…power outage…

Tis a windy mess in Upland, California.  My neighborhood has been without power all day, and there is some possibility that service won’t be restored until tomorrow morning, or so I’ve heard.  Then again, it may be back by the time I return home…

My main purpose in this post is just to explain why any e-mails or comments have gone unanswered.  I’m using the “express internet” computer at a public library, and  have only a few minutes on it left – so that’ll be all for now.

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Writing since ancient times, blogging, e-commercing, and site installing-designing-maintaining since 2001; WordPress theme and plugin configuring and developing since 2004 or so; a lifelong freelancer, not associated nor to be associated with any company, publication, party, university, church, or other institution. 

4 comments on “…power outage…

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  1. wow, there are public libraries in California.
    I woulda thought from reading JED that they were all sold off to pay for the free drugs and liquor entitlement for the illegal immigrant welfare-queen girlfriends and children of Central American gang members.

  2. @ CK MacLeod:
    In the days of radio, I always loved the Jack Benny program. Whenever a railroad station was part of the plot, one always heard the announcement, “Train leaving on Track 5 for Anaheim, Azusa, and Cucamonga.” I hadn’t realized that was the part of California you lived in until you mentioned Upland.

  3. @ George Jochnowitz:
    My Dad is also fond of that announcement. I’m within throwing distance of the border between Rancho Cucamonga – one calls it “Rancho” down ’round here – and Upland. I don’t know the whole story, whether Benny helped develop the area, but there’s a Jack Benny Way and a Rochester Avenue in Rancho, and a statue of Benny outside the Rancho sports stadium (“The Epicenter,” home of “The Quakes”!).

  4. Them railroads in California were just the beginning of the destruction of the place and the internal combustling just hastened the wastage.
    Back when mule teams were running things and offering employment opportunities and sage coaching to a youngish Ronald Reagan (PBUH), things were good and no Okies were locomoting into the Sunshine State and illegally trying to live and work and eat all over the place.

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TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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[E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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