tom moody

Archive for the ‘general’ Category

who knew

...there is actually a town called Jerkwater.

jerkwater

"Where are you from?" "Some little jerkwater town." "You mean, the Jerkwater?"

- tom moody

November 30th, 2017 at 10:37 am

Posted in general

not-so-sure post

Up until recently UPS somewhat arrogantly refused to ship to PO Boxes maintained by USPS.
Since many merchants use UPS, they also refuse to ship to PO Boxes, blaming UPS (not always apologetically).
Lately it's gotten easier, with something called "SurePost," that hands off packages from UPS to USPS.
But not always easier:

surepost

- tom moody

November 30th, 2017 at 9:50 am

Posted in general

travel writing

from "My Trip on Greyhound," an email to friends, in progress:

FirstGroup plc, a Brit company that owns bus companies in the UK, US and Canada, bought Greyhound in 2007 and runs it pretty smoothly. Buses have wi-fi and electrical outlets. The old network of bus stations (some of which appear to date back to the '40s) still exists; most stations had food and were kept reasonably clean (only a few nightmare toilets).

Drivers adhere to timetables and exert calm leadership. In addition to scheduled stops, they pull over at gas stations occasionally and allow people to get off the buses for smokes, stretches, and food.

I like seeing America from a bus window. When you fly you have no sense of the scale, and the changes happening in "bus-over country." Diverse bioregions gradually shift before your eyes (mountains to forest to prairie to cityscapes). Suburban sprawl is everywhere but area franchises such as Buc-ee's come and go among the ubiquitous Dollar Generals. The infrastructure of electronic control is increasingly obvious: it's one thing to see a few cell towers in your town, it's another to see hundreds of them spread throughout cities, exurbs, and farmland.

In keeping with that mechanized hell, almost everyone on the bus had a "device" and spent their time buried in it. Some played games with obnoxious noises; some watched movies and TV; but mostly it was that inevitable Facebook scroll-down through horizontal bands of messages or posts or whatever.

- tom moody

September 30th, 2017 at 6:03 am

Posted in general

trump in a pantsuit

Hillary Clinton excuses her election debacle with artificial macho swagger in this clip at 0:28 [YouTube]

HILLARY CLINTON: It wasn’t a perfect campaign. There is no such thing, but I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28th and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off.

She still wants to be President, apparently. (Shudder.)

- tom moody

May 13th, 2017 at 7:57 am

Posted in general

sorkinthink loses elections

The concluding paragraphs of a Current Affairs essay on the grip a still-popular TV show (that I never managed to watch) has on Clintonite Dems:

Through its idealized rendering of American politics and its institutions, The West Wing offers a comforting avenue of escape from the grim and often dystopian reality of the present. If the show, despite its age, has continued to find favor and relevance among liberals, Democrats, and assorted Beltway acolytes alike, it is because it reflects and affirms their worldview with greater fidelity and catharsis than any of its contemporaries.

But if anything gives that worldview pause, it should be the events of the past eight years. Liberals got a real life Josiah Bartlet in the figure of Barack Obama, a charismatic and stylish politician elected on a populist wave. But Obama’s soaring speeches, quintessentially presidential affect, and deference to procedure did little to fundamentally improve the country or prevent his Republican rivals from storming the Congressional barricades at their first opportunity. Confronted by a mercurial TV personality bent on transgressing every norm and truism of Beltway thinking, Democrats responded by exhaustively informing voters of his indecency and hypocrisy, attempting to destroy him countless times with his own logic, but ultimately leaving him completely intact. They smugly taxonomized as “smart” and “dumb” the very electorate they needed to win over, and retreated into an ideological fever dream in which political success doesn’t come from organizing and building power, but from having the most polished arguments and the most detailed policy statements. If you can just crush Trump in the debates, as Bartlet did to Richie, then you’ve won. (That’s not an exaggeration of the worldview. Ezra Klein published an article entitled “Hillary Clinton’s 3 debate performances left the Trump campaign in ruins,” which entirely eliminated the distinction between what happens in debates and what happens in campaigns. The belief that politics is about argument rather than power is likely a symptom of a Democratic politics increasingly incubated in the Ivy League rather than the labor movement.)

Now, facing defeat and political crisis, the overwhelming liberal instinct has not been self-reflection but a further retreat into fantasy and orthodoxy. Like viewers at the climax of The West Wing’s original run, they sit waiting for the decisive gestures and gratifying crescendos of a series finale, only to find their favorite plotlines and characters meandering without resolution. Shockingly, life is not a television program, and Aaron Sorkin doesn’t get to write the ending.

The West Wing is many things: a uniquely popular and lavish effort in prestige TV; an often crisply-written drama; a fictionalized paean to Beltway liberalism’s foundational precepts; a wonkish celebration of institutions and processes; an exquisitely-tailored piece of political fanfiction.

But, in 2017, it is foremost a series of glittering illusions to be abandoned.

- tom moody

April 17th, 2017 at 10:14 am

Posted in general

concise summary of recent US politics

Moon of Alabama:

Due to the anti-Russian panic Trump surrendered to the neocons.* Suddenly the borg is lauding him for a senseless escalation. The neocons want chaos but chaos is not a plan. There seems to be no plan that will help any cause.

*Thanks, Hillary fans and/or HuffPo readers

The Moon of Alabama post is good except the part about Trump being smart.

- tom moody

April 11th, 2017 at 11:30 am

Posted in general

half the world is cracking up in laughter

Noam Chomsky on kremlingate (via Michael Krieger):

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Noam Chomsky, I’d like to ask you about something that’s been in the news a lot lately. Obviously, all the cable channels, that’s all they talk about these days, is the whole situation of Russia’s supposed intervention in American elections. For a country that’s intervened in so many governments and so many elections around the world, that’s kind of a strange topic. But I know you’ve referred to this as a joke. Could you give us your view on what’s happening and why there’s so much emphasis on this particular issue?

NOAM CHOMSKY: It’s a pretty remarkable fact that—first of all, it is a joke. Half the world is cracking up in laughter. The United States doesn’t just interfere in elections. It overthrows governments it doesn’t like, institutes military dictatorships. Simply in the case of Russia alone—it’s the least of it—the U.S. government, under Clinton, intervened quite blatantly and openly, then tried to conceal it, to get their man Yeltsin in, in all sorts of ways. So, this, as I say, it’s considered—it’s turning the United States, again, into a laughingstock in the world.

So why are the Democrats focusing on this? In fact, why are they focusing so much attention on the one element of Trump’s programs which is fairly reasonable, the one ray of light in this gloom: trying to reduce tensions with Russia? That’s—the tensions on the Russian border are extremely serious. They could escalate to a major terminal war. Efforts to try to reduce them should be welcomed... (emphasis added)

- tom moody

April 6th, 2017 at 7:37 pm

Posted in general

gessen on kr*mling*te

So-called Kremlingate is the Clintonites' Benghazi -- a non-issue that they keep pounding on, thinking they are all super-clever. Long-time Putin critic Masha Gessen has a good point, which is that the Repubs want to keep Trump in, no matter how much disinformation the NYT and CNN spew out, so they can "shrink government" or whatever it is they think they are doing. (hat tip jim)

- tom moody

March 8th, 2017 at 8:14 am

Posted in general

a little late schadenfreude

Andrew Cockburn, Harper's:

Ask anyone who was present at Hillary Clinton’s presumptive victory celebration on November 8 and they will tell you of the stunned silence, broken only by sobs, that settled across the vast glass enclosure of the Javits Center in Manhattan. Upstairs, in the suite where the candidate was closeted with her family and associates, the trauma was even more intense. As one attendee later reported to me, it featured the “full range of human emotions: screams, shock, fainting. Bill moved immediately to blame.” The former president, I was told, singled out campaign manager Robby Mook: “ ‘We should have fired that asshole months ago!’ It was awful.”

All those million dollar speeches couldn't buy Bill a second shot at the presidency. Boo hoo.

Meanwhile, the blame express rolls on. These two headlines tell you who is a Clintonite and who isn't:

conason

intercept

- tom moody

February 26th, 2017 at 10:13 am

Posted in general

stop sending these dopy emails about putin

Continuing to receive emails from Clintonite friends about the Russian bugbear; today it was a dense, minutiae-filled CNN editorial about some contradictory statements from Team Trump regarding Michael Flynn's contacts with Russians during the transition. It was written in a sort of "aha!", Fox News style.
The sender of the email added, "So maybe *now* you will admit you were wrong." Muah ha ha.
With all the things we could criticize about Trump, the Manchurian candidate allegation is the weakest of beer, but it appears to be the media's (or at least, CNN's) attempt at a Benghazi or Whitewater, aimed at bringing him down.
Calmer relations between the US and Russia would be a plus -- it's ironic it's the nurturing candidate and her disappointed supporters in the government and media, not the hotheaded Trumpians, who are the ones trying to get us into a nuclear war here. They don't care who fries, as long as they can "gotcha" Trump.

Update: Flynn resigned shortly after the above was posted. He was a creep, good riddance, but the reason -- the media thinks the US should be "tough on Russia" -- is pitiful when you consider all his other negatives. Moon of Alabama, the website of ex-blogger Billmon's former commenters, had a good analysis of this putsch by the so-called deep state and its willing journalist helpers (and let's add, unhappy Clinton voters who spam their friends).

The Democratic party, meanwhile, is mostly rolling over for Trump's picks -- his "Homeland" security choice was approved by the Senate in an 88 to 11 vote.

- tom moody

February 12th, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Posted in general