Monday, October 17, 2016

Buckle your seatbelts... October surprises, cheating, and the things Clinton won't say...

This posting will be hurried, geting it in before the final debate. Like the rest of you, I am both fascinated-addicted and so, so, so eager for it to end.

First off, Trump challenged Clinton to take a ‘blood test” before the next debate. She should reply: 

“Sure Donald, we’ll both do that. But in return, you have to accept one of MY challenges! You (Trump) must appoint five sages to a fact-checking commission you’d accept as non-partisan. Including fact checking claims of electoral fraud. I’ll appoint five and Sandra Day O’Conner can appoint five.” 

If HC did that, she’d corner him, even if he refused! Refusing would look awful. And he’d know that accepting would eviscerate him.

== An October Surprise? ==

All my life there’s been talk of October Surprises, before any big U.S. election.  Ronald Reagan pulled one on Jimmy Carter and there were others in the small to intermediate range.  Today, the Trumpists are proclaiming such timing for the Access Hollywood “locker room” video and subsequent accusers of Trump's sexual predation. (See: Donald Trump self-sabotage gambit in Salon.) 
     Certainly, Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks collusion with Russian state hackers is aimed at knifing Hillary Clinton. Will there be more?

In this election cycle? Count on it! Assange is doubtless saving the worst for November. And Trump is already railing that the Iraqi assault on Mosul has been timed to give Barack Obama a big victory over ISIS, just before the election. (DT spent minutes in the 2nd debate pre-criticizing the Mosul assault for not being done ‘by surprise’ and thus allowing ISIS leaders to escape… proving that he has the military expertise of a 9-year old video gamer.)

Seriously, buckle your seatbelts.  There will be revelations of electoral hacks and sexual matters and foreign meddling and maybe a spilled Trump tax return.  These are Heinlein’s “crazy years.” 

Oh… one of you in the comments section suggested a scenario: “that the "Jail Hillary" bit was a stroke of genius! Not for the election but for after, when the Donald's crows come home to roost. Rape, tax evasion, fraud ....  Only now all of the "sensible" voices have said that you can't jail the losing candidate. Donald now has a "get out of jail free card" - just before he needs to use it.”

Hm.

== Cheating at the polls?  Really? And WHO will do it? ==

If the election is rigged, who is doing the rigging? 

Trump never says. But note: in most battleground states – those he and HC are fighting over – elections are run by Republican politicians or appointees. In Florida, Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio and Utah, the chief elections officer of the state is a Republican. (In Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Missouri it’s a Democrat.) 
        
Republican-run states do far more gerrymandering and voter suppression. The voting machines that do not offer audit ability with paper-backups are supplied by companies with GOP connections. So if there’s any fire under this smoke, Trump supporters should aim their ire at the GOP establishment.

Indeed, the presidential race is too closely watched for anyone to risk sneaky tactics. But I would bet you a dollar and a swallowed-bug that there will be tons of cheating down at the level no one is watching – state Assembly and Congressional races, where the Fox cabal is sweating real bullets, right now. (More on this, below.)
  
== How Might Trump Pull it out? ==

That’s the question some trumpist shill asked on Quora, in what must be the brashest and most delightfully impudent political move I have seen.  Almost no one on Quora supports Trump (since they have curiosity and ask questions.) Yet this prize challenge dares folks to compete (for a measly $250) offering the best suggestion how the GOP candidate might improve his flagging chances.  And plenty could not help themselves!  They answered.

I did too! * Though I deem it nearly impossible that DT will actually follow my advice. And here it is:

First and foremost, Donald Trump should stop with the damned rallies. The rallies have destroyed him. They cater to his frail-huge ego, feeding it with cheers for every outrageous thing he says, encouraging him to both ramp up the outrageousness and to gather a spectacularly unrealistic view the U.S. population, convincing himself that the narrow slice of Americans who attend his rallies is actually representative of the nation.

Had it not been for the rallies, DT would likely have done the expected veer to center. He could have - as a 'maverick’ - stunned us all and destabilized Clinton by behaving well at the debates and by abruptly dropping the most-insane GOP stances inflicted on the party by Murdoch-Ailes-Fox.

He could have dropped: (1) the war on science, (2) climate denialism, and (3) Supply Side never-once-right-voodoo economics.

Back in the spring he showed some hints he might! Had he done this, he’d have done a judo grab of moderates and college educated whites and even some women and some minorities, while keeping most of the rest of his conservatism.

This would also have done the nation a great service, by trashing those three insanities forever. Even in losing, he would have been credited for that.

Too late. His addiction is now in full fury. The tougher things get, the more he relies on the drug high he gets at the rallies, which in turn encourage him to behave in public and at debates in the same way that gets cheers at those testosterone-fests.

Watch one some time: you’ll see an addiction, playing itself out. (I can relate - slightly - as a public speaker. Audience response is a huge high.) Alas, he is not just torching himself and the GOP; he is also stoking maybe 15% of the population - his most zealous followers - with a frothing-volcanic hate that we’ve not seen since Timothy McVeigh, or perhaps the 1930s Nuremberg rallies.

They share his feedback loop. They will rage that he could only have lost by rigging. They will - at his urging - turn this civil war hot. Except for the rallies, he might have had a lining that was silver, and not flaming horror.

* (Go to that quora contest and vote for me! I'll spend the prize on a party at the 2018 worldcon! ;-)

== Back to the Cheat Below ==

Time to reiterate a point that no one else – I promise you – is making. Paul Ryan is discrediting Donald Trump’s allegations that the election will be “rigged.” And yes, that serves Ryan well, because it makes him look like an adult next to the tantrum-threatening Donald. Ryan is lining himself up for 2020.  And yet… the sci fi thriller side of me has another explanation.  That Ryan is pooh-poohing the likelihood that the PRESIDENTIAL election will be rigged… so that no one will look to closely at the election he really cares about…

…which is the equally important panoply of races for Congress and state assembly, all over the nation! Think about it.  Assume for a moment that the voting machines in many red states - which have no paper receipt systems for precinct count auditing (paper-audits exist in most blue states) - can be altered almost at-will. And why not? Without auditing, what is to stop the mostly-republican owners of voting machine companies from having a back door and using it?

Then they will not use that power to try to fix an already lost election for the White House.  They do not want scrutiny or attention focused lower down.  Even though those lower down races are where the real power in the nation (and corruption) can be found.

== Why evangelicals support Trump? ==

Given that he’s a philandering, twice divorced gambling lord with mob ties, who has ripped off his employees and contractors and bragged about abusing women… there truly is no other explanation for evangelical support than “he hates the same enemies that I hate!” In this exploration-article, it becomes clear that’s why fundamentalist Christians are rallying to Trump.

There is also an apocalyptic current. For Trump, it’s not morning in America, it’s just a few seconds before midnight on the doomsday clock…. He’s been slouching toward just about every kind of Armageddon imaginable, except the genuine planetary ones that are — or should be — almost unavoidable these days.” 

(In the Trump-Ryan vision of America, fervidly believed at those nuremberg-style rallies - "crime is running wild, inner cities are war zones, and hordes of violent immigrants are pouring across our open border. In reality, murder is at a historic low, we’re seeing a major urban revival and net immigration from Mexico is negative. And the counterfactuals go on and on...)

His “un-Christ-like” behavior contrasts with Clinton’s -- a church-going United Methodist who has long ties to leaders in the evangelical community. She taught Sunday school and, as a senator, attended weekly prayer breakfasts. ‘But white evangelicals’ anger toward Clinton, while at a fever pitch now, has been building for decades.’

The central pretext is, of course, abortion. Though here, yet again, the journalist misses a key point. HC has repeatedly said that her aim is to keep abortion, “safe, legal and rare.” The argument is that liberal actions like Sex Education, availability of contraceptives and family planning empower women and girls to control their choices and outcomes, resulting in fewer abortions.  The success of this approach is supported by facts and decisive statistics. For example, wherever the emphasis has shifted to “abstinence only” programs, the rates of teen sex, teen pregnancy, STDs and domestic violence go up. All have gone down in Blue America.

Refusal to face such blatant cause-and-effect outcomes comparison has become a hallmark of the re-ignited Confederacy’s culture war, especially the War on Science.

When confronted by the success of liberal programs at reducing the overall number of abortions, they respond with a purist stance, that “even one is too many.” Indeed, that might have been at least philosophically defensible, if it weren’t that every single anti-abortion measure taken in Red States – across the last decade – has been about making abortion incrementally more difficult for women experiencing a life choice.

In other words, using supply side methods to reduce the number and rate… as opposed to the democrats’ approach to achieving the same end, via the demand side.

(This supply-side/demand-side aspect just occurred to me!  You punctilious checkers out there, have you seen anyone ever raise this direct comparison between approaches to abortion policy and the two parties’ diametrically opposite economics? 

(As usual, the demand side approach seems to work, while supply side reduces to an insanely cruel methodology that has not ever – even once – correlated with reality.)

Note – though – the core hypocrisy. To maintain purism as a defense against the superior practical effects of liberal policy – incrementally reducing the overall number of abortions by educating and empowering women. Yet the pro-lifers have put forward only incremental means to make abortion more difficult, accomplishing nothing.

No. This is entirely about symbolism. The U.S. right once had an element that liked objective reality and pragmatism (e.g. post-1968 Barry Goldwater, often Richard Nixon and (at times) Ronald Reagan). Now it is 100% about symbolism, (exemplified by the GOP Congress obsessing on the naming of ships) and never on negotiated politics.

Symbolism-obsession also served the 1860s Confederacy well, for a while. At first. Till the America of science, pragmatism, negotiation and adulthood woke up and discovered its resolve. That same awakening is happening now. So dig this, dear red-neighbors. We will save the nation and planet and civilization for you folks.  In fact, I’ll bet that deep-down, it’s what you’ve been counting on, all along.

== A final direct appeal to Hillary Clinton ==

Seriously Madam Secretary, is your only aim to win the election and live in the White House again?  Maybe nominate a couple of Supreme Court justices?  If so, I'll still vote for you, but I am disappointed.  Because just running against Donald Trump will poison your term in several ways.

First, pundits and historians… certainly Republicans … will attribute your victory to the toxicity of your opponent.  They'll rationalize that you have no mandate and that the GOP deserves to come roaring back, in 2018, after shrugging off the ‘Trump Illness.’ 

Even worse, by focusing only on DT -- you mentioned the word “republican" only once in your first debate and hardly at all, in the second! And did not mention "Congress" at all — you are thus complicit if the GOP manages to hold onto their majority in the House of Representatives. With Paul Ryan then 2nd in line for the Presidency, you will experience four years of unrelenting hell. No “honeymoon' at all - and zero legislative accomplishment. Just ever-more nastiness from the laziest U.S. Congress in the history of the republic. Was that your goal?

It’s time to stop cozying up to fence sitters, hoping to peel away a few more presidential votes. All that will accomplish is to leave Trump-averse republicans pleased to split and vote for down-ticket GOP politicians. If you want your presidency to mean anything, you must:

- Cite Ronald Reagan, who famously (and effectively) said: "I did not leave the Democratic party, the democratic party left me." 

That was brilliant, effective and people remember it. Use that! You can say: "I did not agree with Reagan about that.  But there’s no way Reagan would be a Republican today. Blatantly the Republican Party leaders have abandoned all sense. They have ‘left’ Ronald Reagan and they have left *you*.”

- then deliver a zinger: "Did any of you notice at the recent Republican convention that they did not even mention the names of any GOP leaders between Reagan and Ryan?  Bush, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Hastert, DeLay, Ailes… "  (Emphasize Hastert and Ailes! Recently-confirmed sexual predators.) 

Yes, yes, I know you've been cozying up to the Bushes, lately, hoping to sway more ‘moderate’ republicans to defect. Stop it! They are of no use to you. Not compared to the possible chance of getting their grip off of Congress.)

- Talk about the sheer laziness of GOP Congresses! For 20 of the last 22 years, they have hardly met in session at all, or even held any hearings, except those that uselessly and futilely and obsessively hounded you!  Seriously.  Laziness is a charge that (1) is off-axis from usual politics, (2) is blatantly true, and (3) is a devastating attack on their character.

- Talk about the GOP war on science, education, medicine and every other profession that deals with facts and knowledge.

Seriously.  Stop making this about Trump!  That case has been made and 3/5 of Americans are sold on it.  Time to move forward!  It is time to get moderate conservatives to leave the undead elephant. 

You can do this.  Show us leadership and boldness.  In the next debate… mention the Republican Party!  It has ‘left’ America.

=====

* PS.  Some have realized how Reagan could be used against the hijackers of American conservatism. 


170 comments:

Jewels said...

Beautiful, David. Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for putting into words what so many of us think.

I have lurked at your blog much - it has helped me get friends away from Trump and towards Hillary - but this was so perfectly done that I had to say so! I myself toyed - briefly - with supporting Trump in early summer, having been a Berner. It wasn't "spite" or disappointment. I truly wasn't sure who was more dangerous. Even after he revealed himself to be utterly unsupportable, I was still iffy about Mrs. Clinton. You have helped open my eyes there - to see the bigger picture.

Thank you.

As for this post, if only Madam Secretary still used @clinton.net, I'd bloody well email it to her. (LOL!)

donzelion said...

David S: re Prop 54
"the main benefit of the 72 hour delay"
I'm fairly confident "72-hours" will mean more like 96-144 hours (because you have to transfer the final text in an agreed form, deliver it to a printer, actually print and inspect to verify it, then mass print it for display/distribution, then actually display and distribute it). This is less likely to be a "technology" delay than a "human process" delay.

"it slows down the number of bills that can get pushed through at the end of a legislative session."
Agreed. And for 'must-pass bills' (like budgets), this could become extremely challenging. Adding 3-5 days before a budget passes will mean, during an impasse, that many public employees can't pay mortgages or credit card bills. That could make this proposition more harmful than beneficial. But is the cost worth the benefit? This is where I cannot decide clearly one way or the other.

"This probably hurts the majority party more"
Absolutely. However, even a minority party might balk: if there are cameras focused on them and they're trying to work out a controversial bill with a compromise, they'll show up publicly. Seems to me that obfuscation/delay become more viable tactics when the cameras show what one is doing: you can judge someone harshly for what they said or did. Harder to hold them accountable for what they refused to say or do.

"So while I don't want to give the obstructionists any more tools to stop the legislature from doing their job, I'm in favor of the proposition."
And therein lies my own ambivalence. I cannot tell if transparency is worth the price.

I am harping on this here, because I think Prop 54 is intriguing - and few people outside a narrow group who are concerned with transparency are likely to explore this intriguing project.

Treebeard said...

Remember folks: "liberals" with self-affixed "Good Guy" badges never do anything wrong. They, the Smart Guys with the best educations and credentials, who are the tools and architects of the System, the cream of civilization with a monopoly on Good Inentions, who do more in a day than the ingrates will do in their lives, can't possibly be deluded, arrogant, in error or in the grip of bankrupt ideology. It's always those Confederate Trumpist Murdochian racist sexist whoevers who are responsible for all our problems and want to crash the system. Therefore, we must double-down on our policies, crush the evil-doers, and hey, nuclear war with Russia is a small price to pay to smack down homophobic hackers with WMD's who hate our freedoms.

Elite liberalism is rapidly turning into something as malignant, deluded and dangerous and W. Bush Republicanism. We, who are outside your echo chambers and social circles, are sending you a message loud and clear. But will you listen before it's too late?

Jumper said...

What a crock of bullshit. Did anyone ever say that? No.
Hey, idiot: your stupidity is not as good as knowledge. Your stupidity is orders of magnitude more stupid than knowledge. Anyone who appears to be claiming that imperfect knowledge makes it equal to stupidity is an idiot. And right wing idiots are far more prone to think they know everything than anyone else. Can you say Dunning Kruger? I didn't think you could.

donzelion said...

Treebeard: "We, who are outside your echo chambers and social circles, are sending you a message loud and clear. But will you listen before it's too late?"

As soon as you have something intelligent to say, you will find many listeners in the liberal circles.

Paul SB said...

Okay, maybe we need a little time out. As I was driving home, my wondering ears tuned in to an interview with Vangelis, the spacey composer who wrote the soundtrack to "Bladerunner" ages ago. Sci-fi fans who like spacey music might get a kick out of it, and fans of outer space might be heartened to hear that his newest album (and he hasn't made one for ages) was inspired by and dedicated to the Rosetta Mission. I just Ituned it, and am listening as I type. So far, it's good stuff. Check out the interview if you feel like you need a break from the petty name-calling that passes for politics.

http://www.npr.org/2016/10/17/497797809/from-composer-vangelis-a-true-story-set-in-outer-space

Jumper said...

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/6f997f97c5f140a29f385ea05f1b642c/wikileaks-assanges-internet-link-severed-state-actor
Assange has been neutered.

Paul SB said...

And in reference to the previous thread,

Occam,

It was good of you to provide all that procedural detail about demographic statistics. I didn't mention it because I didn't think it was relevant, and aren't I long-winded enough? : ) : / : ( [Even my emoticon thingies are long-winded!] Probably some detail-oriented readers will find that interesting. I suspect, though, that most people get that average is not everyone. I wasn't ridiculing the statisticians, who mostly know their jobs, but the politicians, whose job seems to be to mislead the public.

Jumper said...

Okay. Deep breath.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPe52A0k06M

Electric Boffin said...

Once I scoffed at the Gun Fetishists delusion of being remotely effective against the U.S. Military, but the paranoia and rage being invested in the Trump fringe is beginning to take on a more terrifying nature as a possibility germinates of being Russian proxies (drones, satellite intel, cyber backing - obviously they don't need more guns and ammo...) how did Red Dawn get turned upside down?

Treebeard said...

OK, let me be a little more specific:

Isn't there a tiny bit of cognitive dissonance or trepidation from “liberals” toward a candidate who is like George W. Bush in her support from the plutocracy, corporatocracy and the military-industrial complex, but with a fawning media and academia to boot?

But of course, Trump is the potential dictator here; Hillary couldn't possibly be a threat to anyone's freedom with all that Establishment power behind her (except of course to Russians, who are inherently evil because they're Russian, and maybe to the “deplorable” class, who are really of no value to our society anyway). How can I be so sure of this? A dozen talking heads in the corporate media told me just in the past hour. U.S.S.A! U.S.S.A.! U.S.S.A.!

Treebeard said...

Boffin, we aren't Russian proxies, but we do see that there is more hostility coming from own elites these days than from foreign leaders like Putin. The same media that uniformly attacks and demonizes Trump and the Deplorables is doing the same to Russia. They are also coordinating between state, media and corporations in a way that should trouble any real liberal (see google's anti-Russian "rainbow" propaganda during the winter Olympics, and the full spectrum amping up of the anti-Russian activity right now). We see that Putin is not actually threatening rank-and-file Western citizens, though he might threaten certain elite globalists who are building the U.S.S.A. system. Putin has spoken out against aspects of the neoliberal order that we object to (e.g. mass immigration) more forcefully than our own representatives -- most of whom act as if they are in the pockets of a hostile plutocracy. So Putin is the enemy of our enemies, but not an ally or controller.

Also realize that we live in an age of inversion, and history has a sense of humor, so maybe that's why things seem upside down to you. ;)

dennisd said...

@donzelion
Prop 54
Thanks for your comments on Prop 54. In my view, fast public access to the audiovisual records of legislative sessions makes this a worthwhile goal for California citizens. Your idea of including the audience in the official audiovisual record is brilliant. Turning the cameras to include the audience would provide a better sense of who else is involved in lawmaking besides the legislature itself. Also, if Prop 54 gives us only a 20 year archive, that’s 20 years we don’t have now. I’ll take it no matter what the format.

I haven’t thought through the 72-hour public notice hold aspect of Prop 54. If the downside involves lobbyists gaming the system or legislative stalling—those antics happen now, without Prop 54. The question I cannot answer is, ‘Will Prop 54 inhibit or facilitate those types of obstructionist tactics. I don’t know.

Back to the audiovisual records: with The Internet of Things coming, it would be possible to geotag all legislators, lobbyists and citizen participants involved in lawmaking. Much could be learned just by seeing who met with whom and for how long.

donzelion said...

DennisD: My pleasure to keep circling back to Prop 54, with anyone I can find who might be interested. While this may not appear to be the most important matter confronting us in 2016, surely it is OUR matter, at least in this digital space.

"The question I cannot answer is, ‘Will Prop 54 inhibit or facilitate those types of obstructionist tactics. I don’t know."
I sure WISH I did know! More likely than not, it actually will facilitate obstructionism. But is that a price worth paying to get something even more important in place?

Brown certainly sees a risk. He has shown abiding love for California and some pretty good judgment. I do not lightly question his judgment.

Yet I can't help thinking that even so, the price may prove to be worth it. How many Californians can name their own State representatives? Despite public access television covering city council meetings and similar matters, only a handful of us care to follow. Perhaps one way to increase that amount of concern is to show it on video, and invite us to decide based on what we see, rather than what they filter through their own press officers (or what paid hacks tell us we ought to see).

David Brin said...

Jewel thanks. I wonder at times if I am just yammering at the choir.

Treebeard’s complaint that liberals might be monolithic is pure case of: “I see monolithic dogmatism when I look in a mirror, so my enemies must be the same!”

Sorry fellah. The dems now include a full spectrum of rational Americans. From socialists to any person with clear eyes who wants capitalism to work well. And above all pragmatists. Lots of them. And they love to argue and tussle and debate among themselves. They are cats. And your monolithic accusation only applies to dems if it applies to cats.

As to my militance? Calling the confederacy treason? Sorry goombah. You guys forced us to reach this conclusion with your relentless hate and yes, treason. The civil war began in 1852 with an invasion by bands of irregular southern cavalry raiding and rampaging from Michigan to Maine, kidnapping neighbors to drag off to slavery. THAT is what radicalized Northerners to elect Lincoln. And your similar outrages against the American republic have finally radicalized us. And yes, ‘us’ includes almost all the smart people.

“a candidate who is like George W. Bush in her support from the plutocracy, corporatocracy and the military-industrial complex, but with a fawning media and academia to boot?”

That is called positing an axiom. You declare as given something that is absurd. Tell you what. Let’s make it a bet. You help us elect a democratic congress and let’s just see how “corporatist” and “plutocratic” its legislation will be. Come on guy! FEEL the whingeing going on in your gut, right now, as you read this, knowing your incantations just exploded before your eyes.

You know damned well there will be legislation that corporatists and plutocrats hate.

“Military industrail’’’ my ass. The officer corps has left the GOP because it treats military folk as expendable tissue. Dems spend on defense sure… and do wars as well. But they listen first. See:
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2012/10/how-democrats-and-republicans-wage-war.html

Though let me say this. I use Treebeard’s name here (not ‘ent’) because he is at least offering up assertions in calm and not deliberately offensive tones.

David Brin said...


Paul I heard the Vangelis interview. Great stuff! A genuine genius.

occam's comic said...

Although I think that a President Clinton and a republican house is more likely and that it will be four more years of political dysfunction. But I am hearing that there is a modest chance that the democrats will take the house, the senate and the presidency (most likely for only two years)

So a couple of questions for the group:
If that happens what parts of the democratic platform will be given priority?
How much should the democrats try to work with the republicans?
Will the senate repeal the filibuster and streamline the rules of the senate?

Tony Fisk said...

Let's kill all the judges!* McCain is now saying that a Republican Congress will block any of Clinton's nominations for the Supreme Court as well.
At the risk of ruining a good children's story, I'd have to say that the Elephant is as bad as the Bad Baby!**

* An allusion to Shakespeare, not homicidal tendencies on my part!
**(In reality, rather than say 'please', the Bad Baby fires the Elephant at about the 8:10 mark)

Duncan Cairncross said...

donzelion
How is the legislature required to "publish" potential legislation?

Our government simply posts legislation on a website - so the 72 hours should only be 72 hours

greg byshenk said...

On the questions of:

How much should the democrats try to work with the republicans?
Will the senate repeal the filibuster and streamline the rules of the senate?


I think the answer pretty much depends on how much the Republicans are willing to try to work with the Democrats. As our host has often pointed out, historically (at least) Democrats have pretty much always been willing to negotiate. But in the past eight years, congressional Republicans have more or less refused to work with Democrats in any way. If the Democrats have a majority and the Republicans continue to carry on as they have, then I expect attempts to work with the minority will end pretty quickly. And if the Republicans try a "filibuster everything" strategy, then I expect the filibuster rules to fall, as well.

Paul SB said...

Dr. Brin,

I have no idea what you have for a spending cash budget, but "Rosetta" is well worth it. It's good music, to begin with, and he hasn't made an album since 2001 ("Mythodea", which, while I love the sentiment of equating NASA Mars missions to the mythic status of the ancient gods & heroes, the music itself wasn't so good. He used choral music to great effect in his 1995 album "Voices" by not overdoing it. His Mars-themed 2001 album suffered badly from choral overdose.) At 74, "Rosetta" show he hasn't slipped into dotage, but I'm doubtful we'll hear more in the future.

Paul SB said...

On Treebeard's contributions to this forum, it's worth framing in terms of Veblen's concept of Competitive Emulation. People who spend their formative decades surrounded by an echo chamber, where nearly everyone shares the same assumption sets, can only distinguish themselves through a sort of oneupmanship. Each tries to come up with a more extreme, outrageous statement than the last. This seems to be especially so with younger people, like college age. It also helps explain the current GOP nominee for the presidency. After decades of going more and more outrageous, like the "birther" movement and the fools who think Obama is a Muslim - implying that being Muslim is somehow unAmerican and disqualifies him from serving the nation - never mind that freedom of religion was the bedrock upon which the nation was founded. They had to keep upping the outrageous ante, until they were down to the biggest loudmouth they could get - and many Republicans weren't very happy with that unintended consequence. And before anyone accuses me of partisanship, I have seen the same thing happen among the tiny Liberal minorities I have encountered, too. But that hasn't happened with the DNC this time around. Maybe it's because they haven't been engaging in that level of angry rhetoric for the last 40 years, and have been more willing to compromise.

LarryHart said...

Caveat emptor--I have only briefly scanned the main post, and not read any comments here yet. This is not a response so much as some musings I had on the way into work this morning...

Could Trumps "rigged" meme backfire, convincing his supporters that there is no point in voting, or even in scaring off minorities from voting? I mean, if it's all rigged anyway, why bother?

When Trump accuses the Democrats, the media, even the other Republicans of anything right now, it's Opposite Day. Whatever he's saying is the opposite of true. The media have been giving Trump all sorts of latitude that other candidates don't get until very recently. Now that they're doing their job and reporting rather than instigating, Trump looks bad by objective measures. So to him, "objective measures" are now somehow unfair.

Same with Pence complaining (whining like baby Tonya Harding) that the media is playing up Trump's gaffes, but not giving enough attention to Hillary's damn e-mails. Maybe the media is actually reporting on the fact the people seem to care about the former much moreso than the latter. The media are following, not leading, but Trump and surrogates seem to think that the media should be leading people in favor of Trump, and that if they don't, they're failing at their job.

As to Gingrich and Giuliani, why isn't the proper media response to anything they say any more to laugh them off the stage? They're making "Baghdad Bob" look like a sooth-sayer.

Paul SB said...

If you scan the news, the GOP is starting to argue against Trump's pre-election claims of election fraud. The parallels with past dictators abound! The GOP sounds more and more like the party of the Jagers.

Paul SB said...

Oh, the other thing about this is that whining about cheating when they lose is absolutely typical of testosterone-driven behavior. Forget frontal lobes and acting like grown men, they always go for indulging the Id (if you'll excuse the Freudianism)and throwing temper tantrums.

Francisco Garcia said...

"Watch one (rally) some time:..."

I've watched some and DT reminds me a lot of Benito Mussolini and his rallies. The faces they make and the cheering and adulation of their followers. Uncanny!

Anonymous said...

Buckle... a seatbelt? Dear lord, why, when there are far better ways to live, ones not strapped into some monstrous machine?

“Most of the negative consequences of city planning policies on health are related to the high priority given to motor vehicles in land-use and transportation planning,” said Moudon. “City planning policies supporting urban individual car travel directly and indirectly influence such risk exposures as traffic, air pollution, noise, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, personal safety and social isolation.”

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin in the main post:

All my life there’s been talk of October Surprises, before any big U.S. election. Ronald Reagan pulled one on Jimmy Carter and there were others in the small to intermediate range. Today, the Trumpists are proclaiming such timing for the Access Hollywood “locker room” video and subsequent accusers of Trump's sexual predation. (See: Donald Trump self-sabotage gambit in Salon.)

Certainly, Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks collusion with Russian state hackers is aimed at knifing Hillary Clinton. Will there be more?


It's almost too late now, though. All your life (and mine), voting was mostly done on Election Day itself, with an insignificant number of absentee ballots mailed in earlier. These days, early voting has already begun in many states, with more to come next week. Had I felt like making the trip into downtown Chicago instead of voting from the comfort of my suburb, I could have early-voted as early as the last week in September.

Any "surprise" which surfaces from here on in is too late to affect those early votes.


Only now all of the "sensible" voices have said that you can't jail the losing candidate. ‪Donald now has a "get out of jail free card" - just before he needs to use it.”


I addressed this before, but it won't be the federal government going after Trump for rape or fraud. Local prosecutors won't be constrained by an inability to jail their opponent.

And going off on a tangent--after the Trumpisms of this election cycle, I'd say "the shackles are off" the Democrats. They've let Bush's "victories" go uncontested and refused to prosecute Bush/Cheney for war crimes under the assumption that "If they do, then both parties will just abuse power against each other in the future." Now that it's clear that the Republicans will jail their opponents and contest clearly-won elections no matter what the Democrats do, I'd be in favor of:

* Refusal to concede an (actually-rigged) Trump "victory"
* Jail Trump for actual crimes (not--Heh!--trumped up ones, there's no need)
* With 51 Senators, abolish the filibuster and confirm Barack Obama to the Supreme Court
* With 5 Justices, ram common-sense rulings down their effing throats, beginning with deciding 5-4 that it was ok to eliminate the filibuster and that it's ok for Obama to rule on his own appointment.

I mean, really, what do liberals and/or Democrats have to lose that wouldn't already be lost with Republicans in power again?

LarryHart said...

Tony Fisk:

Let's kill all the judges!* McCain is now saying that a Republican Congress will block any of Clinton's nominations for the Supreme Court as well.


This can only be corrected by God. If He takes Ruth Bader Ginsburg next, we'll be hosed.

OTOH, if He takes another Republican (Clarence Thomas?) next, leaving a 4-3 majority on the court, the 4 should rule that "silence is consent" and Merrick Garland is the eighth Justice. Then confirm the appointment of Barack Obama or Al Gore as the ninth.

LarryHart said...

BTW, Treebeard assumes that the news media, the FBI, and the Justice Department are all gibbering idiots, shilling for a candidate who will destroy this country. If all of the institutions of civilization are backing one candidate over the other, could there possibly be a good reason for that?

matthew said...

Obama to focus on ending Gerrymandering after leaving office.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2016/10/why_obama_is_focusing_his_post_presidency_on_state_politics.html

Doc, I didn't hear you specifically call a prediction for this one, but I think that someone has been feeding your ideas up the political food chain. Or maybe it's just obvious that something needs to be done.

Paul SB said...

Francisco,

A lot of us have been making that connection. I remember seeing footage of Mussolini rallies, and it is pretty similar. Of course, most people immediately think of Hitler, but if you invoke that name you get accused of making a Godwin Argument. Probably the fever pitch dictators of all stripes whip up their supporters into is similar everywhere. I wonder if there's footage out there of rallies for Franco or Pinochet or Ngirumpaste, and what these would look like.

LarryHart said...

Paul SB:

A lot of us have been making that connection. I remember seeing footage of Mussolini rallies, and it is pretty similar. Of course, most people immediately think of Hitler, but if you invoke that name you get accused of making a Godwin Argument


For both of those reasons, I always equated Trump with Mussolini rather than Hitler. Also, because Trump is more of a literal fascist (conflation of corporation and state) rather than an insane murderer.

However, as the campaign has raged on, it's become clear that among his followers, his supporters, the ones who would feel emboldened to action by his coming to power--are the deplorables that Hillary correctly identified. Those folks remind me of Hitler's followers. And Godwin's Law be damned; If the shoe fits, wear it.

(The rest of that Jefferson bit from "Hamilton" is

If New York's in debt, why should Virginia bear it?
Don't tax the south. Our debts are paid, I'm afraid.
We've got it made in the shade.
In Virginia, we plant seeds in the ground.
We create. You just want to move our money around.
This financial plan is an outrageous demand,
And it's too many damn pages for one man to understand.


Sounds a bit like our own rural-Red State defenders.

Of course, Hamilton comes back with:

A civics lesson from a slaver! Hey, neighbor,
Your debts are paid 'cause you don't pay for labor.
'We plant seeds in the south! We craete!" Keep ranting,
'Cause we know who's really doing the planting.


LarryHart said...

Dr Brin to Hillary:

- Cite Ronald Reagan, who famously (and effectively) said: "I did not leave the Democratic party, the democratic party left me."

That was brilliant, effective and people remember it. Use that! You can say: "I did not agree with Reagan about that. But there’s no way Reagan would be a Republican today. Blatantly the Republican Party leaders have abandoned all sense. They have ‘left’ Ronald Reagan and they have left *you*.”


And then point out that if that idiot Pence can look at this philandering liar on the stage here with me and claim to be reminded of Ronald Reagan, he's not so much praising Trump as shitting on Reagan.

locumranch said...


David asks out-loud how our current system electoral system could possibly be 'rigged' as Trump claims, but then actively discourages those like Treebeard who offer (at least) a partial answer:

In the manner of any & all self-perpetuating organizations, it is our SYSTEM that has rigged itself in order to self-perpetuate. Our children are brainwashed from toddlerhood by mandatory state & federal 'common core' indoctrination; our mass media bombards us with incessant political, moral & economic instruction; and, even our escapism promotes learned individual helplessness, collective irresponsibility & state-approved deviancy.

The sad truth is that the behaviorally conditioned 'we' have little or no choice, electoral or otherwise, and David confirms this with his whole Union Kepi nonsense. Like Judge Smails from 'Caddyshack', David attempts to reframe the entire electoral process in terms of pro-establishment 'goodness' and anti-establishment 'badness'.

Says Judge Smails: "Danny, Danny, there's a lot of, uh, well, badness in the world today. I see it in court today. I've sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber. Didn't wanna do it, but felt I owed it to them. The most important decision you can make right now is what do you stand for, Danny? Goodness... or badness?"

Of course, years of social indoctrination have taught Danny the only expected, appropriate & acceptable answer: "I wanna be good", says Danny. He spits this out reflexively, even though he knows that 'The Establishment' that Smails represents is entirely despicable, corrupt & hypocritical.

Yet, given an actual choice, Danny the Everyman casts his lot with a social disruptor -- the crude, rude, anti-establishment populist played by Rodney Dangerfield. Keep this in mind:

A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for Judge Smails.

Is this the type of Establishment that you want to protect? Or, would you prefer a social disruptor like Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders?


Best

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

Says Judge Smails: "Danny, Danny, there's a lot of, uh, well, badness in the world today. I see it in court today. I've sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber. Didn't wanna do it, but felt I owed it to them. The most important decision you can make right now is what do you stand for, Danny? Goodness... or badness?"
...
A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for Judge Smails.


(Monty Python) No i'tisn't!

Seriously, dude, what did Hillary ever say that reminds you of that conversation above, even remotely?

You might as well claim that Donald Trump reminds you of Ronald Reagan.


Is this the type of Establishment that you want to protect? Or, would you prefer a social disruptor like Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders?


They're very different. Bernie Sanders influenced the establishment party and candidate to lean in his direction by demonstrating (through his candidacy) that such positions are actually popular.

The most similar thing you can say about Trump is that he demonstrated to the Republican Party that their base doesn't care about tax breaks for the wealthy or regulations on business--they just want to be mean to other people. He demonstrates an intensity of that sentiment among those who hold it. But intensity does not win elections. You don't get extra votes for really, REALLY wanting the guy.

Hillary has leaned more leftist this time around because Bernie made it fashionable to do so. Trump OTOH forces the Republicans into a devil's choice. They can lean racist and fact-denying to appeal to the deplorables, or they can lean pragmatic pro-business to appeal to the non-deplorables, but either way, they lose a large chunk of their base.

Bernie made it acceptable for Democrats to go where they wanted to in the first place, but didn't have the political nerve to do. Trump made it acceptable for Republicans to go where they've always been afraid of ending up. One empowered his party, the other hobbled it.

donzelion said...

Duncan: re Prop 54 - the text includes print and internet publication. Aside from the tree killing, the print/distribute elements strike me as a ploy to expand 72-hours to a longer period. I've not heard or read anyone else make that critique.

The relevant text (as amended) reads

"No bill may be passed or ultimately become a statute unless the bill with any
amendments has been printed, distributed to the members, and published on the Internet, in
its final form, for at least 72 hours before the vote..."

Can't replicate strike-through and replacement texts very easily on this forum, but to summarize the change to this portion, but, (1) the '72 hours before the vote" part is new (previously, all bills had to be "printed" - but there was no time limit, so that could happen hours before a vote), and (2) the 'published on the internet' is also new in California.

donzelion said...

re Trump (and in response to all the Hitler/Mussolini sources) -

Buzzfeed (hardly the most reliable news source, but still...) did an interesting breakdown of the ethnic identities of the "white" voters backing Trump. They found some interesting points:
(1) Trump scores highest among voters who identify as "white" and also specify a subidentity as "German" (+18 pro Trump), "American" (+17 pro-Trump), and Italian (+11 pro Trump), then English (+6 pro-Trump), and Irish (+1 pro-Trump). "American" in this poll = those who identify as 'white' and do not claim any other specific ethnic identity (the poll didn't test who took this view).
(2) Trump himself is German-American through his grandfather. The pollsters rejected the claim that German-Americans (the largest ethnic group in America among whites) saw Trump as a "friendly co-ethnic" - but German-Americans are extremely pro-Republican. Interesting.

(3) Personally, I see Trump as closer to Berlusconi than to Mussolini. Most Americans have forgotten Berlusconi, despite juicy sex scandals, oligarchic inclinations, and the fact that Berlusconi dominated Italian politics quite recently. Pity. The problem with Godwin Arguments is that analogizing Trump to Hitler or Mussolini means "I don't like what he's doing, and associate it with evil, and this is a symbol for evil that others will grasp, so I will use it."

That's a generic problem with oligarchy as a whole. Instead of one "big bad," one has a large pool of 'nasty barons.' The flawed solution to a 'nasty baron' is 'kill the bastard' - but once the peasants rise up with their torches, the successor proves just as foul.

David Brin said...

Locum’s latest might scan as superficially focused, if it weren’t for the Paradox of delusion. Like every human, he is convinced that those who disagree with him are delusional conformists…

…and completely shrugs off the blatant question if HE and his side are the delusional conformists.

Now hm, let’s see. Is it blue or red states that have been instruction in logic and critical thinking? Is it R or B that insist that sex education only teach abstinence, when a tsunami of proof shows that that ENCOURAGES teen sex and pregnancy, stds etc?

Did R or B states ban universities and state agencies from even using the word “climate”?

Common Core… like Obamacare and No Child Left Behind… was a REPUBLICAN INITIATIVE! Oh convenient amnesia! They now despise CC and NCLB for one reason and it ain’t conformity. It is because all the testing under both programs proved that red states do execrably poorly in educating their youth! All the tests show this.

Ironic amnesia! In the nineties it was liberal teachers who opposed unified national testing and the right that demanded it, as a way to bring order into chaos and rein in flakey teachers. It happens that I kinda sided with conservatives on that one! (In limited ways; we do not want to emulate Asia or Europe in teaching only to the test.) As I agreed with conservative complaints about forced school bussing (insane!) and some other issues. Back when conservatism still had some sane corners.

But for redders to screech about Common Core when it was their OWN damn program is like their histrionics when Obama gave them their own damn medical insurance plan, and they went volcanic because he TOUCHED it and gave it COOOOOOTIES!

Anthony V. Toscano said...

Just who is doing the rigging?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IuJGHuIkzY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDc8PVCvfKs&t=36s

LarryHart said...

@locumranch:

Is this the type of Establishment that you want to protect? Or, would you prefer a social disruptor like Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders?


Again, Sanders is a red-herring, as he's a whole different category of "disruptor" from Trump. Bernie agitates to fix things. Trump essentially advocates smashing it all in a tantrum under the assumption that things are currently so hellish that anything different would be a step in the right direction. He asks this of black people, but really it should be his general slogan: "What do you have to lose?"

Is your first-world life really so horrific that you're willing to smash to bits the system under which you are fed, clothed, warmed, housed, and entertained to a degree undreamed of by kings and emperors previous just to see what happens next? I can see Trump's appeal to powerless poor folks in Haiti or Uganda or some other such place, but in a first-world industrial nation? Really?


Whip up your hate in some tottering state
But not here, dear. Is that clear, dear?


Whip up

LarryHart said...

...y'know, that song I snipped from "Evita" could probably be modified to be Hillary singing to Trump after she kicks his a$$ in the election.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

But for redders to screech about Common Core when it was their OWN damn program is like their histrionics when Obama gave them their own damn medical insurance plan, and they went volcanic because he TOUCHED it and gave it COOOOOOTIES!


I also hold out the possibility that they knew their own damn plan was smoke, mirrors, and gibberish. They used it as a counter to HillaryCare, but they knew their own damn plan would never be implemented, so it wasn't designed to actually work.

Jumper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul SB said...

Dr. Brin,

While I agree with you in principle most of the time, equating the Common Core education standards to a Republican plan is simply incorrect. The ACA certainly was. The Common Core was created by a governors and the departments of education in 48 states, so it was a collaborative effort to bypass our dysfunctional Congress. I wasn't there at the birth, a sit were, but I know the standards and how they operate well enough (I was on my school district's adoption committee) to know there are elements in it that smell like right-wing agenda, and others that smell like left-wing agenda. The moronic insistence on continuing the NCLB testing regimen is clearly a compromise with GOP ignoramuses, while the huge emphasis on atmospheric science in the Earth Science standards is very left (and I would say a little too far - important processes like plate tectonics have been scaled way back to make room for it).

Of course, the right-wing fools who claim that the Common Core is some huge overreach by left-wing Federal government clearly don't know what the Hell they are talking about, since it was created by states, not the Federal Government. But people who are partisan only see the "facts" they want to see.

Smurphs said...

Some random observations on the recent thread.

RE: Prop 54 being just a tool for Special Interest Lobbyists to muck up the works. Aren't they already writing most of laws proposed in this country, State and Federal? While most of us only pay attention to the sausage making when something catches our interest, it is their job. They are paying attention all the time. I really don't see how this does anything but hinder them. Whether it will work or not remains to be seen.

Forgive me, it's been decades since I saw Caddyshack, but didn't Judge Smails offer Danny a full-ride scholarship in return for being his toady? So, that a 17 year old BOY, with his entire future to lose, is afraid to speak truth to power, is an indictment of the entire Establishment? I don't think so. And besides, "It's just a friggin movie, man!"

I am in no way invoking Godwin's Law and comparing Putin to Hitler, but the current Russian foreign policy of threatening its smaller neighbors (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and annexing other neighbors (Crimea and Western Ukraine) is eerily reminiscent of 1930's German foreign policy (Austria, Czechoslovakia, etc.) Clinton's response is to stand up to Putin, Donald's response it to say "Hey, it's Europe's problem. And by the way, I will pull us out of NATO." It may be dangerous, but I know which I choose.

RE: Trump as closer to Berlusconi than Mussolini. I gotta agree, but not for the same reasons. For all of the difficulties of the Great Recession, it was nothing like the Great Depression. Trump's base is supporting him for any number of reasons, real and imagined, but in 1930's Italy, it was basically support Mussolini or starve.

RE: Common Core. My kid is in Middle School now and I deal with it every day. It is not an abstract political argument for us. Some of the ways he is being taught now confuse the hell out of me. It must be what our parents thought about New Math back in the day. But he's learning, and getting a better education than I did. And I went to what was considered an elite, private school. The only thing I really hate about it is the testing. He takes over 20 HOURS of standardized testing, spread over two weeks, every year, since the Third Grade. This is absurd, and it does nothing to further his education. The test scores are used solely to rate schools and apportion money to school districts. Again, this massive amount of testing is solely about money, the individual results aren't even giving to the teachers to help teach the kids. This is ludicrous, but I take comfort in the fact that he is still getting a better education than I did. Our modern civilization requires us to make many trade-offs, even sometimes picking between the "lesser of two evils". This one is a no-brainer.

donzelion said...

Paul SB: "equating the Common Core education standards to a Republican plan is simply incorrect" - most of the governors involved were Republicans, and most of the teachers, Democrats. I suspect states were motivated in part by real estate gamesmanship (a national common core would hinder several ploys to game the system and prevent 'undesirable' kids - likely to score low - from moving into a neighborhood and dropping property values). But then, I see taxes lurking behind the scenes in an awful lot...

Moz said...

Note that the supply/demand comparison also works for the "war on some drugs", specifically that if you stop immiserating people they stop self-medicating with drugs (legal and otherwise). But building a wall is not going to work any better than shooting a few people. Just ask the Israelis.

Of course, looking outside the USA for solutions isn't possible for either party, but even inside the USA there have been effective solutions to both (you managed to re-legalise alcohol, so surely un-defacto-illegalising abortion shouldn't be impossible). As I'm sure Mr Brin has pointedly asked before, if it's human life they're worried about why aren't they looking at all the other ways people die... execution, death-by-cop, or even death-by-motorist.

Tim H. said...

I find conspiracy theory more entertaining than a map to reality, but given the overlap of contemporary conservatism and those with a sympathy for the lost cause, it seems reasonable to speculate that one of the goals of conservatism was the degradation of the GOP, the authors of the destruction of the confederacy, and isn't that looking like mission accomplished? More likely they were just too clever by half, and I'm amused, either way.

donzelion said...

Smurphs: re Prop 54 "just a tool for Special Interest Lobbyists to muck up the works."

I wouldn't say "just" a tool for that purpose, but it could well be used to attain that.

"Aren't they already writing most of laws proposed in this country, State and Federal?"
Yes, they are. That's not likely to change either. Legislators themselves don't have the staff available to perform deep studies of likely impacts of policies they enact: they make guesses, and respond to proposals from constituents (and guess who is in a position to do that work for them?).

"While most of us only pay attention to the sausage making when something catches our interest, it is their job."
They're both 'legislators' and 'actors playing legislators while representing someone else.' However, if you could see them 'perform' one of their central duties (other than speaking at local events and press/photo ops), perhaps something more could occur.

"I really don't see how this does anything but hinder them."
Having a camera on them all the time that they don't get to control does hinder them - but it might help us. That said, they'll probably focus on condensing video footage down to 5-second sound bites - that may result in a less effective legislator as a whole, but could also make them more 'accurately' reflect what they actually do in public. Who can say? At least we'll hear it from their own mouths...

I like the idea of the cameras specifying "here are all the people who failed to attend this session" as well. Folks ought to know if their representatives are shirking.

Smurphs said...

Donzelion,

As I am stuck here in the gerrymandered heaven of Pennsyltucky, I can only fantasize about having ANY transparency into my government. Good luck with the experiment. Maybe we can follow in 40 or 50 years.

David Brin said...

Smurphs, The US move to testing takes us 20% of the way toward being like the rest of the world, where one test can decide a young person's entire life.

Paul SB said...

Smurphs,

One thing I can say about he Common Core is that, although it is a mixed bag of good and bad (the testing being the bad part, as far as most teachers are concerned, though the politicians don't seem to have a clue about that), it is a massive improvement over what happened under NCLB. I know more than most teachers about how learning takes place, because I made it my business to learn as much as I could. There are ways to teach that work with our brains' natural ways of learning, and there are ways that work very badly. The old NCLB, which was just enshrining the 90's Standards-Based Education movement popular with conservatives, basically tried to force children to memorize huge numbers of facts without building understanding. SBE was largely a reaction to the older Whole Language movement, which tried to build understanding without memory. Both approaches are equally ineffective, though the approach popular among conservatives builds much more resentment and hatred of education. Maybe that was the idea all along?

The people who put the Common Core together worked with an organization called AVID, which tries to teach children actual learning skills, time management and other metacognitive habits that make people more successful. Having worked through the new standards, it is clear that they have a better comprehension of how learning actually takes place than the fools who made NCLB. However, most teachers have been teaching under the old NCLB standards for most of their careers, and have very little idea how to change their teaching practices to match the new standards. It's a work in progress. If your son is showing improvements already, that is really good to hear. But I am afraid the system is not going to work out as well as planned in many places across the country, partly because most teachers have not been trained properly, and also because many are resistant to any change imposed on them by administration. School administration can be just as hostile and self-destructive as corporate management, and I know a lot of teachers who just don't want to do it because their administrators are telling them to.

Donzelion,
It's true that there were more Republican governors than Democrat when the Common Core was framed, and more teachers are Democrat than Republican. Teaching is a field that is all about caring for other human beings, not about making a buck, so go figure, right? But there are quite a lot of conservative, fuddy-duddy teachers around, especially in history departments. And another thing lurking behind the scenes are the textbook monopolies. Big Text has exerted a huge influence over education policy in spite of what most teachers think or want. The better teachers don't need textbooks - they use more of a variety of sources, while the less skilled let the textbook structure their curriculum and teaching practices.

donzelion said...

Smurphs: "As I am stuck here in the gerrymandered heaven of Pennsyltucky, I can only fantasize about having ANY transparency into my government. Good luck with the experiment. Maybe we can follow in 40 or 50 years."

LOL - perhaps we'll be following you! Seriously, you could easily take Prop 54, tweak it to make it better, figure out some way to limit the risks of obstructionism, and submit it to your state assembly person (I'd favor Duncan's New Zealand approach: just post the dang laws online a certain amount of time before they get voted on). You might even be able to find your own billionaire to endorse the law. Why not? There's a LOT of smart people in Pennsylvania...

Alfred Differ said...

@Duncan: (from last thread)
No increase in life expectancy for the lower 25% for the last 30 years!

I know you think that is a long span of time. It would be true for a field where the low hanging fruit were not already picked. The higher fruit is expensive to reach, thus the wealthiest are reaching that right now. However, that's why I keep coming back to the power of free markets and the three act play. Prices come down as competitors fight with each other for your purchases. It takes time, though. Most of the drugs I've used in the last few years didn't exist when I was a kid, so it is hard to compare price changes, but I'm alive because there is money to be made serving what I (and many others) demand. Give it time (and smack those who want to stall the play) and the poorest will have access too and FAR more access than if we try to give it to them now.

Please consider adopting both a short view and a long view. Also, please don't let your applause-worthy desire to help people now block the only solution that appears to work for everyone. Free the market to deliver three act plays instead of stunted one act stories.

donzelion said...

Paul SB: "Teaching is a field that is all about caring for other human beings, not about making a buck, so go figure, right?"
And that is why I only tried teaching briefly, and only at a community college. I'm not good about caring for other human beings: I want to make systems fair and beat the crap out of folks trying to exploit unfairness (now if only the folks who are being exploited could pay the rent...).

I'm right there with you re textbook monopolies. But to me, the biggest issue with education in America isn't the curriculum at all: it's what happens after the kids leave school, what neighborhood they find themselves in, what opportunities those neighborhoods present. Certain neighborhoods can and do raise rents to homes suitable for children by $200-500/month simply because of the quality of the school district. Other neighborhoods have ample opportunities, so long as children have transportation (preferably, a parent or relative who isn't working and can serve as taxi service).

Alfred Differ said...

@Paul SB: (also from last thread)
This is the problem with relying on averages and not looking at deviations. Higher-stress occupations, or higher-stress environments probably need to be factored in to Social Security. Disability is a somewhat different issue, and I wouldn't suggest a rule allowing payouts for "stress" as a general condition (too easy to cheat) but if a person is experiencing stress-related disorders they might qualify for an earlier retirement age.

Progressives are so much fun to talk to. 8) They want to make everything fair right down to the tiny details. Got a stressful job? Don't worry. We'll be there with your social security benefit early than that guy over there who gets through life too easily. There, there. We will balance out your bad luck.

Hmpf. There isn't enough money in the world right now to make up for bad luck, but if you really want to try, then we need to make everyone wealthy. EVERYONE. Heh. It turns out that such a thing is possible, but it takes time and courage. I never would have believed it as a kid, but the evidence is pretty clear now that there are over 7 billion of us and the absolute number of people below the old subsistence line is rapidly vanishing.

In the mean time, consider the average a negotiable number, but in exchange my friends ask that you and your friends not nickel and dime us to death with special categories making up for every little detail.

Also in the mean time, we can all still be friends. 8)

Alfred Differ said...

@Treebeard:
Isn't there a tiny bit of cognitive dissonance or trepidation from “liberals” toward a candidate who is like George W. Bush in her support from the plutocracy, corporatocracy and the military-industrial complex, but with a fawning media and academia to boot?

Ha, ha, ha!

I voted against W because I thought he lacked two brain cells to rub together compared to his opponent. Neither of the Clinton's suffer in this regard. OF COURSE she is going to get support from people I don't trust. Some of them have more than a couple of brain cells of their own too.

Your candidate is high on his own indignation rage. What brain cells he has (more than two I suspect) are completely hijacked to serve some endocrine purpose. I must admit, though, that I don't blame him. The media has used him this last year, though probably without intending it. While prowling my FB feed the other day, I came across the post-tortoise meme and it clicked in my head. Yah. Someone put him up there, but that someone is probably a faceless abstraction associated with our media.

Run for the hills, dude. Protect the candidate you like by NOT being part of the feedback loop. Vote for him if you like, but let him calm down before he gets hurt worse.

Alfred Differ said...

@LarryHart:(from last thread)

I get that, but I have to wonder why debt-reduction is a high-priority issue only when Democrats are in power, or as an argument against a Democrat.

Heh. As you noticed a bit later, I do lean libertarian. I'm willing to be equally annoyed at Democrats and Republicans when they do fiscally stupid things. My griping about W was done elsewhere, though, so you wouldn't have seen it. I used the "wouldn't trust them with a burnt matchstick" line like our host does in front of GOP partisans and their laity.

I left the Democrats after the 2012 election because I live in California and they don't need my vote to deal with the GOP anymore. I supported the changes to the way we do primary elections and redraw our districts. With those successes, it was time to consider a change. I joined the Libertarians because I'm better aligned with some of them and might have been able to do something useful to help them be more relevant. In my county, though, most of them are fairly sane (not Rand followers or strict utopians), so I was pleasantly surprised. Nowadays, I just try to help show we aren't the stereotypical nuts many believe we are.

My personal preference is for voters to realize that we are generally better off not believing economic projections made by either party and FAR better off if we don't let them mess with our economy much. I encourage people to envision a world where WE make decisions instead of asking those who serve us to make them. I'm reminded of how much the servants in a big house actually run the house while the noble only thinks he does. I'd rather we avoided this future, but I won't trample upon every idea that might possibly risk taking us there. Just keep the vision in mind where The People run their own House.

Alfred Differ said...

As our host has often pointed out, historically (at least) Democrats have pretty much always been willing to negotiate.

Well... there was that nasty little affair the Dixiecrats had with blocking voting rights, civil rights, and basic human dignity for a large number of their citizens. The Democrats as a whole suffer some blame for that because they wanted to hold their coalition together.

LBJ put an end to that coalition, though, and now we call those folks Republicans. In reality, they should be recognized as a third party. I knew a guy online who had the courage to admit it. While arguing with him a bit I called him a conservative. He carefully corrected me and said he was a confederate.

I'll go purchase my blue kepi now.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Alfred

I found the CDC data - US life expectancy at age 65
1950 13.9
1960 14.2
1970 15.2
1980 16.4
1990 17.2
2000 17.6

That is for everybody
From the data I referenced earlier the increase over the last 20 years on this chart was ONLY for the better off the lower 1/4 had ZERO increase during this period - the better off had a larger increase

So since the 1950's the expected life after 65 has increased by three and a half years - we know that the second half of that was NOT shared by the bottom 25%
A reasonable (Bayesian) assumption would be that the rich had a larger share of the improvements in the first 30 years as well
(As would be seen from the first graph where the poor start off behind the rich)

So since 1950 the life after 65 for the poorest 25% has increased by less than 2 years
During this period the retirement age has gone up by one year and is slated to go up another year
This eats half of their "gain" and is scheduled to eat the rest of their gain soon - with no sign of any additional increase in their life after 65

As far as your comments about - "Not messing with the economy because we won't know what will happen"

We have just tried 40 years of lighter and lighter control of the economy
With bloody awful results
A time comes when we need to accept that the "laissez faire" approach simply does not work

Brian T said...

From the post:
In other words, using supply side methods to reduce the number and rate [of abortions]… as opposed to the democrats’ approach to achieving the same end, via the demand side.

I totally agree with this statement, but was wondering: Does anyone else feel like pro and anti-abortionists are talking past each other? I was thinking about this and was wondering if the anti-abortionist stance was actually something else. The best I could come up with was that conservatives feel that only people who want to have kids should have sex. So no sex unless you want kids and if you get pregnant when having sex you should always be forced to live the consequences of your actions. This would better explain both the abstinence only sex ed and the anti-abortion policies. Taking the thought a step further: if, in a perfect world no one who had consensual sex ever had an abortion and only people who were raped had abortions, would most anti-abortion people care about implementing any of these rules. (I am ignoring the extremists, just talking about the normal folks.)

Paul SB said...

Donzelion,

Where you wrote:
" I'm not good about caring for other human beings: I want to make systems fair and beat the crap out of folks trying to exploit unfairness "

You kind of contradicted yourself, didn't you? You are caring, otherwise you wouldn't be using your lawyerly skills to fight injustice. You're just not nurturing in the way we expect of a nurse or a kindergarten teacher. We all have to work at the level where we work best, or we won't be doing our best. I'm not the kind of touchy-feely person who would do well in kindergarten, and it's been a bit of a struggle for me to adapt myself to the high school environment. Like you, my care has always been more of an abstract thing. But when I go into my class and see my students, I see a lot of decent people who have great potential (but also a lot of spoiled punks who ned their butts kicked).

If I have time tonight I will try to find a couple videos that I saw during some training recently. One of them compared how our schools run to schools in nations that have the best, and there are some striking differences. One of those differences is that multiple guess tests are rarely used. Another is that teachers are paid as well as engineers, but they are also trained as well as engineers.

Paul SB said...

Alfred,

In tha last thread, Jumper suggested to Treebeard that he dream bigger, I would like to make that same suggestion to you. Yes, the number of people who live above the poverty line is much better than it was a century ago, but correlation does not equal causation. Exploitation of markets has been happening for as long as markets existed, but through most of history there were kings and aristocracies to meddle in the system, making themselves wealthy at the expense of the average citizen. Now most of the world has replaced its kings with parliaments, and aristocracies are losing their grip and relevance. Hurray! The world is getting better! Tell that to the people who are scraping by on $3/day. Be their friend.

Our host often suggests that we aim for a future more like Star Trek, and he's obviously referring to the Federation, where money no longer exists, not the Klingon Empire, which operates on feudal codes of violence, or the Romulan and Cardassian Empires that operate on rigid obedience to all-powerful governments, nor the Ferengi Alliance, which operates as a mercantile confederacy. Back int he 1920's people claimed that with Wall Street going the way it was, pretty soon everybody would be rich. Nice dream, until Black Thursday squished it.

The dream of the free market is more akin to "Alien" than the UFP. The snowball effect ensures that, while all boats are raised a little by free markets, a few boats are raised so high that they become the new aristocracy, able to crush everyone underneath them, reducing their employees to penury. Ultimately, in the long run, this is self-destructive, because the demand side of all those underpaid employees drives the market and generates the wealth with high-velocity money. But how many generations of Spencerian misery do we have to endure before the the new aristocracy get taken out? Will they ever, or will the free market just ensure that the human race will always be trapped in that Spencerian struggle?

Dream bigger. Dream UFP, not Weyland-Utani.

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

"This is the problem with relying on averages and not looking at deviations. Higher-stress occupations, or higher-stress environments probably need to be factored in to Social Security. Disability is a somewhat different issue, and I wouldn't suggest a rule allowing payouts for "stress" as a general condition (too easy to cheat) but if a person is experiencing stress-related disorders they might qualify for an earlier retirement age."

Progressives are so much fun to talk to. 8) They want to make everything fair right down to the tiny details. Got a stressful job? Don't worry. We'll be there with your social security benefit early than that guy over there who gets through life too easily. There, there. We will balance out your bad luck.


I don't think that's where Paul was going, and it certainly wouldn't be where I go on this issue. It's more like the scene toward the climax of (the original) "The Poseidon Adventure" when they near the keel of the ship, and suddenly a steam pipe ruptures and sprays scalding steam across the catwalk that they need to traverse. Gene Hackman, playing the preacher leading the group, rails at God something along the lines of "I'm not asking for Your help, but don't fight against us.

Likewise, I don't ask for Social Security to make up for all inequities, but don't structure it to increase inequity.

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

@Treebeard:
"Isn't there a tiny bit of cognitive dissonance or trepidation from “liberals” toward a candidate who is like George W. Bush in her support from the plutocracy, corporatocracy and the military-industrial complex, but with a fawning media and academia to boot?"

Ha, ha, ha!

I voted against W because I thought he lacked two brain cells to rub together compared to his opponent. Neither of the Clinton's suffer in this regard. OF COURSE she is going to get support from people I don't trust. Some of them have more than a couple of brain cells of their own too.


The more popular a candidate is the more people who don't agree with you are going to be in the big tent. This is supposed to count against her?


Your candidate is high on his own indignation rage


I just happen to be re-reading our host's "Existence" at the present time, and the bit where addiction to indignation rage is played out seems awfully appropriate, if somewhat tame at the moment.

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

"I get that, but I have to wonder why debt-reduction is a high-priority issue only when Democrats are in power, or as an argument against a Democrat."

Heh. As you noticed a bit later, I do lean libertarian. I'm willing to be equally annoyed at Democrats and Republicans when they do fiscally stupid things. My griping about W was done elsewhere, though, so you wouldn't have seen it. I used the "wouldn't trust them with a burnt matchstick" line like our host does in front of GOP partisans and their laity.


I was referring to a specific type of person I often see arguing politically. They'll say they oppose government spending on principle and insist that they don't like it when either party does it, but I've noticed they only say this while Democrats are in power. Similarly, when a radio talk-show listener calls in and begins with "I'm an independent who listens to both sides...", he's about to make a right-wing talking point. Always! Since I've been paying attention and specifically looking for it, the correlation has been 100%.

I don't think of you personally as one of those people with the attention span of a flea. But how many of the Tea Partiers who think deficit spending began in 2009 remember Cheney saying "Reagan taught us deficits don't matter," or Greenspan freaking out over the possibility that the debt might be retired? My point isn't that deficit spending is good (although there is a place for it, and a recession is one of those), but that it's absurd to think that the problem gets better under Republicans. All that happens under Republicans is that Republicans stop complaining about it.

Tim H. said...

I like to describe contemporary capitalism as "High contrast", with the winners winning in an exaggerated way and the losers consigned to the depths, this plays well to out-sized egos, but reduces overall economic activity and delays technological transitions, possibly of interest to some who comment here, since some of the old tech is more carbon-intensive than the new tech. A lower contrast capitalism would maintain higher minimum standards, and ideally, place more money into more hands. Think of it as root feeding rather than the currently accepted blossom feeding, the benefits nourish the entire economy. One of the devilish details will be fine tuning to create a livable balance between fixed income folks and working class, since that is where the "Supply side camel" got it's nose under the tent flap in the first place. One more thing, "Soak the rich" is best left out, sullen people with access to influence breed trouble.

steve davidson said...

...why evangelicals...

I think you missed an aspect of this (or I didn't read closely enough): Pence is a Dominionist. Having a dominionist as VP is one or two elections away from having one as President, so I think the deal is, evangelicals support Trump (largely unknowingly) because he took Pence as VP.

Dominionist goals are to infiltrate all aspects of government and use that influence to make America a "christian nation".

LarryHart said...

@steve davidson,

Good point about the dominionists, but I'd say they want a "Christianist nation" rather than a Christian one. The last thing they seem to want is to turn the nation toward doing things that Jesus actually advocated.

Tacitus2 said...

I have, Thank God, better things to do with my life than obsess about politics. But I check in from time to time. The current topics include Russian Hacking of DNC and Trump as The Man who makes the Trains Run on Time. I have a few thoughts on each. I'm not looking for argument really, just musing.

1. With enough repetition by official and semi official sources it seems to be accepted "truth" that Russian hackers and by extention V. Putin are all in for Trump. This is considered to be a harmonic reinforcing the Trump as Dictator meme, of which more anon.
As to any real verification, well that's a bit sketchy. It seems of a piece with other Election Year themes that often evaporate once the ballots are all in. Remember the Ted Stevens 2008 scandal about not declaring the cost of home renovations? Alaska does seem to have a rather cosy political and business world and Ted was sort of the Boss Hogg of the last frontier. But a Justice Department that launched a politically timely investigation that resulted in a conviction later tossed for gross prosecutorial misconduct....?

Or what about those Hutaree Milita types who in 2010 were amid much fanfare charged with conspiracy to attack Law Enforcement officials? The case later fizzled out when it became evident that these individuals were unpleasant mopes who had been egged on by FBI infiltrators. Hey, they need watching, but another much hyped case that goes nowhere. (While repeated failures to identify and stop Jihadist types continue). If there is convincing evidence that shadowy hackers are at work, lets hear about it in detail. You won't hear a peep about it later.

When conservatives worry about the "weaponization" of the coercive branches of government (FBI, IRS) and the many tendrils liking at least the Democratic Party with government employees and the upper levels of media, this is the sort of thing we fear.

2. Regards Trump rallies as Redneck Nurembergs. Anyone queasy about the revalations from this Scott Foval character? Fovall He is a fervant Dem operative who through various intermediaries appears to have been working for the HRC campaign to disrupt Trump rallies by planting provocateurs. Sheesh. Oh, and when the firebombing of a GOP office is hinted at being a "Reichstag Fire" event we are pretty close to the Godwin's Wormhole of politics.

Tacitus

who has no love of Trump and won't vote for him. But does have a love of country and is worried. As are you but not for the same reasons.

LarryHart said...

Brian T:

Does anyone else feel like pro and anti-abortionists are talking past each other? I was thinking about this and was wondering if the anti-abortionist stance was actually something else. The best I could come up with was that conservatives feel that only people who want to have kids should have sex. So no sex unless you want kids and if you get pregnant when having sex you should always be forced to live the consequences of your actions. This would better explain both the abstinence only sex ed and the anti-abortion policies. Taking the thought a step further: if, in a perfect world no one who had consensual sex ever had an abortion and only people who were raped had abortions, would most anti-abortion people care about implementing any of these rules. (I am ignoring the extremists, just talking about the normal folks.)


Just as the recent Republican party was a coalition of interests (big business and social conservatism), so is the anti-abortion movement a mixture of different agendas. Some want to protect the innocent babies. Some want to punish sexual proclivity. Some really do believe that sex should only be a procreative act.

You are correct that it doesn't make sense to ascribe all of these views to any individual or sub-group. If the idea is to discourage promiscuity, then rape could qualify as an exception, since the girl wasn't a willing participant in the conception and the man isn't punished by forcing the girl to go to term. OTOH, if the goal is to protect innocent babies, then the circumstances of the conception are immaterial. Likewise, if the goal is to prevent abortions, then it doesn't make sense to oppose contraception, but if the goal is to force procreation, then it does.

My own take, which jibes with your "talking past each other", is that the abortion controversy isn't about one side being morally right and the other side being evil--it is about conflicting rights. Both the mother's right to control her own body and the baby's right to life could be argued as being absolute. Yet they conflict with each other, so the law has to balance the two absolute rights against each other. It's kinda like the question of what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object.

LarryHart said...

I said:

It's kinda like the question of what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object.


Which BTW, I find to be a nonsensical question. The only way a force can be irresistible is if there is no such thing as an immovable object, and vice versa. You might as well ask "What happens when the tallest man in the world meets a man who is taller than him?"

LarryHart said...

From today's www.electoral-vote.com :


If this idea ["It's rigged!"] gains traction—and it appears to be doing so— it will have grave consequences for democracy down the road. Whenever a Democrat wins, Republicans will scream that it was because millions of illegal votes were cast. Whenever a Republican wins, Democrats will claim it was because illegal armed goon squads intimidated voters and drove them from the polls. No future president may be accepted as legitimate from now on and the losing party will feel fully justified in using every possible weapon and trick to prevent the winner from carrying out the party program.


A sobering thought, but I would ask how we are not already there with the way Republicans (congressmen and civilians alike) have worked against President Obama from day 1?


Obama will partner with former Attorney General Eric Holder to chair the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. The plan is to recruit strong Democratic candidates to run for, and get elected to, state legislatures. That, of course is where district maps are generally drawn. Past anti-gerrymander efforts have gone nowhere, but this one is backed by a lot of money and a soon-to-be ex-President, so maybe this time it will be different.


Maybe our resident Californians can chime in, but I didn't think such efforts "went nowhere" in the Golden State. Possibly, the writer means that anti-gerrymandering efforts have gone nowhere in Republican states.

locumranch said...


Ahoy Polloi !!

Perhaps David & friends are watching a different news feed than I am as all I see & hear are various Right & Left Wing Bushwood Country Club Establishmentarians, from Paul Ryan to Elizabeth Warren, dismiss the Trumpster for being lewd, crude, common & insufficiently Ivy League for their elite, effete & snobbish tastes.

Neither conservative nor progressive in etiology, Common Core Educational standards reflect an Establishment engaged in creeping classist credentialism in the attempt to forever perpetuate it's authority over the lowly Hoi Polloi, so much so that David 'ain't just whistling Dixie' when he talks about one test becoming the sole educational determinant of a person's destiny.

It is to laugh when people assume that the Alt-Right cares about the outcome of the pending US Presidential contest.

Instead, what they care about is the prevention of the 'One test, One destiny' EU-style oligarchic utopia. Some root for D 'Da Bomb' Trump because he promises to disenfranchise a corrupt Establishment, while others believe that an H 'Crooked' Clinton presidency represents the much surer path to Establishment destruction. Either way, all Alt-Right factions believe that that the Tree of Liberty will soon receive a rather liberal watering.

The Blue Establishment (although currently dominant) offers the Red faction "No Respect" and, in accordance with the reverse Golden Rule, it will soon receive the alchemical equivalent in return, gold for lead & lead for gold.


Best

Berial said...

LarryHart said: "I can see Trump's appeal to powerless poor folks in Haiti or Uganda or some other such place, but in a first-world industrial nation? Really?"

The thing is, I think most of Trump's support is actually coming from people a step or two up the economic ladder, living in economically depressed areas. They see how bad it's gotten for everyone around them are are DETERMINED to retain their status.

If Locum is a Doctor it makes perfect sense that he'd fit this description. (I don't actually read him anymore, honestly. Was he or Treebeard supposed to be a doctor?)

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

Either way, all Alt-Right factions believe that that the Tree of Liberty will soon receive a rather liberal watering.


Jefferson talked about the tree of liberty being watered by the blood of patriots. I don't think you appreciate the sense of that statement. It means (to me, anyway) that from time to time, people have to give their lives in the fight to preserve liberty.


The Blue Establishment (although currently dominant)...


Dominant in what way? The presidency? Ok. You've got both houses of congress and most state governments. And until God intervened recently, the Supreme Court. What good have you done with your "red privilege" in the meantime?


offers the Red faction "No Respect" and, ...


Have you even listened to your side of the aisle for the past 16 years or so?


...in accordance with the reverse Golden Rule, it will soon receive the alchemical equivalent in return, gold for lead & lead for gold.


Hamilton:

And another thing, Mr. Age of Enlightenment,
Don't talk to me about the war. You didn't fight in it.
Do you think I'm afraid of you? We almost died in the trench
While you were off getting high with the French!

raito said...

While I haven't head the supply/demand argument explicitly, I've heard a couple that were close. In one debate, there were representatives from non-profits on both sides. The pro-abortion side asked the pro-life (and please understand that I use these labels for convenience, because you guys will understand them, rather than for their veracity) side that if the whole point was morality, why had the pro-life side not spent a single penny attempting to change people's morals, and had only put money towards suppression? And why had the supposedly immoral organization put at least as much money towards changing the way people think as they did defending the existing laws?

Now, in that debate, what we had was one side who'd done their research, and a side that hadn't. The pro-abortion side got their facts from the books of both organizations.

But to answer a previous question, it's because it has nothing at all to do with morality. It has to do with control.

LarryHart said...

Berial:

The thing is, I think most of Trump's support is actually coming from people a step or two up the economic ladder, living in economically depressed areas. They see how bad it's gotten for everyone around them are are DETERMINED to retain their status.


I hear you. But the thing is (and Paul Krugman just said the same thing), I lived through decades where any complaint about the way the American system worked was met with "Love it or leave it" and "Go back to Russia". Now that the worm is turning, and it's their turn to make what they perceive as legitimate complaints, they whine incessantly about being treated the same way they were treating others before.

Republicans are not just sore losers, they are the sorest winners I've ever heard.

If Locum is a Doctor it makes perfect sense that he'd fit this description. (I don't actually read him anymore, honestly. Was he or Treebeard supposed to be a doctor?)


I think loc was a doctor, or at least "worked in a hospital". And the next time he personally slanders me, I'll join you on the "not reading" team. But I have to give him this--the guy knows his musicals!

donzelion said...

"David 'ain't just whistling Dixie' when he talks about one test becoming the sole educational determinant of a person's destiny."
For much of American history, the key 'test' consisted of a few questions:
(1) What do your parents do?
(2) Where do your parents come from?
(3) What's your zip code?
(4) How much money do your friends' parents have?

That test really does determine the 'destiny' for the bulk of Americans. An academic test that measures reading, writing, logic, etc. would be an improvement over that test. Hopefully, we can do better still.

"Either way, all Alt-Right factions believe that that the Tree of Liberty will soon receive a rather liberal watering."
This is a threat of terrorism. A demand for "respect" backed by violence is an attack on civilization itself. If the Alt-Right faction is really thinking this way, they are a threat that merits the same kind of "respect" that AQ and Daesh are receiving.

shepard peterson said...

Great link to explanation for continued far-right support of Trump:

http://www.cato.org/blog/trump-derangement-syndrome

Really to the point.

Jumper said...

Has someone accused the Republicans of burning their own office?

On "provocation" I frame it as "show the world how Trump supporters physically attack people for talking trash." Which it did. If that's too sneaky, I'll think about it and get back to you.

David Brin said...

Tacitus, your points are all welcome here… yet there seems to be a derangement of SCALE, among our friends who live in the shrinking enclaves of the quasi-sane right. They try to show some equivalence between a corrupt left and corrupt right... which is kinda sad, since they can't point to anything positive-assertive.

But even in the "equally-depraved" gambit, the ‘examples’ they point to - including Benghazi and the email “scandal”-- are minutia! Certainly when compared to extravaganzas on the other side.

Like Bush’s 22 MILLION lost emails having to do with the firing of 8 federal prosecutors investigating other Bushite corruption. After 24 years of ‘investigations’ of the Clintons , all you got is a ‘scandal’ one-ten-thousandth as bad?

Russian hacking? Sure, we should double check and never trust just one source. But when our civil servants say that’s what’s going on, and we have whistle blower awards if it’s a lie, then should our first reflex be to assume it is a lie? Especially when Putin & co hate the democrats for ‘stealing the Ukraine’ and desperately do want Trump?

Just look at opinion polls on the right, where HALF of Republicans now trust and like Putin more than their own president. And why not? The Kochs and their caste feared communism. But Orthodox-mafia Russia? Where the rich are gods?

David Brin said...

LarryHart, the Judo move on gerrymandering would be for HC to demand it end in all DEMOCRATIC states: Illinois & Maryland, especially. Turning it into a solely Republican crime.

====
locum demands respect. Respect???? I see no reason to give respect for those who are imitating every rationalization that enslaved people in the American past and that excused the murder of thousands of my cousins.

Rationalizations for the total surrender of society to a pyramid of class -aristocratic privilege (the Confederacy) and denouncing every ‘elite’ that might challenge that inherited oligarchy…

…e.g. every single profession that uses facts and knowledge.

LH makes a key point. What did the right do with total power, from 2001 to 2007, holding every single branch of government? Lazy shits, they gave us just three things. Pathetically useless Big Spasm Wars that benefited ONLY two groups: Cheney family companies and Iran? Wars now denounced by locum’s hero Trump?

And arterial gusher gifts into the open maws of parasitical aristocracies. And tsunamis of Red Ink. Those were the only priorities? The GOP did almost nothing else with all that power — oh, and useless investigations of the Clintons that wasted money, finding zilch.

Jumper said...

Interesting reading on the total mass of Mars's ice caps. If both were melted / sublimed, what would the atmosphere and oceans be like? Can we do this?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martian_polar_ice_caps

LarryHart said...

@shepard peterson,

Considering that link is from the Cato institute, I'm tempted to follow up with the line from "Hamilton":

Let's hatch a plot blacker than the kettle calling the pot.


But snark aside, it's interesting (in a schauenfraudenal kind of way) to watch conservatives have to finally call their own out. Charles Krauthammer, who has no love for Hillary or Democrats, finally had to do a ringing denunciation of Trump without the usual "but Hillary would be worse" caveat. I think some of them are finally, belatedly, starting to get that "liberal-leaning government" is not worse than "crying havoc and letting slip the dogs of war."

Going off on a tangent, some of the hysteria in the "Hillary would be worse" defenses of Trump seem to make sense only to the extent that these people think (know) that if Hillary does get to implement policy, it will become popular, and the fears people have about her will be demonstrated to be unfounded. They have to keep up the terror of allowing Hillary the White House, by any argument, because if she gets in and is actually allowed to govern, no one will ever believe the right-wingers again. They're not afraid of her inability to govern. What they're terrified of is her potential for success.

David Brin said...

"What they're terrified of is her potential for success."

That is why they have desperately blocked an Infrastructure Bill. Because they know it would work.

David Brin said...

BTW... that is outright treason.

donzelion said...

"...if Hillary does get to implement policy, it will become popular, and the fears people have about her will be demonstrated to be unfounded."

Unlikely, LarryHart. FoxNews does still exist, after all, and should they fail to be sufficiently ridiculous, there's always Breitbart and tons of other wannabes on the junior varsity Kluxprop team. (I like the term "Kluxprop" by the way - I'm seeing a lot of Alt-R folks calling the 'mainstream media' a bastion of "agitprop" - a mirror term is called for).

Hillary's policies will never be popular so long as advertisers will reward Fox & Other Enemies for spouting garbage. Last time I watched FoxNews, I was deluged with Cialis, Viagra, and Depends ads, so I can imagine that audience is suffering all sorts of problems.

Berial said...

There are also rumors that Trump is going to try to start up a TV station/show after the election too. I'm pretty sure he'll be there to give Drudge, Breitbart, and Fox News a run for their 'buy gold/pecker pill' commercial dollars.

Smurphs said...

LarryHart said:

Going off on a tangent, some of the hysteria in the "Hillary would be worse" defenses of Trump seem to make sense only to the extent that these people think (know) that if Hillary does get to implement policy, it will become popular, and the fears people have about her will be demonstrated to be unfounded. They have to keep up the terror of allowing Hillary the White House, by any argument, because if she gets in and is actually allowed to govern, no one will ever believe the right-wingers again. They're not afraid of her inability to govern. What they're terrified of is her potential for success.

I don't see that. Right now, 'these people' are all saying that the economy is worse than 8 years ago, that unemployment is worse that 8 years ago, that ISIS is a bigger threat than 8 years ago, that the military is in worse condition that 8 years ago.

ALL of these are demonstrably and provably false, not political opinion.

So why do you think they will suddenly change and admit they are wrong?

locumranch said...


First, shame on Donzelion for equating Pax Americana (aka 'A demand for "respect" backed by violence') as 'terrorism' & 'an attack on civilization itself', especially when the same 'demand for "respect" backed by violence' also describes NATO & the United Nations most accurately.

Next, shame on David for his rather selective memory. He champions FDR's 'Great Society' even though FDR was complicit in 'the murder of thousands of (his) cousins' (repatriating them to Nazi death camps, denying them entry into the US), and he forgets that John F. Kennedy, Coca-Cola, Alcoa, Ford & IBM had rather close familial and financial ties to the Nazis.

As did the Bush Family, the Rockefeller Charitable Trust & HC's big financial booster JP Morgan.

That many of are terrified by Hillary Clintons 'potential for success', there is no doubt, as her impractical pro-Globalist policies are indistinguishable from those of Andrea Merkel which have jeopardised the future of the EU, led directly to the (growing) popularity of White National Extremism as a political force, turned France into a Police State, bankrupted most of its associates and antagonised both Turkey & the Russian Federation.

Why, at this very moment, the Hawkish Hillary Clinton is rattling HER saber at the Russian Federation & promises to plunge the world into Nuclear Conflict !!!

Damn straight, we're afraid of her.


Best

LarryHart said...

donzelion:

Hillary's policies will never be popular so long as advertisers will reward Fox & Other Enemies for spouting garbage. Last time I watched FoxNews, I was deluged with Cialis, Viagra, and Depends ads, so I can imagine that audience is suffering all sorts of problems.


It means the audience is aging, and will soon be drooling in nursing homes or explaining themselves to God.

LarryHart said...

Smurphs:

I don't see that. Right now, 'these people' are all saying that the economy is worse than 8 years ago, that unemployment is worse that 8 years ago, that ISIS is a bigger threat than 8 years ago, that the military is in worse condition that 8 years ago.

ALL of these are demonstrably and provably false, not political opinion.

So why do you think they will suddenly change and admit they are wrong?


I don't expect "those people" to change. I expect them to become irrelevant as more and more normal Americans realize that things have improved since the W years, and would have improved more but for Republican interference.

The complaints against Obama, and Hillary already to some extent, amount to the Monty Python line "She turned me into a newt!" I don't expect the guy who said that to be convinced of anything, but the crowd standing around realizing that something is wrong with that assertion...I expect more and more of that as time goes on.

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

That many of are terrified by Hillary Clintons 'potential for success', there is no doubt, as her impractical pro-Globalist policies are indistinguishable from those of Andrea Merkel which have jeopardised the future of the EU, led directly to the (growing) popularity of White National Extremism as a political force, turned France into a Police State, bankrupted most of its associates and antagonised both Turkey & the Russian Federation.


You like all of those things.


Why, at this very moment, the Hawkish Hillary Clinton is rattling HER saber at the Russian Federation & promises to plunge the world into Nuclear Conflict !!!


No, she doesn't.

And since when are you Red-Dawn Staters against antagonizing Russia?


Damn straight, we're afraid of her.


According to Donald Trump, you guys are also afraid of Iran, ISIS, Mexicans, black people, and women claiming you raped them. The saying goes "A coward dies a thousand deaths," and I think the alt-Right has already exceeded their quota.

What you should be afraid of is how ridiculous you will look when the real Hillary (not made up stuff) is in office and none of that s### happens.

Darrell E said...

Tacitus2,

Given O'Keefe's record to date I don't see why anything he produces should be given any credence whatsoever until well verified by an assortment of independent sources. To get a good idea of his record to date see http://www.snopes.com/2016/10/18/project-veritas-election-videos.

Tacitus2 said...

Darrell E

I of course expect all to consider the source as one factor. O'Keefe makes no claim to be objective. It does seem to me that when hidden camera stuff has been done that makes Republicans look bad the denunciatons have been a bit less ringing.

But that is as it is.

Does the fact that this Foval character has resigned count for anything?

Now if you want to say he simply was a braggart and a jerk and/or was doing things not known to his higher ups, I can see those lines of argument. If he (Foval) on the other hand was mostly telling the truth it looks like a bad bit of business that is insulated from the top levels by several shells.

But my question was actually, "does this make you queasy?"

Does it?

Tacitus

Alfred Differ said...

@Duncan: A reasonable (Bayesian) assumption would be that the rich had a larger share of the improvements in the first 30 years as well.

So you are telling me the rich are better off and live longer and have benefited from some of the mid-tree fruits over the last 60+ years relative to the poor. Okay. May I make a suggestion? Move the poor closer to goo d health care services and they will do just fine. (Obviously you can try to move the services to them.) I suspect this isn’t so much about wealth as it is access to health care. We see similar numbers in childbirth deaths for women located in rural areas. The mother-to-be is more likely to survive childbirth if she lives in an urban area. Go figure. 8)

Tinker with our nation’s health care system if you can. I might even be supportive if I think the promise of a better future can be delivered. Where I get sour-faced is when Progressives promise to deliver and I don’t believe their fiscal plan can work. I know they will blame others for being careless bastards when it fails to deliver. I’ve seen this too much.

We have just tried 40 years of lighter and lighter control of the economy
With bloody awful results
A time comes when we need to accept that the "laissez faire" approach simply does not work


Oh garbage. We’ve had 40 years of people who pitch their autocratic views as if there were lighter controls on the economy. We still subsidize ethanol production of a certain kind, don’t we? What about sugar trade? We’ve got our fingers in SO much of the market tipping this or that scale in favor of this or that competitor that it is hard to keep track of it all. One group says we should deregulate one thing, but they fail to mention that this will allow some other bias to dominate. Ugh.

Laissez Faire should not be taken so literally that we tolerate cheaters and greedy bastards. Social norms matter. It SHOULD be taken as a statement of humility that our actions have unintended consequences that could be worse than the evil we wanted to correct. The blunt truth is that most of the market is already free (mostly) and delivering on a long term bright future for us all. We obviously don’t like everything that happens within it, but it DOES work.

Tacitus2 said...

I shall now make David happy and say some positive things about assorted Democrats. Heck, why not.

The Governor of my home and currently adjacent state, Minnesota is a chap named Mark Dayton. He has been doing a creditable job despite his being a somewhat implausible candidate.

My own Congressman is a reasonable Democrat. He is running unopposed which is a shame but I have no gripe with him.

Russ Feingold is a bit of a jerk but he has principles and can be a very useful force in the proper circumstances. No better choice if a voice needs to be raised against people doing wrong in his own party, but I wonder if that would be as true now as when he was a younger and less battered figure.

I admire the principles of the Democratic party. They are idealistic and I wish for many of them to come to pass. I think the disconnect between principles and reality is notable. I feel, but don't ask your agreement, that the degree of cronyism in the Democratic party is signficant. And I don't think we can afford everything that would be nice to have.

How's that?

Tacitus

donzelion said...

Tacitus: "when hidden camera stuff has been done that makes Republicans look bad the denunciatons have been a bit less ringing."

When hidden camera stuff has been done that makes Republicans look bad, it gets handled through courts of law (e.g., employee illegally records employers stealing from or abusing other employees, or documents racial discrimination: the employee who illegally recorded that can be (1) terminated, (2) sued for several forms of tort, and (3) forced to pay $10k+ to defend himself). When hidden camera stuff has been done that makes Democrats look bad (the Acorn, Planned Parenthood), it sets a legislative agenda for months.

"But my question was actually, "does this make you queasy?"
O'Keefe makes me queasy. He merits as much respect as Jayson Blair, Stephen Glass, or any other journalists fired for misrepresentation. Even Dan Rather was fired for failing to properly question evidence on a matter of public interest (Bush Jr's service record).

As for the "bird dogging" claims: Foval is guilty of being extremely disrespectful and cynical towards the homeless and mentally ill. He's lost a contract as a result, and will find it harder to get new contracts. That is fair.

But putting protesters out there to harass a speaker is a practice that goes back to the Roman Senate and Athenian democracy: it's part of the deal. In Saudi Arabia, that practice is a criminal threat to the monarchy: punishments are strict. But America has not opted to follow their model of governance. Thankfully.

Jumper said...

"when hidden camera stuff has been done that makes Republicans look bad the denunciatons have been a bit less ringing'
You ought to hear me shout "Oh, bullshit" when I see the same stuff on TV. or on HuffPo or the like. Or do the occasional Wikipedia edit when some partisan tries to smear Republicans with bullshit and not facts. (You'd think they'd rustle up the facts, but no.) Mostly it's just what they call "weasel words" on Wikipedia. I call a lot of it "headline-ese" where people's brains start to stack predigested memes of innuendo up in a pile, rather than use concise factual language.
It's not easy defending Sarah Palin, but if someone goes after her with bullshit, I'll do it.

donzelion said...

Alfred: "Move the poor closer to goo d health care services and they will do just fine."
You are both correct, astute, and have offered a good rebuttal to Duncan's point about poverty and threats to life. However, you are also indicting rental practices in the urban areas under free market conditions. Are you sure you wish to go there? ;-)

"Tinker with our nation’s health care system if you can."
That's one way to do it. The other would be to eliminate large swathes of the rental market (and real estate is still a larger portion of the economy even than health care, at least in terms of total property values). The options may well be
(1) "tinker with health care"
(2) "tinker with rental systems" or
(3) let a lot of people die needlessly and shrug it off as the price of a "free" market.

"Where I get sour-faced is when Progressives promise to deliver and I don’t believe their fiscal plan can work."
You, at least, offer valuable criticism of such plans, which can be answered. It is imminently reasonable to question a plan and demand evidence of its viability. That said, if they do 'blame others' - it is still appropriate to examine evidence to determine whether that blame is actually warranted, or merely a dodge. I've seen too many plans get sabotaged, and then the people who sabotaged it claim to be 'prophets' - when in fact, they were saboteurs.

"Laissez Faire...SHOULD be taken as a statement of humility that our actions have unintended consequences that could be worse than the evil we wanted to correct."
The burden of proof should always on the regulator to justify any regulation. However, unintended consequences of inaction must also be taken into account. There will always be consequences: we can never know them all - but we must do our best. That is how we attain a "long term bright future for us all."

Darrell E said...

Tacitus2,

I thought I answered your question fairly straightforwardly. Let me unpack it. It does not make me queasy. At least not with respect to the Democratic Party or Hillary Clinton. There is reasonably good evidence showing that the source has a history of being unreliable and even fraudulent. If sometime in the future it becomes well verified that this is a bona fide case of dirty, illegal even, politics by Democratic Party leaders, as you imply is likely enough to worry about, then I may indeed at that point become queasy.

O'Keefe makes no claim to be objective.

What are you trying to communicate with this statement? Buyer beware? Do you think it is a problem, or maybe just impolite, to point out that a source of information has a history of intentionally editing videos in such a way that they convey an inaccurate account of reality?

Tacitus2 said...

Darrell E

Buyer Beware is fair enough. You should always be wary of information sources you feel are biased against postions you hold to be worthy and good. Some sources are especially problematic. I think the National Enquirer has some tawdry nonsense about HRC today but to be fair they have on occasion been right (see tawdry truth, John Edwards category).

I will accept as an answer "if this is true" it makes you queasy.

This seems to have touched a nerve.

Tacitus

donzelion said...

Tacitus: If you are endorsing Feingold over Johnson, then I am happy. Johnson has been a key indicator of what is wrong with the Republicans in the Senate today - he sells himself as a 'change agent' by doing jack-shiite and opposing things that need to be done. He hitched himself to Trump/McConnell's wagon: he deserves to get run over by it.

On the Supreme Court, Johnson refused to do his job and hold a hearing to determine whether Merrick Garland is a "liberal activist" or not: he pronounced judgment without doing his duty - a form of 'job avoidance.' If an employee at Johnson's plastics plant tried to pull the same stunt, Johnson would fire them immediately. "By that standard by which ye judge others, shall ye be judged."

Personally, I hope that McCain-Feingold 2.0 is one of the first legislative acts to emerge from a Clinton Presidency. Let's see how that one plays out...if the electorate is really angry about how 2016 has gone, then this must be one of the best and most important issues.

Tacitus2 said...

Endorsement of Feingold? No, not quite that far. But I have met him and had a very brief chat. He has worthy qualities. I am less negative on Johnson than you but agree that Garland should have had his chance to make a case for himself.

I had not heard that a McCain/Feingold 2 was in the works.

Tacitus

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

but agree that Garland should have had his chance to make a case for himself.


What the Senate is doing with Garland isn't even a case of extreme vetting. They are refusing to confirm a nomination so that they can hold the position open for the next president, which until recently they thought might be a Republican. McCain even said recently that if Hillary wins, they'd hold the position open for the next four years. To me, that's called "not doing their job".


I think the National Enquirer has some tawdry nonsense about HRC today but to be fair they have on occasion been right (see tawdry truth, John Edwards category).


The National Enquirer has direct ties to Trump, right? Or am I confusing it with something else? If I'm right, then past performance doesn't have anything to do with this current race.


I will accept as an answer "if this is true" it makes you queasy.

This seems to have touched a nerve.


I'm not familiar with the piece that you and Darrel E are discussing, but from what he says, it sounds like the source is a Breitbart-like unapologetic propaganda mill which specializes in altering video. If so, I long ago gave up on wondering "What if this one is true?" about each individual lie. The signal-to-noise ratio is too low to spend the mental effort giving it credence.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf was correct once too, but whose fault is it that his credibility was shot by then?

dennisd said...

@Larry Hart
I'm not familiar with the piece that you and Darrel E are discussing, but from what he says, it sounds like the source is a Breitbart-like unapologetic propaganda mill which specializes in altering video

O'Keefe is most definitely an amoral con-man. I'm surprised anyone is taking him seriously. O'Keefe has a proven history of fabricating false realities with his video stunts, then dissembling when challenged as to their veracity. He has no credibility as a journalist

donzelion said...

Tacitus: "Endorsement of Feingold? No, not quite that far."
LOL, what's the appropriate term for a "a begrudging statement of non-disdain"?

Ron Johnson, on the other hand, is a Tea Party stalwart with ample Koch backing. He's a science denier on climate change (and claims to know the science better than the NASA scientists - has he reviewed the evidence same way he non-reviewed Garland's nomination?).

Ron Johnson is Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. His signature 'achievement' is the "Borders First Act" (now pending), which even conservative groups have denounced as a fake (Christian News Service, National Review, among many others). Yet they still endorse Johnson, even if they mock his achievements - because he's a Republican.

"I had not heard that a McCain/Feingold 2 was in the works."
It's implied every time overturning Citizens United comes up (an oft-repeated theme). Congress cannot 'overrule' the Supreme Court - but they can issue a new law with slight tweaks, and then wait for the Court to review it.

Jeff B. said...

Donzelion,

LOL - perhaps we'll be following you! Seriously, you could easily take Prop 54, tweak it to make it better, figure out some way to limit the risks of obstructionism, and submit it to your state assembly person (I'd favor Duncan's New Zealand approach: just post the dang laws online a certain amount of time before they get voted on). You might even be able to find your own billionaire to endorse the law. Why not? There's a LOT of smart people in Pennsylvania...

PA didn't invent gerrymandering, but we've sure perfected it. No reforms will ever occur until the dam breaks. Obama's post-election occupation might theoretically do the trick, but the rural middle of the state controls both houses (disproportionate representation) so it's hard to see how you could find popular Dems to take seats in these areas, which is the only way reform would work.

Til then the Prop 54 idea will be nice to dream about.

David Brin said...

locum is dipping back into drooling heinous territory. Do I fault FDR (his program was New Deal, not Great Society, dope), for his tepid/cowardly incrementalism in dealing with the world crisis of monstrous fascism? Of course I do. I might have even hated him… except for a near complete lack of anyone on the planet who did better. (The Danes, sure. But they are small.)

Name for us one group that did better in those areas than FDR. Locum’s pals… the republican oligarchs and press… plus the dixiecrat segregationists who later BECAME republicans… were all vastly, vastly worse. It was their screams of xenophophia that pressured FDR into being tepid and slow.

It was Joseph Kennedy, not his 18 year old son John, who was like all moguls, doing business in Germany. And Joe got out, while the Kochs’ dad Bushes and the Birch Society founders etc all stayed in.

Monstrous. Standing up to Putin means nuclear apocalypse! Do you even listen to yourself, fool? They are far weaker than in USSR days. They do not dare push their bluff.

David Brin said...


LH: “What you should be afraid of is how ridiculous you will look when the real Hillary (not made up stuff) is in office and none of that s### happens.”

It doesn’t matter. They are completely insane. Not one of the treasons that they little-girl-screeched would happen under Obama happened at all. Not… one. Not even one. Not remotely even one.

They are deeply crazy stupid-heads and they know all the smart people are sick of it.

These are the folks who think the flick Idiocracy is the way things oughta be.

donzelion said...

LarryHart: Time, NPR, and Salon have the story, among many others. It's being aggressively pushed by Brietbart and the Alt-Right as well.

So far this week, we have two interesting individuals coming to Trump's defense:

(1) Anthony Gilberthorpe: who claims he was on the flight with Donald Trump where the supposed groping of Jessica Leeds took place. Gilberthorpe, aka "the Sleaze Merchant," is most famous for (1) offering a flat to a British MP to use for a tryst, then secretly recording that tryst and selling the story to the public, and (2) claiming to have hired boys to offer sexual favors to other MPs.
(2) James O'Keefe: who has been found guilty of misdemeanor criminal misrepresentation (posing as phone technicians to break into a political office) and liable for fraudulent misrepresentation (ACORN, NPR).

It would be hilarious, if it weren't about the most powerful public office in the world...

Alfred Differ said...

@Paul SB: The Star Trek future David wants won’t happen the way Roddenberry portrayed it without money. I assure you there will be money at least until the Singularity happens. It is a VERY useful tool that helps us signal to each other and assign scarce resources to those who can justify their use the best. It’s like when David demands wagers to back up swagger. You want this scarce resource? Really? How much are you willing to give to get it from me without a fight?

I AM dreaming big. As a commodity becomes cheaper and cheaper it eventually makes the money spent for it practically irrelevant. THAT kind of future is possible and close enough to Star Trek that we could consider it a success if it happens. The great thing about that future is it is already underway. Time for an anecdote, right? My ancestors of more than four centuries ago were likely ALL $3/day people owning one set of clothing that marked their social position near the bottom. If they had more, it is probably because they stole it. Their world was very much a zero-sum life. That ended, though, starting somewhere in the 18th century. Of my grandparent’s generation, only one lived near that line, but she was surrounded by richer people and made sure to steal what she wanted. (I have no doubt of this. She might have done even worse.) In the current generation of my relatives, none are near that line. Among their friends and neighbors? None… again. It’s not that money vanished, though. The markets were just free enough to allow many three act plays to be fully staged and run to completion. My overstuffed closet with clothes I’m not likely to wear ever again is just one symptom of this. I’m not super wealthy, but we all are compared to $3/day.

Star Trek was utopian especially in the NG series. That’s okay, though. We can do something similar. Some resources will be scarce even in a universe with replicators.

The dream of the free market is more akin to "Alien" than the UFP. The snowball effect ensures that, while all boats are raised a little by free markets, a few boats are raised so high that they become the new aristocracy, able to crush everyone underneath them, reducing their employees to penury.

It ensures nothing of the kind. How much the tide rises depends on how many plays complete after act three instead of stopping short. The new aristocracy can do that if the tide rises slowly enough for them to adapt, but isn’t what is happening right now. Tides have inertia. So does our rhetoric that enables bourgeois assimilation.

donzelion said...

Jeff B: Do you know who your state representatives are in Pennsylvania? Who knows: YOU could be the one to introduce a proposal to them like California's Prop 54. Gerrymandered or not, YOU could do this with a simple letter:

"Dear Assemblyperson: I've heard a lot about Prop 54 in California and am curious why we shouldn't do the same thing. Californians are smug and think they can broadcast their legislators in action before anybody else does, but I think Pennsylvania has plenty of people who could develop the technology to do this hear, and we could probably do it better than they can. We have fine universities, lots of IT talent, and lots of people who can make this for us. Our tradition of tolerance and public discourse goes back to before Benjamin Franklin, before California was anything more than a bunch of Catholic missions employing native workers as serfs. Why shouldn't we embrace instant live broadcasts of all our legislative sessions on the internet?"

Of course, that's assuming you haven't done so already. I don't actually know.

Sad thing is if you send a letter like that to a legislator, you'll get a "thank you for your concern, now please donate $10 / $25 / $50 to the account and we'll get back to you" letter. But it can go as far as you want it to, even in a gerrymandered world.

"Til then the Prop 54 idea will be nice to dream about."
I still can't tell if it's a dream, a nightmare, or a shrug (probably a bit of all three). But I can tell that it's nothing at all until people try to do something. And who knows? Charles Munger Jr. may be a Californian, but if he heard from you asking for his support to enact this bill, he might become your friend (about as likely as an assemblyperson actually doing anything - but again, who can say?) - and he might even have arguments that sway your position better than I ever could.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

Name for us one group that did better in those areas than FDR. Locum’s pals… the republican oligarchs and press… plus the dixiecrat segregationists who later BECAME republicans… were all vastly, vastly worse


I'm guessing that loc considers all of those to be "Urban Progressives".


They are deeply crazy stupid-heads and they know all the smart people are sick of it.


I know certain people on this list think our side should keep things civil and remain above the fray, but this election is the exception that proves the rule. I'm with you here 110%. There is nothing left worth even listening to from the screeching Trump-defenders. And you can tell if Trump himself is lying by the fact that his lips are moving.

David Brin said...

Tacitus I got no complaints about your peace offering message. I will say that politicians tend to average at least somewhat slimy as a baseline! Hence DP pols will certainly do cronyism… with the saving grace that they are cats and thus undisciplined. Till recently, the GOP was the most disciplined political force in US history. All obedient to Roger Ailes.

But yes, most pols have some sliminess. Gerrymandering was a crime by ALL politicians against ALL citizens and very few pols, even democrats, moved actively against it. (Except yelling in states where your opponents had gerrymandered!) It took citizen uprisings by democratic VOTERS in WA, OR, CA and so on to start trashing that vile cheat.

So do I adore DP pols? Bah! Obama is pretty admirable but became president too young.Bill Clinton was enough like Teddy Roosevelt (bully) that he’d have been great… had we been in dire straits and needed ‘greatness’. Bored by good times (that he partly managed to create) he revealed flaws.

Jerry Brown is weird and everything we should want. OTOH I pray the dems choose someone other than Nancy Pelosi, of whom I think very little.

But above all, for the sake of the nation, I pray they'll get that choice, soon.

Alfred Differ said...

McCain even said recently that if Hillary wins, they'd hold the position open for the next four years. To me, that's called "not doing their job".

Fivethirtyeight had the probability of the Democrats taking the Senate following a band starting about 9/7 until 10/15. The probability broke above that and then surged up.

Maybe McCain can keep up with his talk about blocking appointments to help improve those odds a bit more. 8)

LarryHart said...

@Alfred Differ:

I hope the Dems have the balls to get rid of the filibuster. Otherwise, they can block appointments for two years with 41 Senators, hoping (with some reason) that "the voters" will make the Senate Republican again in 2018.

LarryHart said...

Ok, in my version of "Mike's summer daydream," Hillary appoints Barack Obama to the Supreme Court, the Republicans refuse to consider his nomination (of filibuster if they're in the minority), and Hillary "takes silence as consent" and puts him on the court anyway. Then Obama himself is the deciding vote on the court as to whether to uphold his own nomination.

But what if that all played out as above except that Justice Barack Obama recuses himself from the decision (as he probably should), and the court splits 4-4.

Then what?

Jumper said...

Here's some bullshit European (and obviously American) progressives bought into - "renewables" - some standard sleight of hand by capitalists greenwashing a rape of hardwood forests.
Democrats are asleep at the wheel too often.
http://www.climatecentral.org/news/europe-aims-to-close-loophole-on-wood-energy-20591

Paul SB said...

Donzelion & Smurphs,

I don't have time or energy to wade through all the commentary above, but I did promise this morning to link to a video that compares education in the US to education in countries that are outperforming the US. The presenter, Linda Darling-Hammond, is very respected in her field. I remember her being referenced often enough when getting my teaching license.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQNUqVYJofE

One of my colleagues, a math teacher who used to be a missionary in Africa, and a rather conservative fellow, was not very happy with the video. He complained to me that the comparisons being made are unfair because the countries that are outperforming the US do not have the problem of huge numbers of immigrants who do not speak the native language here. Knowing how much the language barrier affects our students (and more subtly but powerfully, the cultural barriers) I would be inclined to agree, except that I doubt none of those countries have immigration, or minorities, or language issues in the schools. Canada is one of the countries that is beating us out, and there were a hell of a lot of people in Vancouver when I visited who did not speak English.

Alfred Differ said...

@LarryHart,

I'd rather they did not get rid of the whole filibuster. I'd rather they reformed it so those old farts had to stand at the podium reciting phone books like the days of olde. We can watch them on CSPAN then. 8)

LarryHart said...

@Alfred Differ,

Yes, the filibuster used to be a delaying tactic, not a veto by the minority. It gave someone time to gather support for their position. It was not infinite in length. I'd be happy if we went back to that as well.

LarryHart said...

Back when I was a young child who read comic books, I once asked my dad, in all innocent sincerity why houses couldn't be made of a substance that lets good people pass through it, but prevents bad people from doing so. It seemed like a perfectly reasonable solution at the time.

It sounds as if that substance is what Donald Trump wants to build his wall out of.

LarryHart said...

Donald Trump is a big poopy-head!

LarryHart said...

No, you are!

Ok, I'll stop now.

Smurphs said...

Paul SB,
Thanks for the video. I may not be able to get to it until the weekend, but I will make the time and get back to you.

Alfred Differ said...

Heh. Just hire Laplace's demon to manage the door in the wall.

LarryHart said...

I wish Hillary would just reply to everything with lines from "Hamilton":


[Donald], that was a real nice declaration.
Welcome to the present. We're running a real nation.
Would you like to join us, or stay mellow
Doin’ whatever the hell it is you do in Monticello?
If we assume the debts, the union gets
A new line of credit, a financial diuretic
How do you not get it? If we’re aggressive and competitive
The union gets a boost. You’d rather give it a sedative?

* * *

I know that [Donald Trump] is here and he
Would rather not have this debate
I’ll remind you that he is not Secretary of State

He knows nothing of loyalty
Smells like new money, dresses like fake royalty
Desperate to rise above his station
Everything he does betrays the ideals of our nation

Hey, and if ya don’t know, now ya know.


Paul SB said...

Smurphs,

No problem! It's only around 5 minutes long, but we all have our time issues. I just threw it out there as food for thought, which I have always thought was much tastier than chili cheese dogs.

donzelion said...

Dr. Brin: "It took citizen uprisings by democratic VOTERS in WA, OR, CA and so on to start trashing that vile cheat [of gerrymandering]."

Ahem. The primary backer for the 2010 proposition to rein in gerrymandering in California is the same gentleman who is backing Prop. 54 (the 'transparency' proposition). This is yet another reason I keep needling you to take a look and tell someone what you think. ;-)

donzelion said...

LarryHart: "I hope the Dems have the balls to get rid of the filibuster."

It would be unfortunate if it comes down to that, but if the Reps are threatening to refuse to accept any Supreme Court justice nominated by a Democratic president, then they've rejected the Constitution itself. Republicans are counting on forcing the president to make recess appointments to fill vacancies - that reduces a Supreme Court to a 2-year or less term. That could even become a longstanding position (until they retake the White House).

2016 is about as good a year as it'll be for the Democrats in the Senate: 2018 will be MUCH uglier (not just after 2 years of President Clinton II, but simply looking at which states are coming up for a vote). And if the economy tanks (we're reaching that point where this is quite possible), all bets are off.

David Brin said...

LH: your supreme court scenario would play out first in the US court of appeals, DC district, which has a majority democratic appointees. After which a 4-4 Supreme decision would leave the lower court decision standing.

David Brin said...

Okay. I wasted another hour doing my appraisal:

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were at their top form. Saying that makes me sad, however, because I kept hoping for much better from her.

Clearly it was Trump’s best outing, so it won’t calamitously hurt him, like the first two debates did. Nevertheless: (1) It was his last chance to reach for the center, but he refrained from even offering a single, centrist thread, and thus he limited himself to his base. Which he had to do, because he is an addict to the Performer’s High. Those damned rallies are his drug. They have habituated him to throwing right-wing meat (memes) and expecting wild applause. But outside the nuremberg throngs, his storm of volcanic counter-factuals land with a thud. All this does and did was alienate 60% of voters. Keeping his ceiling at an ineffectual, yet terrifying 40%.

(2) The take-away moment was his refusal to promise to accept the election results. It’s what people will talk about. But HC blew it by not demanding evidence of cheating (see below). Also, she could have mentioned the nobility of Al Gore, who lost a far closer race after winning more popular votes than George Bush, but ignored those calling for him to put up a fight, instead pledging support for his new president.

Conservative, business-centered Forbes called Trump’s stance “bogus.”
http://www.forbes.com/sites/charlestiefer/2016/10/19/at-debate-trump-calls-fbi-decision-on-clinton-rigged-listen-to-his-bogus-theory/#3df4ad1c78c6

I’ll offer more DT negatives, but first let me note a shot where he scored spot-on.

3) Trump said: “Nobody can believe how stupid our leadership has been.”

And here I agree… in that HC ignored so many ways to refute his nostrums that I have to wonder about the intelligence of all democrats. The biggest missed opportunity for a year or more has been the standard rant of Trump and every Republican that Vladimir Putin ‘played” both Secretary Clinton and President Obama over and over.

How on Earth can Clinton let such slander stand? Never, ever shooting down this obvious, drooling counterfactual with a single word: Ukraine.

All of Putin’s “victories” have been little nibble-backs. Crimea, the Donbass, bits of Syria… seriously? These are ‘victories’ and humiliations for the US? Look at those flyspecks the Russian leader has won (at cost of billions to himself and his pals, in sanctions.). Now pull up a map and compare those nibble-backs to the vast nation - Ukraine, which had been a Russian satrapy that Putin controlled through a puppet president. Until it had a popular revolution, yanking that vast nation right out of the Russian sphere of influence. The greatest loss of power by Moscow since the end of the Cold War…

…and the Russian press and Putin himself blame that setback on guess who? They credit it to those “chessmaster” diabolical opponents, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Did you ever ask yourself why he hates them so? Why he is taking such risks, meddling in our elections on Trump’s behalf? Are you really unable to put two and two together? Apparently, as has been every pundit and DP politician.

4) Trump went on to rave about our “depleted military” - an utter lie that HC could have, but did not, tear to shreds. The US Army & reserves were demolished by George HW Bush and then again by George W. Bush. A perfect record, leaving not a single major unit fully combat ready. Damage that both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama repaired completely, with every major unit rated FCR by the end of their terms. Yet Big Lies about our armed services are left standing. Shame.

5) “American industry is in decline.”

Bullshit. Statistics show a steady rise in US manufacturing. Why not say so?

David Brin said...

6) And why not mention that net immigration with Mexico has gone NEGATIVE in recent years, making DT’s ravings bizarre? Side note: Did you notice how he tried to appeal to hispanics by calling Obama a guy who “deported bigly, millions of people.’ Um… but didn’t you just… weren’t you just accusing Obama of lax… oh, never mind.

7) About the cheating. It is simply criminal to leave standing his repeated rant that “Millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn’t be…”

Why can’t she simply say the words “Prove it!” Followed by: “Let’s see your evidence. Any evidence at all for these made up stories of yours, Don. This illustrates why Republicans have waged war on all the fact professions, especially science.”

Which brings us to the two missing elephants in the room…

8) First Climate Denialism, with its underlying agenda of a treasonous War on Science. How she could have won over maybe a million voters simply by hammering her support for science and the knowledge-fact professions!

Only then there was the worst lapse of all…

9) … Hillary’s stunning, amazing, inexplicable inability to say three words: “The Republican Party.”

I remain boggled by her refusal to make the GOP itself an issue, via their acclaimed nominee! A party so ashamed of its past that they did not even mention any Republican leaders between Reagan and Ryan, at their recent convention; not Bush or Bush or those perverts Hastert or Ailes, Giuliani and so on. So ashamed of that horrid rogue’s gallery that they turned to a raving outsider — who nevertheless rants on with the same Limbaugh-Fox-alt-right craziness.

Trump is not some disease, he is a symptom! If she lets the GOP get away with this, holding onto the House of Representatives and putting Paul Ryan two heartbeats from the presidency, and allowing Ryan to block any legislation from happening for the good of the United States, then this lapse on her part will be remembered as catastrophic.

To be clear, her failure to connect Donald Trump with the party that nominated him will let the GOP dismiss the results of the 2016 election as an aberration, a fluke, a result of brief dalliance with Trump Madness, instead of the steady lobotomization and dogma mania of the Republican Party.

Sure, she wants to peel a few more republicans over to vote for her, giving them a pass to split tickets and vote for goppers further down-ticket. How on earth could she do this? Choose her ambition over our overall best interest?

No. She won the debate and the presidency and I am glad.

But I am disappointed.

donzelion said...

Paul SB: re education. Thanks for the video. Lots of thoughts here...

When something catches my interest, I tend to do a bit further research. For example, Darling-Hammond made a point about how some U.S. states score right up there with some of the best countries in the world in the PISA rankings. I think the video was published in 2010; in 2013, Massachusetts and Florida presented their test scores separately from the U.S. national average. The U.S. ranks 36th in math, 28th in science, and 24th in reading. If Massachusetts a country, it would rank 16th, 9th, and 6th in those categories, while Florida would rank 41st/38th/26th.

Why?

"the countries that are outperforming the US do not have the problem of huge numbers of immigrants who do not speak the native language here."
A bit over 8% of Massachusetts students participate in programs for English language learners. About 9% of Florida students are also in such programs. So language discrepancies alone don't account for that vast difference in outcomes. (Source: Nat'l Center for Edu Stats) To me, that suggests your friend's view that language barriers account for the difference may be overstated, inaccurate, or a partial explanation.

"(and more subtly but powerfully, the cultural barriers)"
Think you may be right about "cultural" barriers being more powerful than language barriers.

It's also worth pointing out that average teacher salaries in Massachusetts are $72k (2nd highest in the country).

In Florida, average teacher salaries are $46k (43rd in the country). Darling-Hammond does point out that "high scoring countries" on the PISA exam tend to pay teachers almost as well as engineers (in the U.S., that would be about $100,000). That suggests an AWFUL lot to me about priorities. (And no, I'm not just trying to stroke a friend's ego - even if you and I have yet to share that yogurt some day - the data is what it is.)

donzelion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
donzelion said...

Dr. Brin: "No. She won the debate and the presidency and I am glad. But I am disappointed."

Concur, but the more I think about it, perhaps it's best for her to leave the work to us. She cannot possibly govern alone: Obama had a majority in both houses of Congress, a messianic mantle of hope and dignity, tremendous intellectual and physical resources at his disposal, and abundant charisma - all resources she lacks. Yet despite doing a pretty good job, he failed to achieve so many of his core goals.

Hillary can't even manage to stake a vampire like Trump (his heart is in his wallet - it's an easy target). So, since she lacks that ability, she needs us - or it will not happen. We all have to kill the Trump-beast in our own lives and minds with our own reason.

We have a job to do. We matter more, because she's just not good enough to get the job done herself. She may win the presidency, but our work is just starting.

Paul SB said...

Donzelion,

Re: Uncle Hillary and the Presidency, perhaps people will begin to see that the Office of the President is not kingship, and will let the balance of powers sink into their bones. After years of having a good president constantly thwarted by a bad Congress, hopefully more people will start to take down-ticket voting seriously.

Re: Education, good fact-checking instinct there! Most people would watch something like that and either bobble their heads or start grumbling about stupid smartypants professors not knowing squat. The facts you found very much support Dr. Brin's contention that states run by Democrats are simply governed more effectively than those run by Republicans. All the metrics show this, yet few people look for facts when their culture tells them to close a blind eye.

On culture, what you said about having awful priorities is to the point. Anecdotally, when I first got married I warned my wife that Americans are not like Chinese. They don't have a lot of respect for teachers.Here we say that is you can't do something, you can always teach it, which says that we don't expect competence from teachers (and in my experience, that is partially borne out). We expect smart people to do what Trump does - use their intelligence to cheat people out of money. Engineers get paid so much because they create marketable products. In America we tend to bottom-line everything to money. (My wife, BTW, like most people simply couldn't get how differently people can think, went ahead with becoming a teacher, and has regretted it ever since).

But there is another big way in which culture affects education. I have mentioned William Foote White's book "Street Corner Society" here, but I don't know if you were here when I did. This is a classic in sociology, in which he went to live in poor ghettos in America - at the time they were mostly Italian, though that ethnicity doesn't mean much in America today. What he found were huge differences in the way people think between the middle classes, the wealthy and the lower classes. What he was talking about was structural inferiority, though he was not familiar with that term. Here's an important way that those differences play out. When children misbehave in school, it is generally expected that the teacher will call the parents, and the parents will punish the kids to bring them in line. When I was a new teacher, administration hounded teachers to constantly call parents. But what happens in poor neighborhoods is that you call parents and they talk for hours, but they don't do anything. They see discipline in school as the teacher's job. This is especially true for Latin American parents, whose experience of school was being hit by teachers when they misbehaved - something that gets you fired and sued and your teaching license revoked in America. Principals regularly fire new teachers who have discipline problems, blaming them for not calling the parents, but teachers quickly learn that calling parents is a complete waste of time, and sometimes results in parents calling the principal to complain about the teacher. Different cultural expectations lead to bad discipline (because administrators don't want to waste their time taking care of it) which quickly snowballs into failing schools and high teacher turnover. It's lose/lose if we don't address these kinds of issues, but administrators are generally recruited from the upper/middle classes and neither share nor comprehend the values of the communities they are supposed to be serving.

Now I have to get back to work...

LarryHart said...

This is just me, but I'm thinking that, since the media can no longer generate excitement over the presidential race as a "nail-biting horse race", they've shifted to generating excitement over the prospect of widespread rioting by Trump supporters refusing to accept the legitimacy of the blowout the election will be.

I say that optimistically, because if I'm right, that means we're seeing a lot of media hype that will fizzle shortly after Nov 8 rather than the rumblings of an actual New Civil War. If not, I hope the state and federal governments take radical domestic terrorists seriously, and don't give them a pass just because they're not Islamic.

* * *
@Dr Brin,

Local Democrats in Illinois are most certainly tying their Republican opponents to Trump. There are ads juxtaposing ridiculous statements of Trumps with Governor Bruce Rauner saying "I will support the Republican nominee.", and Rauner isn't even up for election this year. Also, an ad against Republican congressman Bob Dold (not to be confused with Bob Dole) refers to "Bob Dold and the Republicans" every time he is mentioned, and features scary black-and-white images of McConnell and Ryan alongside him.

* * *

On the Supreme Court, at least they mentioned the issue in this debate instead of pretending that the race is about less important distinctions between presidential candidates.

OTOH, the idea of "which side controls the Supreme Court" is too trivialized into a partisan question of "Which is more important to you, abortion or gun rights?" I'm more afraid of justices who always favor corporations over human beings, or those who think voting rights need no protection, or those who even entertain with a straight face (while cynically selling themselves as "strict Constitutionalists") the notion that one can construe the phrase "whole number of persons" to mean "registered voters, or maybe eligible voters, but in any case, something that skews likely Republican".

Republicans screech about how a Democratic president would try to control the Supreme Court for a generation, refusing to acknowledge that that's exactly what they themselves just did. Republicans use every trick in the book to their own advantage, whether in the majority or minority, but they claim that right strictly for themselves, and whine like babies about the possibility that someone else might exercise the same powers that they do.

So I wish the Court had been made more of an issue. But at least it was brought up, front and center.

LarryHart said...

donzelion:

if the Reps are threatening to refuse to accept any Supreme Court justice nominated by a Democratic president, then they've rejected the Constitution itself. Republicans are counting on forcing the president to make recess appointments to fill vacancies - that reduces a Supreme Court to a 2-year or less term. That could even become a longstanding position (until they retake the White House).


Barack Obama would probably have been thrilled to make a recess appointment. The Republicans have also foreclosed that option by pretending that they are never in recess, even when they're on vacation for five weeks.

raito said...

David Brin,

While Mexican immigration may be negative, it appears that central american immigration is up. This link isn't too good, the radio story went into a lot more detail:

http://www.npr.org/2016/05/31/480073262/u-s-mexico-border-sees-resurgence-of-central-americans-seeking-asylum

As I recall from that radio story total immigration across the southern border is up, after receding for a couple of years.

Splitting out Mexicans specifically is likely to be slicing things a bit thin for many people.

And yes, I agree about your ideas of the Mexican middle class. But there's a lot more than Mexico down there.

locumranch said...


When I warned about the terrifying consequences of this pending US Presidential Election & Larry_H pointed out to me that "You like all of those things," he weren't just whistling Dixie: I was.

I've been whistling this tune a long time, ever since I became an adopted member of the exploited Red Rural demographic.

Our Blue Urban Colonial System has become increasingly corrupt & authoritarian. It ignores the democratic will of an increasingly dissatisfied majority because 'Diversity is Good' ; it lectures the proletarian majority about what their will 'should be' in an effete, elite & top-down fashion; it insists that this majority must abide by passive political niceties that do not apply to the Establishment; and it demands that the Proles must accept the outcome of this rigged anti-democratic process as a 'Free Election'.

Most likely, though, this ain't gonna happen.

Even the likes of Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren & Bernie Sanders admit that the Corporate 'Fix is In' against the Common Man, and the Common Man has lost his patience with the Establishment's sophistry, false promises & delaying actions.

Much like Brexit, Trump is a Stink Bomb aimed at the heart of the Establishment Classroom:

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slowest now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fading.


Best

donzelion said...

Just re-read what I posted last night re the debate: oops on two points...

"perhaps it's best for her to leave the work to us."
The work of crushing Trump. She beat him fair and square, and not in a way that I would have wanted, but in a way that worked.

"Obama had a majority in both houses of Congress, a messianic mantle of hope and dignity, tremendous intellectual and physical resources at his disposal, and abundant charisma - all resources she lacks."
Oops. Replace "intellectual" with "emotional."

Point is, now the goal isn't to beat Trump, but to get people out to vote who normally wouldn't - to tell them that this year, one candidate renounces democracy when it doesn't give him what he wants - and therefore, they have a mission to step up and demand their vote be counted.

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

Much like Brexit, Trump is a Stink Bomb aimed at the heart of the Establishment Classroom:


The difference is that the British public voted for Brexit. They didn't vote for "Remain" and then claim the vote was rigged. Your guy is going down on Election Day, and all your whining won't change the fact that more people opted to stay with stable government and try to work changes from within rather than overturn the entire chessboard in a fit of pique. Hillary might not be the first choice of "the people", but that's even more damning toward Trump that, despite all that, he's going to lose to her.

I get that a sizeable minority feel as you do, but they will remain a minority, at least for now, and God willing, forever. An old politically-incorrect joke used to have as its punchline "How does it feel to be dumber than a [insert ethnic slur here]?" Likewise, one might well ask of your side, "How does it feel to lose an election to Hillary Clinton?"

So let's be clear. You're not threatening what's going to happen when Trump demonstrates that his rhetoric can carry an election. You're threatening violence after his inevitable loss. And I really doubt you've got the balls to go through with that.

donzelion said...

Paul SB: Dude, you and I have to start talking in person, since our discussions here veer towards verbosity.

"After years of having a good president constantly thwarted by a bad Congress, hopefully more people will start to take down-ticket voting seriously."
I hope so. Dr. Brin is right: someone needs to call out a party that has decided that if "Good men" (McCain, Romney) cannot beat Democratic candidates, try bringing in the Bad Man. That sort of logic makes too many folks uncomfortable with voting in general, esp. on mid-term elections.

And McCain's statements about 'never appointing any Supreme Court judges nominated by a Democrat' make him a far less 'good man' than he was a week ago. Ugh.

"Re: Education, good fact-checking instinct there! Most people would watch something like that and either bobble their heads or start grumbling about stupid smartypants professors not knowing squat. The facts you found very much support Dr. Brin's contention that states run by Democrats are simply governed more effectively than those run by Republicans."

Ahem: you must give Romney a bit of credit there for Mass (and I sure wish Hillary had mentioned Romney positively: I LOOOOOVE the thought of Trump losing in Utah...proves that Mormons actually believe in what they claim to believe - most of them will endorse Satan if he votes for their party).

"All the metrics show this, yet few people look for facts when their culture tells them to close a blind eye."
I see a clear link between teacher pay and student outcomes: that's an indisputable link. But (1) I have to balance Romney's Massachusetts against Jeb Bush's Florida: one outperforms, the other underperforms, both had Republican governors administering education systems for years, and (2) too many states have not tried to do the PISA game independently from the national average - I'd like to know where the other 47 fall.

"They [Americans] don't have a lot of respect for teachers."
Curious: "they"? ;-) Yep, I do that too.

At standard babysitter rates ($5/kid/hour), many teachers would earn $160k plus. When a society values babysitting more than educating, something is wrong.

"Street Corner Society"
Will add that one to the list. Enjoyed Ehrenreich's 'Nickel and Dimed' - which appears to have some similarities (though her focus was on the female experience in certain working poor environments).

re "Italian poor" - note that they were the 2nd strongest ethnic group among whites to back Trump according to the only polls I'm aware of (after only the Germans). Intriguing.

I'll have to ponder your observations about parent/teacher discipline issues another time though. Back to work for me...

donzelion said...

LarryHart: "The Republicans have also foreclosed that option by pretending that they are never in recess, even when they're on vacation for five weeks."

Indeed. The Democrats have been very slow to use that to their advantage: show the double gavel bang, and then say: "This is what Legislator X thinks constitutes doing work. Wouldn't you love to have someone else clock you in so you get paid, without doing a dang thing?"

"Here's Senator Johnson, putting in a hard days' work on behalf of Wisconsin?" Gavel bang, gavel bang, all done. "Now he gets to go home and play. Meanwhile, you drive on streets that are falling apart to feed your family...while he thinks he's better than you..."

Hammer them for laziness, then let Americans make up their mind.

donzelion said...

Locum: "Even the likes of Barack Obama, Elizabeth Warren & Bernie Sanders admit that the Corporate 'Fix is In' against the Common Man, and the Common Man has lost his patience with the Establishment's sophistry, false promises & delaying actions."

Your "Common Man" would embrace a child molester who tells them that there are predators threatening the children. They would embrace Satan if he tells them "other people are immoral, you need me to guard you from those rogues and bastards." To that extent, the "Common Man" as you see him is uncommonly idiotic. Or like most in the Tea Party, he sees the 'solution' to a problem of a world full of bullshit to be diving into the manure pit and calling it a garden.

My vision of the Common Man: he's smarter than that. Now if only the idiots misleading him were dealt with...

greg byshenk said...

A different take on Clinton's campaign from Ezra Klein.

David Brin said...

raito: “I agree about your ideas of the Mexican middle class. But there's a lot more than Mexico down there.”

Exactly. Which is why the US is pressuring Mexico, with some success, to tighten its much smaller southern border, saving us having to go crazy along OUR much larger southern border.

------
Okay, locum has tipped over into outright treason. Declaring he shares the maniacal-cackling slander that Trump can only lose if it’s fixed, and thus sore-loser justifying destruction of faith in our nation's peaceful process.

PROVE IT, traitor. Coward. Whining loser. Prove one damn thing.

Put 1% as much effort into proving anything at all, as you put into whimpering and moaning and rolling on the ground, kicking and holding your breath like a pants-wetting three year old.

The ‘examples” offered by trumpists… a couple of mid-to-low-level DP dopes muttering in some emails… are pathetic. They pale in comparison to GOP state officials bragging, in front of cameras, about blocking thousands of minority folks from registering. Oh and Bernie and Warren are vigorously, energetically supporting HC and the DP. PROVE SOMETHING!

Even Fox News polls show Trump rejected by voting America.

All you do with your tantrum is prove why your cult will go down in flames. Because we are in fact not a dreamy-diaper feudal kindergarten but a civilization. If you confederates win, you will start firing squads.

We in the Union have a better track record. Whenever we win... and thank God we mostly do ... the worst thing we do - ever - is invite you to calm down and rejoin negotiations.

Smurphs said...

locumranch:

Our Blue Urban Colonial System has become increasingly corrupt & authoritarian. It ignores the democratic will of an increasingly dissatisfied majority because 'Diversity is Good' ; it lectures the proletarian majority about what their will 'should be' in an effete, elite & top-down fashion; it insists that this majority must abide by passive political niceties that do not apply to the Establishment; and it demands that the Proles must accept the outcome of this rigged anti-democratic process as a 'Free Election'.

Since you seem to be identifying with the "dissatisfied...proletarian majority", I think you need to be reminded of something.

You are NOT the majority.

You are the minority, and getting smaller every day.

Sorry you don't like it. How does it feel?

David Brin said...

BTW. Were they rational beings, the confeds would calm down, negotiate, and stop abusing, waging war upon all the smart people. If they did that: (1) perhaps they would stop being outsmarted,

(2) they might make a reasonable case against the admitted problem of some lefty PC-bully police.

That problem does exist! There are lefty dogmatic moralizer-thugs. At their worst, they sometimes do genuine harm. Perhaps one zillionth the harm that conspiring feudalist lords and redder kluxxers do. Well... make that a zillionth of a zillionth. But if under-educated white males ever wised up, they could get actual allies in pushing back against the worst PC excesses.

But the confeds won't do that. Because, well, they've driven off all the smart folks and created Idiocracy..

Jumper said...

Yeah, as if the idiot punks down at Occupy Charlotte control my life. Oh nos! It's the Blue Occupiers!

Jumper said...

There was an Occupy Hendersonville. That was definitely in red territory. Occupy Hendersonville picketed the banks for weeks. It was made up not of young people crying "mic check" but oldsters, retirees whose retirement accounts had plunged. I guess nowadays locum's crew would be throwing stuff at them, and cursing and spitting.

raito said...

Dr. Brin,

"Exactly. Which is why the US is pressuring Mexico, with some success, to tighten its much smaller southern border, saving us having to go crazy along OUR much larger southern border."

The article (and similar others) do say that in 2015 that was working, but seems to be failing in 2016. None seem sure why, whether it's increased pressure in the Mexican southern border, people smugglers catching wise to the methods used to catch people, plain exhaustion after last year, or what.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

Put 1% as much effort into proving anything at all, as you put into whimpering and moaning and rolling on the ground, kicking and holding your breath like a pants-wetting three year old.


You're being terribly unfair to pants-wetting three year olds. :)

No, really. We've got an old cat at home who could give "Grumpy Cat" a run for his money in the obnoxious department. During the campaign, I started calling her "Trumpy Cat". After the first debate, I stopped calling her that and apologized...to the cat for comparing her to Donald Trump.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

PROVE IT, traitor. Coward. Whining loser. Prove one damn thing.


"Hamilton":

Hamilton:
Well, if it isn't Aaron Burr, Sir.


Burr:
Can we agree that duels are dumb and immature?

Sure.
But your man has ta answer for his words, Burr.


With his life? We both know that's absurd.

Hold on,
How many men died because [Trump] was inexperienced and ruinous?


Ok, so we're doin' this.

LarryHart said...

Smurphs:

Since you seem to be identifying with the "dissatisfied...proletarian majority", I think you need to be reminded of something.

You are NOT the majority.

You are the minority, and getting smaller every day.


Worth repeating!

Confederate types like locumranch think that Democracy is authoritarian and intolerant when they choose to vote in a way he doesn't personally like. It's the same thing as Trump asserting that any outcome other than his own victory is "rigged", or that the only judges who can be impartial in his case is someone already pre-disposed to be a Trump supporter.

But then a key to translating loc is to remember that words always mean the opposite of what they mean on our Earth. Pointing out examples of racism is "racist". Opposing bullies is "bullying" them. Tolerance of people's differences is "intolerance" of the intolerant. See how that works?

locumranch said...


Did you see that?

Smurphs & Larry_H called us, the much despised & disenfranchised Red State Trumpeteers, "a minority". That means we are now an Oppressed VICTIM Class which is allowed to protest any perceived injustice, riot in the streets, violate national borders with impunity, ignore the Rule-of-Law, and dispense with all forms of legal documentation & license, all while being eligible for special privileges, scholarships, freebies, benefits, a general amnesty & perhaps even reparations, because DIversity Doctrine commands that privileged Majorities (such as yourselves) self-handicap in order to correct assumed historical Inequality.

Stick a fork in Western Democracy, fflolks, because it's over & done when a democratic rule like equal political representation no longer applies equally to everyone, especially to those fly-over yokels, land-locked hicks & regressive 'common man' minorities who you can't stand, the only feasible solution to this oppressive Federal Rape Culture being nullification, secession & balkanisation.

#Rural_Producers_Rule, #Red_Power, #Rural_Lives_Matter
______

Have you noticed the self-contradictory nature of some of David's statements as in (1) "Statistics show a steady rise in US manufacturing", preceded by many posts about the US Economy being 'post-industrial', (2) scientific credentialism being preferred over the Age of the Amateur, and (3) Fossil-fuels being 'bad because climate change', followed by hip hip hooray for a climate changing US fossil-fuel energy surplus ??

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

Stick a fork in Western Democracy, fflolks, because it's over & done when a democratic rule like equal political representation no longer applies equally to everyone,


It applies to everyone, not just you. That's the problem. Other people get to have their way some times. Not just you. Democracy doesn't only "work" when you get your way. Just because you lose some times doesn't mean it was "rigged".


especially to those fly-over yokels, land-locked hicks & regressive 'common man' minorities who you can't stand,


Where do you think I live?

the only feasible solution to this oppressive Federal Rape Culture being nullification, secession & balkanisation.



George Washington:
Burr? Shut the door on your way out.


#Rural_Producers_Rule,


Hamilton:
"We plant seeds in the south! We create!" Keep ranting.
'Cause we know who's really doing the planting.


LarryHart said...

swinging at the easy ones:

Smurphs & Larry_H called us, the much despised & disenfranchised Red State Trumpeteers,


I didn't use any of those terms, but feel free to identify yourself.

..."a minority". That means we are now an Oppressed VICTIM Class which is allowed to protest any perceived injustice, riot in the streets,


You were doing that already when you were an "oppressed" majority. Knock yourself out.

violate national borders with impunity


Oh, feel free to leave any time you want.

Andy said...

Regarding the billions of cash that disappeared in Iraq (mentioned in the previous post)... seems it has been accounted for?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/lost-iraq-cash-government-finally-accounts-6-billion_n_1052840.html

David Brin said...

WHiner! You confeds have every advantage. Not just white privilege. Your states are gerrymandered out the wazoo, vastly more such cheating than blue America. And the very nature of the States themselves? Gerrymandered from the start, giving 20 free extra Senate seats to Red America. And Nate Silver says that urban America is intrinsically disadvantaged for geometric reasons.

Oh, and urban america is the terror target, yet we aren't whimpering about "terrorists!" the way perfectly safe redders are.

You got nuthin' son.

donzelion said...

Dr. Brin: "Were they rational beings, the confeds would calm down, negotiate, and stop abusing, waging war upon all the smart people."

Not so. The Confeds are dependent on a large, obedient mass that will embrace Lucifer himself when their authority figures tell them to do so. No other explanation accounts for Evangelicals embracing a man who mocks their faith (well, perhaps Trump is Jesus, and has nothing to confess or repent from - but otherwise, he's either liar or a blasphemer - and to the extent any Christian supports him, that Christian renounces their own Bible).

How does one get non-slave owners to rise up to defend the rights of slave owners? The slave owners convince them that "outsiders are coming to destroy your way of life! Stand up to them!" So goes the Confederacy.

"they might make a reasonable case against the admitted problem of some lefty PC-bully police."
They might. But Locum's whole "gold & lead warning" is a threat of violence towards those who do not respect [his group]. The meaning in such statements is that "the time of reason is ending - war is coming." Aka insurrection/treason.

Speaking of which -

Locum: yes, you may protest LAWFULLY, no you may not riot. If you do, you may be shot. Weren't you watching: turns out lefties shoot minorities and victims all the time when they're perceived as a threat. We'll feel bad about it, but won't hesitate.

Hence a gentle warning: be careful about threatening "gold & lead" and whatnot. Here or anywhere. This is a "public forum": you cannot know how your words will be used, or who will change the context. You can anticipate that if you, or anyone you know, were to do something like what you're describing, these words can come back and haunt you. Even if you never intended to threaten anything at all.

Should that happen, you may not be able to let us know. There will be others who will try to defend your rights, and I'll do my best to explain that you were just venting, and didn't mean it the way someone in a prosecutor's office claims you did. But honestly, you're much better off finishing your book and toning it down a bit. For your sake, and the rest of us too.

donzelion said...

Greg byshenk: I liked Ezra Klein's take. Hillary beat Trump all over the place, but she didn't do it MY way (point out all the flaws in his arguments, blast him away with evidence proving his points are baseless drivel) - she did it her way. Perhaps men are predisposed to think if someone doesn't 'win' the way we want them to, that they didn't 'win enough.'

But the parry'n'jab approach did indeed set Trump up, esp. on Debate 1 ("Her name is Alicia Machado - prepare to die!") and Debate 3 (parry, jab, strike, again & again, Trump is angry and off-balance - Wallace: "Trump, do you endorse democracy?" "I'll keep you in suspense.").

It's a different style. It's not MY style. But it proved utterly effective.

Jumper said...

Teflon brains are sad brains.

Paul SB said...

It's looking more and more like Donald Grope is going down, but did anyone hear about the Garden City, KS plot to blow up a building full of Somalis? They were arrested before they could put their Timmy McVeigh style truck bomb together, fortunately. These people manage to escape one of the most violent nations on Earth (the poster child for what happens when you have weak government) - getting blown up here would have been an irony of the ugliest kind, and a huge shame on a nation that claims to believe in freedom and equality. I'm sure more of these "Sovereign Citizen" sickoes will be planning more like this to inaugurate our first president who doesn't have the decency to have the standard-issue wedding tackle in the pants. If domestic terrorism goes up, will our "liberal media" report it, or will it get lost in all the Muslim panic like it has for a decade and a half.

Paul SB said...

Oops, I forgot to paste in the url:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/15/us/kansas-bomb-plot-arrest-somali.html?_r=0

David Brin said...

onward