Thursday, August 31, 2017
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Monday, August 28, 2017
More on Twitter.
29 August update: Sherri Nichols is one of the most astute commenters on Nancy Nall's blog.
From some of what I’ve read about Osteen and his church, it wasn’t a simple situation of not opening the doors. Access to the church was problematic. I’m no fan of Osteen, but it’s easy to gin up the outrage machine from afar without understanding the situation on the ground. Like second-guessing the decision not to evacuate 6 million people along roads that are designed to flood.
In a knee-jerk way, this guy supports Osteen's decision:
And people are still being turned away
Evacuees are being told by security guard to contact city of Houston. https://t.co/X3i5ElOk7a— Ben Philpott (@BenPhilpottKUT) August 29, 2017
So Joel Osteen says he was waiting until all the Houston shelters were full before opening his church. Uh-huh. And, it's God's church, fam.— Brad Crawford (@BCrawford247) August 29, 2017
Osteen claims the church is now open, and wasn't opened before because it was flooded internally.
But was it the main church building or only the underground garage?
Because yesterday his excuse for not opening the church was that there was flooding, which now suddenly isn't a factor?— Robert Maguire (@RobertMaguire_) August 29, 2017
Another quick defense:
You're a joke. What are you doing to help? You putting money up? Joel helps more people on this earth in a day than you could do in lifetime— 101stRepublican (@101stRepublican) August 29, 2017
2 September update:
See the replies too.
See the replies too.
"Osteen Says He Feels 'At Peace' After Backlash Over Lakewood's Harvey Response."
Kunstler: When the Butterfly Flaps Its Wings.
It remains to be seen what the impact will be from Mother Nature putting the nation’s fourth largest city out-of-business. And for how long? It’s possible that Houston will never entirely recover from Hurricane Harvey. The event may exceed the physical damage that Hurricane Katrina did to New Orleans. It may bankrupt large insurance companies and dramatically raise the risk of doing business anywhere along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the USA — or at least erase the perceived guarantee that losses are recoverable. It may even turn out to be the black swan that reveals the hyper-fragility of a US-driven financial system.
Houston also happens to be the center of the US oil industry. Offices can be moved elsewhere, of course, but not so easily the nine major oil refineries that sprawl between Buffalo Bayou over to Beaumont, Port Arthur, and then Lake Charles, Louisiana. Harvey is inching back out to the Gulf where it will inhale more energy over the warm ocean waters and then return inland in the direction of those refineries.
The economic damage could be epic. Much of the supply for the Colonial Pipeline system emanates from the region around Houston, running through Atlanta and clear up to Philadelphia and New York. There could be lines at the gas stations along the eastern seaboard in early September.
The event is converging with the US government running out of money this fall without new authority to borrow more by congress voting to raise the US debt ceiling. Perhaps the emergency of Hurricane Harvey and its costly aftermath will bludgeon congress into quickly raising the debt ceiling. If that doesn’t happen, and the debt ceiling is not raised, the federal government might have to pretend that it can pay for emergency assistance to Texas and Louisiana. That pretense can only go so far before government contractors balk and maybe even walk.
Ordinarily, failure to raise the debt ceiling would lead to a government shut-down, including hurricane recovery operations, unless the president invoked some kind of emergency powers. That would be decisive action, but it could also be the beginning of something that looks like a full-out dictatorship. Powers assumed are often not surrendered when the original emergency is over. And what would the president use for money if a substantial enough number of congresspersons and senators are prompted by their distaste for Mr. Trump to drag out the process of financially re-liquefying the government? (And nevermind even passing a budget.)
Meanwhile, two other major sources of aggravation are waiting off-stage: one is North Korea. Why wouldn’t Kim Jong-un use the opportunity of political disarray in the US to create more headaches for a distracted US government? Never let a crisis go to waste. Another potential irritant is the return of students to American college campuses. Imagine how the campus Antifa forces would react to Mr. Trump assuming emergency powers. It’s easy to foresee an acceleration of violence between the extreme Left and the Extreme right during what is shaping up to look like a major crisis in governing. If the campus Left had any tactical brains, they’d stop marching around in black uniforms and instead organize a mass renunciation of college loan debt.
Behind all this political strife will be wobbling financial markets. The message from the debt ceiling stalemate to the bond market would be that the US can no longer be relied on to pay its debts. Interest rates on US Treasury paper would have to go up as the long-lost concept of risk returned to the bond scene. People and institutions will not be induced to hold bonds unless the yield is recalibrated to the actual risk. Of course, in the mysterious world of bonds (i.e. securitized debt), the price of bonds goes down as interest rates rise. Meaning a lot of current holders of bonds would be hammered if they tried to sell. Rates rising would also spell big trouble for corporations and governments who have to make regular interest payments to bond-holders. A rate rise to as little as 3 percent on US Treasury bonds could spin the country into comprehensive bankruptcy.
How might stock markets and currency markets react to the scenario above? To me it would look like a drop of at least 1000 points on the S & P. The US dollar might actually rise initially as a whole lot of debt is renounced — which makes money actually disappear — but then you have the Federal Reserve waiting on another flank to roll out their own emergency response: Quantitative Easing No. 4, flooding the system with new “money” that has all the appearance and none of the mojo of value, tanking the dollar anew. As a wise correspondent of mine wrote a while back: “financialization is nothing more than money with its value removed.” (Graham Reinders.)
A lot can happen when a faraway butterfly flaps its wings and sets a slight current of air in motion.
Saturday, August 26, 2017
Thread on how mainstream media & centrist politicians helped create Arpaio https://t.co/f7mJgOsnWN— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) August 26, 2017
Inside the ACLU: What it is like defending white supremacists as a black attorney https://t.co/cwSk45cGKS— Raw Story (@RawStory) August 25, 2017
Former KKK member-turned-priest, Fr William Aitcheson, never apologized to family he terrorized nor paid restitution. pic.twitter.com/P2ssj2PBGK— Maryknoll Missioners (@MaryknollFrsBrs) August 23, 2017
Fr. William Aitcheson asks forgiveness for having been a member of the KKK as "an impressionable young man." https://t.co/Qfq6CrpQsV— NCR (@NCRonline) August 23, 2017
Father William Aitcheson Was a KKK member 40 years ago and he says God has forgiven him. https://t.co/FEJK5wlIBF— Newsradio 1360 KKTX (@1360KKTX) August 26, 2017
Friday, August 25, 2017
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Fairly well placed antiwar conservative, previously pro-Trump, told me today he yearns for impeachment. Afghanistan was the last straw.— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) August 22, 2017
This person is not an outlier. April's conservative mini-revolt over Syria was nothing compared to what Trump will face going forward.— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) August 22, 2017
Pretty clear sign Russia has lost its patience with Trump & Washington: Kislyak replaced with Antonov https://t.co/SX9gFySEk6— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) August 21, 2017
Trump's neocon surrender didn't go over well here either https://t.co/IPvaRRLn5S— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) August 22, 2017
Whereas I see Trump as a threat to his re-election. Report: More Troops to Useless Human-Grinder in Afghanistan. https://t.co/Hqw2cMnXX4— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) August 22, 2017
It's going to be a great Trump rally Tues: "How about that Gary Cohn! And Dina Powell! We're gonna have tax cuts! And war! A terrific war!"— Mickey Kaus (@kausmickey) August 20, 2017
How about we get some real America Firsters in Arizona to attend with signs saying "We Didn't Vote for More War"? https://t.co/JhuMWS9z6K— Justin Raimondo (@JustinRaimondo) August 22, 2017
Base not happy.— Ralph Hornsby (@RalphHornsby) August 22, 2017
Donald Trump’s Base Bewails ‘Unlimited War’ After His Afghanistan Policy Speech https://t.co/ZT6mpgeJn5
He didn't wear any glasses - he looked at the sun directly. Blinded by hubris. https://t.co/ec7ob0nX74— Justin Raimondo (@JustinRaimondo) August 22, 2017
Monday, August 21, 2017
Saturday, August 19, 2017
I've been a writer for decades and was a copy editor for a while, but I cannot explain why the New Yorker does that thing w/ re-election. pic.twitter.com/woEoX6GeW6— Nancy Nall Derringer (@nnall) August 19, 2017
Mary Norris of The New Yorker does explain, however. (Search online with the terms "New Yorker diaeresis." It should be the first result.)
26 August update:
We will never love anything as much as The New Yorker loves commas. https://t.co/57Cj0ssOHb— The Baffler (@thebafflermag) August 23, 2017
"The rise of the magazine’s copy desk has done more for The New Yorker than simply generate clicks." https://t.co/sHYYS7a8Ah— The Baffler (@thebafflermag) August 25, 2017
Friday, August 18, 2017
The New York Times, "I Voted for Trump and I Sorely Regret It."
The New York Times, "Talking Trumpism: A New Political Journal Enters the Fray."
From "Our Policy Agenda", American Affairs:
...[T]his journal, although in many ways provoked by the 2016 campaign, arose independently of the new administration. The extent of any affinity between the two remains to be seen.
Friday, August 11, 2017
Wednesday, August 09, 2017
Monday, August 07, 2017
Honolulu Weekly at eVols (UH-Manoa).
Sunday, August 06, 2017
Saturday, August 05, 2017
Friday, August 04, 2017
Russia hysteria has become a full-blown national psychosis at a moment in history when a separate array of troubles poses the real threat to America’s well-being. Most of these have to do with the country’s swan dive into bankruptcy, but meeting them honestly would force uncomfortable choices on the grifters and caitiffs in congress. Meanwhile, the Treasury Dept is burning through its dwindling cash reserves, and all government activities will face a shutdown at the end of the summer unless congress votes to raise the debt ceiling — which may be way harder than passing the stupid Russia sanctions bill.
That bill, vaingloriously called The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act will only blow up in America’s face. This country’s actual trade with Russia is negligible, but the bill aims to interrupt and punish Europe’s trade, centering on oil and natural gas, which they need desperately. Mainly, the US bill seeks to interrupt a gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea that would bypass several of the Baltic Nations currently being used by America — under the NATO banner — as staging areas for unnecessary and provocative war games on Russia’s borders.
Germany is certain to not stand for it, and like it or not, they are the straw that stirs the European drink. The sanctions pretend to seek to isolate Russia, but the effect will only be to isolate the United States. Europe will laugh at the measure as impinging on their sovereign prerogatives to trade as they please. And Russia can turn around and sell all the natural gas it wants to customers in Asia. Left undiscussed in the moronic American media is the American gas industry’s hidden role in pushing the sanctions so it can sell liquefied gas overseas — which would only end up raising the price for American gas customers to heat their homes.
The stupid bill pretends to be a lever for improving relations between the US and Russia, but is actually designed to make relations much worse. In the meantime, the US Deep State military and intelligence matrix is engineering new crises and confrontations for absolutely no good reason. For instance, shoveling arms to Ukraine so it can step up conflict in the eastern Donbass region bordering Russia. The sanctions bill will also make it impossible for the US and Russia to coordinate an end to the conflict in Syria. Anyway, Deep State strategists in the State, Defense, and Intel departments are tacitly determined to create another failed state by insuring continuing chaos there.
Another interesting unanticipated consequence of the sanctions bill is that it will only intensify Russia’s effort, already well underway, to provide for itself many of the products it currently imports. Import replacement, as the process is called, is actually the same dynamic that led to the rise of the USA as a great industrial power in the 19th century, so the bill only prompts Russia to diversify and strengthen its economy.
So what exactly was Mr. Trump thinking when he signed the “deeply flawed” (his words) Russian Sanctions bill coughed up like a hairball by congress? It’s a ridiculous piece of legislation from any angle. It limits the president’s own established prerogatives for negotiating with foreign nations (probably unconstitutionally), and will only provoke economic warfare (at least) against the US that can easily lead to shattering global trade relations entirely. Some observers say he had to sign it because the vote for it in congress was so overwhelming (419 to 3) that they would only override a Trump veto. But the veto would have had, at least, symbolic value in the Jacksonian spirit that Trump pretended to want to emulate at the outset of his term. Perhaps he sees the Deep State endgame and is tired of resisting.
On the home front, Russia paranoia is at the center of Robert Mueller’s intensifying probe of Trump and his political associates as he calls a federal grand jury to hear testimony — which implies that he some lined up. This opens up all kinds of opportunities for prosecutorial mischief, for instance going after every business transaction Trump made as a private citizen before he ran for president, and coercing Trump intimates into immunization deals in exchange for testimony, real or cooked-up, to enable the establishment’s ultimate goal of shoving Trump out.
The “Russian meddling in our election” story hasn’t produced any credible evidence after a full year — and speaking to foreign diplomats is not a crime — but the Russian meddling juggernaut rolls on perfectly well, and might accomplish its ends, without it. Just repeating “Russian meddling” five thousand times on CNN has surely induced many poorly-informed citizens to believe that Russia changed the numbers in American voting machines though, in fact, voting machines are not connected to the Internet.
All of this psychotic political behavior screams for the rise of a new party, or more than one new party, composed of men and women who have not lost their minds. I’m sure they’re out there. Plenty of traces on the Internet attest to the existence of a higher and better political consciousness in this country. It just hasn’t found a way to congeal. Yet.
Kunstler: Narratives Are Not Truths.