It Be International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

(ok, so I missed it a little.)

The Pastafarian Service Council wants to remind you that today, September 19th, be International Talk Like A Pirate Day.
As Slushy the Polar Bear says-
“Only you can prevent Global Warming.  Arrgh.”

PhotobucketAhoy mateys.  It be Cap’n Hank Bloodbeard hijacking your blog ag’in.  Since the establishin’ of International Talk Like a Pirate Day in 1995, the number of Pirates has increased gratifyin’ly thereby proving the success of our Pastafarian Pirate Recruitin’ Program and confirmin’ the link between increased piracy and declinin’ Global Warmin’.

But wait ye say, Global Warmin’ has gotten worse and Pastafarianism is a made up religion contrived out of equal measures of ennui, ignorance and Rum!

WHY IS THERE NEVER ANY RUM!  Oh, that’s why.

Ye scurvy dog, them be fightin’ wards.  Ye’ll walk the plank. I’ll keelhaul ye.  I’ll see your black hearted soul in Davey Jones Locker (the one ‘e shares w’ Peter Toth).

We used to worry about that too until we took up w’ a crew o’ Freshwater Pirates from the Chicago School who explained that it doesn’t matter how consistently and thoroughly wrong ye are if ye suck up to rich people enough and parrot their prejudices, beat down the po’ folk until morale improves, and kiss their ass long and hard.  Take what ye can, give nothin’ back, yo ho.

Polly want a grant?

E’en on these shores Cap’n Bloodbeard (aside from really enjoyin’ referin’ to hisself in the thard person) be known for ‘is trail of terror and carnage and really bad puns.

I generally celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day by telling the 3 Pirate Jokes.  There are only 3, all the others are just variations.  As Cap’n Slappy says:

Thar be only three pirate jokes in the world. The biggest one is the one that ends with someone usin’ “Arrr” in the punchline. Oh, sure, thar be plenty o’ these, but they’re all the same damn joke.

“What’s the pirate movie rated? – Arrr!”
“What kind o’ socks does a pirate wear? – Arrrrgyle!”
“What’s the problem with the way a pirate speaks? – Arrrrticulation!”
…and so forth.

The second joke is the one wear the pirate walks into the bar with a ships wheel attached to the front o’ his trousers. The bartender asks, “What the hell is that ships wheel for?” The pirate says, “I don’t know, but it’s drivin’ me nuts!”

And finally. A little boy is trick or treatin’ on Halloween by himself. He is dressed as a pirate. At one house, a friendly man asks him, “Where are your buccaneers?” The little boy responds, “On either side o’ me ‘buccan’ head!”

And there ye have it. A symposium on pirate humor that’ll last ye a lifetime – so long as life is violent and short.

If ye steer a course to the official website of International Talk Like A Pirate Day, ye may wish to read the FAQ, to help ye splice the mainbrace proper like.  Then ye’ll be ready to talk like a pirate.

Talking like a pirate, however, doesn’t just mean running through the hallways yelling “yarr!” at everyone. To get more in touch with one’s inner pirate, here is a short list of useful terms that may help readers throughout their day of pillaging and searching for buried treasure.

I also spend this day in Worship at Church and emulate the manners, customs, and language o’ me Pirate forbearers (I have the good fortune to be 1/4 full blooded Pirate through my Viking ancestors, indeed Viking is a verb which means ‘Pirate’) and singing some Pirate Carols.

There will come a time when you have a chance to do the right thing.

I love those moments. I like to wave at them as they pass by.

Hoist The Colors

In order to affect a timely halt to deterioriating conditions, and to ensure the common good, a state of emergency is declared for these territories by decree of Lord Cutler Beckett, duly appointed representative of His Majesty, the King. By decree, according to martial law, the following statutes are temporarily amended: Right to assembly, suspended. Right to habeas corpus, suspended. Right to legal counsel, suspended. Right to verdict by a jury of peers, suspended. By decree, all persons found guilty of piracy, or aiding a person convicted of piracy, or associating with a person convicted of piracy, shall be sentenced to hang by the neck until dead.

Yo, ho, haul together, hoist the colors high.
Heave ho, thieves and beggars, never shall we die.
The king and his men stole the queen from her bed and bound her in her Bones.
The seas be ours and by the powers where we will we’ll roam.
Yo, ho, haul together, hoist the colors high.
Heave ho, thieves and beggars, never shall we die.
Some men have died and some are alive and others sail on the sea,
With the keys to the cage and the Devil to pay we lay to Fiddler’s Green!
The bell has been raised from it’s watery grave. Do you hear it’s sepulchral tone?
We are a call to all, pay head the squall and turn your sail toward home!
Yo, ho, haul together, hoist the colors high.
Heave ho, thieves and beggars, never shall we die.

Now grog ain’t much o’ a much.  A punch put together by th’ thieving English to cheat ye outen your full two tots.  Real Pirates drink bumbo anyway.  I’ve had your Fijian grog and it goes right nice with some piping hot chamomille tea.  Let the savages use cold water, coconut and pineapple are for umbrella drinks.

Are you ready kids?
Aye, aye captain.
I can’t hear you…
Aye, aye captain!
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?
Sponge Bob square pants.
Absorbent and yellow and porous is he.
Sponge Bob square pants.
If nautical nonsense be something you wish.
Sponge Bob square pants.
Then drop on the deck and flop like a fish.
Sponge Bob square pants.
Sponge Bob square pants, Sponge Bob square pants,
Sponge Bob square pants, Sponge Bob…… square paaaaaants.
Hah, hah, hah, hah, hah, hack, cough, cough.  Arrgh.

Nor will it keep ye in the pink.


Our gum’s are black our teeth are falling out
We got spots on our backs so give it up and shout
We got Scurvy we need some vitamin C
We got Scurvy we need a lemon tree
We got Scurvy we just chillin’ on the sea
Lets get this Scurvy started
A pirate ain’t worthy
Till he got some Scurvy
Since you’ve got Scurvy on your nervy when you sing that song
Scurvy (Scurvy)
We got Scurvy (scurvy)

Pirates for Sail- Scurvey Awareness

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Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Recipes for Gorgeous Days and Cooler Nights

 photo ChorizoBolognese.jpg

We’re on the cusp of #sweaterweather. You know how to dress—here’s what to cook.

Chorizo Bolognese with Buffalo Mozzarella

This cheat bolognese is so easy to make and has a delicious richness that’s irresistible. Using the chorizo in place of beef means it’s packed with flavor and ready in under 15 minutes!

Chicken Biscuits

There are two players in this ring: crispy chicken and flaky biscuits. Both are the work of your own hands, and both are ready for the brunch treatment this weekend. Make the biscuits in advance to give you more time with guests (and mimosas).

Pork Chops with Carrots and Toasted Buckwheat

Summer might be winding down, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop cooking with color. Exhibit A: this pan-seared pork chop dish with bright roasted carrots and orange juice.

Pumpkin Bread

California Veggie Sandwich

Combine pickled vegetables, buttermilk dressing, and avocados in this towering lunch. While this drip-inducing sandwich would be a desk lunch disaster, this ain’t Tuesday, so mess away!

Health and Fitness News

Brain cancer now deadlier among US children than leukemia

Study Confirms That Zika Virus Causes Brain Damage In Newborns

New inhaler protects lungs against effects of air pollution

Maternal deaths worldwide drop by half, yet shocking disparities remain

First Case of West Nile Virus Discovered in New Hampshire

Treating Prostate Cancer Is Often No Better Than Doing Nothing


The Breakfast Club (Inner Child)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Patricia Hearst gets prison time; Author F. Scott Fitzgerald born; ’60 Minutes’ premieres; Baseball’s Dodgers play last Brooklyn game; Muppets creator Jim Henson born; Children’s author Dr. Seuss dies.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

The most sophisticated people I know – inside they are all children.

Jim Henson

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Why The Quislings Lost

Labour MPs are finally accepting the terrifying victory of Jeremy Corbyn’s mass movement
by FRASER NELSON, The Telegraph
22 SEPTEMBER 2016 • 10:30PM

At lunchtime tomorrow, most Labour MPs will be sinking to a new depth of despair. The party will announce the results of a leadership challenge that was intended to either weaken or depose Jeremy Corbyn but will instead make him stronger than ever. The race has been decided by a Labour Party now 70 per cent composed of people who signed up after last year’s general election, delighted with the direction of the Corbyn project and convinced that he’s going to win. We have just witnessed something unprecedented in Western democracy: the takeover not just of a party’s leadership, but of its membership.

It’s not just that Owen Smith will be crushed tomorrow, it’s that the whole premise of his leadership bid was flawed. Just a few months ago, most Labour MPs signed a motion of no confidence against their leader and regarded his election as a freak, a historical burp from the Seventies. Now, they are coming to realise that he is the unlikely face of a very modern phenomenon where radical politics combines with digital technology to mobilise thousands of people who agree to click petitions. And even spend £3 (or, this time, £25) to join Labour, vote for Corbyn and shake things up. This army, once raised, represents a force that is very difficult for MPs to overcome.

In a rare BBC radio interview this week, Mr Corbyn said that things must be going well for Labour because he doesn’t recognise the people he sees at rallies nowadays. He wasn’t joking; for most of his political lifetime, he has been shaking fists with old friends. The hard Left spent decades scattered across Britain feuding with one another and selling (or, rather, not selling) copies of Socialist Worker outside stations. There are no more Trots now than there were then, but the digital era has allowed this happy few to join forces with thousands of “clicktivists”.

This is one of the great gifts of modern technology: the ability to turn a political party upside down without leaving your bedroom. Studies show just one in seven of Labour’s fiery new members are prepared to hit the doorsteps. Two thirds admit they put in no time campaigning in local, mayoral and devolved elections. But it’s amazing what trouble you can cause on a mobile phone nowadays. Before Andrew Feldman quit as Tory chairman, he told me he’d found that the most effective way of mobilising voters – other than doorstep visits – was persuading people to share Tory messages on Facebook.

The Labour frontbenchers who resigned en masse following the Brexit vote thought they were making a break for freedom. Now they themselves are trapped in a political equivalent of a Sartre play, an electoral hell with no exit. No tactical options are now open to them, but they face plenty of tactical threats. The emboldened Corbynistas can be expected to start a purge of their enemies, which should be easy when so many Labour MPs are having their constituencies redrawn and face reselection battles. Momentum, the hard-Left militia behind Corbyn, can be expected to fight for every seat.

To many MPs, Mr Corbyn’s offer to “wipe the slate clean” after tomorrow’s election result sounds more like a Mafioso threat than a peace offering. Already, Labour’s civil war has moved the jungle of the party’s rules and committee procedures.

The Labour moderates now have only one option left. They shouldn’t do any more plotting, something they were never any good at. Nor should they set up a splinter party, and abandon the ship to the pirates. They need to stay, if they’re spared, and work out: what do they stand for? What’s the moral case against Jeremy Corbyn, and how to convince people of it? If the far-Left can persuade new people to join the Labour Party, moderates can too – but first they need a cause in which to enlist people.

Ever since Mr Corbyn’s first victory, Labour MPs have been walking about in disbelief – obsessing about what trick, or what candidate, might dislodge him. They should have started with a more basic question: why oppose him? Why should people join Labour to back their side of the argument? It’s a tougher question, and one that requires great thought. Their only consolation is that they will, now, have plenty of time to do the thinking.

The Case for Party Democracy
by Luke Savage, Jacobin

Corbyn will undoubtedly emerge stronger, (but) he and his supporters can expect to face a continuing barrage of attacks from the usual suspects in the media and the Labour right. One likely refrain will be that Corbyn’s victory, however large, lacks legitimacy because it rests on an energized minority of activists out of step with the rest of the electorate. Party democracy, we will be told, is anathema both to electoral success and the goal of representing the majority of society.

While these arguments are anything but new, recent debates provide an excellent opportunity to put these narratives to the test. So, does party democracy really matter? Should party members have a role in determining policy and directing leadership? And if so, why?

In broad terms, the two most common perspectives on party democracy can be summarized as follows.

The first, espoused by skeptics, is that the more democratic a party’s internal structures, the more likely it will become a vehicle for single-issue groups or marginal sects whose quixotic views and dilettantish zeal threaten its appeal to the wider population. The second, by contrast, holds that only internal mechanisms at least nominally democratic in character will encourage mass participation and foster the dynamism needed to win elections and, perhaps even more importantly, build real popular support for a program.

But if the second view is today represented by figures like Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders, the skeptical one is often found throughout liberal commentary and analysis.

Corbyn in particular has made increasing member participation both a personal priority and a criterion for success. And it’s paid off. Labour’s total membership has risen from a relatively modest 187,000 just prior to the 2015 election defeat to a startling 600,000 as of July — easily overtaking the previous modern peak (405,000 in 1997) and making Labour the first mass party in the advanced capitalist world this century.

Not everyone, however, has applauded the explosion in membership.

Skeptics have variously portrayed the membership surge as the work of far-left infiltrators; a resurgent, zombified reincarnation of retrograde “Old Labour” politics; or the result of an influx of self-indulgent, middle-class socialist hipsters. Last week, Corbyn’s leadership opponent, Owen Smith, mused about expelling members of Momentum — the internal party organization that grew out of Corbyn’s 2015 leadership campaign — from the party altogether.

Regardless of the operative caricature, the implication is clear: Labour’s increasingly mass membership is essentially narrow and sectarian, representing the parochial flourishing of a minority political view in one of Britain’s two major parties and endangering its prospects by backing policies and leadership antithetical to the political mainstream.

At the core of Saunders’s argument and others like it is the notion that democratic legitimacy rests in the hands of parliamentarians or legislators, who are elected by the whole country.

It’s a truism that in any liberal-democratic system, the legitimacy of political decisions rests on the popular mandate that legislators at least nominally receive in general elections. But it’s quite wrong to imply, as Saunders does, that MPs had, or should have had, the authority to oust their party leader by way of a parliamentary vote.

Given how immovable the political cultures of a good number of Western democracies have become, many commentators seem to forget that parties are, first and foremost, private institutions. Labour isn’t simply an appendage of the state or a creature of parliament, even if its representation there forms the most important and publicly visible part of its existence. MPs from every party may be chosen by voters, but candidates, leadership, and policies are determined completely by internal party structures (democratic or otherwise).

In the parliamentarist view, political legitimacy does indeed emanate from the people, who elect representatives in what Saunders calls the “wider democratic showdown.” But for Saunders and his ideological brethren, popular involvement beyond the routine practice of voting in elections is (and should be) severely limited. Membership participation, either in the form of candidate or leadership selection, let alone party policy, is conceived of as both an electoral weakness and a potentially illegitimate encroachment on parliamentary democracy itself.

When taken to its logical conclusion, this view essentially recasts democratic politics as an ongoing confrontation between a permanently embedded cluster of parties directed almost exclusively by unelected professional apparatchiks. Ordinary members have negligible influence and, consequently, the wider public cannot fundamentally alter the composition of the political class — its choices are limited to whatever options that class serves up at elections.

Yet this view misunderstands the origins of the Labour Party itself. Labour, like many other left and socialist parties, originated in the early twentieth century on the back of mass mobilization and discontent. Even before the party itself was constituted, popular participation was widespread in churches, community halls, and trade unions. This is not simply arbitrary historicism: recalling these origins, even more than one hundred years later, is vital because they clearly demonstrate the limits of conceiving democracy in purely parliamentary terms.

Today’s Parliamentary Labour Party is, to put it mildly, not particularly representative of the communities it represents throughout the country.

In 1979, 40 percent of Labour MPs came from a manual occupation. That figure is now just 7 percent, according to an analysis by the Smith Institute. A full 29 percent entered parliament after working as political staffers; another 18 percent came out of business or finance, 10 percent began their careers in media, and 12 percent started in law. Only 15 percent have roots in the trade union movement that founded the party.

The numbers from parliament as a whole are even more striking: the average British MP is male, aged fifty-one, and university-educated. A full 33 percent of MPs attended private schools (compared to a national average of 7 percent), and one in four had a background in politics.

In short, Westminster politics has turned into a career path for upper-middle-class professionals, drawn from an incredibly narrow range of occupations. If the ostensible goal of democratic politics — let alone democratic socialist politics — is to represent and reflect the desires and interests of ordinary people, the British system is failing miserably.

At the core of its diagnosis was the notion that successive election defeats could be chalked up to the party’s inability to embrace “modernization” (which, in the Blairite formulation, implied zealous assimilation to the central tenets of both Thatcherism and neoliberal globalization.) This was in major part, the Blairites understood, thanks to an activist base that still viewed Labour as a vehicle for democratic socialism.

The lingering trauma from the toxic internal debates of the 1980s offered an opportune psychological backdrop for the thoroughgoing restructuring of the party that followed. Not only were party members and constituencies disempowered but, mimicking a strategy pioneered by the Clintons in the US, Blair actively sought to antagonize them to shore up support with the Murdoch press, the City of London, and other right-wing interests.

Despite Blair’s three successive election victories, Labour shed millions of voters between 1997 and 2010, disproportionately from the working class.

The decline of Labour’s internal democracy, in other words, coincided with a growing severance from a significant chunk of its social base. The party’s increasingly professional composition has had very real consequences for its policy agenda and overall ideological outlook.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the phenomenon of MPs with metropolitan backgrounds parachuting into Labour heartlands they have little or no connection to.

The consequences of diminished internal democracy, then, are anything but abstract. Not only has Labour become less representative of the communities that send its MPs to parliament, but the party’s increased professionalization has actively disconnected it from their needs, wounding its long-term electoral prospects. Lacking the ability to shape the party’s agenda or determine who stands at general elections, many have withdrawn their support and a good number have become alienated from politics altogether.

The parliamentarist view, with its skepticism of party democracy, simply offers no solution to such an impasse.

When party democracy is absent, parties can sever themselves completely from the social bases they were initially formed to represent and, eventually, from the lived experiences of most of society. Democratic politics is effectively transformed into a profession like any other, with candidates drawn mostly from a narrow and privileged social caste and platforms and messaging meticulously engineered according to the marketing strategies of PR specialists.

Parties are reduced to the status of corporate brands, and voters to passive consumers of whatever focus-grouped twaddle the political marketplace deems admissible. The very principle of democratic politics as a social enterprise, even in the most tepid liberal sense, collapses.

The result is a kind of post-democracy, in which the formal mechanisms of politics are captured by an unrepresentative class pursuing an agenda of its own, regardless of what the wider population may actually think or want.

While the business of party democracy may at times be messy, contentious, and disruptive, it remains the only means by which ordinary people can exert real influence on the political process, check the power of dominant interests, or qualitatively change things for the better.

If what we seek is a democratic society, there is no alternative.

The Decline and Fall of the Neoliberal political consensus rests on two rocks, the preening pompous arrogance of the professional political class (including media) is one, and their abject incompetence and failure is another.

Who would you rather elect? A Gilded Class Twit like David Miliband who masquerades as a working people’s delegate in Westminster and merely commutes to his constituency or Karen?

a woman born and raised in the area. Karen is a bus driver with a disabled husband, who has lived in a three-bedroom home for years — but the coalition thinks they have too much space and has cut their housing benefit. So when Karen attacks Cameron’s bedroom tax, she draws on personal experience of being forced to downsize.

The choice is more than obvious.

Why Corbyn Will Win

Tomorrow the British Labour Party will announce the results of their second Leadership election in a year. Every expectation is that Jeremy Corbyn will win by a greater margin (60% – 40%) than he did the first time.

I am certainly going to revisit the mendacity and hubris of the Traitors at length, in depth, and repeatedly, because they illustrate so much of the Neoliberal sickness that infests our own politics but today I want to highlight the positive reasons he has won.

Jeremy Corbyn and the Problem With ‘Electability’
By ELLIE MAE O’HAGAN, The New York Times
SEPT. 22, 2016

Is the Labour Party engaging in an act of collective madness? How else to explain a rush to support a guy who can’t manage his own party, much less win a general election? To understand Mr. Corbyn’s remarkable support, you need to know the party’s recent history. What we are seeing now is a corrective to what happened during the years when Tony Blair rebranded the party as “New Labour.”

Under Mr. Blair, the party became professionalized. Activists, previously an important part of Labour’s organization, were reduced to foot soldiers with little influence on policy. Trade unions were marginalized. Members of Parliament were rewarded for obedience rather than talent.

New Labour won three elections, but its focus on spin and brand management alienated the traditional base. The leadership ignored grass-roots supporters — the people who go to local Labour Party meetings, who canvass on its behalf, who attend party conferences.

In addition to pushing the activists to the side, Mr. Blair made the party more conservative. It’s true that Mr. Blair fulfilled some progressive agenda items as prime minister, from expanding L.G.B.T. rights to introducing a minimum wage, but at the same time the party abandoned its traditional socialist values.

One of Mr. Blair’s first acts as prime minister was to introduce university tuition fees, leading to widespread student protests. His support for the Iraq war was similarly loathed by the party’s base. So was his attitude toward capitalism in a party with deep socialist roots. In 1998, his political mentor, Peter Mandelson, declared that he was “intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich.”

Mr. Corbyn wants to reverse many of these positions. He vehemently opposes foreign military intervention and says he wants to rein in income inequality. He has even said he would renationalize industries. He also wants to give party members power to help shape policy, and to elect his top team.

For most rank-and-file members, the no-confidence vote was not just a vote against Mr. Corbyn, but against this ideological sea change, an impression reinforced by the presence of Mr. Blair’s allies at the forefront of the attempts to unseat Mr. Corbyn. During the leadership campaign in 2015, Mr. Blair himself excoriated Mr. Corbyn and his supporters. In July 2015, he told Labour members that voting for Mr. Corbyn could lead to “annihilation” and said, “If your heart’s with Jeremy Corbyn, get a transplant.”

Thus, many Labour members have viewed challenges to the Corbyn leadership not as about competence, but as about ensuring the left does not gain a significant foothold in the party.

Many of Mr. Corbyn’s opponents are tearing their hair out because his supporters are sticking by him even though everyone seems to believe he is unelectable. But the concept of “electability” is fraught within the party. Members of Parliament and commentators hostile to Mr. Corbyn argue that winning elections should be the Labour Party’s primary goal. And to win elections, they say, the party must support policies that the party’s base opposes, like cutting welfare.

But the issue is not that the Labour base would rather lose elections and remain left-wing; it’s that capitulating to British voters’ more right-wing inclinations does not seem to have worked for the party. In the 2015 general election, Labour’s candidate for prime minister was Ed Miliband, a social democrat who promised “controls on immigration,” and to establish stricter welfare policies. He still lost.

So even when Labour had a moderate, allegedly electable candidate, Britain still ended up with a Conservative government. Rank-and-file members therefore started to see the electability question as a cover for moving the party to the right. Mr. Blair embodied their worst fears when, in a 2015 speech on Labour’s future, he said: “I wouldn’t want to win on an old-fashioned leftist platform. Even if I thought it was the route to victory, I wouldn’t take it.”

The Labour Party has always been an uneasy coalition, and its internal factions are much more varied than simply Blairites and Corbynites. But the attempts to get rid of Mr. Corbyn have pushed Labour’s biggest ideological clash to center stage: on one side, proponents of a professionalized, media-friendly party whose role is to win elections so it can make modest social reforms; on the other, supporters of a social movement that aims to change society starting with the grass roots — but for whom winning parliamentary power is not a goal to be pursued at any cost.

Since New Labour’s first election victory in 1997, the British left has found itself virtually excommunicated from politics. These people are not stupid or crazy. In Mr. Corbyn, they have identified an opportunity to reinsert themselves into public life and to return the Labour Party to its socialist values. They recognize this may be the only chance they have. It’s entirely reasonable that they are taking it.

Get that? Your voters don’t support your policies. Your tactics lose elections. You are personally offensive and insulting to the poor souls who believed in your lies despite the many times you have betrayed them, by implying they are stupid for not blindly accepting anything you say no matter how self serving, corrupt, and contradictory.

Why Jeremy Corbyn Still Wins
By Richard Seymour, teleSur
21 September 2016

What changed? To look at politics with eyes attuned to the norm for the last 40 years, one would expect that every development in the intervening 12 months should have weakened Corbyn’s position, rather than strengthened it.

He has been lambasted in the press. A study carried out by the London School of Economics found that some 75 percent of news coverage seriously misrepresents Corbyn.

Every major news angle has been an attack, from the BBC’s false reporting of a march outside the home of anti-war MP Stella Creasy, to the inflated stories of anti-Semitism under his leadership. He has been assailed by parliamentary colleagues. Even before his election, there were briefings that he would be overthrown “within days.”

As good a place to start as any in exploring this is the recent referendum on membership of the European Union, in which just over half of the population voted for Brexit. In justifying their coup against Jeremy Corbyn, Labour MPs often cited his supposedly ineffectual or half-hearted support for the “remain” campaign, thus blaming him for the outcome. As the psephologist John Curtice points out, the evidence suggests that the real cause of the result was a collapse in support for Remain among Conservative voters in the weeks before the referendum.

However, discounting for bad faith among Corbyn’s Labour critics, it seems likely that many of them simply don’t get why “remain” lost. Certainly, racism was a central part of the Brexit sentiment, but the function of racism was to organize an existing reservoir of anguish, resentment and bewilderment generated by the economic privation and social costs to much of the population visited by the credit crunch and its austerian sequel. John Lanchester described the “dominant note” of “bafflement, bewilderment and disorientation” in the country, the sense of having lost again and again, finally of having lost control of the country.

The “leave” campaign got this, while the government-led “remain” campaign spoke in a technocratic language, stressing the benefits of trade with Europe and security cooperation, which in no way touched on these wellsprings of resentment. Remain invoked expertise—economists, the IMF, the OECD, the ECB, and reams of studies suggesting that leaving would be a disaster. But these were the same experts who had championed globalization as an unmitigated boon while large parts of the country went into a protracted decline, and who emerged tainted after the credit crunch blew apart their credibility.

The politicians running the campaign weren’t better placed. For decades, participation in the electoral system had been in decline, a trend that accelerated in the U.K. and across powerful industrial democracies in the 2000s. Then there is the media, whose role in a representative democracy is to represent our major national political debates back to us, as if in our own voice. In fact, what we always got was a soothing establishment voice—but as long as enough of us felt “taken into account,” we continued to trust the media. But trust in politicians and journalists has been in steep decline for years, as many people are effectively excluded from the political system and ignored in the media spectacle.

Corbyn articulated varied discontents with the existing political settlement. He spoke to students, for whom the apparatus of supposed “meritocracy” had been trashed by tuition fees and marketization. He spoke to young workers, locked out of the labor market and the housing market. He spoke to trade unionists, for whom austerity is destroying their livelihoods and organizations. He spoke to trade union leaders who had watched their influence in a neoliberalized Labour Party plummet. He spoke to disenfranchised, formerly core Labour supporters who had voted with their feet under the Blair and Brown years. He spoke to users of under-funded public services and privatised utilities, who have been overcharged and underserved. It was clear by 2015, following Labour’s dismal defeat at the hands of the Conservatives, that it was simply not up to facing these problems. Something had to radically change, first in Labour, then in British society.

Corbyn often has “the moral clarity of a priest.” By putting these points in simple axiomatic statements to Labour members and the wider public, he sparked unprecedented excitement for a Labour leadership race. By contrast, his opponents, in a way that prefigured the mandarin panic of the official “remain” campaign, found their infantilized, poll-tested slogans failing, and drew a blank.

Politicians who couldn’t but see Corbyn’s victory as some sort of joke, struggled over the ensuing year to find the killer comeback, hoping for some political esprit de l’escalier. To no avail. Every zinger has fallen flat. Heckling and sabotage, briefing against him, plotting his downfall, and leaking to the press, at a time when politicians and the media are widely held in contempt, didn’t do the job.

Corbyn declined to be trolled. He shamed them, simply by continuing to articulate more convincing answers to the crisis of British politics than they were able to. Simply because he could talk persuasively on that level, whereas they—often products of a gilded generation of special advisers and technocrats—have never had to.

And he faced down their coup, because his understanding of politics is broader than theirs. They had the political and media establishment, but he understood the power of movements in even a failing democracy. He appealed to that, and in the ensuing ferment drew tens of thousands of new members and supporters into the Labour Party.

That is why, for now, Corbyn still wins.


The Breakfast Club (Inclusion)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Richard Nixon gives his ‘Checkers’ speech; Rome’s Augustus Caesar born; Lewis and Clark finish trek to America’s West; Psychologist Sigmund Freud dies; Musicians Ray Charles and Bruce Springsteen born.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

You can’t have a United States if you are telling some folks that they can’t get on the train. There is a cracking point where a society collapses.

Bruce Springsteen
Read more at:

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The Daily Late Show (Look At These Guns)

In Jim Cooley’s open-carry America, even a trip to Walmart can require an AR-15
By Terrence McCoy, Washington Post
September 17

“I’m not going to sit there and have the police called on you. I mean, I don’t want to see that crap,” Maria says, knowing what a trip to Walmart means. She knows her 51-year-old husband has two guns inside the house, and this afternoon it won’t be the 9mm, which he straps on with a round in the chamber when grabbing lunch at his favorite fast-food restaurant or visiting a friend’s auto shop. It’ll be the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, which he brings when going somewhere he thinks is dangerous, like the Atlanta airport, where he’s taken it loaded with a 100-bullet drum, or Walmart, where he thinks crowds could pose easy targets for terrorists.

In a country of relaxing gun laws where it’s now legal to open-carry in 45 states and there are 14.5 million carry permits, every day seems to bring a new version of what open carry can mean. In Kentucky, it’s now legal to open-carry in city buildings. In downtown Cleveland, people carried military-style rifles during the Republican National Convention. In Howell, Mich., last month, a father went openly armed to his child’s middle-school orientation. In Mississippi, it’s now legal to open-carry without a permit at all. And in Georgia, which has passed a “guns everywhere” bill and has issued nearly 1 million carry permits, Jim Cooley is staking out his version of what’s acceptable as he keeps pleading with his wife.

“I got to get soda.”

So tell me, without clicking through the link, why is Keith Scott dead and Jim Cooley alive (though not for long, man has serious health issues)?

Yes, that could be it.

The Crutcher Case is open and shut. You can see the damn blood dribbling down the glass of the closed window! Cops are lying!

But the flip side of that is it doesn’t matter whether Keith Scott was carrying or not. Open carry is legal in North Carolina.

After that nothing was very funny at all.

The tactic now is not just the Big Lie, it’s to pile outrage on outrage until you get numb.

Autumnal Equinox 2016

It is the summer’s great last heat,
It is the fall’s first chill: They meet.

Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt

 photo autumngoddesswallpaper-e14719815648.jpg Autumn arrived this morning at 10:21 AM EDT as the sun passes over the equator heading south to give the Earth’s Southern Hemisphere its turn at Summer. The Autumnal Equinox is also known as: Alban Elfed, Autumn Equinox, Fall Equinox, Cornucopia, Feast of Avilon, Festival of Dionysus, Harvest Home, Harvest Tide, Mabon, Night of the Hunter, Second Harvest Festival, Wine Harvest, Witch’s Thanksgiving, and the first day of autumn. It is the second harvest, a time for gathering the Summer’s last fruits, giving thanks for the harvest and marking a celebration in gratitude as the soil and plants die away.

It is the second harvest, a time for gathering the Summer’s last fruits, giving thanks for the harvest and marking a celebration in gratitude as the soil and plants die away. This year’s Harvest Moon reached its peak Friday September 16 at 3:05 p.m. EDT. The “Harvest Moon” is another name for the full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox, which marks the change of seasons. The moon gets its name from the amount of light it emits, allowing farmers to continue harvesting the summer’s crops through the evening. The Harvest Moon usually appears before or after the equinox. In 2010, the Harvest Moon occurred on the fall equinox, a rare occurrence that won’t happen again until 2029.

One scientific myth is that day and night are equal around the entire world, not really:

Most Northern Hemisphere locations, however, do not see an exact 12-hour day until a few days after the fall equinox (and a few days before the spring equinox).

The main reason is atmospheric refraction: This bending of the sun’s light allows us to see the entire sun before and after it crosses the horizon. (By definition, actual sunrise occurs as soon as the upper edge of the solar disk appears above the horizon, while sunset occurs the moment the sun’s trailing edge disappears below it – though that’s not how our eyes see it.)

This helps explain why the day is slightly more than 12 hours long on the equinox. It also explains why places on the equator always see just over 12 hours of daylight year-round: It’s because of the angle from which they observe the sun.

One of other the myths connected to this celebration/time of year is the myth of Demeter and Persephone. The Autumn Equinox signals the descent of Persephone back to the underworld to be with her husband, Hades and the Harvest Mother, Demeter’s mourning for her daughter…thus, the explanation of the dying back of plant life. This myth gave explanation to our ancient ancestors for the changing of the seasons. The symbolism that is present for us today is the letting go of our youth, child-bearing years and moving closer to the crone/elder part of our lives. But it is only a preparation, the opening to what needs to be prepared when the Winter inevitably comes.

It’s been a very warm summer here in the northeast and many other parts of the US and world. It’s no different today with temperatures expected in the 80’s here in the Eastern tri-state. No cooling is expected until next week.

This was last night’s sunset over NYC harbor from the East

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And the West

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And a little music

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