Tuesday, January 12, 2016

As the campaigns heat up...

Congress closed out 2015 bragging that they actually negotiated a pragmatic and executable budget bill, for the first time in about a decade. Even though it contained more GOP-demanded tax gifts for the rich, the fact that any bill passed at all still enraged the far-right.  But don't worry, culture warriors. The House & Senate did manage to adjourn without voting on a slate of finance- or banking-related nominees put forward by the Obama administration, a stalemate with no recent precedent that is hobbling work at some government agencies that try to prevent the financial sector from doing the kinds of foolish things that led to the Great Recession.  

This obstructionism – unprecedented in the history of the republic – was so extreme that even the Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal denounced it, calling President Obama’s nominees “qualified” and their tasks “necessary.”

One more reason to note that Rupert Murdoch and the Saudi co-owners of his media empire have lost control of the radicalization hysteria that they deliberately stirred on the American right.  Chillingly similar to when the 1920s and 1930s German business moguls and Junker-class lords stoked populist-radical fervor in order to suppress socialists – and wound up reaping a whirlwind they had sown.

Have the lords given up?  Never! The political network overseen by billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch plans to spend close to $900 million on the 2016 campaign.  And the tally has gone way up, since this article was published. Yep. A. Billion. Dollars. That's how much the aristocracy intends to lavish, in order to buy a continuation of their lock on America.  I'd draw more parallels with 1932... but we need to look forward and just prevent it.

What can you do about this? 

You can do plenty, like helping to get out the vote in 2016.  But for some of you, there will be opportunities to act on the front lines by peeling away just one or two members of the cult.  Seek out - as if you are proselyte-missionaries - those otherwise-intelligent men and women who are clinging -- barely -- to their lifelong loyalty to an American conservatism that has been brutally hijacked.  "Ostrich republicans" who refuse (so far) to admit what lies before their eyes... the utter demolition of a movement that once featured towering intellects like Buckley and Goldwater and Hayek, all of whom denounced (before they died) the trend toward know-nothing anti-science dogmatism.

Sure, most of the new wave of confederates are immune to facts, by now.  But when you come across one whose frenzied denial seems fragile have at hand the facts that will yank their heads out of the sand. And oh... facts are now so biased.

== This is why they hate science, so ==

All politicians lie: some worse than others: This article by the editor of PolitiFact makes an earnest effort to explain how fact-checking works and offers optimism that large swathes of the public are now taking seriously the fact-checking of politicians.  The bad news? That fiercely partisan people leap to dismiss any fact-checking service as partisan, just as soon as their favorite shiboleths are exposed. 

This sad state of affairs is worsened by the blatant way that outright and openly-proud lying has taken wing in one of the two US political parties, where radical narratives no longer even need a figleaf or string-tether to objective reality. Under these conditions, the most assiduously neutral fact-checking service is going to seem partisan-titled, as you’ll see in the article’s accompanying chart.

There are potential solutions! Here's just one proposal: Let every candidate pick three “sages” from their home states or districts — with criteria that the choices must be “widely accepted as mature, smart, wise and minimally political.” These nominees of all major candidates - from both parties - would serve on the Board of Supervisors of a new political fact checking service.  

Sure, some candidates will pick rabidly partisan supporters.  But that fact will be clear and it will harm them, and will insult their home state. It will say: “where I’m from, there are no folks who are mature, smart, wise and minimally political.” What an insult to your home district.

No, it won’t happen — unless a debate moderator extorts a pledge, on-stage.  And so? Then we must use the facts as we can.

For example, when I show folks the starkly huge difference in Actual Outcomes - measurable metrics of US national health - across the spans of Republican vs Democratic administrations.  A difference so amazingly diametric, and so free of “left-right” dogmas, that — thinking only about pragmatic outcomes — any citizen would have to be delusionally insane to trust one of those two parties with a burnt match.

But let’s zoom in one of the best of the new breed of “screw-the-truth” masters. Alas for poor Ted Cruz. His prime (cheating-lying) talking point is unraveling. This year is going to smash 2014 as the warmest year on record. Nine out of the 11 months last year were the warmest in history for that month. 

November’s average temperature across land and ocean was an exceptional 1.75 degrees above the 20th century average, exceeding the previous record set in 2013 by 0.27 degrees. The November temperature departure — 1.75 degrees — was the second highest out of any month in NOAA’s 136-year period of record. The highest was just set one month before in October, at 1.79 degrees.

To be fair, Cruz isn't the only GOP pol to use Roger Ailes's (Fox) trick -- pegging the "before" comparison on 1998 - the previous record holder. That let them claim "there's no warming!" ("since 1998"), which was an El Nino spike. Comparing oranges to apples, a wretched trick that they can no longer pull off. In fact, the trends have ALL been sharply upward.

Meanwhile -- the Greenland Ice Sheet has lost about 9,013 gigatonnes of water ice from 1900 to 2010 – and it’s dropping mass today at an increasing rate, an international team of scientists say. From 2003 to 2010, the ice sheet lost mass at a rate more than twice the rate during the entire 20th century, a new study shows.

No wonder science is so unpopular among fools. And let there be no mistake. Members of the Denialist Cult are far, far beyond being fools.  They are frantic.

== So outcomes matter == 

Are Americans getting poorer?  Is there increased wealth disparity?  Is it dangerous? This simple chart shows you that the answer is – “it’s complicated.”  

Deep, grinding poverty has inarguably declined, though less than we had hoped, across the last 40 years. The definition of “middle class” has spread widely across a huge range. But the very top-earning fraction of a percent have done spectacularly well, truly skyrocketing. And this is where human temptation can lead to cheating and the re-imposition of the class systems that almost all our ancestors knew. Indeed, our parents in the Greatest Generation knew this very well.

Is a steeply rising aristocratic oligarchy conspiring to re-install inherited feudalism? Are they human? Then of course some of them are doing that! On the other hand, note the rising upper-middle class. The smartest of the uber rich must know that the upper middle class, especially the knowledge professions, will resist when feudal trends become clear. Those knowledge castes, only some of them scientists or civil servants, are the inherent obstacle that will make returning to a pyramidal power structure difficult. And hence the biggest reason for trumping up a war on science. For the war on all knowledge castes.

So again I ask: do actual outcomes matter? In December the EPA announced that fuel economy is at record highs and carmakers have surpassed strict emissions standards for the third straight year. When the (briefly) democratic Congress passed new efficiency standards in 2009, the GOP shouted it would "end Detroit!" Instead. US auto makers are booming and long ago repaid their emergency loans. Drivers are saving billions at the pump while the air gets less polluted and US energy independence is secured.  

So will you listen again to the same screeching chicken-littles? Always wrong about everything? Is your dogma so strong that you'll pay no head to outcomes... at all?


(Like the fact that galls right-wing males more than any other... so much so that their minds eject it. The fact that Barack Obama killed... Osama.... bin... Laden. Mention that one, next time you argue with your mad uncle. Just for the dizzying carnival ride as he changes the subject.)

This comparison lays the matter of outcomes plainly… though only giving a sampler. And let’s make this clear.  Outcomes… actual-actual outcomes of governance… should be the number one thing that you weigh in politics, not whether one side or another appeals to your vanity or dogmas.


== More stuff... ==

Peter Thiel offers up an appeal for the resurrection of nuclear power as a way to reduce carbon-fuel use in the nearer term, getting us across the fairly long gap before sustainables truly take over.  Thiel isn’t alone.  Techno-modernists with deep liberal connections, like Stewart Brand, have been pointing out how vastly-better the newest reactor designs are, safe from the catastrophic failure modes like coolant failure meltdown. Thiel's appeal is cogent and - yes - a little right-of-center, but giving a respectful nod to the can-do New Dealers of the 1940s, Thiel calls for an alliance of adults to get this bridge to the 2050s built in time to help.

“Both the right’s fear of government and the left’s fear of technology have jointly stunted our nuclear energy policy, but on this issue liberals hold the balance of power. Speaking about climate change in 2013, President Obama said that our grandchildren will ask whether we did “all that we could when we had the chance to deal with this problem.”

Alas, it is precisely in order to prevent this kind of negotiation that cynical traitors have plunged us into phase 8 of the American Civil War, ensuring that politics — the art of building consensus/compromise/pragmatic attempts to solve problems — has been killed, and will stay dead in the U.S., until one side or another suffers a defeat deep enough to re-evaluate obstinacy.

== Snowden scores some points ==

My estimation of the intelligence and sincerity of Edward Snowden cranked up by a couple of notches after listening to his interview by Neil deGrasse Tyson on StarTalk... but only a couple.  Up to maybe 75% or so.  Those who reflexively call him "brilliant" and "hero" are too eager and premature. (As are those who blanket-condemn him.) Especially the brilliant part, as he clearly and vociferously buys into the most dangerous and noxious zero-sum game around -- the we must "choose" between safety and freedom.  

Sure, if there were such a dichotomy, I would agree that freedom comes first.  But the very notion of such a romantic, zero sum tradeoff is both counter to reality and in itself malignant to our Great Experiment in positive sum systems. Alas, almost everyone buys into it.

Dig it. We are living proof of the notion that a people can innovate to both have their cake and eat it... while sharing cake and watching it grow.  Only thus do we stand a chance.  It is called positive sum thinking and it is the one concept... the paramount concept... you need in order to exercise citizenship in this frenzied, hopeful and endangered modern age of transition.

Whatever else Edward Snowden is, he is what I long have called a "social T Cell." Part of our immune system against the kind of errors long made by hierarchical societies.  Individually, no T Cell is all-right. Indeed, sanctimony usually colors them and foils their accuracy.  But we need the TYPE.  And our civilization is good at making them.

And you... who are about to scream at me... you could not possibly exemplify this more.
 


42 comments:

Daniel Duffy said...

Fear not. The GOP is self destructing. What is often not noticed is the fact the Trumpists and and Tea Party are POPULIST revolts and represent peole who are angry at rich elites:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/01/the-great-republican-revolt/419118/

These populists seek to defend what the French call “acquired rights”—health care, pensions, and other programs that benefit older people—against bankers and technocrats who endlessly demand austerity; against migrants who make new claims and challenge accustomed ways; against a globalized market that depresses wages and benefits. In the United States, they lean Republican because they fear the Democrats want to take from them and redistribute to Americans who are newer, poorer, and in their view less deserving—to “spread the wealth around,” in candidate Barack Obama’s words to “Joe the Plumber” back in 2008. Yet they have come to fear more and more strongly that their party does not have their best interests at heart.

A majority of Republicans worry that corporations and the wealthy exert too much power. Their party leaders work to ensure that these same groups can exert even more. Mainstream Republicans were quite at ease with tax increases on households earning more than $250,000 in the aftermath of the Great Recession and the subsequent stimulus. Their congressional representatives had the opposite priorities. In 2008, many Republican primary voters had agreed with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who wanted “their next president to remind them of the guy they work with, not the guy who laid them off.” But those Republicans did not count for much once the primaries ended, and normal politics resumed between the multicultural Democrats and a plutocratic GOP.

Daniel Duffy said...

To properly reflect our political system, America needs a FOUR party system reflecting various combination osf social and economic beliefs.

On the Social spectrum, there are social conservatives (Traditionalists) who want to preserve tradional social norms cocnerning morals, family, religion, and race - and they are opposed by social liberal (Progressives).

On the economic spectrum, there are economic conservatives (Elitists) in favor of less government oversite of business and industry and are opposed to redistributive programs - and they are opposed by economic liberals (Populists).

So the resultant 2 x 2 matrix gives us:

Tea Party (Traditionalist/Poplists) led by Trump (also Huckabee and Carson)
Classic Republicans (Traditionalists/Elitists) led by the rest of the GOP field (Bush, Kasich, Christie, etc.)

The more extreme version of Republican would be Fascist (led by Ted Cruz)

Libertarians (Progressives/Elitists) led by Rand Paul
Classic Democrats (Progressives/Populists) led by Hillary Clinton

The more extreme version of Democrat would be socialist (led by Bernie Sanders)

Berial said...

I don't believe that the Republican party is imploding at all. Sure they may not be able to easily win the Presidency anymore, but look at the states. State legislatures are being bought wholesale by our plutocrats and the Republicans that are getting all the money to win elections are doing EXACTLY what those plutocrats want. The Republicans have always ran on the mantra of 'less government' but what they've always meant was 'crony capitalism' where they and their paymasters get all the benefits of 'government' and everyone else gets 'less'.

David Brin said...

Berial IS right that the GOP will remain strong at the state level... till enough sane justices sit on the Court to reverse gerrymandering and other cheats.

Daniel your 1st posting was wise but I fault your "landscape" of politics. Capitalism does much better when flat-open-fair and hence "liberals" (no leftists) are those seeking that flatness and fairness. That will require some redistribution, as it did under FDR. But historians agree that FDR's aim and accomplishment was to save American capitalism from oligarchic poison, not to wreck it.

The left... such as it is in the US, finds this a mealy-mouth compromise with evil. As they drive their gorgeous hybrids and chat on iPhones delivered to them by capitalist competition.

Oh the irony that I am routinely accused of being a leftist...!!! When I'm probably among the few speaking loudly about saving the miracle of capitalism.

Jumper said...

Berial is more than right. It looks like the Republicans are going to sweep the floor on the state levels. Part of this is voter apathy, and ignorance. I suspect low-info voters think they are required to vote on every single issue (of course they're not) and will vote for familiar names in a sort of confused spasm. The lazy voter can kill democracy as much as the plugged-in voter.

LarryHart said...

Daniel Duffy:

Fear not. The GOP is self destructing. What is often not noticed is the fact the Trumpists and and Tea Party are POPULIST revolts and represent peole who are angry at rich elites:

These populists seek to defend what the French call “acquired rights”—health care, pensions, and other programs that benefit older people—against bankers and technocrats who endlessly demand austerity; against migrants who make new claims and challenge accustomed ways; against a globalized market that depresses wages and benefits.


It would be funny if it weren't so tragic--yes, those voters are angry at the plutocrats, but their anger has been channeled in such a way that they relentlessly attack their own stated interests. So you get the case before the Supreme Court in which the plaintiffs claim a FIrst Amendment right to undercut their own working conditions if that's what they choose to do.

So I can't "fear not" that populists are rising up in defense of the rights of billionaires to make money by impoverishing and poisoning the commons.

locumranch said...


Obama gave a good forward-looking campaign speech tonight, his triumphs being many: He has helped to create millions of low quality McJobs to replace those good ones that have been irretrievably lost; he has made healthcare affordable for 18 million more US citizens by making it less affordable & pricier for the greater majority; and he has presided over 7 years of political deadlock, foreign military adventurism, growing domestic income inequality & failed Solyndra solar energy subsidies.

That the US Republican Party is sick & dying, this is demonstrably true, but only at the federal level (which is nothing new due to federalism's obvious shortcomings), yet 'all politics are local' and the US Republican Party has been going gangbusters at the State & Local levels.

Yet, clearly, 'Change is in the Air'. Drunk on cheap oil, the EU fractures along tribal lines. Hungarian, Catalan, Greek & UK Separatists dance in the streets; France has become a 'State of Emergency' Police State; Merkel's Germany resembles the final days of Weimar Republic; and International Borders slam closed everywhere. Globalism is like a Sinking Ship and, especially in the US, all thoughts turn toward the Lifeboats, State Rights, Isolationism and Trump in 2016.

Oh. And the EPA gave carmakers like Volkswagen & Audi a fricking medal for surpassing "fuel strict emissions standards for the third straight year".


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Jeff Downey said...

As a Canadian it is possible that I have no clue what I am saying but as a political junkie I am going to say it anyway. The issue is not 2 parties or 12. The problem is money. If you had 4 parties those candidates would still need huge money to run and stand a chance to win. Yes there are very wealthy people who have good intentions but it seems to me that they are less well meaning if a representative they help elect votes for something their benefactor does not like. If you want change then you must remove the need for deep pockets to win. Let the money be spent on sports teams or such. Not on purchasing political parties.

David Brin said...

Pathetic. At the state level the GOP survives by volcanic cheating in every conceivable way. The jobs that were lost were on GOP watch. As were skyrocketing deficits, staggeringly stupid wars, sabotage of science, bending over for petro-sheiks, destruction of the US Army and Marines, especially the reserves, and doing everything conceivable to increase inequality and foster a new feudal oligarchy.

With only one term controlling Congress, the dems got us CAFE auto standards which doubled fuel efficiency, saving Americans tens of billions and helping lead to energy independence, while cars got spectacularly better at unbelievably competitive prices and US automakers profit hand over fist. That one term assisted renewables development just enough - with 95% of it effective and only Solyndra to give fools something to whine and nitpick over -- that solar and wind are now taking off spectacularly, even with 30$ a barrel oil...

The EPA believed what Volkswagon told them and gave em a medal. So? The institutions contain methods for finding liars and they were found.

And you cannot dare to compare actual outcomes from the Bush administrations to the last two Demmi ones. You do not dare. The difference is so total and diametrically opposite that you'd be revealed as a total...

...oh, yeah. Never mind. Carry on.

...oh, did anyone mention gas prices are low, Saudi influence is at a nadir, crime has plummeted, high school graduation rates have leaped. And the Republican health care plan... their platform plan for a dozen years, now called "Obamacare" has slowed the rate of health cost rise and created a thriving CAPITALIST market for health insurance. It is working, fool, and all the more foolish for neglecting to BRAG that "it was our own damn plan, all along!"

Jumper said...

Re. new nuke power, here's a good answer to the nuts and their coal. I always wondered about that steam rising up from NYC streets.
David, you'll like this, plus you can put 2 and 2 together without a guide dog!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_City_steam_system

Tim H. said...

An enthusiastic yes to more nuclear power, electric cars are becoming more desirable and affordable, so the energy that would've driven their carbon-powered equivalents must come from the electrical grid. I'd rather not see that capacity made up from burning coal.
BTW, yesterday I finished reading "Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard" by Lawrence M. Schoen, every major character is a "Raised Mammal.", an interesting angle on uplift.

Anonymous said...

Even with everything you said above being true, the Republicans are still winning complete control over whole states because:
1) MONEY...They are getting TONS of the stuff from both inside and outside sources.
2) Racism. TONS of their base will vote against 'the democrat' because to them democrat = good things for blacks and that just won't do.
3) Guns. TONS of their base have been convinced buy gun salesmen that the 'other side' will take their magical devices any moment now.
4) Abortion(women enjoying sexy time). I'm sure a lot of actual principals are involved in some of this, but a large portion seems to just be 'slut shaming' and by god they are going to keep voting republican until women don't enjoy sex anymore! (Didn't work in the word 'tons' here.)

It seems to me that a very large portion of the Republican's 'base' just doesn't see elections as having a actual effect on their lives. They think things happen because of God, or circumstance, or fate, and just don't believe things are getting worse for them because of the people they elect. Government is 'bad' no matter who's in charge but 'their tribe' will at least TRY to take care of them instead of 'those guys'. They either don't see the outcomes you mention above as being under any parties actual control or they think those last three issues are more important than them.

raito said...

While it's true that the economy melted down under Republicans, the seeds were sown long before that, during Clinton's reign. I had some fairly unpleasant dealings with some movers in the financial sector at the time. In particular, there were those who wanted to have an automated process for approving sub-prime loans. And that what they really wanted was a system that would over-approve them, so they could be sold. These people knew the bust was coming. They just thought they could be ahead of the curve. One take-away from this: the people who approve such loans either will not, or cannot explain how they approve a loan. I interviewed dozens. None of them could explain how they did it.

Personally, I think a better solution than TARP (assuming the numbers worked), would have been to put the money into the FDIC, pay off the depositors, and let the giants fail. Yes, it would have sucked to be one of the rank and file who lost their jobs. But ultimately for the better, again, assuming the numbers would have worked out.

Yes, high school graduation rates are up, and that's good. But around here, they're just getting back to where they were in the 70's. Not so good. And judging by current curricula, the idea that we're somehow preparing today's students for post-secondary education is ludicrous, especially in math. But the level of reading seems to be higher than during my time in the public schools, so that's good. In my opinion, what we're going to turn out are unimaginative drones who can count change. Except that skill won't be particularly relevant.

And let's hope my memory is correct on gerrymandering. Last week, I think, it was reported that in WI there were something like 186K more votes cast for Dem state representative candidates than Republicans. Yet the Republicans control the state legislature. There's your smoking gun.

And on the second derivative of the US national debt, someone on the local NPR station failed to understand this, and stated that the debt has been rising no matter who's in power. True, but not the whole truth.

Finally, on science, I heard an interview with Ronald Bailey, who write this month's Reason cover story Broken Science. On the one hand, what he says is probably true: science is being rushed, only things that get grant money are researched, negative results aren't published, and science is being politicized. Unfortunately, the anti-science crowd may grab hold of this for their agenda. And so the circle speeds up.

locumranch said...



I should stop arguing partisan politics with David, especially since I'm not even a Republican, yet something within me abhors the internal inconsistencies that he represents as a dyed-in-wool proponent of 'Otherness', Urbanity, Multiculturalism & Blue State Relativism who absolutely despises, rejects & discriminates against Red State Otherness in the most intolerant of fashions.

Therein lies the inherent contradiction of Otherness: The Orwellian assertion that Otherness is the SUPERIOR & more 'enlightened' perspective even when 'Otherness' is defined as the culturally relativistic assumption that 'all viewpoints possess EQUAL validity'.

All things being EQUAL, one privileged, wealthy, ivy-educated & oligarchic political candidate is much like any other, whether they be Republican, Right, Conservative, Left, Labour or Democrat, so much so that any attribution of SUPERIORITY to one or the other is the Animal Farm equivalent of putting a Hairpiece, a Pantsuit or Lipstick-on-a-Pig.

Then, there's that Old Southern Tradition called Hog Killing Time which usually occurs in late Fall or early Winter.


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David Brin said...

What an utter load. It translates as: "You enlightenment types tolerate just about every difference -- except intolerance! Your intolerance of intolerance is hypocritical!"

Um... so? Dig it, we are conquerors. Everything that you'd do to us, in a flash, imposing your values on everyone vastly more uniformly and brutally -- it is what feudalists alway, always do. It happens that the enlightenment conquest is imposing OUR value of near-universal tolerance, positive sum competitive systems and rights for all. It has produced vastly more human success and happiness and freedom than all other systems combined, across 50,000 years. But it is still, at its deepest level a zero-sum war that we intend to win. Simply win.

And THAT is what you resent. All your whines that we are imposing uniformity are pathetic because they appeal to OUR values, not yours.

The proto feudalists and troglodytes who want to go back to a style of conquest that stomps everyone into pyramids of privilege and oppression, you guys -- whether Islamic radicals or confederates - hate us for just one reason. We are winning and you are not. Your children, especially the smart ones and the girls, when educated, always choose to defect to us.

Is there irony in our intolerance of intolerance? Sure! But positive sum civilization can live with ironies and move forward. Your limitations make you actually perceive IRONY as HYPOCRISY.

While I can pity those limitations... and urge others to understand them... I am not compelled to share them.

Jumper said...

There are all sorts of cultural appropriation around the red states as well as anywhere else. There's a real history of picking up a banjo and a guitar with a black guy down the road and having a barbecue and making "country music." There's also a history of a bunch of bigots living in town in a trailer sniffing cocaine, spittin' mad about the blacks, and talking about their egos and their boots and their hero Hank Williams Jr. (who wouldn't know a tractor from a shopping cart), trying to tell me they're "country." For me to call BS on that second crowd, sure, I'll get called "liberal" and "elitist" and various names, but so what? There's your "red state, blue state" division right there: people who buy their identities off a third-rate TV show or a top 40 country radio station. Hell, locumranch, even you haven't the stomach for it, and it's good on you that it's obvious.

David Brin said...

My earlier answer notwithstanding, the real reply is "you guys started it." Culture war. War on science and all smartypants. The utter destruction of political negotiation as an adult process.

Anonymous said...

While low gas prices for the spherical American of uniform density may doubtless be seized upon by some as a sign that all is well (those with less short memories may recall the "John Mauldin Defends The Faith, Fails Economics 101" thing) the news from the oil patch seems somewhat less rosy than cash-seeking financiers and ditto-head bloggers might make it out to be.

http://oilpro.com/post/21427/solving-2016-dilemma-part-two-cascade-effect-here

Robert said...

There are two things to consider regarding Republican seizure of State House and Senates.

First, they are passing laws meant to strip rights from minorities. Anti-abortion efforts are just one of many things, which is why Dr. Brin is correct in his emphasis about the importance of Democrats holding the White House so to select Supreme Court justices.

Second, I'm not sure if it was Alabama or Georgia that tried saying "fuck you" to the Supreme Court and insist clerks not do gay marriages. 90% of the clerks ignored the demands of that State Supreme Court chap and continued to do so. This is telling on a deeper level - the Republican Political Leadership is saying one thing. But the people (including state employees) are ignoring them when it comes to truly outrageous claims.

That gives me some hope. If Republican leadership is going apeshit insane and their employees are just ignoring them... well, that suggests the damage they can inflict is minimized.

Rob H.

Valkyrie Ice said...

Ever hear about the Weavers Guild?

Most of you probably haven't, so let me give a few details. Way back when, the Jacquard Loom was invented. It enabled mass manufacture of textiles. This threatened the total control of the Weavers Guild on textile markets.

So, rather than adapt, the Weavers Guild went political. They spent fortunes to get the nobles to pass laws outlawing textiles made by the Jacquard loom, made it illegal for anyone who wasn't a member of the guild to make textiles, and even got some cities to make owning textiles made on a Jacquard loom a executable offense.

In fact, they were so overwhelming that people believed that they were going to control the textile industry forever.

And then, almost overnight, at the absolute height of their "power", they collapsed.

Because the Jacquard loom quite simply made them obsolete. All of their political shenanigans accomplished nothing in the face of the overwhelming fact that the Loom made textiles cheaper, better and in massively larger volumes than traditional weaving. A new Elite who had embraced the new methods simply shoved them aside.


So, why do I bring this up?

Because the exact same thing is happening today.

There is a new economic model arising. One that is not based on scarcity or centralized resource management. This new economic model is diametrically opposed to the current economic scheme of scarcity. All of what you see occurring, from the political chaos to the changes in social systems, can be traced to the rise of abundance.

The republicans, as a general rule, are invested in the prior economic system. This system is rapidly becoming obsolete. You are welcome to live in denial of this fact all you like, but the age of scarcity is over. There is nothing anymore that can be considered scarce in the manner that the term has always implied. We have factories that can output millions of items a day, and markets that are now only selling fractions of the total output. The Current Wealthy are losing "value" daily. And they are in a panic. Almost all of the efforts by Wall St and other large corporations, including the TPP, is their panicked duplication of the efforts of the Weavers Guild to prevent their obsolescence, and loss of power. The same with the massive "Cheating" by the Republicans to gerrymander elections. And like the Weavers Guild, it's really little more than desperation.

But, just like a new "Elite" who embraced the Jacquard Loom made the weavers guild obsolete, so too has a new system of elites arisen, and they are in the process of shoving aside the old.

Yeah, there is a war going on. "Culture War" is only a tiny part of it. It's a war between economic models, and in the end, the old model will lose. That's just progress.

Study history if you want to know how this will play out. This isn't the first time it's happened, or even the fiftieth.

Le Roi is morte, Vie Le Roi.

David Brin said...

For an anonymous coward to call me a dittohead is amusing. What fraction of news reports are discussing the huge boost that a vast majority of companies and citizens are getting from cheaper oil? Almost none. It's all hand wringing for the resource extraction industry. One industry among many. Any mention of the fact that we are now energy independent and don't have to suck up to petro princes, anymore?

There would be one drawback and only one -- if this slowed sustainables. But I don't see it. The momentum is in. Solar and wind are already hugely positive in payback and new techs are arriving daily. And the capped bitumen wells can be re-opened, if needed. EXACTLY the situation we want. Forget Econ 101. This dope fails basic common sense.

David Brin said...

I agree with much of what Valkyrie says. But what I've seen makes me lean toward support for TPP. It welds the nations of SE and East Asia together with the US. It sets new rules on labor and ecology that they must obey and that brings them all much closer to responsible standards. It protects intellectual property better. Above all, it sets a new plateau that China knows will become the standard and if they don't sdtart living by these rules, they will not be invited to the party.

Those who decry NAFTA for losing some American jobs are fools who miss a key point. It was and remains stunningly, staggeringly, spectacularly in our interest for Mexico to become a prosperous, middle class country. And NAFTA is the biggest thing doing that. It is happening! Rapidly. And when it happens it will be easier for a prosperous North America to defend a border with - say Guatemala - than for the US to build a giant wall against a poverty-stricken Mexico.

The latter is the gopper fixation now... and it is obsolete! Immigration from Mexico is now NEGATIVE! Mexico is on the rise and we helped do that and they know it. We are helping make another Canada and boy will that be a happier soft landing than any alternative.

This failure to recognize that aspect of NAFTA is a stupidity shared across the spectrum, from right to left. Already Mexico is importing vastly more from the U.S. than it did before and that will rise as this investment pays off.

Come on, lads and lasses. You are sci fi folks. Try taking a big picture, for a change.

Valkyrie Ice said...

The only problems I really have with the TPP are that it appears to be a step towards exactly what you've pointed out Theil is trying with his seasteadings, i.e. putting Corporations on a legal level equal to or superior to nationstates. I see this as a probable abuse situation, akin to the Weavers Guild protectionism, which makes it just another attempt to prevent real competition by the megacorps.

It's mainly about trying to prevent current business models from being challenged by emerging new models. I simply see it doing considerable harm for all the potential good.

We need to rethink existing ip and copyright laws that have been rejiggered time and again to prevent competition against established monopolies, in which almost NOTHING has entered the public domain in fifty years, not strengthen them still further in an effort to prevent competition.

Thats one thing I've tried pointing out repeatedly. Current IP and Copyright is no longer helpful. When SONY can pay me 100$ for telling them how to build the Kinect on steroids back in 2000 and then threaten me with massive lawsuits if I dare breathe a word of the idea to anyone, from just a proposal, do you REALLY think that encourages innovation? I had no say about anything, despite being the person who came up with the idea.

So no, I do not see the TPP as an unvarnished "good thing", merely a mixed bag of decent to okay with a serious overdose of competition killing corporate wishes thrown in.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Anonymous linked to an interesting article about the oil companies and the value of their "assets"

My main take is that those people who have been dis-investing in fossil fuels are going to be looked at as financial geniuses

Jumper said...

I dunno. Are there hordes of lenders eager to risk it all on expensive-to-recover "proven" reserves? I suspect the carbon business has a bit more experience.
One word about long-term reserves: plastics.

Laurent Weppe said...

* "That gives me some hope. If Republican leadership is going apeshit insane and their employees are just ignoring them... well, that suggests the damage they can inflict is minimized."

Unles they get control of the executive branch at the federal level and use the levers of law enforcement to purge the bureaucracy of all its principled elements.

The same can be said about the "obsolescence of the new weaver guild": while I agree with the metaphor, a desperate, aging and weakening elite running out of legitimacy may decide to kill future competitors in their infancy, before they become stronger than the old guard. That the ancient guilds failed to do so doesn't mean that their modern counterparts won't succeed.

***

* "Le Roi is morte, Vie Le Roi."

Le Roi est Mort, not "is morte".
Vive le Roi, not "Vie"

***

* "The latter is the gopper fixation now... and it is obsolete! Immigration from Mexico is now NEGATIVE!"

Bit off topic, but the fixation toward southern brown skinned immigrants reminds me of something I heard in the tram in Nice a couple of months ago: a conversation between two men:

"-Putain, j'en ai marre de la France, y a trop d'Arabes dans ce pays, je vais me barrer
-Pour aller où?
-Au Maroc
"
Translation
"-Fuck, I'm fed up with France, there's too many Arabs in this country, I'm going to leave
-To go where?
-Morocco
"

Might seem completely insane to say, but as a study recently published showed, among the immigrants living in France, those who suffer from the greatest number of racist aggressions are the most integrated ones: those who married outside their community of origin and reached the middle class or above.
In other words, what infuriate the contemporary french racists the most are not the immigrants who circle the wagon and self-ghettoize in insular communities: it's the successful immigrants who make them lose their shit. Hard to not see it as envious hatred toward more talented than them (because given that racist discriminations and nepotism is still going very strong in France, it means that the immigrants who succeed despite the game being blatantly rigged against them are in 99,99+% of cases way smarter and more hardworking that the average french far-rightists).
It's actually a generational change of attitude: when my Italian immigrant of a grandfather got rich, the racist fuckers who had treated him like shit when he was a penniless boy who barely spoke French quickly became very courteous to the point of obsequiousness: nowadays that kind of false politeness is disappearing, as if the local racists are dropping all pretense of adhesion to meritocracy and are bluntly expressing anger at the fact that the game isn't sufficiently rigged in their favor to their taste.

Back to the guy wanting to leave "arabized" France for an Arab country, his attitude made sense in a twisted way: he was actually not angry at the number of Arabs living in his country: he was angry at the number of Arabs more affluent than him, and was therefore looking to emigrate toward a country where he would be among the wealthiest people present: the bigger fish in a smaller pond.

***

* "One word about long-term reserves: plastics."

A conversation between 8 years-old me and an adult, back in the eighties

"-Why a boy your age is so obsessed with oil consumption?
-Because it pollutes a lot and all my toys are made of plastic
"

My answer was so unexpected that it was one of the earliest case of me managing to shut a grown-up up.

locumranch said...


While greatly appreciated, David's candor about the progressive agenda is socially problematic:

First, when he says "we are conquerors" and promises no quarter, no compromise & no fairness in "a zero sum war", he commits the banner of Progress to doing "what feudalists always do", puts to lie "OUR value of near-universal tolerance" and justifies ANY amount of conservative obstructionism, gerrymandering & open bloody rebellion in what amounts to a progressive ideological crusade.

Second, by arguing that the progressive elite can disregard its own stated value system in favour of "Simply Win(ning)", he forgets that such uncompromisingly expedient tactics have a history of ending badly for all concerned, especially for the progressive elite, as in the case of A Jackson, G Danton & V Lenin who destroyed countless innocents (and often themselves) with the idealistic consequence of their own respective 'Trail of Tears', 'Reign of Terror' and 'Great Purge'.

Third, by choosing to apply the 'positive sum' concept to total progressive victory, he demonstrates either ignorance of the 'positive sum' concept or an inhuman amount of disgenuousness, so much so that we can now expect the butcher, the Nazi lampshade maker & the typical progressive to describe their actions as 'positive sum' and 'win-win' for the hog, the concentration camp prisoner and the political conservative respectively.

A Progressive Victory will be assured -- once it has enforced "near-universal tolerance' with an iron fist, banned a growing list of words as 'hate speech', completed the assimilation of all those school-age conservative children through mandatory indoctrination, subjected climate change deniers to involuntary re-education and relocated all those politically undesirable regressives to gulags with generous ZyklonB shower facilities -- IF we let them.

In the USA, as in Europe, the Conservatives will NOT go gentle into that good night, and they will rage, rage against the dying of the light, and it won't be pretty. I guarantee it.


Best

A.F. Rey said...

Ah, locum, you day dream of a glorious war, full of sound and fury, just like the ones you're used to. But the war you're fighting is on another battle field. Not the one the Indian Hunters and Nazis and Commies and Islamic terrorists have fought upon, but the one in which the pen prevails. The battle field of ideas.

And upon that field you will be overwhelmed. Because the principles of fairness and tolerance are much closer to the human heart. Security for family and friends is preferred over the glory of death and destruction. And opportunity for all is what men yearn for.

You will be defeated one day, because your ideals cannot abide to live with ours. But it won't be with the grand bang of war, but with the final whimper of, "But I was sure I was right." :)

Valkyrie Ice said...

@ Laurent

"The same can be said about the "obsolescence of the new weaver guild": while I agree with the metaphor, a desperate, aging and weakening elite running out of legitimacy may decide to kill future competitors in their infancy, before they become stronger than the old guard. That the ancient guilds failed to do so doesn't mean that their modern counterparts won't succeed."

Been tried. What do you think the MPAA the RIAA and SOPA has been all about? Also DRM, claiming that 3d printing of organs raises "ethical concerns" and a hundred other attempts to prevent new models from disrupting and displacing old established one. Seriously, what do you think the Kochs have been up to with trying to outlaw solar?

They have been desperately trying to "kill it in the crib" and have been losing. They really have no other option but to lose, because the environment that supported them itself is changing. They are lions whose range has been over-hunted to the point they are starving, and the new guys are sharks in a tsunami rolling over them. That's how different the economy of abundance works from the economy of scarcity. They are FUNDAMENTALLY incompatible and mutually exclusive systems.

I'm not expressing any kind of wishful thinking, hun. Though I do get accused of it often enough. I'm just reporting on what I see occurring.

if you want a fuller exploration, http://www.acceler8or.com/2012/01/the-future-according-to-val-part-2-consequences/ covers most of the political interplays between the Old Guard and the New, what I see as their motivations, and how I see the whole scenario playing out.

You don't need to agree with me. It doesn't alter my observations either way.

And thank you for the typo corrections, I really should have looked up the exact spelling. :)

David Jordan said...

I'd have to agree with Valkyrie Ice regarding the TPP. While there may be some reasonable stuff in there as well, giving corporations the kinds of powers over countries that the TPP does and locking lots of countries into overbearing IP laws isn't a good thing.

I say that as an engineer and a science fiction author who makes money off such intellectual things.

The 20th century pushed copyright (and patents) well beyond what's reasonably needed "to promote science and the useful arts..." I'd much rather see individual countries given some room for experimentation in terms of term lengths, registration/renewal, fair use, and derivative works (especially in a non/minimally commercial manner). A lot of the IP stuff in the TPP is made worse by the fact that it exports the "strong" aspects of US IP law (and binds us from democratically changing it ourselves) while ignoring the escape valves like fair use.

I don't care about whether my great grandchildren get to live off my work, and I don't need or want an easy extralegal way to censor websites. Heck, you could reduce the copyright on my code and my books to 14 years, and I'd still be writing. Creators aren't hurt by small-scale fan activity, and it's really not that hard to compete with piracy. The main thing is to get in place reasonable regulations for industrial-scale activity (Like under what conditions Sony is allowed to adapt my books into movies.)

Robert said...

Dr. Brin, I was looking at your recent article about Star Wars and how the Republic never does anything effective (which is to you a sign of Lucas' anti-democracy sentiments)... and was suddenly struck by a science fiction/superhero webcomic, which took the other path.

Star Power is a comic in which a young scientist ends up getting cosmic powers and naturally uses those powers to help others. However, her superiors are not idiots... the security personnel of the space station she's on are intelligent and capable... and the interplanetary government is not corrupt, negligent, or useless. In fact, the cartoonist and writer cited about the uselessness of government as depicted in comics and movies and how they wanted to avoid that overused trope.

That and it's interesting and enjoyable for an intelligent professional young woman with a joy for astronomy ends up a superhero. ;)

Anyway, I hope this gives you a pleasant change from the "government is hopeless" theme of far too much literature and movies these days. :)

Rob H.

Jumper said...

I think forcing small countries to aggressively police those illegal "Star Wars" and "Charlotte Hornets" T-shirts is not a good idea or use of police powers.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

But what I've seen makes me lean toward support for TPP. It welds the nations of SE and East Asia together with the US. It sets new rules on labor and ecology that they must obey and that brings them all much closer to responsible standards. It protects intellectual property better.


Since TPP is likely to pass, I hope you are right. My opposition is not because it will cost jobs, but because it gives corporations the right to supersede local laws that impede their profits. So for example, if a requirement that a factory not dump poison into the local air and water makes that factory less profitable, then the owners can override the laws or sue for "compensation" for their perceived lost profits.

At least that's what I've been led to believe. You seem to think just the opposite--that TPP will be a "race to the top" rather than a race to the bottom. No other trade deal has gone that way, but I guess we'll see.

Evidence in my favor: Democrats don't want the deal and Republicans do (even though it's a win for Obama, somehow that's ok in this one instance). Perhaps evidence in you favor is that President Obama wants the deal, for some seemingly-inexplicable reason. I only hope he's pulling the mother of all fast ones on the GOP with this deal.

LarryHart said...

Laurent Weppe:

ranslation
"-Fuck, I'm fed up with France, there's too many Arabs in this country, I'm going to leave
-To go where?
-Morocco"


When my father was a youngster back in the 1930s, a German classmate told him that he (the classmate) was fed up with all the Jews in Chicago, and was going to move to the suburb of Skokie where there weren't any Jews.

This is only funny to people who know the Chicago area, but ever since the 1960s or so, Skokie has become essentially a Jewish enclave. Hearing that story, even when I was a teenager in the 1970s, I used to mentally add the punchline, "And is he ever surprised!"

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

In the USA, as in Europe, the Conservatives will NOT go gentle into that good night, and they will rage, rage against the dying of the light, and it won't be pretty. I guarantee it.


So what do you suggest as an alternative? Give them everything they want and hope their demands stop there? That trick never works.

The Nazis didn't go gently into that good night either, but guess what? They went anyway. "It's not a question of letting, mister!" - Captain America #177

David Brin said...

I knew he'd caricature my "war" analogy as hypocritical intolerance and uniformity-conformist oppression. Alas, he just did so without even noting my prediction or the ironies involved! When all I get back is whining, instead of actual awareness of what I actually said, then it kind of takes the fun out of further engagement.

Only note, I am the ONLY "progressive" speaking thus in "war" and "conquest" terms and only for blatant shock value. Progressives themselves don't get the irony, that there must be a zero sum victory for a positive sum world. And hence they hate the terms I used.

But even I can fall back on the simplest truth, told in the face of the troglodytes -- you... started ... it. You are the ones who have talked endlessly of "war" and "culture war".

LarryHart said...

A F Rey:

You will be defeated one day, because your ideals cannot abide to live with ours. But it won't be with the grand bang of war, but with the final whimper of, "But I was sure I was right." :)


More like "But, that's what I was saying all along!"

David Brin said...

onward


onward

locumranch said...


Onward after this:


I will also dial down the hyperbole, cut back on 'shock value' and try to speak plainly:

First, I will point out that I never claimed that war was 'glorious' because War is NEITHER glorious NOR ideal. Instead, it is largely irrational (barring one exception) because it is an extreme act, whereas 'extremism' is always irrational because it refuses to yield, change course or compromise and it demands conformity in intent, belief & behaviour. And, most assuredly, Idealism in ANY form (no matter how noble and/or 'progressive') is a subset of extremism.

By definition, Progressivism qualifies as extremism. It moves 'forward, ever forward', letting the devil take the hindmost; it refuses to yield, change course or compromise; and it demands conformity in intent, belief & behavior. It is EVER intolerant of delay, hesitation & contradiction; it insists on an overwhelming consensus, the unlimited 'buy-in' & its unqualified 'universality'; and it is immune to reasoned discourse. With its mandatory buy-in, 'universal tolerance' and immunity from criticism, Multiculturalism also qualifies as extremism by these criteria.

In this one instance alone -- when one must deal with extremists of any ilk -- War becomes the rational, last & only option (howsoever briefly) because there is absolutely NO reasoning or compromise possible with the extremist. This is the main reason (second only to good intellectual argument) that I hang around but, try as I might, I have failed to convince any of you that the principles of "universal fairness", "perfect tolerance" and "human perfectibility" are (extremist; delusional) Ideals rather than achievable realities.

As to whether the current US Red & Blue conflict, the EU situation & their mutual'March to War' can be defused, I do not know but I have sound reasons to doubt. In the USA, the Urban Blues have already tried to strip the Rural Reds of almost everything they value (Gender, Faith, Freedom, Family & Firearms) and a people with very little left to lose can be extremely dangerous. And, in the EU, the situation is that much more dire because the Europeans have already lost all-of-the-above up to & including the right to self-preservation.

Your only hope to avoid Total War is to 'back-the-hell-up', accept your numerous errors, balkanise, permit self-representation, relax the 'universal consensus' requirement, and allow the locals to regress or progress on their own microcephalic, backward, gap-toothed & immoral terms. Do that, and 'Stop Digging' when you've dug yourself into a deep hole, but that's a concept that the average SJW is incapable of either accepting or understanding.


Best

Valkyrie Ice said...

Okay Locum, let me point out, as a voice other than David.

From everything *I* personally have seen, living in TN, surrounded by "rurals" "Gender, Faith, Freedom, Family, and Firearms" is a crock of shit. Sure, the OVER 50 crowd is ALL ABOUT THOSE. Those UNDER 50 are not.

To be blunt, I am SURROUNDED on all sides with younger people who are REVOLTING against the Fundamentalism of their Elders. Who REJECT categorically the behaviors of their grandparents and parents.

Sure, it's a mixed bag. You got your young yahoos who do nothing but drink and like to masturbate over their guns, but you also have very large numbers of others who are constantly bitching to me about how much the effing hate the bigotry and homophobia still so prevalent among the old. In fact, I have meet FAR GREATER TOLERANCE for being transgender in this little podunk town in TN than I did in a FAR LARGER and more "cosmopolitan" town in Florida.

You want to know what is a BIGGER gripe in my little hole in the middle of nowhere town than "Those damn N******!!"? Bitching about the STUCK UP BRATS who go to the private University down the road in Suwanee. The "Delicate" little "Darlings" who's parents money ensures that they never pay any sort of price for the HAVOK that they regularly inflict on the surrounding towns.

I know this, having just had to deal with a pack of them at work, and their overbearing demands to have every single little whim of theirs catered to.

You've spent too long in an echo chamber Locum. You've been listening to talking points far too much without actually bothering to verify what is ACTUALLY going on in the world.

THE WORLD IS CHANGING. And it IS NOT GOING TO STOP.In fact, the amount of change you're so vehemently denouncing is JUST THE TINIEST LITTLE TIP OF THE ICEBERG.

You think the whole Dem vs Rep divide means anything? Or the whole LGBTQ Rights issue? Or Even Muslim vs Xtian?

Over the next decade, we are very likely going to have to cope with, among other things, the emergence of VR enabling people everywhere to become almost anything they desire. That's going to be very closely followed by the medical ability to cosmetically alter any physical detail about our appearance we want. You think Male,Female, Black, White, or Asian "means" anything in world where You can be a Dog Anthro? An Elf? A My Little Pony?

Do you really think NATIONS will mean much of anything when VR enables everyone in the world to Hang out with their friends anywhere on the globe they feel like? Do you truly think that the whole "Us vs Them" is going to remain a viable means to divide the "lower classes" when one of the very first things VR is going to enable is FACE TO FACE communication between any number of people in the world?

Cont next post

Valkyrie Ice said...

Do you really think RELIGION is going to survive in a world in which all the accumulated wisdom of humanity is going to be available to any given human via personal tutors able to teach any given subject in a manner custom designed to be effective for that individuals learning style? When every single child from birth has their own Einstein teaching them? That's one of the major reasons you are seeing such a sea change between the young and old. The younger generations do not rely on TV for their views, they don't rely on Churches to give them morals, and the don't listen to the propaganda that tells them they need to hate the friends they have made all over the world because of some fictitious lines drawn on a map by people hundreds of years ago.

And do you really think all your little "Local Enclaves" will allow the rest of us to enjoy our liberties to not be forced into acting or looking like their conception of how we should look and how we should act? Just because THEY CAN'T COPE WITH CHANGE???

I am a succubus, Locum. Sure, that's only in SL right now, but it is my very firm intention to have wings, horns, hooves, and a nice spaded tail in the not very distant future. It's already who I present myself as online, and have for over 30 years. Everywhere I go online, I continually encounter others like me who DO NOT DESIRE to remain prisoners in the human form for all eternity. I have thousands of testimonies from Furries, Vamps, Weres, Nekomimi, and hundreds of other "non-vanilla human" avatars I have met online who all express the exact same desire, to be something OTHER than what they were sentenced to by the genetic lottery. The thing is, They all share the common desire to simply BE LEFT ALONE AND ALLOWED TO LIVE HOWEVER THEY CHOSE.

And guess what? That desire leads to people who refuse to accept their choice to be different to do things like rig a hotel stairway at a furry convention with a Chlorine smoke bomb.

So let me ask you, Locum. ARE YOU WILLING TO GIVE WHAT YOU CLAIM YOU DESIRE? The peace to be left alone and allow everyone else in the world to be left alone as well?

Because if you are not, and experience so far indicates that the vast majority of those you are demanding be given the freedom to hate and be intolerant, ARE NOT WILLING TO LEAVE US ALONE in exchange. It's ALWAYS about FORCING EVERYONE ELSE to CONFORM to THEIR INTOLERANCE.

As David said. YOU started this. You've demonstrated that you cannot play well with others. You've made it clear over and over, it's your way or the highway, and quite simply put, It's become a matter of self defense.

You cannot demand tolerance if you are categorically UNWILLING to give tolerance. And that is the point I see David trying to make.

Paul451 said...

David,
Re: TPP.
"But what I've seen..."

Of course, it would help their credibility if you could see the agreement.

When even the lawmakers voting on it are required to go down in a basement viewing room, give up all electronic devices, not take notes, only allowed to bring one assistant, etc...

Meanwhile, corporations contributing to the negotiations presumably have not only full access, but their entire legal teams with full access.

LarryHart,
"Perhaps evidence in you favor is that President Obama wants the deal, for some seemingly-inexplicable reason. I only hope he's pulling the mother of all fast ones on the GOP with this deal."

Obama always seemed more comfortable dealing with conservatives. Like a lot of mainstream journalists, he may think that deferring to the Right makes him a "centrist", hence unbiased, regardless of how far to the right the "other side" is. He will not be "pulling a fast one" on the other side, it's not how he works.

Locumranch,
"I will also
dial down the hyperbole,
cut back on 'shock value'
and try to speak plainly
:"


{laughs}

"whereas 'extremism' is always irrational because it refuses to
yield,
change course
or compromise

and it demands conformity in
intent,
belief
& behaviour.

By definition, Progressivism qualifies as extremism. It moves 'forward, ever forward', letting the devil take the hindmost; it refuses to
yield,
change course
or compromise;

and it demands conformity in
intent,
belief
& behavior.

It is EVER intolerant of
delay,
hesitation
& contradiction;

it insists on
an overwhelming consensus,
the unlimited 'buy-in'
& its unqualified 'universality';

and it is immune to reasoned discourse. With its
mandatory buy-in,
'universal tolerance'
and immunity from criticism,

Multiculturalism also qualifies as extremism by these criteria."


...Etc etc etc...

...etc...