empire

Movie – War Machine – a misplaced parable

Netflix has just released War Machine onto the streaming media waters. This movie fits into the long tradition of American media mostly puffing up our military exploits or turning them into light tragi-comedy.  Brad Pitt, applying the acting style of a trimmed down George Clooney, portrays the fictional General Glen McMahon. Broadly and --->> read more -->>
politics

Update on Trump’s Mental Capacities

The state of Trump’s mind has been a matter of continuous discussion ever since he came on the scene as a presidential candidate. Mental health professionals have weighed in despite their professions rules against doing so. More recently in an op-ed piece David Brooks posed the idea that we are --->> read more -->>
free-market ideology

Naive Talk about Healthcare from Adam Davidson in the New Yorker

Adam Davidson writing today in The New Yorker offered us “A BIPARTISAN WAY TO IMPROVE MEDICAL CARE – A straightforward change would save money and improve health. So why isn’t Congress talking about it?” This is an astonishingly naive misleading bit of chatter about healthcare. Davidson summarizes William S. Jevons, --->> read more -->>
political system

Trump’s Innovations in Governing

The Plutocrats Have Occupied the White House and Executive Branch It has been a fact of American life for decades that the rich and corporations control our political system. But this control has been exercised always one arms length removed from the actual levers of power. They have had to be --->> read more -->>
free-market ideology

The Global Context of the US Healthcare Debate

The solution to our healthcare fiasco is first to recognize its true nature and then to face down those who are consuming a fifth of our economic output while producing profoundly bad results. We need to take a much broader view in order to see that, compared to the rest --->> read more -->>
justice/jails

America’s Longest War and Attorney General Sessions

Attorney General Sessions clearly knows no history, even that of his own lifetime. He is just another petty, cyclical political hack thrust into a prominent position. Nixon’s War on Drugs which Sessions is now re-intensifying began as a cynical campaign tactic. As described by John Erhlichman, Nixon’s domestic policy adviser: --->> read more -->>
No Picture
recently noted

Recently Noted – about racism

from the New York Times: How Homeownership Became the Engine of American Inequality An enormous entitlement in the tax code props up home prices — and overwhelmingly benefits the wealthy and the upper middle class. By MATTHEW DESMOND MAY 9, 2017 Read the article >>>>>>
politics

Firing Comey and Trump as Solipsism

In his letter firing James Comey, now former Director of the FBI, Trump once again displayed the completely self-centered world that he inhabits. The second paragraph in this thankfully short letter reads: While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I --->> read more -->>
politics

Trump – understanding the pathology

The strangeness that is Trump seems an endless topic of conversation. Several months ago I wondered about early signs of dementia in “Is Trump Showing Signs of Ageing?” Ongoing I have wondered about his weird speech patterns. Over the last day I have come on three sources that shed further --->> read more -->>
political system

Obama, Wall St. and Big Money

Edited 5/9/2017 (Originally published as “Obama and the Future of the Democratic Party”) President Obama achieved some remarkable things during his eight years. Action on income and wealth inequality were not among them. He surrounded himself, especially on the economic front, with people who had direct connections to Wall St. --->> read more -->>
free-market ideology

Regulations vs Protections – more than just words

In a recent stream of comments about a post in GossipsOfRivertown, “More about Dumped Cement” Virginia Martin wrote to me: Mark Orton said “This is why we have government regulations.” Linguist George Lakoff would say the term “regulations” is ill-considered. He’d say they’re protections. This is why we have government --->> read more -->>
healthcare

Trump Loves Australia’s Universal Government Paid Healthcare, “Better than ours”

Trump loves Australia’s universal healthcare: Speaking to Australian Prime Minster Trumbull, Trump said, “We have a failing healthcare. I shouldn’t say this to our great gentleman and my friend from Australia, because you have better healthcare than we do.” A day later Trump repeated his praise for the Australian healthcare system, “Of --->> read more -->>
environment

Dumping Concrete: a law of capitalism In action – a local example

The May 3rd post “Unbelievable” on our favorite local blog GossipsOfRivertown.blogspot.com caught our attention. This F.H.Stickles concrete truck dumping waste concrete next to a stream running into the Hudson River is a local demonstration of one of the central laws of capitalism. For more pictures of this incident go here. --->> read more -->>