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Polish cartoon on Brexit:

"Great Britain’s citizens haven’t been losing control over their fate to the EU. They’ve been losing it because their own country’s leaders – as well as those of most other Western democracies – are increasingly in thrall to corporate and financial interests." -- The Progressive

Dear friends and readers,

Although I would have voted for remain, I'm very bothered at how those who voted for leave are being misrepresented in the press and online.  My morning newspaper today, The Washington Post followed what I have now heard on PBS reports and see the recent cover of the New Yoker has endorsed: we see elegantly dressed British businessman with their briefcases each jumping off a cliff.  In the mainstream press, on US TV, and many many blogs, there are but two kinds of British voters who voted to leave the EU. In the mainstream press and blogs on-line the vote to leave is described as of two types: the bigoted, intolerant, wrongly fearful of “the other” or immigrants and libertarians (the reductive joke is they are against stop signs).

Read the history of the EU in Salon first. The EU has moved from its roots in post-WW2 unity to becoming a neoliberal technocracy.

The third point of view is that the “austerity” policies inflicted (the right word) on the people of Europe on behalf of the investment class is what’s responsible for increasing immiseration among a majority of people, and especially in countries like Greece and Spain. Denmark has never been part of the EU; they have their own currency. The Greeks were afraid to Grexit because they now have Euros and their money would become instantly worthless. Arguably had they been wise or strong enough to keep their own currency, they would have voted to get out of this institution punitive on the vast majority of people in southern Europe and working class, rural, and people in older local kinds of jobs elsewhere.  Arguably the Greeks would have been better off if they could have made such a deal; but the EU masters insisted on conditions that would not give them a chance to rebuild their economy.  They must bend to the vulture hedge fund people (and the coup in Brazil is now foisting this on the Brazilian people). It should be recalled that Denmark has never been part of the EU; they kept their own currency and they have set up a deal where in accordance with pre-existing parameters, they go for individual negotiations with the EU. There are many subject populations (in effect) who, if you held a referendum would vote to leave and it's not because all these human beings are stupid racists:

UKIP and the tinier Farage parties have 1% of the vote as of the last election and one MP; there is no equivalent of tea party in the UK as in the US, though there is outright Nazism in these small groups. A vote for Brexit is by no means the same thing as a vote for Trump. The analogy is false.

52% of British people voted to get out. I know a majority in Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain; but there were pockets of people in both places who voted to leave, so it was not just English people in the south, London, west country, and the Welsh. I realize a justifiable fear is the next step will be an unravelling of the UK.

It's not clear what will happen in Scotland now.  They do have different interests than England; but they would not want to give up their pound or sovereignty once they get it.  The Remain versus Leave division was a class division.  Upper class university educated young and old people voted to remain; the old working class labor people to get out. Corbyn knew this and that's why he ran a weak campaign.

Here are three cogent arguments for Brexit: the first from a person who used to write from the Guardian (a newspaper now banned by Trump from his forums). the left-liberal and left-radical point of view the comment above comes out of too*

Paul Mason interviewed (he used to be a British TV journalist too, wrote for the Guardian, a newspaper which Trump has now banned from all his forums)


A blog that my husband used to read daily was not shocked at all:


This American on-line journal:


It’s not just a vote of intolerant bigoted people, or people who love jumping off cliffs, and in a way it should not be a shock — though I was shocked and my first blog was for Remain, for safety. The LRB was clever in having an article which showed that local farms were helped by EU regulations, which also protects animals from the worst ravages and torturing cruel conditions inflicted on them by American capitalist farms. So here is a thorough going-frank Intercept which takes what happened into account:


I'm coming to the view that the British people have done a wake-up call to other peoples in other countries. The PM of Greece gave an interview yesterday where he alone approved of the British vote: it gave people a chance to opt out of this neoliberal investor-controlled world,  As I recall the Greek people  were too afraid because their currency is so linked to the EU; so they opted to stay but not to pay; they ended up staying and have been harshly punished to pay the investor class. The British having a stronger economy on their own and having their own currency spoke loud and clear against this new world order. The politicians are the creatures of this new world order: either paid by them and rich therefore (Hillary Clinton) or one of them (Cameron as revealed by the latest Panama papers, Trump a crook hanger-on). This morning the rightist-labor types (Blairites) of the labor party have done a vote of no confidence to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn; he is refusing to resign as it would be a betrayal of the vote of the majority of Labor voters. There may be a new election there. The Labor officials want a new neoliberal like Blair to run their party.

Bernie Sanders said we need a revolution. He didn't want to scare those who are comfortable enough and didn't give details: but he did want to return to Keynesian economics. No one speaks of this: high taxes on the wealthy and corporations, programs for jobs, social services, education, health, in the US the infrastructure (which is crumbling as in DC the Metro). The 1% and the 10% who directly work for and with them will not give up a dime; they want in fact to take back more of the little that was re-distributed and shared in the middle 20th century. Hillary Clinton's new platform makes no mention of a single payer-system for health care; does not appear to know that the Palestinians exist (a hard-line pro-the present Israeli gov't), is again for what's called "free trade." I deplore the barbaric terrorists in the middle east and other countries the US (and UK, though Cameron held back, not because of his conscience) as much as anyone, but I know they behave the way they do as they have been savagely deprived of any means of even nearly a decent life.

The recent LeCarre films, Our Kind of Traitor may be read as for Brexit. I saw it this past Sunday; I want to see it a second time and read more about the book and then will be writing a blog on it (soon).

Damien Lewis as our moral spy (Hector), Ewan Macgregor and Naomi Harris, the two ordinary people brought into the corrupt amoral deeply sexist world of the luxurious conglomerates 1%

It's getting negative reviews because like his A Most Wanted Man (the last film Philip Seymour Hoffman made) it's not understood.

Remember the first thing the leaders of the EU said in response to the Brexit vote was "our first concern is for our investors," and this morning they are looking to make the conditions on the British exist as harsh as possible so as to scare other countries into staying. Would Europe move gradually into another war if there were no EU? How frightened should be be of ourselves? Britain has the fifth strongest economy in the world; they may weather this just fine.

I suspect what will happen is the party elite of both sides of the Parliament house will try to exit as little as possible. No one even mentiones Keynesian economics; before supply-side and monertarism in the 1940s to later 60s there was Keynesian economics: you tax the wealthy, corporations, and unearned income, and you set up programs for jobs, social services, infrastructure, public schools, health care and gradually a majority of people do thrive.

Miss Drake

Friends and readers,

From my patch of ground in the world on the east coast mid-Atlantic state (US)::  I'm a little late on this because I'm only a British subject (when I married Jim I got a card saying I was), so never could vote, and haven't lived there since 1971, but could work, live, use everything about me like everyone else, with all rights; I've visited, spent my life reading British literature and spreading it.  Anglophilic.  So I register a vote here: remain.  I celebrated Scotland remained ("No, thank you") immediately after the election was over (by way of a blog too).

Newsitem (Small).jpg

The last few days have persuaded me. It was a series of articles in the LRB articles that clinched it and who is on the side of leave and who remain:

Jeremy Corbyn: remain

So in my usual way a series of informative, insightful essays:

James Meek: how to grow a weetabix: did you know a huge percentage of English farms are still local, and because of the EU rules animals treated infinitely better across Europe (the US is unspeakable in this regard)

Peter Pomerantsev: European Schools: only recently has someone addressed him as an Englishman

Francis Fitzgibbon: If we leave

From TLS this week:

A symposium beginning with Mary Beard: human relationships

The red bus with the claim that Britain is giving Europe 350 million pounds a day is a lie:

I end on a joke I saw:

A majority of lemmings in favor of jumping off cliff


Then update on Friday, 6/24/2016: Brexit wins. Before we lambast the working class and poorer and rural people, listen to Naked Capitailsm on why the British went Brexit 52 to 48:

"Brexit represents something much bigger than an economic or political crisis. Although UKIP played shamelessly on the anti-immigration fears, many of the Leave campaigners argued for national sovereignity and self-determination. And the Northern areas that came in strongly for Leave have been left behind as London and environs prospered. It is simplistic, although it will nevertheless be a popular stance among the elites, to depict the Leave vote as yet another proof that technocrats should be in charge. In fact, the very reason that so many UK citizens rejected the dire warnings of what was in store for them if they dared press the red Leave button was that those experts devised and implemented the neoliberal policies that have increased inequality, reduced their economic stability and accelerated political and social change.

Brexit is a crippling blow to the neoliberal order of unfettered trade and capital flows, and citizens being reduced to being consumers who have to fend for themselves in markets, and worse, increasingly isolated worker who are at the mercy of capitalists who are ever more determined to reduce labor costs and hoard the benefits of productivity gains for themselves. Whether they recognize it or not, and we’ll find out over the coming months and years how well different Leave voters saw the choice they made, they have chosen a lower standard of living as a price worth paying for a hope of more control over their destinies. Sadly, these voters are likely to realize the first part of that equation rather than the second."

But see Left Unity which deplores the vote: a disastrous outcome. The neoliberal policies of the EU are not going away; they will now be adminstered even more fiercely by local elite.

And this analysis of the Brexit vote is worth reading.


"Great Britain’s citizens haven’t been losing control over their fate to the EU. They’ve been losing it because their own country’s leaders – as well as those of most other Western democracies – are increasingly in thrall to corporate and financial interests."

Miss Drake

On behalf of Mrs Hillary Clinton

A photograph of Mrs Clinton. I like it. I've now felt fond of her from two cartoons which projected something of her spirit. So I add this picture to my repertoire. She is seriously examining the vegetables at a farmer's market. That's a genuine expression on her face. Imagining someone buying one to eat or cook. I am going to vote for her, and over the next few months, find stories telling about her policies and good aspects of her voting record (as well as bad ones -- her Hawkish military policy), and generallly speaking write blogs on her and our (those who vote for her and those who don't) behalf.

Caught by a Washington Post photographer, found in DC Style section, June 20, 2016

She became a grandmother for the second time this weekend.  Now my grandchildren all have four paws .... .

Meanwhile Trump has now proposed racial profiling. Do you know this poem, reader?
from WW2 Germany by Martin Niemoller: directly relevant to Trump's desire now not just to ban Muslims and other "terrorists" but his proposal to begin profiling people, as well as Ryan and other Republicans endorsement of him:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me

Miss Drake
Barry Blitt has caught the glint in her eye I've noticed more than once:

I've used this blog to bring together important informative articles, essays and news reports before, and over the past few days new researched information, essays and evidence from the DNC archives about Trump has helped solidify the case that Trump is worse than an allowed (by law) fraud.  I have three lucid interviews and two columns to share, and conclude on an opinion piece on the hatred beginning to be spewed out at Mrs Clinton.

First the three interviews, each of which brings out all the evidence that Trump is a crook whom teams of lawyers and American law set up to protect corporate self-enrichening pests continue to protect. See Krugman (below) on the principles of the Republican party:

In the first she interviews Cay Johnstone of USA Today there is "incredibly strong evidence that Trump has committed tax fraud.

Donald has done a very good job of trying to keep a number of things out of the public record and shut down investigations, but I found two tax appeals he filed from the year 1984, one with the City of New York and one with the state. And in one of these two cases, Donald filed something called a Schedule C. That’s what a freelancer files. He reported zero income and $626,000 of expenses, with no receipts and no documentation. That’s something that could be construed as tax fraud.

During the hearing, which lasted two days, the CPA and lawyer who had done Trump’s tax returns for years was shown the tax return, and he said, "Well, that’s my signature, but I didn’t prepare that tax return." Now, it was a photocopy. And, of course, you can put a name on a document with a photocopy machine. My first big national investigative reporting award was for just such a device used by a corrupt Michigan politician. And The Trump Organization didn’t respond to any of my questions—the Trump campaign—about this. Donald was hit in one case with a 35 percent penalty. And in the other case, the 25 percent penalty was not applied, only because nobody could find the original tax return, which I think suggests that a photocopy is what was mailed in in the first place.

It also shows, in these two cases, that in the year 1984 Donald paid no federal income taxes. And there’s very good reason to think he doesn’t pay them now, because of a provision in federal law that allows large real estate professionals to live without paying income taxes.

Then she interviewed the two writers of The New York Times who "detail[ed] how Donald Trump bankrupted his Atlantic City casinos, but still earned millions. Reporters Russ Buettner and Charles Bagli write, "[E]ven as his companies did poorly, Mr. Trump did well. He put up little of his own money, shifted personal debts to the casinos and collected millions of dollars in salary, bonuses and other payments. The burden of his failures fell on investors and others who had bet on his business acumen." Their new article is headlined "How Donald Trump Bankrupted His Atlantic City Casinos, But Still Earned Millions."

He bankrupts casinos and garners millions, left contractors unpaid and ruined investors

In the last she interviews Steve Reilly also of USA Today to show that hundreds of former employees and contractors have accused Donald Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Victims have included a dishwasher in Florida, a glass company in New Jersey, a carpet company, a plumber, 48 waiters, dozens of bartenders at his resorts and clubs, and even several law firms that once represented him in these labor lawsuits. "Hundreds Allege Donald Trump Doesn’t Pay His Bills."

This is about:

lawsuits involving allegations of nonpayment against Donald Trump’s companies, and specifically more than 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of other mechanic’s liens, judgments, other filings, which indicate there are allegations Donald Trump hasn’t paid contractors, workers, employees for their services.

Specific examples. The article discusses the Friel cabinetry company, based out of Philadelphia, which did work on the casinos in Atlantic City in the 1980s. They built bases for slot machines, registration desks. And there was a dispute at the end of their work over about $83,000. And the allegation is that Donald Trump didn’t pay the company for the work, which eventually contributed to the bankruptcy of that company, which employed about 80—I’m sorry, 20 workers in the 1980s.

Then two columns making sense of this the larger and immediate political context of the election

The first is by Paul Krugman in the New York Times:

It’s not about the fraudulent scheme that was Trump University. It’s not about his history of failing to pay contractors, leading to hundreds of legal actions. It’s not about how he personally profited while running his casinosinto the ground. It’s not even concerned with persistent questions about whether he is nearly as rich as he claims to be, and whether he’s ever done more than live off capital gains on his inheritance.

Krugman shows that what Trump has done outrageously is done in all sorts of much more circuitous ways by many Republicans and that on principle they are a group of grifters, to them much of it may seem petty but not to the average citizen.

The second is by David Remnick: it's the lead essay in this week's New Yorker Talk of the Town:

Remnick begins with the possibility of a woman president for the first time in US history, but soon moves to the obstacles, among which Donald Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee takes central stage. I call attention especially to these two comments:

The current leadership of the Republican Party and most of its traditional funders show every sign of knowing that a pernicious buffoon has become their standard-bearer

He advises her on the stage to maintain "unassailable poise" in stance. That's hard.  He worries:

If her concentration slips, if she falters in the debates or is upended by some ethical failing, if some event (a terrorist act, for instance) takes place that allows Trump to twist its meaning and rally voters to his banner of America First—if any of that happens, not only could the prospect of a female President remain a fantasy but power will be in the hands of a malevolent fraud. And then what? A disaster beyond the imagining of any screenwriter


My own thoughts:  The one with Reilly, a younger reporter from USA today was telling. The young guy tried to get the information out and he was too afraid to speak up and speak back and soon it seemed that one dishwasher didn't get paid in 2008 .Trump said he expected better from a USA today reporter. They are so scared of him and he will say anything and loudly .

It's to be expected that Trump rallies would begin to call Hillary Clnton the "b" word, so I close this over-linked omnibus blog by simply saying I've read about three essays this morning in mainstream publications over the past couple of weeks (one I link in is Joan Walsh in Nation) about how the majority of women recognize in Trump an abuser of women, rank misogynist (whose ratings have led Fox to force Megyn Kelly or give up her job to kowtow to Trump, and MSNBC to take a swerve to the right).  His brand of misogyny comes out in a particular poisonous way. For example, the twisting of Mrs Clinton's husband's sexual misbehavior into a stream of hatred aimed at her

Related in reality senseless violence wreaked on women:  On the day of the Orlando massacre a man stepped up to a known female singer and just shot her dead; the murder (all these deaths this week -- and those from US drones are included are tragic) death of a genuinely liberal Labor leader: first the man came up and tried to beat her and then he shot her dead. Jo Cox, destroyed by senseless violence. Emily Ashton and Siraj Datoo: A woman who believed in a better world and really fought for it (from BuzzFeed)

Jo Cox

Miss Drake

This morning in the Washington Post I noticed another ominous turn in the fallout after the Orlando Massacre: the police are now investigating Omar Mateen's wife to see if she was an accomplice to the massacre. Americans will recall how Trump said it's okay to murder the families of Muslim terrorists.

Sitora Yusify with a male family member -- perhaps a brother

Last night I was first alerted to the attention now being paid to this unfortunate woman, Sitora Yusify, because Amy Goodman devoted a segment of her news-show to the question whether in fact there was evidence of hate crimes in Omar Mateen's life and it was not seen because domestic violence is not defined as a hate crime. Goodman interviewed Soraya Chemaly, journalist writing in Rolling Stones. I think domestic violence like rape is a hate crime: it is an outgrowth of utter disregard for and hostility to women. Shortly after Salman married Mateen he began to beat her nghtly; he tried to separate her from her family; he made her his punching bag. She said (this is outside my culture and ideas) that she "tried to see the good in him" and tried to stay but was terrified and in pain. Her family remained close, knew and literally rescued her. They came to the house and this family wrestled her from this man. She is now divorced from Mateen.
Those who read my blogs will know that a few weeks ago I read in the Washington Post a description of the kind of person who commits massacres (because they can get assault weapons, if they couldn't get them and just guns, they would kill far fewer but still kill nearby people, hurt them): it struck me as a description of an abusive man. I had read some of these while reviewing Mary Trouille's Wife Abuse in Mid-18th century France. I had just been reading Charlotte Smith's letters and that clinched my sense that Smith's great tragedy was not a complicated will but that she had an abusive husband who took advantage of women's powerless before any legal document and tried to destroy her by depriving her of money (by not signing) because she publicly left him and then publicly exposed him because he would not give her and her children the interest owed them -- desperately needed to live. And the men all around her identified with him. She hid his violence to some extent because like most women she was shamed by her experience.

Yesterday writing about how the massacre was enabled by the NRA who make money from the gun industry I began with an article which based on studies shows the idea that people who commit massacres are mentally deranged is a red herring, false, and supported by the gun industry. That article described a type known to me from my reading as the sort of man who inflicted violence on his wife and family regularly.
From Chemaly and Goodman now I know that those who conduct women's studies know that the same type of person who commits hate crimes commits domestic violence. Goodman had a woman on her news-broadcast who has long worked in this area and who said it has been impossible to get men or people to acknowledge domestic violence as a hate crime.
Now look at what's happened. Mateen's second wife, Noon Z Saleem is being prosecuted -- or the FBI is seeking to prosecute her. She did not kill herself, is not going to kill herself. It reminds me of Justine in Frankenstein wantonly hung on the flimsiness of circumstantial evidence because the community wanted a scapegoat to murder when a child was murdered and wanted to believe in murdering her they were safe.  Saleem was by his side when he bought the horrific ammunition and says she tried to persuade him not to commit this atrocity.
She was living apart from him; photos suggest they had had a son. It has been discovered she was once to this gay club with him; this is enough to create hostile investigation of her and arrest her.

Update 6/17: i'll take this opportunity to report that the Florida police have now hounded Saleem to where she is said in the press to have "confessed" that Mateen texted her on the day of the massacre. She has told those members of the press she can reach that much tha is being said about her now are either distortions of her life or lies.

We see here a man who manages to get two women to marry him, who holds jobs (however briefly), socializes constantly, himself bisexual perhaps. Yet stories are surfacing about his mental derangement or psychoanalysing him with a view towards compassion.

I've now read two books on women who commit crimes where there is violence and murder: they do it quite differently, indirectly, and secretively if they can. The clearer more cogent one is Patricia Pearson's When She Was Bad, with a sensational cover (alas) and subtitle: How and why women get away with murder. The book does not say women got away with it, as in all cases Pearson was able to research the crime because the woman was caught. The publisher and editor framed the book with implicit distrust of women. The old play Arsenic and Old Lace, so hilarious plays on our intuitive sense that women socially behave differently from men. Both studies attributed this to the circumstances of women's lives, but it is also in their natures. We have yet to see one gun massacre committed by a woman alone.

Nothing grates on me more than these assertive stories about how women drive men to be violent to them because they are violent. Examples are found of women violent first supposedly. The focus on men being raped is used to say see not just women suffer, men do, not to focus on the person who commits rape, and its effect is to diminish concern for women. This is one of the areas where this obscurantist theory of performance and denial that there is an essential genetic character associated with genetic femininity does harm to women, because women are in such circumstances also because it's in their nature to live in groups and set up homes for themselves.

I hope neither of these two women who unluckily connected themselves to a vicious man are scapegoated. I believe one of Trump's positions is it is okay to kill by drones the families of men who are alleged to have committed acts of war outside a state sanction.

Miss Drake

A row of Smith and Wesson AK-15s, the assault weapon of choice since WW2 -- on sale to all at a recent gun show in Loveland, Colorado

Dear readers,

In the Washington Post a couple of weeks ago, a reporter named Michael S. Rosenwald reports on a paper by Michael Stone, a forensic psychiatrist at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in "The Anatomy of Evil." He points out the uselessness, counterproductive waste of money of arguing that mass killers are mentally ill and proceeding to pour money into stopping mentally ill people from going on killing sprees. The gun industry has done all it can to promote this, branches of psychological and psychiatric professions don't mind. Mentally ill people don't behave in this kind of coordinated planned fashion. Another category of "killer" is someone with a "personality disorder" it's said (we still cannot face that people can be this way and not abnormal); these are people who "exhibit" "antisocial or sociopathic disorders" like "sever paranoia, callousness or a sever lack of empathy but know exactly what they are doing." (Thurs, May 20 ,2016, A1 and A18). This type of personality is found among wife- and children-abusers. They are average people who when dealing with those not under their power behave in ways that are most of the time socially acceptable. The experience of abuse from the woman’s point of view is to be yoked to an egoistic, ruthless sociopath. But it is a mistake to take such man as crazy. They are not. They are rational people, knowing what power they are given and what they are allowed to do and take advantage of it, most of the time hiding what they know others will fear and or abhor him for. The US is willing to allow such people to buy assault weapons, live bullets and any other kind of gun they want lest (it's said) some "innocent" individual cannot get a rifle because he is somehow stigmatized by controls.

Two days have gone by since yet another huge massacre enabled by the free sale of assault weapons, rounds of ammunition, guns of all sorts to anyone who wants one basically.  The man's excuse was hatred for GLBT people and his imagined allegiance to the Islamic state. He was murdering people on behalf of ISIS who of course hate anything but macho male heterosexual behavior.  It just happened to be a place filled with hispanic people -- very vulnerable.  Meanwhile no one in congress has proposed to reinstatement of a ban on assault weapons that was allowed to lapse 10 years ago.

On the same day the Orlando massacre occur another man, this time white, was arrested by pollce: he had in his car, assault weapons, rounds of ammunition, and guns. He was on his way to a gay pride parade to murder as many people as he could.  He was allied to those people in the US who have supported legislation in various states to "protect public bathrooms" from GBLT people; read these laws turn out to be stalking horses for allowing landlords, employers, business people to refuse to rent, hire or allow GBLT service of any kind in their terrain. This is (due to the supreme court's decision in the case called hobby lobby) now called religious liberty.  The supreme court majority until the death of Scalia was brought to us by thes same people who have filled state legislations with reactionary republicans (pro-business without qualification).

Today too (a blog is a web diary) I received on face-book today an "X years ago today" type reminder. I am unsure how clicking and sharing these again on one's timeline generates profits for face-book but I feel sure it does. I know the algorithm which allows me to see FB friends' messages on my "home" feed is so structured that I see only 5-10% of these people most of the time, so the way the experience of face-book is generally structured has nothing to do with my needs, what I click on as "I like this," who I comment on, what "pages" I belong to or like. The institutional-business running this page shapes my experience, what is allowed and not. I was invited to share a blog I wrote two years ago, to put it on my timeline; I did so: it was about how the DMV had finally lifted a ban on me from driving and enormous difference I was immediately experiencing in my lfe.

A lesson here.

My experience two years ago was that after a 7 month ordeal with the DMV where this institution refused to believe doctors' reports, my lawyer said because one of them had refused to show my full medical records online (my psychatric/psychological record and drugs prescribed), I was granted a reprieve and could drive again .My life was returned to me. This after I had paid the lawyer some $4000 for services I couldn't have done it without. Mean was the way I was talked to on the phone, condescending and (I think) calculated to make me angry so I would not be able to sound reasonable The DMV is run by people citizens never voted in, people who are part of a local elite, there are appointed offices that are powerful within the state employment service where everyone is anxious about their own jobs and place in the organization.

Today I'm thinking about how Americans continue to endure the control of their lives by institutions, what they ingest, what is put onto their fields (Monsanto's predatory spraying), as if they didn't notice this, as if they didn't mind.  The only protest is against those even more vulnerable to these institutions.   At the same time as reasonable gun control legislation is not even broached by an irresponsible congress, most individuals of which are like the DMV employees concerned first about their place in the organization, second their jobs (no one has lost an election for refusing to vote aye on gun controls of any sorts that are effective) .It was easy to let the assault weapon ban lapse: no vote needed.

We are told those who follow Trump are angry because they are powerless and their needs unaddressed, but they are not salivating to stop the power of institutions, to have revolution which attempts to return power to the wide electorate (them), but rather hit out at other people suffering as much and worse than them, It is importantly noteworthy that Trump is not only for banning all Muslims in the US and somehow flagging all around them that these people are Muslim (shall they wear yellow stars?) but has banned the post from his press conferences. This is the second mainstream respectable newspaper excluded. Next step when president?

Powerful institutions in US life control our behavior and what are our life's possibilities far more than any gov't group we vote in. The DMV and NRA are alike in this. The NRA is worse because this is a privately-run and owned institution, not subject to scrutiny by the public. They are funded by gun manufacturers. We cannot stop people from hating other people; we can remove deadly weapons from their hands.  We need not scour house by hour to remove guns. Bullets become obsolete; you need merely as a stopgap measure control the sale of bullets along with guns. Within two years unless the gun owner has the right (we should call this a privilege but a reactionary supreme court has turned a constitutional amendment meant to give states the right to have armed local militias into the right of an individual to own a gun) to buy more bullets, the guns would be useless to the owners.

Of the four people still taking the stage for the presidency, only one not put on major TV, Bernie Sanders called for an outright ban on assault weapons and effective control on guns, and Obama pointed out that inaction on this is a choice. Neither fingered the NRA.  Hillary Clinton blathered on about responsible controls being needed, and I've already repeated what Trump said -- except I left out he insinuated that somehow Obama (because the belief is allowed to let stand in his rallies that Obama is a Muslim) was implicated.  Obama has done all he humanly can to promote and actively seek (after a massacre of kindergarton children in Connecticut gun control legislation.

There has been an attempt by Diane Feinstein in the senate to re-vive legislation to keep assault weapons out of the hands of terrorists on a "watch list" -- said to have no chance of passing. Institutions and corporations trump congress in the US easily.

Not all institutions are bad: here is a painting by Jane Goldman (21st century) called Audubon May.

Miss Drake

Brexit: the TLS take

Friends, This week's issue has a long series of middle class professionals argue against Brexit; most from the context of their personal and professional lives where they show how interconnected British people are with fellow Europeans. For now I'm oo busy for more than sharing cartoons:

Miss Drake

On behalf of Hillary


When I saw this, I smiled and felt quite fond of Hillary, but that's not why I'm voting for her (the fondness): I'm voting for her because she is thoroughly capable and in the main her social programs for her in the US are good; they could go further .... " Donald Trump's ideas aren't just different -- they are dangerously incoherent. They're not really ideas, juts a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds, and outright lies," she said.

"This man should never be given any access to nuclear codes."

Miss Drake
That Trump supporters regard him as a delicious get-back joke on the Republican establishment. That the democrats see Sanders could win and Hillary lose but prefer losing to the kind of change Sanders offers:

A poster. Have you seen this movie? maybe we all ought to go.

Friends and readers,

I came to a realization that Trump supporters are inoculated against any criticism of the man when no one appears to take seriously his trashing a judge for rightly exposing his fraudulent university. We now know what will be Trump's criteria for choosing a judge for the supreme court; someone who acquits him of all his fraudulent dealings and hides all evidence from the public. No one who has power to do anything does anything. He's not held in contempt of court for example

He insults newspaper reporters by making a "fuck" signal with his hand and by name calling someone a sleaze and then promising to do all he can to stop freedom of the press when he is president and on record saying he will get back. And these people who back him say nothing.

He is a crook indicted for a fraudulent university. His books show that he urged all employees (taught them) how to high pressure prospective students, and encouraged them to max out all their credit cards to buy his outrageous fees.  Yes they should have seen then this is a mean cruel crook. Uses gangster techniques (why he wanted that evidence not to attract attention so began ethnic slurs on the judge).

So why write about Trump. What can I contribute? One not unimportant mood of his supporters I've not noticed anyone talking about:

I had a long talk with a Trump supporter the other day, a young man making a very good income, white, who had a 2 year technical degree. He appeared to be a reasonable person and kept saying he was someone who tolerated all people's views. I personally have liked him and find him a sweet helpful young man. His is gentlemanly in all his ways. I want to stress too how kind I find him, with a real sense of courtesy and making the thoughtful remark that helps one through a conversation or something you need to do together.

Well, I found he dismissed what ever criticism I brought up. Trump knows nothing of the nuclear system in the US. He's not "scholarly." Trump committed fraud. That is what businessmen are and see how rich he is. (Meanwhile Hillary is a crook. He moved from one side of an issue to another to exculpate and admire Trump.) He appeared to believe immigrants are being treated unfairly because they are given so many advantages when they come to the US. The US is all powerful he assumed and he wanted it to stay that way. No one would dare I suppose he though to attack the US. He was against all global policies; an America firster. He seemed not to know much history; he kept using the term "centuries" for US history.

You've heard all this before.

What I'm leaving out is the glue, the tone or soup in which these things are said. He kept grinning. At first I thought this was a way of being polite. But then I began to see he regarded Trump getting into office as a delicious get-back at the establishment. Trump need not be respectful of his GOP colleagues because it is precisely this elite establishment that this young man probably resents, though he wouldn't say so. He just said Ryan and his type were a waste of time. "We don't need such people."

But don't mistake the tone. Trump himself is funny, a joke on everyone else's incompetence to deal with "this problem."  Trump's insults are crucial here, funny because he is mocking the establishment. All these positions we talked of were fun because none of them mattered. This is more than Trump exposing the hypocrisy around him ("telling it like it is," which this young man did not say but others do), it's surely taking a kind of revenge on people like Ryan -- and yes Hillary Clinton too, for she's the same type. She is in the hands of corporate wealth and does their bidding just like Ryan. She is a military hawk spending billions to overthrow gov'ts in the middle east, take the oil or whatever is the natural or market resource to exploit directly or indirectly.

At some level he loathes Ryan far more than the democrats he simply dismisses. He gets a kick out thinking Ryan is squirming. He said that many people will come out to vote in this election who have been staying home.

He said how hard he had worked since age 15. He had paid for all he had gotten. He did not get a BA from a senior college because this is a waste of time and money. He is aware that he didn't have the "other" courses -- he would not at all be in sympathy with the people defrauded by Trump university. They deserved it for their false aspirations.

This is important. You cannot get a Trump supporter to take seriously anything you say because the point of voting Trump in is to make a joke of all that is. It's all very funny. None of the world's serious problems matter. "Other" people don't matter. Other countries. Judges, courts, blacklivesmatter. Guns. Climate change is a myth. Poof.

Meanwhile Sanders has won the last 19 primaries, he may take California and no one inside the democratic establishment moves to support him seriously.

The democratic establishment is refusing to admit Sanders can beat Trump and Clinton may not, because like the Germans until well after 1939 (when Hitler's regime had turned literally murderous to all its citizens, and was waging horrific war on gov'ts and peoples outside Germany), the German elite persisted in thinking he was a bulwark against communism and/or real socialism. They individually thought they would or could survive and many did. So the democratic establishment prefers Trump to Sanders. But they are not doing this as a joke.  They (each individual person, each clique, each institution) wants to keep their power and wealth just as it is. Sanders threatens that with say his proposed ban on fracking, his plan to enable students to escape banks. She is a hawk, will keep up all the client gov't groups in the middle east (no matter how horrific as in the case of Saudi Arabia), will cooperate utterly with the corporations and will not do anything against their interests; she and her husband ended welfare for women (and their death rate is way up), started mass incarceration for black men, ended controls on the banks. Those supporting her with big money don't care if she's a woman and will throw bones and alleviations at and for women when she's in office. Women's position? remember the addition to the 14th amendment that extended rights to women was a joke.

Reporters have to protect themselves too -- beyond insults, from prison, destruction and in many places in the world murder. So there are tight limits on what they can say already. They can reports the facts that they unearth and tell us what is literally happening insofar as they can find out day by day. A few then try to make sense of these facts, put them into perspective so they make sense, come to be a form of understanding what they have found out.

At first I thought Sanders was doing wrong to offer to debate Trump. I feared he would marginalize Clinton this way, give Trump a chance to insult her by becoming a sort of buddy on stage. I was wrong. Trump saw that this was a debate he might lose because Sanders would take him seriously. Answer him with real truths and remain resolutely serious and earnest. That's a game Trump decided it was not in his interest to play. It's in his interest to say outrageous and therefore "funny" (using the word complexly) remarks.

This is not to say I won't vote for Hillary. I will. Trump will drag the US (if he can) into lawlessness, corruption, censorship of the press (and courts, and the Internet). She will be a centrist democrat.

We should look for what people regard as jokes and why. What jokes they like and/or repeat. Feminism is not quite a joke (by the way)

Miss Drake

Worrying thoughts about Trump.

As I came home in my car and listened ot reports, and then read transcripts of interviews of Trump I learned he has faked identifies more than once in order to cajole, threaten, bribe, further lie to them.

What's to stop him from if he should become President of the US faking identities and phoning important people and threatening or trying to bribe them somehow? Has any reporter asked him that in public? they ask him about it and he either lies or tries to shrug what he did off. But has anyone asked him, What's to stop you, Sir, from doing that once you are President?

On how facism moves to take over the US presidency with Trump as its strongman by Robert Kagan of the Washington Post. I talked the other day to a Trump supporter who has plenty of money, is a success in life, has an associate's degree, and there came a gleam in his eye as he began to confess to attitudes towards immigrants, power, a billionaire businessman that was very worrying. Nothing I could say could faze him: lack of knowledge: Trump was not scholarly.  Nuclear war: he shrugged as if it cannot happen because we are so great. He seems to think the US has been here "for centuries."  Man does not pay any taxes: hell, that's what business is about.  He wanted to see someone "not from the establishment" put in office. His face looked vexed if you mentioned the phrase. He was inoculated deep in his psyche against any criticism.

Miss Drake

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