HomeUncategorized9/28 A Vote to Save Democracy & OT
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Excellent diary Benny—basically where I’m at.



Progressive Democrats want to beat President Trump so badly that they’re tabling their apathy about Joe Biden — organizing hard to get him into office, only to fight him once elected.

“Now is not the time to be petty; now is the time to defeat Donald Trump and his dangerous agenda,” says the introduction to a popular Instagram account called Settle for Biden, a manifesto that encapsulates young progressives’ rallying cry this election.

Progressives will be pushing Biden to move in their direction on a range of issues, including Medicare for All, adding justices to the Supreme Court, abolishing the Senate filibuster, cutting defense spending, decriminalizing border crossings and reallocating federal dollars for police reform.

What they’re saying: “In 2016, everyone thought Hillary was going to win, so it was kind of a free runway,” said Jesse Lee, a senior adviser at the Center for American Progress. “That’s obviously not the case in this cycle.”

“We are all setting our disagreements aside in order to make sure that Joe Biden’s the next President of the United States,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told Axios’ Alayna Treene.

When endorsing Biden in the summer, social justice activist Angela Davis said she was doing so because he “can be most effectively pressured by” the left.

Jeff Hauser, president of the Revolving Door Project, said Biden isn‘t paying a price yet for his resistance to progressive ideas like Medicare for All because “having a full-throated argument about these topics is probably deemed secondary to actually winning the election…there are groups that are biding their time until after a Biden victory is declared.”

The bottom line: No one knows how long the truce between the progressive wing of the party will last.

What’s next: Waleed Shahid of Justice Democrats, the progressive group that recruited AOC to run, hinted about progressives’ long-game strategy during the Democratic National Convention.

Progressives were furious that AOC only had 60 seconds allotted for her remarks, and several other voices from their wing of the party were left out in place of more moderate Democrats like Rep. Conor Lamb of Pennsylvania.

“It is a sign of the fight you can anticipate happening post November if Biden wins,” Shahid said.

“The people who were not featured there are going to use their leverage in Congress to fight for a progressive agenda and make sure Joe Biden is not only compromising with people like Sen. Joe Manchin and Rep. Henry Cuellar, but forced to collaborate with Reps. Ro Khanna and Pramila Jayapal.”

Progressives hope that “The Squad” will grow in the next Congress after Democrats like Cori Bush in Missouri and Jamaal Bowman in New York won their primaries.


Where’s the mention of climate change?


we’re not being petty


Can the manipulation be any more transparent?

What a moral conundrum. There are no right answers for progressives. Ally yourself with the right at your own risk.

Don midwest
Don midwest

maybe some fun

a new Borat film

Collider has the report and we can also confirm a test screening took place last week. In a meta story, the film follows Borat as he’s now a famous figure and so to hide from the public, he pretends to be someone else. We’ve learned from sources that Trump and Epstein’s relationship, as well as the coronavirus, all figure into the main narrative with cameos from Mike Pence, Rudy Giuliani, and more best left unspoiled. We’ve also learned that one of the yet-to-be-revealed cameos could potentially derail a political career, and we imagine some backlash and lawsuits will follow.

While the test screening didn’t reveal who directed the sequel nor which studio was involved, the original was helmed by Larry Charles and went on to gross over a quarter of a billion dollars at the worldwide box office. We imagine those backing the project would want it out near the election considering the plot, so expect to hear official news very soon. In the meantime, check out some footage captured on set earlier this year below.

Sacha Baron Cohen Secretly Shot a Sequel to Borat

Don midwest
Don midwest

a revolutionary hiding in plane sight

The Eroica is arguably the most revolutionary of Beethoven’s symphonies, which may be why it remained his favorite, at least until the Ninth. John Clubbe, author of Beethoven: The Relentless Revolutionary (2019), believes the Eroica’s famous first two chords, which crash like cannon shots, represent the cannons fired by Napoleon’s armies as they marched across Europe. “The chords recall the world of the [French] Revolution: exuberant, over-the-top, colossal. They are wake-up calls to jolt [the] somnolent audiences” in Vienna and elsewhere. Beethoven loathed the complacent, apolitical, frivolous Viennese of his day, intimidated by repression and censorship into sybaritic silence. The symphony is full of his quintessential techniques of disruption, including sudden dynamic contrasts, extreme dissonance, colossal noise, massive dimensions, density of ideas, bursting of forms and conventions, and even an extra French horn to conjure the atmosphere of revolution. It all serves to communicate the abiding essence of Beethoven’s music: struggle, ending in triumph. It is not mere personal struggle, such as his struggle against deafness; it is collective, universal, timeless struggle, a war against limits, so to speak—artistic, creative, moral, political, even spatial and temporal. John Eliot Gardiner’s characterization is apt: Beethoven represents the struggle to bring the divine down to Earth. (Gardiner contrasts this with Bach and Mozart, the first representing the divine on Earth, the second giving us the music you would hear in heaven.)

“If we listen to Beethoven and do not hear anything of the revolutionary bourgeoisie—not the echo of its slogans, the need to realize them, the cry for that totality in which reason and freedom are to have their warrant—we understand Beethoven no better than does one who cannot follow the purely musical content of his pieces,” wrote Theodor Adorno. Beethoven was so political that, by the end of his life, some of his friends refused to dine with him: either they were bored of his constant politicizing or they feared police spies would overhear him. “You are a revolutionary, a Carbonaro,” a friend of his wrote in his conversation book in 1823, referring to an Italian secret society that had played a role in various national uprisings. Well past the point that it had become (to his contemporaries) anachronistic, Beethoven kept the Enlightenment faith.

The Revolutionary Beethoven
In the year of the great composer’s 250th birthday, we can retune our ears to pick up the subversive and passionately democratic nature of his music.


The Sixth and Ninth Symphonies are not just brilliant, iconic pieces. Beethoven’s passion comes through both like a shining bell. His name is living forevermore.✊🎼☮️


Let me add the Seventh Symphony. The triumphal notes that closed the movie “The King’s Speech.”


ty don!


T and R, Ms. Benny!! 😊☮️👍 Excellent read. 👌I will use my POTUS NOTA as a protest vote. Hubster and krewe down here think I’m voting for ByeDone. If I had kids, several clothespins would be on my nose, and I would vote for semi-Braindead. I don’t. This really is a horrendous choice. 🤬🤮


I will be writing-in Hawkins on my ballot since Greens are not on it but he is qualified as a write-in. I am not in a swing state so am not subject to pressure to do a strategic vote at all.

BTW, for anyone wondering if a given write-in candidate is eligible in their state, here is a resource showing if any third-party candidate is on the ballot or eligible for write-in:


I’ll probably vote Carroll that way my down ballot will count for sure.



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In short, Trump held it up as a selling point that he enriched himself off a system rigged to enable such elite gaming. He insisted this showed that “I’m the one that knows how to change it,” as he put it at one debate.

The beneficiaries would be the American people, or perhaps just his people, his supporters, who were implicitly offered a cut of the spoils as part of the bargain in backing him.

But this mystique relied both on fictions about his business acumen, and on keeping the operational details of all this elite gaming hidden. Note that Trump boasted about not paying taxes while also refusing to release his tax returns to keep voters in the dark about how he did this.
What makes the Times exposé so powerful is that it reveals the truly sordid nature of all this self-dealing and grift, as well as the fact that he relied on it to compensate for truly epic levels of incompetence and failure.

And meanwhile, what did those smarts get for the country? The massive corporate tax giveaway, his biggest “accomplishment,” only facilitated the very sort of elite rigging and self-enrichment Trump vowed to undo, without even spurring promised job-creating investment.

All that acumen produced perhaps the greatest elite managerial policy fiasco in modern times, helping lead to over 200,000 Americans dead and a tanked economy. That, plus the carnage from his trade wars, has left Trump reduced to literally inventing numerous auto factory openings that never happened.

Perhaps many Trump voters will see these revelations as more evidence of his wizardry. But wavering voters are likely to see them in the context of all his other failures. Taken together, they constitute another multifaceted proof point in what a dreadful miscalculation it was to take a flyer on the Trumpist experiment.


Anyone outraged by this but not protesting the legal loopholes making it possible is driven more by TDS (“Trump Derangement Syndrome”) than by economic inequality.

Don midwest
Don midwest

ethnomethodology and the body politic

this comment is a reading

in the last year or so I have seen more connections to biology and ecosystems

this is from an article in a book which is an event set up by Bruno Latour and the event happened in 2017. The entire book is on line, over 300 pages with articles and the dialogue that followed. The particular selection concerns cells which have become important actors with Covid

appologize for strange line feeds since this is copied from a pdf. From the text page 89-90

Sem(b)iosis and the Political Economy of
Mike Lynch

On my flight over from the United States a few days ago, in order to get
some relief from thinking about this session, this talk and this Dialoghi, I relaxed
and read the latest issue of The New Yorker Magazine and, lo and behold, there
was an article by Siddhartha Mukherjee (8), on cancer, and it is related, I think—
somewhat different, but related—to what Scott has just told us about. The article is
called The Invasion equation. Mukherjee is a doctor, an oncologist, who deals with
cancer patients and he’s talking about a woman who is diagnosed with a tumor in
her breast. He says:

“… we have no clue how these tumors, the ones found incidentally, behave in
real life. Would the alliances formed between the woman’s tumor cells and her tis-
sue cells enable widespread metastatic dissemination? Or would these encounters
naturally dampen the growth of the tumor and prevent its spread? Nobody could
say. … It was a classic denominator problem but my response seemed supremely

The “denominator problem” is that he is faced with the patient, the woman who
has a positive diagnosis for this tumor, but he doesn’t know how many others who
were not in his presence, not having been diagnosed, would have very similar cells
in their bodies. He quotes a specialist on cancer research Rusian Medzhitov, who
wrote of the “new rules of tissue engagement.” Mukherjee says:

“Medzhitov believes that all our tissues have ‘established rules by which cells
form engagements and alliances with other cells.’ Physiology is the product of these
relationships. … Medzhitov’s point is that cancer cells produce cancer—they get established and grow—only when they manage to form alliances with normal cells.
And there are two sides (at least) to any such relationship.”

Mukherjee uses two common analogies to open up this question about the en-
vironment in which cancer cells, which are found ubiquitously in bodies and in the
blood, grow. One analogy is with seed and soil, and he is concretely looking into
soil. The other is with invasive organisms and he speaks about something that is
very familiar to those of us who live in upstate New york: zebra mussels (Dreisse-
na polymorpha), a species native to the Caspian and Black Seas that colonized the
Great Lakes and also the Finger Lakes near where I live, with thousands of them in
a square meter. And, again, the issue is why is it that these creatures, with predators
in their own habitats, are in some sort of balance and are not considered a hor-
rendous pest, but when they move to a new environment they just proliferate and
become, sometimes for quite a long time, predominant. So, what I find interesting
about this article, which I just happened to come across, is it alludes to just the
kinds of things that Scott has shown to us with his very wonderful slides. you start
seeing this everywhere, and I don’t think there’s any need to search for the politics
of science, particularly of genetic science and biology; the politics is in the language
used to describe them, incidentally: the cancer cells disseminate and encounter
normal cells, they engage with the tissues and form alliances. It is as if Mukherjee
and Medzhitov had been students of Latour (and maybe they were). Politics, in
this case, is not an addition to cellular physiology and pathology from some other
domain that affects or somehow changes the science; it’s part of it, it’s part of its
language, it’s intrinsic. Though in this case the politics is part of the way pathology
is described, we saw many cases from Scott’s talk in which it is not a pathological
way of informing and elaborating biology. Scott has treated us to a holobiontic
political economy of nature, and I suggest that it’s also ‘sembiontic’ in the sense of
being a kind of portmanteau between symbiosis and semiotics where we can pay
attention to the language in which biology is expressed, not just as incidental lan-
guage, but as the very opening up of discovered domains for further research and
clinical practice.



interesting. hope my cells are ushering the other ones right on by. i had no idea they were ubiquitous. 🌸


TY, Benny🌺

Don midwest
Don midwest