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Hot tip on cool book

Get a job and define it so it’s a lifetime gig

Which is what this Loyola U.-Chicago assoc. prof did when named diversity advisor to  the university’s president.

The first thing an institution—or even a person—needs to do is recognize that notions of inclusivity and diversity are not static. They are constantly changing.

That’s why we want to make sure the diversity statement we’re working on has the idea of change embedded in it, that it doesn’t just speak to respecting a list of diverse populations.

That holds us accountable as a community to constant growth and lets us work toward change, rather than setting a numerical goal and just stopping when we reach it.

There will be no stopping this fellow.

Trump succeeds by catching the tide and swimming with it

Like Shakespeare’s Brutus taking the tide “at the flood” and “the current when it serves,” Trump has captured the spirit of the age and is making the most of it.

If the leaders of the Right are scared of Trump because he will say anything; the Left is scared of Trump precisely because he will say anything. He does not play by the rules, and that makes him less predictable and more dangerous. What Ronald Reagan and Trump have in common is obvious: an incredible capacity to use the media to captivate the American people. One learned this in Hollywood, the other in reality TV, but both deployed this skill to great effect.

There is, of course, a big difference, as well: everyone knows Reagan cast himself as a sunny, heroic figure. Trump, on the other hand, is taking his cues from his time as a pro-wrestling heel personality, i.e., a comically larger-than-life villain. But there’s a neat thing about villains, or at least well-done ones: they get to show where people’s ideas of good and evil fall flat. Trump does this brilliantly to the Left. He has taken the humiliating mockery that the media has trained so effectively on “hicks,” Christians, and Republicans, and turned it round to expose the smug, mostly leftist Babbits and young fogies of the Acela Corridor as no less ridiculous.

That’s a good start for someone who wants to make America great again, rather than letting America succumb to its eventual, leftist-driven death by a thousand clicks.

— From a long, erudite and eerily perceptive essay by Federalist contributor Mytheos Holt

Age before beauty this election time around

Look, the older you are, the smarter, right?

The New York Times notes that a lot of really old guys are getting back into the political arena because of the dearth of operatives who have experience working a contested convention.
“The last time Stuart Spencer courted delegates at a Republican National Convention, in 1976, he kept a roll of quarters in his pocket for when he had to run to the pay phones and call in reports to President Gerald R. Ford’s campaign headquarters,” Jeremy Peters writes.
“This year there will be no running. Two hip replacements later, the closest Mr. Spencer plans to get to the convention floor in Cleveland is the deck of his Palm Desert, Calif., home, where he calls in advice to Gov. John Kasich’s campaign almost every day.
‘I’m 89, man. I’m lucky to be here,’ said Mr. Spencer, who last worked in politics 25 years ago.”
[Paul] Manafort [new de facto
Trump campaign manager] is 67. Charlie Black, helping Kasich, is 68.

Used to think smarter, when I was 50 or so. At 84 I don’t think so. Not the point here, which is EXPERIENCE.

Wuxtry, wuxtry, Archbishop endorses Pope’s exhortation

If that’s not news, I’ll eat my chapeau.

The archbishop welcomed it, saying it “might surprise some for its insistence on the need for mercy and compassion and its emphasis on the role of conscience.”

Oh? Who who are those surprised by mercy and compassion in an exhortation issued by the pope in a year of mercy which he himself proclaimed?

I do believe the archbishop is saying something without saying it, namely that the pope’s loosening restrictions that no other pope ever loosened was a surprise to people who thought he might do it but hoped he wouldn’t and are stunned that he did and are making clearly heard growling noises.

This in response to the supreme spokesman, who has people guessing.

===================

Later: On other hand, archbishop’s “might surprise some” can be read as “some shouldn’t have been surprised,” as in what did they expect? But that is to put too much of the ironic or even sarcastic into an archbishop’s statement, and we don’t expect that.

About her?

Slight size-wise, not thought-wise.

SumitOfficial's Blog

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“About her? I remember
a thing or a two..
Or everything…
Or perhaps nothing!
She used to be a prayer
Which turned into my scream now..”

Copyright © 2016 by SumitOfficial
All rights reserved.

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Lot of this socialism going around, so . . .

. . . this pursuer of truth decided to make some rounds. First in order of reporting, last night, 4/9/16, at College of Complexes, meeting these days at Dapper’s East, 2901 W. Addison, in the Addison Mall, where I heard a few things.

Speaker Charley Earp, executive committee chair of the Chicago Socialist Party, was winding up a short opening statement for the 35 or so on hand in a back room of a restaurant.

I heard something about Ronald Reagan being a benchmark for suspicion of socialists, which had begun to boom in the ’50s, and something else about U.S. being a tabula rasa compared to Europe, where traditions militated far less against socialism.

Oh. Yes, we are different. Nice to see that recognized, even if as a drawback.

Then the conversation began. It’s important to “transcend the wage system,” Earp said in answer to the first question — replacing it with a system that would not “cramp creativity.”

He works in the travel industry himself, but lives in a commune, though he’s not a member of the commune. This he said in answer to a question about starting socialism one group, or “colony,” at a time, which he called building communism “from below.” He rejected this strategy because all is interconnected and you can’t do it piecemeal.

Nor would he attempt socialism through partisan politics, which he said “only keeps the rich in power.” Hence his declining to support Bernie Sanders. “The rich will still run the government even if Bernie is elected,” he said. He does not feel the Bern.

What’s more, socialism is international or it’s not socialism at all. So the Soviet Union has not been a socialist country since Stalin chose a path of national socialism — one country at a time. But the term, which he did not use (it was Hitler’s), is provocative, is it not? Neither was China ever socialist, because it too was a national venture. World socialism is the true Marxist goal.

“Where does socialism work?” asked an old fellow. We were mostly old fellows, let me tell you, in stark contrast with my first socialism-learning venture a week or so earlier, where in a book talk the median was closer to 25, among a similar size group, 30 or 35 people. More later on that session.

Another asked whether Norman Thomas was a CIA agent. Earp did not dismiss the idea, but noted that suspicions lurked about Thomas, who headed U.S. socialists for decades between wars and into the post-war years. Hmm.

“Seems like we need a revolution,” muttered a woman at my table, one of a dozen or so tables he in this back room, where the working-class waitress bustled about efficiently in pursuit of her wage through friendly service. (Three-dollar cover charge, she told me when I declined a menu. I forked it over next time she flew by. It was College of C. “tuition,” which I already knew.)

A questioner used the term “democracy and freedom,” meaning the two together as peas in a pod. Earp asked, “Do you feel free?” but smiling as he said it and was in no way dismissive. Throughout, he was the pleasantest, most reasonable-sounding Marxist I ever listened to. Not sold on himself or on his cause, for that matter. It made easy listening.

He is “not a Trotskyist,” he said, in one of several byroads into theory cum autobiography,. Theory actually came through as his chief interest, and that contributed to the easy listening part. Nor did he espouse Lenin’s “left communism,” by which the founder meant “too left,” somehow overdoing it.

Talk like this, with perfectionism built into it, led to questions about what he had in mind. He admitted he’s been called “defeatist” in his letting the perfect be enemy of the good (my phrase here).

His personal goal? By now, at age 53, not knowing “all the answers” and no longer wanting to change the world, he wishes only to add to the membership of the Socialist Party of Chicago — whose Rogers Park branch, by the way, had hosted the Loyola-campus book talk, about which more later, as I said.

Asked if stock ownership can be socialistic, in that it means ownership of the means of production, Earp said not if it’s for profit. So the motive is the thing, said the questioner. Yes, motivation, Earp replied.

But more than that, of course, is ownership by whom? Not by some goldarned Wall Street investor, that’s for sure.

End of partial coverage of:
Bernie Sanders and Democratic Socialism: 
Beyond the 2016 Election
Meeting # 3,369 – Charley Earp of the Chicago Socialist Party who says:  “It’s debatable whether Bernie Sanders is an actual socialist, but those of us who advocate democratic socialism can’t afford to focus on merely getting Bernie elected. A real socialist movement isn’t reducible to one candidate or even a presidency, the working people of the world have to fight capitalist exploitation on many levels and fronts.”
Coming up, coverage of the book talk by Sharon Smith, discussing her latest book, Women and Socialism: Class, Race, and Capital at Room 217 of Cuneo Hall, Loyola U. Lake Shore Campus, 3/31/16.