You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2015.

KHSU show tonight – my guest is Sohaib Awan who serves the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association as the Chairman of its Muslim Writers Guild, working with Muslim youth around the country to encourage them to take to the pen in defense and clarification of Islam.  We’ll be discussing Islamaphobia in light of the recent violence and depressing headlines.  7:00 – call in format as usual.

We’ll also discuss whether Arab Spring is over, and whether it will ever reach countries like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, etc.

What I find the most interesting about this debate is the complete disconnect in language between the respective ideologies.  Harrington had written The Other America which is said to have inspired Johnson’s War on Poverty.  It was written at a time when the US was at its wealthiest in terms of an expansive middle class, and Harrington brought to the attention of national politics that there remained a large underclass, not all of it urban and non-white.  Harrington lamented the inadequacy of the Johnson programs for their lack of economic development plans (rejected at the time because in the words of my high school history teacher they “wreaked of socialism.”).  And as industry moved out of the cities, and began to move out of the country entirely, the urban decay became visible due to the influence of a media which actually did try to cover some of the issues, and conservatives no longer denied the existence of poverty, but blamed it on what passed for our social services (nowhere near as extensive as those of Europe, but very extensive compared even to the New Deal).

But this clip comes from a time when poverty was still largely invisible, only made visible by Harrington’s book, which Buckley attempted to dismiss.  He wants to define poverty in spiritual terms, where Harrington focused on modern definitions – income ratios to costs of basic necessities, a science in its infancy at the time, at least in the US.

Here’s a talk he gave about the difference between socialism and liberalism.

And here he is debating Milton Friedman – in a video edited by some right wing group to emphasize where they believe Friedman won debating points, completely unaware that Friedman’s dire prophecies about Medicare never came to fruition, as a friend of mine who just retired noted that he was really happy to be able to abandon his crappy Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan for real care.

Study seems to show that white passengers more are likely to get free ride than black.  I would like to know more about the study – the controls, etc.  But it only confirms what most of us know, even if many of us don’t acknowledge it.

I do remember the Eddie Murphy skit, which was hilarious.  But it would help if the article writer mentioned (if he knew) that it was a play on Black Like Me.

Continuing with the theme of critical thinking, Bob Froehlich and Julia Minton will join Eric Kirk to discuss the mechanics of changing one’s mind on an important issue – at what point should one invest time and effort to research the validity of our premises and the soundness of our arguments?  Join them to discuss the matter tonight at 7:00 on All things Reconsidered.

Too bad Richie Cunningham isn’t in Congress.

And actually, there’s a bit of 6th Amendment issue mixed in.

1950s values, right conservatives?

I haven’t plugged another blog in quite a while.  The local blogosphere is past its peak in terms of volume, as other social media with more bells and whistles have drawn energy away from this kind of medium.  But maybe the good stuff has managed to withstand the ravages of fashion.

The State is Concentric and the Individual is Eccentric isn’t a new blog.  In fact, it’s been around almost as long as mine. 

the other side of the streetI know that my blog list is way out of date, with many a dead link.  And probably I’m missing a number of thriving blogs.  One of these weekends I’ll clean it up.  Not sure I even remember how to add a link, but I’ll figure it out.

kaivalya 2

Stop pooping and save water!

More as the story develops.

Anarchists vs. ISIS is the story, and again, maybe there’s a bit of typical left-romanticization in these stories – photos of good-looking young women with assault rifles have generated youth would-be revolutionary solidarity activist capital since the Sandinistas and FMLN.  It always seems so good to be true.

And here’s an article in a semi-mainstream liberal online magazine, also with lots of photos of the women – apparently the strategy is that the fanatics back off when they approach because if they’re killed by a woman in combat they don’t go to Heaven.

PKK Women

But what’s missing here are the articles from the mainstream media about atrocities committed by this group – so far none reported.  Yet the PKK does remain on our government’s list of terror groups.  There was a Commentary (a conservative magazine) article whining about the group’s Marxist influences, as this group is doing what four local governments and one superpower can’t seem to do.  They’re defeating ISIS.  And they’ve fought Iran.  Hussein.   Bashar al-Assad.  But they’ve also fought Turkey, and Turkey is a NATO ally, so, it is what it is.

Are they the real thing?  And given that four local governments, one superpower, and a very powerful fanatic group don’t like them – can they survive?

Photo is from the TPM article linked above.

Pulp MillOther than some brief interest from Oracle a decade or so ago, Samoa remains a potential site for architectural digs for the industry of a bygone era – just sitting there waiting for some kind of entrepreneurial effort to take root.  With the Humboldt County community hurting for livelihood opportunities, the Mad River Union reports that the Harbor Commission has hired Bonnie Neeley to market the land and what’s left of the infrastructure for a potential eco-industrial park scenario.

The definitions of an “eco-industrial park” vary with the examples, but it’s an intriguing concept along with the associated concept of “industrial symbiosis,” which is all about planning infrastructure and pooling of resources for interactions between various industries which there may be mutual benefit and ecological mitigation.   Despite the greenish terms, the concept has attracted considerable capital investment around the world, though it hasn’t taken off quite as quickly in the U.S.

I have no idea what potential industries might want to come to a site in Humboldt County for a project like this, but it’s worth looking into.


February 2015