The end of one era, and the beginning of another

I wouldn’t allow myself to believe that we’d actually get here. I thought for sure that something terrible would happen. My OCD makes it really easy for me to imagine worst case scenarios, and I had dozens of them racing through my mind. Thankfully, none of them came to pass, and we had a peaceful transfer of power. I am relieved. I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of Donald Trump, or those in the Republican Party who aided him in his attempt to subvert the election, but, at least for now, it feels like we might have a fighting chance. And, with that, I’m going to sleep… Tomorrow the work of rebuilding begins.

We have to do everything in our power to ensure that the lessons of the last four years aren’t forgotten, and people need to be held to account for the roles that they played. Democracies are fragile things, and we came way too close to losing ours. It’s not enough that we banished Donald Trump, we need to ensure that, going forward, things are different. We need to teach media literacy in schools, as well as civics. We need to confront the underlying racism that fed the Tea Party’s birtherism, and laid the groundwork for Trumpism. We need to expose the cult of Qanon for what it is, and find help for those who succumbed to it. We need to prosecute those media entities that knowingly spread lies in order to advance their political agendas. We need to drive every Republican who voted against the certification of our free and fair election from civil society, and criminally prosecuting those who had a hand in planning the insurrection at the Capitol. We need to get money out of politics. We need a new Voting Rights Act that, among other things, addresses gerrymandering. And we all need to get more involved. If we don’t, the next time something like this happens, we may not be so lucky. We were fortunate to have been given this chance to set things right. We cannot squander it.

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  1. Anonymous
    Posted January 21, 2021 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    “We need to confront the underlying racism that fed the Tea Party’s birtherism, and laid the groundwork for Trumpism.”

    A lot of the lack of desire to fund public services and education that would teach critical thinking, civics, a social safety net, etc. is because the term “public” now includes everybody, not just those advantaged by a peculiar institution.

  2. John Brown
    Posted January 21, 2021 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Demilitarizing the police and the citizenry, so that mass violence isn’t such a knee jerk reaction to uncomfortable change, would be a great idea too.

  3. Posted January 21, 2021 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    The work is never done, that is for sure! We will keep moving forward.

  4. Jean Henry
    Posted January 21, 2021 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Apparently in high Trump supporting areas, the police are regularly getting nuisance calls about service contractor vans parked in neighborhoods because they think Biden will start rounding up children now. It’s an odd turn around to have the Karen’s calling cops on white male contractors. (Of course, what happens when a Black contractor shows up?) Keep those police busy managing their blue lives supporters I guess…

    In Whitmore Lake/Brighton area the giant Trump flags were flying until the capitol riots. Now they have been taken down. I’ve heard the same about the Jackson/Grass Lake area. They came down that day. So my feeling is that the necessary conversation to eliminate Qanon and White Supremacist Trumpism is happening within the right wing movement itself. They thought they agreed on most things; they do not.

    On our side, we need to maintain pressure on Biden to do the work to dismantle structural inequity of all forms. There will be plenty of push back within the Dem party when and if he tries to do so. If he doesn’t, I expect his diverse cabinet and advisors will leave. That would be a bad look. HE definitely hired advisors who will hold him to account for the most part. Even Yellen seems committed to equity. When she talks about how the economy was k-shaped even before the pandemic, it gives me hope.

    Lastly, this idea that people just need to be educated to get past White Supremacy is bullshit. Our current public school system even in Ann Arbor does not educate adequately about white supremacy. AAPS has a growing education and suspension gap. The teachers (generally speaking) do not get adequate training and are themselves ignorant on many aspects of ongoing structural racism much less the role of implicit bias.

    Education can make great strides in creating equity but only if we actually start centering the voices of the marginalized in more than token ways. In fact the goal of improving education outcomes for communities of color was used as the excuse to dismantle the community school systems in Detroit and elsewhere. It helped dismantle community cohesion. And those communities do not want white liberal educational ideals imposed on their community along with the inevitable influx of white students and hyper-engaged privileged white parents that come with it.

    I highly recommend this podcast to anyone who believes that liberal education standards will somehow elevate Trumpers past white supremacist thinking. It hasn’t worked for white liberals so why would it work for them? To the degree that American racism is structural and cultural, our public (and private and charter) schools in predominantly White communities like Ann Arbor reflect that. It’s embedded unconsciously in their numbers and in their daily practice and in their budgets and systems like school of choice. Education can not overcome white supremacy until it recognizes its role in it.

  5. Jean Henry
    Posted January 21, 2021 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Gerrymandering is being reformed effectively state by state. Reform takes a long time and is tied via the constitution to the census, so the next major reform possible is in 2031 unless court ordered. The Brennan Center is focused on this work and I strongly suggest anyone interested in that long haul, read their site and support their work.

  6. Jean Henry
    Posted January 21, 2021 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    White liberals lecturing white conservatives has never worked and won’t work. We aren’t going to change any Qanon minds. The election of Joe Biden and successful transfer of power and people of sound mind and influence in their own party will do that.

    We need to focus on creating change in our own communities and nationally that actually reflects our stated values. We have a lot of work to do and I strongly suggest that we stop looking outside of our own sphere of influence and our own communities and states to start doing the work of dismantling structural racism in all its forms, which is the only real way to invalidate Trumpism for good.

    White Nationalist normalization appeals, according to its own past members and propagandists, are very much based on the idea that white supremacy (even if its not called that) is a core American value reflected in all its systems that secure white status and privilege. If we want to disable that effective messaging than we have do more than say white supremacy is wrong. We have to actually do the work, not just perform it for our own gratification.

    And people hate change. So it won’t be easy. And liberal talking points can and will be used by liberals in liberal communities to defend historical and current structurally racist policies. Just look at how local mostly White liberals defend single family home exclusive zoning like their lives depend on it.

    This idea that racism is a GOP thing is wrong. It’s a White thing and we need to clean our own houses before we start lecturing others.

  7. Jean Henry
    Posted January 21, 2021 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    “John Brown
    Posted January 21, 2021 at 8:01 am | Permalink
    Demilitarizing the police and the citizenry, so that mass violence isn’t such a knee jerk reaction to uncomfortable change, would be a great idea too.”

    I’m so confused about this statement.

  8. John Brown
    Posted January 21, 2021 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Why is this confusing? Do you think anyone wants to feel compelled to be prepared for “never again” scenarios? Guns suck. They really aren’t fun, and they are expensive, and result in untold unintentional destruction. But history shows fascists respond better to flying lead that to hugs, unfortunately.

  9. Jean Henry
    Posted January 21, 2021 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    OK, JB. I get it. It seems to me that in the modern world (and maybe historically) they respond better to social consensus moving against their violent actions though.

    Did you watch the Good Lord Bird? It was pretty awesome.

    PS FWIW, I find shooting targets to be fun and have found very few people, even unlikely people, who try it find otherwise. But like my dad, who sold all the functioning family rifles after the Parkland massacre, it’s something I’d be happy to lay down.

    Hunting is more complex as many people don’t enjoy it but for those who do it runs very deep. Regardless, the reality is we need hunters because we killed or otherwise displaced too many large predators. I’d be very happy for more wolves, eagles etc than rifles. The coyotes and foxes are everywhere now which is awesome. Just don’t leave your pets outside at night. Also don’t by homes at the Edge of Sprawl (heh).

  10. John Brown
    Posted January 21, 2021 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    My entry into firearms was after reading Omnivores Dilemma and having seen the result/impact of overpopulated deer on the Michigan forest. Killing is emotionally heavy, but the custom butchered boneless corn finished southern MI meat is amazing. We only eat meat we source ourselves, otherwise we’re veg. Target shooting is fine, but it gets boring quickly once mastered. Then they are just tools, but with an ominous purpose. I’ll check out Good Lord Bird.

    WRT fash, my deepstate connections have been warning me for many years about the infiltration of organized armed forces by race warriors. Now with the proliferation of rural citizen soldier wannabes, many of whom literally have next to nothing to lose and having reached a critical mass, social pressure may not be the deterrent it has been in the past. Throw in misinformation and social pressure no longer means the same thing to all.

  11. Jean Henry
    Posted January 21, 2021 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Ann Arbor needs to purge its police force of its (majority Livingston County resident) right wing mask refusing assholes. We have a lot of work to do structurally as the police officer unions across the country are far too powerful and hold bad officers unaccountable for abuse.

    I enjoy this less amped up v of your persona JB. A conversation seems possible.

  12. Jean Henry
    Posted January 21, 2021 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    What’s your take on this JB?

  13. John Brown
    Posted January 21, 2021 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    The Left is never gonna be satisfied with Centrism. But I disagree with the in your face strategy that feeds the Rights stereotypes when they are otherwise making headway with Bernie proteges getting elected.

  14. Jean Henry
    Posted January 21, 2021 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    I get it. Notably the racial make up of these crowd is pretty damn white. Sigh. They can really fuck up the actual chance for progressive change.

    I think it’s interesting how many ppl on the left think that radicalism is something one can expect in a democratically elected national leader.

    I guess Trump was a radical but one who was not going to disrupt existing hierarchies of power and in fact was radical in his will to maintain and consolidate them.

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted January 21, 2021 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    On the other hand My brief glimpses of Tom Hanks’ Americana is best inaugural special made me feel a little sick. I’m a reluctant patriot because I really believe in the American experiment but I can’t deal with all that premature congratulation. Too many fireworks. And the jokes and music were pretty bad. I get what he was trying to offer, but I appreciate that Biden just wanted to get to work. No balls, Thanks.

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted January 21, 2021 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Oh did I say that? Yikes. I very much hope Biden has some cajones. (I almost wrote ‘shows.’)

  17. John Brown
    Posted January 22, 2021 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    In my mind its OK to be patriotic if its based on an aspirational self awareness. The most timeless and right-on words in the Constitution is the Preamble, and in particular “ order to form a more perfect Union..”

    We’ve done lots of fuckin shit up. But we are free to admit it and try to make amends. Its only our hubris and flawed character holding us back, just like each of us in our personal relationships. I’d rather the center-left assert this definition of patriotism rather than let the right define it and leave everyone else feeling alienated from it.

  18. Jean Henry
    Posted January 22, 2021 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t think about the reclaiming patriotism on the establishment left. That’s very good, and yes, is very much needed. My brand of patriotism isn’t performative (unless protest and letter writing counts) but I did put out a flag after Biden won.

    I keep going back to the early days of the Trump presidency when my then 11 year old son and I walked past an anti-Trump rally in A2 and a couple Trumpers were there filming. Someone is the crowd called them brown shirts. My son asked what it meant. When I said Nazi he replied, “I thought the point of politics was to convince them to join our side?”

    So we know now that hose two guys may have actually been the US version of a Nazi. They may also not have been. I still think that my son was right. And Michelle Obama when she counseled the high road. And Biden when he said we need to rely on the power of our influence rather than the influence of our power. I’m pleased with Biden’s steps so far. My daughter who has been understandably super cynical about him is giving him some reluctant credit.

  19. John Brown
    Posted January 22, 2021 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    I’m probably not the one to address proactively bringing nazis back to humanity. But a close friend of a friend in PDX told me his personal anecdote once. He was a raving racist homophobic teenage Portland skinhead in the 80’s and even participated in gang beatings of targeted minorities. Eventually the local POC gang returned the favor, isolated him, and beat him within an inch of his life, fracture skull and all. He had a near death epiphany and for the first time experienced empathy for his own victims. He continues to have lifelong neurological symptoms but nonetheless continues to go out of his way to support those he previously targeted.

  20. Jean Henry
    Posted January 22, 2021 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    I never buy stories that getting a beat down is an effective mechanism for profound positive change. The normal outcome that I’ve seen from experiencing violence at the hands of BIPoc is that it awakens latent racism and hardens and radicalizes. If beat downs of white supremacists by gangs of color led to positive reform then prison would be a very effective means of rehabilitation.

    This program seems to work. High road. I give them money every year.

  21. John Brown
    Posted January 22, 2021 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, I’m not suggesting going mainstream with that improbable approach. But for this guy its a real story. I’ve met and hung out with his siblings and seen all the blacked out tattoos. He literally suffered brain damage, which does strange unpredictable things. It is a great party story though.

  22. ElsieGal
    Posted January 22, 2021 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Jean, the Mother Jones article is fascinating. Thanks so much for sharing it.

  23. Bob
    Posted January 23, 2021 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Oh those goddamn Bernie bros! They turn him into the adorable internet sensation of the year and what does he do? He makes merchandise and sells it out! And then…donates it all to meals on wheels. Not even enough left for private jet vacations with Harvey Weinstein. That socialist really needs to take notes from the Clinton foundation.

  24. Bob
    Posted January 23, 2021 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Mother Jones is a real progressive, left-wing rag, btw. I’m not sure it lines up with your republican lite worldview there, Jeanie.

  25. Anonymous
    Posted January 23, 2021 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Disagree to agree to disagree.

  26. Posted January 23, 2021 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Bernie should only pay attention to the Clintons if he wants to see how to *effectively* help people. I am sure his little meme charity will do some good maybe even if not nearly on the same scale.

  27. Jean Henry
    Posted January 23, 2021 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    This was my take on the Bernie thing v early on:

    Hot sartorial take (come at me):
    Bernie was the biggest attention hog at the inauguration with his grandpa mittens and raincoat. His stand aside performative liberalism/faux humility is a pure diva move that, to his credit, really plays to his base.
    I’ve known an awful lot of old rich white New Englanders that werk that lewk. Go for it old man. The kids want a yelling, fist waving grandpa to lead them.

    They sure don’t want a grandma like that tho…

  28. Jean Henry
    Posted January 23, 2021 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Please note that Janet Yellen was dressed the same essentially but no attention, meme. And there were remarkable women of color breaking barriers on the Dias and dressing to suit the occasion. Some attention, no memes.
    No actual poor people want a person in power who owns three homes worth millions of dollar to dress like he can’t afford a meal in a $600 jacket. Only white liberals dress below their station to signal that they’re not part of the oppression. Donations to charities are pretty much the same deal.

    Bundle them together and people like Bob can feel really good about themselves while generally being nonsense assholes otherwise.

  29. Jean Henry
    Posted January 23, 2021 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Should have said donations to charities tied to buying more shit– you get my drift.

  30. Anonymous
    Posted January 24, 2021 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    You mean every school fundraiser ever?

  31. Jean Henry
    Posted January 24, 2021 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    School Bake sales tend to sell baked goods for less than the cost of goods to make them (much less the time/labor) I view them as More gesture and posture than fundraising. For some reason ppl see it as more pure to do events than just hand over cash. Silent auctions also tend to net less than the value of the goods. Winners get a deal and get the boost of feeling good about themselves for buying some thing or service. If everyone donors and winners just handed over the cash outlay, the nonprofits would all be better served. Development pros call these events ‘relationship building’ and they appear to be necessary. So when Bernie sets up a donation via purchase thing, it’s as much about building political capital as capital.

    I’m speaking generally. There are always exceptions.

  32. Anonymous
    Posted January 24, 2021 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    School magazine sales for PTO, school club flower sales, pie sales, support local business and percentage donation sales. While I agree that a direct donation is monetarily more efficient, when I’ve offered I’ve been politely declined because it puts other students whose families are in different financial positions at a possible disadvantage.

  33. John Brown
    Posted January 24, 2021 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    I wear a shirt-jack in cool/cold weather always. It’s practical, warm, and conceals a firearm easily. Plus, it gives camo in trumpastan. But ONLY if it’s legitimately frayed from physical work, and has an essence of chainsaw exhaust. What is this “stations” thing? Sounds bougie.

  34. Jean Henry
    Posted January 24, 2021 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    A shirt Jack sounds boogie JB.

    John Brown sales of goods for trips are actual profit making ventures. Not charity like bake sales in which parents bake cookies at a cost of an hour and 75 cents each and sell for 25 cents. The profit is decent from sales of low cost commercial goods marked up a lot; it just goes to a trip. Those sales are taxable or should be. Any school should accept donations to cover the cost of trips for those who can’t afford it. No one should be judged better for giving or receiving. We should just do it if we can afford it. Making them ‘work’ for it is some weird personal responsibility trip. My thing has always been to let kids work for things they really want. The enjoy the work and the thing more that way. There’s always work for teens. Few work anymore though.

    Here’s a fun Reddit thread in which an ex-Qanon believer answers questions about the experience. Most interesting I though was his assertion that exploring conspiracy theories feels like critical independent thinking but it’s the opposite. The inside feeling is v different that the outside appearance.

  35. Jean Henry
    Posted January 24, 2021 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Tons of typos. Apologies.

  36. Posted January 25, 2021 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    When my Cass Tech Latin club went on a trip to Rome, the organizers stated that it was pretty important to them that every student earn their own way. They didn’t hook up with one of those marketing groups though. I recall one of the teachers saying that those aren’t really fair either since richer kids are more likely to have social networks that result in high sales. Anyhoo. we were all encouraged to get a job instead.

  37. Posted January 25, 2021 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    The title transfer on my property in Ohio became public record on January 20. Portman decides, and announces he is not going to run for reelection–coincidence?

    The main vendor at U of M Stadium figured out an excellent way to get tons of volunteer labor while at the same time providing significant funding to community groups. When my daughter was a member of Ypsi High’s Marching Braves, we (band members and family and friends) worked two concession stands at the stadium. Those of us who did cooking had to undergo some health and safety training, but for most it was simply show up an hour before a home game, and help close after the games. Each season made sufficient money to fund the bands road trips. The vendor got thousands of hours of free labor, but as far as fund raisers went it was more equitable than many.

  38. Posted January 25, 2021 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Rob Secaur, Ohio Republican Party Executive Director, says they were surprised by today’s announcement by U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) that he would not seek re-election in 2022

  39. Jean Henry
    Posted January 25, 2021 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Those all sound like effective ways to fund a trip. They aren’t charity however. I’m very much in favor of kids working jobs. Some kids still work to help support their families though not to pay for trips to Italy. Pay for play is the norm in public school bands and sports now. I still think kids who can least afford it should be subsidized by families who can. With cash. Because they have more of it. And very little of that advantage was earned.

  40. Anonymous
    Posted January 25, 2021 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get the public school sports thing at all. A lot of money goes to funding activities that benefit a minority of students for a short time in their overall lives. Most other countries have serious youth sports as club activities separate from public school. If anything, public schools should be encouraging and tracing all students how to take care of their health for their adult lives.

  41. Posted January 26, 2021 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    so much for that end of one era, beginning of a new. King Manchin vows to stop Biden program.

    Got to love those Blue no matter who Democrats.

  42. Posted January 26, 2021 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    good to know that right wing Democrats are so open to persuasion.

    spokesperson for Democratic Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema has said that she is “against eliminating the filibuster, and she is not open to changing her mind about eliminating the filibuster.”

  43. Posted January 26, 2021 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    and of course that sexist populist Jesse Jackson has nothing worthwhile to offer.

  44. Jean Henry
    Posted January 26, 2021 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Anonymous— I agree. I went to a fancy stupid private high school for three years, but the best thing they did was require everyone who attended to participate in after school sports. So there were lots of organized club team activities.

    I don’t believe that students should have to pay to participate in competitive leagues though. Any avenue for achievement in public schools should be accessible to all who qualify on talent and skill.

  45. Jean Henry
    Posted January 26, 2021 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    The filibuster has an ugly history and I very much support getting rid of it. That will not alter Wobblie’s assessment of me as a Moderate Democrat veering to conservative.

    That really shows how profoundly disconnected he is from the spectrum of political beliefs in this country.

    Being a true liberal, I don’t take any political category someone foists in me personally. It really doesn’t matter what political position you take. You can still be deluded and believe impossible unfounded conspiratorial bullshit. You can still confuse being right with doing right. Or doing left with being right.

  46. Anonymous
    Posted January 26, 2021 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think competitive leagues should be a part of public school. That’s the difference. I’d rather those resources be put into something that will help multiple young persons become functioning adults rather than a single large boy being the third string JV running back for his football team.

  47. Posted January 26, 2021 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know. I think team sports are something that we should encourage. I got a LOT out of the team sports I participated in as a child (mostly swimming and sailing). I have seen schools where everyone is required to be on a team like Jean mentioned and that seemed to go well. There is a real educational value to organized sports imho. I would rather seem more kids have access than fewer.

  48. Anonymous
    Posted January 26, 2021 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    The members of the school baseball team were all part of expensive travel baseball teams from a young age. The members of the school hockey team were all members of expensive travel baseball teams from a young age. Just about every athlete on a competitive high school team sport is likely part of a family that spent a lot of money on the sport. Many Parents choose high schools based on the likelihood that that their child will be placed on the varsity team for a sport. The facilities to host some of the sports are expensive and used only by a small percentage of students. Waste of good money.

  49. Posted January 26, 2021 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    JH, we have explored our different views on a wide range of political issues over the years. You have expressed support for fracking for example. The vast majority of Americans are opposed to fracking. You are in favor of waiting for any action on moving towards Medicare for All (I think I am being generous about your position). The vast majority of Americans, including Republicans are in favor of Medicare for All.
    You express recognition of the climate emergency, but seemed quite content with continuing our reliance on fossil fuels to some indeterminate time in the future. You occasionally express discontent with Democratic policies but as near as I can tell, engage in little of any critique of those Democratic policies.
    When you talk to your kids, do you give them hope that their world will be better than the present? If so, do you explain how it will become a better place? Do you give them examples?
    If you do, please share them with us. Or do you assure them that supporting the status quo will eventually meet the challenges of the future.

  50. Jean Henry
    Posted January 26, 2021 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    My sister was a tri captain who received no special training , since sorts had just opened up to women, but I have heard the narrative you suggest. My nephew was an all American athlete in college and his soccer teammates in Baltimore growing up we’re on travel teams for sure but were also mostly on aid and looking for athletic scholarships as a way out. Maybe your perspective Anonymous, is based on Ann Arbor. The same argument could be made for music. Should band be cancelled as well?

  51. Jean Henry
    Posted January 26, 2021 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie— you have totally misrepresented my perspectives. I’m for Medicare for All. I believe and have consistently stated that Medicare Option for All is the most viable path to get there. I’m only ok with fracking as a transitional fuel over coal as we move to renewables. I also support much tighter regulation of fracking.

    My positions have not changed and are in most thing far to the left of most US citizens.

    I’m nit sure why you feel a need to stack people who mostly agree with you. It’s like you thrive on opposition which is also a terrible way to create change.

    Please know that 90% of the positions you ascribe to me are inaccurate. There’s really no point in correcting you anymore.

    One naturally must ask what your investment is in condemning others as right wing who clearly aren’t but who occasionally disagree with you on a local blog.

  52. Jean Henry
    Posted January 26, 2021 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    I am not and have never felt satisfied with the status quo in the US and I don’t expect I ever will. My kids know my political activism and are politically engaged themselves on their own terms. They know they can disagree with me politically but I expect them to be able to defend their position. We talk about participatory democracy as a mandate. It’s a family value.

    My daughter is deep in the abolition movement in NYC. Her high school advocacy to end gender bias in school dress codes and enforcement was covered here. My son gave a ten minute presentation to his class on mass Incarceration and the drug war. In 5th grade. In 4th grade for his state history project he built a Detroit hip hop family tree instead of a model of the Mackinaw Bridge or the standard fair.

    My family have been politically engaged in progressive change going back to my great grand parents. Before that they just founded towns and made maps. My grandfathers uncle was defenestrated for his union organizing activities in SF. And he was born to a lot more wealth than I’ve ever known. My great grandmother was a women’s and children’s labor rights activist and the chair of the league of women voters in California during the first years after CA women got the right to vote. She also organized and joined the first diplomatic international mission to Japan in the interwar period hoping to prevent war . You can read all about her in the Bancroft Library at UC California Berkeley, which holds her papers. Emma Moffatt McLaughlin. My great great great grandfather was an active abolitionist going back to the 1760’s.

    I’m from a family of community organizers and activists. The only public office held was a judge. I was never taught that party politics mattered more than activism and community engagement. That’s a lived principle in my family. They have not always been on the right side of history but they have never been disengaged or protective of the status quo.

    You are the first person I’ve ever encountered who confused me for a conservative. You are so delusional in your perspective regarding me, Wobblie, that it must be massive projection. I’m uninterested in understanding why.

  53. Anonymous
    Posted January 26, 2021 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Let’s just say that the top tier band and orchestras in Ann Arbor are mostly comprised of students who have been playing their respective instruments for a long time with private teachers. So yes, in principle, it’s not possible for a student who decides to try music to make it to these top tier groups. There are two to three lower level bands and orchestras to join and try, with the lowest open to novices. They all share the same facilities, and in the case of the auditorium, a space also used by many other students in different groups. At and music can be practiced by many people well beyond primary school. Let’s contrast that to field hockey, or any other prep sport. Most of the players on the team will be part of a private club, with private camps in the off session. They will play on playing fields restricted to members of the athletic department, and have lockers and weight rooms and other facilities limited to varsity athletes. They will get special dispensation for exams, homework, and time off from class to play their sport. Do you really think that the golf team is made up of walk ons? Tennis? How many students will play baseball (not slow pitch softball) after they get their high school diploma? How about tackle football? Full contact hockey? Wrestling?

    Life activities such as running and swimming make sense. There are many non competitive non scored physical activities that people do that aren’t really recognized in school at all.

  54. Jean Henry
    Posted January 26, 2021 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Anonymous– Do you believe that things one does that are not repeated throughout ones life have no value? Because that kind of kills calculus or any joy really. It also pretty much invalidates my whole life which has followed my curiosity to many places and activities. Haven’t road a river or driven a semi truck or gone on a solo back country trek in a while but I’m glad I did. My brother played Lacrosse, Hockey and Soccer in high school and college. He’s now a lawyer who coaches lacrosse. And plays Hockey and Soccer in adult leagues. When he got divorced his soccer team ended up being his defect support group. It seems you hate competitive sports but like music. Other people have other interests and joys.

    If you want to talk about the athlete abuse of high stakes college athletics, especially football, and the excessive value placed on it, I’m right there with you.

    But high school is a time to learn and grow and try things. I wish more sports teams were available. I know pioneer has quite a few club teams who use the same facilities as the varsity, JV and freshman teams.

  55. Jean Henry
    Posted January 26, 2021 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    sorry for typos. again.

  56. Anonymous
    Posted January 27, 2021 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I think you should forget the nostalgia of high school from decades ago. It’s as ludicrous as me giving advice on college application to my own kids based solely on my experience from the last millennium, where typewriters were cutting edge and test prep unheard of.

    Except for the no-cut teams, the current high school structure is inadvertently set up to support the commercial youth sports industry, which is driven by parents who think sports will help their child get into college. The varsity blues USC scandal was only the most extreme expression of this.

  57. Posted January 27, 2021 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Seem like the answer might be MORE money directed to athletics so that every student can be on a no-cut team. Maybe add some intramural teams?

    FYI*, There is an irony when people like wobbie block fracking when it results in fewer utilities switching to natural gas so that they continue to burn coal. It is like how people voted for Nader in 2000 so we got Bush or when they refused to vote for HRC in 2016 so we got Trump. Does it really matter that your views are more pure, wobblie, when your actions effectively cause the opposite? More climate change! Fewer rights for marginalized people! I’ll take a centrist democrat over progressives who like you might better be called “regressives” due to the effects of their actions. Like seriously, you have exactly zero standing to criticize anyone.

    *My sister told me that when she writes professional emails, in her head this acronym stands for “Fuck you, Idiot” LOL. Seems to fit here.

  58. Jean Henry
    Posted January 27, 2021 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Anonymous— I agree expensive youth sports are a Pox on our society. I don’t agree that the solution is to eliminate high school sports. My son plays soccer or did until the pandemic. We waited as long as possible to transition him from rev &ed to a much more expensive travel team. I was frustrated because I thought he learned better playing pick up soccer with older kids in after care. We live in a neighborhood full of parks and kids who play soccer and there are no pick up games. Kids aren’t allowed to go to parks alone (because of stranger danger indoctrination which is moral panic, not reality) so my kid would be there taking shots alone. Instead parents pay a lot of money to drive there kids do place remote while they sit in their minivans and do email. It’s absurd. A racket. I’m not sure those kids are actually better players though. Maybe so. I mean does training make a great player (of sport or instrument) or does practice?

    Anyway I know high school sports means a lot to kids. Some who otherwise don’t care about school. My sons friends who play basketball are at the Y most afternoons. They play travel too but the Y is the thing- at least in the before times.

  59. John Brown
    Posted January 27, 2021 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Don’t forget to take a moment to reflect on Holocaust Remembrance Day. Also reflect on what lengths you’d go to to ensure Never Again.

    High school sports are mixed bag. Great for teaching mental and physical self discipline and confidence for many who need those things. But terrible for elevating the douchiest douche bags to megalomaniacal heights and enabling their abuse of their peers, including lots of rapey-ness.

  60. Posted January 28, 2021 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    It has only taken a year plus for some Corp. Dems to finally figure out there might be a more effective way to dealing with Trump than impeachment. I seem to remember that pariah Tulsi Gabbard wanting folks to talk about censure a year ago. Seems like the 14th. Amendment was brought up as a tool as soon as the putsch failed by some of us. But then Democrats always seem to want to do strategies that are doomed to fail. What are the current odds that Trump is convicted?

  61. Posted January 28, 2021 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Gabbard is a stopped clock.

  62. Posted January 28, 2021 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    As always Lynne, personalities are more important to you than policy. From the article I posted,

    “With a conviction in the Senate trial of President Trump looking unlikely, Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine are working together on a possible alternative”

    Kaine, wasn’t he Clinton’s choice for VP? Sue Collins, isn’t she one of those Republicans we need to have if Biden’s agenda is going anywhere. But I am just a dolt, and don’t understand that it is the messenger, not the message that is important.

  63. Jean Henry
    Posted January 28, 2021 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie– from the beginning of our wayward conversation about the 14th I said I was hearing they had to do the impeachment first. If the impeachment doesn’t pass it’s unlikely the 14th will pass court challenge. There is a reason impeachment was pursued first.

    When ever viability is questioned, you conflate that with not supporting the end goal. It’s truly bizarre that it even extends to holding Trump accountable and denying him a run in 2024– which is obviously a commonly held goal for all parties.

  64. Jean Henry
    Posted January 28, 2021 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    “Kaine is pitching his censure resolution to Republicans as a potentially more politically palatable alternative to convicting Trump and barring him from future office. But he is also making the case to Democrats that his resolution would have much the same effect as a conviction, by condemning the former president and **laying the foundation to keep him from returning to the presidency under the terms of the 14th Amendment**.”

    What is the likelihood that that last part, which will face Supreme Court challenge, will hold up?

    The certainty Wobblie has that involving the 14th via censure will be effective is shared by no one, except Tulsi who loves to pretend things are possible even when unlikely for political reasons. She convinces people like Wobblie that ‘elite’ Dems don’t actually care about achieving these goals or serving the people. Solid populist move. Also corrupt.

  65. Posted January 28, 2021 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    As I watch the GOP split into two factions, I have to say that I have become even more worried that something similar will happen with the Dems. We have been seeing the signs. I am hoping that we can convince more conservative Democrats to get on board with the progressive policies because a lot of them are actually really good ideas and I am hoping that we can help some on the progressive wing of the party understand that they are more likely to get the policies they want if they accept that it isn’t going to happen overnight and stick with the party even if they didn’t get every single thing they wanted. They also need to understand that it is going to involve a lot of work, maybe decades of work, just to convince enough people to move slightly in the direction they want. Perseverance is where it is at!

  66. Posted January 28, 2021 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    JH, My point in posting the above was, 1)Point out that conservative Dems and moderate Repubs were working together towards a way of holding Trump accountable. Some thing you profess to support. Trump was impeached twice. The chances of conviction the second time looks to be about like the first. This has obvious to dolts like me–Pelosi and Schumer clearly know this. After the failure to convict in the first trial, what did they do to hold Trump accountable? I can’t think of anything that the Dems attempted in Congress.
    2) The Dems had an opportunity when Obama was elected to crush the Republican Party and turn it into a splintered mess. He chose to ignore the past (not a single operative for Bush was held to account for the lies that led us into war)–Trump in fact savaged the Bush wing of the party over their hypocrisy. The Democrats have a chance once again to cripple the Republican party for many elections to come. If they use every means to separate the Trump base from all moderate Republicans, it will become a white nationalist sectional party. To separate the Republicans from one another it is critical to give the moderates opportunities to condemn Trump. Pelosi was only able to turn 10 votes in the House for Impeachment. A well orchestrated campaign for censure could conceivably turn more.
    By the way, I have not once argued that Impeachment should not have proceeded this time. I argued that the 140@ Congressfolk who voted to overturn the election following the failed putsch should be censured and banned from future elections.—
    Your “arguments” about the SCOTUS are an excuse to do nothing. The 14th. Amendment is very explicit.
    Section 5.
    The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

    Or is it that you believe the Court is simply an extension of the Republican Party?

  67. Posted January 28, 2021 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie, when I said that she is a stopped clock, I was saying that she was right! Admittedly in a very snarky way since a stopped clock happens to be right twice a day but obviously not because of the merit of the clock!

  68. Posted January 28, 2021 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Don’t you think it is interesting Lynne that you chose to comment on the person, not the policy. If I had instead led with Tim Kaine rather than Tulsi, would you have responded differently? I was just stating an obvious about personality over policy–If Tulsi had not broached this as a tactic a year ago, and Kaine and Collins were advancing this from scratch, I would have dismissed the tactic out of hand. If we are going to have progress under Biden, policy must come before personalities. The decision to advance the COVID relief bill through budget reconciliation is an excellent first start. More hardball will force more divisions to appear within the Republicans. Your an economist. You might find this discussion interesting

  69. Jean Henry
    Posted January 29, 2021 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    “Some thing you profess to support. ” Wobblie why the hell do you do that? C’mon. What is your investment in misrepresenting my positions?

    Again. I think they should take every state feasible to prevent hold people accountable and especially to prevent Trump for running from office– which I think is critical. I do not know why those who know more than you or I chose to pursue impeachment first and hold the 14th in reserve. I heard many times that they aren’t sure the 14th would stand court challenge.

    I don’t know why and neither do you. It could be on legal grounds; it could be that the federal courts are dominated by extreme right wing judges now. It most certainly relates to the fact that it has not been applied to a president before. You express certainly about things you don’t know enough about. That certainty is driven by ideology. Which is cool when talking about a vision for the future but less useful when discussing policy and legislative action. You think if you believe it should be possible, then it must be or it’s the Dem office holders who are corrupt. I have quite a bit of frustration with Pelosi et al right now myself but for different reasons.

    I try to understand why they do what they do instead of jumping to the conclusion that they are weak, misguided or corrupt. I learn a lot that way. You should try it but you seem too invested in your resentment.

  70. Jean Henry
    Posted January 29, 2021 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    *action not state. Don’t even know how that happened.

  71. Posted January 29, 2021 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    JH, I have not seen you advance any arguments or strategies on how we hold the 140 + Congressfolks enablers to account. Got any suggestions? What does Pelosi have in mind–any idea? Do you see our leaders explaining a course forward that includes accountability–if so please share. I’m an ignorant dolt, with fewer and fewer information resources available. What is the strategy to ensure the Biden, Build Back Better agenda moves through Congress? What is the strategy to delegitimize and smash the Trumpian Party, or is that unimportant to the BBB agenda. Are we going to have some lasting change or just some executive orders that make things better for a few for a few years?
    These are the concrete political questions. Without popular pressure to hold them to account, I think we will end up with mush. What do you hear from our Leaders that I am missing?

  72. John Brown
    Posted January 29, 2021 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Read this opinion by Malcom Nance. The Dems are doing something simply by the language and labels they are using. The problem of insurgency isn’t new, I mean Wobb can probably list a hundred cases where the USA promoted it externally. It’s an understood phenomena by the folks at The Company, but Americans are still at the early stages of accepting just how bad we got it at home. And every Agent Orange voter owns it whether they can face up to it or not. Using accurate language and unifying to hold our trumpist acquaintances accountable is part of the process.

  73. John Brown
    Posted January 29, 2021 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    oh, and just for kicks, Russia, Russia, Russia!

  74. Anonymous
    Posted January 29, 2021 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    As a gauge of general public sentiment against entrenched financial institutions, look into Reddit GameStop.

  75. Anonymous
    Posted January 29, 2021 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    It’s one of the few things that AOC and Ted Cruz seem to be in agreement on. Also Tucker Carlson and Occupy Wall Street. It’s the magic key to unify MAGA and economic progressives.

  76. Posted January 29, 2021 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Yeah but did you see her tweet to Cruz? hahaha.

  77. John Brown
    Posted January 29, 2021 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Self identifying Fash back in DC today. Nice of them to hold off until after Holocaust Remembrance Day.

  78. Jean Henry
    Posted January 29, 2021 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    This was interesting. Not sure how reliable, but eager to know more. Whatever it takes to make sure the Trump nightmare never rears its ugly head again.

  79. Posted January 29, 2021 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Russia, Russia, Russia, well that sounds like a winning strategy. We’ll match your racism with our xenophobia, so very liberal.

  80. Jean Henry
    Posted January 29, 2021 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie– Are you suggesting that Russia does not cultivate assets in the US? And visa versa?

    You believe we bombed wall street to justify starting a war but you don’t believe that The KGB exists?

    PS It’s not a strategy. It’s just another brick in the wall.

  81. Posted January 30, 2021 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    No JH, I don’t believe any of the things you mention. Not do I think for an instant that you think I believe them. I brought up what strategies were you advocating, or which you had heard Democratic leaders put forward to advance the BBB program and invicerate the Republicans. JB chimed in , Russia, Russia, Russia! and you pitched in with your youtube video. It seems like the strategy the two of you are promoting is: ignore the Repubs and blame Russia for our problems. Am I missing something? Obviously you don’t have anything to offer other than Russia Russia Russia–that is all you got? No path towards accountability?

  82. John Brown
    Posted January 30, 2021 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Who’s just blaming Russia? Conspiracies take two to tango. I’m starting to think Wobbly is joining us from Macedonia with his reductionist takes. Certainly focuses on the peripheral to distract rather than the “unifying to hold trumpist accountable” central message. Weird.

  83. Posted January 30, 2021 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I failed to see the video of Putin leading the charge up the Capital steps. I failed to see the Russianbots telling me to get my gun and head to the state capital. I failed to see the USSR claiming the election was stolen (yeah I know the USSR does not exist, but hey if were going to make shit up…)
    So adopting JB’s reality for a moment, when do the treason trials start? When does Chuck and Nancy disclose the cash payments from Putin to Hawley and Cruz? When does Biden’s FBI (he is keeping Trumps FBI director—has Putin got to Joe?) start making arrests?

    Is this the fantasy that is going to be mainstreamed? Do I need to get cable to get plugged into the MSNBC education program? Please JB help this stupid dolt understand how Putin is pulling Cruz, et al strings.

    This will obviously be a winning strategy in two years. WE STOPPED THE RUSSIANS
    Kinda like the Republicans running against that commie socialist Biden.

  84. Posted January 30, 2021 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    wobblie’s just touchy because it is likely the Russians are doing the same to Tulsi Gabbard.

    I am looking forward to reading the book today!

  85. Posted January 30, 2021 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Well that aught to fortify all of your preconceptions. So now I understand, no accountability, only fantasies to distract us from the failure of our institutions. It is heartening to know that the Democrats can emulate the Republicans.
    Russia Russia is of course the lead edge for censorship and closing down open discussion and Governmental accountability.
    Can’t have the internet rabble gumming up our ruling class deceptions. Reliable informed Government sources say their is evidence that the Gamestop rally was instigated by a “foreign” power manipulating day traders into thinking pirate hedgefunds are their enemy. Information control is essential for a “free” society. Patriot Act II (or is it III now) will correct these problems. Google, Twitter and Facebook will be allowed to control content to stamp out these pesky outbreaks of misinformation. I look forward to thinking like you guys in the future.
    The Russians are so devilish and clever– a cup of xenophobe to start your day.

  86. Posted January 30, 2021 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    I think that there probably should be SEC regulations that can address the issue of speculative stock trading. I am not sure exactly how those regulations might look but I know that there are economists out there crunching the numbers and coming up with plans. Who do you think was hurt the most in this episode? The hedge fund managers still have their million-dollar mansions but the guy who borrowed money because someone used his fear of missing out to manipulate him into buying at the top of the market is screwed.

    The Dems are doing all they can to hold Republicans accountable but in case you haven’t noticed, wobblie, a significant number of voters are not supporting them. They are doing all they can and while I share your frustration, I urge you to come back to reality on this.

  87. Posted January 30, 2021 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    I will note that “pump and dump” is already illegal but the issue here is that due to the anonymous nature of many forums, it is impossible to know if the people urging the buys are people who own a lot of shares already.

  88. Wobblie
    Posted January 31, 2021 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I am so glad the benevolent liberals are thinking about how the small guy gets hurt. That is why we still dont have a reasonable COVID stimulus check , because liberals dont want all those waitresses and stock boys losing their money on the stockmarket
    Those Damn Russians made me do it.

  89. Anonymous
    Posted January 31, 2021 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    GameStop is not a bunch of morons buying a structurally flawed company. That stock has been sold short for more than 140% of outstanding shares by institutional investors (all public information) and this is a classic short squeeze. A lot of these retail investors are playing around in the market because in alternate times, they would be playing around with similar amount of money in sports betting, which is dropped in popularity. Any money that they could lose is already money that they were prepared to lose sports betting. The difference is that there is a gentleman’s understanding between large institutional investors not to do this to each other; this time is small retail investors doing the short squeeze, in a completely legitimate fashion. I think it’s very hypocritical for the establishment to come up with rules to protect themselves after losing money. It’s almost like socialism for me; capitalism for thee,

  90. John Brown
    Posted January 31, 2021 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    W, are you trying to say “the Ruskies help enable the weaponization on my pre-existing tendencies”? Because nuance is hard.

  91. Posted January 31, 2021 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    wobblie, The same people who want to regulate the stock market are trying to get a stimulus. It isn’t an either/or situation. Do you really not understand that because the Dems only barely are a majority in congress and because the Democrats are a big tent party, Progressives are a minority that can only get things done by building coalitions with centrist Democrats and Moderate Republicans? And do you *really* not understand that the reason is because of voters? Fortunately, Dems are in a better position now than they were in 2016 so there is hope that they will get MORE done but it seems like a good bet that they will not get as much done as everyone would like. That is just reality. I don’t see Tulsi Gabbard getting anything done. That is probably why she is your hero. You would rather have someone spout rhetoric that you believe in than move actual policy towards those goals. But then, that is nothing new with you. You would rather be politically pure and allow Trump to be president than prevent actual harm to people. It is what it is I guess.

    Anonymous, who else but established politicians can even hope to try to regulate Wall Street? I presume that is who you mean by “the establishment”

  92. Anonymous
    Posted January 31, 2021 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    I’m just pointing out that Wall Street hedge funds acting in a predatory manner towards small retail investors because of a lack of regulations are now asking for regulations when they feel predated upon by those same small retail investors. Are you defending the hedge funds now?

  93. Posted January 31, 2021 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Oh no. I am sorry. By “establishment” I thought you meant that the people in congress who are working to have good regulations.

    I have exactly zero sympathies for those hedge fund guys. They were manipulating the market in their own way but failed to predict small investors doing a pump and dump. Probably because most of those small retail investors actually seemed to believe either that there was value in Game Stop or (in one weird conversation I had with a guy) that causing the stock price to go up would raise the value of the company!? I saw some people also seem to take an approach that even though they knew they were likely to lose money, it was worth it to stick it to those Wall Street a-holes. I can’t even argue that point. Those guys probably did have it coming. They will be ok though. They are not losing their mansions or yachts or anything.

    Most of the people I know personally who got in on this thing were gambling and although some of them lost significant amounts of money by my standards, no one losing a house or anything like that. As with sports betting, things often do get out of hand and people get hurt!

  94. Jean Henry
    Posted January 31, 2021 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    Disappointed but nit surprised that Biden is letting industry lobbyists write his insurance overhaul. No Medicare Option as explicitly promised. More aid for Obamacare which just funnels profits to insurance companies (who btw did not honor business interruption insurance claims from Covid-related government shut downs) .

    It’s essential that we pressure Biden to listen to advocates not lobbyists on this. He was elected on a different plan.

    God damn it.

  95. Posted January 31, 2021 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    We need a public option. Time to try to get voters to pressure their MOC and Biden!

  96. Posted February 1, 2021 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    The Trump circus continues, but thankfully now well outside the Oval Office.

    From CNN:

    Trump names two new lawyers for impeachment trial a day after his defense team collapsed

  97. wobblie
    Posted February 1, 2021 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Lynne the only politicians worth trying to pressure is Manchen and Sienamen. As long as the filibuster rule is in effect, we will have no “progress”. But getting rid of the filibuster would be a “populist” response wouldn’t it JH.

  98. Posted February 1, 2021 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, I am not really in a position to effectively pressure either Manchen or Sinema directly. I am working, though, to encourage voters in Arizona and W Virginia to put some pressure on.

    Eliminating the filibuster is an interesting thing. I have been in favor of it for a long time actually but even then I admit that I am grateful for it when Democrats are the minority power.

  99. Jean Henry
    Posted February 1, 2021 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Getting rid of the filibuster is an anti-populist position HW. The filibuster is just about as populist a mechanism as I can imagine, allowing a few determined people to obstruct the legislative process via soap box speeches. It was created to protect Slavery in the South. Nothing is more populist than rural state rights. Populism was practically invented in the Southern States.

    I want it gone. I think it’s an overall destructive tool and anti-democratic.

  100. Jean Henry
    Posted February 1, 2021 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    PS I know you insist HW on viewing populism as a political position when it is simply a political strategy that appeals to any kind of popular resentment of supposed elites, whether legitimate or not. Populism is not grassroots organizing. That’s an organizing tool. Populism is basically a marketing strategy. Energize the angry base by pointing fingers at someone or group in power (or even who appear to be in power). Anti- maskers are populists. So was Occupy. I think Occupy was legit and anti-maskers are assholes. My value judgment is on the strategy and how it leads to a lot of misinformation and distrust in even reliable institutions and sources of information.

    I have yet to encounter a populist media site that was more reliable than traditional journalism outlets. I have many complaints about traditional journalism too but at least there is intense internal vetting of journalistic integrity.

    Please call me a sheep or an elite. Whatever. Totally transparent.

  101. Jean Henry
    Posted February 1, 2021 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    HA! I called Wobblie HW. Funny. Time for a break.

  102. Posted February 1, 2021 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    JH. I have gotten a sense that wobblie is having trouble grasping at idea of populism. He doesn’t seem to get that it is a strategy that can be used by organizations or politicians who are doing great work. And also, there are times when a populist approach makes good sense. I.e. if a person is running for office because they are fed up with corruption, taking a populist approach makes a lot of good sense!

  103. John Brown
    Posted February 1, 2021 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    Medicare for all and removing the profit motive is the only way we’re going to avoid some kinda dystopian Oryx and Crake biotech future. Where the elite and the poor having such different healthcare experiences, in the face of climate change stressors, that it eventually results in divergent evolution.

  104. Posted February 1, 2021 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    I don’t disagree, JB. We do need to switch to something like Medicare for All but I will note that Medicare for All is NOT a plan that removes the profit motive from health care. To do that, we would have to have something more like VA for All. I am not opposed to that except that it would be harder to get people to support it.

    A public option is huge step towards Medicare for All as is Biden’s plan to lower the eligibility age. I hope he hasn’t abandoned that plan too!

  105. John Brown
    Posted February 1, 2021 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    I get that M4A is just a small step in the right direction. The more powerful Capital gets, and the more biodata is seen as an asset, the more screwed we are and the more disruptive the revolution required to change direction. Forgive me for simultaneously considering widely ranging time scales. Clearly John Brown doesn’t feel bound by the conventional human time scales.

    Lets get that orange fucker up on the wall first…

  106. Posted February 1, 2021 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Manchin will be Bidens’ Lieberman. Whine, whine, cry, cry. We couldv’e been a contender for greatness.

    In an interview with CNN affiliate WSAZ in West Virginia, Manchin bristled at Harris’ interview with the same station that took place on Thursday, suggesting the administration did not give him a heads up.

    “I saw it. I couldn’t believe it. No one called me,” he said. “We’re going to try to find a bipartisan pathway forward. I think we need to, but we need to work together. That’s not a way of working together, what was done.”

  107. Posted February 2, 2021 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    The problem with kinda smart people is they are certain of their intellectual superiority and they give up on learning. Us dumbs ones know we got to keep learning just to keep from falling further behind.

    JH, you might try it some time

  108. Posted February 2, 2021 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Manchin has a lot of power right now because of the current makeup of congress. He could switch parties and that would really put a wrench in things. Our best strategy is to appease him for now and work on picking up at least one or two Senate seats in 2022.

  109. Posted February 2, 2021 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    One thing I think Biden should do is bring green energy jobs to W Virginia. They are very pro-coal there. It is a dying industry no matter what but they do seem to think that they can vote their way back to coal prosperity. They can’t. But they can get a good share of the new green economy and THAT might be something that could change the behavior of W Virginia voters.

  110. A2guy.
    Posted February 2, 2021 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, far too many white, middle to upper class “liberals” are concerned with their own comfort, not actual change. Wow, maybe we can get back to the way things were before Trump.. Big deal. But hey, we can all pat each other on the back on how progressive and tolerant we are as the 1% still pulls the strings, the poor get fucked, and the usa still brings “democracy” to the rest of the world at the end of a missile. Kamala sure is cool though!

  111. Jean Henry
    Posted February 2, 2021 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    A2GUY My daughter calls Kamala ‘a cop.’ The youngn’s don’t trust her at all. Neither does a lot of the Bay Area. I’m taking a wait and see approach.

  112. Posted February 3, 2021 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    A2guy, do you know some other people in the area that you can encourage to read this blog? Mark needs some normal people to start feeling comfortable commenting here. Right now it’s all just us crackpots. But it’s a little better than it was before the Trumpanzees skedaddled, as I’m sure you can imagine. Still, it would be nice if this blog could become a place where relatively sane people felt comfortable visiting and maybe even commenting. If you know any, please mention this to them. Mark might even be willing to pay some of them, but don’t promise anything.

  113. Posted February 3, 2021 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    One era that just won’t end soon enough. I sure am glad we continue to invest in the buggy whip industry of the future. What we need is more fracking to transition us to a carbonless future some time in the distant future.
    Meanwhile the rest of the world moves on.

  114. John Brown
    Posted February 3, 2021 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Wobb, just had some Amish go by the John Brown tactical training facility. I bet the buggy whip industrial complex ain’t gonna die. Too bad they’re mostly trumpist heretics these days

  115. Jean Henry
    Posted February 3, 2021 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Amish ppl don’t vote, John Brown. They stand aside from all politics. But they, like many Native people, fear government intrusion and get little help, and so are natural libertarians. I know the press likes to make a big deal out of anything Amish like meth dealing and voting Trump. These stories sell lots of clicks but are anecdotal.

    Side note: a friend posted this and it’s on point re my feelings about populism, left and right.

    “this is gonna make some professor’s monocles pop out in shock, but a lot of what is called populism is just a scam pretending to be an anti-scam””

  116. John Brown
    Posted February 3, 2021 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    JH, Not a true generalization about Amish and voting. The ones that roll by our place voted trump. Even had some signs out with the black laundry. And they also use power tools in their jobs working for English cash as long as the English plug them in. Talk about better living through loopholes. Was gonna hire one crew for some rough construction jobs until I found out they were just non-electric trumpists.

    While I’m sure there are some moral Amish, the trumpist ones are the epitome of the modern self described “Christians” that the Rev William Barber says actually meet the theological definition of heretics.

  117. John Brown
    Posted February 3, 2021 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Here you go. Click bait alright. But real people that my neighbor has hired and whose homes I drive by. Luckily there aren’t that many of them, but they been growing lately in SW Hillsdale Co.

  118. John Brown
    Posted February 3, 2021 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    And before you admonish my reading comprehension, the dudes my neighbor talks to said they were voting despite the bishops public line. They are not borg uniformly following the bishops anymore apparently. The issue of attempts to get septic regulations and child protective services by the big Gov was what they cited as motivation.

  119. Jean Henry
    Posted February 3, 2021 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    I never said the Amish are moral. I know better. I grew up surrounded, literally by Amish and old order Mennonite and a Mennonite run mental hospital for fun. The Amish visiting relatives park their buggies in my parents Barn. They played pick up basketball there but they smoked too much. They did vote more than in past, but the past was none to nill. Individual church leaders (bishops) may allow and encourage voting, but that’s not the norm. The Amish are people. They aren’t more good or bad than anybody in any group. And you shouldn’t hire anyone because of their religion or any doctrine they follow if they don’t want to impose it on you. I can guarantee most Amish don’t.

    Did you hear the one about the wealthy car dealer who bought a foundered horse from an Amish farmer. The guy drives his Cadillac right onto the field and confronts the Amish farmer behind his plow. The Amish says ‘a deals a deal.’ The car dealer says ‘ I don’t want my money back, just give me that goddamn hat so I can sell the horse to someone else. ‘

  120. John Brown
    Posted February 4, 2021 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    OK, thats enough tangential Amish bashing for me. But Rev Barber talking sense about about perverted theology really got we wound up, and I have a history of getting wound up.

    Everyone should check out Dr Angela Rasmussen on twitter and her discussion of the shortcomings of “close contact” definition in the context of the UK variant, which is on fire in A2 thanks to Umich. Punchline is that its a constrained, but useful concept for contact tracing, but not a protective guideline for our personal behavior. And my experience is that its being used as a guideline by employers, and school administrators, far beyond its utility for transmission prevention.

  121. Posted February 4, 2021 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Now that the Trumpanzee Circus has left the White House, it’s funny again. Cue Yakety Sax.

    Special Report: Stolen election? Republican lawmakers paralyzed by Trump’s false fraud claims

  122. Posted February 4, 2021 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I still can’t believe we made it through the Trump years alive. Not including the 400,000 killed by Trump’s negligence.

  123. Wobblie
    Posted February 4, 2021 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    We lost another one of the good guys yesterday to the trumpvirus

  124. wobblie
    Posted February 5, 2021 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    JH, this must make your day. Your “transition” from carbon based fuels utilizing the dirtiest form of extracting carbon just got a shot in the arm, thanks to two Democrats. So much for the BBB program having any legs.

  125. Jean Henry
    Posted February 5, 2021 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Wobblie– I’ve always been opposed to the Keystone pipeline. Actively. I understand you can not absorb any subtlety of argument beyond cheap moralism so I won’t explain further.

    I’m pissed off Granholm wants to import Natural Gas too. It’s time to wind it down.

  126. wobblie
    Posted February 5, 2021 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    JH, I understand your nuance very well. You consistently support the use of carbon fuels, atomic as well, as “transitional” means to sustainability. The consequence of support like yours has been the undermining of green energy programs. OH yes, it is important to be REALISTIC. Politicians need the people providing back bone to programs. Liberal lesser evil realism has led us. probably irretrievably, down the road of ecocide.

    I’m still waiting for a strategy proposal from the liberal elite on how they are going to mobilize for the programs we know are necessary. You oppose the pipeline–but you support politicians who don’t. Manchin and that toady from Montana should be thrown out of the Democratic Senate conference. You going to obstruct the President–then you can face the Trumpites in a Republican primary. If you want to be the Democratic nominee for Senator–then you MUST vote with the President.
    We are playing hard ball and if you are not going to throw the high inside pitch–then you are going to get played by those who will.

    I ask again, what is the strategy?

  127. John Brown
    Posted February 5, 2021 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    As long as we’re in a capital dominated world, one strategy is to make alt energy profitable. Check out New Alternatives Fund (NALFX), it outperformed the market big time at 59% return last 12 months.

  128. Jean Henry
    Posted February 5, 2021 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    In Wobblie’s world view, the natural gas boom disrupted green technology not the coal industry.

    If it hadn’t been for natural gas, we would have committed to renewable energy sources 10 years ago, right?

    Just a straight up falsehood. Most of the progress on renewable;e technologies has come from the private sector. The Government has been too paralyzed by divisiveness to function for the greater good. And no I’m not saying that the private sector overall functions for the greater good. In the case of climate action, they both created the problem and developed the solutions.

  129. Lynne
    Posted February 5, 2021 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Re: ” Liberal lesser evil realism has led us. probably irretrievably, down the road of ecocide.”

    STFU wobblie. You have done more to lead us down the road of ecoside than most people and certainly WAY more than Jean.

  130. wobblie
    Posted February 5, 2021 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Typical liberal. Brought up fracking and you jump to natural gas. And yes you are probably right natural gas promoted by plutocrats who owned natural gas rights undermined a transition to renewable energy under the Obama regime. Then of course there is the whole manner our foreign policy is perverted by the need to make “natural gas” development profitable. The root cause of our clash with Russia is over who is going to provide natural gas to Europe.
    Lynne, I just can’t stop myself when I see us flushing our future down the toilet.
    No strategy –though JB at least sees the need.

  131. John Brown
    Posted February 6, 2021 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    “our clash with Russia” so we agree on something.

    I wouldn’t stress too much about climate change. It’s a done deal. We’re probably way past the tipping point. Especially give the global population and the standard of living expectations of just the currently alive humans, and the time it will take to turn the ship, even if everyone leans on the rudder hard at the same time. And trumpist wont even admit we’re in the same boat.

  132. wobblie
    Posted February 6, 2021 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    We’re probably way past the tipping point..

    And which tipping “point” do you think we are past. The one where the earth is on an irreversible trajectory to becoming a second Venus? The one where the struggle for survival results in constant war and destruction? The one where the vast majority of us are simply disposable chattel to the rulers of the universe. Which irreversible future are you rooting for?

    JB, you are nothing like your namesake. A real JB does not resign himself to being a tool of the powers that be–what a waste of good carbon you have grown up to be.

    Still no strategy proposals to help Biden advance his BBB program. We have options. We can give Manchin a ton of money and buy his vote. I mean he is the wealthiest member of the Senate (brought to him be the W. Virginia fossil fuel industry) , so money must mean a lot to him. I’ve proposed two possible ways forward–do the liberals have a preference? Do they see another way to make BBB program a reality? Or is it better to just let our ruling elite maximize their money while the rest of us whistle dixie as the earth dies?

  133. Jean Henry
    Posted February 6, 2021 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    JB— we have no way of knowing if it is irretrievably too late. There’s no point in nihilism. Humans can innovate technology very very quickly. And technology changes culture. Quickly.

    There are precedents for humans re-working everything they do very rapidly given impetus.

    Anybody who speaks in certainties about timelines and climate is bullshitting. Too complex to know.

  134. John Brown
    Posted February 6, 2021 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    The latest data on the accelerating melting rate of Greenland, and paleo records on previous rates of delta climate, make it nearly certain that there will be a complete loss of the ice sheets. And the relatively new feature of fairly regular polar vortex excursions to relatively southern latittudes is just another sign that soemone left the lid on the cooler open, and the ice is going to melt that much quicker. That is the tipping point to which I refer. Of course that doesn’t mean we have to accept the Mad Max future the GOP heretics are determined to drive us toward. Dealing with change is hard, and it doesn’t help to have unrealistic expectations about the possible range of outcomes that we need to plan for. Same applies to dealing with the trumpists.

    Wobb, fuck you, you cantankerous antagonistic self rightous POS.

  135. Sad
    Posted February 7, 2021 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Is this blog going to be archived?

  136. Jean Henry
    Posted February 8, 2021 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Was just thinking that the ‘end of one era, beginning of another’ must mean this blog. BMM/AMM

    I think it’s cool that Mark has replaced this blog with long meandering walks with his son. Better use of time. Feels downright humane. Fully support

  137. wobblie
    Posted February 8, 2021 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    I think Mark is more likely a struggling entrepreneur who just opened a restaurant during the height of a pandemic. I doubt very very much that he has much time to devote to blogging on Biden and the Democratic missteps or taking long meandering walks with his son. My experience as an entrepreneur who is under-capitalized is 80 hour work weeks, and no free time to think of anything other than survival.

    JH, as in everything, I wish you were right–but reality usually tells a different story.

  138. Jean Henry
    Posted February 8, 2021 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Do you even read this blog, Wobblie?

  139. wobblie
    Posted February 9, 2021 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Read it all the time JH. Let’s see, Mark has spent years and years commenting on things important to him on this blog. What do you think has happened in the last year that would cause Mark to alter something that has clearly been a regular feature of his life.

    Let’s see, he bought a building and spent a lot of effort rehabing it. Started a new business-undoubtly these ventures have created lots of new debt in his life -and oh yeah, he got fired from the job he had this entire time–the economic back stop to his other ventures disappears, and now the incentive to make his business ventures successful is surely paramount.

    But like the late demented HW , you reside in an intellectual bubble that reflects your values and opinions back to you. As I stated I hope you are right. That MM has the time to spend on hours long walks with both his kids, that they can enjoy the wildlife that encroaches on the city, that they visit the various historic sites in the city and contemplate the lives of those who lived and made Ypsi what it is. But, I doubt that is as regular of a feature in his new life, as you imagine and he would like.

    Have you ever had a surprise economic dislocation in your life? Don’t know how dependent the Maynards were on Mark’s prior job, but I suspect it was significant. Adjusting one’s life (particularly when one has dependents) to a significant loss of income is no easy thing to accomplish either physically or mentally. But who knows, maybe Mark inherited wealth (I doubt it) and can hire folks to do all the work associated with his building and the Bellflower. Perhaps you are right JH, he is enjoying the life of leisure and contemplation that some one of his stature should enjoy.

  140. wobblie
    Posted February 9, 2021 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    JB, this is the “tipping points” the Zurich Insurance Group is trying to get the ruling elite at Davos to pay attention too.

  141. wobblie
    Posted February 9, 2021 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    15$ an hour was a good idea in 2015. I like the proposal I hear percolating among the prols.
    25/25 in 25 no exceptions.
    $25 dollar min. wage.
    25 hours equals full time–time and a half after 25 hours.
    Make this real in 2025
    No exceptions–no sub min. wage, no separate min. wage for restaurant and agricultural workers. WAGES and HOUR laws applied equally to all work NO EXCEPTIONS (Independent contractors 25/25. Professional/salaried workers 25/25.

  142. wobblie
    Posted February 9, 2021 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    As JH would gladly remind folks, I am a dolt. But in my defense I do like to parrot what smarter folks than me have to say. This is one of my favorite political economist giving a talk to Stanford University’s European Center. His map at the very end of his talk has Illinois and Ohio switched, but his presentation on Angrynomics and the following Q and A are help explain to a dolt like me some of the reality aroun me.

  143. Jean Henry
    Posted February 9, 2021 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie– I know a thing or two about raising a family while rehabbing a building and starting a restaurant.

    Mark simply has said several times that he is now taking long daily walks with his young son.

    I did the same with my then young daughter when dealing with the stress of running a restaurant. It’s good to get away and kids need our attention. And when you run a restaurant, you work many many hours but you also can leave in the middle of the day a fair amount. It may be the only time you leave until late at night.

    I made the assumption that, given the choice of what to do with his now limited free time, he is choosing the walks over this blog. And I think that’s a wise choice.

    Please tell me some more how wrong I am.

  144. Jean Henry
    Posted February 9, 2021 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    And Wobblie, I have in fact experienced lots of economic dislocation. My only sizable wealth are my homes. And one is still mostly debt. My parents are now wealthy, and my sisters are both very very rich (married VC dudes) but I alas am not.

    I am extremely lucky and privileged, but this idea you have that I would have no empathy for Mark’s current situation is glaringly funny/delusional. On its face. And based on what Mark has said in this blog.

  145. wobblie
    Posted February 10, 2021 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I don’t have a clue why you think I believe you lack empathy. I will say I do believe you have hard time seeing reality other than through your liberal lenses, that does not mean I think you are a sociopath or something. Just narrow minded.
    Being an extremely lucky and privileged person implies, to me at least, that you have not had a life full of suffering and crushed dreams and expectations. Perhaps you missed MM comments about unexpectantly losing his job of many years. The loss of steady income, and the attached beenies, like health insurance are not easy to replace–especially when one has added (I am assuming this) new layers of debt to ones living expenses.
    My multiple experiences at entrepreneurialship have clearly not been as successful as yours–as I mentioned undercapitalization is the bane of new businesses, MM family ties that he has exposed here do not make me think he has inherited financial family resources to draw upon.
    I wish him success in any endeavor that he pursues, and perhaps you are right, he has finally conquered his oc disorder and no longer has the need to share his thoughts with others–I will miss his comments if that is the case–I frequently disagreed with him, but never doubted his commitment to building community.
    What are the ratings like for Impeachment, the sequel? Will the show have a surprise ending this time? Do you suppose this is the strategy, distract us from Congress being deadlocked and the Democrats not having a strategy for moving forward? I don’t think so, but still no visible strategy for achieving anything beyond what the Republicans will let happen. If only iRobert would take the time to fill us in.

  146. wobblie
    Posted February 10, 2021 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Don’t know if anybody checked out he video of Mark Blyth talking about his book Angrynomics I posted above. I found it very helpful in understanding the Trumpanize. Anyway, I know how some folks are entirely dismissive of information that does not emanate from establishment sources. Here is an interesting article relying heavily upon a piece in THE ATLANTIC. I believe it is an approved source of information. It details how an article in the New York Times a couple of years ago was complete and utter anti-China propaganda not based in reality on the ground at all. Of course unapproved information sources were saying that the New York Times piece was based on falsehoods at the time it was published–it only took two years for established information sources to get the truth out there.

  147. Jean Henry
    Posted February 10, 2021 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Wobblie– my business was undercapitalized too. Which is why it did not survive my ex’s alcoholism and our divorce. It was successful but it broke me financially. I was able to keep the house because we did it all shoestring, relatively speaking. And because I scraped by for ten years after.

    I know you love to think of me as some dilettante but I have worked very hard at many jobs mostly manual my whole life. That was a choice I made. Mark chose to buy and renovate a building and open a restaurant. He lost his job after starting on a new one. He’ll be ok.

    PS liberalism is the polar opposite of ‘narrow minded’. It means open minded.

  148. wobblie
    Posted February 11, 2021 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    JH, never thought of you as a “dilettante”. I agree that liberal is the polar opposite of narrow minded. Despite your self-perception you express nothing but establishment view points when it comes to climate change, imperialism, and our economic system. Your views of the working class is also anything but “liberal”. And like most of establishment apologist you refuse to recognize failures of policy.
    I find it interesting that you label a business that “broke me financially” and probably contributed to your ex’s alcoholism and your divorce, “successful”. On those metrics my businesses have also been wildly successful.
    The glib like manner in which you believe MM will he “ok” , is pretty much how you view the world. Don’t worry too much about climate change, technology will save us, don’t worry about US imperialism–the US acts for good in our international relations, the white working class is racist and needs to be treated as such –are these really todays “liberal” values? You know I am stupid and you at every point demonstrate your superior intellect. I thought classical liberalism engaged in critical analysis which I would have thought would have included critical self reflection. I am obviously once again in error, but what can you expect from a dolt–am I right about that at least?

  149. Jean Henry
    Posted February 11, 2021 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Wobblie– My ex was a functional but severe alcoholic, despite many many attempts at sobriety, from 14. The business did not ’cause’ his alcoholism, Alcoholism isn’t caused by circumstance.

    He has 15 years sober this November. An achievement. The marriage and business could not survive his alcoholism. I’m glad he did. We are still friends.

    You are entirely wrong on all counts above. Keep being wrong about me. Your absolutism is your only constant.

  150. Jean Henry
    Posted February 11, 2021 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    When I say Mark will be fine, it’s an informed assessment. And also a hope.

    Your expressions of empathy for Mark are rife with assumptions and a transparent effort to triangulate because of your beef with me. It’s not empathy but projection.

  151. wobblie
    Posted February 11, 2021 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    JH, I have nothing but respect for your obvious intellect and tenacity. I think you need to improve your interpersonal skills some. I guess it was some other JH who I argued with about nuclear power. I guess it was some other JH who constantly pointed out to me how irresponsible it would be to “disengage” internationally. Instead of being roundly dismissive, why don’t you demolish me with specifics of where I am wrong. I have no doubt that I see you as an emblematic of a “liberal” who has routinely supported politicians, who have implemented policies that have enriched a tiny segment of our population at everyone else’s expense. You have done so because, above all else you are reasonable and responsible. Everything else would be so much worse don’t you think? Isn’t that ultimately your position on so much of what you disagree with me about?

  152. John Brown
    Posted February 11, 2021 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile, a Himalayan glacier collapsed, in winter! And 40% of Republicans admit that political violence “may be necessary”. Assume that’s an under count, like admitting you drink too much.

    All Americans left of violent christo-fascism need to be unifying to solve this immediate political problem if we want to have any chance of mitigating the global existential threat of slowing and adapting to the melting ice. Anyone picking fights about progressive purity is wasting humanities precious time.

  153. wobblie
    Posted February 11, 2021 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    That is cool JB. What is our current position on the 1st amendment and censorship? Are we for or against it? What nuanced position should “all Americans left of violent christo-fascism” take?
    I suspect RFK jr. has a thought of two.

  154. Posted February 11, 2021 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    …and as we all know, Instagram is our only means of communicating with one-another. I’m not allowed to send smoke signals from my balcony, so I’m essentially a prisoner and completely cut off from society

  155. wobblie
    Posted February 12, 2021 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Is “instagram” offering itself as a service to the public? Does instagram have the right to unilaterally discriminate against some users? Does instagram have the same rights as bakeries? Can it exclude homesexuals? How about religious believes that run counter to the owners? Is freedom of expression archaic?
    Does anyone even know how to read smoke signals anymore? If RFK jr. communicated in esperanto, would instagram let him use their service? Maybe Sumarian (I think there might be a dozen who can read it).

  156. Anonymous
    Posted February 12, 2021 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    I just want to know if there is some significant connection between lamb and Valentine’s Day because Bellflower’s preorder menu for that dinner highly features it. Also, pork collar sandwich is very addictive.

  157. wobblie
    Posted February 12, 2021 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I think using smoke signals would violate open burning and anti-pollution ordinances. At least in Ypsi, I think they would shut down my smoke signal speech in a New York minute. I thought for a moment, I could go out onto the side walk and scream out my speech, but that would probably be disturbing the peace. All that is left is this site.

    ‘While beef is the original romantic dinner, lamb is the fancy one and the one you should choose when you’re really trying to impress your loved one ”

  158. Posted February 12, 2021 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    This guy should have used my smoke-signal defense.

    From WXYZ: Suspect in assault released allegedly commits arson in Washtenaw County

  159. Posted February 14, 2021 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    So taxpayers are paying for secret service protection for a bunch of Trump family members and former administration officials. Can’t we just ask the Promise Keepers and Proud Boys to volunteer for this duty?

    From ABC News:

    Secret Service protection extended to Trump family members, ex-staffers

  160. stupid hick
    Posted February 14, 2021 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Bellflower pork sandwich vs the McDonald’s McRib sandwich

    As I have written before, the key to winning the fast food game is laser focus on the value menu, and to never buy a flagship menu item unless you have a coupon. Something I have never revealed before, however, is I will make an exception to the above strategy when it is McDonald’s McRib season. For $3.75 you get 500 calories of boneless pork product, molded into the appetizing shape of a rack of ribs, slathered with a tangy sauce, and decorated with a modest amount of pickles and onions, on an oblong bun.

    Now, Mark Maynard makes a tasty fried pork collar sandwich, which also has onions and pickles, as well as Swiss cheese, and fancy mayo, served on a fancy bun. Mark’s pork is of a higher quality than the McDonald’s pork “product”, and his pickles are better than McDonald’s pickles. He is also more liberal with the pickles and onions than McDonald’s, and I like that. For $13 it is a very good fancy pork sandwich. I estimate it weighs in at about 750 calories.

    Is the Bellflower pork sandwich worth 3 of the McDonald’s McRibs? I used to think I knew the answer, but the Bellflower sandwich is pretty damn good. So I will spend the McDonald’s McRib off-season recalibrating my approach to food gathering. I am receptive to the idea Bellflower is better than McDonald’s. Thank you, Mark, for influencing my thinking in this area where I thought I was an expert, but clearly I have more to learn.

  161. John Brown
    Posted February 14, 2021 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    This guy is practically a saint, but he doesn’t get the benefit of a partisan senate vote.

  162. Posted February 14, 2021 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    I apologize for saying “promise keepers” when I meant to say “oath keepers.” I’m tired. I’m always tired now.

  163. johnthebasket
    Posted February 15, 2021 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    I’ve lurked here from time to time and finally comment after the horse has left the barn and the farmer has packed up and moved to California.

    As a linguistic footnote, if you addressed a crowd in Esperanto, there’s some chance somebody would understand you. Although invented by a Russian, Esperanto is deeply rooted in Latinate bases and suffixes. You might even guess what hundo and cato mean in English, even if you didn’t know that all nouns end in o.

    The data on number of speakers is a little dusty, but the World Book (yeah, I know) puts it at a little over a million fluent globally and a bigass linguistic institute estimates two million. The University of Washington linguistics department estimates over five million globally have at least partial fluency in Esperanto.

    I am not an Esperanto speaker. I am a refugee from a blog that bans political comments. I guess, in the dialect of the late Tom Petty, I don’t have to live like a refugee.

    Mi deziras al vi pacon.


  164. Bob
    Posted February 21, 2021 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Did Mark say he “got fired?” Did he mention his day job at all on here? It’s pretty lousy to speculate. I hope he’s well. He’s a resourceful guy. I’m sure he’ll be fine. I hope to try his restaurant soon. That’s a tough go under normal circumstances, let alone this mess. Jean, there’s so much wrong with you. Every topic, every post is a weird invitation for you to bully your authoritative personal experience and expertise. Coupled with your bizarre personal sharing. Strange and icky.
    Good luck Mark. Letting go of this dumb blog is probably a good move all around.

  165. wobblie
    Posted February 23, 2021 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Mi tre ĝojas, ke via edzino fartas bone, kaj mi sincere esperas, ke vi ne havas malbonajn efikojn de la viruso. Mi ankaŭ ĝojas, ke vi revenigis vin al via blogo.

    Mi deziras al vi pacon.

  166. Posted February 23, 2021 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Things are tough, to be sure. But I’m alright. Thanks for the concern, everyone. I promise to give you all an update soon.

  167. johnthebasket
    Posted February 23, 2021 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Mirinda blogaĵo.


  168. Jean Henry
    Posted February 25, 2021 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Bob– I was not gratuitously sharing but countering Wobblie’s points with relevant personal detail. They were counters. When someone attacks me personally, sometimes the counter is personal detail. Whether or why I should counter at all is a more valid concern.

    I get that any sincere demonstration of my humanity strikes you as ‘strange and icky.’
    You should look into that. All it tells me is that you have an investment in dehumanizing me. Much like wobblie.

  169. wobblie
    Posted February 25, 2021 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    JH, vi nomis min sensenca kaj dogma, inter aliaj nomoj. Kiel nomojn mi nomis vin? Mi ripete diris mian respekton al vi, sed mi kritikas multajn el viaj pozicioj. Kiel tio malhomigas? Mi komprenas vian seniluziiĝon, ke granda parto de tio, kion mi komentas, rezultas postevite esti ĝusta, kie via intertempado kun malpli granda malbona voĉdonado ricevas al ni nenion krom pli malbonajn.

  170. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2021 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Are you not dogmatic, Wobblie?
    You dehumanize me by reducing me down to your understanding of my circumstance (also flawed) and using that to criticize and misrepresent my positions. I’m simply a tool for your endlessly pounding rhetoric. Not a person but a representative of something you can’t abide. I’m not asking that anyone be kind. I’m asking that they attempt to see others fairly, as they are. I believe when someone repeatedly and grossly misrepresents another person’s perspective is demonstrates that they are not interested in who that person really is– aka dehumanizing. If I was in fact the architect of the oppression of the working class or you personally, then maybe I could understand your animus, but I am not. Not even close.

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