Today’s intemperate rant

Outpost of empire

I’m really not an expert in anything except writing 900-word essays. I read things, and I think about things, and I lie back and let people who actually know stuff talk. OK, mostly I do that. But sometimes I notice something, and no one else is talking about, and I ask: “Am I delusional?”

There’s only one way to find out.

I’ve been noticing this big hole in the presidential campaign. I know it’s hard to focus on anything else with that big ol’ Trump weasel making everything crazy. But he is already disappearing, and I hope and expect that he will be gone well before that last ballot is counted.

Which means we’re stuck with Hillary. The lesser of two evils is still evil. Once the big evil goes away, we have a lot of bad ideas left to cope with. I mean, Bernie Sanders was right. Is right. He didn’t start soon enough, and he’s probably not a real good executive, but maybe if his coalition stays together and works for change in smaller elections, we might have a progressive wing of the Democratic party.

But, see, that’s not really my problem. We have Hillary and her well-known coziness with big money guys. It’s certain that a Clinton candidacy will be business-as-usual with the yacht-owning classes. Clinton doesn’t want to reform them; she wants to use them. She thinks she’s controlling them, and I think the opposite is true.

But that’s still not my problem. Bernie ran an insurgency campaign, and he talked about all sorts of worrisome trends. He identified an important nexus of corruption. Hooray. But he refrained from talking (except in the most general terms) about the rest of the world.

And that’s what’s missing from this campaign: the world.

Somewhere in the world


We all remember the world. Some of us have been there. Beyond our borders, all sorts of cool stuff is happening. Also lots of uncool stuff. War, torture, displacement, suffering, corruption, and I could go on. And we’re doing a lot of it, and are complicit in a lot more. We are a bastion of free market colonialism, and we have somehow arranged the world to make us stuff we think we need.

And if the factories are appalling and the wages inadequate, that’s on us. If tiny countries are being stripped of natural resources to supply our smartphone or toothpaste or bath mat needs, that’s on us too. Our good guy status (free speech! free elections! free balloons!) is somewhat undercut by our raging greed and supreme powers of denial.

Is the Clinton presidency going to fix that? Of course not. The Clinton administration would consider it the cost of doing business —and doing business is what this nation as always been about.

And then there’s Syria. As we know, Clinton wants to bomb them. Who would we bomb? That’s not clear. It’s never clear. And what would bombing them accomplish? What’s the end game look like?

Americans are id monsters. Let’s bomb ’em and it’ll all work out because we’re exceptional. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya — no plan but to make sure everyone gets rich. Everyone who counts anyway. And Clinton utterly buys into that. Bomb ’em and show ’em we have muscle, because why? Because Russia. Because terrorism. Because…

Look, there’s a refugee crisis to deal with it. Some 60 million displaced persons! The population of California is 38 million. Can you imagine how much that is in the currency of suffering?

So let’s take all the money we use for arms and armies, all the wealth we piddle away by invading random countries, and use it solve that problem. Give every refugee $10,000. Seriously. Money is the solution to poverty. Houses are the solution to homelessness. You know?

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Enjoying the blessings of liberty

And there’s two other wars we’re involved in. Iraq is now a fight against ISIS, and Afghanistan is still a fight against the Taliban, a fight that’s basically a stalemate. No end in sight in either place. I should mention that these are Obama’s wars now. I know he’s the coolest thing since Elvis, but he is doing the traditional “kill people” thing. I know he got Osama and all that, but what about all the other dead people? Dead bad guys only creates more living bad guys — that’s the mechanism of the social media jihad.

Obama can’t even say Congress blocked him from doing the right thing. If there’s one thing that the legislative branch and the executive branch agree, it’s the necessity of making war.

And not to mention all the repressive regimes that we are good buddies with. We support them because we think it’s in our interest, or it used to be — a lot of our alliances are left over from the Cold War. Turkey? Turkey was resolutely anti-Communist. Now it’s a dictatorship-in-training run by a grandiose cretin who hates free speech,  loves excessive pomp, and wants to kill all Kurds. And Turkey is our ally.

And who can forget Saudi Arabia, where women can’t drive and gays get executed? They’re spreading a creeping ultra-Conservative brand of Islam all around the Muslim world.  They encourage terrorists. Plus, they are fighting a bloody and senseless war in Yemen, and we’re providing the Saudis with “intelligence, airborne fuel tankers and thousands of advanced munitions.” More dead people, and thank you very much, Uncle Sam.

Saudi Arabia is our ally.

And so on  around the globe. I understand that Hillary has lots of experience in this area. Alas, her experience seems to have taught her that the conventional wisdom is right. Trust the generals; they know what they’re doing. And trust the NSA, because they have all these secrets.

This could be a secret

Of course, some of those secrets were obtained illegally. I can’t convince you of that, but Edward Snowden could. Hillary doesn’t like Edward Snowden. She denies that the information he provided demonstrated any unlawful behavior. She thinks he should be brought home to “face the music.” I think Snowden did something as brave and useful as what Daniel Ellsberg did. Hillary denies that he’s a whistle blower, but of course he is — and that whistle can’t be unblown.

I think maybe it’s time that Hillary Clinton answers some hard questions. Will the United States continue to support Saudi Arabia? Will it keep supporting the Muslim-murdering government of Myanmar? Will it keep increasing its burden of war and treasure in the Middle East?

She’s the first woman president, and millions rejoice. She’s also in charge of the army and the foreign policy apparatus, and there’s far less joy. Clinton wants to talk about the issues. Well, these are issues.

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The map is not the territory


Photography by Tracy Johnston

79 thoughts on “Today’s intemperate rant

  1. Well, Jon, you’re right, of course. And Obama got some of that right to, and some of it wrong, and George W. Bush — OK, skip him, but Bill Clinton before him got some things right and some things wrong. It is a hard world. Look back — who helped us gain our independence? France, at the tail end of its notoriously greedy and oppressive monarchy that was about to be overthrown, as a power play to frustrate the British. Who helped us defeat Hitler? Stalin, who was almost as bad as Hitler, but it was a good thing we had his help, as Hitler would probably have won otherwise. So yes, Hillary will probably follow the standard playbook that world leaders have been following since Sargon was a pup. But it is really hard to see, within certain trivial limits at the edges, what else she could reasonably do. Would Bernie have done any better in this tough world? Would Jill Stein? Obama is as thoughtful a leader as we’ve had in decades, and still boom boom boom a lot of the time. So let’s take what we can get — at least she’s not Donald Trump, and that is as close to good news as we’re likely to get until that Great Getting-Up Morning.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. She could make it a little harder for Saudi Arabia to invade other counties. We could use both the carrot and the stick to stop the government in Myanmar from killing Muslims. We could fight for human rights around the world. We could throw money at the refugee crisis, and we could let in a whole bunch more Syrians ourselves. And so forth.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Hey, Hillary isn’t even President yet so stop yelling about what she won’t do. You’re right, Bernie would not have been a good administrator.


  2. From your lips to the goddess’s ear about Trump fading away. If they get an indictment against HRC, (and birds tell me it might happen) he could end up winning. Miss you column. My coffee is just not as good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed. A month is a lifetime in politics, and we have four long months to go before ballots are cast. A lot can happen between now and then, most of it bad…


  3. We could be dropping food and farming supplies all over the MiddleEast every day for the next 50 years, making allies by our good and humane gestures, but instead we kowtow to lobbied pressure from arms manufacturers and dealers, and the ‘omniscient’ oil industry, which holds us in its ball-crushing grip of environmental devastation. We created Taliban and ISIS.Then of course there’s the CIA’s involvement in the region’s drug trade, which has been going on steadily since its(CIA) inception. Ah yes, it’s a lovely time to be alive…..thanks for your work, J.C.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Even though we’re both getting a little long in the tooth, and at least in my case ‘lacking’; and we may have less freak flags left to fly, at least in my balding case. Long may the banners of revolution and freedom wave in this nation of racism, corruption, and undemocratic political chicanery.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. You are right, of course. But we need to be a prudent good citizen, too. We can’t drop all international adventures, no matter how exploitive. I’ve been places just this year that would start to fall under Chinese domination the instant we pull out, and many of the locals in those places would rather suffer under us than them. There’s loads of dilemmas like that around this world.


    1. Naive, Jon. I love you and your work, of course, because otherwise why would I be reading it, since it no longer comes free (with subscription to the Chronicle) without my having to lift a finger. But this set of topics deserves a cooler look when you’ve calmed down. Lord, I haven’t heard this much energetic vitriol from a graybeard (like me, only I’m gender-challenged from growing one) since 1967. The world is a complicated place, and intuitively correct interventions have a way of developing counterintuitive outcomes. Yes, it would be wonderful if we could define our values in a way that truly informs our foreign policy, but I kind of think then we’d be Norway or Denmark or some other impressively pure and social-democratic Scandinavian place. And I just pulled them out of the air; I find it a little improbable that the Nordic democracies can’t and don’t have their own hypocrisies and convenient blindnesses. And, you know, what I’ve loosely identified as “our values,” the ones you and I and apparently most of the people who read your blog hold to be dear and incontestably true and right, are not the only values held in our wonderful diverse weird and horrible federal republic. There’s always, and necessarily, the question of what’s doable, given that diversity. Secretary Clinton is wedded to the cause of doability. I honor her for sticking to that after an adult lifetime in the public eye and generally in service of values that we can also admire and cherish, like women’s rights and children’s wellbeing. The millennium is just not going to come in our lifetimes, and maybe not in the lifetimes of our grandchildren either. Baby steps, maybe, will over generations get us to a more comfortable place. American politics hasn’t been a comfortable place in my lifetime, and I can’t expect it any more. Just not being disastrous seems like a better–not a lesser-of-two-evils, but an affirmatively better–choice.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I was going to say exactly what Phil said. The complexity of international politics is mind boggling. Hillary is not evil but like you, I am concerned about how she will lead this nation (if Republicans let her do anything if they still control Congress). I am concerned for this country and the world and the planet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t believe that Hillary is evil. She just accepts the premises of American capitalism, and that’s the situation she’s trying to tweak. Some of that exceptional imperial stuff just ain’t useful for us any more. Also, it’s amoral, but not useful may be a more convincing argument.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Sorry to be so blunt but we have probably been beyond the ‘tipping point’ for many, many years, we are fucked and just another ‘unsubstainable’ species in the cosmic macrocosom, blink and we’re gone. Eat, drink and be merry. Get it while you can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed. I am continually astonished at how many people, politicians, and even State Department diplomats seem to think that our bombing of Syria after the infamous “Red Line” comments would have made everything hunky-dory. Rather than bomb (and thus disperse in an utterly uncontrolled manner ) chemical weapons facilities, an agreement was forged in which the Russians were actually helpful for a change, and aided in transporting large quantities of those weapons and their components for proper disposal. That Obama resisted the pressure to become “O-bomba” is to his credit…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The next president is going to shape the Supreme Court for the next 30 years. Rant all you want about Hillary and coziness with big money and terrible work conditions in China. There are social ills right here which will be addressed by whomever sits among the 9 Justices. The greater of 2 evils will appoint simply abominable folks to those seats and the lesser of 2 evils will appoint folks we agree with to those seats. And that alone, if that was all the difference the is, would be waaayyy sufficient reason to not only vote for her but to support her in words and action.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. You’re really making me work this time. “and doing business is what this nation as always been about.” HAS not as. “Look, there’s a refugee crisis to deal with it.” Lose the “it”. “If there’s one thing that the legislative branch and the executive branch agree” “on which” instead of “that”?

    I think most of your points are naive, but you are certainly right about Saudi Arabia. But I’m sure you would be opposed to bombing the Wahhabi leadership.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m less impressed with Bernie and co than you are, Jon. I’ve been following his followers, and though there are lots of good people, the assholes are legion. Misogynists of the kind that make Trump’s folks look like Germaine Greer. What part of “clit trash” (one name among many they call her, as well as any female who supports her) do you think she deserves, terrible war monger and nasty nasty that you and they say she is? I’ve seen posts from her supporters saying they were afraid to put up Hillary bumper stickers, because they’ve been threatened by Bernie supporters. If this is Bernie’s revolution, he can take it and shove it.

    In fact, I’ve noticed comments from a lot of his followers who aren’t assholes and they are growing disenchanted with him and even abandoned him in disgust. Bernie might sound great to old lefties like you and me, and he can rant with the best of them. But he’s a hypocrite. After all his boasting that he was more dedicated to women’s issues than Hillary (as outrageous as any lie Trump has told), he skipped the vote to defund Planned Parenthood. Seems he had a plane to catch. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, since his record for missing roll call is much, much worse than average (average missed votes is 1.6%; Bernie’s is 6.9%). I’m a Democrat, and I don’t want him bullying or trying to take over the party he never lifted a finger to build or support til he decided he wanted the DNC resources. I just don’t like the guy. A demagogue on the left is still a demagogue.

    Planned Parenthood supports Hillary. Small wonder. She’s practically the only politician, even Democrat, to utter the word “abortion” and stand up for it. And keep uttering it and standing up for it. This at a time when women need escorts to get into the clinics, and the clinicians risk their lives to keep their doors open. But Bernie, he accuses Planned Parenthood of being establishment. In fact, anyone who doesn’t kowtow to the rules he wants to rewrite for the party he crashed is establishment. GIve me a break. When Trump said that women should be punished for abortions, even the pro-life people distanced themselves from him. Not Bernie, He said the discussion was a “distraction ” There’s a women in Indiana in jail for having a miscarriage. She’s suspected of “feticide”. It is not a distraction. Bernie is all yak and no shack. The few times the press vets him, he gets the answers spectacularly wrong. For all his raving, he has yet to offer a coherent plan for how he’s going to dismantle the entire western economic structure. I fear for my old age money. The guy needs to get a clue. Or at least a plan. Or something other than telling a bunch of pissed off people stuff they want to hear without the slightest policy or plan to make it happen. Politicians have done that forever.

    As for his young followers, the political virgins who stayed home the last two midterms and gave us the Tea Party, I want a ringside seat to their revolution. These are the same people who, when word got out about the brutal treatment their peers in China were suffering to create their sexy electronics, lined up all night in front of the Apple store in fear that they might have to miss out on getting the newest iPhone and wait a couple of months, since the hapless Chinese could only produce a limited number at one time. So much for their revolution. You want to see blood in the streets? Wait til the corporations pull the plug on their social media sites. Jeez.

    See, you’re not the only ranter around here…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your rant is typical of those who identify themselves as “TakeNoHostages”. I feel that when a person’s name is posted for all to see there are much more likely to provide a bit of “self-censorship” when it comes to writing everything that comes to mind verbatim.


  11. I kinda try and force myself to stop at about 100 words, though sometimes ‘weed, whites and wine’ can lead me astray.
    Damn it but we need more ‘delusional’ people who can see through the smoke and mirrors that blind us all to the reality of our real reality.
    The torch has been passed to a new generation. Just my 2c.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Would love to leave “likes”, etc. But WordPress somehow needs me to register and build another Web site before I can say I liked something. Love your blogs Jon even though we can’t buy all you have to say 100%, you’re certainly mostly on the right track.

    On a much more important note, I’m so sorry the Warriors lost (but happy for Cleveland).


    ps. Yes, I’m even older than you and have a beard, just wish I was 1/2 as wise as I should be.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Good rant, Jon, and some really thoughtul comments. Nice to find a comment string that doesn’t degenerate into mutual insults after the first three posts. Here’s a sort of related subject I’d like to see your thoughts on: as I imagine you know, Sen. Feinstein is reacting to the Orlando massacre by putting up a bill – Repubs defeated it yesterday – that would ban people on terrorist watch lists from buying guns. She has a worthy goal, and I don’t want more guns in the hands of nuts any more than she does, but that strikes me as a very unwise strategy – if the government can impose sanctions on you just because they’ve put you on a list of suspects, we’re right back to McCarthy. I’m old enough to remember McCarthy, and trust me we don’t need that. While I hate to sing the NRA’s song, I think their call for due process is right on. And while we’re on the subject (well OK, as long as I”m on the subject) why doesn’t anybody ever talk about restricting sales of ammunition? Give hunters a chit with their hunting license that would let them buy 10 rounds for their deer rifle or their duck gun, let people shoot all they want at target ranges but make them buy the ammuntion from the range and don’t allow it to be taken home – they’d have to account for all of it and either use it up or turn it back in when leaving the range. (Range clerk starts an open credit card tab and issues a 100 round box when the shooter arrives. Shooter collects all the spent cartridge casings and when he leaves turns them in along with the unused rounds, that accounts for the full 100 he got initially. Clerk calculates a charge on a per-shot basis, they close out the credit slip and the unused rounds go back into stock. Simple and effectie if policed carefully.)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, depending on those flawed watch lists is a real civil liberties problem. Indeed, believing that the watch list contains the names of all potential terrorists: wrong. I’m for keeping the guns and have strict licensing regulations, as we do with driver’s licenses.


    1. Oh, that’s such nonsense. I mention Bernie hardly at all — once, if memory serves. It’s about foreign policy. And I was never a Bernie supporter; I was always neutral (when that was a an unpopular thing to be), although I did appreciate Bernie’s campaign. i will happily vote for Hillary, but there are still big problems.


  14. “Which means we’re stuck with Hillary. The lesser of two evils is still evil.” – From your Berniesque idealistic Parnassus you are selling her way short, and I hope you’ll take another look a few months into her presidency and see what she can accomplish in the real world.

    There is no alternative to living in the real world. Point by point, your rant is righteous. Taking the whole world, with all its horrors, into consideration and rejecting depression, why not try to deal with what is?


    1. Well, sure. But what kind of campaign would it be if no one brought up issues of concern? Reading the comments here, I am sad that the lefties I know are still all hung up on Bernie/Hillary. That fight is over; she won. So now let’s look at real problems. And I think there’s all sorts of real world solutions to the problems I mentioned. If my rant is righteous, why shouldn’t it be part of the national debate?


    1. I do. Those have been fixed. Also, WordPress screwed up for about an hour and lost some changes I made, including losing most of the photographs. but thanks for pointing that out.


  15. Ah, if only The World were simple enough for us to fix…

    Trump’s followers think it is.

    Democrats, (and a lot of Republicans) know it is rife with complexity, though many still think they can fix it.

    No candidate will be “perfect.”

    The reality is that this time we have a choice between 2.

    Which one, if elected, is more likely to listen to any of us?

    Pick (or avoid!) your poison.

    Bernie wants voices to be heard and he also wants them to speak.

    Alas, that second part ain’t happnin.

    In the end, we get the Government we ignore.

    I am glad to be reminded to pay attention by someone like Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Because – Eisenhower was right.

    Love it when you get wisely cranky Jon. Temporary balm for that is of course cat blubber-kissing 😉

    But seriously – was in Haiti in 2010 after the quake as the guest of a hero in my eyes who has – as a member of the 1% – long actively supported populace politics in a country that is the poster child for selfish power/money grabbing exploitation and manipulation not only internally, but by the rest of the world.

    Bill & Hillary’s history in Haiti – her blocking the attempt to get those poor sweat shop workers a raise (from being paid God-awful to mere awful); Bill’s meddling in the rice market, are both examples indicative of their actions & intent looking after the profits of the 1st world exploiters, case possible to be made, that our good ol’ US of A being at the front of that pack.

    Spot on piece Jon. Thank you……..

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Thank you for this. It always amazes me when people take the time to connect the dots and point out the obvious and it’s treated like some revelation. You just have to pay attention, it’s not that hard. I will vote for her because I don’t want to open up the seventh seal and start the apocalypse* but I’m not that thrilled about doing it.


    Liked by 3 people

  18. This is a great article Jon but I am a bit surprised as well. You stated quite awhile ago that you planned on voting for Hillary Clinton. I voted for Bernie in the primary because I am terrified of Hillary’s position as a foreign policy hawk. However, there doesn’t seem to be a viable alternative to not voting for her. This is a great article in the New York Times magazine on this topic:


    1. Lord, I never said not to vote for her. i said: These are problems. Somehow that got caught up in this whole Bernie/Hillary thing. I said: These are problems that Hillary has been wrong about. People heard: BERNIE BERNIE BERNIE. Let’s please concentrate on issues rather than politics.


  19. Nose-holding voter here now that we are done with primaries. (Gratiude abounds for end of all “debate” hot-air punditry, if nothing else.) Jon, if only we could get our representatives to work hard, oh, so hard, to solve the global problems we or our offspring will soon face. From your words, Tracy’s photos, and all the comments so far, I already agree with two ideas: The Supremes’ nominations and building a new democrat by starting with small elections. Yes, these are US matters now but I think they may change the future.

    For me, the world and what our country has done to it especially since 1980, looks horribly bleak and, in a way, I am very grateful that I will die before the global worst really hits *my* demographic. I think it is getting closer. The photos could have been taken in Oakland today, as you well know. Global poverty is indeed global and as it creeps its way into the economy in such, well, immoral ways, it is hard for me to remember what hope looks like.

    The global problems are so beyond my small brain to grasp that if I have any hope at all for this species to survive, it is that somehow, in places probably unknown to most of us, there are enormous brains who will advise, suggest, or even imagine and solve the many moving parts/problems to life on earth today to who(m)ever is in power in any country. Every small step we citizens can take to slow and stop the madnesses matters.

    Please keep publishing! I, a linguaphile, don’t give a fig about the grammar. I love the ideas. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Sorry, I must say – I’ve read your column for years, and I have to say you’re preaching to the choir (although we do like our visions reinforced once in a while )….the only form of activism that makes sense was expressed perfectly by the bumper sticker, “Think Globally, Act Locally”….or as Walt Kelly & Pogo put it, “politics is the refuge of refuse”…so just go fishing, or put your energy & support into your neighbor, or the next person you meet in need…


  21. Democracy is not a spectator sport.

    It takes more than a vote and many don’t care enough to even cast theirs.

    Indifference, even while lamenting, don’t do no good.

    Again, in the end, we get the Government we ignore.

    The Choir needs to sing!


    1. I’m not sure of his name. That was (and may still be) on the big wall near the entrance of the Berkeley Art Museum. There was much more of it than the bit I showed.


  22. It’s nice to know that there are still some thoughtful, intelligent, well-informed people out there, and it’s nice to see them being able to express themselves in a forum like this. Witnessing the unthinkable happening in our relatively stable country can be quite unsettling, but turmoil sometimes has a way of keeping citizens on their toes and motivates them to do what they can to take part in the evolution of their government. Let’s hope we are strong enough as a culture to hold things together…we’ll definitely find out soon enough. Thanks, Jon, for providing the means for us to express ourselves.


  23. “A well regulated militia” etc. etc. etc. You wanna pack an M-16? Join the National Guard (not, notice, some old fatso wannabees in Montana or Oregon). Nobody whines about not being able to buy a .45 Caliber Thompson Submachine Gun. Why can any whacko in this country buy an AR-15, a weapon whose only purpose is to kill human beings?
    On a different note, Ezra Pound (who one of my English profs in the 70s used to refer to as “that rat-faced Nazi Ezra Pound”) wrote in the Pisan Cantos–
    “I have had pity on others.
    Probably not enough, and at moments that suited my own convenience.”
    May be the only truly good thing he ever wrote in all senses of the word “good”.


  24. So sorry to hear this from a journalist I’ve read and respected for many years. Unfortunately, dear Jon is wrong about Hillary, not in his opinion, which he is entitled to, but in his facts. Too many errors to address them all, enough to destroy my confidence in Jon’s judgment. Sigh. Bye.


  25. Could be on the verge….
    “As Democracy is perfected the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” H.L. Mencken…..


  26. Exactly. And when we kill innocent human beings during a drone strike or bombing, the government will say it is “regrettable but we felt it was a justifiable action”. But when Snowden or Bradley release important information which could POSSIBLY have security repercussions, their actions are never seen as justified or necessary. Obama has only increased the level of governmental secrecy and I am sure Clinton will continue that trend.


  27. I think you are 3/4 wrong about Hillary.  If she is elected you will see.  And she absolutely has to be elected.  Don’t forget about Bill.  He was a good president though also hobbled by Çongress which forced him to the middle.  Joan Wood, San Francisco


    1. What does anybody think about the article in the latest Atlantic Monthly, which asserts that our political system has been over-reformed to the point where it can’t work? Seems to want to bring back the pols and the wheeler-dealers in the smoke-filled rooms.




      1. I thought that was an extremely interesting take on things. I tried to promote it on Twitter, but nobody bit. The idea that our cranky, jury-rigged system was somehow built to last; that the corruption we’ve all railed against was useful and necessary; the idea, basically, that we are screwing things up by trying to reform systems rather than policies — it’s provocative.


  28. I have to steal a scene from My Cousin Vinny, my favorite theological wellspring…suppose you’re a little country somewhere, people fishing by the sea, happy families mending their nets, just the right amount of rain falling gently each afternoon, you look out on the horizon and see civilization coming on a raft, bringing in honkytonk bars, oil platforms, sneaker factories, foxconn assembly plants….do you really give a flying turd about what kind of stylish pantsuit the crazy bitch is wearing?


  29. I’m glad that JC is still available to read, especially the interesting rants. If I were to rant, it would be about the “majority wins” rule in voting. How can 51% wins and 49% loses ever going to be acceptable ? 49% is almost 1/2 of the people; dissatisfied, unhappy people. Majority should be upped to, say, 75% (minimum).
    That is my biggest dissatisfaction with this system, and I never hear that it bothers anyone else, while it infuriates me.
    Anyone out there?


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