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Dec. 24

Dec. 22

70 responses to “open menu

  1. wd says that she forgot to say, “please feel free to contribute as you will.”

  2. mr. wd has kindly allowed to use his laptop when he doesn’t need it; i did finally remember my password here. his ain’t user-friendly for me, but i’ve been trying to tweak it a bit. for now, though, allow me to add a few items that may or may not be of interest to you:

    Dec. 27

    I, Hillary Rodham Clinton: Haiti’s Pay-to-Play IHRC‘, sept 19, dady chery

    Forget Haiti’s Zombie Vote: Form Unity Government‘; dady chery dec. 27

    The Final Obama Doctrine: Racking Up the Body Count‘, edward hunt, dec. 26

    (keep an airsick bag at hand, esp. when followed by the following:)

    Journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates’ love letter to Barack Obama‘,

    (keep a clean airsick bag at hand; iirc, there is One sentence i disagree with)

  3. Journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates’ love letter to Barack Obama
    Definitely barf bag material! I couldn’t finish reading it.
    This is a guy who packed up his family and moved to France because he feared for his black son’s lives.
    I’m so fucking fed up with Americans and their fucked up critical thinking abilities (they don’t have any) (present company excepted).
    Sorry, but I actually admired that guy for his independence and self exiling his family; and then this tripe.
    Here’s another lovely missive about the wonderfulness of the coming life in the U.S.;

    Fortunately; I’ll likely win the death bet in time to miss the worst.
    I live here under a military junta with far less fear, than a Usian in the U.S..

    • mornin’, v. first off, the word ‘patriot‘ makes me nervous as hell, and i have zero sympathy for the bundys and other sagebrush rebellionistas who want the federally protected areas of the US to be given back to the states to sell, rape, pillage, and plunder in the name of profit.

      but the trend zero hedge sees is correct, and of course their site was on the PropOrNot List. but one of the worst blowbacks of all the ‘this election was hacked by the roosians leading to the red queens’ loss’ is that the BS is actually taking hold not only within the federal government, but in social networking as well. one yuuuuge scourge is that O signed the new ndaa during the holidays, and within it is an official okey-dokey of rob portman and chris murphy’s “counter propaganda” bill into law (a bipartisan effort, of course). now the foreign anti-prop part is hideous enough, but section two on the domestic front is simply staggering. a snippet:

      “Second, the legislation seeks to leverage expertise from outside government to create more adaptive and responsive U.S. strategy options. The legislation establishes a fund to help train local journalists and provide grants and contracts to NGOs, civil society organizations, think tanks, private sector companies, media organizations, and other experts outside the U.S. government with experience in identifying and analyzing the latest trends in foreign government disinformation techniques. This fund will complement and support the Center’s role by integrating capabilities and expertise available outside the U.S. government into the strategy-making process. It will also empower a decentralized network of private sector experts and integrate their expertise into the strategy-making process.”

      the ‘foreign state’ section is pretty much all intel agencies plus usaid (CIA), tra la la.

      facebook: “Facebook has announced plans to partner with a list of establishment media outlets, along with the Soros backed International Face-Checking Network, (IFCN) to help them determine what is and isn’t fake news.

      As Breitbart noted, “IFCN is hosted by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. A cursory search of the Poynter Institute website finds that Poynter’s IFCN is openly funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundations as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, and the National Endowment for Democracy”

      The publicly stated goal of the plan by Facebook is to use these so-called fact checking agencies to help determine if a news story is fake which would then lead it to be flagged as disputed with “a link to the corresponding article explaining why. Stories that have been disputed may also appear lower in News Feed.”

      and google-schmidt we know only too well from assange’s “when google met wikileaks” and “google is not what it seems”. i reckon you’ve seen them and i don’t need to ‘google’ (lol) to find them?

      coates and obama love: ay yi yi. i ♥ war criminals when they’re my own! never mind how far he f’ed over the black underclass during his eight years…

  4. Princess Leia died! if another of my pop heroes goes the way of all flesh, say, the lead singer for Night Ranger, what’s his name, i think i’m going to lose it.

    Princess Leia died, not Carrie Fischer, right? I grew up immersed in the original trilogy as a kid and can now blame George Lucas & Disney for ruining my childhood w/the prequels, reboots, etc., all recycling some blah blah blah whatever about the Death Star. You know that Hollywood stars dying off create serious quandaries for recyclers (the “creative class”, the Brights) like those at Disney? maybe b/c the stories they crank out are designed to create attachment to celebrity & personalities not to the story & characters of the movie itself? Princess Leia weren’t no frickin’ Lady Macbeth or Mildred Pierce. The plot of LOTR is far more interesting than any BS Star Wars story.

    so why do i care that Princess Leia is dead, beside nostalgic attachment? b/c the essential vacuity of these movies makes one latch onto, well, 1st of all the spectacle, the special effects, and secondly the personalities behind what can laughably be called character & dialogue. I find this attachment to personalities to be vaguely familiar, i detect a hint, a whiff, the faintest soupcon of the same goddam rancid shit that goes in this country’s public politics.

    Attachment to spectacle & personality, lame, generic plot (“put america back to work” or whatever), complete disregard for character, a person’s actual deeds, & equal disregard for dialogue, the rational part of the story that tries to give some explanation or at least hint of just what the hell is going on. What has HRC actually done? what does her dialogue reveal about her character, her actions, and the world she operates in? people grab onto particular, very simplistic things she may have said (“education empowers women!”) the way we grab onto catchphrases & slogans from pop movies (“use the schwartz, i mean force, luke!”)

    i don’t know if this analogy fully works. People do reveal they have some analytical skills when they parse the utterances of the villain (e.g., Trump) w/in the frame of the fairy tale of their own political faction. People would do an augural reading of Trump’s bowel movements if they could find some additional poo to fling at him. Parsing the villain’s utterances & gestures reaffirms the political fantasy so one can dig deeper into that garbage (but not too deep: don’t make any conclusions about The System from anything you learn about Trump the particular. what’s that called? deductive, inductive something or other?)

    anyway, ramblin on…

    • ooooh, yum; i love this, but i’ve run myself outta time for now (zoup took way longer to build than i’d reckoned on). so…more later, but for the nonce, may i say: ‘may the schvarztes be with you” and “my kingdom for a light-sword!”

    • it’s apt a all giddy-up as an analogy, methinks, and i reckon that ‘reductive’ would be the term for not twigging that the electoral charade/spectacle should elicit any deeper conclusions about the sham USian capitalist democracy.

      no star wars fan here, but in essence, wasn’t the series just another war film, but with zoomin’ flyin’ jets that did awesome™ and bad-ass maneuvers? forgive me if i’ve forgotten the gist of it, by the way; i did kinda yawn, and can’t even recall if leia were luke’s lover or what…. if i knew more of the characters, it would help. but this cycle, weren’t both trump and putin darth vader (w/o the surprise ending that he was luke’s father, iirc)? or was one jabba the hut or something like that?

      clinton as chewbacca then? just kidding, but luke then? well, mebbe leia, but i scarcely remember her doing anything save having a blond braided halo. edjumicate me if i need it. ;-)

      ha; i’d read someone on the celebrity left mentioning that under mr. T this would be ‘the united states of roosia’, srsly.

      anyhoo. i gotta go peel roasted poblanos, but dagnabbit you great idjits! cannae you not manage talk to each other please? seems as though it’ll stay hard for me to answer comments for awhile, and in any event, y’all are much better at commenting than i am, dammit!

      • one might say shallowness, in politics & movies, is the order of the day.
        but it is an extra-special effect, beyond blowing up the Death Star or Avenging Ultron, to get millions to believe something equally as fanciful as the notion that, e.g., HRC gives a shit about “human rights.” that is some hard-core industrial light & magic right there. James Cameron’s cgi fantasies got nothing on that.

        Alec Guinness was horrified to realize that to the masses he’d be forever known as “Obi Wan Kenobi” and supposedly insisted that Lucas kill his character off in the 1st Star Wars movie.

        obvious but apt.

        There were reports of spikes in suicides after people saw Cameron’s “Avatar” and couldn’t handle being back on planet earth after being for 2 hours immersed in the setting of the movie, the planet Pandora. earth has but one thing to say such losers: Goodbye. (i’m j/k of course.)

        • i’ve obviously not seen many movies, but it’s not hard to believe that their ‘shallowness’ is both intentional and can most easily be sold to the public, no? now jay likely has an overarching thesis about that. but when will this election be finally over? so many websites are devoted to the results of this iteration of fake contest. ‘wah….she’d have broken the glass ceiling!’

          seems that there are tons of people going to deecee to try to stop T’s inauguration, likely funded by the usual uber-wealthy d’s, according to the pop resistance newsletter. “we’ll be doing non-violence training”, tra la la. well, good luck to that.

          • lol. one of my old college friends posted a notice about her trip to DC to protest Trump by including a link to one of god only knows how many tedious & ridiculous Charlie Rose interviews of U2’s Boner. Talk about the melding of entertainment celebrity & politics. an HRC or Obummah wouldn’t disagree w/anything Boner said, incl. all his meaningless jabber about jeebus. almost none of it Trump would disagree w/it. let us not learn anything at all from that fact.

    • …Hi Jason

      …When ” Star Wars ” first hit the big screens back in 1977 it was not so much about the actors who were in it or about being based on a novel or book or historical event or person …it was conceptually just a super sized cinematic / newly done special EFX laden version of the old timey Saturday Matinee “space opera with archvillains, rocket ships, a princess/maiden in distress and some happenstance but valiant and courageous heroes”. Seeing that Imperial Corellian battle cruiser emerging from the top of the big screen and keep becoming wider and bigger opening scene was a very striking first time and iconic impression of the original 1977 Star Wars movie. When Darth Vader was first seen emerging out of the battle damage smoke with his menacing black clad presence it was a easy to like how villainous he was. The first Star Wars movie back in 1977 was not likely envisioned at the time to ever being the multi mega $$$ making Disney Does Star Wars Franchise it now has become.
      …It was easy to view The Galactic Empire as the being the Bad Guys and the Rebels as the Good Guys struggling to resist The Evil Empire in the 1977 original Star Wars flick. What likely did not /does occur to most USians watching Star Wars in 1977 or here in 2016 was/is that post WW2 USian Empire had/has much more in common with what the Imperial Bad Guys were doing and wanting to do more of in Star Wars and not so much with the Rebels and the Rebel Cause as seen and shown in 1977 Star Wars.
      …Easy to see how all this can become a twisted maze of lies and false narratives as seen in 2016 Syria with who is backing ISIS, who is looking to create and maintain chaos and who wants to paint allied Russian and Syrian opposition to ISIS as being bad. Who is doing so? That would be USian Empire and since 2009 the Obama led and run WH, State, CIA and Pentagon. Fact. Truth.
      …The USian Empire being what it is / is not and how we USians are continually conditioned via Bernaysian methods to see ourselves as being The Good Guys plainly now frames where we USians stand here in late 2016 vis a vis Russia, China and Iran.
      …We USians have been steadily fed a diet of factually dubious and less than truthful story telling about what caused or who caused WW1, WW2 or 9/11. USian Empire has continually erected and thrown Bernaysian propaganda at common USians about how “bad” Communism, Terrorism and now China/Russianism were/must be.
      …Many USians back in 1977 upon seeing Star Wars likely thought the Galactic Empire bad guys were reflective of the worst of USian imagined German fascism/militarism/authoritarian traits. The deeper failure being we USians and this USian Empire we allow to exist and condone are closer to being / are now what the Galactic Empire was or is in all these ongoing Star Wars sequel flicks.
      …Look at what USian Empire CIA has done since 1950 or what USian Empire has done /been doing just since 9/11/2001 which both Bush/Cheney and Obama/Biden as presiding WH regimes have fingerprints all over.
      …Disney Co. paid big bucks to gain control of the Lucas Star Wars franchise which now will be milked like the mouse, the duck, the dwarves and the Carib pirates for every dime it can be by Disney.
      …USian Empire is being sold to USians these days in some very Bernaysian ways that has little to do with facts and truths while the supposed / imagined danger(s) of so called “fake news ” sites and sources are conveniently now being contrived and peddled.
      …The very big risk of too much truth and fact being untold or kept hidden by USian Empire then becomes should China and Russia be forced to go with atomic war by malignant USian Empire militarism and imperialism it will strike common USians here across North America in direct ways that WW1 or WW2 never did.
      …USian Empire likes having a good villain to serve as Big Villain as Obama and Clinton and Trump have been readily showing during 2016. Or has been shown by WashDC and it’s UniParty R vs. D junk politics ruling regime since 1945. It is very easy to let the actual facts and truths in all this be sidelined,obscured and ignored. Far too easy. Very dangerously so.

      • …for the sake of any Star Wars fans who may lurk in/on these cafe-b comment threads I will clarify my wording/description of a Star Wars Imperial Corellian battle cruiser as being a Corellian Imperial Star Destroyer of which there were several types and evolutionary variants according to some Star Wars fan/web sites.

      • yeah, i get all this. i think. I was 7 in the 1st SW film. Lucas himself could not resist the allure of what capitalism could offer w/ a(n unexpected) success like the 1st Star Wars. the money machine he manufactured, wow. There was a cultural/economic juncture w/ both Jaws & Star Wars that culminated in Cameron’s Titanic. To all these movies’ credit up to this point, more or less depending on the movie of course, cgi & green screen had very limited use. They were basically doing the same shit they did back in 1933 King Kong. and whatever the demerits of the story, etc., in movies like Jaws & Star Wars, there’s awesome things about them, incl. the actual technical craft of production. now it’s all cgi & it all sucks. not everything needs to be The Bard. i’m happy to sneak my bottle of vodka & duffel bag of popcorn into a movie theater & enjoy a pop-corn feature (like the 1st Marvel’s Avengers’ movie.)

        there is a trick, a “spiritual” trick that, allah be praised, is not fully rational & explicable, to effecting one of the, if not the most important functions of storytelling, whatever the medium: creating a connection b/n a character & story & an audience. The LOTR movies, except the 1st one somewhat, are “spiritless.” tons of money & tho’t into all this action & spectacle blah blah blah, and it’s kind of boring and the Hobbit movies are so much worse. to its & Lucas’ credit, the 1st Star Wars movie mastered a very difficult narrative problem: pacing. Michael Bay movies have zero concept of pacing. all this crap going on on-screen & its soooooooo boring.

        going to see a Flash Gordon in 1940’s or so in Weevilville, Wherever, USA is quite a bit different than what kids today are subject to w/their awful xboxes & phones & billions of cable channels. I’m glad my 1st memories of video games are Pong circa ’78. hey kids, put down the goddam phone & go outside! and enjoy the spectacular of a big explosive movie on a lazy Saturday afternoon, like God intended. capitalism sucks.

        sorry, i recognize it’s Carrie Fischer that’s dead. I know she was in Harry Met Sally, Hannah & her Sibs, counseled Dr. Evil & son in Austin Powers, was the villain in The Blues Brothers, etc., and i know about other things she did w/o being exposed to them. and now Debbie Reynolds, too. weird. i had forgotten she was the ms. thang in the marvelous “Singin’ in the Rain.” but there you go: Singin’ vs. Star Wars. Carrie Fischer might have been thinking along the same lines when she popped some of those pills.

        • …I have always liked the 1980 movie ” Flash Gordon ” where the use of special efx and color was over the top in a fun way and Max von Sydow turned in a credible and campy Ming The Merciless rendition that fairly captured Charles Middleton’s portrayal of Ming.

          …Carrie Fischer will have achieved what Margaret Hamilton did by being cast for a role in a movie that then becomes etched and attached with the actress. For better or worse…richer or poorer…

          …Debbie Reynolds now having passed so soon after her daughter Carrie Fischer’s death surely seemed cosmic …RIP both…

          …I have seen ” Singing In The Rain ” many times …it was one of the very best post 1945 big production Song And Dance Hollywood movies with Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds both so ably gracing the silver screen. When Hollywood still knew how to make ’em…;-)

          • yeah, 1980 F.Gordon! it’s…a mixed bag. but fun. it’s not trying to be Ingmar Bergdude! who helped to give us Max von Syd in so many movies. too many to recount. Minority Report, etc.

            lots of NFL references in that Flash Gordon movie. carrying the football of freedom into penetrating the end zone of Emperor Ming von Sydow’s tyranny.

    • Interesting take for you, your childhood spent within the Star Wars media bubble relative to that monumental ambition of George Lucas’s.

      My own bubble started with Roy Rogers and Gene Autrey, and Autrey strangely enough in a weird ramble introduced space operas as the Saturday kiddie matinee paired for a time Autrey horse operas with the Flash Gordon space opera serial. (Reruns were not original to television.) The local Coca-Cola bottling company paid the theater for promoting it (by having six bottle caps be the price of admission); all of us kids walked into the small town downtown (Cayce SC) at 2 pm every Saturday with our six bottle caps (mostly gotten by donations of neighbors with older kids who had outgrown the matinees). A short subject (Flash Gordon, for example), a string of Coming Attractions (The High and the Mighty, Magnificent Obsession, whatever the theater own thought might draw parents if the kid could actually remember the name of the film.), and then the main feature, generally a western (a “cowboy” film, rarely a “cowboys and Indians” film).

      The first FX movie that “blew me away” was the one that inspired that description — Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

      Lord of the Rings was still an unscriptable three-volume mythology worked out by an scholar or Anglo-Saxon with lots of reading of medieval literature in his experience.

      And then came Joseph Campbell’s dissection of what was common in the religious mythologies of global cultures–looking from the outside as a western, secular, somewhat Roman Catholic, who grew up in the nostalgic blowback from Wounded Knee, which occurred 5 years before he was born. He was 25 during the first golden age of American anthropology, and 54 when The Hero with a Thousand Faces was published in1949. It was 20 years, and likely Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Catalog before Campbell’s book became a widely known cult classic. It came at a time in which the threat of nuclear war prompted a search for ways of transcending religious conflict, the original Enlightenment project in the West. Campbell’s mood of seeking the common human depth origins of widely varying and superficially oppositional religious mythologies fit well in an intellectual climate which also caused Noam Chomsky to work on a common human basis for varying languages. Neither of those efforts turned out to be quite as simple as they were initially thought to be. Both turned out to open new areas of research and questions more than closing off answers.

      Campbell however got applied by fiction writers as a template for creating instant mythology without having to go through that heavy scholarship that folks like J. R. R. Tolkien mastered.

      The two efforts of applied Campbell that became commercial successes are George Lucas’s “Star War” intended cycle of nine episodes and J. K. Rowling’s six-volume, seven-episode Harry Potter cycle. The cost of monetizing those works to the original fabric likely was substantial. At least Rowling created the benchmark of the novels in which she could hint at the inner life of the characters. Lucas depended on the skill of his writers, and the ensemble of his cinema teams to finish out his ideas. Both ran into the difficulty of doing film cycles over a long time span in the midst of life changes and changes in the technology of film production. In Campbell’s terms, we are a long way from the Plato’s cave of Lascaux. We are also to the point in EFX that audiences have become jaded with spectacle, sorta of Superbowled out.

      It was Carrie Fisher and Alan Rickman who died this year, not Princess Leia and Prof. Serverus Snape (or Col. Brandon). Can we any longer recognize the person within the role? Can we care for the person or is fame so reductive of information and our mythology so bereft that we insist on the fusion of a presented character and self. Does the product eventually destroy the worker? Despite the big bucks as a result of having a monopoly on Carrie Fisher’s skill and Alan Rickman’s skills, they are still structurally on the worker side of the capital-labor divide.

      We are lucky to have what little depth Lucas and Rowling supplied their monumental projects. If you want Shakespeare for the current culture, there are lots of possible comedies and tragedies and histories awaiting. And, oh my the characters! A series of historical plays of the Presidents since Wilson. The tragedy of Howard Hughes. A comedy that pushes the 1940s-1950s small town America myth hard or looks at self-important administrators or American conflict with sexuality with a Shakespearean tone. There is no lack of rich subjects. Just insightful, craftsmanlike, and biting writers. And no way of injecting that sort of seriousness into popular culture at popular prices. Also the tragedy of the Clintons is worth a look. And I’m not sure that a fully rounded tragedy of JFK or Richard Nixon has been done yet. And certainly not one of Harry Truman.

      • i hear you. thank god i was too old to jump on to the harry potter bandwagon. i cracked one of her books open & found it as unreadable as the movies are unwatchable. i read LOTR many times as a kid. i could not finish it as an adult. the Hobbit, however, is great. and of course totally screwed up by the bloated Peter Jackson in those dreadful movies. ruin a kid’s story in order to try to milk & imitate the success of the much better LOTR movies.

        this simple scene is better than all the retarded Hobbit movies combined.

        • to be fair, Smaug is pretty cool in the movies. I did not see the 3rd movie. the 1st two were so awful. and Smaug looking cool is surely not enough to justify 9 hours of movies that feel like an eternity.

  5. This is a change of pace from the sad news of Carrie Fischer’s death (also featured at the top of scoop’s page this morning, by the way .)

    It may seem small potatoes that Netanyahu is making war on New Zealand, and I have to say I was puzzled NZ voted as it did at the UN, but this lengthy article on the subject has a nice scroll down addendum – Netanyahu in Fiji!

    The mind turns cartwheels.

    • just a quick response to the piece, and w/o having time to click into the links, but first: oy. and veh. bibi continues to isolate israel, and it’s beginning to catch up to him and likud. so, sure: he’s lashing out as all tyrants do, isn’t he? as for ‘diplomacy being practiced behind closed doors in NZ, as the red queen noted: ‘it’s good to have both a private position and a public one’. but i take the author’s meaning: trade as diplomacy sucks, but i will say that trade is only too often the key to foreign policy and positions.

      ouch on the “NZ is only too familar w/ settlements” as in keeping the maori colonized. but trump declaring, and israel accepting, moving the US embassy to jerusalem: “undivided, complete, and the capital of israel” it’s not only portentous, and may not end well. i can’t recall which holy site there was the direction in which muslims made their many daily prayers long ago before mecca, but jerusalem being stolen again (the six days war first, iirc)…may be one bridge too far.

      oh, and i hadn’t known that NZ and (was it?) senegal, had pushed the resolution. many similar non-binding ones have passed earlier, but i did see some speculation that this one *might* be in aid of israel facing charges for war crimes at the hague. more than doubtful, i’d think.

      • i haven’t been following this israel story that much cuz it’s obama & kerry and anyone who thinks those two would really do anything to piss israel off is not worth taking seriously. i think this “obama gets tough on israel” BS is all for show, the purpose of which is to drive the US & Israel closer together under the upcoming Trump admin in the guise of trump “healing the [non-existent] rift” when he comes into office.

        i’d bet a million bucks on this.

        • i gotta fork over mr. wd’s laptop now; i spent my time sticking up a new diary. thoughts on that later, but i expect you’re right as rain.

        • it seems i’m tongue-tied right now trying to say that it all may be more nuanced than your million bucks bet, jason. but can i just embed a few links without characterizing them, as the authors chronicle the history of the O admin in diverse ways?

          phillip weiss at mondoweiss’s is the fullest condemnatory explanation.

          phyllis bennis calls is all ‘rhetorical’, and says why (increased aid, of course), but more than that.

          mark levine at tikkun via the scoup; he used to write for al jazeera way back..

  6. One very interesting story to track is how the Australian government online payment service (I think that’s what it is) for government programs is all of a sudden dunning Australians for thousands of dollars immediately after Christmas. It follows on the recent Australian census scandal. The Australian bureaucracy all of a sudden cannot do anything properly, it seem. Trend for other countries?

    Interesting reaction from the Chinese government media to Trump’s election. A nature article on how Trump looks like the golden pheasant, native to China. (People’s Daily quoting Mail Online.)

    How does this read for a three-way detente among US-Russia-China in the age of Trump-Putin-Xi Jinping?

  7. WD; you once asked about day length increase from the Winter Solstice till the Summer Solstice;
    It’s not a linear increase, interestingly it varies over that time. Initially only seconds a day advancing to minutes over the course of the months.

    • ha. a little early to grok it all, save for yes: the tilt of the earth’s axis matters greatly. so thank you. no comment on my links in my answer to you?

      @ thd: oh, my, i’d seen that pheasant used as a likeness for mr. T; amazing bird! i was at time magazine a bit ago and had seen a headline saying the chinese were about to use some combo of both likenesses in a parade…or something. how will it affect it all? dunno, but xi is telling him to stop his bellicosity, according to reports. ;-)

      oh phooey; i went back to grab the link; i was sorta right…


    The deep state […] is waging a war against the constitutional rights, financial independence and the rugged individualism that has allowed freedom to exist to a certain degree in this country.

    O My Goodness, that Tyler Dodo is one hysterical hypocrite (are they all?)

    This is where prepping, patriotism and independence has begun to be outlawed. Politically-correct speech is now just programmed into the system.

    These aryan libertarian crapitalist fappers can’t think straight. They want the real crapitalism without all the theft and fraud! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. I must put on my mental Tychem suit when I read their pornographic shite.

  9. holy cannoli, batman! Zero goes full-bore red scare!

    “The Obama administration on Thursday announced its retaliation against Russia for what US intelligence services believe to be efforts to interfere with the US presidential election, ordering sweeping new sanctions that included the expulsion of 35 Russians and the closure of two Russian compounds in the US.” [snip]

    “The 35 Russian diplomats being expelled are “intelligence operatives”, Obama said. The state department has declared them “persona non grata” and they will be given 72 hours to leave the country.”

    (he warns that some retaliations will remain super-hush…)

    hilarious: ‘DISCLAIMER: This report is provided “as is” for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within. DHS does not endorse any commercial product or service referenced in this advisory or otherwise.’

    as in: it’s useful, but bullshit.

    • ..Hi wd

      …Barack Obama The Big Liar seems to be showing his true colors during these last weeks of his being POTUS in ways that only duped and Stupid Pill taking / overdosing DumShit D’s at this point can / would suggest to be some kind of proof of how much better this so called Nobel Peace Prize D POTUS has been/is as opposed to Bush and Cheney being in the WH. Any working B-S detectometer at this point would be pointing at/reading I Call Pure Obama BS …
      …Feeble minded DumShit D Hacks, Zealots and Obamapologists will continue telling and peddling more R vs. D junk politics and how ” voting ” for Obama in 2012 again and for Hillary here in 2016 was the only way to vote. D. Trump ain’t no peach but DT sure as hell was a better Bad Choice than HRC who plainly/deliberately sabotaged Sanders WH run with intent to use Trump as the R Party nominee as punching dummy to get into the WH. The political failure of Obama WH/CIA claiming but not proving ” Russian hacking of 2016 WH election ” acts and staying with continuing to do now becoming ludicrous. Barack Obama The Big Liar really is stepping into some deep political misdirection and deception shit. Consequences will ensue.
      …DumShit D’s.Do.Not.Get.It.
      …Obama and Clinton Russian ElectionHacking Lies being Exhibit #1.


      • mornin’, arrow. putin is reported to have announced he won’t take any retaliatory actions, or at least expel US diplomatics. this seemed to amuse assange, though: ‏@wikileaks
        “Today’s Obama “hacking report” has a disclaimer. It also doesn’t mention @WikiLeaks anywhere.”

        and this has gone viral, even though er…it ain’t actually a duck, but a wee fuzzy duckling. ;-)

        • …Hi wd

          …Evidently the Democrat Big Party Suits/Rats decided after all the HRC/Podesta/DNC soiled laundry/unflushed toilets was told and shown by WikiLeaks post November 2016 WH election it was better to go with more deceit and concoct the Putin/Russian Hacking / Fake News narrative to force feed into/onto the MSM 24/48 news cycles. Odd indeed that little / none of this Russian Hacking BS was being talked about prior to November WH election by Obama/Clinton orcs and minions. Only after HRC lost her crooked bid to waltz back into the WH as POTUS despite HRC’s and DNC’s corrupt means and ways.
          …Concocting this Russian Hacking story now plainly being about creating deflection and misdirection from what HRC/Podesta etc. email debacles were and still are. Democrat Hacks/Zealots being the sheep they are have stood for this being done which only underlines why Democrat Party needs to go the way of the Whigs.
          …Plain to see and know the likes of Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and assorted other D Party ” leaders ” are not going to do anything other than what they have been doing since 2006, 2004 or 2000. …Barack Obama The WarMonger/WarCriminal/Teller Of Big Lies plainly wants to now throw as much chaff betwixt Obama WH, the failed DNC/HRC WH bid and bury the facts and truths of the WikiLeaks revelations with a avalanche of misdirection/distraction. …Concocting via CIA and FBI these Russian Hacking Big Lies Being Repeated Over And Over despite bogus no proof shown claims of Russian WH Election meddling really tells and shows much about how Obama WH has been running the WH since 2009. …Barack Obama now has about 3 more weeks to do more of what Obama has been doing since Jan..20, 2009. One can hope the damage Obama has willingly and wantonly inflicted on USian healthcare reform efforts, not resolving the Bush/Cheney 9/11 war crimes. Amplifying War Of Terror the USian Empire unleashed due to false flag 9/11 acts. Not taking on WallSt. after 2008 and failing to walk his talk about Hope and Change for common USians. Plain to know and see Barack Obama has condoned Libya, Ukraine and Syria demolition and mayhem/chaos/death dealing. Who did Hillary Clinton work for as SoS? Who has Vicky Nuland been working for? ….Too bad the Obama WH and Pelosi led CapHill Democrats failed to do what needed to be done.
          …Too late now. Way too late.


          • you may have noticed that ‘the russian hacking’ is always mentioned, while no one pushing the meme ever says: ‘oy; all those things were true! woe to us! and every source used and believed was akin to: ‘anonymous cia sources say’ or ‘anon fbi sources believe’…bogus junk duly scribed and published.

            i dunno how to read that pdf, but robert parry writes that a source has told him that sure, russians hacked into emails, as have many others, but that:

            “In other words, the FBI/DHS report really didn’t have much in the way of details and the “more detailed report” – due out before President Obama leaves office on Jan. 20 – will still be hiding “much of the detail” to justify Obama’s retaliation against Russia including new sanctions and expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats or intelligence officers from the United States.
            But the Times article does inadvertently make the interesting admission that the U.S. government has penetrated Russian computers, much as the U.S. government accuses Russia of doing to U.S. computers.
            But the data purloined by these U.S. “implants” and other clandestinely obtained evidence – assuming there really is any – won’t be something that the American people will get to see.”

            and that the g is guessing (hoping?) and that “Most of the 13-page FBI/DHS report was devoted to suggestions on how Internet users can protect their emails from malware, but there was little new that proved that the Russians were the source of the Democratic emails given to WikiLeaks.”

            so stuff and nonsense, in the end. but oy: take that, vlad! take that, mr. T! we wanna continue w/ our new cold war! oh, and as for mr. T, the key thing in favor of him for me…is that he’s not clinton. avoiding war (hopefully) with the bear is second.

            given that it’ll be awhile before my laptop becomes usable again, i’m going to reblog a few things others have written. one features the celebrity ‘left’ and their inner imperial fascists, t’other concerns celebrity big brands and syria as ground zero for nationalistic fake news/vacillating ‘positions’ v. principled anti-imperialism.

  10. WD and all; may this coming new year (2017) find you well and sufficient for your needs and occasional good cheer.

    • thank you, v arnold, and i wish the same for you. it’s a great way that you framed your blessing, as well. what we require and what we desire are so often worlds apart, although most of us here at the café seem to live w/ the wolf at the door often, and have made healthy accommodations to it.

      but you’ve caused me to remember the big J: “oh lord, wontcha buy me…”


  11. Can I post pictures (very small files) and if so, how?

  12. In the meantime here’s a link to Putin vs Obama Judo match;
    Scroll down to see the cartoon; enjoy.

    • ha! how fun it all is! the judo cartoon is priceless, as is the link to putin’s gift t-shirt to obama in the comments. “reset” v. “overload”; hasta la vista, baby…

      now about photos or a file of them. first, do you want them in the comments section one at a time? or are they some sort of array that tells a story? do you have a flickr account? if so, can you put them in a category there w/ its own url?

      single images only require an url to post in a comment, but large ones look clunky here, although i rarely remember pixels and actual sizes. this one for instance, says it’s 415 x 291:

      on flickr, this is one of my albums; ooops, looks like an old account. i dunno how to find the new ones from mr. wd’s laptop… nope, only one will embed at a time; drat! ;-)

      P1110484 (3)

      anyhoo, let me know more of what you’re thinking and i’ll try to accommodate you, even if you were to send me the file, say which photos, and turn them into a guest post.

      • Ha! Glad you enjoyed AND posted the cartoon.
        Works for me; not overly literate (computorese) and don’t have a flickr account; or any other social media account; anathema to us in the Hermitage.
        Cheers; one hour and 47 minutes to the new year.

        • i don’t do social media, either. flickrs a free place to store photos in the cloud, though. but er…which what works for ya, lol?

          oh, and on needing to be very thrifty, we both have a hella lot of DIY skills between us, so that helps a lot. i spent part of yesterday doing mending/reconstructing by sewing machine, for instance. mr. worked on building a new window fro the greenhouse; always work to do, anyway. (although i loathe having to patch sheets and quilts; lugging them thru the machine is serious toil. ;-)

  13. Yeah. Well now, we have Chief Pettifogger who will juggle schmart-nukes with Putin. Schtep back, all you homos, and watch the real men deal world bidness!!!

    Whomankind’s devolution is no surprise once it became obsessed with the essence of supremacy. Then fraud was canonized as truth and religion the title of the impossible.

    Happy blue year, comrades! Enjoy your lessoning!

    • i’m not quite getting your ‘juggle scmart-nukes w/ putin, but for the record, putin and olde yeller hair 2.0 aren’t comparable, imo.

      me, i’m goin’ with ‘O rancid left’ solnit: ‘Another, more beautiful America is rising. Trump will be resisted’ (since after actually talking to group of working class (egad!) college students once, she realized):

      “We would do well to study the countries that have sunk into tyranny or despotism and survived. To discover how Argentina and Chile and Brazil went through an era of dictators and death squads and emerged, in part because people like the Argentinian women in las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo stood up to their fears and their regime. El Salvador is now governed by the FMLN, which fought against the death squads in the 1980s, and Chile’s current president is Michelle Bachelet, who was kidnapped and tortured under the Pinochet regime. Most of the countries in our hemisphere besides Canada have gone into horror and emerged, many more than once.”

      and michelle obama told oprah that ‘hope’ is more than just a nice slogan’ (in the embedded video). solnit kinda admits that the scale might be a bit different…

      what a clueless partisan hack solnit is. but yes, comrade, i reckon we’ll all be lessoning, or avoiding, excusing, minimizing, looking for truth in some of the right places, and tra la la. but didn’t the bible say somethin’ about mankind holding dominion over the others in the world?

      but see? we can use our freedom of choice! (but freedom from choice is what you want…)

      • Ah, comrade, let go the fraudulent shibboleths …

        No fake librul choice != no choice
        Wake up, comrade!

        • how fine it must be to be the one not needing either satire (devo) or ‘lessoning’, comrade axe. you, reality checker, and wayout west seem to share a common arrogance; i salute you all!

          • Devo:

            Freedom of choice
            Is what you got
            Freedom from choice
            Is what you want

            Are Devo satirizing our master marketers? No, Devo are making a reactionary quip.

            Drain the swamp, comrade.

            • wiki says that: ‘As an adjective, the word reactionary describes points of view and policies meant to restore the status quo ante.’ why do you think that’s a reactionary skewering of orwellian/bernaysian marketing, axe?

              • Negating [a false] “freedom of choice”, the schmaat alecks regurgitate an authoritarian trope. Didn’t we establish at one point that Devo had contempt for their audience, comrade? That’s totally in character with late crapitalism.

                Those are some rancid rebel-utionaries (and maybe a monument of “counter-intelligence”-d boomers).

  14. Best discussion of deregulation I’ve seen. A parallel review of David Graeber and Cass Sunstein on bureaucracy and regulation. Cliff Notes later. Getting a beverage of choice and having the patience to go through the full thing is recommended.!

    Happy New Year to all.

    • gotta wait for the cliffs notes, amigo. why do i allus forget that he’s married to (ish) sam power?

      • It’s so nice to see someone taking CS apart using David Graeber as a can opener. Likely tomorrow on the Cliff Notes. It is easy to overlook who the power couples are inside the bubble.

    • The question, though, is does [employing a “Value of Statistical Life” appropriate for the victims] seem likely to work — or would it only introduce more arbitrariness into the system?

      Arbitrariness? That’s absurd; crapitalism is highly efficient in producing mass befuddlement.

      We need more than Cliff Notes of such nonsense.

    • Quick Cliff Notes:
      On Graeber:
      “The result, in Graeber’s view, is that markets and bureaucracy cannot be separated. He points at the explosion of legal clerks, registrars, and police during the British Industrial Revolution as one example of this process. He argues that “even right-wing critics like von Mises were willing to admit — at least in their academic writing — that markets don’t really regulate themselves, and that an army of administrators was indeed required to keep any market system going.”

      …Graeber traces the arbitrariness of bureaucracy to the violence underlying society’s institutions: “All of these are institutions involved in the allocation of resources within a system of property rights regulated and guaranteed by governments in a system that ultimately rests on the threat of force.” Throughout history, property rights have only existed when backed by some form of government. And that backing has traditionally meant that those rights will be enforced through physical (i.e., violent) means. For example, if a stranger sets up camp in your backyard, you can call the police to have him taken away. To Graeber, this explains why bureaucracies tend toward arbitrariness — force is inherently arbitrary, and any system that uses force will ultimately draw arbitrary lines itself. In this way he echoes the 20th century novelist/revolutionary Victor Serge’s eloquent formulation, “All violence is dictatorial.”

      On Sunstein:
      “Sunstein focuses almost entirely on the OIRA’s day-to-day operations, laying out exactly how the office comes to approve regulations. He clearly invests government regulation with a great deal of importance, and while I wouldn’t necessarily call him passionate, he is certainly convinced that bureaucracy can do real good, specifically in the context of the regulatory state. Sunstein never discusses the kind of structural violence that alarms Graeber, but he does address the apparently arbitrary nature of government regulations — and by implication the red tape they generate.”

      “While Sunstein never puts it quite so explicitly, his book strongly implies that the “arbitrariness” people attribute to regulations stems from the way they contradict our (deeply flawed) intellectual shortcuts. I certainly see the appeal of this line of thinking. For one thing, it acknowledges one of my biggest concerns about bureaucracy — that regulatory solutions always risk a certain brittleness, because their benefits are diffuse (it’s not like there’s a way of knowing who definitely would contract measles absent a vaccine), and most people will only be made aware of a particular regulation when it contradicts what they want to do. So a political program built on regulation and top-down, technocratic solutions will be at a disadvantage, forever associated with policies that look arbitrary, or ineffective, even when they’re not.”

      Back to Graeber:
      “But Graeber’s concerns go far beyond that, insisting that bureaucracy, in all its forms, contains arbitrary distinctions by its nature. And that this arbitrariness betrays the inherent conservatism of all bureaucratic solutions.”

      To Sunstein:
      “[R]eading Sunstein alongside Graeber brings another objection into focus. Namely, that Sunstein’s reliance on markets inevitably means that regulations will end up serving the needs of the market itself, not society as a whole.” [No great surprise there]

      Summing up:
      “Where paperwork, bureaucratic red tape, and the regulatory state all come together is that they are all products of society as it exists now — and therefore are poorly suited to changing it. None of this means that leftists should reject “the mundane organizational work of politics.” In fact, it indicates the opposite — that the left needs to emphasize organizing and activism, and work to facilitate change from the bottom up.”

      “This is why unions are so important to a democratic society: They are one of the few means available for workers to express their own preferences without the distorting filter of markets or market-oriented bureaucracies.” [Except for the bureaucracies that emerge out of the formal union structure itself and the employer-facing negotiators.]

      Then the reviewer brings in Chinua Achebe for a quote:
      “He can build a bridge for us perhaps, and tell us what weight of traffic it can support. But he can’t stop us from hiring an attendant who will take a bribe and look the other way while the prescribed weight is exceeded. He can set up the finest machinery for us, but he can’t create the technician who will stay at his post and watch the controls instead of going for a chat and some groundnuts under a mango tree outside.”

      And the final flourish:
      “It’s easy for a conversation about making bureaucracy work better to take time away from the more important work about making society work better, specifically by empowering citizens to express the preferences not through markets but through organizing and democratic participation. Achebe reminds us that we all have an obligation to think. Even if you find Graeber’s direct democracy too radical, he is correct that citizens need to communicate their desires themselves, directly. The Black Lives Matter movement, which has largely kept itself separate from bureaucratic political parties, while still pressuring elected officials, offers one example of an independent left. More are needed.”

      My take:
      There is are many streams of the #blacklivesmatter movement that have indeed kept themselves seaparate from bureaucratic political parties. And other streams that have used the movement to launch themselves into the heart of establishment conversations.

      My issue with direct democracy is the form in which it scales up beyond local fora. That seems to introduce preferred communication channels that rigidify into a hierarchy (for efficiency) Then require rule-based procedures, which generate metaconversations about the procedures which…eventually recreates a bureaucracy. And those who feel inside and outside of that metaconversation create another layer of meta. Process, procedure, structure, and organization don’t of themselves extend an organization so that it has wider power and reach. Actual interactions within specific geography and history are required to work through in practice where Graeber’s book comes up short.

      It is instructive that Sunstein was the supposed “deregulation” point guy in the Obama administration.

  15. O Lord, Lord! it is a hard matter for friends to
    meet; but mountains may be removed with earthquakes
    and so encounter-As You Like It. here’s to 2016 & 2017:

    • nice, so nice. may i add as a wish for humankind in 2017…?

      and from RT:

      snowing softly here, doubt we’ll be able to see it in any even, but how fine. coyotes are already out, addly, and a plump and bushy red fox comes thru in the mornings. so fortunate we are to live here, and to have created a habitat the critters love.

      • there’s an extra second…as time slows down…so the newz tellz me. i can’t perform an epoche upon phenomenological reality to confirm that there is an additional second, so just what the hell is that extra second supposed to do for me? is an extra second a blessing or a curse? if i could have an extra minute or hour…would i? hard to say. doesn’t that depend on the quality of the time? back in the day i heard some lecturer say, “prior to 1900 or so, the average human lifespan was about 30 years…and 1 out of every 2 people ever born was dead by the age of 2.” here here for modernity! and hear, hear! too. if the average human lifespan is above 4, we are making stupendous progress (right? is that how math works?).

        AIM HIGHER!

        O, know, sweet love, I always write of you,
        And you and love are still my argument;
        So all my best is dressing old words new,
        Spending again what is already spent:
        For as the sun is daily new and old,
        So is my love still telling what is told.

        dealing w/old age, or deteriorating health in younger age, failing prospects in whatever age, the weariness of an aged world, even in the New World, already so, so old, we know the sun has shone on all.

        terrible the loss of love. but the children of men are like leaves on a tree.

        “every day the sun marches forth like a bridegroom.” the psalmist.

        “the sky, the endless sky. how did i not see it before?” andrew bolkonsky’s words when head-wounded on the battlefield early on in Tolstoy’s W&P. such beautiful words, the sky of idealism, where words matter. He loses himself in the end to “the endless sky,” where All is love. and cannot act in this world in any particulars, even to reaching his hand out to touch his young son’s hand on his own deathbed, but his mind is filled w/the highest fancies of loving faith.

        anyway, his hero in the story is more grounded and…he asks of both the Tsarist & the Bonapartist’s armies: what if the corporal or drill sergeant refused? what if someone w/a bit of authority resists & says no?

        anyway, happy whatever! roasted salmon & veggies calling!!!!!

        • and by this morning have you decided if you’d want an extra hour or day? i would not, but i reckon love can keep us alive longer than we might care for than our selfish desires. but yes, bolkonsky’s thoughts mirror both ‘the tunnel of light’ we hear about, as well as mary oliver’s ‘white owl’ poem:

          ‘maybe death isn’t darkness, after all,
          but so much light wrapping itself around us —
          as soft as feathers —
          that we are instantly weary of looking, and looking,
          and shut our eyes, not without amazement,
          and let ourselves be carried,
          as through the translucence of mica,
          to the river that is without the least dapple or shadow,
          that is nothing but light — scalding, aortal light —
          in which we are washed and washed
          out of our bones

          oooh, the salmon sounds yummy; we had noodles w/ spicy thai peanut sauce. delectable. may your 2017 be as fine as it can be.

  16. Surely our “philosophers” have the “knowledge to distinguish the good and the bad life, and so everywhere and always to choose the better from among those that are possible” when applying every aberrant scientific innovation born?

    Brave New World, Plato’s Republic, and Our Scientific Regime

    • That was a good link, thank you Comrade RAx. I do have to say that I hardly remember Brave New World, nor 1984 – read them too close together and always get them mixed. But I got far enough down the article to enjoy the following:
      The city in speech is not a blueprint for the actualization of perfect justice, notwithstanding the all-too-common shrill denunciations of Plato as a proto-totalitarian. As Glaucon comes to understand, the city they have been designing “has its place in speeches, since I don’t suppose it exists anywhere on earth.” Just so, agrees Socrates; the whole dialogue has been about how a man can “found a city within himself,” and how he can “mind the things of this city alone, and of no other.”

      I was happy to see the author point this out, for despair is likely to be upon us unless we remember that every city/state is made up of the multiplicity of its citizens, who each individually have the inborn capacity to become philosophers and perhaps to shun ‘every aberrant scientific innovation.’

      That’s multipolarity for you, as focussed within a single entity, me – or you. And that’s why The Republic is so gorgeously long and far-rangingly absurd. The Dr. Spock of the human condition!

      • I’m glad you found it stimulating.

        Recall that Socrates would ban Homer and his “emotional” persuasion:

        When even the best of us [!] hear Homer or any other of the tragic poets imitating one of the heroes in mourning and making quite an extended speech with lamentation, or, if you like, singing and beating his breast, you know that we enjoy it and that we give ourselves over to following the imitation; suffering along with the hero in all seriousness, we praise as a good poet the man who most puts us in this state.

        But what of the persuasion of the “rational”? Would this not be even more dangerous (when widely appealing) since it denies that it imitates? If Plato had seen our techne, perhaps he would have more explicitly banished himself!

        For his thought is venerated and imitated not just as a metaphorical lesson or thought experiment, no! By Platonic authority, most of his disciples would not “mind the things of [his] city alone”. I would argue that this contradiction Is latent in Plato’s dialogue itself.

        Suppose Plato intended to convey “humanity’s inability to overcome the limits that our nature imposes” (which is a tautology — “our nature” is what we cannot change). While this is an argument that we should only tend our own cities, the truth is we must defend ourselves with more than this argument; rulers are not convinced by the argument (and neither should they be). Plato’s argument survives as an elite pretense.

        Is it only ironic that, as the borders “our nature” imposes retreat, Plato counsels us to mind only our own cities?

        • Yes, indeed, Comrade RAx, as a student I myself found the expulsion of poets an extremely difficult ‘edict’ for Socrates to espouse (especially as he himself can quote Homer ad infinitum all through the dialogues.) But that’s only one of the qualities of the city/self that seems objectionable to me. Others also, like marshalling children to the scene of war in order to instill a fighting spirit within them, also are impossibilities for me.

          The key, I think is in the paragraph I quoted. It is a city in speech only – and that is the statement Glaucon remembers from the very first words that take us to ‘city’ consideration instead of hunting up the virtuous man himself – to see in ‘large’ what we hunt for in ‘small’. And I take it that though we mightn’t be aware of it when we say someone is virtuous, he too has faults which in the perfect city, blown up through interminable ‘rational’ discourse, become all too evident.

          Perhaps in Socrates’ day the poets and their glorification is more like what mainstream media is for us today? This instrument can teach, but needs to be used wisely, as does techné. Exposing citizens to the ‘warfare’ of the media, to the damage that is doing to young impressionable minds – our present day Socrateses are fighting that fight, aren’t they?

          What we have reached at the end of the dialogue is one young man who has managed to remember all the twists and turns of the argument and not fallen away like all the rest, who has persevered – why? I think it is because of the great respect he has for his teacher. Which in itself is the thing to be admired. It’s like that saying: “There is no way to peace; peace is the way.”


          • I’ll just add that I myself refuse to watch mainstream media news in any aspect, and indeed cannot watch videos any longer, which I don’t find as onerous as it might seem. So in effect I have expelled the poets from my ‘city’, although I’m happy to read the actual poets and enjoy them at my leisure, as apparently Socrates did also.

  17. crazy prism eyes for me this afternoon, but now i have a date w/ sherl’ck holmes and a hot bath.

    nite, all, and happy 2017 if you can.

  18. from m.g. piety’s rather tame & lame article on counterpunch today. the opening line of this song is “welcome to the land of smiling children.” the refrain is “everything is great in America” (alles spitze in Amerika; sorry, song is in German. the visuals are the main thing anyway.)

  19. I just thought for a change of pace, since down under it is presently midsummer, you would enjoy this article and photo:

    “Oh- hope – eh” is the pronunciation, and it is the place where a friendly dolphin lived when I was much younger – I haven’t been there, but I have had two experiences with this phenomenon. Once, actually swimming at night – your whole body is illuminated, with fairy sparkles at every splashing movement, an unforgettable delight in the warm ocean water of summertime Christmas. The other was coming home from a school launch trip at night with dolphins themselves all aglow nosing the stern of the boat all the way into the harbour until the engines were cut and they disappeared instantly.

    I’m so happy to see that it still is possible to enjoy the magic.

    • ah, juliania; just what the doctor might have ordered for me. i stayed for the phyto-plankton bio-luminous waves, and grabbed the official hobbiton photographer link.

      i’d recently read of a woman who’d constructed a a phyto-plankton battery but i haven’t been able to find the link again, sadly.

      i wanted to live in a hobbit hole, but pragmatism dictated that we build a 12-sided hogan built into a hill instead. i will dream better tonight, and thank you. i’ve had some horrid nightmares of my (irrational, given my history, esp.) personal failures to try to prevent egregious crimes. magic! planetary magic!

      • It was so wonderful for me to revisit my childhood haunts when I found that picture, wendye. Glad you enjoyed it. A beach we families used to camp on summers past is now a ‘reserve’ – the NZ name for bits of native bush set aside, often as small as a half acre but in the case of the beach it runs right along and there are now ‘walkways’ where we used to clamber across the cliffs, a 10 kilometer walk in all. Sounds about right – we did a six mile hike to the Heads once.

        Still the warnings to watch the tides but we kids had free barefoot range of the cliffs and there were always toeholds to shelflike paths to clamber up and over should the tide come back in whilst we were exploring. It was called ‘Wattle Bay’ and there actually were wattles growing in the sand – I hope that’s still the case.

        • nice to run free in childhood, yes? i did on catawba island, lake erie. oh, the explorations and amazing finds, both over the cliff edges and deep in the woods. in summer, all that was required of me was to be home by dinner time. so i’d butter a few graham crackers for lunch, tie them in a hankie or some such, and be off and away all day. my fondest memories were discovering fossils uncovered when huge hardwoods would die and fall over; my stars, the bounty tangled in their old roots!

          lovely photos, and how fun you got to play w/ a dolphin.

  20. Quote:
    Please kill me now:

    If ur a candidate considering a run 4 office, it is not the responsibility of your party 2 provide you with organizational capacity.

    — Lena Buggs (@Lena4SWCD) December 26, 2016

    Bugg’s bio says she’s a “Green Party Organizer Political Activist.”

    My response: Sorta like Lambert Strether’s respons in the first line but not as extreme.

    WTF is a political party for if not to provide organizational capacity that lowers the cost of victory for all of its candidates? Otherwise why not run as an individual candidate?

    “Sheesh does no one know how to play this game any more? You throw the ball; you hit the ball; you catch the ball.” — Manager of the Durham Bulls in “Bull Durham”.

    • I like that quote at the end, Tarheel. It really reminds me of all the confab at NC about replacing the New Deal projects with UBI, which I have to keep telling myself means ‘universal basic income.’ All sorts of prognostications about the ‘end of work’. Yeah, sure!

      You throw the ball; you hit the ball; you catch the ball.

      What part about fixing things do people not get?

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