Hot Stove Burnout

This is the final wrap-up of Hot Stove Slow Burn

A few good reasons the Mets didn’t land Trevor Bauer

1) Dodgers offered better money in the first two years. He’s opting out after that.
2) Dodgers are a winning organization, and more scientifically driven.
3) On Thursday evening, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reported that Bauer had agreed to a deal with the Mets. Six minutes later, Mark Feinsand refutes that report.
4) On Friday, the Mets defeated J.D. Davis in salary arbitration, paying him $2.1 million rather than $2,475,000. That SCREAMS cheap-ass management & ownership.
5) On Friday morning , the Mets set a noon ET deadline for Bauer to make his decision on their contract offer, according to a report from MLB Network insider Joel Sherman, claiming, “they didn’t want to be used to help Bauer gain leverage with the Dodgers.”
6) On Friday afternoon, with their self-imposed deadline expired and still no word, the Mets tune changes. “They are waiting on Bauer’s free-agent decision, but it’s unclear if they’ve given the right-hander a deadline.”

I was wrong about no more big MLB trades this winter, after the SDP acquired RHP Joe Musgrove from PIT. Last week, 3B Nolan Arenado was sent to STL from COL, who eats $51M on a deal they inked with their franchise player only two years ago. Rockies got no serious prospects in return, so this was a straight salary dump. STL jumps to the top of a weak NL Central.

What I said about a lot of free agents returning to their old teams, or having to accept minor league deals, or getting frozen out completely, has happened. The latest reunion is Marcell Ozuna back to ATL at 4/$65M. Once again, it’s because OF/DH Ozuna has more value to ATL than any other team that is spending money. Same with DH Nelson Cruz, who resigned with MIN at 1/$13M, and 2B Cesar Hernandez who re-signed with CLE at 1/$5M.

MIL signed 2B Kolten Wong at 2/$18M to solidify their infield defense. I’m assuming the LAD will re-sign 3B Justin Turner, and that STL will re-sign C Yadier Molina. That means CF Jackie Bradley Jr is the only significant position player remaining in FA. What’s left (that matters) is pitching, and that’s a crapshoot, for sure.

Remaining starters: Taijuan Walker, James Paxton, Jake Odorizzi, Rick Porcello, Matt Shoemaker, Rich Hill, Brett Anderson, Jake Arrieta, Cole Hamels, Mike Foltynewicz, Mike Leake, Homer Bailey, Aníbal Sánchez and Mike Fiers.

Righty relievers: Mark Melancon, Trevor Rosenthal, Tyler Clippard, Trevor Cahill, Jeremy Jeffress, Tommy Hunter, Shane Greene, Yusmeiro Petit, and Sergio Romo.

Lefties relievers: Oliver Pérez, Justin Wilson, Jake McGee, José Álvarez, T.J. McFarland, Mike Montgomery, Chasen Shreve, and Tony Watson.

MLB salaries have decreased for the past 3 years, for the first time since their union starting keeping track in 1967. The current CBA is set to expire December 1, 2021. MLB players haven’t been happy with this deal since the free agency season of 2017-18, when 2nd-tier free agents saw their value collapse, due to increased use of advanced metrics by GM’s, which proves these players aren’t worth the big contracts they’ve been used to.

The International draft is now the free agent talent hot-spot, because these players are young & cheap. Young players (generally) play better defense, which is valued more accurately now. The International draft reduces the need for traditional free agency in filling roster voids. 1B Jose Abreu of the CWS is a great example of this.

This free agent freeze-out has been compared to “collusion” of an earlier era (1985-87), and technically it is, as all the GM’s agree (pretty much) on player valuation. But it’s not criminal collusion, because it’s out in the open. The fans know it too, and debate it in blogs, chat forums & social media. The smarter players also know it.

Therefore the MLBPA has no grievance of collusion here. This is stupidity in leadership to accept this rotten deal, with no understanding of the direction the game was going. Leadership is supposed to know better than anyone, but instead it’s the furthest behind. Now there’s a coronavirus pandemic on top of all this, and its unprecedented challenges, for which Tony Clark & Company are completely ill-prepared.

The players should fire all their union leadership, and organize amongst themselves, electing leaders of their own, with the ability to recall & replace them at any time, if they fail to serve the interests of the players as a whole. All CBA negotiations need to be open & transparent, with time for all players to debate & understand its meaning & full ramifications.

This needs to include the minor leagues, developmental sites, & international professional leagues, such as those in Japan, Korea & Mexico. With players being posted & signed as free agents from all parts of the world, any MLB players’ labor organization needs to have international representation & an internationalist perspective.

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SpaceX Explodes

This capability will enable a fully reusable transportation system designed to carry both crew and cargo on long-duration, interplanetary flights and help humanity return to the Moon, and travel to Mars and beyond,” SpaceX said in a statement ahead of Tuesday’s test.

Tuesday, Feb 2, 2021  7:20 EST: It was a successful launch. It’s not the fall that kills everybody, it’s the sudden stop. Another data point on the privatization of NASA. My alternate title is “SpaceXplodes.”

Top comments from others: “Eh… ‘at’ll buff right out,” “Needs a giant Bitcoin sticker on it. Then she moons,” “SpaceX is a booming business!”, “Looks like Tesla stock once reality actually takes place,” and “That could be you.”

Ground control to Major Tom, your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong…

That’s our taxes going up in smoke over some pie-in-the-sky delusion of grandeur.

This must be why Elon Musk insisted on being interviewed on NBC on MONDAY night, when he didn’t take any GameStop questions either.

Not a reusable rocket. FAIL

Under these results, humanity will never get to Mars. Musk is Trump 2.0.

In this modern-day reboot of Rocky Jones, Space Ranger (1954), Elon Musk is Rocky, and Jared Isaacman is Winky.

Bonus Short: Roy Thinnes in General Hospital circa 1964.

In term of physics, trying to land a rocket on it’s thrusters is like trying to land an airplane on its tail– meaning it’s physically impossible. This is because you can’t control an inverted pendulum in free-fall. But despite multiple miserable failures at this, Elon Musk is not deterred. As in Manhunt in Space (Rocky Jones, renamed), our billionaire entrepreneur must go back the the drawing board and re-discuss all this with his top scientists. The answer is probably in “cold light,” which should never be used indiscriminately.

SpaceX was founded by Elon Musk in 2002, and through his political connections, it has become the chief contractor & engineering team for NASA. The space shuttle program formally ended in August, 2011, so that Musk could design his own new vision of the future, which is the privatization of space travel.

Who is SpaceX charging to launch rockets & satellites? In the end, it’s all some form of corporate welfare. This second fireball disaster in less than two months (see video above) is an illustration of the folly, wastefulness & anti-scientific character of NASA under private control.

It used to be when something went wrong with NASA, there would be an explanation. Like on February 1, 2003, when the space shuttle Columbia blew apart on re-entry, killing all 7 crew members. We now know that something as small as a piece of foam insulation breaking off from an external tank, can strike a wing, and cause heat tiles to fall off. When Columbia re-entered the atmosphere, that damage allowed hot gases to penetrate the heat shield. Anyone can understand that.

But NOBODY can explain a fix for what’s happening here with Elon Musk. It’s been over a decade, and Musk still hasn’t delivered a Starship prototype that can land safely. It’s not even close. It’s time for the working people to change the leadership at NASA.

After this 2nd spectacular FAIL, there won’t be any customers for a “reusable rocket” that explodes into smithereens due to physical laws upon re-entry. To be truthful, we’d be further along in manned exploration with the space shuttle program, but Elon Musk had it killed to promote his personal vision, which is a boondoggle.

The only way I could think of promoting Elon Musk’s NASA delusion would be as follows: “Experience of a lifetime!! Your Twitter feed will blow up as you live-stream blast-off! Jettison yourself to the stars for your 15 minutes of fame! Re-entry will be a bummer, but you’ll get a helluva rating. A fifty-share, easy.”

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Boogaloo beatdown

We’ve had live Boogaloos in our WSWS forums for a few days, so I’ve encouraged all regular readers to ask them questions & engage them, as I did. Boogaloos scream to EVERYBODY they are so suppressed and have no voice in the media, until they are asked to explain themselves. Then it’s either silence, ad hominem attacks, and/or rage. They use the ‘big lie’ a lot, and libel opponents who use political science. I’m grateful to the WSWS moderators. What follows are my responses to all their attacks since publication.

The World Socialist Web Site (WSWS) published, “YouTube personality Jimmy Dore promotes fascist Boogaloo Boy” on Friday, January 29. It starts, “On January 24, Dore invited SEP member and World Socialist Web Site Labor Editor Jerry White onto his program to discuss the WSWS’s coverage of a strike of Hunts Point produce workers in New York City…”

It turns out, this was a sleazy bait & switch interview opportunity offered to Jerry White of the WSWS, by Jimmy Dore. It was a misguided attempt by Dore to “unite the left & right.” The WSWS rejects the Boogaloo Boys as gutter politics, as Eric London explains.

Soon after, Nazi Boogaloo trolls began attacking the WSWS, because Jerry White wouldn’t cozy up to reactionary mouthpiece Jimmy Dore. Here’s a truth we’ve learned from all this. When it comes to mutilated Marxist pseudo-babble, the alt-right is better than the liberal left. Crazy stuff like, “Trotsky should have joined with Zinoviev,” etc… These Nazis actually studied for a day or so. That’s more reading than a lot of ‘leftists’ do.

Reactionaries kept posting WSWS articles they clearly hadn’t read, as ‘evidence’ of something [?] bad. They never have a quote, with a specific political criticism, just bluster and their usual tropes. We understand that Jimmy Dore & his crew actually want to be friends, but the problem is we don’t cozy up to Nazis. That’s rule #1 for us.

I asked Boogaloo supporters, “What’s up with your Hawaiian shirts? That was such a bad movie. Just so everyone remembers, the first Electric Boogaloo had rap/hip-hop influence. The sequel compares to Caddyshack II.” A supporter posted this link to Teen Vogue. My reaction was that they can’t even speak for themselves when asked directly, and obviously have no thought-out political program.

One prominent Dore supporter affirmed, “Jerry [White] was wholly ill-prepared for Jimmy Dore and his audience. It was a painful experience.” To which I immediately replied, “Jimmy Dore and his audience are wholly ill-prepared for the WSWS & its audience. It’s been a painful experience for you.”

No quarter to fascists. Question to them, “How do you feel about Boogaloos storming the Capitol as part of the Trump mob on January 6, 2021?” When these people are ready to disassociate themselves from fascist hooligans forever, then we can have a serious dialogue. Until then, we entirely reject all anarchist-syndicalist pseudo-populist demagogy.

Extreme leftists: Can you enlighten us on how anarchism betrayed the Spanish Revolution to the Nazis? Or how discuss the tragic lessons for the working class concerning the end of Che Guevara’s adventurism? Not a word of substantive response will you get from the right or left, on any of this.

Some Boogaloos defend the MeToo campaign and its reactionary feminism, which has been discredited, largely thanks to the WSWS. Kate Randall, Clara Weiss, JoAnne Laurier & Genevieve Leigh are just a few women who write for the WSWS, and support this perspective. There are many more.

MeToo feminists: Harvey Weinstein is Hollywood scum, but he deserved a fair trial, just like anyone else who is accused. Instead, he was tried by a media witch hunt in a kangaroo court. Many MeToo accusers & proponents are now proven liars, but face no consequences for this. The WSWS exposed the filth on all sides of this sordid affair, instead of taking sides, like reactionaries always do.

As to Boogaloos protesting their innocence: Boogaloos are being arrested across the US for assaulting the Capitol. The farce impeachment trial of Trump (chief Boogaloo) begins next week, with overwhelming public support for his conviction. The Boogaloo movement may be protected by fascist elites (called Democrats), but that’s where they are heading– down the drain.

All the Boogaloos combined don’t get a single fact right. It’s a remarkable record. Boogaloos are anti-science, anti-socialist & violence based. Like Trump, they are enabled bullies, who are actually cowards. They never admit defeat until it’s beaten into them, and only when they have no other choice. They exist to betray all their political allies.

Socialist question to all Boogaloos: Why don’t you just admit political defeat, and take your ass-whipping like adults and go home? It would be so refreshing to hear truth from you, instead of vitriol, red-herrings & evasions.

To Jimmy Dore on censorship: The WSWS/IYSSE appealed to its audience, the working class & youth of the world, and their Facebook ban was lifted after 3 days, cited as an “automation error” by Mark Zuckerberg– which no one believes. We didn’t need Boogaloos in that fight, and don’t in any other. They are both the enemy.

Reactionaries ask, “Are you a communist?” We reply, “Yes, in the sense of Marx & Engel’s ‘Communist Manifesto’. But ‘No’ to Stalinism, which represents a worker’s state hijacked by fascism. Hitler represents capitalist fascism, and is comparable to Stalin’s ‘communism.’ This historical materialist understanding of Marxism is called Trotskyism.”

To all the brainy, yet politically confused people: True art is a revolutionary manifestation, in any human era & genre. Fake art is ornamental propaganda. The greatest artists are revolutionary dialecticians. As far as intellectual fakery goes, Theodor Adorno represents the Frankfurt school of post-modernism, etc, and all its murky idealism. The primary feature of this school of falsification is the rejection of dialectical materialism in philosophy, and Marxism in politics, as an instrument for revolutionizing the working class internationally.

Finally, there are Socialist Equality Party organizations on six continents. We are internationalists, and therefore have more diversity than anyone. So we reject the MeToo, BLM & LGBT campaigns, which are all tools of the US deep state. We reject any coalition with white supremacists, anti-vaxxers, anti-Semites, right-wing libertarian guns nuts, and Jesus freaks. They are a small, yet dangerous minority that speak for themselves, and nobody else.

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Gaming the System

Promotional advertisement: What’s in your portfolio? It’s important to be diversified when it comes to investing. You need to do your homework in the market. Talk with as many ‘industry experts’ as possible, and seek out the bargains. Buy low, sell high. Or buy low, and sell lower. Don’t get yourself over-leveraged. A stitch in time, saves nine. A retirement plan doesn’t just happen by itself.

An internet/social media investing start-up named Wall Street Bets has collapsed Melvin Capital, who had a monopoly short-sell position on GameStop. This hedge fund lost its shirt on a short-selling scheme, and is now bankrupt– and it is not the only one. These Wall Street whales are only being kept afloat by Federal Reserve bailout money.

Independent investors (mostly young adults) have organized en masse on social media (Reddit, etc), and have bankrupted these hedge funds with their buying activity. Kids LOVE video games, so when billionaire vulture capitalists try to destroy a company that has deep nostalgic value to so many, this is how kids respond these days. They’re very smart.

From a centrist political perspective, when billionaires are bankrupted by a bunch of kids (WallStreetBets), it’s time for government regulators to step in and ‘correct’ the situation. Just like they did with Napster. A Wall Street whale got slaughtered, and that affects Biden-Harris & the Republicans deeply. This story is being heavily censored, until the narrative can be changed by the fake media. My position is as follows.

BANKRUPT THE BILLIONAIRES!!

PUBLIC SEIZURE OF ALL THEIR ASSETS!!

ALL POWER TO THE WORKERS!!


As this was being published on January 28, ~ noon EST, the stock-trading app Robinhood, suspended trading of GameStop, AMC, Blackberry & Nokia, and then a wave of other flea-ridden dogs such as American Airlines.

Fri 29 Jan 2021 08:40 AM EST

In summary, this is populist capitalist activity which is being hailed as revolutionary action. It’s just like the Boogaloo Boys, etc, with their “freedom fighter” crap. Don’t believe the hype.

But the explosiveness of this event is in the fact that billionaires were negatively affected, so the US government response was to suspend public trading of GameStop, AMC, etc, while hedge funds were still allowed to buy & sell. That’s how these billionaires got off-the-hook from further losses.

Nothing could illustrate the fixed nature of the stock market more clearly. Since rationality left the market long ago, it’s only “confidence” the maintains it. This event calls that vague indicator into question. That’s why this story is being censored so heavily. It was not covered during any of the network news broadcasts (CBS, NBC & ABC) last evening.

Take a careful look at the above screenshot. That’s a story in progress. The billionaires with brains have all re-hedged themselves, with a little help from their friends. They’re staring down the WallStreetBets crowd, and asking them, “Now what?” There will be a lot of losers among the young turks as their stocks crash. It’s the young wanna-be’s vs. the billionaires. This is definitely a war among classes, but the perspectives on both fighting sides are bankrupt. That’s why I only try to analyze the facts to illustrate the follies.

Fri 29 Jan 2021 01:05 PM EST

Robinhood, Charles Schwab, etc, have re-opened trading on all these aforementioned stocks. There are already class-action lawsuits being filed over this, by Robinhood app users. As you can see by the updated screenshot above, this financial speculation war continues.

All this is an example of Libertarian populism, and it’s all-too-similar in nature to cryptocurrency. Who benefits? It’s not the working people. Some of the biggest proponents of Bitcoin, such as Elon Musk, have been inflaming the GameStop discussion on social media. Elon Musk is a fascist, and doesn’t mind seeing a few opposition Wall Street whales get killed. In fact, he enjoys it, and so he takes up with WallStreetBets.

None of this has anything to do with revolution. These are simply a few rogue banksters gaming the system for their own gain, for a few brief moments, until the elites re-take control. If you want to take down the billionaire whales, it must be done by organizing the working class internationally. That’s the only social force powerful enough to win against them & their corrupt system.

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Henry Aaron & home runs

Henry (Hank) Aaron, who passed away yesterday at age 86, is best remembered for breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time MLB home run record, finally finishing with 755, to Ruth’s 714. Aaron broke Ruth’s mark in the face of ugly Jim Crow racism in 1974.

His death is somewhat ironic in its timing, as the MLB HoF balloting is to be announced on January 26, which is next Tuesday. On the ballot again is Barry Bonds, who hit 762 HRs, and was the greatest player ever. And there’s Roger Clemens, who went 354-184, to become the greatest pitcher ever, etc.

But old-timers like Hank Aaron have insisted they be kept out due to PEDs. Except that Milwaukee Brewers owner Bud Selig was the “Steroid Commissioner,” and he’s in the HoF, elected by a committee of Hank Aaron’s peers.

Fans need to understand that there were two coffee pots in the clubhouse– regular, and the one spiked with greenies which was called “leaded.” There were bowls full of amphetamines that you could help yourself to, etc. That’s how the players did it in Hank Aaron’s era, so don’t have any illusions when making past allusions. Most sportswriters looked the other way, just like they (& fans) did when McGwire & Sosa were swatting all their bombs.

There’s no merit to these exclusionist objections, and in fact, they’re hypocritical. A bunch of PED users have already gotten in, and once that happens, you have to let them all in, to be fair. Relatively speaking, there’s much more steroid abuse in the NFL & NCAAF, and it’s gone on much longer. Too few sports fans want to be serious about this, which is why these issues persist.

Henry Aaron was the last Negro League player to go to MLB, before they all folded after integration, which began with Jackie Robinson in April 1947. Hank Aaron played for the Indianapolis Clowns in 1952, before being selected by the Milwaukee Braves. Like Jackie, Hank was a very hard man, due to his early-life circumstances. In the end, baseball fans celebrate his talent, determination & extraordinary courage more than anything. RIP Henry Aaron

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Trump pardons Lil Wayne, but I don’t

Packers fans: Who is better Lil Wayne, or Aikman/Buck?

I took an impromptu straw poll last weekend, and speculated it to be a classic ‘Hillary or Trump’ conundrum, but I learned that Green Bay Packers fans much prefer Buck/Aikman to Lil Wayne. That says something.

Song/video review: Lame beats, stupid rhymes, with no melody hook. All compression in production. Someone tell Lil Wayne this is low-grade dog shit. I’ve heard better music at the ballgame…

He claims he worked on this for three (3) whole days. Lil Wayne says he never takes that long to do a song. Amazing results, huh? How can I be a big rock star like him? If we didn’t have Lil Wayne (and the rest) keepin’ it real, and providing the soundtrack for our lives, what would we have?

Listen to Lil Wayne rap, “Number 12, number 12…”  He probably never heard of Lynn Dickey. No images of him in the video. Typical front-runner fan. Obviously Aaron Rodgers is one of the best NFL QB’s ever, but it’ still disrespectful to ancient Lambeau faithful. There are many of them.

Lynn Dickey was a more-than-adequate QB when he had WR James Lofton, TE Paul Coffman & RB Terdell Middleton. They were a prolific NFL offense for a few years. The problem was their defense & special teams were shit.

Green & gold, green & gold to Trump Tower, baby
Green & gold, green & gold CMB power, baby

Representin’– you know what I mean?

A lot of celebrity rappers apparently bought themselves a pardon. It’s a disgusting lot that was pardoned, in whole. I wonder what Trump wanted for Julian Assange’s pardon? NO support from this gangsta crowd for the WikiLeaks founder. It’s just another reason to dislike Lil Wayne’s latest song, which was only released on YouTube 4 days ago!

      1. Millennial Whoop - Ric Size

 

Donald Trump’s pardoning Lil Wayne and the rest of these black rappers is nothing more than a cash pay-off to Trump, which is how he does business. The white supremacists can’t be happy about this one. Trump has been a very divisive President, no question.

The nuclear football hand-off has been executed and the führer in officially in exile, just like Adolf Hitler after his failed Beer Hall Putsch in November 1923. The political lessons of January 6 won’t be forgotten by the working masses. Fascism is storming the Capitol, then trying to hide from it.

The political question to the fascists from everybody else is, “What is next for your movement?”  Marxists take what Nazis say seriously. You don’t get to use History as a platform, when you don’t know it. Everyone needs to be listening, and very interested in their answer(s).

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Hot Stove Slow Burn

Mostly nothing has been happening on the MLB hot stove because everyone’s attention has been on the International Draft, which began yesterday, January 15. Young, cheap talent gets all 30 MLB GM’s (& their owners) excited. How each team does here, has a huge impact on an organization’s future. This draft has been moved up from July 2, due to COVID-19.

At the major-league level, only the SDP, NYM, ATL & CWS have made any significant roster upgrades, in an attempt to catch the LAD this off-season. As of this publication, the NYY just re-signed DJ LeMahieu (6/$90M), and reportedly just inked RHP Cory Kluber (1/$11M) to replace Masahiro Tanaka.

This treading water still makes NYY the AL favorites, because the TBR dumped ace lefty Blake Snell to the SDP, and HOU is losing free-agent OF’s George Springer (qualifying offer tagged), Michael Brantley, along with RHP Justin Verlander to Tommy John surgery.

When you look at the free agents the CLE, OAK, MIN, TBR are losing, it’s hard to see any of them making a deep run in 2021, without spending some money now. The CHC dumped legitimate #2 starter, Hu Darvish & their back-up catcher to the SDP, for #3 starter RHP Zach Davies & four prospects– none of them pitchers. That dump turned the NL Central into mush.

PHI, TOR & LAA keep saying they’re going to do something, and they might. Plenty of talent available. Trevor Bauer (CIN), JT Realmuto (PHI) & George Springer (HOU) have a qualifying offer (QO) tag on them, meaning they cost a draft pick to sign with another team. NYY offered DJ LeMahieu a QO, and he refused, which gave the Yankees leverage in their negotiations.

If you’ve ever talked about how losing top picks affects a fantasy draft with friends, they’ll all tell you it’s a killer. It’s the same (x10) in MLB. Most GM’s are averse to losing draft picks now. This really limits the market for free agents.

Qualifying offer compensation depends on a complex formula in the CBA, based on revenues, but a team loses either a 2nd or 3rd round pick, (and possibly a later-round pick too) when they sign a QO-tagged FA. This helps recipient teams have great drafts, which puts those organizations ahead of their competition. Example: MIL needs a catcher, and JT Realmuto would work for them, except: 1) their payroll budget isn’t there; and 2) MIL needs their draft picks even more.

The lesson is that the player should almost always accept the QO. It’s becoming more true each winter. Example: RHP Marcus Stroman is smart for accepting his QO. Otherwise, he would have been waiting until after the June Draft as a QO-tagged FA. At $18.9M for 2021, it’s an overpay by the NYM. Next winter Stroman is an unrestricted FA.

Same deal with RHP Kevin Gausman and the SFG. Both teams (Mets & Giants) probably hoped these pitchers would refuse their QO’s, so they could collect a draft pick, but that wasn’t going to happen either way. Unless TOR signs George Springer to a big deal (and they could use him), he could become the next Mike Moustakas, Yasmani Grandal, Dallas Keuchel, Craig Kimbrel, who were frozen-out of free agency by their QO-tag.

The Achilles heel of the NYY is their predominantly right-handed lineup, and fragile/thin pitching staff. Re-signing DJ LeMahieu doesn’t fix that, it entrenches it. Lefty bats are hard to find, as WAS isn’t trading LF Juan Soto, and the NYM aren’t looking to deal OF Dominic Smith. The NYY are too right-handed, and that’s why smart teams like the TBR can run a bunch of tough right-handers onto mound and beat them consistently in 2020.

NYY are now about $10M below the threshold, which they’ve exceeded the past two seasons. Like the BOS in 2020, the 2021 NYY need to stay under that threshold to avoid a huge MLB penalty tax. They’ll need that $10M for call-ups during the season, and possibly a trade deadline deal or two.

This rules out a reunion with RHP Masahiro Tanaka. The SDP are looking for another starter in free agency, and will probably sign him, unless CIN is serious about dealing RHP Luis Castillo. AJ Preller would love to re-acquire the young flamethrower.

It’s coming down to a team making an offer, to nearly any player, who has no other options. If you’re a GM, it’s a buyer’s market for free agent talent, like never before. The question is, how will MLB owners pay for it?

On the field, the LAD & SDP have what it takes to handle the NYY & HOU, with WAS, ATL, NYM & CWS in the second-tier for 2021. Championships are often won in the off-season, and this winter appears to be no exception. Only a few teams are stacked to win a World Series in 2021. The possibility of a third-tier team winning it all is slim, and for a Cinderella, it’s remote.

MLB still hasn’t made a final ruling on the NL DH for 2021, when it’s already the new rule for 2022 & beyond. The universal DH protects pitchers & staff as a whole. It also allows NL rosters to be more flexible. You need both leagues to play by the same rules for it to be a fair game.

All this needs to be understood under the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic which is raging out of control. Sports stadiums are now being used as mass vaccination centers. Is it ethical to interrupt such a life-saving operation to play baseball?

I have friends as season ticket-holders, and they wonder out loud, “How can owners sell fans tickets to games?” Too many states won’t allow it at this point, with California being the most notable. The Dodgers, Padres, Angels, A’s, Giants, etc, may have to find a new home for 2021, and that’s if there’s even baseball at all. The start of the 2021 MLB season will be delayed for sure, that’s the industry consensus.

Tue 19 Jan 2021 10:30 AM EST

Padres get: RHP Joe Musgrove
Mets get: LHP Joey Lucchesi
Pirates get: OF Hudson Head, RHP David Bednar, LHP Omar Cruz, RHP Drake Fellows from the Padres and C/OF Endy Rodriguez from the Mets

RHP Joe Musgrove was another target of the NYY. Reportedly they were also interested in RHP Luis Castillo, but the Reds GM said he’s not being dealt in a statement on January 17, dedicated to quelling the rabid NY media. The asking price for Luis Castillo was surely too high for AJ Preller. The NYY couldn’t acquire either of these coveted young arms, because they don’t have the prospects. All the speculation on this was fake reporting & east coast bias.

Unlike hired-then-fired manager Carlos Beltran last winter, now ex-GM Jared Porter (pic above) had enough time to leave his mark on the Mets franchise. First there was the Francisco Lindor & Carlos Carrasco for prospects deal with CLE, which has been hyped as the biggest deal of the MLB winter. Really it’s a one-year rental on a star SS, with an expensive 3rd-starter thrown in. It’s a ‘Mookie Betts Lite’ salary dump by comparison, and if the NYM don’t sign Lindor to an extension, the question becomes: What did they give up?

Now the Mets just acquired left-handed 6th-starter Joey Lucchesi from the SDP, just as new GM Jared Porter was fired for sending over 60 explicit emails to women staffers several years ago. This is the Amazing Mess. Who is in charge of vetting, and reviewing resumes for MLB front office & management openings in Queens, NY? Why can’t the Mets keep their pitchers healthy? Why does this high-payroll team finish in the second-division year after year? Why are they so poor defensively? None of these realities are ever taken up seriously by the NY media, in their prognostications, nor by those who own this Amazing Mess.

Sat 23 Jan 2021 1:50 AM EST

MLB great Henry Aaron died yesterday at age 86. Here are my thoughts.

It appears the Joe Musgrove-to-the Padres deal was the final big trade of the MLB winter, the last coveted starter available for prospects. The Reds hoped to deal RHP Sonny Gray (2/$20M remaining), but teams were more interested in Luis Castillo (as discussed), so nothing developed there. This turned GM’s back to free agency, and the market has finally started to move.

Since my last update, CF George Springer signed with TOR for 6/$150M, and OF Michael Brantley re-upped with HOU for 2/$32M. SDP fans are pleased AJ Preller re-signed Jurickson Profar at 3/$21M. BOS nabbed LAD utility player Enrique Hernández for 2/$14M. Notice how position-flexible players like Profar & Hernández are valued today.

The remaining starters in free agency are mediocre, injury risks, and/or old. Masahiro Tanaka is probably the second-best option, after Trevor Bauer. It appears the LAA are going to make the reigning NL CY Young Award winner an offer he can’t refuse. The Angels are the team with money to spend that needs Trevor Bauer most, after recently signing LHP Jose Quintana for 1/$8M.

With the top starters decided, or out-of-reach, the market has turned to relievers. Pedro Baez (2/$12.5M w/ HOU), and Kirby Yates (1/$5.5M w/ TOR) were the most coveted bullpen arms, after closer Liam Hendricks signed a 4/$54M deal with the CWS last week. That shows you what’s left in the reliever market, and how quickly it dries up.

JT Realmuto appears heading back to PHI at ~ 5/$110M, unanimously according to industry sources. Lots of free agents speculated to go back to their old teams. Nelson Cruz (MIN), Marcell Ozuna (ATL), Didi Gregorious (PHI), etc. We’ll see. The Phillies have been slow-played this winter in their quest to re-sign catcher JT Realmuto, to the point where they can’t do anything else until this happens. Realmuto would probably like to sign elsewhere after losing in PHI, but he isn’t getting any other comparable offers.

There are still a bunch of mediocre catchers available, and most teams need depth, but no one can make a move in the catcher’s market until the top guy signs. Until then, just about everyone in need, holds out hope they can get him for cheap. That’s how the Cubs got RF Andre Dawson in 1987 for league minimum salary, if you think it can’t happen.

Now that George Springer & Michael Brantley have signed, the outfielder market will get some movement, for these reasons. But outside of the top remaining players, it’s mostly cheap one-year contracts for these guys at this point. That means it’s time for the Twins, Brewers, Cardinals, A’s, etc, to get active.

Penny-pinching teams are looking for bargains, and veterans are being squeezed out of the game. Matt Kemp, Ryan Braun, Jay Bruce, etc, aren’t getting MLB deals. It’s minor league contracts for these guys, at best. A lot of veteran sluggers are about to announce their MLB retirements over the next few months, they just haven’t accepted it yet.

Summarizing conclusions: The upshot of this is that EVERY team values talent MUCH differently than they did, even as recently as five years ago. Data-driven analytics, started by Bill James in the 1980’s, has opened up new frontiers in competitive baseball. The SDP are now the sexy franchise model, which combines the best of old-school scouting, with metrics & modern money management.

The LAD are the big-market model, but it’s too expensive for most, so teams have to find a different way to compete, and that starts with talent in the minors. Many fans ask, “What’s left of the minors?” That’s another serious baseball question. COVID-19 has encouraged teams to bring up young talent faster than ever, because, 1) they are cheap, and 2) there may be no tomorrow.

Here’s another new GM rule which is helpful to understand. Teams are targeting specific players, in their needs. This means if the targeted player signs somewhere else, GM’s will often leave that market, because the second option(s) at that position isn’t a good fit for the team/organization. Needs are very specific in terms of age, lefty/righty, switch hitters, power, OBP, defense, utility players, stealing bases, etc, whether it’s at a certain position or bench depth. Moreover, money is now too expensive for any MLB owner to waste.

In the end, the game comes down to which GM’s & scouting departments evaluate talent the best? Right now it’s the LAD, TBR, HOU, NYY, ATL & SDP. Here’s another dirty secret the MLBPA doesn’t want fans & their own players to know: the luxury tax is basically a hard cap. The financial & draft-pick penalties get every owner under it after two years, and they don’t ever go back over with the reset, because it’s HARD to get under without breaking up the team. See the Mookie Betts-David Price deal for BOS.

The NYY have signed minor-league contracts with pitchers which they are bringing into spring training to compete for spots [!] on their 26-man roster. This is a team with a $200M payroll. The waiver wire has also been active this winter.  For example: Padres outfielder Greg Allen went to NYY through waivers, to clear roster room for all their big acquisitions, while low-OBP slugger Hunter Renfroe was waived by the Rays, and signed with BOS for 1/$3M. That’s ironic franchise role reversal, from as recently as two years ago.

The Rule 5 Draft had a lot of selections, which surprised some people, but this is how AJ Preller re-built the SDP from winter 2015 through 2018. Saving money, dumping veterans, accumulating draft picks, investing in young talent, properly valuing defense & relievers, being active in the international draft, etc. Basically, leave no stone unturned when it comes to talent acquisition & getting a fair edge. Think outside the box. Exhaust all the less-expensive options before committing to premium free agents. Everyone in MLB has learned, and is applying this method, mostly out of self preservation in 2021. That explains the free agent hot stove slow burn all winter.

Mon 25 Jan 2021 3:55 PM EST

Postscript: Hand job

This is an interesting case in free agency. Elite reliever Brad Hand had a $10M option with CLE after 2020. In a surprise move, Hand was put on waivers by CLE. But he wasn’t picked up, because no one wanted to pay his 1/$10M contract, so CLE had to buy Brad Hand out for $1M, and he became a free agent. Now Brad Hand reportedly has signed with WAS for 1/$10.5M.

Brad Hand gets the million dollars from CLE for the buyout, but has to pay his agent a fee for the new contract & move, so I don’t think he wins in free agency. Brad Hand’s deal with CLE was an AJ Preller contract he signed with the SDP after 2017.

How well did AJP’s player valuation hold up? He nailed it. Brad Hand was selected by Preller off waivers from MIA in April 2016, just before Mike Hill dealt righty pitching prospect Chris Paddack for Fernando Rodney on June 30, because his team needed a closer. Marlins finally have a new GM, but the damage has been done, and it will be a long climb into serious contention for new GM Kim Ng.

I’ll conclude with the Marlins, because they were so much the story in 2020, in being allowed to cancel & reschedule MLB games due to a COVID-19 outbreak among their players & coaches. Instead of forfeiting these contests, as MLB rules instructed, the commissioners office & MLB executives made things up on-the-fly with new “protocol”, etc. The official forfeit score in baseball is 9-0. In football it’s 2-0, basketball 20-0, and ice hockey 1-0.

In a 60-game season, MIA played about half their games as 7-inning double-headers. They were able to plan their rotation & bullpen strategy far ahead of their AL/NL East competitors, who all had to accommodate the Marlins. This was a deciding factor in sneaking the Fish into the post-season in 2020. But it won’t hold up for 162 games, and neither will MLB in 2021 if COVID-19 is still raging, which by all indications it still will be.

Everything I’ve analyzed above is an industry deluded with the irrational idea that baseball can be safely played in 2021. But rational thought no longer matters in politics, it’s only the opinions of the owners that count as ‘authentic news’. MLB is being faced with survival issues, which has completely disrupted the market, despite the clarity that any independent sportswriter can bring to it.

The Fed can’t keep bailing the MLB owners out forever. Without a bailout, or fans in the stands, how are teams going to meet payroll and other big expenses? There are some owners that feel they can manage it, while others are concerned– to say the least. With all this unrest & uncertainty, there’s a high probability of a labor stoppage in MLB this season, which means the minors too.

HoF voting announced tomorrow: I’m a “small-Hall” guy for everything. Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Curt Schilling, Scott Rolen, Todd Helton, Billy Wagner, Andruw Jones & Jeff Kent are all Hall of Famers. I maintain my steroid line from 2012 with “No” to Manny Ramírez, Sammy Sosa & Gary Sheffield. Mark Buhrle & Andy Pettitte are my borderline guys. Omar Vizquel, and the rest weren’t quite good enough.

Final nugget, just breaking: NYY trades a reliever, along with $850K, and a prospect to BOS, in return for NOTHING. Red Sox pick up $8.15M left on Adam Ottavino’s deal, and send a PTBNL to NYY. Yankees are dumping salary to stay under the luxury tax threshold. Poor player-valuation by Yankees GM Brian Cashman, as this contract didn’t hold up at all, like so many others.

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Barbarians at the Gates

What happened yesterday, January 6th, in Washington DC was a terrorist attack on the Capitol & US Constitution incited by Donald Trump. This is what happens when fascism is tolerated. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) & Mitt Romney (R-UT) were all shook up when they spoke on the Senate floor in the evening. As were all the Democrats who had tolerated & dismissed Donald Trump’s vitriolic rants for years.

Obviously the Republican rats are abandoning this shipwreck known as the Trump presidency. The political winds are shifting to the left, so there’s a lot of political theater & hand-wringing going on right now, as careerists are looking for cover– literally & figuratively. The masses are restless. The much-anticipated COVID-19 vaccine rollout is now officially a catastrophe.

Photographer: Eric Lee/Bloomberg

Donald Trump incites mob violence as a form of reverence. Notice how these right-wing insurrectionists aren’t arrested. Four dead, with less than 100 people arrested by city police on charges related to the unrest from Wednesday through 7 a.m. Thursday.

Experience tells us that none of them will be charged with anything serious. That’s because the cops (and significant sections of the military) are with Trump & this violent mob. We must root out these fascists. That’s the political lesson of January 6, 2021.

Sleepy conservatives & woke liberals had a revelation yesterday: fascist mobs could be unleashed on them by a führer. This frightened them, for good reason. These bureaucratic fools are so out-of-touch with reality. They see & anticipate nothing, and are frightened of their own shadows. They’ll (again) demand more funding for law enforcement, as a solution to this crisis.

But there were police & military personnel who escorted the fascist mob to the Capitol, and let them in with little-to-no-resistance. These are the Nazi traitors that must be exposed & punished. The reality is that there’s no political will, or stomach for this, within the two-party system.

From a revolutionary socialist perspective, no one blames good soldiers for doing their duty. But part of their duty is to not abet criminality. It’s a fine line, and shit position to be in, because whistle-blowers are persecuted as traitors. See: Bradley/Chelsea Manning.

Waking up on Wednesday, January 6th, 2021 I thought the Julian Assange bail decision would be the big story of the day. Assange’s bail request was denied by the UK judge, so he awaits an appeal process which unfairly imprisons him for at least another 2-3 months in Belmarsh. The struggle to free him continues.

Let’s recall that the current Iraq war is based on lies about “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD). Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld made up those WMD lies. Colin Powell argued for those lies in front of the UN. Democrats & Republicans validated those lies in authorizing the Iraq war.

The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN & ABC, etc, amplified & spread those lies. Those are the people ultimately responsible for what happened yesterday in Washington DC. One last fact that matters. The Bush & Clinton families, etc, are funding ISIS/Al Qaeda, which is a CIA creation. We know much of this as fact today, due to WikiLeaks, the genius publishing organ created by Julian Assange.

Joe Biden going onto television, asking Donald Trump to go on-the-air and settle everything down was laughable, if it wasn’t so serious & sad. You don’t ask your enemy to give up & admit he was wrong during a life-or-death power struggle. Trump will never concede, until he’s made to.

If you have the power (which Joe Biden does), you have Donald Trump arrested for his criminality. There is NO such action coming from these cowardly Democrats. Just empty words which Biden slurs. How long can the President-elect last with his dementia?

Why no definitive action against Trump’s coup attempts? It’s because Joe Biden & the Democrats fear organized working people more than a fascist mob. The DC police & military aided & abetted this insurrection.

These images are extraordinary, and have been seen globally. Donald Trump has had his social media pages blocked for the next two weeks, until a new President can be inaugurated. So where is the real power? Twitter has been Trump’s primary platform to reach his fascist base. Without official prestige, and access to his social media voice, Trump withers & dies.

But his fascist supporters remain, and they are in dangerous positions of power at all levels. This was a final political provocation from President Trump, and a warning to the working class & youth of America. These are the fanatical enemies which must be defeated, otherwise we have no future.

The answer is to join the Trotskyists at the Socialist Equality Party (SEP), and read the World Socialist Web Site, their daily political organ. Masses politically armed with Marxism need to form worker & neighborhood committees, with rank-and-file leadership to protect their interests, under the leadership umbrella of the SEP. This must be done everywhere. This is how to unite the masses globally and achieve a socialist revolution in permanence.

Fri 08 Jan 2021 12:21 PM EST

Thought & comments since publication:

Right now, all these fascists are in their dark web forums, plotting how to spin a false narrative of what happened so they can evade detection again. Everyone knows violent & out-of-control Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday at the behest of their fuhrer. Fascists always try to blame left-wing protesters & socialists for their own violence. Fascists swarming all over & into the US Capitol, like ants at a picnic, is a frightening revelation for the masses.

One DC police official described this security failure by saying, “We were prepared for First Amendment protesters.” Thus what is unsaid, “There is no defense plan to curtail Second Amendment protesters.” To the police & ruling establishment, some protesters are more equal than others. Anti-police violence protests get much different treatment, all around.

If David Sirota insists “The Insurrection was Predictable,” then why didn’t the DSA predict it & prepare for it?

All this is intimately connected with the mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic. This is complete & bipartisan, at all levels of government. The police & military are ridden with Nazis, who condone & abet terrorist insurrections. Meanwhile the stock markets & crypto-currency (which are Ponzi schemes) reach all-time highs.

Those of us in health care need to take back our profession from the corporate bureaucrats who have hijacked it for their own personal gain. This economic model has collapsed, and January 6, 2021 was political proof. Workers & youth must organize under their own banner, otherwise it gets run into the ground by the Democratic Party. That’s how the two-party system enslaves workers & youth. To fight & win against this, join the SEP!!

Sat 09 Jan 2021 10:26 AM EST

To be clear politically, Trump represents capitalist fascism. Stalinist communism (1924-91) is fascism in control of a state-planned economy. Trotskyist socialism is the polar opposite of these reactionary political tendencies.

The European Union was formed in 1993, as a response to the collapse of the Soviet Union and its Eastern bloc satellites. Continental economic power West Germany wanted to acquire East Germany as a cheap labor platform, etc. There was a mad scramble for these markets & their resources by Western imperialism, as Stalinism was being liquidated from within.

The Caucuses & beyond, with their rich untapped petroleum & gas reserves, were the grand prize on this revised global chessboard. This is what led to the increase of CIA-sponsored mujideen activity in Afghanistan, with cooperation from Saudi Arabia & Israeli intelligence. These are the origins of Al-Qaeda/ISIS.

Capitalism was restored in Russia in a violent & ruthless manner, as ex-Stalinist bureaucrats & political gangsters maneuvered & eliminated each other throughout the 1990’s, and the standard-of-living for the ever-oppressed masses plummeted. Boris Yeltsin was installed as President of Russia in 1991, and stayed in power through 1999, with a little help from the CIA.

On December 31, 1999, under enormous political pressure, Yeltsin announced his resignation, leaving the presidency in the hands of his chosen successor, then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, a former officer of the KGB. The KGB’s predecessor was the GPU, which is the institution that murdered Trotsky in August, 1940.

Sun 10 Jan 2021 11:21 AM EST

Reading between the lines of what’s being said around Washington, it appears Donald Trump has been stripped of all his power by the deep state. Mike Pence flipped, and I’m sure Mike Pompeo finally turned after the events of January 6th. Pompeo & the rest are staying on, only out of loyalty to country. Is it religion, or patriotism, that is the last refuge of a scoundrel?

Donald Trump is banned for life on Twitter, and at least the next 2 weeks on Fakebook & Instagram. He’s being blocked by the deep state from establishing an audience on other far-right platforms. The deep state is a hidden nexus of intelligence, military, banking, Wall Street & Silicon Valley political players. It’s the real power behind any US Presidency.

Q-Anon is deep state sponsored fascism. Their supporters keep trying to drag Antifa into their violent coup attempts. No one sees any Antifa protesters in the videos or pictures of the Capitol assault. Military & special forces support was entirely right-wing. Q-Anon pretend they are patriots, but really they are fascist scum afraid of being exposed for their ignorance, hatred & treasonous acts.

Antifa isn’t really an organization, it’s a loose collection of left-wing ideologies, which the deep state hates. Antifa protests: police violence, environmental degradation, global warming, etc. Antifa protesters defend free speech, gay rights, a woman’s right to choose, etc.

We know Antifa supporters don’t carry ‘Trump 2020’ flags. Were Antifa infiltrators the ones carrying the Confederate flags or wearing ‘Camp Auschwitz’ shirts? No, these were ALL Proud Boys, Boogaloos, Oathkeepers & Three Percenters– meaning right-wing fascists. AKA, Nazis.

I hate Nazis.

Mon 11 Jan 2021 09:37 AM EST

Concluding thoughts: Instead of carrying out an investigation & prosecuting those responsible, the Democrats have announced they will initiate impeachment proceedings. There has also been talk of removing Trump through the 25th Amendment. But that’s all it is, just talk. It’s smoke & mirrors to abet a Democratic Party cover-up, to protect the two-party system.

As Joe Biden said on January 8, the Democrats need a strong Republican Party. Therefore top Democrats support the insurrectionists in Congress as colleagues in “unity.” The Biden/Harris administration is extending an olive branch to all fascists. Democrats weaken themselves politically, to prop-up Republicans who are on life-support.

Thus there’s a lot of talk from apologists on both sides of the aisle about, “looking forward, not back” and that “we need to move on.” Imagine the aftermath of the Holocaust being met with such complacency in 1946. “Hitler & the Nazis murdered millions of Jews among other horrific war crimes, but that’s in the past. We need to move on, because it’s too divisive to investigate & discuss publicly.” Truman & Churchill would have characterized such statements as treasonous, but today it’s the mainstream political narrative.

When fascists are arrested, prosecuted & jailed for their violent crimes, they can no longer legally own firearms. That’s a cruel blow to the right-wing, who speak entirely from the Bible & a gun barrel, as their political thoughts are reactionary, lunatic & homicidal. Imprisoning fascist gun nuts takes away their Second Amendment arguments, which no longer allows Nazis to hide behind the US Constitution. This is precisely why FASCISTS ARE NOT PROSECUTED by the establishment.

It’s also precisely why all the people who were genuinely disgusted by what they saw on January 6, need to organize a socialist revolution. The fascists in the US deep state are planning their next moves, with bipartisan approval. The right-wing establishment is protecting their shock troops, so they can be unleashed upon us again. We must prepare ourselves and be ready when it comes. We can only depend upon ourselves through international class solidarity.

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2020 Abridged Diary

I worked three days in a dental office this year, and it barely paid. Corporate dental is now trying to normalize 40-60% pay cuts for contractor dentists, under increasingly hazardous & exploitative work conditions. COVID-19 has killed dentistry, and my heart goes out to all those who still work in it. If you own a practice, or are staff, you don’t have much of a choice, as there are always bills to pay.

I’m strongly considering not renewing my DEA # & malpractice insurance. I’d like to get paid for being a musical artist or dental health educator, but it’s the corporate blacklist that’s in the way. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

I spent much of my free time in 2020, stretching out my back, hips & core at home, while walking & hooping downtown. It’s almost all blacks at the courts, young & old, and they’re playing better-than-ever. At this point, I get a lot of love & respect down there, which I appreciate. Basketball players are like a tribe, so it’s like the people in this video.

Including this write-up, I managed to publish 69 blog posts this year (winning number), including new classics such as “DIY Haircuts” and of course “Donald Trump, ‘You’re fired!'” I also recorded some new music with a little help from my friend in December. Tom & I released two new songs this year– “Road Rage” and “Patch Me Up Doc,” which are already among my most popular songs on the streaming services. I have great help.

We have three more new songs coming in 2021. It’s nice to know I’m still not a dinosaur. I have new musical ideas, but no access to venues, or star artists, so options are limited for me until I can find a manager I trust. I think it’s a woman.

Blacklisting is the power of the ruling establishment to censor ideas & artists. This is conflicting with the masses, who are being depressed & under-represented during this pandemic– by the fake media. This coming year portends revolution, as the masses won’t tolerate being told they can’t survive, due to a virus which is spreading out of control because of the bureaucratic policy of “herd immunity,” which is malign neglect by any medical standard.

It’s time for doctors, nurses, and all health care staff to re-take the initiative on the handling of this global pandemic. When the U.S. first went into a lockdown back in March/April 2020, it was because doctors were calling for it. No one else knew what to do, and people were panicking everywhere. Compliance was high because many people understood the seriousness of the situation.

But political leaders of every nation have forced their economies to re-open, schools to re-open, through a campaign of lies & misinformation, under conditions where a killer virus is spreading with no vaccine. This was all to meet the demands of Wall Street & the banks.

Now at the end of 2020, the vaccine roll-out has been sluggish & disjointed, obviously by design. This will maximize corporate profits, and create black markets with protected stockpiles in place. It will make sure the wealthy get vaccinated first. It’s not about saving lives, it’s about maximizing profits for corporate, and protecting the rich.

These are the conditions myself & humanity face rolling into 2021.

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Bob Dylan sells his songs

When an artist dies, the inheritors are often not equipped to deal with the responsibility of owning such valuable work. The estate inheritors almost always end up selling this intellectual property to a conglomerate, and for less than the artist would have received, because they don’t know the business, or have the clout. This is why Bob Dylan just sold his entire song catalog of over 600 songs to Universal Music Group, for reportedly over $300 million.

Bob Dylan is 79 years old, and he lived a hard life, which means he knows his death is near. Selling his song catalog makes inheritance easier, as an artist can’t control their music when they’re dead. I’m guessing that’s Bob Dylan’s primary motive for selling out at this time. A lot of other prolific musicians have been doing the same lately, and it’s because they need the money.

As for Dylan’s legacy, he did his part as an artist, and more. A major reason Bob Dylan turned towards the mainstream was because there was no politically organized “left” back in the 1960’s. The Trotskyist movement itself was splintered, and needed to be ridden of Pabloists, Stalinists, and worthless middle-class radicals.

Bob Dylan was so far ahead of his time in 1965, that in many ways, the world has yet to catch up. That’s why “It’s Alright, Ma”, “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Visions of Johanna” lead his list of timeless classics. Find those albums and you will discover the meaning of art in songwriting.

This brings up the issue of artists becoming dinosaurs. “Dinosaur” is an industry term for a performer who can no longer adapt to the current culture, and gets left behind. It’s partially a misnomer, as the real dinosaurs didn’t go extinct because they failed to adapt, they were wiped-out by an asteroid impact which changed the conditions of life on our planet. In truth, they survived in miniature form, as birds.

With that anthropological understanding in mind, it can be said that all artists eventually become dinosaurs, because no one can stay current & relevant forever. Once you become a dinosaur, your priorities change from being an artist, to making a living & survival. Bob Dylan is the most extreme example of this phenomenon. Fans can debate when he became ossified, but by the 1980’s (for sure) Bob Dylan was a dinosaur.

This is what capitalism does to all artists. You have a choice of “playing ball,” or being left out in the cold. By orienting towards a genuinely revolutionary organization such as the Socialist Equality Party, an artist can remain relevant much longer than most contemporaries, because that artist is staying in-tune with the times for inspiration. It’s reactionary politics which overwhelmed & ossified Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna & the rest. The price of remaining a true artist is the lack of money, sponsorship & venues to perform. That’s the lesson to be learned here.

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