A Handmaid’s Tale

This show is fucking good. It’s the new ‘Game of Thrones.’

THE HANDMAID’S TALE — “Offred” – Episode 101 – Offred, one the few fertile women known as Handmaids in the oppressive Republic of Gilead, struggles to survive as a reproductive surrogate for a powerful Commander and his resentful wife. 

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Renewed for Season 2 at Hulu


How Harvard Business School Has Reshaped American Capitalism

But how and why that might be the case isn’t really what interests McDonald, the author of previous books about McKinsey, the consulting firm, and JPMorgan’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon. In “The Golden Passport,” he’s determined to call the Harvard Business School to account, citing its founding doctrine, which was to develop “a heightened sense of responsibility among businessmen” (and eventually women) who “will handle their current business problems in socially constructive ways.” In that regard, McDonald is scathing in his critique: Harvard Business School has not only “proven an enormous failure,” but its very success has made it positively “dangerous.”

He drives home the point in chapter after chapter, picking up steam in more recent decades: Harvard, he maintains, provided the ideological underpinnings for the junk-bond-induced takeover mania and resulting scandals of the 1980s; the corporate scandals of the 2000s; the egregious increase in the pay gap between chief executives and ordinary employees; the real estate mortgage bubble and ensuing financial crisis; even the election of Donald Trump. In McDonald’s view, the school has contributed to pretty much every bad thing that has happened in American business and the economy in the last century. In the wake of whatever scandal or financial collapse or recession to which it has contributed, it wipes its hands, distances itself and still has the nerve to put forth its experts as the solution to problems.


Macron’s Unusual Marriage Is OK—But NOT What His Type Are Doing to France (And America)

In my study, there hang portraits of my two literary heroes. One of them, Samuel Johnson, at age 25 married a woman twenty years his senior—a widow who, like Mrs. Macron, brought three children to the marriage. Johnson loved his wife dearly, to the bafflement of his friends. After she died seventeen years later, he mourned her for the rest of his own life.

My other literary hero, George Orwell, lost his wife Eileen after nine years of marriage, then remarried on his death bed to the prettiest girl in the office.


Putin’s New World Order
MIKE WHITNEY • APRIL 28, 2017 • 2,300 WORDS


Twenty Truths About Marine Le Pen
JAMES PETRAS • MAY 1, 2017 • 1,000 WORDS

Le Pen’s program will raise taxes on banks and financial transactions while fining capital flight in order to continue funding France’s retirement age of 62 for women and 65 for men, keeping the 35 hour work-week, and providing tax free overtime pay. She promises direct state intervention to prevent factories from relocating to low wage EU economies and firing French workers.

Le Pen is committed to increasing public spending for childcare and for the poor and disabled. She has pledged to protect French farmers against subsidized, cheap imports.

Marine Le Pen supports abortion rights and gay rights. She opposes the death penalty. She promises to cut taxes by 10% for low-wage workers. Marine is committed to fighting against sexism and for equal pay for women.


Why Defend South Korean Ingrates?
Trump spills the beans as the “adults” panic
by Justin Raimondo
May 01, 2017

“On the THAAD system, it’s about a billion dollars. I said, ‘Why are we paying? Why are we paying a billion dollars? We’re protecting. Why are we paying a billion dollars?’ So I informed South Korea it would be appropriate if they paid. Nobody’s going to do that. Why are we paying a billion dollars? It’s a billion dollar system. It’s phenomenal. It’s the most incredible equipment you’ve ever seen – shoots missiles right out of the sky. And it protects them and I want to protect them. We’re going to protect them. But they should pay for that, and they understand that.”

Ah, but they don’t understand it – and neither does H. R. McMaster, Trump’s newly-appointed National Security Advisor, who rushed to assure Seoul that the President didn’t really mean what he clearly said. And the South Koreans, who are in the midst of a presidential election – the vote is on May 5 – are in a uproar.


More NYT ‘Spin’ on the Syria-Sarin Case
April 28, 2017
By Robert Parry

Further, the U.S. and its allies have been conducting airstrikes across much of Syria in campaigns against Islamic State and Al Qaeda-linked terror groups, which have been supported by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and other Sunni-led sheikdoms. Turkey has been active, too, with strikes against Kurdish forces. And Israel has hit repeatedly at Syrian targets to promote what it regards as its interests, including destruction of Iranian weapons believed headed to the Lebanese militant group, Hezbollah.

Some – if not all – of these entities had a far stronger motive to create a chemical-weapons incident in Syria on April 4 than the Syrian government did. At the end of March, the Trump administration announced that it was no longer a U.S. priority to overthrow the Assad government, an announcement that upset several of the countries involved in the Syrian conflict, including Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States and Israel.


Shortly after the incident at Khan Sheikhoun, I was told by an intelligence source that U.S. satellite imagery had picked up what looked like a drone in the vicinity at around the time that the poison gas was released. Despite some technical difficulties in tracking its route, the source said the analysts believed that it may have come from a Saudi-Israeli special operations base in Jordan, used to assist the rebels.


David Ignatius’ 15 Years of Running Spin for Saudi Regime

Ignatius, of course, is not alone. He joins a long line of faithful Western pundits who frame the Saudi regime as a reformist entity, earnestly pushing change in a fundamentally reactionary country under perma-threat from Shia forces. The Al Saud mafia is not in league with religious extremists, but a bulwark against them; they are not an illegitimate dictatorship, but an enlightened ruling class helping usher in “reform” in the face of a hyper-religious population.

And throughout it all, they are on a 71,500-year reform plan where they are effusively praised for moving their country toward the 19th century every five years or so. Other regimes that oppress their people and bomb civilians “must go” now, and are beyond the moral pale—mere allegations of being friendly with them, a career-ender. But the Saudi regime, a friendly host to light-touch US pundits, is just a well-meaning scrappy band of reformers this close to turning into Switzerland. All they need is a bit more time.


21 Replies to “A Handmaid’s Tale”

  1. my own impression is that one must be a full blown psychotic in order to succeed at HBS, or to even want to go there in the first place. i guess…

  2. @JR,

    Could we please get the old motorcycle flames banner photo back for a few weeks? The ME pipeline guard is getting a bit tiresome to look at.

    Also, what about a nice reclining woman pose? That would fit the banner dimensions nicely. Let me see what I can find for you, like some old saloon paintings, perhaps. Tasteful, of course.

  3. they’ll be fighting Klingons on Starships in their future, so it might be good training and psychological prep.

    love that dumpster, and all the toxins coming off those recycled tire shreds and asphalt in the hot sun, which are invisible, of course. breath deep kids, viva dioxins.

  4. never fully appreciating the courage of his chosen role in life, he died with his boots on.

    i feel so sorry for the wife. she likely had few choices, made the one she thought best at the time, then worried and worked hard to maintain the family life she was brought up (brainwashed?) to achieve.

    the girls are just the replacements for the mother.

    that’s my first take on the video with the sound off.

  5. when my father was very young, they used to clothe him in a dress, so he appeared as a girl in old photos. this was probably my grandparents just being practical, as it was far easier than changing pants before he was potty trained. this was long before disposable diapers.

    one wonders if Scottish kelts served the same functionality.

  6. Okay, nice catchy tune there, dave. Yeah, he went to Hell, so to speak. My father did the exact opposite with my older sister. She was running down a slope toward an open pit shaft up at Calico Ghost Town (an abandoned mining town) on the Mojave Desert in CA. He saw what she was about to do, ran toward her and tackled her, thus saving her from the abyss, which most certainly would have been fatal (I saw the pit before they filled it many years later). I guess that gave him a place in Heaven, except there is no Heaven or Hell.

  7. Hi Shaun

    I spend my time more concerned about my grandchildren than myself. I’ve had a decent life, the best of our current era by my reckoning ; though that has probably been said by people in any time who have survived in reasonable shape, physically and financially. But both of those factors have been a result of the productive time I’ve lived through plus a bit of luck. At least I think so.

    My grandchilden on the other hand look on my ramblings as way of keeping grandad free of altzheimers for a few more years; they certainly get on with their successful lives without much concern for my way of thinking, which is only natural I suppose. They are helping to consume the last of our resources because they are locked into the same system as everyone else. Maybe they do think about it but don’t tell me.
    Forecasting our collective demise isn’t easy . I first began my concern in 05 regarding imminent doom ; wrong of course. But then what is “imminent”? Though I did write a piece in 2011 forecasting “a Trump” for president in 2016 or 20, (as did Chomsky, so maybe great minds think alike). My exact forecast was a theofascist dictator, which I still think is likely.

    As to answers, I’d like to think there is one. Because whatever line of thinking one follows, the three hurdles of overpopulation, climate change and energy shortage appear, coupled with the collective certainty that prosperity can be voted into office or looted from elsewhere. They are the facts we face right now. This is why I wrote the critique of Ahmed’s lecture. I’ve read numerous books on the subject, few examine those aspects as a single entity, which is what they are; most seem to offer a future of benign bucolic peasantry where we are nice to each other. (gentle downsizing etc). We have a population of 7.4Bn, 6Bn of whom are here because hydrocarbon fuel allowed it. As I see it, without hydrocarbon input, those 6Bn don’t have a future at all. The UK population is 64m, we might feed 20 m if we’re lucky.

    Or maybe we will enter some kind of utopia where we drive/use electric cars to go places. (where and why exactly? Heinberg in particular seems to have a transport fixation). Wheeled transport is a particular bugbear of mine, because our current civilisation is entirely dependent on converting explosive force into rotary motion.

    Few accept that democracy has been the product of cheap surplus hydrocarbon fuel. Without surplus available energy, our democratic system will vanish. Resource acquisition/depletion/shortage gives rise to violent fascist dictatorship. Current history appears to confirm that on many levels, from Germany/Japan in the 30s/40s onwards to our present. The EU was founded on the basis of common access to European mineral resources to prevent fighting over them (Iron and coal federation of the 50s). The EU itself is now breaking up because that ongoing prosperity is no longer there; politicians pretend otherwise, but that is the reason for the resurgence of popular fascism.

    The USA exists as a single entity because of the vast quantities of mineral resources contained within its borders. The nation was created as an energy economy (primarily oil), it is now trying to function as a debt economy, so collapse is inevitable because all debt is a function of surplus energy availability. But they have been in oil deficit since 1970, which explains their ongoing problems (45m on food aid among other things). They are in denial of course, but this is a reason for the rise of “alt-right” as they term it supported by those who see themselves impoverished by circumstances beyond their control.

    But the USA will still devolve into separate nation states as hydrocarbon energy goes into depletion, because insufficient resources will exist to hold it together. The breakup will result in military intervention and necessary suppression of democracy. Their dictator is already waiting; if not Trump, then whoever follows him. When social breakdown occurs, dictators appear and democracy goes out of the window. Personally I’d be more worried about Pence taking over after Trump is impeached.

    Transition Kingston is interesting. I know Kingston well (including the leaning phoneboxes). Obviously the TTK group are doing the right things, but what concerns me is food supply and proximity to London. Kingston as a transition town seems to leave a lot of questions about survival. There is a growing awareness of future survival everywhere, but the certainty is still there, that ‘they’ will fix things. A lot of people I know seem to be decamping from London to the west country if they have the means. They don’t make a fuss about survival and stuff, but their concern is obvious. ( I live in the West Midlands).


    View story at Medium.com

Comments are closed.