seems to have no spiritual values.)

    [Part One]


  22. I went looking, because I was curious, for what would be Buddhist values about the marriage issue, for example. I found that as marriage is considered in Buddhism a secular feature, something accorded to Caesar as we might say, they are fine with the laws of a society as it is decided in each society. That accords somewhat with my view so I was happy with that. Yet, Tibetan Buddhism has one of its precepts forbidding homosexuality. That means those within that particular faith community ought not practise homosexuality – at least, it is a precept which means something you try to live up to but it is up to you. It’s not a law; it’s a definition of best practice as that faith understands it.

    There are different spiritual societies. They have much in common, and when these different leaders promote a common good for all, they are to be honored for doing that, it seems to me. I’m always impressed that the Dalai Lama respects other spiritual societies – if one is a member of such a society, one is bound to honor the precepts, the values it teaches as best practice, so long as those values are not harmful to others. (And I would say as long as love is the motivating factor – he might say compassion.)

    For those who want a different kind of pope – well, make your own, elect your leader and follow that leader. Practise your spirituality as you want to do. And find common ground with those who think differently, because common ground will be there just waiting to be plowed, seeded, a harvest for all.

    [Part Two]

  23. Here is a passage from the encyclical dealing with free markets:

    “. . .some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase. In the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us. . .”

    [Part Three]

  24. you are definitely on a roll on this subject, juliania. all i can say is that yes, he criticized trickle down economics, but the liberal crowds went wiiiiild! when christine lagarde admitted it’s not working so very well for other thn the 1%.

    and it seems that you do agree with stewart that Francis is not a liberation theologist; would that he were, and he’s been ‘accused’ of it. it originally was a poor people’s marxist movement in the global south, and a very decentralized form of catholic governance, okay, he is not, nor hs he developed into one. you say he cannot do so, but i don’t know about that, myownself.

    but what i can say is that for him to care so much about the stewardhip of the planet, and *not* back away from the church edicts against birth control or abortion (if stewar is correct bout that) , even in those dire cases, is akin to:

    the sainted mother theresa…who…oh,saints be praised, nursed the dying in AIDS hospices while still holding fast to church doctrine against condoms. think how effective condoms are in aids prevention, then think if she might have, should have, done so. in either case are Francis and (then) Theresea, ‘promoting a common good for all’? especially when the pope said not long ago: “it is selfish of people not to have children?

    are you anticipating francis condemning the scotus ruling allowing gay marriage, then? ah, well, we aren’t likely to ever see eye to eye on this issue, ww, and not only because i would chafe under male authoritarian rule of any sort. ;-)

    on edit: but i will say that he’s a breath of fresh air, especially compared to Ratzinger.

  25. juliania; fred leatherman says at FDL that ‘Bernie Sanders will benefit from Pope Francis’s encyclical on climate change’

    seems as though bernie is ‘the progressive’ choice.

  26. I don’t know whether the pope is a liberation theologist, wendye – I was just saying the encyclical didn’t go into those areas, though it did indeed talk about indigenous peoples rights to continue traditional ways and expertise to husband the land. I always think of the liberation folk as more on the front line of community advocacy against government incursions – the encyclical presents theological argument in harmony with scientific earth care and in harmony with all who are working to heal the planet.

    No hidden motive on the gay marriage issue – I thought I was agreeing the state is perfectly within its rights to make that legal, meant to anyway. Render unto caesar, that sort of thing.

    According to the Guardian, Naomi Klein has been invited for Vatican discussions on climate.

    • i asked because you brought up homosexuality and gay marriage out of the blue, so i thought you were anticipating..something. but in any event, i did run into a headline saying that not long ago he had said something like “who am i to judge?” (gays and lesbians). i’d got t thinking that so many are lauding him for sincerely understanding the *science* of climate change, and i began to hope that he might look into the *science* of being homosexual and/or transgender. it’s out there, and to me, ‘acting on it’ (or not) misses the point by a million miles. but that’s a much longer discussion, not part of his admonitions to treat the earth with the respsect it’s due (and i did see the ‘dominion over’ v. ‘domination of’ theme….somewhere along the way. yes to that, even if i don’t subscribe to either. ;-)

      yes, i’d seen the headline that he had “recruited her” (funny choice of words, yes?), but as he is, she is a capitalist *reformer*, and they may just do quite well together. but he does seem to have made a major splash with his encyclical, as did naomi klein with her ‘this changes everything book: capitalism vs. the climate. loads of folks on the left hoped that it was a clarion call to socialism, but…it was not. not a populist book, from the reviews i’d read.

      now, back to greece, and boy, do i wish syriza well, and the everyday people there.

  27. All my chores done, tears streaming down my face.
    52 days in [one day off + two days hardly worked outside my cell] –
    Approaching completion of a stage of transformation.
    YESterday i learned Chris Squire has died.
    In .
    A simple bass lead by Chris Squire…

    Self-taught bass player, who in many ways created the prog rock genre,
    The only player to be in every Yes abum and tour.
    [except one tour before the current Yes-Toto tour.]
    An inspiration to Geddy Lee [front 1/3 of Rush], and as
    Rolling Stone says one of the two best rock bassists ever.
    Now both John Entwhistle and Chris Squire have passed over.
    It is long past time to …

  28. I confess i’d never known of Squires or Yes, lemoyne, but i am so sorry for your pain, and that the man died of such a wretched disease.

    but above and beyond that, i’m not understanding your short but very dark narrative of your recent life, although “Approaching completion of a stage of transformation” sounds as though you must be turning poison into medicine in some form of personal alchemy. Or at least i hope that’s the case.

    p.s. i’d made a more recent Open Menu the other day.

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