Commenter Profile

Disco For Cynics

January 19, 2017 12:08 am
RudyM, I share your appreciation of X and their punk rock/rockabilly fusion -- but it's telling that they didn't inspire and set in motion a torrent of bands who further developed their style -- unlike, say, Pixies, The Wipers and Nirvana, who did. Btw, I was in the back room at X's first Manhattan gig, and John Doe and Exene were having a bit of a spat. I got the impression that she was a self-indulgent drama queen who was barely able to keep it together -- but she did manage to drag herself to the stage in turn in a good performance. I was especially impressed by Billy Zoom's guitar work. A band I still listen to now on a regular basis: Brian Jonestown Massacre.  
January 18, 2017 2:58 pm
Taxi, Lemmy is precisely who I had in mind when I compiled that list. :)  
January 18, 2017 2:09 pm
Taxi, I like X -- for instance: X - Los Angeles https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUiZHt6sqg4 But I think there are many bands of much greater importance (for instance, Pixies). Regarding rock and politics -- Hillary Clinton is your boring grammy -- bland, lecturing, oppressive, tired, infirm -- Donald Trump is all rock and roll: +American as apple pie +anti-authoritarian +bad boy +defiant +dark side +eruption of the id +flamboyant +heavy metal +hell-raising +Hunter Thompsonesque +keeping it real +outrageous +punk attitude +raucous +rebellious +reckless +risk-taking +rude boy +rule-breaking +smashing idols +teetering on the edge +trashing hotel rooms It's no wonder he struck a powerful chord in American culture.  
January 1, 2017 3:01 pm
I heard several X live gigs, including their first performance in Manhattan, at which Robert Christgau and Debbie Harry were in attendance. Great band.  

He Came, He Saw, She Died

December 24, 2016 3:30 pm
Must reads: "Trump’s Disappearing ‘Neutral Guy’" https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/24/trumps-disappearing-neutral-guy/ "Trump Goes All In With the Settlers" http://lobelog.com/trump-goes-all-in-with-the-settlers/ Well, this got sorted out quickly.  
December 18, 2016 6:40 pm
Taxi, The Soros globalists who pull the strings of the Clintons treat Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians, Iranians, Russians, Europeans and Americans with equal disdain -- they exist to be bullied, enslaved and exploited, period.  
December 18, 2016 5:35 pm
Taxi, Insightful and prescient -- I agree with nearly all your points, including the small details. An important dimension to this, however: if Donald Trump's America First policies begin to diverge too much from Israel First policies, Mossad will look for a way to cut him down. From their standpoint, he is just a punk and someone who doesn't command anywhere near the political, financial and covert ops resources they do. He is a useful tool for the time being -- a strutting peacock on the stage. Mossad and pro-Israel networks reach deeply into every department and agency of the American government -- they have many strings to pull to deal with a renegade and unruly Trump. Trump is probably quite aware of this state of affairs -- and that knowledge will constrain his behavior. Btw -- the title of this essay -- quite clever and on point.  
December 30, 2016 7:04 pm
An interesting take on Trump's real agenda: "In fact the Trump/Bannon/Kushner agenda is to drive the Jews out of the US and Europe into Israel, where they will commit genocide against the Palestinians, which will provide a pretext for TrumPutin to nuke all of them. Which means that by participating in this scheme, Friedman and Boteach are the real kapos." http://mondoweiss.net/2016/12/hypocrisy-swallow-anything/comment-page-1/#comment-865080 I neither agree nor disagree -- who knows what Trump is really up to.  
December 24, 2016 4:05 pm
The Israel lobby is probably calculating that the Arab world -- Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria and Saudi Arabia in particular -- has lost the appetite to make further military and economic sacrifices on behalf of the Palestinians -- and that Iran wouldn't dare to get into a direct military confrontation with the full power of the United States, Europe and Israel. I don't know whether those calculations are correct -- but Israel, so far, has played the great game with considerable skill. It is usually a mistake to underestimate Israel. Regarding Trump: Israel, through sophisticated propaganda over decades, has succeeded in conflating Palestinians with Islamist extremists in the minds of most Americans and Europeans -- and we know how Trump feels about Islam in general.  
December 30, 2016 6:46 pm
I think the comment sections of both mainstream and alternative publications, especially when analyzed in the aggregate, provide a valuable window into what is *really* going on in politics -- and the thinking and sentiment in those comments now often deviate radically from the approved and official lines. The entire tawdry "fake news" propaganda meme was manufactured by mainstream media and establishment political players who are scared to death that they are losing control of the narrative that keeps them in power.  
December 24, 2016 3:25 pm
Actually, Obama and his family have a lot to lose post-White House -- look at the fate of Jimmy Carter, who was marginalized by the mainstream media and the Democratic Party as a pariah. Obama knows how the game is played and how brutal the retaliation can be for bucking the bipartisan political establishment and consensus on Israel. Even this small and ineffective gesture at the UN will probably cost Obama many millions of dollars in post-presidency rewards. The Clintons, on the other hand, were gifted handsomely for services rendered without question or qualification. Regarding the bigger picture: as I have suspected all along, the pro-Israel right is far more powerful than the pro-Israel left (not to mention the anti-Zionist left). Much of the neoliberal pro-Israel left ("liberal Zionism") is in fact strongly right-leaning -- working under the table in tandem with the neoconservative pro-Israel right. It is now looking like Trump may give unqualified support to the entire extreme right-wing Likud agenda. The era of Palestinian activism may be over for good. Every Islamist terrorist attack in the United States and Europe (and you know there will be more coming) will be used as a lever to bury the Palestinian cause. Game over? Maybe. Probably. It is easy to envision a scenario in which the Palestinians under relentless pressure will now be pushed out of Greater Israel and absorbed by the rest of the Arab world. Forgive me for being a political realist. I always knew that betting on Trump to fix these problems was a tricky and dangerous political gamble.  
December 30, 2016 5:01 pm
One gradually comes to the realization that this entire domain of conflict and controversy -- one in which true believers know that "God" has been punishing their enemies over millennia for not being perfectly subservient to the will and whims of the megalomaniacal true believers -- is a deranged cesspool -- completely psychopathic and infantile. Sane people just want to get as far away from it as possible. One strongly doubts that Donald Trump is on the same page as Michael Snyder -- but he's willing to play and exploit and Snyders of the world every which way he can -- their buttons are obvious and they are easy to manipulate.  
December 18, 2016 6:05 pm
Taxi, Signs and signals bubbling up from the collective unconscious are always worth taking into account. Keep in mind that there are many ways to cut down world leaders, or anyone, without assassinating them.  
December 24, 2016 4:46 pm
What has influenced my thinking on this subject: I have thought for a long time that there would be significant pushback in the Republican and Democratic Parties against the Israel lobby. I was wrong. The bipartisan political establishment is more militantly pro-Israel in 2016 than it was in, say, 1986. And I have also seen Iraq and Libya fall like dominoes -- with Syria coming close. My tendency now is probably to overestimate the power of Israel and the Israel lobby. To add to the mix: the neocons, apparently, have largely succeeded in igniting a Clash of Civilizations between the West and Islam -- a conflict that could totally override any concerns about Palestinian rights. I guess we will all see how the game plays out. I don't feel especially confident about any of my predictions these days. We have entered an era of enormous turbulence and uncertainty, in which a number of apocalyptic scenarios could materialize. Trump has issued so many mixed messages that I don't really know what he will do during his term. It's possible that his ferocious hostility to Islam will keep him firmly in the Likud camp. The current geopolitical situation is nightmarish.  

Election Impressions

December 17, 2016 8:26 pm
Taxi, Regarding instincts: both you and I predicted that Trump had a good chance of winning the election *before* he won the nomination. We were right.