Weekend Open Thread

“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance–it is the illusion of knowledge.”

–Daniel Boorstin

47 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Voyageur says:

    Another precious weekend in America.  Enjoy your friends and family.  And be not too hard, for Life is short, and nothing is given to man.

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Nothing is given … but there are a number of sales going on during this weekend.  However

      We can’t even agree on a proper spelling when we do call the day “President’s Day.”  Depending on who you ask, ‘Presidents’ Day,’ ‘President’s Day,’ and ‘Presidents Day,’ could all be considered correct….  The average American views President’s Day simply as a three-day weekend and a chance to find a great deal on a new car.

      Or mattress. Or rugs. Or furniture.

  2. Voyageur says:

    My daughter, Misty Ewegen Morehead, has fought for and won protection for such endangered species as the Mississippi Gopher Frog and southwest Jaguarundi.  But fibromyalgia and related migraines have made it impossible former to continue with the full-time practice of law.   Instead, she is now pursing a career as an artist.  She has a current project on kickstarter where she is offering to paint 100 paintings as part of their "Make 100" challenge.   Her project is 65 percent funded and has eight days left to reach full funding.  The paintings are being painted on pages from the Colorado Revised Statutes to celebrate her recovery from the full-time practice of law.

    To visit the project, click on bit.ly/make100paintings.

  3. Davie says:

    *rump's SPOXperson candidate for UN Ambassador withdraws.

    Heather Nauert, picked by President Donald Trump to be the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations but never officially nominated, has withdrawn from consideration, the State Department said.

    Nauert, a State Department spokeswoman, said in a department statement that “the past two months have been grueling for my family and therefore it is in the best interest of my family that I withdraw my name from consideration.”

    Nauert’s impending nomination had been considered a tough sell in the Senate, where she would have faced tough questions about her relative lack of foreign policy experience, according to congressional aides.

    A potential issue involving a nanny that she and her husband had employed may also have been a factor in her decision to withdraw, according to one aide. That issue, which was first reported by Bloomberg on Saturday, centered on a foreign nanny who was legally in the U.S. but did not have legal status to work, according to the aide, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

    Rumor has it he's now thinking of offering the position to his foreign-born Mar-A-Lago manicurist since they have experience with foreign countries. cheeky

    • MADCO says:

      He would do it to crap on the UN

      But he'll find a dues paying member of something somewhere that plays to him – and nominate her.

      He's too dumb to pull a smart move – and nominate a D who is in his way on something and would be replaced by a R.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      That woman who makes handbags and is currently ambassador to South Africa is not interested in the post? Maybe this would be a nice peace offering he can make to Ann Coulter.

  4. RepealAndReplace says:

    Ready to feel the Bern? The old socialist is off and running this morning!

  5. mamajama55 says:

    I respect and am grateful to Bernie for all the great progressive candidates he’s nurtured through Our Revolution…and for continuing to spur discussion of Medicare for All, etc. He’ll continue to do that and to be a force in the Senate. 

    But my sense is that his time as a serious presidential candidate is over. 

    • Voyageur says:

      Well said.  Bernie would be 79 if elected, 87 if he served two terms.  That is way too old.

    • Duke Cox says:

      "Transform the economic and political life of this country"…

      This is why Bernie is running. If he doesn't run, he can't easily affect the conversation. From the sidelines, he can do almost nothing…as a front runner, he can keep the focus on his agenda.

      The greatest threat to our country at this point is the military/industrial complex, and the attempt by corporations and the wealthy to create a kleptocracy for the benefit of the American aristocracy. Let's call this what it is.

      Corporate apologists like V., R&R, CHB, and so many other misguided individuals, cannot believe they are on the wrong side of history. There is only one way to be a "conservative".

      That is to find a way to ignore the dehumanization of the poor and trust that a profit-based entity can change its imperative. We are engaged in class-warfare…plain and simple. By continually ridiculing progressive leaders like Bernie, Elizabeth, and Alexandria, with shouts of "free stuff" and "socialism", our so-called conservative friends support the status quo, while claiming some moral exemption because they criticize T***p, they try to quash change within the Democratic party.

      I suggest to our "conservative" friends that it is time for you to "fish or cut bait". What are you doing within your own party and political circles to stop this maniac? Your advice to progressives isn't advice…it is scolding. It is ineffective and I suggest you rethink your rhetoric.

      Change is coming. The Wall is crumbling…




      • Voyageur says:

        Change is indeed coming.  Her name is Klobuchar.

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        Seems like anyone even slightly to the right of Duke is a reincarnation of either Genghis Khan or Attila the Hun.

        "we are engaged in class warfare….."  Sounds like something out of the Manifesto of the Communist Party.

        More suggested reading: "Left Wing Communism, An Infantile Disorder," by V. I. Lenin. He was not a fan of "socialists." 

        • Pseudonymous says:

          Interesting that you should bring up comrade Lenin's work.  What do you find to be Lenin’s most persuasive arguments for avoiding the "childishness" he condemns?  I ask, because Duke's discussion seems to line up particularly well with the arguments Lenin makes in favor of electoral engagement as a mechanism to connect with working people and prepare them for the overthrow of capitalism and to provide a beachhead inside the institutions of government, which enforce the oppression of working people, so as to make their dissolution all the easier.

          • Conserv. Head Banger says:

            In his conclusions, Lenin notes: "The Communists must exert every effort to direct the working class movement and social development in general along the straightest and quickest road to the universal victory of Soviet power and the dictatorship of the proletariat." One can safely assume that part of achieving this goal would be from the inside. Bear in mind, however, that he wrote this in 1920. There are some parts that seem to be no longer relevant (not including how the Soviet Union obviously turned out).

            As an example, he refers to left doctrinairism in Communism as being a "very young trend (and) is only just becoming into being." The socialism espoused by some is now a very old "trend," so to speak.

            Regarding Electoral engagement, Lenin in part notes that “parliamentarism” may be obsolete, but depends on the country. Regardless, the people must be prepared to accept the Soviet system and dispense with the bourgeois-democratic parliament.

            Where did you get your copy of "Left Wing Communism?" Mine was purchased in 1974 from the Foreign Languages Press in Beijing (then spelled Peking).

            • Curmudgeon says:

              Weird, how you can take a few words about the obscenely huge chasm that that the abuse of our system has created and turn it into Lenin.  Then again, you do sound a lot like the people who were on the wrong side of that particular revolution.  

              • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                Curmudgeon: talk to Duke about that.

              • Voyageur says:

                Uhh, exactly which side of that revolution do you say was the "right" one, Curmy? I'd have been with Kerensky.  You sound like Comrade Koba. (Stalin)

                • Curmudgeon says:

                  Like a lot of revolutions, it started out with a clear good side and bad side, and then the wrong people took over and turned it to shit.  

                  You think the workers didn't have a reason to fight? You think the tsarists were the good guys? 

                  • Voyageur says:

                    So, you're saying the deliberate starvation of the Ukrainian peasantry was just collateral damage for a worthy cause?  The clear Good side was represented by Kerensky and the reformers.  The  Bolsheviks were far and away the most evil of t he contending factions.

                    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                      Not to worry, VG. Curmudgeon is just living up to his screen name.

                    • Curmudgeon says:

                      It had to start somewhere, V.  You wanna jump forward and blame the starving people for other starving people, I suppose I wouldn't be surprised. 

                    • Curmudgeon says:

                      And as for you, CHB, I'd ask you to say anything you have to say to me directly, but as we all know, that's not really your style. 

                    • Voyageur says:

                      Curmy, two things:

                      It did NOT have to start somewhere, if by it you mean the Stalinist genocide.  NKVD thugs stole all the farmers grain, including the seed, and machine gunned them when they tried to escape.  That was your beloved class war in action.  It was evil and senseless.  Stop kissing Stalin's ass and defending it!

                      2.You're silly to demand that people address you personally.  This is a public blog.

                    • Curmudgeon says:

                      V, you keep pointing at the horrors of Stalin while comfortably sucking the Faberge eggs of the Tsars.  There was a lot in between, and if you think the people weren't starving back then, you're as arrogant as you are misinformed. 


                    • Voyageur says:

                      Kissee, kissee, Stalin butt!

                      Gotta say, Curmy, when you find a rump you like, you are indefatiguable!

                    • Curmudgeon says:

                      Wow. That's a brilliant analysis of a complex historical issue. 

                    • RepealAndReplace says:

                      Do I have this right? Someone is actually defending Stalin? WTF

                    • Curmudgeon says:

                      Not me.  I'm pointing out that the starving people who rebelled against the Tsarists had a reason to do so.  V thinks that means I support Stalin, somehow.  

                    • Voyageur says:

                      Yes, Curmy is apologizing for Stalin.  In the preceding posts, he blames the ukrainian famine\genocide on the czar.  The bolshies murdered the tsar and his family in 1917. The ukrainian genocide was 1932-33.  No, Curmy, it was purely the blood lust of your beloved Stalin..  

            • mamajama55 says:

              CHB, you old commie, you, quit quoting Lenin at us. Are you trying to convert us to Marxist – Leninism, just showing off your political chops,  or what?

              It makes me almost nostalgic for my days of nodding off in socialist study groups and being lectured to about being too bourgeois. Almost.

              Lenin's ideas are anathema to Democratic Socialism, espoused by Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, Lawrence O'Donnell, etc.

              Democratic socialism by definition exists in a democracy. Proletariat dick-taters need not apply.

              Those of you who are real actual communists seeking to overthrow capitalism, etc, riddle me this:

              Why the hell does almost every single socialist government eventually become a dictatorship, not of the "proletariat" but of an actual dictator? Venezuela, Cuba, Soviet Russia, Albania, China, etc.

              Sure, they nationalize industries, make huge strides in terms of providing health and education to their people, but sooner or later some power-hungry greedo takes over and starts limiting the freedoms of citizens so that they can stay in power.


              My hunch is it has to do with an inside – out vs top down mental paradigm. If one must have a top and a bottom, but they reverse places, then the old bottom is the new top and the power dynamics remain the same.

              The women's movement, which has now permeated most ideologies and social movements, insists that power must come from the center and work outward, and be continually renewed. Those with the lived experience are the experts, and their decisions should have the most weight.

              • Conserv. Head Banger says:

                MJ: M.A. degree in Political Science.

                Since Duke sort of started this part of the thread, maybe he can recall that line from the Who’s "Won't Get Fooled Again" ("meet the new boss, same as the old boss”). Good example is Daniel Ortega, who turned into a pale imitation of the Somoza family.

                • Voyageur says:

                  "Political science" is an oxymoron!  And Milovan Djilas said it all in "The new class."

                • mamajama55 says:

                  Duke didn’t bring in Lenin; you did. You object to the term “class warfare” and so you decided to start red-baiting and throwing around references to Communist texts. 

                   Economic inequality is greater now than it has been since the 1930s, with the top.005 owning more than half the wealth, with working families unable to do what their parents did : buy a home, go to college, send kids to college, retire with dignity. This has all been exacerbated by Trump’s policies.

                  You choose not to call this “class warfare” because that sounds Leninist; so what do you call it?

                  • Voyageur says:

                    Strictly speaking, it's Marxism.  Or are you arguing that class warfare is a branch of the NFL?

                    • mamajama55 says:

                      I told you I nodded off in the earnest book study sessions of Hegelian dialectics or dialectical kegels or whatever the hell it was. 

                      I was and am enthusiastic about grassroots worker actions to gain wages / rights, etc;,however, I never found that the dead-serious leftist purity parties improved anybody's work life anywhere. The successes people had were in spite of the Trots and the Bots.

                      Teamsters organized fast food workers, janitors organized themselves, as did teachers. They weren't studying Hegel, Marx, Lenin, any of those guys, or at least they weren’t proclaiming any kind of “working class uprising, bla bla”.. 

                      So these days if I read any political theory, I read Hannah Arendt; Emma Goldman;  the dreaded Saul Alinsky; any of the modern writers like Rita Mae Brown, Winona la Duke, Starhawk, Cesar Chavez who have some real pointers for modern day grassroots organizing with “intersectionality” of race, gender, culture, class, environmental justice.

                      As for the old school political theory – I can’t tell a Marx brother from a Lennon these days. You boys can have that ground, and welcome to it. I ain't playing.

                  • Duke Cox says:

                    I would like to see the answer to that question, fer sure. I don't think CHB has a description of our current wealth disparity beyond, " that's how it is supposed to be." 

                    Addressing the actual facts of the deteriorating American Dream isn't something he tends to want to do. Better to misdirect and try to change the subject to historical minutiae. CHB is like most debaters when they have nothing. "Let's talk about something other than the systematic ' destruction of the middle class and the theft of its wealth". Let's not talk about poverty and unfairness. Let's not talk about anything that isn"t of personal benefit to our "conservative" brethren. 

                    So did you ever get around to reading "the Shock Doctrine", CHB? Until you educate yourself about things that matter,you seem to be unable to stick to the subject, so I will leave the Russian history discussion to you and V.  


              • RepealAndReplace says:

                Sure, they nationalize industries, make huge strides in terms of providing health and education to their people, but sooner or later some power-hungry greedo takes over and starts limiting the freedoms of citizens so that they can stay in power.


                Human nature. Lord Acton put it best.

                • Duke Cox says:

                  I have heard it said the best form of government is a "Good King". Fast, efficient, empathetic, honest, and humble….I believe it was the same place I heard the worst form of government is a "Bad King"….Confused, mean, selfish, spiteful, greedy, …orange…

                  The downfall of Communism, Capitalism, or any other government always stems from the same source. Human greed. Mother Theresa knew.

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