Tag Archives | Politics

Psychotic Shooters on the Open Frontier of Profit


Joseph Natoli writes at CounterPunch:

“Each of the Republican candidates for the presidency declared last week that we should deal with school shootings by providing aggressive treatment of people with mental illness — not to alleviate the suffering of the mentally ill, but to protect other people from the mentally ill.”

Andrew Solomon, “The Myth of the ‘Autistic Shooter,’ The New York Times, October 12, 2015

Delusions are the belief in something that is not true. People who have delusions will continue with their delusions even when shown evidence that contradicts the delusion. That is because, like hallucinations, delusions are “irrational” — the opposite of logic and reason. Since reason does not apply to someone who has a schizophrenic delusion, arguing with it logically gets a person nowhere.


It seems possible and may be probable that the conditions that create the inequities of plutocracy break down the psychic defensive capacities of those on the wrong side of plutocracy.

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Bernie’s Conspiracy Theory

Here’s one of those mainstream media pieces (from Politico) that uses the term “conspiracy theorist” to besmirch a politician who threatens the establishment:

Bernie Sanders is the most prominent conspiracy theorist in America.

Bernie Sanders. Photo: Jonathunder (CC)

Bernie Sanders. Photo: Jonathunder (CC)


He runs around the country alleging that the economy is “rigged” — a term borrowed from Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — by what he calls “the billionaire class.”

Sanders doesn’t mean this metaphorically. It’s not a poetic exaggeration. He’s dead serious. As he put it in his speech at Liberty University a couple of months ago, our economy is “designed by the wealthiest people in this country to benefit the wealthiest people in this country at the expense of everybody else.”

Designed. Per Sanders, the wealthy have built and maintained a self-serving system of income inequality at the cost of the 99 percent. As he has put it: “This is a rigged economy — heads they win, tails you lose.”

The Sanders view has all the hallmarks of a good conspiracy theory.

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Taking the High Road

high road

It’s 11:30am on Thursday and I’m cruising the Haight for flags, $24 into the green…

I’ve been good about not drinking or abusing nighttime cough syrup over the last week to get to sleep at night. This is due to a jaunt to go see my mom “back east” in D.C., to get help finishing up Book 2 – San Francisco TAXI: Life in the Merge Lane… (Stay tuned y’all!) Anyway, Ma and my older brother gave me crap about my belly while I was there; which is, um, “respectably pronounced”. Aside from my sedentary vocation, this is due in good measure to drinking at night. And the subsequent tipsy feast just prior to bed. Needless to say, my family’s brand of Jewish/Irish-Catholic guilt is VERY potent! Hence, the abstinence.

So, I was clearing out my Facebook notifications last night and smoking a bowl before going down. As I was perusing the San Francisco Taxi Drivers Group, I came across a report from Barry Korengold, one of the leaders of the SFTWA – the pseudo San Francisco taxi drivers union.… Read the rest

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Fox & the War on Cops

You Can't Sell That Photograph, Said the Cop
Mike LaBossiere writes at Talking Philosophy:

After bringing the world live coverage of the War on Christmas from their own minds, the fine folks at Fox have added coverage of the War on Cops. The basic idea is that violence against cops has increased dramatically and that cops are being targeted. Blame is laid primarily on the Black Lives Matter movement and, this being Fox, President Obama.

Unlike the War on Christmas, Fox does have some real-world basis for the claims about violence against police officers. Police officers are, in fact, attacked and even killed in the line of duty. In some cases, officers are specifically targeted and murdered simply for being police. The harming of citizens, be they police or not, is clearly a matter of concern. The problem is that while police do face the threat of violence, Fox’s rhetoric and claims simply do not match reality.

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That’ll Be $6.80, Please…


word transam bnw

So, I get an early morning voice mail from Christian. He was just getting off from his night shift. And he sounds exasperated…

“I just want to know; how many times have you been assaulted on the job? I was just for the seventh time in my career! And I’m fucking sick of it!”

Well, me? Zero.

Maybe a switch to day driving is in order? I do recall Rose (cab school teacher extraordinaire) giving us the stats in class… It turns out cab drivers are the second most assaulted vocation in the country, with the first being 7-11 clerks. (Police come in third.)

Anyway, it seems Christian was driving through the Mission last night, headed down Valencia with a fare in back. As he was stopped at a red at Duboce, some drunk Filipino crew walked up on his cab and “the big one” stumbled up to the driver’s (open) window and just randomly punched Christian in the face.… Read the rest

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Who Really Won The Democratic Debate? It’s Complicated (Duh)

Pop quiz: who is Frank Luntz?  If you answered “someone who answered most of his phone calls in November of 2012 by first taking the gun out of his mouth,” you get half a point.  If you answered “someone sloppily sculpted from a wad of dough,” I’ll give you three points for being unnecessarily mean. But if you answered “one of several GOP pollsters responsible for the warped view of reality under which the 2012 Romney campaign was operating for the last legs of the 2012 presidential race,” then congratulations, you win! You’re a politics nerd! Either that or you’re actually Frank Luntz, in which case you should just navigate away from this page now because some people have already started drinking and they’re only gonna get meaner.


I mention Frank Luntz because he’s the guy who ran the Fox News focus group that examined the recent Democratic Party debate. This focus group came to the conclusion that, contrary to what the overwhelming majority of popular pundits reported, Bernie Sanders came out victorious over Party favorite Hillary Clinton.Read the rest

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One Nation Under Yeezus – A Guide to the Politics of Kanye West

The United States is enjoying (if that’s the right word) the spectacle of the quirkiest, most unlikely set of presidential candidates in decades, perhaps ever. Is it any more ridiculous, then, to investigate the politics of putative 2020 election candidate Kanye West? Felix Online does it anyway:

…Kanye’s political positions are particularly difficult to discern. It would interesting to ask how he thinks he could make America great again, and it’s likely his response would focus on the social, racial and class issues that America faces today.

Photo: rodrigoferrari (CC)

Photo: rodrigoferrari (CC)


Race and Class

I would once have argued that race would be Kanye’s biggest talking point – it’s a recurring theme throughout his lyrics and in his public appearances. He famously claimed live on-air, during a benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina relief in 2005, that “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Yet now he claims racism is no longer a problem in America; in his opinion, a single black president and his own personal success (and the success of his peers) prove that discrimination based on race isn’t really a thing.

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A Carnival of Militarism and the Enucleation of San Francisco

Aaron Dames writes for Divided Core:

A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Beyond Vietnam

The annual Fleet Week event took place in San Francisco last weekend.  For this event six U.S Navy ships (a guided-missile destroyer, frigate, and cruiser, a Coast Guard Cutter, and two amphibious assault ships, whose collective costs exceeds $4 billion) were docked along the Embarcadero piers for civilians to climb aboard and tour the vessels which were constructed at tax-payer expense and presumably for their defense, while six Blue Angels fighter jets ($21 million apiece, unweaponized) tore through the skies above San Francisco.  Flying at over 650 miles per hour, the jets screamed over the city, setting off car alarms as they performed their synchronistic aerial acrobatics before soaring away over the Pacific Ocean only to curve back around toward the city and execute their maneuvers and stunts yet again. … Read the rest

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Say You Want A Revolution

movementFrom Rebel News

For a movement to have integrity, everyone must be true to themselves, yet for that to come about, it needs solidarity of purpose. This is a dilemma. We need one another for critique, for diversity, for sustainability. We need each other to build the myth of a movement.

Without an alignment of collective and mutual best interest, a movement cannot survive. It will collapse in on itself before it attains any sort of critical mass. This seeming paradox is part of what keeps many creative individuals disenfranchised, biting at each other’s ankles. They’re arguing about the wrong things, and focusing their energy and attention in the wrong place. Movements only occur when people learn to work together towards common goals, to hell with the labels.

Living movements require no closed manifestos, no party lines, no armbands, tattoos or uniforms. What is needed is space to meet up and share ideas and collaborate, a means of making the relevancy of our work evident outside the insular and seemingly elitist circles that form around such groups and the ability to eat and pay rent without completely shilling the underlying premise; space, resources, an understanding of mutual benefit, and a determination that goes far beyond any benefit that aesthetic posturing could possibly provide.

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