Diary 6/13/22: Second day of hearings; Jonathon Green gets attention here; Chris Hedges quoted; Visual Basic obscurity; anti-war on Pirate TV; change of emphasis in today’s entry.
Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved
Second day of the Committee public hearings; five hours in two goes on MSNBC, the first starting in twenty minutes at the awkward hour of 7:00 am. The second, it turns out, is a presentation by MSNBC anchors of the original presentation; I didn’t watch. Other news is that the Supreme Court will be releasing decisions this morning; imagine that. [I’m not commenting on the second day because I have nothing to say. In fact, I slept through the last half hour.]
Returning to the Chris Hedges article of yesterday, I find this quote both informative and curious:
The two established wings of the oligarchy, the old Republican Party represented by politicians such as Liz Cheney, one of two Republicans on the committee, and the Bush family, are now united with the Democratic Party elite into one ruling political entity. The ruling parties were already in lock step for decades on the major issues, including: war, trade deals, austerity, the militarization of police, prisons, government surveillance and assaults on civil liberties. They worked in tandem to pervert and destroy democratic institutions on behalf of the rich and corporations. They desperately work together now to stave off the revolt by enraged and betrayed white working men and women who support Donald Trump and the far right.
The part I find curious is “to stave off the revolt”; didn’t the revolt already happen? I suppose he means that it’s continuing, and I suppose that’s not exactly inaccurate…but I can’t see the recent school and other shootings as being exactly that. If it’s a revolt against the establishment politicos and politics, shouldn’t the targets be those politicos, the police, and government buildings and workers? [Later this comment strikes me as superficial, if not stupid.]
No argument, however, about this:
There was no acknowledgement by committee members that the “will of the people” has been subverted by the three branches of government to serve the dictates of the billionaire class.
It would be bizarre to see the establishment criticizing itself.
I’m kinda dazzled by myself, or was while I was reading one of my posts from March [link above]. It seems mentally sharp, unlike anything I’ve written this month. What’s going on here?
I spent at least twenty minutes, and perhaps more like forty, trying to find out how to copy text from the Internet, then assign it to a variable by accessing the clipboard. What I saw was, at first, very confusing; then excessively elaborate; finally, not worth it. Not the first time I’ve run into this with Visual Basic. Last time it was the seemingly simple question, how can I, within a program, find out what is to the left and right of the cursor? In old, primitive WordPerfect 5.0 macros this was built into the system, essentially a keyword. Through a VB forum I was able to get sample code, which amounted to about twenty-five lines. I spent hours trying to adapt the code to what I wanted to accomplish, and finally did it, more or less, but if I ever want to modify it or even understand it, it will take more time than it’s probably worth. It’s discouraging; but then, I’m very much out of practice. I’ve let my programming knowledge rust while the language has gotten more complicated. Just like with auto repair, and lotsa stuff.
Watched another fabulously informative show from Pirate TV and the United National Anti-War Coalition (UNAC). The date of the conference was 5/23/22, I believe. Joe Lombardo of UNAC introduced the others, who were:
- Ajamu Baraka of the Black Agenda Report and Black Alliance for Peace. He was the 2016 Green Party candidate for Vice President. Link to his website.
- Sara Flounders of the International Action Center was impressive. She’s the author of War Without Victory. She has a page at Wikipedia and Amazon and is on social media.
- Scott Ritter, who I’ve mentioned here before. He talked about the “current military situation” in Ukraine, i.e., last month, but it was still very informative.
- Alan Freeman was last, but not least. He argued that the US progressive movement must focus more on international action, which he says is “the only way to world peace.” I agree with the suggestion, though I’m dubious about the rest. Progressivism is not making much headway in the US, and the other sensible thing to do would be to unite with the far right—clearly an impossibility as long as that bloc is indistinguishable from white supremacists. I haven’t been able to find much about Freeman.
The UNAC website has the show, which they call a “webinar.” So much was talked about that I couldn’t possibly supply the kind of detail I’d like to. The show is also available on YouTube. It is titled “Where is the War in Ukraine Going and What Should be the Response of the Peace Movement?” This was part one of two; the second will be broadcast (if that’s the word for Free Speech TV) on 6/20.
Today’s diary entry is less blog-oriented; if it’s not something I can comment on, because I’ve read the link or watched the show (at least in part), I’m not going to mention it. No more foodborne illness alerts, no more links for the sake of links.
Also, since my smoothie recipes have fallen into a fairly standard pattern, I won’t mention it unless it’s different somehow. That pattern is: 8 oz orange juice, a chunk of fruit and some of veggies, usually including spinach (today was peas), and either a ¼ cup of oatmeal or a shot of protein powder (when I need more protein). I’m thinking that a second or even two more smoothies in a day might be worth trying, especially one for lunch, because lunch tends to be pretty lame with a heavy reliance on chips, granola bars, graham crackers, and other such snack foods.
This from Caitlin Johnstone today is much in line with my recent “thinking”: “There’s a massive narrative management campaign geared toward convincing people it’s impossible to simply have a different opinion about Russia and Ukraine. You either fully believe what institutions who’ve lied about every war are saying or you’re a Kremlin agent or useful idiot.” Here’s the link to “Our Real Enemies Are Not In Beijing Or Moscow: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix.”
I put quotes around “thinking” because what I do is read and listen and decide, “useful” or “bullshit.” It might be useful to look at how I make this decision regarding political questions:
- I consider the source; if it’s Fox News or any repugliKKKan, it’s likely BS, but it might be useful to know what brand of BS they’re peddling today. If it’s the Biden Administration, it’s certainly propaganda, and even if it’s a “leak,” the timing is always worth considering. If it’s a Democrat in Congress, it might be useful—I do pay some attention to Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, AOC, and the like. Given that I watch little MSM news, but a lot of Link TV and Free Speech TV, a lot of pre-filtering happens that I’m not even aware of. Of course, I prefer their pre-filtering to that of MSNBC; I rarely pay much attention to other TV sources.
- Noam Chomsky, Matt Taibbi, and other sources that I mention and quote here from time to time I consider generally credible, but always subject to reassessment if they wave a red flag like “don’t vote.”
- If the source is not familiar, I have to consider what is presented. How much of this considering I do depends on how important it looks. If it seems not too important, that’s enough to give it a pass. A lot of MSNBC ends up like this: “More reasons to hate the Former Guy or other repugliKKKans? Who needs it!”
- Anything that goes against the dominant paradigm, the conventional wisdom, the current administration, etc., goes into pricked ears, meaning mine.
That’s about it. I give this some attention right now because Pablo has challenged me on my lack of interest in “Russiagate” and my doubts about his sources; but it is well to get this in writing for later reconsideration.
Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved