Drinking Liberally Idaho Falls Chapter Blog

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

The Beloved Loudmouth

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, June 22nd
Time 7pm on (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the FairBridge Inn)
 

The way that the GOP is carrying out its assault on Obamacare is just stunning.  I hope that many of you are making phone calls to the offices of Senators Crapo (202-224-6142) and Risch (202-224-2752) to demand some explanation of their support for the horrible AHCA or for the secretive process by which they are sneaking it through.

This process is unheard of in American governmental history.  And it's really bad for our future.

I can see why people think "shaking things up" might be a good idea.  Lots of people are feeling like the system is working for a small fraction of us, but not for everyone.  They feel like some are getting ahead unfairly.  They are right.  Of course, they are completely wrong about just who it is that is getting ahead unfairly.


That feeling of being left behind can lead to admiration of a loud-mouthed, belligerent ass who violates norms of behavior like Trump.  They love that he seems to be verbally sticking up for those who are resentful.  Even though he isn't successfully doing that in reality.  In fact, economically he is doing the opposite.

So I wrote the following letter to the editor.  It kicks off with Trump's obstruction of justice, but then discusses the secretive process being used to pass health care reform.

The point was to get people to think about why they trust the dishonest, hypocritical GOP to support their interests.

But I think it fails.  Because they really believe that the PPACA was horrible and was snuck through by the Democrats.  And they really do think that 13 Republican men can work up a better law than the normal system can produce.  In fact, they think that the system can't solve the problem - it can only be solved by a few heroic men breaking all the rules.  So they actually admire the GOP for violating the norms of democratic behavior.

Sometimes I really think we're doomed.

Editor,

Imagine it's June of 2016 and President Obama has abruptly fired FBI Director Comey during the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server.  Also imagine Obama asked Attorney General Lynch for a justification that blamed Comey in an unrelated case.  Finally, imagine President Obama admitted that the justification was fabricated, and then bragged to PM Trudeau of Canada that he'd stopped the investigation.

How would Republicans have reacted?  Wouldn't they have gone ballistic?  Yes, even over an insubstantial issue like Clinton's server.

President Obama is both too ethical and too smart to have done that, of course.  But Trump isn't.  He actually committed this obstruction in a substantive criminal investigation.  The GOP's ignoring it along with their oaths of office.  Why?  Because they want to cut social services and give themselves and their major donors tax breaks.  They are currently sneaking through a huge tax cut paid for by relieving 24 million people of health insurance and slashing Medicaid by $900 billion dollars (AHCA).  Their plan increases the deficit, too.

That's GOP mendacity, which a majority of Idahoans supports for some reason.

They hoodwink average citizens using fake social wedge issues (that they rarely address), and when in office press mainly for tax cuts for the wealthy.  They're willing to ignore unconstitutionality by Trump (e.g., the emoluments clause) as long as they think they can deliver benefits to people already successfully gaming the system.

If you feel like the system is not working for you, why would you support the GOP?

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

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Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Petition:  ask Facebook to remove Activist Mommy

 

Quotations of the Week

"I'm not able to be rushed this fast.  It makes me nervous."
- Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III

 

"This massive piece of legislation that seeks to restructure one sixth of our economy is being written behind closed doors without input from anyone, in an effort to jam it past not only the Senate, but the American people before Christmas."
- Sen Mitch McConnell (said about the PPACA in 2009)

 

 

Poem of the Week

The Month of June:  13 1/2

As our daughter approaches graduation and
puberty at the same time, at her
own, calm, deliberate, serious rate,
she begins to kick up her heels, jazz out her
hands, thrust out her hipbones, chant
I'm great!  I'm great!  She feels 8th grade coming
open around her, a chrysalis cracking and
letting her out, it falls behind her and
joins the other husks on the ground,
7th grade, 6th grade, the
magenta rind of 5th grade, the
hard jacket of 4th when she had so much pain,
3rd grade, 2nd, the dim cocoon of
1st grade back there somewhere on the path, and
kindergarten like a strip of thumb-suck blanket
taken from the actual blanket they wrapped her in at birth.
The whole school is coming off her shoulders like a
cloak unclasped, and she dances forth in her
jerky sexy child's joke dance of
self, self, her throat tight and a
hard new song coming out of it, while her
two dark eyes shine
above her body like a good mother and a
good father who look down and
love everything their baby does, the way she
lives their love.

Sharon Olds

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Is leftist violence increasing?
* This is what kleptocracy looks like
* What does it take to convict a cop?
* Goldie Taylor researched her dad's killer
* GOP is making Medicare for all more likely
* Brave Mormon girl
* Republicans blast secrecy in health care bills back in 2009
* A decent Ossoff analysis
* Ivanka's notes for the babysitter
* Checking in with Trump voters
* Uh oh, ladies: 
John Hagee thinks you might belong in jail
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton, Oakland, or Pasadena

 

Schedule

       
June 22 Thurs Alturas Institute Dinner - Lady in the Locker Room:  A Life Covering Sports with Karen Crouse (Hilton Garden Inn, 6pm, $35)
 
June 29 Thurs IF City Club:  Thomas Mann, Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution (Bennion SUB, 7pm)
 

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

MRAs and Capitalism

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, June 15th
Time 7pm on (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the FairBridge Inn)
 

Gearing up for Loving Day Celebration -- Saturday, June 17th, Sportsman Park - Key Bank parkinglot, 2pm.  And this is the 30th anniversary of the Loving v Virginia decision in 1967.  Join us for our yearly banquet in honor of both Loving Day and Juneteenth.

We provide burgers/hot dogs, and a small variety of drinks.  Please bring a side dish or dessert to share.

Rev Lyn and I have discussed watching the new movie Loving as part of this event.  Please let me know if you would be interested in seeing this lovely film.  If enough people are interested, we'll figure out how to do it.


I follow Zoë Quinn on Twitter.  She's a game designer that you probably don't know unless you followed the Gamergate saga from a few years ago.  She was being harassed by some guy who wrote up a manifesto about how badly he was treated by her in their relationship, and the execrable Men's Rights Movement took up a campaign to smear and harass her.

That was three years ago, and it continues to this day.  The graphic at right is an example.  Click on it to read it in a larger format.

The person called @notch in that exchange is a millionaire software developer named Markus Persson.  He created a game called Minecraft, and made a pile of money on it.  Apparently, now he sits on his couch and harasses people.  He's the perfect embodiment of the typical MRA-loser:  people who are absolutely the scummiest on the planet.  And I include ISIS members and Trump supporters in that ranking.


What does it mean for a society when a person that shitty can be wealthy and carry on campaigns of harassment at his leisure?  For some reason, society has granted this pathetic loser a huge pile of money for making a game.  He's got nearly 4 million Twitter followers, and he's an absolute shitstain of a human.

Very much like Donald Trump in multiple respects.

[And the overlap between Trump supporters and MRAs is probably not all that disjoint.  Both groups tend to be chock full of belligerent men, and both groups have an affinity for approving of pussy-grabbing.]

Unless capitalism can be modified so that it takes a whole lot more accomplishment and a whole lot more decency to become wealthy, then capitalism is a force of evil in society.  A lot has been said about how people with psychopathic tendencies seem to be overrepresented within the 1%.  I believe it.

But how to we get to a system where scumbags aren't rewarded?  We are currently seeing a lot of social pressure being placed on companies - with some success.  But it doesn't seem like enough.  I can name probably a dozen companies that I refuse to support.  But I can't keep track of much more than that.

Maybe there's a solution within capitalism itself.  Perhaps there is a market niche for a company that will help people manage their patronage.  An app on your phone that will only let you buy stuff from decent providers.  Perhaps the app could have multiple providers of filters - some more strict and some less so.

Would that work?

Come join us at the Bee's Knees this Thursday for Drinking Liberally.  Maybe we'll form an LLC.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

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Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Petition:  ask Facebook to remove Activist Mommy

 

Quotations of the Week

"I don't think @POTUS colluded with the Russians because he doesn't collude with his own staff."
- Sen Lindsey Graham

 

 

Poem of the Week

Pauline Is Falling

from the cliff's edge,
kicking her feet in panic and despair
as the circle of light contracts and blackness
takes the screen.  And that
is how we leave her, hanging-though we know
she will be rescued, only to descend
into fresh harm, the story flowing on,
disaster and reprieve-systole, diastole-split
rhythm of a heart that hungers

only to go on.  So why is this like my mother,
caged in a railed bed, each breath,
a fresh installment in a tortured tale
of capture and release?  Nine days
she dangled, stubborn,
over the abyss, the soft clay crumbling
beneath her fingertips, until she dropped
with a little bird cry of surprise
into the swift river below.

Here metaphor collapses, for there was no love
to rescue her, no small boat
waiting with a net to fish her out,
although the water carried her,
and it was April when we buried her
among the weeping cherries and the waving
flags and in the final fade, a heron
breasted the far junipers
to gain the tremulous air and swim away.

Jean Nordhaus

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Big news
* New research on sexism in the 2016 election (I still believe this was the biggest factor)
* The bad news:  GOP will never impeach Trump (opinion)
* Hacking during the election was much more widespread than reported earlier
* An essay on "Idiot"
* Muslim scholar answers anti-Muslim troll
* An awesome guy, Dave Futrelle, made the NYT (I recommend his blog, We Hunted the Mammoth)
* GOP's getting peeved
* Wonkette:  Trump's idiot lawyer (no ... the other one)
* Watch Kirsten Powers destroy Jason Miller and Jeffrey Lords
* Kind of interesting, but debatable:  America is really 11 regions
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton, Oakland, or Pasadena

 

Schedule

       
June 17 Sat Loving Day Celebration, Sportsman Park - Key Bank parkinglot, 2pm
 
June 22 Thurs Alturas Institute Dinner - Lady in the Locker Room:  A Life Covering Sports with Karen Crouse (Hilton Garden Inn, 6pm, $35)
 
June 29 Thurs IF City Club:  Thomas Mann, Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution (Bennion SUB, 7pm)
 

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Kathy Griffin

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, June 8th
Time 7pm on (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the FairBridge Inn)
 

Gearing up for Loving Day Celebration -- Saturday, June 17th, Sportsman Park - Key Bank parkinglot, 2pm.  And this is the 30th anniversary of the Loving v Virginia decision in 1967.  Join us for our yearly banquet in honor of both Loving Day and Juneteenth.

We provide burgers/hot dogs, and a small variety of drinks.  Please bring a side dish or dessert to share.

Rev Lyn and I have discussed watching the new movie Loving as part of this event.  Please let me know if you would be interested in seeing this lovely film.  If enough people are interested, we'll figure out how to do it.


As an experience stand up comedian, I have to say -

Well, not really.  But I do tend to give comedians a lot of leeway.  Their job is to walk up to a very indistinct line.  In fact, they tend to define where that line is through humor (if they're doing it right).

Both Kathy Griffin and Bill Maher were in hot water last week for crossing lines in their work.  Maher's violation was an ad libbed response during an inteview - a failed joke.  He's apologized.  Kind of an uninteresting situation, all in all.

Kathy Griffin's case is more interesting.  Plenty of liberals took her to task for having crossed a line.  But really ... should they have?

How many people were threatened by Kathy Griffin's photo shoot?  Some might argue that one was.  That's a bit of a stretch, because there really was no actual threat to Trump.  But maybe you can extrapolate and say she was normalizing the idea of an act of violence against Trump.  Perhaps someone could be inspired by her picture to attempt harm.


How many people are threatened by Trump's behavior in office?  Threatened with their lives by his decisions?  Not countable, but I imagine it easily reaches the millions, just in America alone and just related to removal of insurance coverage, cracking down on undocumented immigrants, increased incarceration, and elimination of other social safety net protections.  When you think about the people around the world - those desperate to leave their war-torn countries and those affected by climate change - it reaches into the billions.

And as Lydia Allan points out in the graphic above, there is a subcontext that makes what Griffin did fundamentally different - and more acceptable - than what hoards of right-wingers did to President Obama.

Comedians walk right up to the line of objectionable behavior, and often over it.  It happens all the time.  The should definitely apologize (as both Maher and Griffin have done).  But perhaps we shouldn't let our attention stray too far from the actual monster.

For a better discussion of this, read Noah Michelson's piece at HuffPo.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

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Quotations of the Week

"But so much else about this moment paints a different picture of the most unusual administration in modern times.  It is the portrait of a president alone, feeling embattled and taking matters into his own hands as much as possible, often apparently against the advice of many of those around him."
- Dan Balz, Washington Post

 

"The man in the white house sits, naked and obscene, a pustule of ego, in the harsh light, a man whose grasp exceeded his understanding, because his understanding was dulled by indulgence."
- Rebecca Solnit

 

 

Poem of the Week

Front Flip Half Twist

In the video from Wales, my granddaughter
Steps to the wall's edge.  Just a yard below
The beach begins, a long way from the water.
A pause for thought.  She then proceeds to throw
A cartwheel through the air, and, when she lands,
Stand upright on the sands, all done no hands.

She came to her miraculous mastery
Of this manoeuvre by a strict process -
She still insists it was no mystery -
Of more and more to reach down less and less
Until, one day, the finished thing was there,
Made manifest entirely in mid-air.

I who can fly no longer feel I'm flying
When I watch her describe that graceful arc,
So perfectly alive.  I can't be dying
If I see this.  The sky will not grow dark
While she spins through it, setting it alight,
Making my day by staving off the night.

Play it again.  A poem that has taken
Its final form is radiant like this.
Beginnings left behind, but not forsaken,
Its history beyond analysis,
What starts by growing slowly, like a pearl,
Takes off and turns into a whirling girl.

Clive James

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

Schedule

       
June 17 Sat Loving Day Celebration, Sportsman Park - Key Bank parkinglot, 2pm
 
June 22 Thurs Alturas Institute Dinner - Lady in the Locker Room:  A Life Covering Sports with Karen Crouse (Hilton Garden Inn, 6pm, $35)
 
June 29 Thurs IF City Club:  Thomas Mann, Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution (Bennion SUB, 7pm)
 

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Cognitive Dissonance on the Right

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, June 1st
Time 7pm on (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the FairBridge Inn)
 

Gearing up for Loving Day Celebration -- Saturday, June 17th, Sportsman Park - Key Bank parkinglot, 2pm.  And this is the 30th anniversary of the Loving v Virginia decision in 1967.  Join us for our yearly banquet in honor of both Loving Day and Juneteenth.

We provide burgers/hot dogs, and a small variety of drinks.  Please bring a side dish or dessert to share.

Rev Lyn and I have discussed watching the new movie Loving as part of this event.  Please let me know if you would be interested in seeing this lovely film.  If enough people are interested, we'll figure out how to do it.


I am seriously stuck on what to write about this week.  Same problem that I talked about two weeks ago.  There is just too much nonsense and criminality to keep up with, let alone to develop something interesting to write about.

One thing that stands out to me this week is the extent of the cognitive dissonance on the right.

I used to wonder if both sides were somewhat the same - that perhaps we on the left were equally good at ignoring the failures and contradictions of our ideological leaders as those on the right seemed to be.

But the Trump era has answered that question for me.  No - we are not suffering the cognitive dissonance that pervades those on the right.


This week we've seen the right react to Kathy Griffin, to "covfefe," and to Jared Kushner's proposal to use Russian communication systems to discuss policy with the Kremlin.  In all those cases, the position of the defenders on the right is irrational, contradictory, and pathetic.  I can't think of any situation even close to similar where we on the left behaved similarly.

On May 20th, the following letter appeared in the Post Register:

In the May 16 Post Register article, "Simpson talks health care bill," Representative Simpson bemoans the fact that there isn't bipartisan Republican and Democratic support for the GOP House passed health care bill. Is Rep. Simpson naive or totally losing it? Doesn't he realize there is no compromise with the Democrats? They are the "obstructionist party," and will not support the Trump agenda no matter the benefit to our nation.

Robert Tripp

Last week they ran my response:

Editor,

Robert Tripp (May 20) accused the Democrats of being the party of obstruction and of being unwilling to compromise on a health care bill.  Mr Tripp should review his history.

The ACA is a bill of compromise.  The Senate Health committee held 14 bipartisan roundtables and 13 public hearings over about a year and a half.  The Democrats accepted over 160 Republican amendments to the bill in that time.  The Senate Finance committee held 17 public hearings.  They also accepted many Republican markups.  Both committees had CBO scores and posted their bills to the public a week before voting.

Trumpcare is a different animal.  It's been rushed through the House with no CBO score and less than 24 hours of public posting.  The Senate has a group of 13 white men working in secrecy, over only a few weeks, with no public hearings planned.

Trumpcare is a huge tax cut for the wealthy masquerading as a health care bill.  It pays for those tax cuts by cutting Medicaid and eliminating health care for millions of Americans.  They are not doing that because the Democrats aren't willing to compromise.  They are doing that because the GOP is the party that has only one goal in mind:  benefiting the wealthy.  Compromise with the Democrats is the very last thing the GOP wants.

The ignorance of the American right continues to astound me.  The confusion of Mr Tripp on this topic is indicative of the harm that Fox News is doing to America.

It is a general impression on the right that the Democrats are just as obstructionist as the GOP, and that the Dems won't cooperate.  But it just isn't true in the least.

And it's the same for many issues I've observed over the last year.  Not the least of which is Russia.  The GOP's flip-flop on Russia is just mind-boggling.

No answers here.  We are just dealing with a very sick political party.  The only question is will the GOP fail before or after America does.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

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Quotations of the Week

"All this reeks of insecurity.  These are the actions of men and women who fear not just their careers and reputations but their places in history.  This presidency and the moment of prohibitive Republican authority it inaugurated is slipping away.  Appealing to a cult of personality is a common means of distracting from failure and compelling cohesion among otherwise dispirited true believers.  Eventually, though, the cult comes apart.  The monuments are torn down and the revisionism is done away with.  On its present course, the Trump era won't even leave these durable edifices in its wake.  Its memory will be washed away with the tide, leaving only those who debased themselves as its legacy."
- Noah Rothman, in Commentary

 

"The president bullshits because he is ignorant.  But his aides, in order to manipulate Trump into governing in ways they find reasonable or ideologically congenial or both, must echo his bullshit to prove their loyalty.  This winds up creating substantial levels of second-order bullshit as flunkies pony up an outlandish series of pro-Trump claims - claims that are then echoed in a large and vibrant ecosystem of pro-Trump media."
- Matthew Yglesias

 

 

Poem of the Week

The Rebel

There is a wall of which the stones
Are lies and bribes and dead men's bones.
And wrongfully this evil wall
Denies what all men made for all,
And shamelessly this wall surrounds
Our homesteads and our native grounds.

But I will gather and I will ride,
And I will summon a countryside,
And many a man shall hear my halloa
Who never had thought the horn to follow;
And many a man shall ride with me
Who never had thought on earth to see
High Justice in her armoury.

When we find them where they stand,
A mile of men on either hand,
I mean to charge from right away
And force the flanks of their array,
And press them inward from the plains,
And drive them clamouring down the lanes,
And gallop and harry and have them down,
And carry the gates and hold the town.
Then shall I rest me from my ride
With my great anger satisfied.

Only, before I eat and drink,
When I have killed them all, I think
That I will batter their carven names,
And slit the pictures in their frames,
And burn for scent their cedar door,
And melt the gold their women wore,
And hack their horses at the knees,
And hew to death their timber trees,
And plough their gardens deep and through-
And all these things I mean to do
For fear perhaps my little son
Should break his hands, as I have done.

Hilaire Belloc

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * The consequences of Trump's Paris decision
* How serious is the Russia meddling?
* Trump's GOP:  A cult without a legacy
* Bullshitter in Chief
* Kafka in Vegas
* The GOP supports a 15-yr federal prison sentence for sexting
* Trump getting lots of fake followers
* Waddya know - the head of Idaho's Department of Insurance assures us that there's nothing to worry about with Trumpcare
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton, Oakland, or Pasadena

 

Schedule

       
June 17 Sat Loving Day Celebration, Sportsman Park - Key Bank parkinglot, 2pm
 
June 29 Thurs IF City Club:  Thomas Mann, Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution (Bennion SUB, 7pm)
 

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Net Neutrality

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, May 25th
Time 7pm on (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the FairBridge Inn)
 

Planning is underway for this year's Loving Day Celebration - Saturday, June 17th, Sportsman Park - Key Bank parkinglot, 2pm.  And this is the 30th anniversary of the Loving v Virginia decision in 1967.  Join us for our yearly banquet in honor of both Loving Day and Juneteenth.

We provide burgers/hot dogs, and a small variety of drinks.  Please bring a side dish or dessert to share.

Rev Lyn and I have discussed watching the new movie Loving as part of this event.  Please let me know if you would be interested in seeing this lovely film.  If enough people are interested, we'll figure out how to do it.


Lost in all of the insanity perpetrated by Trump in the last couple of weeks is his effort to eliminate net neutrality.  I have a feeling that a large proportion of people in America don't know what net neutrality even is.  So I wrote the following analogy for the Post Register.

It is awfully hard to rank all of the threats posed by Trump and the Republicans.  But I think ending net neutrality is one of the bigger threats.

This column will run in next Tuesday's paper.

Bridge Neutrality

Imagine that Idaho Falls' three bridges across the Snake River were owned by a private company and people paid tolls to use them.  That's not an unusual situation in some cities.

Now imagine the bridge owner starts cutting deals with businesses.  Let's say you like Lucy's Pizza and get delivery often.  But Domino's makes a deal with the bridge company.  Domino's gets a discount on tolls, and Lucy's has to stop and complete paperwork each time they cross.  Now your preferred pizza costs more and comes to you slower because two other companies made an arrangement.

Fair?  Of course not.  Now imagine multiple bridge owners.  One bridge has cut a deal with UPS, so those deliveries come more quickly and cheaply than other carriers.  But another bridge has a deal with Ford, so that Chevrolet owners have to pay a surcharge.  Which bridge company do you pick?  Or do you pay both, and try to remember the differences between them when you order or drive?

It's a very good thing that we have Bridge Neutrality.  The Bridge Neutrality concept means that everyone can use all bridges for the same price structure.  No companies get to cut deals for their own benefit.

That's why Net Neutrality is a great thing.  Right now, all content providers are treated equally by Internet providers.  You can read small, independent blogs and Google can't cut a deal that charges the little independent blogs extra, basically putting them out of business.

But the big Internet providers want to eliminate Net Neutrality.  They want Netflix to pay them extra for faster delivery.  And Netflix might like to cut that kind of deal so that Hulu streams are slower.  These companies see a way to make more money and hamper their competitors.

And guess who is supporting the interests of the Internet carriers and large content providers on net neutrality?  The Republicans and the Trump Administration.  They are proposing to end net neutrality, with a bill called "Restoring Internet Freedom" (which means that we will all have the freedom to pay extra fees for "premium" content and speed, and that providers will have the freedom to block content).

What keeps the internet neutral are FCC rules and regulation that prevent such deals and treat internet providers as common carriers.  Idaho's legislators are weaseling out of supporting Net Neutrality using nonsensical statements about opposing regulation because it might hinder innovation.  Yet no area has experienced more innovation than the internet under Net Neutrality rules.  So they are being disingenuous.

You can comment on the proposed changes for the next few weeks (https://goo.gl/04eBvX).  Please tell the Republicans to represent you instead of the interests of their large campaign donors.

And consider not supporting the party that is fine with such bad ideas.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

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Quotations of the Week

"When wealth is passed off as merit, bad luck is seen as bad character.  This is how ideologues justify punishing the sick and the poor.  But poverty is neither a crime nor a character flaw.  Stigmatise those who let people die, not those who struggle to live."
- Sarah Kendzior

 

 

Poem of the Week

The Trees

The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old?  No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Mayor Mitch Landrieu explains the removal of Confederate statues (great speech)
* The enormity of Trump's scam
* The many ways Trump has been interfering with the Russia investigation
* Seems that the Senate isn't moving very fast on the AHCA
* How impeachment works
* So this happened today in the Montana special election
* This would count as a huge scandal if President Obama did it
* How to answer flat-Earthers (amazing that we have to, really)
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton, Oakland, or Pasadena

 

Schedule

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Trump Affect

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, May 18th
Time 7pm on (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the FairBridge Inn)
 

Well, what do you know?  The community college issue passed.


You all may have noticed that the meeting notices have been short lately.  I've been thinking that I was just running out of time - life just too busy for the last bunch of weeks.  But that's not true at all.

The fact is that I think I'm feeling a sort of burn-out phenomenon.  Not that I'm tired of Drinking Liberally or of doing this notice.  I think I'm just overwhelmed with the concept of writing a meeting notice.  The news is flowing too fast for me to gather any worthwhile, coherent thoughts.


I've been working on an opinion piece regarding Trump's Russian connections that I was going to offer to the Post Register.  It's been in the works now for over two months and it's nowhere near done.  Because too much new stuff keeps happening!  Now so much has happened that I honestly think it's not possible to talk about that subject in less than 450 words.  I probably won't finish it because the last two weeks have provided so much new information.  It's daunting to think about how to capture it all.

One way or another, I hope that the general pace of news returns to a normal amount of crazy sometime soon.  It's quite possible that the current flood may be doing some sort of damage to our psyches.


Do yourself a favor and watch American Honey.  One of the best movies of last year.  Right up there with The Fits.  Both movies feature unknown, young women of color in lead roles, and both are stunning.  American Honey does amazing things with music, too.

It's streaming on Amazon now.

Cheers,
Dan

 

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Quotations of the Week

"... individuals who are 'extremely careless' with classified information should be denied further access to such information."
- Paul Ryan (said about Hillary Clinton in 2016)

 

 

Poem of the Week

The Good Light

There were always such beautiful shadows in your work,
Though many now dodge their taxes with your art.  Rarely
As it seems, life involves death with every decision, which is
Why I miss the non-Euclidean idiom we used to argue over
Everything in the dictionary of what not to do.  Somewhere
In a mix between Beaches and Häxan I have these weird
Memories of you sleeping when there's no way I was there
To see you sleeping-a crystal ball above your bed lets
Tensors, in a tension of tenses, tongue-tie time and divine
Your urge to fearlessly abandon yourself to love as you
Understand love, where paradox gives way to paradox
And awareness is congratulated with awareness of how
This multiverse, in vast tribulation, ushers us on in unison
As one of many big bangs begins again to light the way.

About This Poem

"It has been said there are only two subjects in art:  Eros and Thanatos (love and death).  Or a datamosh of Beaches and Häxan.  It has also been said there are only two certainties in life:  death and taxes.  The poem's disposition is to transmogrify the ghoul factor I've witnessed in the wake of a friend's suicide (an artist and gallerist) and the pernicious nature of the romantic imagination into an adult version of love.  The source of suffering is a desire for nouns to be other than what they are, the very essence of metaphor.  A quantum sonnet seemed like the right stage for a dissolution of the senses."
-Aaron Fagan

 

 

Schedule

       
May 17 Wed Alturas Institute Lecture, Two Nights of Alexander Hamilton, Part II, ARTitorium, 6:30pm
 
May 18 Thurs IF City Club:  Arthur and Douglas Oppenheimer Grossenbacher, Downtown Development and Civic Participation (Bennion SUB, noon - 1:30pm)
 

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Trump Suprised Again

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, May 11th
Time 7pm on (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the FairBridge Inn)
 

So Trump was finally fed up with Comey's treatment of Hillary Clinton, and fired him.  Apparently.  It's just unfortunate that this had to happen right now just as Comey was wrapping up his totally exhonorating review of the Russia meddling allegation, huh?

I guess the Trump team was surprised that the Democrats and the public were outraged at the firing.  They actually thought that this would be welcomed.

And they were surprised that meeting with Russian officials in the Oval Office on the very next day, with no American press allowed, would result in more outrage and embarrassing photos for Trump.



It's almost like Trump is slowly coming to the realization that doing things in a non-criminal, non-dictatorial way is harder than he figured.

I hope he gets fed up and quits the job.  This impeachment process is taking too long.

Join us at The Bee's Knees tonight for a rollicking discussion of the Trump Team's troubles.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

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Schedule

       
May 16 Tues Community College election
 
May 17 Wed Alturas Institute Lecture, Two Nights of Alexander Hamilton, Part II, ARTitorium, 6:30pm
 

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Trump Stomps on Another Norm

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, May 4th
Time 7pm on (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the FairBridge Inn)
 

Trump's actual quotation on Andrew Jackson:

TRUMP:  I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later, you wouldn't have had the Civil War.  He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart, and he was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War.  He said, "There's no reason for this."  People don't realize, you know, the Civil War, you think about it, why?

ZITO:  Yeah —

TRUMP:  People don't ask that question.  But why was there the Civil War?  Why could that one not have been worked out?

And now that quotation in its original format:

Hard to tell the difference!  I suspect Trump is plagiarizing from his 3rd-grade self.

On a serious note, one of our local state legislators posted this popular meme on his Facebook timeline:

R.I.P. Justin Allen 23, Brett Linley 29, Matthew Weikert 29, Justus Bartett 27, Dave Santos 21, Jesse Reed 26, Matthew Johnson 21, Zachary Fisher 24, Brandon King 23, Christopher Goeke 23, and Sheldon Tate 27.... All are Marines who gave their lives this week for us ....for our freedom! There's no media for them at all... not even a mention of their names. Please honor them by copying and pasting this post.R.I.P.
Please keep these soldiers families in your prayers.


Needless to say, this is false from top to bottom.  Not all were Marines, most died in 2010, all were honored in the media when their names were released, and they weren't fighting for our freedom.  This meme has been passed around a lot, and it has a subtle purpose.

It is meant to support the conservative effort to convince people that the media has an ulterior motive and is unpatriotic.  This favors the GOP, because when you convince people that journalism is a lie, then it's easy to lie to them.

I complained long and hard on this legislator's page, but he insists that I should knock it off because I've expressed my opinion and other people disagree, and lots of people have liked the post.  He has not corrected the lies, nor has he acknowledged that it is a lie.

I even posted a link to the news that an American soldier had actually died in Iraq last week.  Which I heard when it was reported on NPR.  My opinion is that our legislator is dishonoring our service members by ignoring the soldier who actually died last week, and by using the deaths of soldiers to push a false narrative.

The right in America has actually pretty much destroyed the norm that truth and honor matter.  To them, both place a far second to pushing their ideology.  And that is the heart of how they elected a lying sex predator to the presidency.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

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Quotations of the Week

"When you have someone like Donald Trump who can come from out of nowhere, completely co-opt the entire party structure, have no discernable principles other than being a prick, you know, that's a sign that your party is dead.  You might still win elections but for purposes of being a governing entity with at least a nomionally conservative political viewpoint, the party is dead."
- Greg Doucette, former Republican (on the With Friends Like These podcast)

 

 

Poem of the Week

The Cherry Trees

The cherry trees bend over and are shedding
On the old road where all that passed are dead,
Their petals, strewing the grass as for a wedding
This early May morn when there is none to wed.

Edward Thomas

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton, Oakland, or Pasadena

 

Schedule

       
May 3 Wed IF City ClubThe Future of Higher Education in Southeast Idaho panel presentation (Tingey Auditorium, 7pm)
 
May 10 Wed Alturas Institute Lecture, Two Nights of Alexander Hamilton, Part I, ARTitorium, 6:30pm
 
May 16 Tues Community College election
 
May 17 Wed Alturas Institute Lecture, Two Nights of Alexander Hamilton, Part II, ARTitorium, 6:30pm
 

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Always Running Out of Time

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, April 27th
Time 7pm on (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the FairBridge Inn)
 

My time is running so short these days.  Just finished the ACLU budget approval process for the coming fiscal year, so things may lighten up a bit.  But I still don't have much content for you all this week.


Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

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links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Hamdi Ulukaya, owner of Chobani yogurt in Twin Falls, sues Alex Jones
* Trump and executive orders
* Great commercial (something that Pepsi was trying to hit, but failed)
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton, Oakland, or Pasadena

 

Schedule

       
Apr 28 Fri Workers' Memorial Day (Freeman Park, 5pm)
 
May 3 Wed IF City ClubThe Future of Higher Education in Southeast Idaho panel presentation (Tingey Auditorium, 7pm)
 
May 16 Tues Community College election
 

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Another Quick Notice

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, April 20th
Time 7pm on (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the FairBridge Inn)
 

Which side is right?

This Thursday night is the Idaho Humanities Council dinner at the Shilo Inn.  The speaker is Anthony Doerr, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the wonderful novel All the Light We Cannot See.  I have arranged a table for ten, and all our seats are spoken for.  But if you would like to attend, let me know and maybe we can do something.

So Drinking Liberally will be basically host-free.  Both Patricia and I will be at the dinner.  We do have a tradition of asking the author out for drinks afterwards, so we might be there very late.  But don't count on it.

Please enjoy yourselves and say "Hi" to any newcomers for us!


Remember the March for Science on Saturday!  Meet at Snake River Landing at 11am.  March will take us to Tautphus Park and the Earth Day celebration going on there (about a 2-mile walk).


We had a little discussion about free speech the other night at DL.  The point was made that protesters at universities should not deny anyone the right to speak - that such a protest is a denial of free speech and that once you accept that type of protest then you have basically agreed that such tactics can be used against you, and therefore that free speech is dead.

I disagree, 100%.

My position is that protesters also have the right to free speech, and their exercize should also not be limited.

The point I did not make was that there is an inherent bias in the public square.  Who actually gets to speak?  It tends to be the privileged - whether privileged by money or race or adherence to views that please the administration.


Demanding that anyone who is offered a speaking position should be granted that experience (by demanding that other people refrain from exercising their free speech rights) is giving a huge advantage to the powerful and the privileged.  The "market" of free speech will be heavily biased towards those with power and privilege.

What is the only strength that minorities and disempowered people have?  They are not being offered slots on CNN panels, or columns in USAToday.  They are not flown in to speak at UC Berkeley.

They only have their numbers and their voices.

So no ... I'm not willing to grant such an advantage to the powerful.  I'm not willing to allow that civility should be more important than the voices of the poor.

No right is absolute, and no right takes precedence over others.  It's a messy, conflicting pile of rights that sometimes isn't always straightforward and easily hashed out.

See the discussion on our Facebook page for another great example of a messy problem with rights.

Let's just get used to that.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

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Schedule

       
Apr 20 Thurs Idaho Humanities Council Dinner - Shilo Inn, novelist Anthony Doerr will be the speaker
 
Apr 22 Sat Idaho Falls March for Science
 
May 16 Tues Community College election