Thursday, July 14, 2011

Brief observation

I've been re-reading writings by such authors as C. Wright Mills, Herbert Marcuse, and André Gorz recently. One thing that strikes me from reading them afresh is just how bad off the left was about a half century ago. Seems like the sorts of nonsense about "the end of ideology" and so on that I would often hear starting in the 1990s was commonplace in the 1950s and 1960s as well. One might argue that the current form of neoliberal capitalism is far more cancerous than what was in place in the mid 20th century, and that the socialist counterpoints to neoliberalism (e.g., in Venezuela and Bolivia) don't quite have the air of invulnerability yet that the Soviet bloc seemed to have at the start of my lifetime. And yet here we are, still questioning whether a "left" even still exists in the US and Europe. The more things change...

Anyhoo, I'm not sure whether to take comfort in that observation (the same authors were foundational for a New Left in the 1960s) or discouraged (since history seems to be rhyming again) or hopeful (there have certainly been stirrings in recent years in various parts of the world and even in the US). So much for tonight's half-asleep musings.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Changes to the blogroll coming soon

Thank goodness there are no US troops in Iraq and all is peaceful. Like a lot of center-"left" bloggers, the Out of Iraq Bloggers Caucus is calling a day and killing off their blogroll that has been on my left sidebar forever. So even if the US still maintains permanent military bases and a palace-like emabassy in Iraq, we'll just pretend that everything is okay (unless or until a Republican occupies the White House). Maybe I'm cynical, but I call 'em like I see 'em. In the meantime, I've bookmarked the affected blogs, and will as time permits be updating the blogroll accordingly.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Admitting error is hard to do

Apparently so hard to do that for every individual who successfully does so, countless others don't.

Seriously?

The Pope of Hope's new "defense" secretary seems to use the same worn out justification for the invasion and colonization of Iraq used by Bu$hCo. More of that change we can believe in, eh?

Breaking some cardinal rules of gun safety

This is just plain dumb: Lawmaker points loaded gun at reporter in the Senate. Let's highlight part of the article, then I'll offer just a bit of commentary:
A state lawmaker known for championing the rights of gun-owners pointed a loaded firearm at the chest of a reporter during a recent interview at the Capitol.

Republican Sen. Lori Klein was showing off her raspberry-pink handgun when she aimed it at a journalist who was interviewing her in the lounge just outside the Senate chambers.

According to the story that was published Sunday in the Arizona Republic, Klein's .380 Ruger was loaded and did not have a safety to keep the gun from going off.

But Klein told the reporter, Richard Ruelas, that he didn't need to worry because, "I just didn't have my hand on the trigger."
Sen. Klein clearly isn't thinking straight. I own a firearm, and let me just say that there are some fundamental rules that I follow. One major rule is to not carry a loaded firearm with me in public places. If my firearm is loaded, I keep the safety on. Under no circumstances - whether the firearm is loaded or not - do I aim it at another person (or any other living being for that matter). I realize there is a somewhat paranoid subset of the American population who seem to have no problem with making sure the rest of us know they are a threat. Klein strikes me as one of them. That's not the way I want to roll, nor is that the way my friends who are firearms enthusiasts roll.

Take your peas and shove 'em

The Pope of Hope continues to push austerity. Hate to say it again, but I told you so.