Friday, June 14, 2013

Happy Bloomsday! Are North Carolinians Ready To Drag Governor McClory from Mayor's Mansion Yet? No? Billy Bob Tells Obie Bob To Cock Up? Yep?

Ulysses (1967 film dvd cover).jpg

"Yes I said yes I will yes."

Seamus Sweeney's short story "Bloomsday 3004" is a description of a future in which Bloomsday continues to be celebrated, however its origins are completely forgotten and it is now a quasi-religious folk ritual.

Pat Conroy's 2009 novel South of Broad has numerous references to Bloomsday. Leopold Bloom King is the narrator. The book's first chapter describes the events of 16 June 1969 in Leo's story.

In the novel by Enrique Vila-Matas Dublinesca (2010), part of the action takes place in Dublin for the Bloomsday. The book's main protagonist, Riba, a retired Spanish editor, moves to this city with several writer friends to officiate a "funeral" for the Gutenberg era.

I know I'll be raising a glass to the master (and his mistress) and rereading some of my favorite scenes from Ulysses (but no two-fisted drinking today).

June 16 is Bloomsday

. . . when readers worldwide celebrate Leopold Bloom’s Dublin wanderings on June 16, 1904, in James Joyce’s “Ulysses.” To mark the event I asked a few notable fans of Joyce’s masterwork for memories of their own Bloomsdays.
The novelist Colm Toibin recalled a June 16 several years ago when he took a break from working at home in Dublin to food shop. Forgetting it was Bloomsday, he came across a group of literary celebrants outside a pub. “I had two plastic bags of groceries,” Toibin said. “When the crowd asked me who I was, I expressed puzzlement. They presumed I was masquerading as a character from the book, and were trying to think who had two bags of groceries in ‘Ulysses.’ In the end, I used a term with which Joyce might have not been familiar — I called them ‘a shower of wankers’ — and slowly made my way home and got on with my day’s work.”
Joshua Cohen, who exhibited a love for Joycean wordplay in his own sprawling novel Witz, was working as a correspondent in Budapest in 2004 when someone recommended he cover the Bloomsday festivities at Szombathely, birthplace of Leopold Bloom’s father. “I took a train two hours west only to find a very staid main square gathering of withered Hungarian academics and happy/baffled city council types,” he said.
Cohen returned to the station. No trains were running, and he passed the time with a suspicious group of newfound companions. “For some reason called vodka I’d convinced myself that I spoke Hungarian, or they spoke English, or both,” Cohen said. “I began asking after the whereabouts of my backpack. I began asking about the whereabouts of my companions.”
Colum McCann, the author, most recently, of ­TransAtlantic, called Bloomsday “one of my favorite days of the year,” contrasting it with “all the crass paddywhackery” of St. Patrick’s Day. For the past 10 Bloomsdays, he has organized readings at Ulysses’, a pub in Lower Manhattan. “We stand out in the cobbled street and read parts of the novel, including the naughty parts from Molly’s soliloquy. You should see the look on the faces of the Wall Street crew as they walk past.”
Raise a glass!

But here in North Carolina few glasses are raised in my neighborhood to what the ALEC-fueled wankers (Koch-funded) in the NC General Assembly are doing quickly and as quietly as possible to our public works (can you say "privatize?").

North Carolina Is the New Wisconsin

June 12, 2013

The Nation

“Moral Monday” protesters demonstrating inside the North Carolina General Assembly on June 10, 2013. (Photo courtesy of the North Carolina NAACP)
“Outsiders are coming in and they’re going to try to do to us what they did to Scott Walker in Wisconsin,” North Carolina Republican Governor Pat McCrory said yesterday, in response to the growing “Moral Monday” protest movement.
North Carolina is the new Wisconsin, but not for the reasons McCrory alleges. Like in Wisconsin, a homegrown grassroots resistance movement has emerged  — and grown rapidly — to challenge the drastic right-wing agenda unveiled by Republicans in the state. Just like the Koch brothers backed Scott Walker, the Koch’s billionaire ally and close associate Art Pope funded North Carolina’s Republican takeover in 2010 and 2012. (Only McCrory went a step further and actually named Pope to his inner circle as deputy budget director.)

And North Carolina, like Wisconsin, is “a state fight with national implications,” says Rev. William Barber of the North Carolina NAACP. Republicans have imported a slew of ALEC-inspired policies in an attempt to turn the New South back into the Old Confederacy.
Melissa Harris-Perry covered the North Carolina “Moral Monday” movement extensively on her MSNBC show last Saturday. I was one of the panelists.
In a few months since taking over power for the first time in one hundred years, North Carolina Republicans have passed or introduced legislation that would:

eliminate the earned income tax credit for 900,000; decline Medicaid coverage for 500,000 and privatize public healthcare in the state; end unemployment benefits for 165,000 in a state with the country’s fifth-highest unemployment rate; cut pre-K for 30,000 kids while shifting $90 million from public education to voucher schools; cut taxes for the top 5 percent while raising taxes on the bottom 95 percent; allow for guns to be purchased without a background check and carried in parks, playgrounds, restaurants and bars; do away with public financing of judicial races; prohibit death row inmates from challenging racially discriminatory verdicts; and on it goes. (Unlike in Wisconsin, North Carolinians have no collective bargaining rights to protect).
In order to make it harder for opponents of these right-wing policies to challenge their sponsors, North Carolina Republicans have unloaded the kitchen sink of voter suppression.

As I reported in April (“7 Ways North Carolina Republicans are Trying to Make it Harder to Vote”): “North Carolina Republicans have introduced a series of bills in the legislature that would require state-issued photo ID to cast a ballot, drastically cut early voting, eliminate same-day voter registration, end straight-ticket voting, penalize families of students who register to vote where they go to college, rescind the automatic restoration of voting rights for ex-felons, and ban “incompetent” voters from the polls.
The legislation has been dubbed the ‘Screw the Voter Act of 2013’ and ‘The Longer Lines to Vote Bill.’ The goal is to make this racially integrated swing state a solidly red bastion for the next decade and beyond.”
Forty of 100 counties in North Carolina are subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, based on a history of voting discrimination, and must have their election changes approved by the federal government. But North Carolina Republicans, judging from the legislation introduced, are already acting as if the Supreme Court has struck down Section 5.
If you want to know what a post–Section 5 world will resemble, without Section 5’s powerful deterrent and enforcement effect, look no further than what’s currently happening in the Tarheel state. (For more on the consequences of repealing Section 5, read this great new report from the Brennan Center for Justice.)
Barber, who has lived in North Carolina since 1966, kicked off the “Moral Monday” movement on April 29. “A couple of months ago, when we called for moral witnesses based on Gandhi and Dr King’s brilliant examples of nonviolent direct action, we had 17 ministers and other leaders answer the call and participate in the first inaugural ‘Moral Monday,’” he wrote in The Guardian this week.

“We were pleased, but not shocked, when 29 additional North Carolinians came the second Monday; 49 the third, 59 the fourth, and 151 last Monday, 3 June. Each week, the number of supporters multiplies; from about 300 the first week to more than 4,000 on 3 June.”

Several thousand joined the demonstration inside the North Carolina statehouse this past Monday, braving rain and tornado warnings, with clergy across the state taking the lead. The clergy, teachers, historians, politicians and civil rights leaders who are now getting arrested on a weekly basis, many for the first time, are hardly outside agitators, which, incidentally, was the kind of language used by Southern governors to defend segregation during the 1950s and ’60s. Of the 338 people arrested so far, only eight are not from North Carolina.
The Forward Together coalition is holding a “Witness Wednesday” event today to honor the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Medgar Evers and to launch a new statewide voter registration campaign. Says Barber, “2014 is a major time and our rights are under attack.” The 1960s civil rights movement began with a sit-in at a Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, and the “Moral Monday” movement shows how the fight for equal rights and justice continues in the state today.
Read Ari Berman’s article on John Lewis and his fight to save the Voting Rights Act.

And, yeah, we're now giving more armaments to the Syrian rebels (no, not really), but no one wants to talk about why.

Yeah. Democracy and freedom flows! Over all the unfortunates.

But it's worth it.

No matter how many babies have to die.

Bill Clinton Claims Obama Will Look Like a Lame Fool and a Wuss if He Doesn’t Bomb Syria – Appears to Threaten Him

Posted on by willyloman 

by Scott Creighton

“The event was closed to the press” and you will soon see why.

Standing next to Warmonger John McCain, Warmonger Bill Clinton let the doublespeak fly. Slick Willie was letting his hair down, being himself. His insults to the seated president and his abject disdain for the will of the people could hardly be contained. At one point he seems to even issue a sort of backhanded threat to the president, suggesting if he doesn’t go ahead and drop bombs on Syria like his wife Hillary did on the people of Libya, he would come to regret it. In that he is probably correct. The rest of his crap is the same old “left cover liberal warmongering of days gone by.

“But the Obama administration must do more to make sure that people in countries going through the tumult of the Arab Spring are giving “the strongest incentives possible” to steer their countries toward democratic principles and systems governed by majority rule and minority rights.
“That could all be thrown away if this thing in Syria goes wrong. So my view is that we shouldn’t over-learn the lessons of the past. I don’t think Syria is necessarily Iraq or Afghanistan. No one has asked us to send any soldiers in there,” he said.” Daily Beast
The Syrian people have held a referendum and even an election in the two years Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have been trying to destabilize their country. Every time, the legitimate government of Syria has been upheld by popular opinion. Democracy, if you like.
But every time, we ignore that, because to these globalist neoliberals, the will of the people is a detriment to what they are doing, what they want. But the sycophants and the identity politics junkies continue to ignore the obvious: that these people, standing arm in arm with neocons from the right, are anything but concerned about majority rule and minority rights. Just take a close look at what Clinton did in Haiti with the billions of dollars donated after the earthquake, and that will tell you everything you need to know.
The only people to “ask” us to send troops and bombs into Syria, are a few Syrian oligarchs living in exile in London and Miami and the mercenary terrorists we shipped in from Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Libya. I don’t really think they qualify.
The former fake liberal president went on to compare the Syrian situation to Afghanistan back in the days of the Reagan days.
This is actually a good comparison, if you know history. Afghanistan, formerly under British control, had struck a deal with the Soviets which we really didn’t like. So we hired Osama bin Laden and his list of mercenaries to go destabilize the country. They killed Soviets and Afghanis alike, anyone that stood in our way. Same thing in Syria.
Of course Clinton pretends Afghanistan was a “humanitarian intervention” like his exploits breaking up Yugoslavia, which he also brought up.

“You just think how lame you’d be … suppose I had let a million people, two million people be refugees out of Kosovo, a couple hundred thousand people die, and they say, ‘You could have stopped this by dropping a few bombs. Why didn’t you do it?’ And I say, ‘because the House of Representatives voted 75 percent against it?’” Clinton said. “You look like a total wuss, and you would be.”
Responding to a question from McCain about how he views Obama’s Syria policy, Clinton said that any president who avoids a military intervention in order to satisfy short-term political objectives would come to regret it in the end.
“If you refuse to act and you cause a calamity, the one thing you cannot say when all the eggs have been broken is, ‘Oh my god, two years ago there was a poll that said 80 percent of you were against it.’ You look like a total fool,” Clinton said. Daily Beast
You would look like a total fool because the people that run this country don’t give a shit what 80 percent of the American people want. They hire you because you aren’t supposed to care either. That is why you would look like a fool.
What is really sickening about all of this is the fact that while he says it, while he says “what if I let a million people become refugees” before doing something about Kosovo (what he did was break up Yugoslavia, a country that had turned too far socialist for the bankers to ignore anymore, and create a country, Kosovo, in which he installed a gangland drug dealing thug as the president.

It is perhaps one of the most God-forsaken hell holes on the planet, much like the country George “W” Bush created in South Sudan)… while he is saying that, I am hearing his Secretary of State Madeline Albright on 60 Minutes telling the world they thought it was “worth it” to let half a million Iraqi children die of starvation and other curable ailments as a direct result of the sanctions imposed by Bill Clinton.
Half a million kids died a horrible death and countless parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters watched helplessly as it happened…
… and that motherfucker stood back later patting himself on the back thinking it was “worth it”
During his little talk with Bomb Bomb Bomb McCain, Clinton went on to say that when the American public doesn’t want you to bomb more innocent people after NATO just killed 50,000 in Libya, what they actually mean is they want you to go kill more people. So much for democracy and majority rules, huh?

Overall, Obama can’t govern by opinion polls and in fact must set them aside and take a longer view when it comes to deciding what to do in Syria, said Clinton.
“What the American people are saying when they tell you not to do these things, they’re not really telling you not to do these things. They’re saying, ‘You know, we’ve had a lot of bad experiences with improper involvements. We’re skeptical of this. We’re not sure it’s our fight. We don’t have all the money in the world. For God’s sakes, be careful. That’s really what they’re telling you,’” he said. “They hire you to win. The president and the Congress are hired to win for America and for our values and our interests, to look around the corner and see down the road.”
“When people are telling you ‘no’ in these situations, very often what they are doing is flashing a giant yellow light and saying, ‘For god’s sakes be careful, tell us what you are doing, think thinks through … But they still hire the president to look around the corner and down the street,” he said. “In the end, trust the American people, tell them what you’re doing, hope to god you can sell it, and hope you turn out to be all right.”  Daily Beast
Though it might sound to some less jaded critics that Mr. Clinton came across as some kind of humanitarian policy wonk, what he was actually saying was quite enlightening.
My translation -
The elites will think you are a pussy and a fool, President Obama,  if you don’t continue the destabilization and regime change program already well underway. If you attempt to avoid the full on military intervention that is going to be required at this point (thanks to Iran, China and Russia), our terrorists will continue to kill and more people will die and you legacy will always be marred by that fact. You should also keep in mind that if you choose to put your political legacy ahead of our neoliberal interests in Syria, you will come to regret it in the end.
Remember Kennedy?
President Obama, the will of the people is a sales gimmick.
Democracy is a logo. Demand governments respect the will of the people abroad and then you must completely ignore them here at home and abroad as well for that matter. The people are cattle. Who cares what they think. They constantly vote the wrong way anyway. That’s what Diebold is for, or did you forget already?
Take the longer view. The longer view meaning the view of the world as our masters of the universe see it. The longer view that says kill as many as it takes, Shock and Awe them to death, destroy their culture and their heritage till they beg for food on the street and call you daddy. They will learn to love their servitude as you will learn to love your privilege.
You can either be a wussified fool getting yourself nothing, like Jimmy Carter got, or you can have some balls like Bill and Hillary and get your own Obama Globalist Initiative in the end.
Lite ‘em up, bombs away, do your best to SELL war to the American people on whatever bullshit grounds you can think of (Sarin gas maybe?), send the bombs anyway and hope for the best. Just don’t kill any Ruskies with those cruise missiles… you didn’t do so good in Yemen back in Dec. 2009 killing all those kids. Maybe something a little more accurate this time. The Russians have more firepower than poor people in Yemen do.
And let’s go get those markets baby!
Rough translation…. but close.

Country goes to hell. But not fast enough for the Koched-up neolibs.

Happy Bloomsday!


TONY said...

Happy Bloomsday, Suzan. Dublin in the rare ould times. :)

Suzan said...

Thank you, my friend.

And some Finnegans Wake to you~

“A way a lone a last a loved a long the riverrun, past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.”

“i know by heart the places he likes to saale, delvan first and duvlin after, by dredgerous lands and devious delts”

“Thus the unfacts, did we possess them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude...”

“. . . for she was the only girl they loved, as she is the queenly pearl you prize, because of the way the night that first we met she is bound to be, methinks, and not in vain, the darling of my heart, sleeping in her april cot, within her singachamer, with her greengageflavoured candywhistle duetted to the crazyquilt, Isobel, she is so pretty, truth to tell, wildwood's eyes and primarose hair, quietly, all the woods so wild, in mauves of moss and daphnedews, how all so still she lay, neath of the whitethorn, child of tree, like some losthappy leaf, like blowing flower stilled, as fain would she anon, for soon again 'twill be, win me, woo me, wed me, ah weary me!”


[A sound which represents the symbolic thunderclap associated with the fall of Adam and Eve.]”

“Hohohoho, Mister Finn, you're going to be Mister Finnagain! Comeday morm and, O, you're vine! Sendday's eve and, ah you're vinegar! Hahahaha, Mister Funn, you're going to be fined again!”

“They lived and laughed and loved and left.”

Love you,