Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sunday Funnies and Arts

As always, click to enlarge...














I left this comment on Time Goes By, Ronni Bennett's excellent elder blog. It's in response to a look back at the 1934 midterm elections:

One major difference between now and 1934 is that New Deal programs were for the most part segregated or designed only for white Americans. African-Americans were second class citizens in the north and virtually slaves in the south. There was no significant Hispanic population, and the country was a third the size of today.

The teabaggers perceive the stimulus and HCR as a transfer of white tax dollars to minorities. (Never mind that whites will benefit from the stimulus and HCR and that minorities pay taxes.) Glen Beck even called HCR the first step to reparations.

Moreover, Roosevelt was helped immeasurably by an organized and active independent left in the form of the labor movement. Today's left is a hodgepodge of policy papers and snarky commentaries that has little positive influence outside of its own circle. ("Mostly morons," a Trotskyite friend tells me.)

Overall, Obama is faced with a much more complex society than FDR, one that has many more entrenched special interests. For example, at the time of the Depression, there was not an insurance industry, no Big Pharma, or anything resembling the scope and complexity of the modern financial sector. [Nor was there a military-industrial complex.] And few if any of the industries that existed were globalized.

Although times were worse, it's arguable that Roosevelt had an easier job in front him than Barack Obama. Even though he hasn't been perfect -- mistakes are inevitable anyway -- I admire the president's persistence...


Nevada teabagger and Republican senate candidate Sharon Angle now says that she opposes privatizing the Veteran's Administration. It seems to me, though, that there's no middle ground on privatization of health care. If you believe that the free market will provide better health care than the government, then you want to privatize the VA, as that will provide veterans with the best health care. So, if you don't want to privatize the VA, it follows that you must believe that the government can do a better job than the free market. If that's true for veterans, why isn't it true for the rest of us? And if the government can provide better care for the rest of us, why would anyone -- regardless of their politics -- support free market-based health care?

Virtually every country in the developed world (save one; guess which) has followed this chain of logic and concluded that an unregulated market cannot supply adequate health care for its populace. Virtually every country in the developed world (save one; guess which) has developed a health care system that maximizes access, obtains impressive outcomes, and controls costs...

Dino Rossi, Patty Murray's Republican opponent in the Washington state senate campaign, grew up in public housing and was raised by a public school teacher. In other words, he can thank the public sector for giving him a life. But, like all Republicans theses days, he would turn on those who come after him, once even proposing spending cuts for nursing homes and programs to aid the developmentally disabled. (Incidentally, programs like the ones for the developmentally disabled are typically high value because they require little in the way of buildings, expensive medical expertise, or administrative costs.)...

GOD/ALLAH/BUDDHA/HIGHER POWER OF YOUR CHOICE HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES DEPT.: If your travels take you to Ireland, consider a stay at Holly Hill...

ART GALLERY
Art of the Poster: Allen Ginsburg...



Crocodiles in paradise (Costa Rica, in this case. And talk about a metaphor for unrestricted corporate campaign spending!)...

One handsome Dutchman sets off on a new life...

UP freight cars, Lakeview, OR...



FROM THE JUKEBOX
If, like me, you've ever wondered what Bruce Springsteen could do were he freed from the anodyne, soul-sapping clutches of producer Brendan O'Brien, look no further than John Mellencamp's No Better Than This. While it would be easy to call No Better pessimistic, it's actually gives voice to the (mostly) men left behind by the false promises of the American free market. Throughout, Mellencamp casts a cold eye on the gauze of nostalgia and the false hope that springs from platitudes, nonetheless holding on to his conviction that we should all "save some time to dream" while allowing for the inevitability of sorrow and failure. A significant work from a mature, honest intelligence. And there are plenty of opportunities to sing along, too. Highly recommended...


Stupid and Contagious on John Lennon's "Watching the Wheels"...

Bayou Creole previews Lafayette's Festival Acadiens and offers another one of her great recipes...



Here, he goes "Up to the Mountain" with Patty Griffin:

And don't miss him holding on with Emmylou Harris...

10 comments:

mommapolitico said...

Thanks, K. for the linkfest and the Sunday funnies. Holly House looks amazing - makes me want to leave for Ireland on the first plane out!
Hey, you should submit your blog to P2Blogs (p2blogs.com)- you'd fit right in, friend.

K. said...

Thanks, and I followed you advice and submitted Citizen K to P2. And you definitely want to get to Ireland!

Roy said...

That Ben Sargent teacher's lounge cartoon has the potential to be oh so true! Can you imagine a push to go back to Roman numerals? Paging Christine O'Donnell! And I keep praying for Auth's vision of the divine finger-flick to actually happen.

I heard about Solomon Burke last night. There goes another voice from the soundtrack of my youth! This is getting depressing.

K. said...

Ben is in a class by himself. One of the pleasures of living in Austin was getting him 3-4 times a week.

I don't know that the average teabagger could wrap his or her little brain around the reality that the concept of zero came out of the East and that Muslims first applied it.

Renegade Eye said...

The elections in November are interesting.

It looks like the Teabaggers peaked in August. Their program will never have mass appeal. People want Social Security, Medicare, minimum wage etc.

Glen Beck said something insightful today. The Democratic base, won't stay in the fold forever, if they don't see results. It can take many forms including a labor party, cynicism, or even an anarchist mood.

I think the left will grow, if the economy improves, and people have confidence. Change isn't as some thing related to poverty and repression. If that was true India would have a revolution daily.

K. said...

Ren, my issue with the left is that it is essentially aimless. It has a raft of policy ideas that don't coalesce into a strategic vision. Which is backwards anyway, because the vision ought to come first. Moreover, from what I've seen, there's no tactical sensibility whatsoever, in that even if it had a destination, it would have no idea of how to get there.

paula said...

Thanks for the Solomon Burke videos. The music world lost a giant today, in so many ways. I put up a similar tribute on Birds on a Wire, as well.

injayneworld said...

You found some great cartoons this week. I love the one of God's hand reaching down to flick the hate-mongers using his name.

You make a very good argument about the differences in the mid-term elections. Frankly, I don't know how the president stays sane with all the crap he has to put up with.

The Cher video of her singing "If I Could Turn Back Time" would have been appropriate for this week. I've often thought that I'd like to do just that.

Great post, my friend.

TaraDharma said...

this post has got more nuggets than an ol' 49er back in the day! Love the cartoons-- so much to laugh and cry about.

I ck'd out the crocks in Costa Rica - yeah, good metaphor. I just posted about public campaign financing. It's got to be our starting point.

K. said...

Hey, thanks!

Campaign spending is a good starting point. I'm stumped as to why people don't seem to care about it. It's the same old problem of too many voters not being able to connect the dots, meaning that if you really want something done about the economy, attacking the corporate takeover of elections and government is an absolute priority.