Buy this TV now, or some books – thanks!

Amazing TV. I only give it 4 stars because they didn’t mention the importance of securing it to the wall. My dog was running through the house and bumped the stand causing the device to fall over. Luckily the dog was there to cushion the fall. Not a scratch to the TV so it worked perfect to play our home videos of our dog Sparky at his funeral services. He looks so life like on the tv I hardly notice he’s gone.

–Nick James

(BTW another way to support this blog, if you’re of a mind to do so, and, if you’re not, what a waste not to have a mind, is to buy stuff on Amazon after clicking on any link to a book – for instance down there in the right-hand corner on the home page, or just about anytime you see a book-link either in a post or maybe on a future “Bibliography” Page. Wait, maybe this isn’t a pitch for support, maybe it’s a dutiful notification about the scam I’m running. Hmm. Anyway, I signed up as an Amazon affiliate years ago, and I receive a variable but always small percentage of whatever you spend in the ensuing Amazon “session” – not just on the particular item linked, but on most Amazon items you proceed to purchase more or less immediately. So, if you’re thinking about buying a 105″ 4k curved TV… or even a piddly 90″ or so model, or a copy of Elements of the Philosophy of Right, or all the books you need for your upcoming class in web design or stock-picking, click here first. If you don’t want to contribute to my corruption by affiliation, then don’t. Just thought you should know. TIA!)

(As for the TV specifically, I’d certainly understand if you want to check out some of the other customer reviews first – seems reasonable.)

(…and thanks-apologies to the tweep who shared this one the other night, but whose handle I failed to note.)


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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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