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On a Facebook forum, this piece of wisdom.

“I don’t even bother any more, MSNBC punches trump in the dick, CNN constantly talks about his dick, and Fox chokes deeply on it.”

In some ways better than Game of Thrones in this Korean series – lots of moral ambiguity in the ethos of the various characters each with understandable motivations – some better than others, nobody pure, but nobody completely evil either. I hope there’s a second season!

Only on Netflix. There’s a lot in it, and I knew it would be interesting from the beginning where the fictitious bronze age industrial civilization uses diseased blankets as part of an attempt of genocide against an indigenous civilization.

I would also recommend the Magicians, but they just killed off my favorite character at the end of last season, so f— them!



John Judis has long been vilified by left orthodoxy dating back to his days at In These Times when he argued that the left should not cede the concept of “family values” to the right, but should instead redefine it. I don’t always agree with him, but I find him to be one of the deeper and more nuanced political writers – always challenging.
And yes, the last paragraph is dedicated to Trump.
Yes, some of these attacks are being perpetrated by fringe religious fanatics, but that does not exonerate the climate in which they are operating.  The tension has been present, and sometimes violent, between the black and Jewish communities in and around New York City for decades – with horrible violent clashes taking place in Crown Heights in the 1990s – much of it dating back to the days when ethnic groups competed for neighborhood dominance and local government influence.  There is general anti-semitism growing across the country, and around the world, but there are local factors which need to be considered in the attacks in and around New York and the fact, uncomfortable to most leftists, is that the majority of these attacks are being perpetrated by African Americans.  We have the shootings of a couple of weeks ago, and the stabbings over the weekend.  But we have beatings, bricks being thrown and older men, and eggs being thrown at a woman and her child.
This morning it was reported on NPR that Jews in the area are applying for gun ownership, and if their fear becomes generalized towards black people this is only going to get worse.
The left has to call upon local black leadership, political and religious, to make public statements and pledge to attend Jewish services in solidarity.  Muslims in other countries have done this.  There are precedents in this country.  They will lose some church members and constituents, but they have to do it.
The way I see it, there are four basic reasons people hate Jews.

1. The mythical blood feud between Abraham’s sons.

2. The view of Jews as Christ-killers and satanic.

3. The view that somehow Jews have magically conspired to rig the world economy in their favor.

4. Israel/Palestine.

As far as my life experience is concerned, leftists generally don’t take interest in the first three. These latest attacks seem to be focused on number 2, just based upon the vague reporting. I haven’t read anything to indicate that they are leftists, or rightists for that matter.  But that does not exonerate left silence.  And yes, right wingers will crow that this is happening in a left-run city and all, but that doesn’t matter.  These attacks are very specific to this time and general location.  The particular circumstances have to be addressed, because people are being killed and injured.

I think it’s pointless to blame these particular attacks on some generalized climate, though the climate certainly isn’t helping. Something very specific is happening here, and my concern isn’t with the left being “generally” anti-Jewish, but with the left feeling powerless because it might have to condemn some aspects of the local African American culture and religion.

The right can do what it wants.  But the left is morally and practically bound to address this and, yes, make demands of the black community leaders.

In addition to John Judis, other progressives are addressing it.  This writer for the Jerusalem Post is progressive.  And this piece about the silence around the Nation of Islamis by a progressive.   Chuck Schumer has chimed in.  But we need left leaders to focus in on the particulars here, and call for action from black community leaders.
I know that this post will be controversial with the intersectionality crowd.

I still remember hearing about a “socialist” being elected mayor of an American city – by 10 votes. Those 11 voters which gave him the win – we might not have him as Senator today but for them. Imagine if they had just not bothered to vote that day, or got caught at the airport, or their kid was sick, or had to work late because something came up at work. We should build a monument to the Eleven.

I was a sophomore in college and I think Mitterand had just been elected in France as a “socialist.” He turned out to be much less of one than Bernie (though his policies were much more progressive than credit is given), but at the time many of the rich kids in my private school were complaining about it. “Why didn’t they listen to the American voters?” one of them actually asked (Reagan had been elected the year before).

I had been reading up on socialism since I had read Isaac Asimov’s science fiction trilogy “Foundation” in the 8th grade, so I was aware of the concept and it’s stigma at the Cold War time. But I wasn’t aware that many socialists had been elected to various offices, even Congress, over the decades of the 20th century, including a famous mayor of Milwaukee elected mayor at the height of the McCarthy Era. I didn’t know about DSA or the fact that it had two members and several fellow travelers in Congress. I got a lot of political education in my junior year of high school.

I would kind of lose track of it all by the mid-1980s as I flirted with conservative politics, reading up on the “second thoughts” crowd, David Horowitz, Eldritch Cleaver, and all the others who would make money on book tours wowing the Rotarians with tales of their radical pasts. I actually voted for a Republican for Governor of Washington in 1984, though he was arguably more progressive than his Democratic opponent who bragged about being a “Democrat Reagan voters could support.” (I should have warned my Republican friends that if I was supporting their candidate he was probably going to lose). It was a phase and it didn’t last long, but I had lost track of what Bernie was doing until he ran for Congress in 1990 and became the third open socialist in Congress (both Ron Dellums and Major Owens were still in office). He has been a light in the several dark times ever since.

In this clip, it’s clear he hasn’t changed much. If anything, he exhibits more energy today.


Ryan Burns has the story at LOCO.

As of the posting, Morris had not returned Burns’s request for comment.

Last Wednesday morning, just hours after the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors rejected the $300 million Humboldt Wind Energy Project, pro-development Planning Commission Chair Robert “Bob” Morris submitted his resignation with a terse, one-sentence email:

Effective 12/31/19, I hereby resign from the Humboldt County Planning Commission.

Bob Morris

Morris, a forester and property manager whose current term wasn’t set to expire for more than a year, voted in favor of the wind energy project last month. When the project was appealed to the Board of Supervisors, however, Second District Supervisor Estelle Fennell, who appointed Morris to the commission in January 2013, was among the four “no” votes that killed the project. 

And yet Fennell doesn’t think the two decisions are related. “I haven’t spoken with him about it, but I don’t think so,” she said when reached by phone this afternoon.

So will Estelle choose someone more friendly to environmentalism and smart growth policies? She has a wealth of people to choose from and the whole HumCPR uprising seems to have blown over since they established a conservative majority on the Board, although I’m told that Steve Madrone’s win last year has freaked some people out.

“But conversations with multiple people involved and a close look at the public record reveal that the circumstances of Manafort’s downfall were the seed from which the Ukraine pressure campaign — and, ultimately, President Trump’s impeachment — grew.

In the months after Trump’s victory in November 2016, he and his allies leaned on a narrative that Manafort was the victim of a Ukrainian campaign to fabricate financial records and release them to the media. Ukraine, they claimed, targeted Manafort in “collusion” with the Democratic National Committee.

Trumpworld began to use these interference accusations to defend the President against allegations of collusion with Russia. And, as time wore on, Giuliani began to investigate the underlying allegations themselves.

It’s not clear whether Trump, or other administration officials, took any official actions to pressure Ukraine to manufacture dirt before 2019. But for much of 2017 and 2018, there appears to have been a recognition among both Trump’s allies and officials in Ukraine that Manafort’s downfall was perceived in the White House as having been orchestrated by the Ukrainian government, and was detrimental to the two countries’ relations.

But looking at the pressure campaign through the prism of Manafort highlights the extent to which Ukrainian officials in 2016 perceived Trump’s candidacy as an existential threat. The then-Republican candidate had said in July 2016 that he would consider lifting sanctions on Russia, and might recognize the annexed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea as Russian territory.

And when it came to Manafort, the situation was personal for both sides. The reigning government in Kyiv in 2016 had, after all, been installed following a violent revolution that led to Manafort’s client being deposed.”

You can read the rest of the excellent article at TPM.  It’s a bit lengthy, but well worth the time.

If I was to run with some of the arguments I’ve heard over the recently rejected wind farm proposal, I would have to believe that wind is less green than fossil fuels.  What has been quoted is that wind farms now kill or injure 150,000 birds per year.  But the Exxon Valdiz spill alone killed 250,000 birds, and the spills which occur every year kill many more.

It’s not completely clean.  No energy source is.  But even if we were to abandon electricity altogether, 8 billion people lighting fires across the planet would have a huge impact.  So it’s not a question of whether there is a footprint.  It’s a question of which is larger.  Right now the only major source of electricity in Humboldt County is a natural gas burner.

I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to the Terra Gen proposal meetings.  But I find it darkly amusing when leftish activists and Trump are in line with each other on anti-wind talking points.


Coffee, chocolate, avocados, tea and other agricultural staples may become extremely rare.

• A University of Minnesota-led study noted that, while some places may be (temporarily) better off as the climate shifts, the long-term picture is grim. The world’s top 10 crops—barley, cassava, maize, oil palm, grapeseed, rice, sorghum, soybean, sugarcane and wheat—supply a combined 83 percent of all the calories produced on cropland. Climate change has already affected production of these key energy sources and some regions—notably Europe, Southern Africa and Australia—are faring far worse than others.

In the United States the study found that in eastern Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, climate change has been reducing corn yields even as it marginally boosts them to the northwest in Minnesota and North Dakota. There was a similar pattern for soybeans with reductions moving up from the south and east parts of the country, where slightly more warming has occurred than in states farther north. The changing climate is also reducing overall yields of other important crops, such as wheat and barley.

• A comprehensive synthesis of climate change impacts on the nutritional quality of our food found that, over the next 30 years, climate change and higher CO2 could significantly reduce the availability of critical nutrients, such as protein, iron and zinc by 19.5 percent, 14.4 percent and 14.6 percent, respectively.

Sorry, I forgot to post earlier. Tonight’s topic (in less than an hour) – what else? Impeachment.

Meanwhile, the KMUD holiday party is still happening. Come on down.


For better or worse.


December 2019