A couple days ago I posted Matt Taibbi teeing off on David Brooks. Now Jeffrey Taylor is doing the same. This time it is over his lazy criticisms of secularism. Fore!
Above is Salon’s take on Netanyahu’s speech to Congress today. Although I tend to agree with them, my point today isn’t really to focus on this one write up. At the end of the day it is one write up and you should be reading a bunch of them, mixing and matching, and trying to come to your own conclusion. However, this is an event that you should be reading about. A foreign head of state is trying to sway US policy. This is highly unprecedented in the fact that this head of state actually spoke directly to our congress to try and change our policy.
I have long viewed Netanyahu as a thug and a bully whose intentions do not run in accord with the best intentions of our country. Nor do I think that his intentions have long term Middle East peace at the heart of them. I think he is someone that is about self-serving political and military power above all else.
But don’t take my word for it. Read, read, and read some more.
The above article at Salon is about how Jimmy Kimmel as been taking on the anti-vaxxers. This is a subject that’s so stupid that only a comedian could really do it justice. The link is worth going to just to see the video. At the end of it there is a PSA featuring Doctor’s telling people to get vaccinated that is pretty hilarious: “Remember that time you got polio?” another doctor asks. “No, you don’t, because your parents got you f—king vaccinated.”
The above article is by a former military man and right winger on why there is a dislike of education by some on the right. (Most recently put in the news by Scott Walker and his people in Wisconsin.) I don’t think that all on the right dislike education. However, there does seem to be a strain of modern conservatism that is doing its best to strip it of anything but the ability to provide people with the skills to be a worker bee. I think this writer has a plausible theory at least. Discuss…
In my last blog I mentioned that culture, in general, seemed in decline. I asked why. The above article is from Salon and focuses on the same idea, but from a black perspective. The writer, Brittney Cooper, starts with Prince’s quote at the Grammys:
“Albums still matter. Like books and Black lives, albums still matter.”
And then goes on to talk about the connection between a culture that devalues human lives and arts, hitting upon this core theme:
But under conditions of neoliberalism, which favor the unregulated, unchecked reach of huge multinational corporations into every area of our lives, art and music and the people who produce them all become merely marketable commodities.
The above article is from Salon and it is about how the Koch Brothers helped to kill Medicaid expansion in Tennessee and other states, essentially denying healthcare to many. If you look at the numbers in Utah between what passing the Medicare extension would have done, vs. what was done, it is mind boggling. Medicare expansion would have insured 146,000 people at the cost of $236 million dollars. The plan the Republicans are backing costs $203 million dollars and only covers 16,000 people! Something isn’t adding up? Read the article to see the conclusion.
However, it is clear that the Koch Brothers are enemies of our democracy. From healthcare to the environment to education, the Koch Brothers ideology is destroying real lives. In turn I can’t help but see what they do as real crimes that deserve real punishment.
I have been lucky enough to have traveled to Europe many times. I felt in reading this article, based on what I have seen, that there is a lot of truth to it. I have also been a lot of places where suggesting that America doesn’t do everything the best will drive people crazy. That seems batshit insane to me. It is like if you were on a really good football team and you saw another winning team in a different division. Wouldn’t you try to watch them to see how they were winning, so that you could be even better?
The fact is that other parts of the world do some things better than we do. Instead of being afraid of it we should try to learn from it and make our country better. Being a self-declared champion is meaningless and delusional.
Hat tip to my friend Liza.