My apologies everyone. I have been negligent in my blogging duties. I’m going to pass the buck and blame my friend Jopinho who has been in town for the past several days. It was a wild weekend of activities resembling those we engaged in as college students. It was absolutely brilliant. DJs, bros, homeless people, Jim Beam, and a hooker all made guest appearances over the course of our epic Saturday evening/morning that took us across the city of Chicago in a long search for good times.
Today has been a big day. Bob Novak, the famous conservative journalist and author has died at the age of 78. He is perhaps most famous for outing CIA agent Valeria Plame Wilson in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq. I didn’t much like Bob Novak or his politics but he was a very important voice in conservative politics for a number of decades. Though he was far less influential than William F. Buckley, Jr., Novak’s death will certainly be felt in conservative circles that are already at a loss for intellectual leadership. Bill Kristol anyone?
On the complete other side of things, Tim Wise, an anti-racist author and activist who once came to Macalester to deliver a lecture, wrote a solid blog entry at Daily Kos called “Racism, Right-Wing Rage and the Politics of White Nostalgia”. Here is an excerpt:
In the end, although there are many people, with many different reasons for opposing the President or his health care proposal, the role that race and racism is playing cannot be ignored. With major conservative spokespersons stoking the fires of racial resentment daily, and with most whites having long ago come to the conclusion that social program spending is something done on behalf of racial “minorities” at their own white expense, it is not too much to insist that race is operating, for some quite overtly and for others more subtly.
And for those who insist racism has nothing to do with it, the question remains why they have said nothing to those persons coming to their rallies and giving exactly that impression by way of the signs they carry. Where are their letters or calls to Limbaugh or Beck, chastising them for saying Obama hates white people, or that health care is just a form of reparations–racial payback of white America? Of course they have written no such letters. They have made no such calls. They are too busy. Busy waxing nostalgic for bygone days, which they mis-remember as a time of innocence, of decency, and of self-reliance, but which days were really days of widespread injustice, profound indecency, and institutionalized racial preference for people like them.
Bam. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Also, if these people don’t scare you you’re crazy. Good to know that some people imagine a world where everyone will walk around carrying assault rifles over their shoulder.
Zizek wrote an op-ed in The Guardian on ongoing Israeli settlements in Palestinian territories. I got this from a former colleague of mine named Andrew Loewen who posted it on Facebook. Andrew asked the following question, “What’s going on: Sober, principled political commentary, devoid of flippant counter-intuitive maxims and strained pop-culture analogies, from Zizek?” Indeed. Who knew Zizek was capable?
Jonathan Cohn, a senior editor at The New Republic, wrote a very good explanation of the type of changes that health care reform would bring and has some interesting suggestions.
Eugene Robinson, one of the few remaining liberal voices at The Washington Post had an op-ed on Obama and HHS Secretary Kathy Sebelius’s backtracking away from the public option. He ended his piece with this:
Giving up on the public option might be expedient. But we didn’t elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one.
For those of you in Chicago who didn’t catch it, there was a rainbow last night around 7:30ish. Here is a picture from the White Sox game showing it stretching over the stadium.
After picking up some deck furniture for Jon’s sweet, new apartment, we grabbed a bite to eat at Simone’s, a new bar down the street from Jon’s new place in Pilsen. The food was a solid and we had some interesting specialty drinks made by a skillful, friendly bartender. It’s definitely a sure sign of Pilsen’s inevitable gentrification but it offers a little something different from the Skylark, another Pilsen bar and I think it’s worth checking out if you are in the neighborhood.