31 January 2017


I tried to post this several times on Facebook but am finding FB unresponsive. Which is ginning up my paranoia.

Anyway, WE NEED TO CREATE A MASS MOVEMENT OF RESISTANCE. People like Former Pres. Obama, Colin Powell, Col. Wilkerson, former Conservative Radio Host Charlie Sykes, even Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham, Conservative Constitutional scholar Bruce Fein, and others, need to unite to urge the relatively few sane members of Congress and Senators on the Republican side to unite with Democrats to RESIST THE UNDEMOCRATIC TAKEOVER of our government and institutions by the Trumpists. This is SERIOUS and it will not go away. We must organize and actively resist.

Thanks, Sean Masse, Brad Griffith. Very helpful. PLEASE READ. 
From Heather Richardson, professor of History at Boston College:

"What Bannon is doing, most dramatically with last night's ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries-- is creating what is known as a "shock event."

Such an event is unexpected and confusing and throws a society into chaos. People scramble to react to the event, usually along some fault line that those responsible for the event can widen by claiming that they alone know how to restore order.

When opponents speak out, the authors of the shock event call them enemies. As society reels and tempers run high, those responsible for the shock event perform a sleight of hand to achieve their real goal, a goal they know to be hugely unpopular, but from which everyone has been distracted as they fight over the initial event. There is no longer concerted opposition to the real goal; opposition divides along the partisan lines established by the shock event.

Last night's Executive Order has all the hallmarks of a shock event. It was not reviewed by any governmental agencies or lawyers before it was released, and counterterrorism experts insist they did not ask for it. People charged with enforcing it got no instructions about how to do so. Courts immediately have declared parts of it unconstitutional, but border police in some airports are refusing to stop enforcing it.

Predictably, chaos has followed and tempers are hot.

My point today is this: unless you are the person setting it up, it is in no one's interest to play the shock event game. It is designed explicitly to divide people who might otherwise come together so they cannot stand against something its authors think they won't like.

I don't know what Bannon is up to-- although I have some guesses-- but because I know Bannon's ideas well, I am positive that there is not a single person whom I consider a friend on either side of the aisle-- and my friends range pretty widely-- who will benefit from whatever it is.

If the shock event strategy works, though, many of you will blame each other, rather than Bannon, for the fallout. And the country will have been tricked into accepting their real goal.

But because shock events destabilize a society, they can also be used positively. We do not have to respond along old fault lines. We could just as easily reorganize into a different pattern that threatens the people who sparked the event.

A successful shock event depends on speed and chaos because it requires knee-jerk reactions so that people divide along established lines. This, for example, is how Confederate leaders railroaded the initial southern states out of the Union.

If people realize they are being played, though, they can reach across old lines and reorganize to challenge the leaders who are pulling the strings. This was Lincoln's strategy when he joined together Whigs, Democrats, Free-Soilers, anti-Nebraska voters, and nativists into the new Republican Party to stand against the Slave Power.

Five years before, such a coalition would have been unimaginable. Members of those groups agreed on very little other than that they wanted all Americans to have equal economic opportunity. Once they began to work together to promote a fair economic system, though, they found much common ground. They ended up rededicating the nation to a "government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Confederate leaders and Lincoln both knew about the political potential of a shock event. As we are in the midst of one, it se

25 January 2017

Important read

David Bornstein interviews science journalist Gary Taubes, author of the recent book The Case Against Sugar, in the NYT today, about the toxicity of sugar and its role in an endemic of obesity and related health problems.  

19 January 2017


I don't want to be critical of the post office, which is under assault from the Right Wingers in government who basically have a pre-18th century idea of what the role of government should be. But, seriously, is it reasonable that after MORE THAN A WEEK after a relatively minor snowstorm, the only mail I received was a little bit I was able to pick up at the post office myself (they admitted there was "a lot of raw mail back there but we don't have time to sort through it.") And this is within the 23rd largest metropolitan area in the country (obviously meaning quite a few whole states don't have a comparable conurbation). Whatever happened to "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" ?

Apparently, like so much in Corporatized America, that's gone by the wayside. Of course, if one of the corporations (such as a health insurer) wants to hold you to some deadline despite your not having received the mailing in which it was communicated, tough shit.

18 January 2017

Indivisible resistance guide, and Keith Ellison

Lots of people are frustrated, saying to themselves and their friends, "I want to resist Trump and Trumpism, but how?" 
Well, here are some answers. (see pdf attachment). 

Also, I heard a really excellent interview with Keith Ellison on Ezra Klein's podcast. Ellison, you may know, is running for DNC chair, a position which is NOT primarily ideological or policy-setting. It is a process-driven post, one where someone who has some real ideas how to organize the DNC on a grassroots level, an art we have lost in recent years, can shine. And Ellison has some really great ideas about how to do that. I wholeheartedly support Ellison for DNC chair. 

Ellison had a "radical youth," but he is not an ideologue, or a radical. He is a very practical Sanders-wing Democrat, who, in my view, represents the future of the party and our movement to take back America from its anti-democratic Right Wing hostage takers. His analysis that we have strayed, becoming a party that is primarily only interested in presidential politics, and as a result have lost far too many governorships, far too many state legislative races, far too many House races, is right on. And he notes, correctly, that we have been out-organized for years by the Right Wing party. It's time to change that. Please check out this interview. I found it totally convincing that he is the man for the job, and his ideas are the "way to go." 


♦ David Studhalter
¡El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!
«The people united will never be defeated!»

14 January 2017


I am not one of those folks who likes to pretend the 2016 national election was anything OTHER than a total catastrophe. But we must move forward as best we can. And, while I am not optimistic about the future of publicly funded health care in America in the short to mid range, the fact is that "Obamacare" WAS the Republican plan, as it was devised by the Heritage Thinktankers back in the 90s as an alternative to Democratic proposals for truly universal and public healthcare. And without its key elements, an individual and employer mandate, regulation to ensure everyone is in a common pool, some kind of cost controls, and incorporation of an expansion of Medicaid, IT SIMPLY WILL NOT WORK. The Republicans CANNOT "replace" Obamacare, unless with essentially the same thing under a different name, without throwing 20 to 30 million people off of health insurance entirely, and drastically degrading the level of care for everyone not able to afford the "Cadillac" policies wealthy executives and oligarchs enjoy. So what will happen? They will repeal the ACA all right, and the result will be a disaster that the great majority even of their deluded supporters will see is far, far worse than what we have now. Maybe THEN we can build a coalition for real national health insurance, which I prefer to call "Enhanced Medicare for All" rather than "single-payer," a term which the Right invented to highlight the supposed Socialistic aspect of it. To ease that eventual transition, it becomes DOUBLY important to resist their efforts to cripple Medicare as it now exists (through idiotic and unworkable privatization schemes. And they are going to try. We must resist, first the effort to repeal the ACA (which I have to assume we can't avoid), and then any effort to destroy Medicare (which we simply MUST succeed in preventing).

PLEASE LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD IF YOU AGREE. Contact your Senators and Congress persons, and contact key "reachable" Republicans in the Senate, especially in the Senate. Such as Susan Collins, John McCain, Rob Portman, Bob Corker, Bill Cassidy, Lisa Murkowski, even Rand Paul and Lamar Alexander. Let them know you OPPOSE repeal of the affordable care act and OPPOSE any effort to cut, voucherize or privatize Medicare or cuts to Medicaid, especially the Medicaid expansion which is key to Obamacare's workability in the states where the Republicans haven't already wrecked that.


Thank you.

08 January 2017

Podcast recommendations

 Anyone not already overloaded with public affairs podcasts, I recommend:
1. Background Briefing (Ian Masters)
2. Majority Report (Sam Seder & Co.)
3. The Josh Marshall Show
4. Le Show (Harry Shearer)

All are readily available on podcast providers, such as Podcast Republic or any number of others. (Even ITunes, although I boycott them forever). There are several others that I occasionally listen to, but these four are the ones I rarely go too long without listening to. Majority and Background are 5 days a week.

Majority Report is also a YouTube channel, but I just listen. On YouTube, I recently replaced almost all of my MSNBC watching with dips into the YouTube segments of The Young Turks.

03 January 2017


Hey, Kids. Look what just happened. There was a HUGE PUBLIC OUTCRY against the outrageous attempt by the House Republicans to gut the House Ethics office (y'know, cuz Republicans got no USE for no damn ETHICS!). So what does Trumpo do? He aligns himself with the public outcry!

What does that tell us? It means WE HAVE POWER. We can do what Bernie Sanders says. Light up the Congressional switchboards. Rally. Show up. Write to Congress and to media outlets of all kind... especially against gutting the Affordable Care Act, cutting Social Security, privatizing Medicare, cutting Medicaid and SNAP, granting huge tax breaks to the obscenely wealthy...When we make it CRYSTAL CLEAR that the American people WILL NOT STAND FOR THESE THINGS and DID NOT VOTE FOR THEM, Trump, who wants more than anything to be popular, just might abandon the Right Wing Republican position on some or even many of these issues, and many others. Climate Change. LGBTQ rights. Minimum Wage. Infrastructure investment, not crony capitalism. We must be ACTIVE.

DO NOT BE PASSIVE. DO NOT allow Trumpism to become "new normal." Resist. Be Active. SHOW UP. Please, it really, really, REALLY MATTERS.

Thank you.

¡El pueblo unido, jamás será vencido!
«The people united will never be defeated!»