Sarah B.

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  • Sarah B. commented on the blog post Public’s Big New Focus on Race Relations

    2014-12-19 15:04:18View | Delete

    Or is that beyond, or beneath, “informed” political analysis?

    How do we know Jon’s latest effort constitutes “informed” political analysis? More Gallup, of course.

    Superb comment, DW.

    Well played, sir!

  • Edit: tread = thread

    Although “tread” could actually work, too, in context.

    Over and out.

  • In Leak Case, Court Authorizes Subpoena for Testimony from New York Times Reporter James Risen

    This latest maneuver by Eric Holder, LLC — first “leak” to the NYT that the DOJ will not ask Risen to name his source in a nakedly obvious fake good-will exercise for public consumption — then serve Risen with a subpoena to compel his testimony.

    Eric Holder has become the monomaniacal Captain Ahab and James Risen has been turned into Moby Dick. Holder just can’t let go of his obsession to get and subdue the Great White Whale.

    Risen is Ishmael. He must avoid this cynical trap and survive to narrate the tale.

  • Sarah B. commented on the diary post Day #9 of 11: #ThisStopsToday and Oakland #UmbrellaMarch by wendydavis.

    2014-12-18 21:18:18View | Delete

    Arne Duncan and friends were in Ferguson lately to meet with protestors.

    Yes, because charter schools! — privatize, charterize, and corporatize.

    Plus, millionaires and billionaires’ lives matter.

    Just shoot me. Please.

  • I stand appropriately personally criticized and demeaned.

    You have been neither personally criticized nor demeaned, madam, except inside your own mind, and least of all by me. So stop playing Uriah Heap. The fake-piety feint and humbleness grovel do not become you, and you certainly know better than to advance such comical rubbish.

    It was you who fired the initial shot in Comment #62:

    A whole thread with 57 comments and not a mention of the real point of the change.

    This thread not worth the fonts that were used up.
    (Emphasis added)

    Are FDLers that isolated from world events?
    (Emphasis added)

    If U.S. does overcome Russia (may build a base there) and China’s trade deals, Cubans will be worse off.

    In reply to your Comment #73:

    I apologize & will try not to do it again.

    It is more important to discuss the less obvious aspects of U.S. Cuba relationship like cigars, antique cars, BB, than geopolitics.

    It was inappropriate of me to criticize & demean the thread.
    (Emphasis added)

    I stand appropriately personally criticized and demeaned.

    If you read through the tread, you will find that a number of commenters challenged the focus on cigars, antique cars, BB (whatever that is), and various commenters addressed the issue of geopolitics albeit perhaps more obliquely than you might have preferred.

    You did not “criticize & demean the thread” — and no one suggested that you did — but you did criticize and demean the commenters, specifically, those FDLers whom you disparage as being so “isolated from world events” that the entire thread “was not worth the fronts that were used” to comprise its content.

    Finally, there is one thing upon which we can agree regarding sudden Obama’s intervention into Cuba:

    Cubans will be worse off.

    Indeed, but was there ever any doubt?

  • Did you happen to read that Escobar piece?

    If, DW, you are referring to this gem:

    Go west, young Han
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/CHIN-01-171214.html

    The answer is: ¡Si Señor!

    I never miss Pepe Escobar, and I always relish his appearances on RT or Real News Network or wherever he turns up for interviews. Besides great insights and critical analysis, he has a wicked sense of humor.

    My favorite money quotes (among many):

    When dragon embraces bear
    Russian President Vladimir Putin had a fabulous APEC. After his country and China clinched a massive $400 billion natural gas deal in May – around the Power of Siberia pipeline, whose construction began this year – they added a second agreement worth $325 billion around the Altai pipeline originating in western Siberia.

    These two mega-energy deals don’t mean that Beijing will become Moscow-dependent when it comes to energy, though it’s estimated that they will provide 17% of China’s natural gas needs by 2020. (Gas, however, makes up only 10% per cent of China’s energy mix at present.) But these deals signal where the wind is blowing in the heart of Eurasia. Though Chinese banks can’t replace those affected by Washington and EU sanctions against Russia, they are offering a Moscow battered by recent plummeting oil prices some relief in the form of access to Chinese credit.
    [...]
    It’s also been clear for years that, across Eurasia, Russian, not Western, pipelines are likely to prevail. The latest spectacular Pipelineistan opera – Gazprom’s cancellation of the prospective South Stream pipeline that was to bring yet more Russian natural gas to Europe – will, in the end, only guarantee an even greater energy integration of both Turkey and Russia into the new Eurasia. (Emphasis added)

    This latest piece is very good stuff indeed and seems to suggest that my amateur analysis in Comment #61 may not be too far fetched, despite my being dangerously isolated from world events.

    PS — I can’t wait to see what Señor Escobar will have to say about Obama’s conquest of Cuba — that is a consummation devoutly to be wished!

  • This is nothing more than an anti-Russia, anti-China move on O’s checker board.

    Frankly, I thought that point was too obvious to mention, but that’s just me.

    Obama just issued more sanctions against Russia, and his big announcement on Cuba today — delivered with deafening but predictable platitudes in conjunction with the release of CIA/USAID spy Alan Gross (which he treated as some kind of triumph) — will turn out to be a nothingburger like all of his other foreign policy feints.

    I’m sure that Obama, consummate narcissist that he is, has convinced himself that this Cuba maneuver has just delivered the coup de grâce to Putin — Checkmate! — well, good luck with that.

    I would still put my money on Putin and Xi-Jinping and the Castro brothers to have the last laugh — they are neither stupid nor naïve, and Team Obama is no match for them individually or collectively. These leaders know that Obama is salivating over the prospect of yet more regime change, this time in Russia and Cuba, and they are not about to indulge his fantasies.

    I think you’re giving Obama way too much credit with regard to his “checker board” — for all his arrogance, the man a lame duck who can’t even master Tiddlywinks.

    PS — Was it necessary to demean the other commenters on this thread — those whom you suggest are dangerously “isolated from world events” — for not being as clever as the resident expert whose fonts are always worth their weight in whichever commodity or currency or precious metal the world professes to value? Could you perhaps enlighten us without wandering into Gruber territory?

  • Sarah B. commented on the blog post Voters are Tired of Obama’s Governing Approach

    2014-12-17 14:13:07View | Delete

    Progressives criticize him for not being more in tune with what voters actually want – you know, an actual economic recovery, accountability for elite criminals, less economic inequality, etc.

    Also, I would suggest that the “etc.” which you cite should include an affordable, accessible, equitable, universal health care system that works for everyone without fear or favor at the very top of the list.

    Great comment, fredcdobbs — another grand slam home run!

  • American might just be ready for a new “Cancun” and it would be close and cheap. But that will take tons of money and probably ten years. That’s how long it took to “build” Cancun.

    Do the Cubans get to have a say in whether they actually want to become the new “Cancun” for drunken Americans and frat boys and girls flooding the beaches on spring break? Can the Cubans just say No!?

    Do you believe everyone in the world wants what the UGS and the self-serving, plundering, exploitation and extraction, American corporatists are dishing out? Are the Cubans just aching for the Yankee Dollar? The colonialist mentality really dies hard.

    For what its worth, Cuban ex-pats are even more unreliable than Time Magazine in their assessments of Cuba. Wikipedia is more objective:

    Cuba’s literacy rate of 99.8 percent is the tenth-highest globally, due largely to the provision of free education at every level. Cuba’s high school graduation rate is 94 percent. (Emphasis added)

    Higher education is provided by universities, higher institutes, higher pedagogical institutes, and higher polytechnic institutes. The Cuban Ministry of Higher Education operates a scheme of distance education which provides regular afternoon and evening courses in rural areas for agricultural workers. Education has a strong political and ideological emphasis, and students progressing to higher education are expected to have a commitment to the goals of Cuba. (Emphasis added)

    Moreover, Cuba has provided state subsidized education to a limited number of foreign nationals at the Latin American School of Medicine. (Emphasis added)

    Cuba’s life expectancy at birth is 78 years. Historically, Cuba has ranked high in numbers of medical personnel and has made significant contributions to world health since the 19th century. Today, Cuba has universal health care and although shortages of medical supplies persist, there is no shortage of medical personnel. (Emphasis added)

    Primary care is available throughout the island and infant and maternal mortality rates compare favorably with those in developed nations. (Emphasis added)

    According to the UN, the life expectancy in Cuba is 78.3 years (76.2 for males and 80.4 for females). This ranks Cuba 37th in the world and 3rd in the Americas, behind only Canada and Chile, and just ahead of the United States. Infant mortality in Cuba declined from 32 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 1957, to 10 in 1990–95. Infant mortality in 2000–2005 was 6.1 per 1,000 live births. Cuba’s infant mortality rate is 5.13. (Emphasis added)

    Cuba’s life expectancy is just ahead of the U.S., and the U.S. has a higher infant mortality rate than that of Cuba — 6.1 per 1000 live births — higher than any of the other 27 wealthy OECD countries, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control. And this despite the decades-long U.S. embargo of that small island nation.

    Still, vintage American car clichés are always de rigueur, but what about those Cuban cigars?

    PS — Who will be the new Fulgencio Batista? Hint: It won’t be Ricky Ricardo.

  • Justice may be slow — but it will come one way or another.

    I hope, ChePasa, that you’re correct about that — it would be poetic justice to be sure.

    In any case, thanks so much for the heads-up regarding Alfred McCoy’s all-too-brief appearance today on Democracy Now!

    I managed to miss the segment when the show aired this morning on the local community radio station in this market, so I just went back to view the segment online.

    My essential critique is that Amy tried to cram too much into the segment — with too many disparate guests and voices and video clips in too short a time — to go as deeply into the topic of the USG and torture as she might have done with a tighter focus.

    I hope Amy will invite McCoy to return for a long-form interview in which she could allow him the time and intellectual space to more fully explain the depth and breadth and scope of the CIA and its perfection and application of torture techniques around the globe for decades.

    That said, it was especially interesting to view that trip down memory lane in the DN segment from 2007, in which Amy was acting more as a gate-crasher during the Bush administration, as opposed to seeming more like a gate-keeper during the Obama administration.

    In my opinion, Amy and Juan González and their on-air team at DN still, for the most part, continue to treat Obama with very gentle criticism while wearing kid gloves. Watching that clip of DN from 2007 made me feel a wee bit nostalgic to say the least.

    PS — It’s a travesty of justice that “psychologists” Mitchell and Jessen — Mengele & Mengele — have not yet been prosecuted for war crimes and crimes against humanity. What does it take? Just how bad do the atrocities have to be before justice can take its course? That was a rhetorical question, but then I suspect you knew that.

    Best.

  • Sarah B. commented on the blog post Making All the People Unhappy All the Time

    2014-12-16 20:49:45View | Delete

    Keep it coming.

    Thank you so much, DW, for your kind reply.

    Before this thread is closed to comments forever, suffice it to say that I’m always happy to oblige in the often neglected good laughs department.

    I, too, am always deeply grateful to anyone in the comments gallery who can provide me with a rare and unexpected good laugh, and the darker and more sardonic the humor the better. Keep it coming, indeed!

    Cheers.

  • Also the 99% don’t run the pollsters. The 1% own the pollsters and only publish what advances their agenda. Polls are propaganda tools of the rich.

    I agree that the polls produced by the corporate print and television media are replete with selective bias and intentional projection of the desired outcomes embedded in the forms of the questions and in the selections of the samples.

    While the leading pollsters purport to provide a snapshot of the prevailing public opinion at a particular point in time — as evidenced by the referenced polls which I cited in my comment — the results of the polls are published and discussed on television with all the force and repetition of ads for Tide or Geico or Viagra or Ambien for the specific purpose of shaping rather than reflecting public opinion with the objective of creating a bandwagon effect.

    It is my impression that the public seems to be reacting to the release of the Senate Torture Report with less outrage and shock than was evident in the immediate aftermath of the Abu Ghraib scandal. But, I could be mistaken.

    Here is a recent piece — published, ironically, by the WaPo — that challenges polls like those which I cited and others which are sprouting up like mushrooms across the media landscape:

    By Paul Gronke, Darius Rejali, and Peter Miller – December 11, 2014

    No, Americans aren’t ‘fine with torture.’ They strongly reject it.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/12/11/no-americans-arent-fine-with-torture-they-strongly-reject-it/

    Our analysis, which is summarized in our 2010 paper, is that the American political and media elite badly overestimated public support for torture, especially in the early years of the war on terror and after the publicized events at Abu Ghraib. In this piece, we argued that the political and media elite came to false consensus. This is a coping mechanism long known to psychologists whereby we project our views onto others. We developed unique survey items that clearly showed widespread projection effects regarding torture, especially among those who were most supportive of these techniques.
    [...]
    Americans remain deeply ambivalent about the use of torture, as apparently are many in the intelligence community. They recognize the very real threat posed by terrorist organizations, but also know that torture is morally wrong. And it would help clarify public attitudes if many American politicians would quit claiming – incorrectly – that torture is effective.

    When Americans are informed about the realities of torture, just like Senator McCain, they find themselves repulsed. Anyone who thinks there is widespread American public support for torture is badly mistaken.

    The authors’ analysis is focused primarily on reactions to the Abu Ghraib scandal, and their scholarly findings certainly match my anecdotal recollections of public sentiment at the time, but we shall see if that sentiment prevails in connection with the details of the Senate Torture Report. The court of public opinion can be a very fickle place.

    The “bad apples” named in the Senate Torture Report are significantly above the pay grade of those examples of low-hanging fruit — Specialist Charles Graner and Private First Class Lynndie England and their cohort — who served time in prison for engaging in torture at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.

    Of course the really “bad apples” — the poisoned apples at the highest levels of the government and military food chain who designed and ordered the torture programs at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo and Bagram and the infamous “black sites” — were never even investigated and prosecuted, let alone convicted and sentenced to prison. Indeed, many are the same rotten apples cited in the Senate Torture Report, who continue to roam free with impunity.

  • Sarah B. commented on the blog post Making All the People Unhappy All the Time

    2014-12-16 17:01:04View | Delete

    Thanks for that great reply. Actually, I’ve read both tomes, and they are indeed excellent.

    I encountered those titles along with Schama’s Citizens in a graduate seminar on the French Revolution that both examined and attempted to move beyond the popular and enjoyable clichés that permeate the narratives of French Revolution literature.

    I’m glad that I read Citizens before the onslaught of Schama’s full-throated Zionist rants hit the airwaves, or I would have had the same reaction that you describe with his book on Dutch culture in the Golden Age (1570-1670) and for all the reasons you suggest.

  • The moral and legal case against torture (and the legal case against Cheney et al) is fairly easily made. So far, neither have been made clearly and often enough.

    As Hamlet remarks in his soliloquy, “Aye, there’s the rub.”

    Despite the wealth of persuasive legal opinion on the Bush/Cheney torture program from scholars across the political spectrum — from conservative Bruce Fein to progressive-libertarian Jonathan Turley to liberal-progressive Erwin Chemerinsky — the legal case against Bush and Cheney, et al., has not been made and won’t be made in the absence of criminal investigations and prosecutions by Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice, and the likelihood of that course of action is nil at this juncture.

    Unless and until those at the highest levels of the U.S. government are held criminally accountable without fear or favor in a court of law for ordering, approving, justifying, and carrying out the torture techniques in the field, the moral case, while just and righteous, evaporates into the ether as so much well-intentioned hot air.

    Without accountability for what clearly constitute demonstrable war crimes and crimes against humanity in violation of U.S. and international law, any legitimate claim on moral authority is weakened severely at best and lost entirely at worst.

    Consequently, we are left with President Obama, who bloviates and babbles about looking forward, not backward, and confesses that “We tortured some folks” while in the same breath mouthing vacuous platitudes like “That is not who we are” and “We are better than that.” Thus, he serves up the kind of legal and moral ambiguity that comforts the criminal perpetrators and impugns the victims of their crimes.

    By Alfred W. McCoy

    Impunity at Home, Rendition Abroad: How Both Parties Made Illegality the American Way of Life
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/impunity-at-home-rendition-abroad-how-both-parties-made-illegality-the-american-way-of-life/32349

    After a decade of fiery public debate and bare-knuckle partisan brawling, the United States has stumbled toward an ad hoc bipartisan compromise over the issue of torture that rests on two unsustainable policies: impunity at home and rendition abroad.

    President Obama has closed the CIA’s “black sites,” its secret prisons where American agents once dirtied their hands with waterboarding and wall slamming. But via rendition — the sending of terrorist suspects to the prisons of countries that torture — and related policies, his administration has outsourced human rights abuse to Afghanistan, Somalia, and elsewhere. In this way, he has avoided the political stigma of torture, while tacitly tolerating such abuses and harvesting whatever intelligence can be gained from them.

    This “resolution” of the torture issue may meet the needs of this country’s deeply divided politics. It cannot, however, long satisfy an international community determined to prosecute human rights abuses through universal jurisdiction. It also runs the long-term risk of another sordid torture scandal that will further damage U.S. standing with allies worldwide.

    If you’ve not already done so, I strongly recommend reading the following book by Alfred W. McCoy:

    Torture and Impunity: The U.S. Doctrine of Coercive Interrogation. (University of Wisconsin Press 2012)

    McCoy offers a sweeping historical perspective in conjunction evidence-based arguments that result in legal and moral clarity at their finest — It’s very good stuff.

    Finally, thanks so much for your thoughtful and insightful reply to my comment.

  • Sarah B. commented on the blog post The Roundup for December 15th, 2014

    2014-12-16 14:11:52View | Delete

    Remember the xenophobic German protesters gaining popularity? They held a march where more than 15,000 came out to support the “pinstriped Nazis”; Chancellor Angela Merkel warned citizens not to fall for their tricks.

    Hapless and foolish Frau Merkel has embraced the neo-Nazis in Ukraine with gusto and enthusiasm — many of them, including Yats and the Rats in Kiev, are clearly “pinstriped Nazis” — and now this silly woman professes surprise and alarm to discover that similar groups are on the march in Germany.

    When you lie down with rats, Frau Merkel, you will emerge with plague-carrying fleas:

    October 17, 2014

    Chilling Neo-Nazi Torch-lit March through Kiev on Wednesday
    http://russia-insider.com/en/tv_politics_ukraine/2014/11/04/02-04-55pm/watch_chilling_neo-nazi_torch-lit_march_through_kiev

    The neo-Nazi movement in Ukraine is far more mainstream than the western media realizes:

    After violent riots in Kiev that involved throwing smoke grenades and violence against riot police, a massive neo-Nazi march was held in honor of Ukrainian Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera and the establishment of his Ukrainian Insurgent Army.

    During this torch-lit march through the streets of Kiev, extremists from Azov and Right Sector brandished neo-Nazi flags and chanted nationalist slogans.

    October 15, 2014

    Neo-nazi torch-lit march in Kiev by Right Sector and Azov [Video]
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxZd2UVBYRM

    October 14, 2014

    Azov Battalion Leads ‘March of Glory to the UPA’ 14-10-14
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrhvPQk-A-E

    The neo-fascist foreign mercanaries of the Azov Battalion have led the ‘March of Glory to the UPA’ to honour the memory of dead fascist who died fighting for the Nazi German occupiers and who killed millions of Ukraine in WWII’s worst genocidal campaign.

    The 14th October was day marked neo-fascist parades around Kiev which led to the outbreak of violence at the Ukraine Parliament as fascist thugs attempted to storm parliament and pass pro-fascist laws. The demonstrators were held back be police until army units arrived to break up the demonstrations which had turned violent.

    February 21-22, 2014

    The neo-nazi march in Kiev.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9vafHG6VI4

    In video: The new-year march of the nationalistic “Svoboda” Party in Kiev. At the date of video the Maidan gains the strength and growths.

    After the video. In the February the self-defence of Maidan was about 12000 participants. After the crash of the legal power in Kiev at the night 02.21-02.22 the new “government” was formed. The several positions were taken by “Svoboda” Party. The people who are famous for their nationalistic (and Russophobian) speeches hold many positions. In 02.23 the law on regional languages was repealed (this law granted a little rights to the Russian, the Romanian and others languages). The nationalistic armed groups got, in fact, the status of official forces and now (03.07) they participate in the suppression of Russian riot in the Eastern Ukraine. Several groups turned into the crime bands frightening the civilians.

    In the aftermath of the February 2014 coup in Kiev, Merkel had the opportunity to capitalize on her excellent working relationship with Vladimir Putin by taking the lead in shaping a European policy towards Russia and Ukraine that was sane, peaceful, collaborative, and productive for all the parties involved in the matter. But she elected instead to become Obama’s loyal, faithful, drooling, tail-wagging, leg-humping Schnauzer, and the German economy is now paying the price for her misplaced loyalty.

    What a stupid woman — “Chancellor Angela Merkel warned citizens not to fall for their tricks” — but her warning has zero credibility given that she eagerly fell for the neo-Nazis’ tricks in Ukraine while bashing Putin at every juncture to distract attention from her own blunders.

    Quick! — Look over there! — It was the evil Putin wot done it!

  • The tyranny of the majority and slowly-boiled frogs:

    Sadly, the tide of outrage over the USG’s torture program has turned since the Abu Ghraib scandal broke with the publication of the Sy Hersh article in The New Yorker (with photographs) in 2004:

    New poll finds majority of Americans believe torture justified after 9/11 attacks
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/new-poll-finds-majority-of-americans-believe-torture-justified-after-911-attacks/2014/12/16/f6ee1208-847c-11e4-9534-f79a23c40e6c_story.html?Post+generic=%3Ftid%3Dsm_twitter_washingtonpost

    A majority of Americans believe that the harsh interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were justified, even as about half the public says the treatment amounted to torture, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

    By an almost 2-1 margin, or 59-to-31 percent, those interviewed support the CIA’s brutal methods, with the vast majority of supporters saying they produced valuable intelligence.

    In general, 58 percent say the torture of suspected terrorists can be justified “often” or “sometimes.”

    Washington Post — ABC News Poll December 11-14, 2014
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/page/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2014/12/16/National-Politics/Polling/release_376.xml

    Plus, it’s not just the WaPo/ABC News poll — a new CBS poll demonstrates similar results:

    In a CBS poll released Monday, nearly seven in 10 considered waterboarding torture, but about half said the technique and others are, at times, justified. Fifty-seven percent said harsh interrogation techniques can provide information that can prevent terrorist attacks.

    Most Americans consider waterboarding to be torture: poll
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/torture-and-reaction-to-the-senate-intelligence-report/

    But, 49% of the sample think the torture techniques are sometimes justified, and 57% think that those tactics provide reliable information that helps prevent terrorist attacs at least some of the time. In addition, 52% think the release of the Senate Torture Report poses a threat to U.S. national security, while

    In the wake of last week’s release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, 69 percent of Americans consider waterboarding to be torture, but 49 percent think aggressive interrogation tactics like waterboarding are sometimes justified. 36 percent think they are not justified.

    More than half (57 percent) think that such interrogation tactics provide reliable information that helps prevent terrorist attacks at least some of the time. Fifty-two percent of Americans think the release of information regarding the CIA interrogation tactics poses a threat to U.S. security; a third doesn’t think it will have an impact.

    CBS News Poll-Senate Torture Report
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/250168165/CBS-News-Poll-Senate-Torture-Report

    Both polls found a majority believed that releasing the report could jeopardize national security.

    Consequently, ten years after the breaking of the Abu Ghraib scandal in 2004, most Americans now consider waterboarding and the various and sundry “enhanced interrogation techniques” to be torture but believe that the application of torture is sometimes justified — they have become thoroughly convinced that 9/11 changed everything in the intervening years since 2001.

    Go figure.

  • Sarah B. commented on the blog post Why the U.S. Plan for Iraq is Doomed to Fail

    2014-12-15 17:57:48View | Delete

    “Colonialism. The enforced spread of the rule of reason. But who is going to spread it among the colonizers?” -Anthony Burgess

    Thank you so much for that delicious quote by the late, great, Anthony Burgess, of whom I am a huge fan.

    Burgess was a great scholar, a rich and various writer, an incisive historian, and a brilliant music analyst, to name but a few of his remarkable and prolific talents — certainly, the phrase “Renaissance Man” could have been coined to describe him and his phenomenal œuvre.

    Well played, sir or madam (as the case may be).

  • Sarah B. commented on the blog post Making All the People Unhappy All the Time

    2014-12-15 17:35:07View | Delete

    Triple Bonus Hint: There is apparently no such thing as Santa :(

    I agree with DW — your deconstruction of Jon’s “informed” political analysis was superb, and I concur with your backstage insights into the theatrics performed by our House and Senate critters on both sides of the aisle. They are “divided” only in their unanimity to keep the two-party rivalry charade sufficiently convincing and to deliver their orchestrated scripts without forgetting their lines.

    The “cromnibus” Christmas panto this year — the final vote held at the 59th minute of the 11th hour to heighten the fake suspense — had two wonderful opposing bedfellows:

    The Saint: Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) versus The Villain: Ted Cruz (R-TX)

    Each took maximum advantage of his/her hour upon the stage to bloviate against their cherished portions of the legislation — Wall Street for Warren and “Amnesty” for Cruz — to throw red meat to their respective bases before retreating without another whimper to cast their “principled” Nay votes before turning out the light s and closing the doors on the 113th Congress and returning home to exquisitely-appointed homes with many bedrooms and bathrooms in leafy neighborhoods with the best zip codes.

    Worked like a charm. It always does.

    PS — I noted you said that there is “apparently” no such thing as Santa, so you seem to have left the chimney damper open. ;)

  • Sarah B. commented on the blog post Making All the People Unhappy All the Time

    2014-12-15 16:53:33View | Delete

    But, with the guillotine, ONE trip is usually sufficient.

    That one-trip model was based on the reasoning indicative of the Enlightenment thought leaders who orchestrated the French Revolution — and it started way above the pay grade of the peasants who were actually late to the party — when swift and relatively painless (for the victim) justice was the objective.

    In today’s postmodern era, one trip is not sufficient — there must be seconds and thirds and fourths and fifths ad infinitum — justice must be as prolonged and as painful and humiliating as possible to be effective in the eyes of the coldly efficient technocrats who order and carry out such punishments.

    PS — Simon Schama’s book Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution (Paperback 1990) — is an excellent history of the period. He really cuts through the clichés and popular notions and cherished beliefs about the circumstances leading up to that event and its aftermath.

    That said, Schama is such a rabid Zionist that I can’t stand to listen to him anymore when interviewed, since defending Israel and trashing the Palestinians is all he wants to talk about these days.

  • Sarah B. commented on the blog post Making All the People Unhappy All the Time

    2014-12-15 15:55:42View | Delete

    If this were the time of the French Revolution the guillotine would be working overtime, at union scale.

    That remedy is so 18th century.

    You need to move into the 21st century — it’s rectal-feeding rehydration performed by sadists from the CIA wearing surgical masks and latex gloves and rubber aprons in this postmodern world.

    So, put that quarter-pound prime rib (medium rare), and baked potato with butter, sour cream, and chives, and green beans with almonds, and corn-on-the-cob, and mixed-green salad with olive-oil and balsamic vinaigrette dressing, a large slice of New York-style cheesecake, and half a bottle of cabernet into the giant food processor and hit… Purée!!!!!

    Now, fill the feeding tubes and let retributive justice take its course. The problem with the guillotine is that it can only be used effectively once — the rectal-feeding rehydration method can be applied to the same culprit over and over and over again for maximum effect.

    PS — Don’t be concerned that the cabernet might act as an anesthetic — the glass bottle is included in the purée to prevent any unintended pleasure by the recipient of the treatment.

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