Tweet of the Day: #noKXL

Great news for a change!

And I can think of no other organization that fought longer or harder to oppose the pipeline than

They deserve enormous praise and thanks.

Man Buns Revisited

man-bunLast month, I published a post titled To Man Bun, Or Not To Man Bun?, and the title was clearly a rhetorical question, cuz I’d already cut my hair to man-bun-prohibitive shortness.

Now, the Man Bun topic turns from rhetorical to hypothetical, thanks to some awesome Photoshopped images courtesy of DesignCrowd, and via FastCompany.

Hypothesis: What would various world leaders throughout history look like sporting buns for men, and how would this alter our perception of these men?

FastCompany says:

…these images will shake your trust in our safety to its fundamental core.

But I have the exact opposite reaction!

Being able to visualize these guys hanging out in a typical locally owned and operated hipster joint, drinking craft beer and eating artisan pretzels, makes the scary guys less scary to me, and makes the guys I like seem like dudes I could hang with!

Anyway, here are my faves, but be sure to check out the whole gallery.





Headlines of the Day: The Cognitive Dissonance Of Bernie Sanders Media Coverage

headache-smileyStunning, headache-inducing dissonance in these two headlines from two liberal-leaning online publications today:

Bernie Sanders is in big trouble: You don’t have to be a neoliberal shill to see the cold, hard facts


Yes, Polling Trajectory Shows Bernie Sanders Defeating Hillary Clinton and Winning the Democratic Nomination

Huffington Post

Video Fridays: Democracy Waking Up: Black Lives Matter & Insurgent Candidates

schuffmanRemember this quote from Bernie Sanders, from my post back in May?

“One of the greatest tragedies that we face today politically is that most people have given up on the political process. They understand the political process is stacked against them. They think there is no particular reason for them to come out and vote — and they don’t.”

Well, there have been several signs lately that people haven’t fully given up, and I’d like to highlight two promising examples here.

Black Lives Matter
On August 8th, three Black Lives Matter activists disrupted a Bernie Sanders campaign event in Seattle.

It was courageous and brilliant.

Anyone who thinks the activists were rude or barking up the wrong tree — because Bernie has an excellent record on civil rights for people of color — simply doesn’t get it, doesn’t understand the depths of the problem, the ugly persistence of institutional racism, the daily struggles of Black Americans, the daily degradations, the enduring discrimination and the lack of opportunity.

The Black Lives Matter movement clearly has not given up, and we should celebrate that they were successful in getting Bernie to meet with and listen to them, to strengthen his support for their work, such that when he was initially asked if black lives matter he gave a qualified answer — “black lives matter, white lives matter, Hispanic lives matter” — and when he was asked in the first Democratic Presidential Debate this past Tuesday he included no such qualifier:

Black lives matter. And the reason those words matter is the African American community knows that on any given day some innocent person like Sandra Bland can get into a car, and then three days later she’s going to end up dead in jail, or their kids are going to get shot. We need to combat institutional racism from top to bottom, and we need major, major reforms in a broken criminal justice system in which we have more people in jail than China. And, I intended to tackle that issue. To make sure that our people have education and jobs rather than jail cells.

THAT is getting it!

Insurgent Candidates
I don’t know the origin of the term “insurgent candidate”, it certainly predates its current use, but I absolutely love it. And yes, even when it’s referring to candidates I vehemently oppose, because a true Democracy should provide a real opportunity to anyone who wants to participate in government by running for office, and no one should be deterred by a lack of money, by a political party that favors establishment players, or by a rigid 2-party system that breeds polarization and gridlock.

Getting more specific, I see as a very good thing insurgent candidates who do not fit, and defiantly refuse to fit, the media-perpetuated definition of “presidential”. I and millions of other Americans are sick to death of highly polished, highly coached, highly focus-grouped, politicians. They are the reason why so many of us had given up.

If insurgency allows for a loudmouthed, racist poster boy for capitalist greed like Donald Trump to reach Republican front-runner status, it’s worth it if at the same time it allows plainspoken, SuperPac-less, unapologetically Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders, to be a serious challenger to Wall Street darling Hillary Clinton.

Mark Hertsgaard nails this and calls it Bernie’s “secret weapon” in The Nation.

Anyway, I’m running out of time, it’s Friday, that means a Video Fridays installment is due, and so here’s the brief story of another insurgent candidate, Stuart Schuffman, who is running for Mayor of San Francisco, and whose campaign website is refreshingly called: Broke-Ass Mayor.

I LOVE this guy, I love his “I don’t give a shit. I don’t care if I don’t win, I’m doing this to make some fucking noise.” attitude. Being polite and asking the government nicely to help the homeless, to address income and wealthy inequality, to battle climate change, etc., will NOT cut it.

Go Stu! And, Happy Weekend, everyone!

GOP Debate In A Rightwingnutshell

TPM-logoThis morning I awoke with deep wells of gratitude in my heart for having not been kidnapped last night and forced to watch the first GOP debate.

At the same time, not wanting my head to be completely and permanently planted in the sand, this morning I masochistically read some of the reactions online, and listened to some audio clips on NPR, and hats off to Josh Marshall at TPM for publishing the best.debate.summary.ever, a simple 3-line affair:

Foxbots to Trump: Are you not a fraud, a cretin and a scoundrel.

Trump: I’m very rich. Fuck yourself. I have no time for your nonsense.

Crowd: Cheers wildly.


Video Fridays: R.I.P. Omar Sharif & How Lawrence Of Arabia Explains A LOT

Sharif_in_Lawrence_of_ArabiaSad news today, of the passing of actor Omar Sharif.

I can’t say that I’ve been a HUGE Sharif fan, having seen him in only a relative few of the movies in which he appeared.

And yet, one film that he was in, 1962’s Lawrence Of Arabia, is one of my all-time favorites, a stunning movie in just about every way: cinematography, acting, directing, writing, etc, but also stunning for how it inadvertently explains a LOT about how the Middle East became a nearly perpetual battleground, remaining so today, thanks to Western imperialist greed.

It would require nothing less than revisionist history to argue that the latter was not the case. The Industrial Revolution in Europe and North America, coupled with rapidly expanding European and eventual U.S. empires, led to a voracious appetite for fuel, oil was first discovered in the Middle East in 1908, and, big surprise, World War I broke out six years later, with the events of Lawrence Of Arabia occurring during that war.

Lawrence Of Arabia is deeply poignant, in that it tells the story of how the British exploited the people of what was then a region generally referred to as Arabia, sending T.E. Lawrence to build an alliance of Arab tribes to fight the occupying Ottoman Empire, promising that the Arabs would then have full autonomy in the region, only to betray those promises under their secret Sykes-Picot Agreement with France, which divided up Arabia into “spheres of influence and control”.

For today’s Video Fridays installment, then, in honor of the late, great Omar Sharif, I’ve chosen a pivotal scene from Lawrence Of Arabia, the moment when the friendship between Sharif’s Sherif Ali and Peter O’Toole’s Lawrence was solidified, with Lawrence’s sharing of his background, and culminating in the burning of his British uniform, symbolic of oh, so much.

Screw The “Bernie Sanders Can’t Win” Narrative!!!

bernieLONG before Bernie Sanders had even officially announced, on April 29, 2015, that he was running for President of the United States, it was declared that he has no real chance of winning.

Googling around for just a few minutes, I found the following, charting the course from “Long-Shot Candidate” to “No-Chance Candidate”:

  • November 15, 2013: Bernie hints that he might run.
  • November 30, 2013: Bernie included in NPR‘s list of potential “long-shot” 2016 presidential candidates.
  • March 6, 2014: Bernie says he might run for president in an interview in The Nation.
  • April 12, 2014: The Boston Globe writes, “His chances of winning the nomination would be rated as slim, at best…”
  • June 3, 2014: Even liberal declares that a possible Sanders 2016 campaign would be a “waste of time”.
  • April 29, 2015: Bernie officially declares his candidacy.
  • April 30, 2015: Newsweek headline: “He Won’t Win, So Why Is Bernie Sanders Running?”

And, when I talk to my fellow liberals/progressives, I’m saddened to find that most of them agree that Bernie is unelectable: he’s too old, too white, too socialist, too vocally anti-big-money, etc.

Bernie is SO right in that quote above! People have given up, convinced that the political deck is stacked against them, writing off worthy candidates like Bernie, or Dennis Kucinich before him, because these candidates are labeled as “unelectable” before they are even candidates, third party candidates aren’t invited to debates and they are marginalized by claims that they will be nothing more than spoilers, billions of dollars are pumped into Republican and Democrat campaigns, making it difficult for candidates not beholden to big money to run an effective campaign, etc.

And yet, despite all the nay-saying, Bernie insists that he is a serious candidate, that he means to win, that he refuses to take money from Wall Street and corporate interests, his website prominently displays this:


…and still he raised $3million from small donors in the first four days of his campaign!

As of today, one of those small donors is me.

Screw The “Bernie Sanders Can’t Win” Narrative!!!