Re: Reds Under The Bed

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New York Times' anti-lefty hit piece makes lefty look better, says Salon.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 5:04 AM
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Well, right, exactly. The only thing that makes me think it's an attack is the tone -- all the content makes me like DiBlasio better. The interesting question is whether the NYC voters are me, or are who the Times thinks they are.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 5:17 AM
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There is for some (I think Quiggin?) a pretty big difference between social democracy and democratic socialism, although the article uses them interchangeably.

In SD, you try to remove legal impediments to the people voting to distribute resources. In DS, you distribute and nationalize first, but short of full socialism, in order to remove social impediments to democratic decision processes.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 5:19 AM
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There you are bob. I was just talking about you yesterday. I like you because you act about as freaked out by politics as I feel.


Posted by: Roger the Cabin Boy | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 5:24 AM
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It's classic NYTimes, doing some actual interesting reporting but presenting it in a vaguely shocked center-right framework*--went to Nicaragua to help distribute food and medicine in the middle of a war between left and right. But he returned with something else entirely: a vision of the possibilities of an unfettered leftist government. "Unfettered" by sober, responsible institutions like the Times one presumes.

Bloomberg really was the perfect NYT mayor, wasn't he?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:03 AM
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It's hilarious how having been on the other side of those issues - particularly Apartheid, Pinochet - is no black mark whatsoever on your career. What's even worse is the defensive crouch Democrats adopt when these kind of things are on the table.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:14 AM
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He has campaigned for mayor as a liberal firebrand ...

In addition to "shaking up the race," also an initial shot across the bow in what will surely be a very stormy ongoing DiBlasio/Times relationship after DiBlasio (in all likelihood) gets elected.

"If you fuck with the Real Estate Pron side of things, we will cut you. Don't be bringing no parade puppet to the global neo-liberalism capital of the world."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:19 AM
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It was pretty ballsy to be supportive of the Sandanistas, back in the Reagan/Bush I era. I think that speaks pretty well of the guy.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:21 AM
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6: One presumes at least that Elliot Abrams could not get elected in a non-goober place, but I'm still bemused that he is given a voice on the national stage. (For instance Politico* ran an op-ed from him on Syria not too long ago.)

*No link for you**, Politico, you bottom-feeding death-mongering political process ghouls, festering chancre on the ass of America.

**But by just mentioning them I lose.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:26 AM
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Although I think there's been some rewriting of history in terms of how unified the country was behind Reagan's jihad. Remember he had to steal the funds to support the Contras with -- he couldn't get the country behind it through any democratic process.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:27 AM
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THAT'S SAINT REAGAN TO YOU!


Posted by: OPINIATED REPUBLICAN PARTY | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:30 AM
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10: Correct. Right in line with the whole happy "morning in America" line of bullshit. At the height of the Iran-Contra scandal, nearly one-third of Americans wanted him to resign.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:34 AM
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10: There was hardly a liberal in the country that didn't support the Sandinistas.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:34 AM
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Despite the characteristic typo in the name field, I'd like to state for the record that 11 was not me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:35 AM
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One would think it odd for Generation X to find their parents' Reagan-era hippie accessories (pronouncing words like "Sandinista" and "Nicaragua" with a very aggressive accent, the Boland Amendment, crappy Calvin Trillin poems, A Prairie Home Companion, The Silver Palate Cookbook) particularly threatening, but I suppose older people might have more specific associations to be manipulated and younger people won't vote anyway.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:35 AM
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Around the time that DiBlasio was calling himself a Democratic Socialist, my sister was one of the national officers in DSA (and I think several commenters here were members in good standing of the organization). I still have a bunch of t-shirts with black roses on them, I'm pretty sure.

All of which is to say, I'm pretty sure, based on the trajectory of my political despair, that DiBlasio will be elected mayor of NYC, that this will freak the owners and editors of NYT right the fuck out, and that, most important, all of the people suggesting that this portends the coming of the revolution (or even a meaningful shift left in American politics) are almost certainly wrong. But at least I've got the t-shirt.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:35 AM
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I'm pretty sure, is what I'm saying. Or maybe I'm just pretty, full stop.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:37 AM
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The word "Sandinista" means as much to people my age as the words "Jean Kirkpatrick" or "Al Haig". Which is to say, nothing, unless we spent our childhoods reading a lot of "Bloom County" and "Doonesbury" like I did.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:37 AM
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There was hardly a liberal in the country that didn't support the Sandinistas.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:38 AM
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And I pity, any girl, who isn't you, tonight.

Maybe not a harbinger of the revolution, but maybe a signal of a little less cringing going forward?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:38 AM
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The word "Sandinista" means as much to people my age

You whippersnappers should at least nod your heads and say, "Yeah, but London Calling was better."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:41 AM
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10: There was hardly a liberal in the country that didn't support the Sandinistas.

I don't remember so well what liberals in general felt at the time, I was in grade school during the 80s. I do know it wouldn't have gone over well with my fourth grade class (YAY AMERICA! BOO RUSSIANS!).

But then again, I was about the only kid in school who voted for Mondale in our fake election.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:42 AM
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I read a shitload of Bloom County in my childhood.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:42 AM
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You're right, it is a good album title.

Di Blasio's covert funding of the Excitable Boy is also a cause of concern.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:43 AM
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I'm half convinced I got kicked out of gifted and talented class for making fun of Reagan.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:43 AM
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18: Aren't there any fans of the Clash in your generation?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:44 AM
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And, to be honest, I'll never forgive Global Communism for what Dolph Lundgren did to Apollo Creed.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:45 AM
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6: What's even worse is the defensive crouch Democrats adopt when these kind of things are on the table.

I'm sure I'd say something similar to this in his position--[t]oday, Mr. de Blasio is critical of the Sandinistas' crackdown on dissenters, ...--but I'd love to see our fucking "dissent" policies if we were alternately being actively and passively threatened by a vastly more powerful hemispheric neighbor. We're still losing our shit over marginalized extra-national gangs. (About which, I recommend this recent thoughtful Timothy Burke blog post prompted by the events in Kenya.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:47 AM
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He spoke of a need to understand and build alliances with Islam, predicting it would soon be a dominant force in politics.

Presumably, the Islam factor would be more relevant/damaging in the hands of the GOP.


Posted by: Klug | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 6:57 AM
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Peter King's (R-NY) response to the suggestion that some of the guys shooting kids in a mall in Kenya were American: "The concern would be if any of them have come back to the United States and would use those abilities here in the United States."

My concern is that America is exporting problems to other countries, which then disposes reasonable people in those countries against the US. We export guns to Mexico, tough gangsters to El Salvador and Honduras (but not socialist Nicaragua), and apparently armed nuts to Somalia. But what's important for any public discussion is not how the US affects other places, even when this is in the headlines, but how other places affect the US. Dilma Rousseff won't visit the white house, page seven.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 7:09 AM
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It was pretty ballsy to be supportive of the Sandanistas, back in the Reagan/Bush I era. I think that speaks pretty well of the guy.

10: There was hardly a liberal in the country that didn't support the Sandinistas.

I don't remember so well what liberals in general felt at the time, I was in grade school during the 80s. I do know it wouldn't have gone over well with my fourth grade class (YAY AMERICA! BOO RUSSIANS!).

Wow. Growing up around aging hippies, Marxists, and Europeans (not all mutually exclusive categories) means my American upbringing really doesn't resemble that of most other Americans. We learned about the Sandinistas and also the Guatemalan Civil war in grade school, as part of our "genocides being committed by white people" curriculum. We then extensively revisited the topic in both middle and high school, under the general theme of "how American imperialism in Latin America fucked everything up down there."

I also was a founding member of the local chapter of the Young Socialist League, but eventually defected to the Young Democratic Socialists when I figured they were marginally more interested in leftist coalition politics instead of calling people Stalinists. Not that it wasn't still just 5 people in a room, but at least we didn't have to adhere to Robert's Rules of Order.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 7:25 AM
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Aaand, the paragraph after the italicized part is also supposed to be italicized.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 7:26 AM
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31.last is excellent.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 7:29 AM
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"The concern would be if any of them have come back to the United States and would use those abilities here in the United States."

I'm pretty sure we already have a mass-shooting problem in the United States, and Peter King's preferred solution is to do nothing about it.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 7:33 AM
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18 is so, so right.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 7:46 AM
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31: Boy, I wish I'd gone to your school, instead of the Young Americans for Replicating The Racist/Classicist Order I got stuck in. (Phoebe Hearst Elementary, I kid you not.)


Posted by: delagar | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 7:52 AM
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15: It really is hard to say which was worse about that era, the looming threat of nuclear annihilation or The Silver Palate Cookbook. Bleah.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:03 AM
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15: The Silver Palate Cookbook wasn't a hippie thing! It was sophisticated! And worldly! (and mumblemaybeIstillmaketheirwildriceandprosciuttostuffingmostChristmasesmumble).

The Moosewood Cookbook was hippie. Laurel's Kitchen was hippie. The Silver Palate Cookbook was hardcore 80's showoff yuppie.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:04 AM
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I cringe with pwnage and revealed poor taste. That wild rice stuffing really is pretty good, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:04 AM
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38 is correct.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:08 AM
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No, 38 is still correct. The Silver Palate Cookbook was total yuppie/aspirational. Moosewood/Crank's whatever was hippie!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:09 AM
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No, 38 really is correct.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:12 AM
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Wait, I use the moosewood cookbook. Recipes run bland and the index is maddening, but it's a pretty good cookbook.

Sandinista is a pretty good album. Also, Joni Mitchell has a nice voice.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:12 AM
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||
Speaking of elections (so vaguely on-topic), there are a number of stories out on some research that shows that a single trader was responsible for significant portion of Romney bets on Intrade (Trader A, as the research paper dubs the trader, was responsible for about one-third of the money bet on Romney over the last two weeks -- and about one-quarter over the entire cycle on Intrade.) losing between $4M and $7M dollars. I recall speculation about this at the time when it looked like the Romney position was unrealistically high.

In particular, [o]n election night alone, the trader put down $375,000 on Romney shares between 7:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. is somewhat consistent with what I observed: (All betting sites that I see except Intrade are up around 90. at 9:19) But if the timestamps were 3 hours off EST at that time, I saw the fall off occur at ~10:15 PM (Silver was talking about the Intrade gap tonight. It still held at 70% (others were 85%+) up until about 45 minutes ago and now is at 94%, I suspect whoever was depressing it with buys finally gave it up.) Details of timing aside, I wonder what the ploy was on election night--the prior two weeks I could see it as an investment in keeping the buzz going.)
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:14 AM
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43: It's not bad, just hippie. Jesus is pretty much right that Silver Palate is mostly a waste of space; I've had a copy (actually, I don't have the original Silver Palate -- I can't remember the title of mine, but it's a 'best of' their first couple of cookbooks) since college, and I don't make anything out of it except that stuffing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:15 AM
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The Silver Palate Cookbook wasn't hippie, but it was still a horror. Moosewood was just terrible virtue food.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:16 AM
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The Moosewood Cookbook was hippie. Laurel's Kitchen was hippie. The Silver Palate Cookbook was hardcore 80's showoff yuppie.

Don't forget "Diet for a Small Planet." Also, possibly one of the worst things I've ever made was a tofu cheesecake from "Laurel's Kitchen."


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:26 AM
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Huh, that was a pretty good threadjack. Anyway, I don't recall Sandinista support being universal among liberals. The Republicans used "Ortega=Stalin" to browbeat Dems with some effect.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:26 AM
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I've come to understand that more things are hippie when viewed from the magisterial heights of Flipworld than are dreamt of in our quotidian philosophies.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:27 AM
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The Moosewood Cookbook is horrid even given the horrible, weakness-inducing general constraint it puts on its recipes. The restaurant is even worse. My Mom still uses the Silver Palate book as her go-to cookbook (Moosewood is still in the collection but of course never used when I'm around). SP has a nice comforting feel for a child of 80s LA yuppies.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:30 AM
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No, come on. Moosewood had all sorts of perfectly decent vaguely 'ethnic' food. And it wasn't all that virtuous; most of the recipes were blanketed in cheese.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:30 AM
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I have fond memories of making the spicy cheese sauce after school (and consuming it while hella high). And yes, the vaguely ethnic food was yummy at the time -- weird cauliflower curry made with concentrated orange juice!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:32 AM
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Details of timing aside, I wonder what the ploy was on election night--the prior two weeks I could see it as an investment in keeping the buzz going.)

Maybe it was one of the scary number of Republicans actually believed Romney was going to win once Ohio turned everything around.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:32 AM
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53: Yeah, I was wondering if it might have been some really rich guy who thought the fix was in.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:36 AM
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If I were a paranoid conspiracy theorist (oh look, I am) I'd say that was a cheap way to have some evidence that a Romney victory had looked plausible right up until the election in case anyone successfully pulled some kind of skulduggery (or something bizarrely fluky happened) that threw the election to him. Something to lend verisimilitude to an otherwise totally unconvincing surprise victory in a number of swing states or something.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:38 AM
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Do people still use cookbooks? I usually google a few ingredients. A very few okra plants produced a lot this year, I've been trying to blend my own curry spices rather than just reaching for pre-done, but I'm looking at webpages on my phone. Maybe subscribing to Cooks would be worth it, they seem carefuyl.

I'm listening to Washington Bullets right now. French hip-hop is perennially angry at les flics, and I guess a bunch of the post-revolution Arabic rap I've been listening to is political, but I don't speak the language. But has US music really just lost any social edge? did the occupy folks have anything contemporary that resonated? Is Drake's whiny ass really worth listening to?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:42 AM
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Something something something. Obviously, nothing of the sort happened; I'm just thinking that Trader A wanted to be prepared to be helpful if it had.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:42 AM
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I have a fondness for a potato fennel soup recipe from one of the Moosewood cookbooks (although it tastes better if you let it sit in the refrigerator overnight).

You know what completely ruined the late 70s/early 80s health food movement for me? Alfalfa sprouts. They're disgusting and there seemed to be some sort of iron clad law stating that absolutely everything must contain alfalfa sprouts. Why? Why?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:46 AM
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re: 56

Sure. I have quite a few and still occasionally buy some. I do google stuff, and use some websites that I find reliable.

Of course with okra, what I recommend you do is dig a hole somewhere, throw the lot in, and bury it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:47 AM
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50. Throw down, slick


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:47 AM
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But has US music really just lost any social edge?

The music on Top 40 is 100% dance-pop, so I wouldn't expect much.

did the occupy folks have anything contemporary that resonated?

Music? No.

Is Drake's whiny ass really worth listening to?

Of course not.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:52 AM
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56: I used to work from recipe cards 90% of the time, but have become fond of How to Cook Everything and Ratio.

Some of my favorite recipes came in the CSA veggie box--what's this strange vegetable? Well, at least I have a recipe... let's try it. I fell in love with Parsnips, Kale, and Rutabaga that way.


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 8:53 AM
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No, DeBlasio's support of the Sandinistas does not reflect well on him. This was not support in the form that most liberals will give Blue Dog dems - not as bad as the alternative - but rather enthusiastic positive support for them as a wonderful movement offering a model for the future. Better than Somoza or our friends, the champions of Freedom (tm) in El Salvador, is a very low bar. I'm dubious about the claim that most liberals of the eighties shared that enthusiasm, as opposed to the circles where people like Ted Kennedy or Walter Mondale were seen as way too far to the right, but voting for them is probably a good thing. The present day equivalent would be those who go all starry eyed over Venezuela, though there both sides are not as bad as their eighties Nicaraguan equivalents.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:04 AM
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Pretending to have insulted someone in order to insult him seems to have run its course. I'm guessing DiBlasio will win his election. But I have been known to be wildly and irresponsibly optimistic.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:08 AM
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Do people still use cookbooks?

If they don't, they should. A good cookbook is a great source of ideas and techniques and makes it far more likely that when trying a new dish things will work. I never would have learned how to cook without them, and using the internets would have meant a far slower and more frustrating learning curve. Imagine two people trying to learn how to cook Italian food, one relying on Marcella Hazan, the other on google.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:10 AM
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And more specifically, DeBlasio won his primary as a leftist. So I don't think the fact that, in his youth, he was even more enthusiastically leftist is going to surprise anyone. The best Republicans can hope for is to pretend to be surprising people enough to depress DeBlasio's base. And I don't see that working anymore.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:11 AM
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65: Just so long as your cookbooks aren't anything similar to those ridiculous "save the cat" books, I suppose they're ok.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:13 AM
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I don't remember people outside of the CISPES-sphere being super-supportive of the Sandinistas. Just hated the Contras, that was all. A friend who is both Chicano and Native was pointing out to me a few months ago that a lot of the AIM side of Native activists were opposed to the Sandinistas and pro-Contra because of the Sandinista's anti-indigenous activities.

It was kind of a strange time to be an elementary school news junkie, that's for sure. I watched a chunk of the Iran-Contra hearings, even though everyone new it was just a shuck, and nothing significant would change.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:17 AM
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61 I dunno how much they resonated but I liked

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3lGhvaqe6YQ&feature=player_embedded

(get away with it_

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yge311sFhC8

(jump you fuckers)

a lot


Posted by: Roger the Cabin Boy | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:20 AM
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68: If history has taught us anything, it's that political opinions don't change.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:23 AM
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And if they could, it would never surprise anyone of course.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:25 AM
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Twenty comments ago, I was hesitant to bring up something else off-topic (and which I was theoretically going to send to h-g for a Guest Post), but since the food portion is gaining steam, here's a link to Atlantic out-slatepitching Slate with "How Junk Food Can End Obesity." It's a fairly long read, but I found it thought-provoking, and it got at some of what irks me about Pollan et al. (And also resonates somewhat with the locivore discussion we had here recently.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:32 AM
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What?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:32 AM
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Is someone reading these aloud to help you keep up?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:34 AM
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Link's broken in 72.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:36 AM
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No, I thought you said "I'm alright, Spider"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:39 AM
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Article from 72.

I read it a few weeks ago, and didn't think much of it -- what impressed you?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:41 AM
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76: The interesting thing about these comments, unlike an actual conversation, is that you can go back and read things again if you're not sure you understood them. And now that you know that, I expect things to change.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:44 AM
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Is the the interesting thing one of the things that will change?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:47 AM
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Is it still breathing?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:48 AM
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I doubt that Di Blasio's support for the Sandinistas had much to do with a deep interest in the internal politics of Nicaragua -- presumably it was mostly about hoping that the US would stop messing around in Central America and particularly would stop messing around by supporting murderous right Wong thugs. That's certainly consistent with what I remember of the politics of the time -- like most US foreign policy debates, it was really mostly about us. Generally, I wish that Americans would refrain from taking sides in internal disputes in internal disputes in foreign countries but in this particular case the Reagan Administration forced the issue by going all in with Team Murderois Caudillo, so in that context, ie mostly an internal, US focused debate about US policy, supporting the Sandinistas seems like unambiguously the right side to be on.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:56 AM
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As you can see, the IPhone has its issues. Right Wong thugs is possibly racist, phone.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 9:58 AM
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but in this particular case the Reagan Administration forced the issue by going all in with Team Murderois Caudillo, so in that context, ie mostly an internal, US focused debate about US policy, supporting the Sandinistas seems like unambiguously the right side to be on.

A lot like many people from Communist countries felt supporting various authoritarian right wingers was 'unambiguously the right side to be on'.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 10:02 AM
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Yes, and in the context of US foreign policy, they were wrong (and also thinking primarily about themselves, which, fair enough, but everyone gets to do that).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 10:04 AM
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As fair as I recall, and God knows I wasn't all that politically sophisticated in the eighties (and am still not), the bad things about the Sandinista regime were genuinely not all that bad. A certain amount of using the power of the state to repress political dissent, which is legitimately bad, but in the context of a movement that ultimately lost power by losing elections you have to think that the repression wasn't all that totalitarian.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 10:09 AM
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sorry Natilo, I've been an ass again.

I don't actually know whether supporting the Sandanistas was the right thing to do, but I do know that the level of support DiBlasio was actually providing had no real impact in the underlying conflict, and says very little about what he would do as mayor.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 10:12 AM
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I doubt that Di Blasio's support for the Sandinistas had much to do with a deep interest in the internal politics of Nicaragua

It seems pretty clear he was inspired by the literacy and public health campaigns of the new government, to the point of going to Nicaragua and volunteering.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 10:12 AM
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87 -- yeah, that's what the article says, and I see your point, but I still think that diBlasio almost certainly viewed the Sandinista/Contra fight primarily in terms of what it meant for US politics and policy (which is why he picked that country, out of so many others, to get involved with).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 10:17 AM
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Losing power as a result of elections organized under the auspices of a peace agreement to end a civil war isn't really all that much of an endorsement of democratic credentials. Nor is refusing to hold elections for six years after coming to power, banning all opposition media, and routinely breaking up opposition meetings and rallies when you finally do call elections.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 10:25 AM
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Generally, to change back to the OP a bit, I think that LB is right that the NY Times story, and really DiBlasio's entire campaign, is extremely interesting.

The Times story is written from a template the elite media has used constantly at least since Bill Clinton -- a former 60's "radical" who has now moderated is trying to make it in the consensus politics of the 1990s, where everyone agrees that radicalism is a bad thing and the only way forward is pro-business centrism. Thus the question gets framed as "will former scary leftist who has now moderated scare off the voters, who we all agree will never even consider voting for a leftist" or "will former scary leftist who has accepted the inevitable tide of pro-business consensus be able to convince everyone how moderate he really is."

But politics really have changed a bit since 2008, the pro-business consensus seems a lot less inevitable than it once did (even if there's also no real alternative) and Di Blasio won the primary, at least in part, by specifically not being seen as a Bloomberg-esque consensus centrist. So the classic 1990s framing of the article doesn't really work. Now, in office, I think Di Blasio is likely to in fact be fairly pro-business (and if he isn't, as Stormcrow says the NYT will come down like a ton of bricks on him). But just the fact that the terms of this debate are changing, even if a little, such that being on the "left" (in some sense) is an attribute and a possible good thing for the future, instead of just an embarrassing past sin to be rejected in the face of totalizing inevitable neoliberal centrist domination, seems like at least a small good thing and a tiny sign of hope.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 10:33 AM
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90 was me.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 10:35 AM
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But has US music really just lost any social edge?

Further to this: Yes, but the political consciousness of anybody under 40 seems to revolve entirely around being anti-prejudice. Or for right-wing people under 40, being anti-anti-prejudice.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 10:49 AM
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90 gets it exactly right. The article comes across as tone-deaf and anachronistic in equal parts. You saw something similar in reverse in the early years of the Reagan revolution, with news reporters writing earnest accounts of cuts to welfare and food stamps, never suspecting that their implicit value judgments were not (or no longer) shared by their modal reader.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 11:23 AM
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But has US music really just lost any social edge?

I blame earbuds. Social consciousness just doesn't get raised when you are listening to music alone on your shiny nice Apple product.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 11:46 AM
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But just the fact that the terms of this debate are changing, even if a little, such that being on the "left" (in some sense) is an attribute and a possible good thing for the future, instead of just an embarrassing past sin

It is interesting how the terms of debate can change over time, so that activities and opinions that were once beyond the pale can become mainstream. Somebody should come up with a phrase to describe that phenomenon.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 11:51 AM
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95: They have. It's called "redshirting".


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 1:02 PM
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95: We call it "The Aristocrats".


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 1:32 PM
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But has US music really just lost any social edge?

1) It is still out there, but we aren't looking for it.

2) We find it, but we cannot hear it with an appropriate affect, we can't respond to it.

3) re:80s Central America. Anyone admire someone who goes to Syria or Somalia and helps al-Qaeda? Whoops, not saying this a good thing, Feebles.

4) What is the soundtrack for the final victory of Empire, what is our music of subjugation, sub-proletarianization, submission, surrender? I listen to a lot of blues myself.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 1:38 PM
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with okra, what I recommend you do is dig a hole somewhere, throw the lot in, and bury it.

ttaM recommends planting them so you can grow your own endless supply.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 1:42 PM
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92,94 Now listening to Godspeed_You!_Black_Emperor on headphones, yes alone. Nice manifesto. The music doesn't have lyrics.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 2:59 PM
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90 is very good. Thank you, 90.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 3:05 PM
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I was just about to write something in the Vows thread about how I'm sick of the hyperbolic ungenerousness of Gawker ("WORST PEOPLE EVER") but then they went and wrote about the DiBlasio/Sandanista hit with the headline Why Does Joe Lhota Support the Murder of Nuns? so now my feelings are pretty well mixed.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 3:22 PM
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I endorse 101.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 5:02 PM
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I really hope 90 is right.

I also fail to see how there is any moral question that supporting the Sandinistas against the Contras was the right thing to do. Yes, not all activities of the Sandinistas were commendable or morally defensible, that but that is true of any party in any wartime situation, even in ones where there is obviously a Right and a Wrong side. Pointing out that the Right side also did some bad things is not the same as claiming that the two sides are equivalent or neither worthy of support when one side is clearly worse. It's also possible to support the broad goals of a government and give support in carrying them out without supporting everything a government does. We don't demand that Teach for America employees answer for Guantanamo, and I'm don't see how DeBlasio's situation was all that different.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 09-24-13 7:09 PM
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89 seems to have missed the whole Contra terror campaign -- calling it a civil war is a bit much -- which explains if not perhaps justified some of the things it complains about.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 4:05 AM
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I'm pretty sure we already have a mass-shooting problem in the United States, and Peter King's preferred solution is to do nothing about it.

It could be worse, he might be raising money for the mass shooters like he did for the IRA. If you want to know what the United States looks like to the wider world (outside its periodic Apollo/Internet/Stax good days), think Peter King.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 4:43 AM
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105: And not just a Contra terror campaign, but one funded and armed by the world's largest and richest superpower. But I'll concede that the Sandinistas were not perfect, unlike every other Latin American political movement of the time.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 4:58 AM
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Now I'm wondering if the article really was meant as a hit piece. The letters to the editor responding to it this morning are uniformly pro-DiBlasio, in pretty much exactly the tone of this thread. I wonder if that means that the profile was meant to be sympathetic, if there were literally no "OMG, now that I know DiBlasio was a dirty Commie I'm certainly not voting for him" letters to balance it out, or if whoever picks letters to publish is not on board with the rest of the paper's agenda.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:07 AM
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107: Precisely. But of course we hippies are ignoring the US's long-standing history in that region as a bringer of democracy in the pursuit of bananas and waterways.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:16 AM
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108: My broad rule of thumb is that the NYT editorial board is to the "left" of the NYT reporting (however, based more on national politics and foreign policy positions than local politics, however).

The WaPo has it the other way around.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:21 AM
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.


Posted by: Hpwever | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:22 AM
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The day is starting well!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:22 AM
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as a bringer of democracy in the pursuit of bananas and waterways.

Don't forget reimposing slavery.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:29 AM
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Shhh. Too soon.


Posted by: Opinionated Republican Party | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:48 AM
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Just saw 86. No big deal. Have I mentioned that I'm an uncle now? Looking at pictures of my niece fills me with good cheer and benevolence towards nearly everyone. She is so cute! And she's my real, live relative! It's so awesome that my sister was able to adopt her. She has had a long wait for a baby of her own.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 5:55 AM
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107: That is, "losing power as a result of elections organized under the auspices of a peace agreement to end a civil war" was pretty widely understood as "if you vote the Sandinistas out of power, the United States will quit waging war on your tiny impoverished nation."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:13 AM
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Oh, man, speaking of little girls, this is way past 11 on the Squick-O-Meter:

http://consumerist.com/2013/09/20/walmart-now-offers-naughty-costumes-for-toddler-girls/


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:18 AM
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Now I'm wondering if the article really was meant as a hit piece.

I think people here are reading the article the way that they assume the rubes will read it.

I think "how the rubes will read it" is a valid thing to be concerned about, but otherwise, I don't think the article was intrinsically unfair.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:32 AM
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118: Fair enough, but I do think some of the language choices ("a vision of the possibilities of an unfettered leftist government" [emphasis added]) are rather suspect.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 6:38 AM
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118: I was actually being even one step more meta than that. I agree with you that the content of the profile seemed fair and undamaging, and my hope (which actually seems pretty likely to me) is that the rest of the NYC electorate is mostly going to agree with me. (I don't think you can call them rubes. What's the word for an urban dope?)

I was thinking that the Times expected the not-rubes to take the content of the profile as damaging, and so intended to damage him with it, and was hoping that they were wrong and it would backfire. I may have been unjust to the Times.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:20 AM
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What's the word for an urban dope?

Dopadurb.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:22 AM
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120. mook, jamoke, guido


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:23 AM
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New Yokels.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:29 AM
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City Hickers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:33 AM
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Rubane.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:36 AM
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Wall Street leader. (NYC specific)
Business leader.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 7:46 AM
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Metroaf.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 9:48 AM
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On a first reading, that looked like what the dog from the Jetsons would have called the singer of Paradise by the Dashboard Light.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 9:53 AM
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Ha!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-25-13 9:56 AM
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