Today is Veterens Day. Yesterday was the 244th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.
It occurred to me that I hadn’t written much about my father since he died, either in this mess or just ’cause. He passed away in 2016 after a long illness, just two week’s shy of his 70th birthday and two week’s past my parents’ 44th wedding anniversary. He was more proud of the latter. Plus, he was a Marine who served in Vietnam, and had he not been injured in Vietnam, he’d have stayed a Marine.
He defined himself in great part by being a Marine who was a veteran. So, this would’ve been a perfect time to write something, as I’d already gone past his birthday, wedding anniversary and the day that marked the third anniversary of his death. However, as I thought more about it at the gym, the less inclined I was to write it out. Three years and I’m still grappling with no longer having him around and just not ready for it.
So it’s not going to happen today. Beyond all that, I have one uncle who also served in ‘Nam, though in the Army and I think he was drafted where Daddy joined the Marines because Marines do things like that. Everyone I’ve known has, anyway. I am definitely not going to get into the whys, but I don’t have much love for the military, Marines or otherwise, but I hope all the vets in this country either enjoy the peace they’ve found or they find it sooner than later.
Anyhow. Enough wallowing in the maudlin. I need to start easing into the whole “news three times a week”, so we’ll skip talking about the books I’m reading or my recent resurgence of interest in anarchism, as a theory if not practice, in life and politics. Nor will we discuss Louie & The Lovers, a lost rock band from the sixties discovered by Doug Sahm. Some other time, and not necessarily tomorrow.
Before we get into gear, I did write something off-the-cuff for the Tumblr site. Inspired by this piece by Alex Pareene in The New Republic, I went off on the death of “rude journalism”; that is, media publications that don’t show proper deference to the ruling elite and how the ruling elite gets revenge by stomping those publications out of existence. To sort of tie in with the above paragraph, my renewed interest in anarchism connects with my views on how to make a living with journalism.
As soon as I left college, I knew I couldn’t work for a “straight” publication and spent my career in alt-weeklies and alt-monthlies, so that’s where my loyalties lie. In any event, the recent deaths of publications like Splinter and Gawker as well as the emasculation of Deadspin, on top of the devouring of of small-town papers by big media conglomerates and the struggle to maintain Net Neutrality, doesn’t bode well. Furthermore, the great unwashed is cheering this, not realizing that keeping them ignorant and distracted suits the Powers That Be right down to the ground, especially with so many rich bastards trying to become President. Anyhow, check it out.
Now, on to the News. Let’s look and see what we’ve got. Well, the biggest news from today was the announcement from New York Representative Peter King that he was retiring at the end of this term. A dependable wingnut for the GOP since he joined Congress in 1993, the Long Island represenative was outspoken in his anti-Muslim stance and a huge supporter of the IRA, making his supposed enmity of terrorism ring sort of hollow. He marks the 16th GOP rat to jump the ship, and some insiders say he’s been holding onto the seat until his daughter, Erin, was able to run for it, as Republicans just love them some nepotism.
From what all I can tell, King’s seat – unlike some others coming up vacant due to gutlessness – wiill probably remain solidly Republican, whether it’s passed on to his daughter or not. In any event,, Senate Majority Lead and gormless boob Chuck Schumer totally misread the room and stepped right in it by doing the sad, predictable “I’ll miss my friend” bullshit the Democrat leadership still thinks its constituents want to hear. “Peter King stood head [and] shoulders above everyone else,” Schumer said about the old bigot. And then he spent the rest of the day catching hell, which is as it should be.
Like with “civility”, “reasonable centrists” and Republicans piss and moan about bipartisanship, but the Republicans really don’t care beyond using it as a cudgel and neither think any effort should be put out by anyone but the Democrats. The old-school leadership of the Democratic Party still tries this shit – hell, it’s what Biden’s running on – even after eight years of them calling the then president a Muslim plant bred to destroy the United States.
One thing I will say about “The Squad” is they don’t play that game. Regular target for wingnut whack-a-doodles Rep. Ilhan Omar pulled no punches in her assessment, calling King an Islamophobe who “held McCarthyite hearings targeting American Muslims.” She rightly pointed out the old bastard once said “there are too many mosques in this country” and he blamed Eric Garner for his death at the hands of the police. Activist and Bernie Sanders’ campaign foreign policy adviser Matt Duss also noted that someone like King could be a rabid Muslim hater and still be considered “moderate”. Good riddance, indeed.
In other Election 2020 news, former Massachusetts governor and disgustingly rich person Deval Patrick is sniffing around a possible run for the Democratic nomination, joining New York’s Michael Bloomberg as money-grubbing jackasses who are, more than like, shitting their pants about Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have plans to take a minute portion of their filthy lucre away. Patrick, who’s worked for Texaco and Coca-Cola and is currently working with Bain Capital, The New Times announced he was making calls and talking to folks about a run, despite the field already being too thick, and way too damn many rich bastards have decided they’re the ones to save the country.
Patrick set up a exploration committee last year but decided he wasn’t up for the fight. He’s a former ally of Barack Obama and makes for the third African-American candidate to run for the 2020 nomination. Now, that’s pretty cool, but as of right now, there’s nothing really telling about what Patrick brings to the race that isn’t being heard. Certainly he really doesn’t bring anything to the table that, say, Julian Castro or Cory Booker brings, but it’s early year and we’ll see.
Okay, that’s enough for tonight. It’s going to be nasty cold tomorrow and I’m still fighting off a cold. Supper’s about ready and I might come back to this. Otherwise, have a good evening.