Welcome to week two of The Leftorium! Before we get to our regular programming, I’m just going to do a recap of the ground rules:
- This is a weekly thread where we discuss politics, both American and international, from a leftist point of view.
- This is not the place to insult people for their left-wing beliefs, to call us names or belittle us. Respect goes both ways.
- However, you needn’t identify as a leftist to post here. Again, just be respectful of our beliefs. Honest debate in good faith is welcome.
- Also, while we have some news listed on here and a general discussion topic, all leftist discussion is welcome.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get to the meat of this thing!
- Vermin Supreme, my hero and spirit animal, has sued the city of Concord, New Hampshire for the violation of his First Amendment rights, because they’ve refused to allow him to stage a protest outside of a bookstore where Hillary Clinton is holding a book signing. He is angry that Clinton satirized his pony platform in her book. They’ve said he can hold his protest and bring his two ponies any other time, just not that day. It’s interesting to me that people love Vermin when he is throwing glitter on Randall Terry and saying he’s turning him gay, or when he is trying to keep the peace at the RNC, or when he protests Nazis, but this protest? This is a step too far. You can read the suit here
- Al Franken still refuses to step down after multiple accusations of groping and inappropriate behavior. On top of that, members of the DFL in Minnesota have been sticking up for the guy and he held a fundraiser for Missouri Democrats. Lovely. Seriously dude, just go. Leave. When Republicans are calling you out and saying that Democrats need to return every penny you raised, you know the party has completely lost whatever moral high ground they claimed to have.
- Trump is not only shrinking Bears Ears National Monument in Utah by 82%, but the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by 800,000 acres. I’m far from a big Obama fan, but one of the good things Obama did was eventually designate these lands as protected, and Trump is stripping that away. All for the whole priority of “drill, baby, drill”. Is there any kind of promise or treaty we’ve made with the indigenous people of this country we haven’t broken? Because I’m having a hard time thinking of one.
- Kellyanne Conway is now in charge of the opioid epidemic. Why? Who fucking knows! I still say we need to do what Portugal did back in 2001, decriminalize possession, and send people to rehab. It should be treated as a health issue, not a criminal one. The results have been astounding in decreasing overdose deaths, HIV transmission from IV drug use and has actually decreased the usage of drugs, but people prefer punishing people for drug use so good luck ever trying to get that to happen here. Hell, we invented a fake epidemic of crack babies based on bunk science. We’ve turned drug addiction into entertainment with shows like Intervention, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and I once saw an episode of Dr. Phil in a hospital waiting room where he was showing babies allegedly in withdrawal, only of the babies clearly was not in withdrawal, it was suffering from the horrible genetic disorder harlequin ichthyosis, something that not even addiction to every drug known to man during pregnancy would cause, but don’t let facts get in the way of shaming people with a severe medical problem. Just shame the fuck away because people who are addicts are apparently subhuman.
- Net Neutrality is still under attack. In a kind of cute turn on the story, the owner of the We Rate Dogs twitter account noticed that Ajit Pai follows him, so he decided to DM and troll him.
- A group who actually deserved Nobel Peace Prize actually won it this year. The Australian-founded International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons won it for their efforts for advocating global nuclear disarmament. In July, 2/3rds of the UN members signed the treaty. Kind of nice for it not to go to someone who, you know, turned out to be a warmonger or monster like has happened way too frequently in the recent past.
- GQ has a pretty nice article about Jeremy Corbyn. Basically, they state he’s a winner because he actually gives a shit.
- Not a fan of Emmanuel Macron, but he’s claiming that the return of African artifacts is a top priority of his during a three day trip to Africa. I hope he’s not bullshitting, but I’ll believe it when I see it.
Chapo Trap House’s latest episode has the following description: Matt, Will, Virgil and Felix ponder the tax bill and many reasons for despair. Then, they lighten the mood by talking about Jared’s bar mitzvah at the Haim Saban forum and a new behind the scenes look at our president’s fast food based diet. Plus Trumpy Bear.
Bernie Sanders hasn’t had a new episode for a few weeks, but his latest is from mid-November, and it’s about what the Paradise Papers actually reveal. You can listen to it on Google Play, iTunes or IHeartRadio.
Revolutionary Left Radio has an episode up on black feminism, queer theory, anarchism, marxism and socialism with Zoe Samudzi.
Topic for the Week
What are some leftist artists you are fond of? Most of you that know me are aware of my obsession with Pink Floyd and Roger Waters. Waters is an old Socialist and his latest album, Is This the Life We Really Want, is all about his anti-war, anti-fascist, anti-racist and socialist perspective. While he does shit on Trump a bit, a lot of the album was written over the past few years, and was about his disappointment with Obama. He was cautiously optimistic during his campaign, and then heartbroken that he continued some Bush-era policies and ramped up the drone war. Not that he prefers Trump to Obama, mind you, just that the drone war is something that is vile and evil. Another couple favorites of mine are socialist (and best actor ever) Peter Lorre, and communist playwright Bertolt Brecht.