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It’s Lent, but don’t give up your daily MISCmedia MAIL. Why, today alone we’ve got a plan to stop the Legislature’s pathetic-ness; differing views on the state “affordable” housing tax credit scheme; SPU students challenge white privilege; Amazon’s (alleged) big-big-big cargo plans; and an artwork honoring a Northwest legend.
imagined audio-book listeners on a train, 1894
Back in the early days of telephones and phonograph records (1894 to be precise), essayist Octave Uzanne claimed “The End of Books” would soon be at hand. Uzanne predicted people would much rather listen to storytellers (with what are now called audio books) than read:
Our eyes are made to see and reflect the beauties of nature, and not to wear themselves out in the reading of texts; they have been too long abused, and I like to fancy that some one will soon discover the need there is that they should be relieved by laying a greater burden upon our ears. This will be to establish an equitable compensation in our general physical economy.
Elsewhere in randomosity:
…fraudulently collecting $11 billion in government aid by recruiting low-income students for the purpose of collecting student aid money. Whistleblowers claim that students graduate loaded with debt and without the means to pay off the loans, which are then paid for with taxpayer dollars.
the reason stick at blogspot
via seattle bike blog
…But enough for now about the Sonics announcement (more on that to come).
via huffington post
We now have a president, at the height of his power, who has spoken in favor of gay rights, economic fairness, peace, and climate action at the single most public forum available to him.
I know my “radical” friends carp, and always will carp, that Obama isn’t nearly half as progressive as they’d like.
But real-world politics isn’t about a hierarchy of sanctimony. It’s about getting real stuff done, overcoming real obstacles. And right now, this president and this Democratic Party are our best vehicles for that.
Aw shucks, guys n’ gals.
You gave me most of what I wanted for Election Day.
Obama won both the Electoral College and pop-vote. He won the EC by a margin that was both Ohio- and Florida-proof. He won every so-called “battleground” state except North Carolina, some by substantial margins.
The Dems kept the Senate, and added some nice new faces to it (hi, Elizabeth Warren!).
The House stayed Republican, alas; ensuring a continuing forum for obstruction by John Boehner and the other galley slaves to the One Percent.
Here at home, same-sex marriage and recreational pot are both leading, as is Jay Inslee’s bid for governor.
They ought to be leading bigger. The “Cascade curtain” needs some shoring up. Dems need to strengthen their traditional labor-based holds in Pierce and Clark counties.
And, alas, Tim Eyman’s latest “initiative that sounds hot on talk radio but is disastrous in real life,” to prevent any real reform of the state’s regressive tax system, is also ahead.
All the hard work continues tomorrow.
But for the most part, life on the day after is cool.
Keep up the good work.
priscilla long, via the american scholar
seattle chapter, american institute of architects via kplu.org
Lying has become so ingrained into the conservatives’ national dialogue that they are now dangerously demagogic or, worse, severely unhinged. Blind rage at the election of Barack Obama has wrecked a once great political party. Its leaders have made so many deals with the devil in their almost pathological obsession with unseating Obama that they have pushed the GOP into its own version of political hell – unable to speak truths to their now-rabid and conspiracy-addled base and unable to right the party back onto a path of responsibility. Only through the disinfectant of defeat can the Republicans, and the two party system, be preserved.
'jseattle' at flickr, via capitohillseattle.com
Yes, it’s been nearly a week since I’ve posted any of these tender tidbits of randomosity. Since then, here’s some of what’s cropped up online and also in the allegedly “real” world:
Not voting = voting a straight right-wing ticket. Period.
If you think you’re “too political” to sully your ideological purity, you’re doing just what the Koch Bros., Karl Rove, and Rush Limbaugh would like you to do.
Yes, I know several close friends will adamantly disagree with this.
These friends will agree to support ballot initiatives and referenda.
They’ll make themselves highly visible at protest events.
But they won’t be seen supporting a living breathing politician, except the occasional minor-party candidate like Nader.
Otherwise, they’re content to just protest all the bad things that get done, without doing anything practical to get good things done.
So righteous. So superior. So black-n’-white.
I, however, believe in shades of gray.
The non-theoretical world is a land of deals, hustles, and heartbreaks.
Obama always claimed to be a centrist. You should not feel betrayed when he turned out to really be one.
Yes, he’s compromised, with the defense lobby, the food lobby, the national security lobby, etc.
But the answer to only getting half of the agenda you want is not to throw it all away, to let the whole system be taken over by the guys who want total “freedom” for corporations and the rich, and brutal oppression toward the rest of us.
The only way to make anything happen in that world is to be in it, not to pronounce yourself too perfect to risk being sullied.
And don’t just run a Presidential candidate. Thanks to the Electoral College, there’s no practical way to get elected President without a nationwide, year-round party infrastructure behind you.
You want an American left that’s a real thing? Push for policies AND people, top to bottom, every district, every state.
Run through the Democratic Party structure when you can; through indie campaigns when you must. Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos calls this a push for “not just more Democrats but better Democrats.”
Building a national, permanent movement involves a lot of long, hard, boring work. It’s the opposite of the WTO anarchists’ slogan “Live Without Dead Time.”
But it’s the only way to make national, permanent changes.
Protesting, no matter how vigorous and high-profile, is never enough.
(P.S.: There’s been a highly active comment thread about this topic on Facebook lately.)