A Weblog of The Jackson Progressive

Shameless and Feckless

Yesterday, congressional Republicans secretly voted by a large margin to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics. Today, they changed their minds after a public outcry. No doubt their original vote arose out of their tender concern that they might be called to account for some of the actions they were planning to take in the near future.

When the glare of publicity bore down, they scattered like so many cockroaches. They never seriously attempted to justify* their actions, which is why they voted in secret** in the first place, and when the predictable outcry arose, they collapsed. They are shameless, feckless and untrustworthy.

Welcome, America, to your elected representatives.
* Their most forceful argument was, in essence, that ethics investigations were “inconvenient.”

** Remember what the Good Book has to say about men who love the darkness. John 3:19


Are We Being Robbed by Wall Street and the Big Banks?

In a word: yes. There are a number of reasons why the top 1% has captured all the gains in the economy since the election of Ronald Reagan while the wages of the rest of us have stagnated or even declined. In my opinion, the principal factor causing this development is the rise of Wall Street and the consequent financialization of our economy. (The crushing of labor unions was also a big factor.) The following video clip of an interview with Time magazine assistant managing editor Rana Foroohar conveys a clear picture of what has happened and what we must do to avoid widespread suffering and civil unrest in the future.

If you are retired, or—even more importantly—if you are expecting to retire in the next few years, listen carefully to what Ms Forochar says about the precariousness of our current pension system. And she does not mention the imminent onslaught by Trump and the Republicans upon our Social Security system,

Some of the talk on this interview is technical. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section.

The Sound of the Trump

I haven’t written anything on this blog since the election, first, because I was speechless at the result, and second, it was impossible to predict what the election of Trump means for the future of the nation and even the World.


Talking points for a new president

It looks now that Hillary Clinton will be our next president. Once she takes office, she will face a multitude of problems confronting both the nation and the world. The most formidable problems will not be immediately pressing. They are long-term problems that if not acted upon immediately will have calamitous consequences in as little as twenty years. Principal among these are global warming and nuclear energy.



It’s hard to avoid a sense of schadenfreude over the unexpected triumph of Donald Trump, who has become, for all practical purposes, the Republican candidate for the U. S. presidency. The discomfiture of the Republican bluebloods is palpable. They do not know what to do any more than their predecessors did in 1964, when Senator Barry Goldwater and his followers seized the Republican Party and made him the candidate.

Surely they must realize that they themselves created Trump’s natural constituency. They have been cynically preaching to the uninformed that all their troubles have been caused by liberals, that the government is the problem, not the answer, and that deficit spending takes away our children’s future, since the nation will have to pay the debt off someday. This has been accompanied by appeals to racism and demonization of immigrants as scabs, depriving true Americans (code word for white people) of employment. Trump has called them criminals who commit most of the crimes here in the US.


An Awful Solution to a Non-Existent Problem

The legislative session that recently ended is positive proof that otherwise moderately intelligent and presumably sane persons can assemble together to form a perfectly insane corporate body. What has this legislature accomplished worthwhile? If a reader of this blog (and alas there are not many of them) can think of any laws, any appropiations, any resolutions, or any other beneficial actions that the solons accomplished, the reader is invited to list them in the comments below.


Clinton v Sanders - A Comparison

Both candidates have much in their favor.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

HRC certainly has the intelligence and experience to be president, No other candidate comes close by these measures.


(and it's a big BUT) (no pun intended),

1) She has revealed herself to be a tool of Wall Street and the financial sector (think Bankruptcy Bill). She has a stable of economists from which to choose her advisors. These will undoubtedly be the same very serious persons that brought us, or failed to predict, the crash of 2007.

The Difference Between France and the United States

In the face of a vicious attack by guerrillas acting on behalf of ISIS, the French have responded, not with abject fear, but with resolve that their freedoms—indeed, their entire civilization—will not be undone by an enemy working to sow fear and uncertainty.

We Americans, on the other hand, are succumbing to fear and uncertainty—cowardice, in other words—over an enemy thousands of miles away.

Our Mississippi governor is in the front ranks of those who would turn away refugees from Syria. He panders to fear. He invokes the worst in us. He awakens the deep currents of racism in Mississippi whites—yes, dammit, whites—that has plagued this benighted state for centuries.

Our Mississippi culture holds fast to the belief that compassion—Christian compassion included—only applies to people like us: WHITE FUNDAMENTALISTS. I omit the word Christian because this rationing of compassion is utterly unchristian. How many passages from the gospels have you read that justify the turning away of refugees? Name just one. How many of the words of Our Lord would I have to read to you for you to understand that rationed compassion is no compassion at all. It only means “I got mine.” Like the parable of the rich fool.

Certain natives of India catch monkeys by cutting a small hole in a coconut which they fasten to the ground. The hole in the coconut is just large enough for a monkey to insert its hand through the hole. They place a nut or other attractive object in the coconut. The monkey approaches the coconut, thrusts his hand through the hole and grasps the nut. When it tries to withdraw his hand from the hole while holding the nut, he finds that he cannot. His fist is too large. When a human approaches, the monkey, instead of dropping the nut and running away, refuses to drop it and is easily captured.

We humans do the same thing. We grasp tightly to our “nut”—our version of what kind of world we want to live in—and we are caught. No matter how hard we try, we cannot escape the conditioning of our racist culture without letting go of the “nut” we are grasping, our “southern way of life,” that rests upon a deeply unjust class system based on race. We cannot open our hearts and minds and at the same time tightly grasp the very thing that is doing us in. We must first let go of the nut.

How Stupid Can Mississippi Republicans Get?

y not expanding Medicaid under Obamacare, the state is depriving its less fortunate of medical care and seeing its state Medicaid expenses increase at about twice the rate of states who have expanded Medicaid. Since when did the Mississippi Legislature and governor leave money on the table? It is irrational, vindictive and just plain stupid (for which there is unfortunately no cure). Read More...

The EFF Analyzes the Intellectual Property Provisions of the Completed TPP

The Electronic Freedom Foundation published the following article yesterday on its website. It is republished here with permission under a Creative Commons license. Read and heed.

Electronic Frontier Foundation

October 9, 2015 | By
Jeremy Malcolm

The Final Leaked TPP Text is All That We Feared

Today's release by Wikileaks of what is believed to be the current and essentially final version of the intellectual property (IP) chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) confirms our worst fears about the agreement, and dashes the few hopes that we held out that its most onerous provisions wouldn't survive to the end of the negotiations.

Since we now have the agreed text, we'll be including some paragraph references that you can cross-reference for yourself—but be aware that some of them contain placeholders like “x” that may change in the cleaned-up text. Also, our analysis here is limited to the copyright and Internet-related provisions of the chapter, but analyses of the impacts of other parts of the chapter have been published by
Wikileaks and others.

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