Thursday, October 20, 2016

Post-debates, post... mortem? Hillary's ten mistakes. And Donald's missing veer.

All right, I've been typing too much about the G#!*&d@m election.  Oh, for it to be over! And yet, like Donald Trump, I get addicted to my audience -- which consists of mostly bright folks who want to get some off-angle perspectives, of the kind you get only here!  So what to I do with my backlog of extra material? 

Tell you what... I'll go ahead with this posting that was already prepared... but if you want to see my list of Ten Mistakes Hillary Made in the 3rd Debate, then scroll down and click on comments!  I'll post my list as comment number one.  She made some doozies... though of course, she still did a good job.

Perhaps you'll find that list more entertaining than...

== Why Donald Never Tried for the Center... ==

Way back six months ago I predicted – perhaps naively – that the Republican nominee would choose a couple of standard GOP insanities to drop during this campaign… both for the sake of the nation and for his own sake… and that with both nominees agreeing, we could finally turn our backs on insipid, disproved nostrums like climate denialism and Supply Side Voodoo Economics.  I even envisioned Donald Trump doing this!  Since he has no historic vesting in standard, GOP (loony) platforms. 

That – alas – did not happen.  DT has doubled down on every single Murdochian catechism, focusing solely on his base, for one reason an one reason only…

…because he gets off at those big rallies of his. They are his Big Man High. They are his universe. When he wallows in the cheers of thousands, it is easy for him to pander to their every bigotry and Fox-Limbaugh mantra, telling himself that these crowds represent hundred of millions.  

So, no veer to the center. No strategic re-ordering of the campaign. Sigh and alack, this is no “genius.”

Only… we did see one glimmer of might-have-been, during the Vice Presidential debate, when Mike Pence spoke of criminal justice reform… which means reducing penalties that have, for generations, been slammed on victimless crimes like simple drug possession and especially focused on minorities. Some other GOP leaders have spoken of this as one small area where they’d be willing to break Dennis (convicted sexual predator) Hastert’s Rule against ever negotiating with democrats.   

But Hastert’s influence still reigns beyond prison walls. “After promising to bring a package of reform legislation up for a vote in the House in September, Speaker Paul Ryan changed his mind last month, and Congress went into recess without moving forward. The problem, according to members and advocates, is not that the bills wouldn’t have passed but that they would have split Republican lawmakers — and GOP leaders were wary of a divisive intra-party fight just weeks before November’s election.”

Still, I’ll grab hope where I can find it.  If we can flip Congress, then this will be among the first items to get enough Republican support to pass.

== Bernie setting an example ==

Hey you grumbling Bernites: "The senator from Vermont just raised $2 million in two days online for 13 like-minded U.S. Senate and House candidates" 

Bernie is doing what I urged YOU to do. While campaigning for Clinton, he's focusing hard on Congress, where the legislation that he wants must pass, cornering HC to put up. So, are you just a grumbler? Or someone who can act, as well as gripe? There's likely a tipping point race for Congress or state assembly near you and it's not to late to help, or donate. In fact, your state assembly can be crucial, so step up. Or else know that you're just hot air.
== Crossover votes? ==

Democrats who once buzzed about a possible Hillary Clinton landslide aided by disaffected Republicans, are finally waking up. If U.S. conservatives have one renowned character trait it is stubborn loyalty. Hillary Clinton’s forlorn efforts to woo more than a few of the sanest are – and always were – doomed, as your neighbors who are republicans follow their usual pattern of coalescing around their nominee.  

Okay, it may work with college educated women.  And (again) those sane enough to have noticed that the GOP wages outright war on science and every other fact-based profession.  Beyond that, she and her advisers are being foolish in almost a dozen ways.

It is time (!) to shift 50% of efforts from 'sumo' politics to Judo

Okay, I've said some of these things before and hence this particular list of points to raise is rather late.  Still, these may help in arguments with co-workers or naighbors:

1- Plenty of Republicans dismiss Trump as a temporary disease-aberration. He is a symptom. Portray him as the natal outcome of Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes's takeover of US conservatism.

2- Clinton used the word 'Republican' just ONCE in the 1st debate. It is time to use Trump as a wedge to go after the party that nominated him… yet was so ashamed of the Bushes, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Hastert and every other GOP leader between Reagan & Ryan that the RNC only mentioned ONE of them! What a zinger.

3- Add to that the pure fact that most measures of U.S. national health do far better across Democratic administrations, and we'd be father along if the GOP congresses had passed the damn infrastructure bill.

4- Answer the 'deficit' attack on Obama by pointing out that our interest payments have hardly risen at all. And the rate of change of deficits is what matters! They always slow down during Democratic admins and speed up during GOP ones. Always. People can understand that!

5- List the professions that the right now attacks! Not just science, teaching, journalism, medicine, economics… but all of the knowledg or fact-using castes. Dare Trump to name an exception.

6- Regarding Trump preparing to call the election 'rigged'… demand he appoint five trusted-adults to a commission to investigate the charges NOW, before the election, with five appointed by former Republican supreme court judges like Sandra Day O'Conner. Dare him to do it now, for the sake of the republic.

7- Further challenge him to name five respected conservative sages to another commission to do fact checking! Now! Before the election, so he can't dismiss every single fact-checking service as partisan. The fact that Hillary Clinton has not done this is simply unforgivable negligence.

8- Talk about gerrymandering.

9- Talk about how for 20 out of 22 years, the GOP-led Congresses have been the laziest in U.S. history! That accusation does a judo around partisanship and attacks the character of those bozos.

Which is vital, Hillary, if you want to have a Congress. If you want a honeymoon that lasts more than fifteen seconds.


== What we can't ignore == 

I have long railed against the blatant cheating in U.S. elections, especially gerrymandering, which these analysts show to be largely responsible for the Republican Party holding on to the House of Representatives, despite large majorities of citizens having voted for their congressional opponents. The standard excuses, like a disadvantage to urban populations, collapse on scrutiny. Paul Ryan owes his speakership to cheating and only to cheating. And he knows it.

This is one of the biggest reasons the GOP’s donor caste is pouring in money - despite their loathing of Donald Trump. Were either Congress (through the 13th Amendment) or a new Supreme Court to end gerrymandering and other cheats, the GOP would lose not just following congressional elections but likely a dozen or so state assemblies, where the real corruption lies. The transparency that follows would benefit we citizens — as it has in states that have banned such practices, like California, Oregon, Washington and a dozen other blue states. (Notably only one red state.)

Hence the cash flows to Trump and especially to Republican congressional candidates. Because when this crime breaks, it will break big.

There are other cheats too, of course, such as rigging voting machines. In most blue states there is a paper receipt or paper ballot that ensures the voting machines can be audited randomly, by precinct.  This prevents cheating by machine rigging... in those states. But not in most red states, where almost any result can be ordered up, on command.

Then there is more old-fashioned cheating, by intimidation, which Donald Trump recently called for in minority neighborhoods.

== political miscellany ==

After 7 years rebuilding our shattered Army and especially the Reserves and National Guard - which had been almost destroyed by George W. Bush - the Obama Administration has focused on improving the training of Guard units to ensure they are rapidly effective in emergencies.  The mythology that Republicans are better at defense is one of perhaps three dozen proofs of utter ignorance and stupidity. By the end of BOTH Bush administrations, not a single major US Army unit was “fully combat ready” and reserve units were in tatters. By the end of both the Clinton and Obama Admins, every single major Army unit was so rated. Despite GOP-ordered sequesters that robbed defense in order to maintain Bushite tax cuts for the rich.

There are no metrics of national health - including conservative desires like military readiness and fiscal responsibility, that don’t do better across democratic administrations.  None.  Not one.

The Clinton Foundation is small potatoes.  It is one of its sub-projects - the Clinton Global Initiative - that has done the huge accomplishments, by negotiating treaties among stakeholders from governments to NGOs to corporations, arm-twisting cooperative commitments that led the the purchase of billions of dollars worth of AIDS and other medicines.  Yes, much of that spending would have happened anyway.  But Bill Clinton's gladhanding and arm-twisting and cajoling and negotiation prowess made the whole thing cohesive, efficient and focused.  The Clinton FOUNDATION mostly contributed by helping organize the meetings and applying some seed money.

However you look at it, you are left with the simple fact that Democratic ex-presidents and ex-VPs move on frenetic good works while GOP exes do the diametric opposite.  Noting could better outline the difference in fundamental personality.

== A good question ==

Why do evangelicals support Donald Trump? Turns out one trait overcomes any aversion to a philandering, gambling lord tax-cheater on his 3rd wife, who adores Putin and wants to pile ever-more huge tax breaks for the rich. Who surrounds himself with philandering multi-divorces and sexual predators and un-Jesus-like haters. What one trait overcomes all that?  Why, they share the same enemies, of course. Tribalism trumps all else.

Oh, one more reason? Well, Mike Pence is everything they want. (See? I  did circle back!) DT chose Pence as a peace offering to social conservatives. But he thereby proved his own low-IQ. Because even if he wins this election, Pence will betray him.

The Impeachment Gambit will let Ryan,  Rupert Murdoch and George Will seize back the party they see as “stolen” by Trump. All they need do is wait for some inevitable post-January Trumpian travesty. They’ll then tell the democrats: “Go ahead, impeach him. We’ll supply JUST enough GOP votes to ensure you’ll succeed.”

What a win-win! They get rid of the upstart and grab their party gravy train back with a puppet in the Oval Office… and no need to mollify DT’s infuriated followers; they can blame the democrats!  If the dems are so stupid as to fall for the trap.  I’ve written about the Impeachment Gambit before. And it is not just plausible. It is THE reason why Ryan, Murdoch & co are playing nice and working for Trump. If he wins, it is as inevitable as sunrise. 

== Post Debate roundup: Hillary's ten mistakes ==

Yes, yes, she won and most sane people are glad. Not my first choice but a solid, smart lady and I'll sleep well for four years.  (Even better if Paul Ryan is not 2 heartbeats away.)

Still, tactics are tactics and they could have been improved.  And I will give you my list Ten things Hillary might have done better, posted below in comments, as well as on the AmericanNewsX site..

75 comments:

David Brin said...

* MY LIST OF TEN WAYS HC MIGHT HAVE DONE EVEN BETTER *

About the 3rd debate: Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were at their top form. And yet, saying that makes me sad, 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. Except by reinforcing the impressions people already have.

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 those 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, let alone her advisers. Example: 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? When this obvious, drooling counterfactual can be shot down 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 attribute that setback on guess who? They credit it to those “chessmaster” diabolical opponents, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton! It’s there in black and white. Heck, 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, so has 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?

(continues....)

David Brin said...

(TEN WAYS IT COULD HAVE GONE EVEN BETTER: conclusion)


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 thing. 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 any evidence for these made up stories, Don. This illustrates why Republicans have waged war on all the fact professions, especially science.”

8) Abortion: Really Hillary? While your main emphasis was rightly on a woman’s sovereignty over personal choice, you couldn’t have mentioned that there are no 9-month abortions? And most late term abortions are less about the ‘health of the mother” than they are about discovering the fetus is non viable. Most in fact deal with anencephaly — the fetus having to brain — which is always lethal after birth, so why make a poor woman carry it four more months?

Sure, what I just wrote is a bit technical. But your people couldn’t squeeze it to a pithy sound bite? Then get new people.

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

9) First Climate Denialism, with its underlying agenda of a treasonous War on Science. 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…

10) … 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 Cheney or Rumsfeld 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, as a whole.

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. But this is a mistake, as expressed by Rick Perlstein, the historian of modern conservatism:: “ It’s kind of tactically shrewd and strategically questionable, in that, just to put it into contemporary terms, it weakens the brand. “

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/interrogation/2016/10/rick_perlstein_on_how_the_republican_party_will_recover_from_trump.html

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.

LarryHart said...

Paul SB in the previous thread:

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.


I think Trump has made the right-wing terrorism aspect so blatant that (to quote Monty Python and emphasis mine) "In a fit of pique, he napalmed Chelsea. Even the police had to stand up and take notice."

The news media have not so much "turned on Trump" as "stopped enabling Trump", and I think they realized they were metaphorically selling him the rope with which he'd hand them. I don't think they're going to ignore KKK, Nazi, or McVeigh-type terrorists taking up the (lost) cause either.

The ideal situation would be for a Muslim to notify the FBI of a right-wing terror plot and help defeat it.

Jumper said...

I wouldn't lump legal cheating, which unfortunately gerrymandering is, with the other illegal kind.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin in the main post:

The Impeachment Gambit will let Ryan, Rupert Murdoch and George Will seize back the party they see as “stolen” by Trump. All they need do is wait for some inevitable post-January Trumpian travesty. They’ll then tell the democrats: “Go ahead, impeach him. We’ll supply JUST enough GOP votes to ensure you’ll succeed.”

What a win-win! They get rid of the upstart and grab their party gravy train back with a puppet in the Oval Office… and no need to mollify DT’s infuriated followers; they can blame the democrats! If the dems are so stupid as to fall for the trap. I’ve written about the Impeachment Gambit before. And it is not just plausible. It is THE reason why Ryan, Murdoch & co are playing nice and working for Trump. If he wins, it is as inevitable as sunrise.


I ask again--what makes you think Nancy Pelosi won't just say "No, you impeach him and we'll supply just enough supplemental votes", or at least "We'll match you one for one"?

Especially if the R's are still in control of the houses of congress, which means they have to bring the issue up in the first place. Even if the dems have 49 Senators and all of them voted to convict, the GOP would have to supply at least 18 of their own, plus Mitch McConnell would have to allow the issue to be brought to the floor. Trump's idiot followers would end up mad at the Republicans as well as the Dems.

If the Democrats are really smart, they'll amend the articles of impeachment to include funding Planned Parenthood or Obamacare, or raising the debt ceiling, just to rub it in.

David Brin said...

RATS. Jerry Brown only took positions on 5 of 17 propositions! And not 54. I see much not to like about 54 and am leaning against it. Despite the fact that it clearly aims to be a real reform. The CA legislature is working so well and already pretty transparent...

See
http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article88290042.html

The LA Times isn't so reticent and I find them generally responsible and sober and only slightly tilted toward sort of Eisenhower Republican outlooks. In fact, by 2016 metrics, they are now much more of a (centrist-style) democratic paper. Well... anyone sane would be.
http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-pol-ca-propositions/

I wish they still made judge recommendations where I live.

locumranch said...


So, Trump claims that the elective process is 'rigged', an argument that Ralph Nader & many others still make to this very day, and David confirms this by citing gerrymandering, rigged voting machines, old-fashioned intimidation & unrestricted immigration. Then, to further demonstrate his contempt for due democratic process, David even calls for 'The Impeachment Gambit' wherein an entrenched Democrat & Republican establishment conspire to cheat Trump of the US presidency on the off-chance that he is elected by popular vote.

This is despicable, not only because it proves that the US democratic experiment has entered its twilight, but because some of our most rational scientific thinkers have turned traitor and concluded that the best way to save our so-called democracy is to betray & back-stab it in brutal fashion.

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay.

Of democracy here & in Europe, there appears to be nothing left to save.


Best
_______
And, Merkel stood on the bridge and said to her own people, 'You must let these invaders pass, lest you choose to betray our multicultural ideals, for this choice the Democratic Establishment & I forbid you to make". By the millions then, the invaders crossed over without impediment, until their numbers were sufficient to elect a Caliph who could banish this limited democracy. Publius Horatius Cocles cried, although blind in one eye, as his legacy vanished forever.

Lloyd Flack said...

Consider that Clinton's main aim in the debates may have been to get Trump to self-destruct. And that she did succeed in getting him to demontrate in front of millions how appalling he is and how unfit for office.

greg byshenk said...

Some thoughts on things Clinton didn't do.

Why didn't she challenge Trump on more things? Possibly because there is little payoff for doing so. The problem is that the people who know that Trump is lying about those things already know that, and don't need Clinton to say so -- while the people who don't already know will not be convinced by her saying so, but very likely will only more strongly remember the lie.

Why doesn't she attack "the Republicans"? Possibly (only a thought on my part) because it also is not a winning strategy. If she attacks 'Republlcans' then there is the risk that listeners say "wait, I'm a 'Republican'" and feel an attack on them personally. It may be more effective for candidates in down-ticket races to attack their opponents for precisely the same reasons that David attacks the Republican Party,.

Jumper said...

Funny how the Democrats have to remind the Republicans that we have a republican government, not a democratic one. I guess that's more of that infuriating "knowledge" that just riles 'em up further.

Deuxglass said...

I haven’t commented here for a good time because frankly I was tired of discussing politics. With Saunders out I have no choice but to vote for Clinton who I consider to be extremely flawed. She has too many Burr-like characteristics for my taste but she will have to do. Bernie is doing the correct thing as has been his custom for a long time. He is doing this not to work against Trump who won’t win the presidency anyway, but to keep Clinton from backsliding on her election promises. That is the real fight and must be won because a return to business as usual will eventually rupture the social contract and I am sorry to say that Hillary Clinton is no FDR. Just one other thing I would like to mention. Some people here show an amazing lack of compassion for anyone who is outside of their own narrow group. It’s troubling to see that in what I consider to be people of above average intelligence. Have things gotten really that bad?

Paul SB said...

Hi Deuxglass,

I was wondering where you were, but assumed you might be busy, but election fatigue was my other speculation. It seems like a number of our regulars haven't been too active lately, so the second hypothesis seems more likely.

As far as things really getting that bad, well, the rhetoric has gotten that bad. As Dr. Brin has so often pointed out, the actual living conditions for most people both in the US and around the world (a few hot spots of violence excepted) keep getting better. But the Merchants of Doom keep ramping up the rhetoric. That's true on the national stage, and that's true in this forum, too. Locus's screeching is particularly indicative, though when hasn't it been? I would be willing to bet he hails from somewhere in the Great Plains, because the low tactics he uses are exactly the sort of thing I heard not just from my home state, but whenever we had guest preachers from nearby states like Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming (not so much from Oklahoma - most Coloradans are not enamored of Texans, and Oklahoma looks too much like a satellite).

Look at his long string of evils in his latest comment. Without understanding neuroscience, people figured out ages ago that the human minds works by linking ideas to each other. Guilt by association is an easy tool to use, going all the way back to the Sophists of Classical Greece. A typical Sunday sermon would rail against murderers, rapists, child-molesters, then they would insert whatever the scapegoat du jour happened to be - homosexuals, Muslims, Mexicans, whoever they were feeling most xenophobic against at the time.

Locum does this: "and David confirms this by citing gerrymandering, rigged voting machines, old-fashioned intimidation & unrestricted immigration."

And most people would agree that gerrymandering, rigged voting machines and old-fashioned voter intimidation are fraudulent (never mind that it is his party that has been most guilty of all these things for decades). But since when did we have unrestricted immigration? This is his own agenda inserted into a list of things nearly everyone would agree are bad - old-fashioned sophistry. Both my wife and my mother are naturalized citizens, and they didn't just walk in tot he U.S. and hold out their hands and get handed citizenship papers. The fact that the US has millions of illegal immigrants does not say we have unrestricted immigration (or that anyone even wants it - his usual straw man tactic) but that our restrictions are unenforceable.

And why are they unenforceable? Mainly because Locus's tribe of über-rich agro business executives want the cheap labor. They are cheating, and claiming they are smart, like a certain someone who lost nearly a billion in business and turned it into a decade-long tax shelter. The Rich Urban Reds who own most of the nation's food production want cheap labor, but most of the Red voting block (both urban and rural) need to be duped into voting their way, so they go on about law and order like they have OCD, while a large subset of those who bobble their heads to this rhetoric use it to paper over their own xenophobia, which is not considered cool in even most Red states anymore.

So yeah, the rhetoric its that bad.

Read any good books lately?

LarryHart said...

@Deuxglass,

Bernie is doing the right thing (besides the fact that that's just who he is) because the best chance of moving forward with his agenda involves having Dems in the White House and congress. Or more accurately, it involves reducing the number of Republicans therein.

As a supporter of Bernie in the primary, I'd still rather have him (and Elizabeth Warren) in the Senate. They can do more good there. What we need in the White House is someone who won't veto their bills.

Compassion? I think if anything I suffer from an overabundance. But when someone is in the active process of slandering me and/or promoting actual violence in response to assertions which are factually false--well, I hit a limit.

LarryHart said...

@Paul SB

You know that I'm one who enjoys the political discussions, not one who despairs of them. But I will say that I'm coming down off of my indignation high now that Trump doesn't seem likely to win, to put it charitably.

I'm reading a good book right now--"Existence". Re-reading, anyway.

Paul SB said...

Larry,

I just finished "Predictably Irrational" which I will say more about this weekend. In the meantime, please don't take me the wrong way. I feel some of that urgency, too, but despair of the depths to which the discourse so often goes.

I was going to say this to Deuxglass, but my nervous system hadn't had enough serotonin wake-up juice (or caffeine for that matter) and missed some of my own point. Part of why the rhetoric has gotten so enflamed is that educated people know better than to just dismiss a vocal minority. Look at what Ollie Cromwell pulled off! Hate peddlers always claim to be the moral majority, when they are clearly neither, but many people fall for their rhetoric and vote monsters into power.

Soon it will be over - well, not really! But at least our acute politicitis will ease off once the elections have passed.

Jumper said...

I hope my calling "bullshit" doesn't upset anyone, even the ones touting it. I do think it's blindingly obvious we're in the midst of an information revolution, and people still act as if the same old rules of mumbo-jumbo apply: Well, they don't. Everyone on the internet has the equivalent of a law library, history, everything ever written by the U.S. Supreme Court, rules of rhetoric and take-downs of false logic, language translation, more books one could read in a lifetime for free, histories of economic thought, knowledge about the material world and manufacturing. Federal and state agriculture departments. I could go on. It's free with a device and access to a coffee shop. Every library has it regardless of poor funding now.

We have Snopes, Politifact,Factcheck.org. NASA and CIA factbooks. And alternatives.

The assets we have now would make every schoolteacher in the past weep for joy were they alive to see it.

One offshoot of the myth of the simple easy past is the idea that at some time there was a golden age when ignorant people lived in happiness. Well, there never was such a time when ignorant people were guaranteed an easy life except by chance good fortune and charity. Respect for knowledge leads to better outcomes. The attitude of eagerness to learn is productive to better lives. The attitude of despising it does not.

But some continue to mythologize the appeal of the idiot.

Things have been tough
Without the dum dum boys
I can't seem to speak
The language
I remember how they
Used to stare at the ground
They looked as if they
Put the whole world
Looked as if they put
the whole world down
The first time I saw
the dum dum boys
I was fascinated
They just stood in front
Of the old drug store
I was most impressed
No one else was impressed
Not at all
And we'd sing
da-da-da-da-da-da
dum dum day
Where are you now my
dum dum boys are you
Alive or dead
Have you left me the last
Of the dum dum daze
Then the sun goes down
And the boys broke down
People said we were negative
They said we'd take but
we would never give
But we'd sing da-da-da
Da-da-da dum dum day
Da-da-da-da-da dum
And hope it would pay
Da-da-da-da it's been
A dumdumdum day
A dum dum day
Now I'm looking for
The dum dum boys
Where are you now
When I need your noise
Now I'm looking for
The dum dum boys
The walls close in and
I need some noise

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ioRWlG9PBQ

David Blackwell said...

I don't think tribalism is the sole motivation for evangelical support of Trump. I believe it also derives from the pervasive popularity of the prosperity gospel, and simple confusion of necessity and sufficiency. The prosperity gospel teaches that god rewards his faithful in this world. Those teaching it debase the Christian faith, distorting scripture as an expedient to furthering their own material gains. But once someone accepts the idea that God rewards those who are faithful to him, concluding that prosperity is a sign of God's favor follows from one easy logical error. Trump is wealthy and prosperous, and therefore, in their minds, he must also be faithful and good at heart.

This is a logical fallacy, but I don't know many evangelical's with training in formal logic.

Paul SB said...

Jumper,

Thanks for providing the lyrics - listened to the song while setting up my classes for the day and had a hard time understanding what the guy was singing.

The Internet changes everything - sort of. You can lead a person to knowledge, but you can't make them think. Much of what is out there, especially in the blogosphere, are echo chambers of people who share the same prejudices, selectively snipping clips from their "enemies" and pasting them out of context into their own chamber to make straw men of anyone they disagree with. The Internet provides wonderful opportunities for people to educate themselves. And some do. Many have neither the time nor the critical thinking skills to sift through the muck and find the gold, and still more don't have the inclination for a plethora of reasons.

I know, as a school teacher of the present, most of what I see is the less mature end of society, so perhaps my personal experience has created a negativity bias in me. It's good to hear from people who see some of the light.

Jonathan Sills said...

There's an image that keeps spinning around Facebook.

Original post: "What about modern technology do you think would be most astonishing to someone a hundred years ago?"

Reply: "We carry in our pockets devices capable of accessing all human knowledge and sharing our discoveries with others. We use them mostly to watch cat videos and argue with strangers."

Jumper said...

A modest suggestion to explain the explosive growth of Dunning-Kruger syndrome among the idiot punks of the nation:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/12/adhd-south-meds-map_n_4949341.html

Darrell E said...

"Why Donald Never Tried for the Center"

I agree that Trump is a narcissist who is addicted to the adoration of sycophants and that the rallies he's had during this campaign have been the most potent fix of his life. But I think another key reason there was no veer to the center is that Trump just isn't all that bright. Nothing I've ever seen from him has supported any of the claims about him being smart, let alone genius, in any respect. He seems to have some degree of animal cunning and that's about it.

The image of him is a business genius of some sort is not supported by any evidence. Warren Buffet has pointed that out more effectively than I could. The image of him as some sort of keen intellect that eschews highfalutin speech in favor of bold straight talk is not supported by any of the evidence. Rather he sounds just like someone who has a below average vocabulary. He gives every indication of having neither the cognitive abilities or emotional maturity to have devised the tactic of veering to the center let alone being able to execute such a tactic if it were given to him. He has made his way through life not by using his intellect but by using those baser traits that correlate most strongly with common thugs.

Jumper said...

Teach them these handy search strings. Plug them into Google and see what you don't get:
site:.edu fall of rome
for example, or
site:.gov history of the federal reserve system
or
site:.edu herbal medicine

donzelion said...

re The impeachment gambit: Seems more probable that instead of impeaching Trump, they will
(1) withhold significant investment into his campaign
(2) set up an extensive array of short positions on the U.S. economy (with large flows of money to countries they can more easily manipulate)
(3) activate them after Hillary takes office.

Call it the "Oligarch sabotage gambit." Through derivatives actions, they have ample capacity to wreak mischief that will hurt millions of people without ever being caught. Hillary will be blamed, a Republican majority will retake the Senate in 2018, and set things up nicely for 2020. Attacking America could become intensely profitable for these guys - especially if they can recapture it a few years later and buy back anything they lose here at an extreme discount (using other people's money).

The Christian Evangelicals prove that they'll go along with anything they're told to do - and they'll do it for the tiny price of saying "I oppose abortion." That's it. These people are the cheapest bloc of voters one can acquire in the world.

Jumper said...

(That "site:.edu" prepend means Google will only return links from .edu sites, etc. Etc.,.mil, .org)

The Fallacy Files is another good resource. RationalWiki.

Jumper said...

The Electoral College can write whatever they want on each vote.

David Brin said...

Welcome back Deuxglass. Though if you are that strong a Bernie bro, then find a nearby state legislature race and help the bernite!

DBlackwell, yes, I shoulda mentioned prosperity gospel, though I think it is still a fringe. May it remain so.

DarrellE … while DT is addicted to the rallies, it’s interesting to note how South Park’s “Douche” character reaches an epiphany in which he starts telling the crowds “I realized I am a sick idiot and so are you, for listening to me!”

Donzel your scenario is hard to pull off, now that Buffett etc are completely aware and watching. They will simply snap up the short bets and help to make them collapse. It’s what happens when half the aristocracy is citizens before they are oligarchs.

David Brin said...

Get back on your meds, locumranch. “David even calls for 'The Impeachment Gambit' “ A deliberate thricesicko lie.

I actively _warned Trump about this scenario, in advance, when no one else anywhere in media did, that he needed to be very careful in picking a running mate, for every kind of betrayal. I warned him, while you were just sitting there amid your fellow cultists, masturbating to his mouth porn.

The scenario I warned him about is unfolding, as Mike Pence maneuvers for his own benefit, not Trump’s.

Because DT only ran his campaign to please the masturbators, he will lose, and Part II of the scenario will never happen. But had he won, his presidency would have lasted 3 months, because Pence is everything Rupert & Ryan would want. Trump would have been safe, if he chose Gingrich, who terrifies Ryan. In other words, I was more helpful to YOUR hero than you ever were.

Granted, I knew he would not take my advice.

Of all the nerve! Al Gore was the one who won the popular vote, yet was robbed. DT will plummet to the lowest popular vote share of modern times. Gore was cheated out of Florida and the presidency not one way but SIX!

As for current cheats? All of the ones you mention are Republican ones… and that includes ’unrestricted immigration” which I have shown always goes UP under GOP admins and goes DOWN across DP ones.

All the cheating is GOP. Your side. yet you pathetically try to blame an “establishment.” No. It is all about morons.

Deuxglass said...

Hello Paul SB,

I was away for almost two months and slipped into lerk mode. I hate typing on a tablet and got lazy. I do like political discussions and was an early supporter of Sanders. He is out of the race but he and his allies are alive and kicking to my pleasure. Also I am against TPP in its present form and was ready to argue my case but it became unnecessary because TPP is dead in the US and in Europe. It will not go through even if a lame duck Congress tries to pass it so essentially I had little to contribute to the discussion.

Donzelion,

Your Oligarch sabotage gambit is the absolute worse decision that the super-oligarchs could possibly come up with. If they hurt millions through a market-wide Bear Raid it would come back to bit them and risk leading to their downfall. First of all to do it you would have to have all the oligarchs together and in agreement. Secondly an operation that size would require thousands of underlings doing the real work. It would be impossible to keep secret and it would leave a paper trail right to them. Thirdly you would need the central banks not to intervene because if they do, then they could arrange the mother of all short squeezes and wipe out the perpetrators. Fourthly, even if they did do it they would ruin the lesser oligarchs, the professional class and what is left of the middle class and then you have the makings for a violent revolution. The super-rich could say that they will just go somewhere else and enjoy their wealth in a nice, friendly country. They should read what happened to the French and Russian nobles who thought that they had brought enough gold, pearls and so forth to keep on living the life they were used to. They seriously underestimated. Most ended up actually having to work! I can see the Koch family members being Uber drivers in Uzbekistan. No they won't do that. They use the Sausage Strategy. Take off thin slices over a long period of time and make the slices small enough not to hurt too much. It works much better.

donzelion said...

Deuxglass: "I haven’t commented here for a good time because frankly I was tired of discussing politics."
I'm tired of it as well, but you've been missed.

"Bernie is doing the correct thing...to keep Clinton from backsliding on her election promises."
I wonder how we can help push for the college debt reduction? What can people outside the Beltway actually do? That's probably the most important topic long-term, and one of the thorniest. Should that be a higher priority than health care reform? Minimum wage? Supreme Court? Race? Gun violence? Environment?

With so many priorities, keeping representatives on-task will be a challenge. Yet like you, so many of us get 'post-election exhaustion' - where we have real contributions we can make to work to be done.

"I am sorry to say that Hillary Clinton is no FDR."
No she isn't. Nor is 2016 the same as 1932. Our 'Great Recession' (hopefully the last in our lifetime) is behind us - and the rickety FDR infrastructure held up with some supple backstopping. But more is needed.

"Some people here show an amazing lack of compassion for anyone who is outside of their own narrow group...Have things gotten really that bad?"
Hmmm...are you referring to the bandwagon attack on Alt-Right viewpoints?

Abraham Lincoln had immense compassion for Confederates trying to rupture the country. But he also caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of them. This is the appropriate response to those who advocate violence when they cannot achieve their political ends.

Still, if called upon, we in the "Left" will defend the rights of the most distasteful. I may despise everything they have to say, but will defend to my dying breath their right to say it. Psychopaths see that as 'weakness to be exploited.' I see it as the secret superpower of 'law' that eventually crushes psychopaths and builds a beautiful country worth living in.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

Of all the nerve! Al Gore was the one who won the popular vote, yet was robbed. DT will plummet to the lowest popular vote share of modern times. Gore was cheated out of Florida and the presidency not one way but SIX!


That's a good point--there's rigging and then there's "rigging". If someone means that the electoral process is rigged in favor of the established parties over outsiders (including Trump and Sanders as well as Johnson and Stein), there's some there there. This is old news, though--the rules all of the players know when entering the game. That's a different animal from rigging an election in the sense of stuffing ballot boxes or hacking voting machines, which are examples of breaking the rules, i.e., cheating.

Trump could make a case for the first kind of rigging, although by example, he also makes a good case in favor of that kind of rigging (the GOP could have used some superdelegates), but he clearly tries to imply that the second kind of rigging is going on, and not in his favor as he'd have liked. No, his poll numbers are tanking, most demographic groups hate him, and most political and journalistic voices are set against him, yet he's trying to imply that he's so obviously popular that a loss would have to indicate cheating.

Anonymous said...

If by father[sic] along on infrastructure spending you mean a head more grotesquely hewn from the body biosphere, then I agree--though I must confess I see no difference between a pagan rain-dance and the broken record pleas from a modern scientific man for the federal sky daddy to helicopter money down on them.

https://granolashotgun.com/2016/10/13/our-state-religion/

Pity that progress to ever more car sitting destroys both the wealth of the nation and the biosphere...

donzelion said...

Deuxglass: "Your Oligarch sabotage gambit is the absolute worse decision that the super-oligarchs could possibly come up with."

;-) I like it when someone suggests my idea is stupid, but does so with rationale arguments. Makes it far easier to have an interesting discussion.

"Oligarch sabotage" is one of the classic ploys in power struggles. The oligarch and his circle flee the metropole, build an army, and while in exile, operate behind the scenes to foment factional impasse back home. Once the enemy weakens themselves, the 'exile' returns as a 'savior' and reclaims power. It's a very common thread in history.

(1) No, oligarchs will not be blamed for sabotage. People's memories are amazingly malleable. Didn't you know Obama caused the Financial Crisis? Hillary and Bill caused 9/11 when they created ISIS? Saddam and OBL planned 9/11 together? Insanely inaccurate: yet widely believed.
(2) No, oligarchs don't need to conspire together in some master plan. Incentives alone suffice: go where there's money to be made, jump on a bandwagon once one emerges. This is pattern of feudalism since antiquity.
(3) No, oligarchs don't need an army of witting underlings. A few computers are probably enough to set up primary trades, operating through the vast, unregulated spaces outside most people's imaginations (e.g., insurance-linked derivatives - nobody had ever heard of mortgage-backed securities or knew how AIG operated until they collapsed - and that's hardly the biggest space in the derivatives world). However, it's critical that these be extremely selective spaces (e.g., something bigger than the securities or commodities markets).
(4) No, you're not counting on central bank inaction: you're anticipating what action they will take (more importantly, when). The Bank of England resisted efforts by speculators to break it - as did the Asian countries during the 1998 Asian Collapse. Though no one has broken the US Fed - yet - it's hard to say whether this is actually possible. As the debt level increases, it gets easier.
(5) Violent revolution is certainly possible; but as the saying goes, "Buy when there's blood in the streets" (so long as your side will prevail in something other than a pyrrhic victory). The collapse of the "FDR state" is far easier though than many realize, esp. with an army of footsoldiers who will swear loyalty at a price as trivial as saying "I oppose abortion!"
(6) French aristocrats largely reclaimed power in France after the end of Napoleon (although in many cases, it was a new set of aristocrats). Indeed, Russian aristocrats looked at the French precedent for hope that they would eventually return to Russia after a few decades.

The biggest cases where oligarch/aristocrats miscalculated and lost everything after going into exile were the Russian, Ottoman, and Persian empires. Each time, fallen factions underestimated what industrialization means for power, and overestimated the loyalty of their allies to help restore them to power. One can easily convert gold & pearls into troops and territory; one cannot easily convert them into tanks, railroads, and tractors, and more importantly, one cannot buy a reliable 'friend' (or trading partner).

Now, has information displaced industrial power? Jury is still out. But it is possible that information is sufficiently powerful that the industrial apparatus that backstops the "FDR state" can be bypassed by something even more powerful. Americans certainly believe Ford/GM/Chrysler are "dead" - regardless of how many thousands of people are building their cars right now. And belief, at the end of the day, is immensely malleable.

donzelion said...

er, meant 'rational' not 'rationale.' ;-)

locumranch said...


One last time, I will try to explain the appeal of the Donald Trumps of the world, be they immoral, base, selfish, intolerant, dishonest, lewd, crude & uncouth.

Our Brave New World of Plenty has abandoned Scarcity Virtue & Morality: Temperance (sōphrosynē) has given way to worldliness; Prudence (phronēsis) has been replaced by conformity; Justice (dikaiosynē) has become negotiable; Manliness (andreia) has become synonymous with disruption, misogyny & aggression; and Piety (hosiotēs) has been rebranded as intolerance.

These are not normal times: “In normal times, evil should be fought by good, but in times like this, well, it should be fought by another kind of evil”.

This, then, is the appeal of Donald Trump -- He is a Jackal (devoid of pack loyalty) that we send out amongst the Wolves.


Best
______

When you equate US Conservatives with Christian Evangelicals & the Moral Majority, you sound like those Old Political Simpletons who are still fighting the Cold War with a failed USSR. The Moral Majority is long dead; Organized Western Religion is in free-fall; First World Labour Unions have become toothless anachronisms; and the US manufacturing sector (masked by increased productivity) has contracted by more than 50% over the last 35 years alone.

"There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress," said Samuel Clemens. The Evil Oligarchs that you remember as Republican have long since gone bi-factional; they are now equally represented as Establishment Democrats & Republicans; and, as they pretend to fight each other (and 'govern'), they line each other's pockets.

"Wieners Out," David, "Wieners Out". Establishment Republicans & Democrats are allies rather than competitors.

LarryHart said...

@locumranch:

One last time,...


Heh.


I will try to explain the appeal of the Donald Trumps of the world, be they immoral, base, selfish, intolerant, dishonest, lewd, crude & uncouth.


I think you just did. :)

Seriously, you might as well try to explain the appeal of Hitler in 1932. I'm sure there were good reasons why good people thought he was a good idea. They were wrong.


These are not normal times: “In normal times, evil should be fought by good, but in times like this, well, it should be fought by another kind of evil”.

This, then, is the appeal of Donald Trump -- He is a Jackal (devoid of pack loyalty) that we send out amongst the Wolves.


Your mistake is in thinking that Trump (as with Hitler) would be unleashed against your enemies and he'd stop there.

I get that you don't like the state of civilized society. I get that there are many who feel the same way. What you don't seem to get is that there is a much larger majority who doesn't like the kind of society that you and Trump would prefer to replace it with. We all do get to vote on it, but your side is going to lose. Fairly. And that doesn't mean that democracy is dead or that morality is gone or anything like that. It means there are more Americans who don't want what Donald Trump is selling than those that do. Thank God.

David Brin said...

Anonymous, you may, indeed a hero of the planet. But in my experience, yattering yammerers like you - snarking behind anonymity - have done very little for the causes they shout about. In any given week, I have done more for this planet and our future than you have or will accomplish across your entire life.

Now you just pause and consider that. If you can disprove it then do so. But Just my novel EARTH did more for the planet than a hundred of your insipid-snarking lifetimes. A lifetime spent mewling and growling instead of actually working to do good in the world, I betcha.

donzelian raised a point that I addressed in EXISTENCE. Are the oligarchic proto-feudal lords anywhere near as smart as they claim to be? If they were, they would be holding discreet conferences, like the one I portray in the novel, exploring HOW to do feudalism much better than the dismally stupid ways it was done across 6000 years. There are things they could do.

But no such conferences are held. I know, because any that are NOT self-serving circle jerks would have invited me! ;-) Like Machiavelli, I’d offer practical suggestions, in case they win… while fighting hard to prevent it.

David Brin said...

One last time, I will try to explain to locum that his strawmen are made of (foul)air. The oligarchs of old had no “prudence.” No virtue and their ‘morality’ was all tilted to justify their continued parasitism. Their “justice” was capricious and biased. SHOW US COUNTER EXAMPLES!

It is your cult that is conformist. You transparently try to chide us with OUR value of diversity and love of eccentricity and tolerance… by accusing us of being intolerant toward the volcanically intolerant!

Every attack on liberalism that you raise is boringly the same. You take our values, then wave your arms in a magic spell and declare (declare!) that we are the ones violating those values. It is a weird magical riff that has become the norm on the mad right. Declare (declare!) that something’s opposite is actually the case!

It seems to work. On the already insane.

Oh, if labor unions have collapsed, why are they the great satan?

Alfred Differ said...

Regarding locumranch’s description of changes to what we call virtues, I think he deserves a small amount of credit for recognizing it even if he is fighting for the losing side.

@locumranch: You are describing what McCloskey refers to as the Bourgeois Revaluation. It’s a bit like the vowel shift that happened to the English language after Chaucer. The same letters were used in writing, but they suffered changed pronunciations over a short time span. In our case, we use the same words for the virtues, but they mean different things. The old set is referred to as the Aristocracy/Peasant definitions while the new set is referred to as the Bourgeois definitions.

Courage did indeed change. It was the primary virtue of the aristocracy while others weren’t expected to display it much if at all. Courageous peasants suffered their lot in life. Courageous Nobles fought with each other. Justice has always been about expecting what one deserves and delivering unto others what they deserve, but what people deserve changed. Prudence was a virtue for the peasants mostly while the Nobles were expected to largely ignore it. To most Americans, though, these older definitions of the virtues will cause us to pick up our guns and shoot those who try to enforce them through social mechanisms. Almost all of us use the Bourgeois definitions and this is especially true among the urban and sub-urban clades. We’ve fought back and forth over Courage and Faith and pretty much everyone except the intelligentsia things that reductionism to Prudence is a terrible idea. However… the battle is mostly over except for the crying. There are at least 1.5 billion people in this world who have bought into bourgeois definitions and that number is growing at an accelerating rate.

Indeed, these are not normal times. Trump’s supporters are on the losing side, though. Reversion to the old definitions will cause Giga-Death and might not even be possible. McCloskey argues the bourgeois rhetoric is fragile and in his own way David does too. I’m not so sure, but I do recognize that reversion will kill innovation and make ‘carrying capacity’ a sensible term for humans again.

David’s challenge of showing us counter examples isn’t winnable when we use bourgeois definitions and others don’t. By definition, aristocratic courage is capricious. By definition, aristocratic justice is arbitrary. By definition, aristocratic prudence is parasitic. Taking up the challenge would be about as fruitless as spelling French words using vowels as they are pronounced in English. Imagine the confusion and opportunity to speak past one another. 8)

Alfred Differ said...

Jumper,

The assets we have now would make every school teacher in the past weep for joy were they alive to see it.

Heh. You don’t have to go that far even. I remember hyperventilating a bit when I first saw what Google was trying to do. I couldn’t imagine the full scope at the time, but I could imagine my relief at not having to spend so much time in the library with a huge reference book having onion skin thin pages that showed who referenced whom in the academic literature. The book was a monster and my advisor had me learning how to make social graphs for our field of research. Putting journal articles online (I could imagine that) and indexing them (easy to see too) was going to change us forever.

The economists have a heckuva time figuring out how to cost-out this benefit to us, though. If it is factored into our income (it is money we don’t have to demand in order to spend it thusly), it is big enough to matter. For example, it’s been ages since I bought a map for anything other than decoration and even longer since I bought encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other reference books. It’s hard to count this stuff, so I guess economists weep for a different reason. 8)

…and call BS any time you like. It helps signal where to direct my attention.

Alfred Differ said...

@Donzelion: Your Oligarch Sabotage Gambit sounds like a movie plot. No doubt one can be produced as a work of 'fiction' to cover them. Those with less malleable memories would be accused of failing to separate fact from fiction. 8)

donzelion said...

Dr. Brin: "Are the oligarchic proto-feudal lords anywhere near as smart as they claim to be?"
Some, yes. Most, no. But when Goldman Sachs et. al. have hundreds of thousands of certifiably smart people offering guidance, it's not hard to find competent counselors who are about as smart as they claim to be.

"If they were, they would be holding discreet conferences,"
Ummm...ever hear about golf courses? ;-) But conferences like Davos (and the dozens of other, smaller ones) tend to have a public/private face: meet in public and listen to figures you don't really care about, use that as an excuse to meet with people quietly - who if you were to fly directly to meet them at a location, records would be kept showing the meeting occurred, the flight happened, etc. Commerce operates less through boardroom negotiations, or the formation of secretive cabals, and more through a mix of public face/private face interplay.

Feudalism, in most eras, probably worked quite similarly (with local lords getting together for 'hunting trips' or other amusements, rather than golf).

I do not think they tried all that hard to figure out a 'better way of doing feudalism.' I suspect it was almost always about how to grow/recover power, or assess threats thereto. They weren't necessarily smart or stupid - just trying to maximize their own power within a system, without much thought about changing that system or alternatives.

"I know, because any that are NOT self-serving circle jerks would have invited me! ;-)"
LOL, they would have invited you to present - and then gone out for drinks with the others they wanted to get something done with, and couldn't otherwise justify meeting with but-for mutual attendance at some event.

Paul SB said...

Alfred Differ said to Donzelion,
"Your Oligarch Sabotage Gambit sounds like a movie plot. No doubt one can be produced as a work of 'fiction' to cover them. Those with less malleable memories would be accused of failing to separate fact from fiction. 8)"
- It sounds like a Game of Thrones subplot. Retell the Middle Ages in a fantasy setting, show a lot of blood and bare flesh, and it will be praised as the best television ever. The one problem is that people don't seem to be getting the ugly side of the glorious past, they seem to be ooing and awing at all the spectacle of flesh and blood (an old Rutger Hauer/Paul Verhoeven movie that did much the same thing for the Renaissance) and missing the point. Sometimes fiction works beautifully as a medium of communication, and other times the subtleties are lost on the audience.

I had a really busy week and have not been able to participate as I would like to. Hopefully I'll be able to get back more this weekend. 8 /

Paul SB said...

Alfred again, this time to loci,

"David’s challenge of showing us counter examples isn’t winnable when we use bourgeois definitions and others don’t. By definition, aristocratic courage is capricious. By definition, aristocratic justice is arbitrary. By definition, aristocratic prudence is parasitic."

This is a classic form of failure to communicate. In fact, I would argue it is something more akin to having incommensurable paradigms. And what generally happens is that eventually one paradigm displaces the others, which is exactly what is happening, and has been for some time. It's a slow transition, and those old oligarchic memes keep cropping up in new places - like the 20th Century samurai who traded their katanas and armor for brief cases and business suits, but carried their capricious courage and arbitrary justice with them. The urban executive class have much the same mentality as the old aristocracy, though they are far outnumbered by the middle and lower classes, who have more of the bourgeois mentality which expects justice to be universal and courage to be communal (the hero who throws himself on the grenade to save his platoon instead of the hero that chops the heads off the most orcs/Saracens/Huns etc).

But Dr. Brin has addressed this, every time he said that these throwbacks all think they would be the overlords, when in reality they would be kibble.

Paul SB said...

Dr. Brin, chastising our erstwhile faux rancher:

"Every attack on liberalism that you raise is boringly the same. You take our values, then wave your arms in a magic spell and declare (declare!) that we are the ones violating those values. It is a weird magical riff that has become the norm on the mad right. Declare (declare!) that something’s opposite is actually the case!"

This tactic is entirely consistent with how right-wing religious groups operated where I was growing up. They described it as turning the tables on the enemy, and completely miss their own contradictions. Once again, it is part of the Sophist's suite of tools they use to win at all costs. I can see how the religious fanatic can justify this, since they see themselves as heroes saving the immortal souls of fools who would otherwise be damned to eternal hellfire. With these country bumpkin types its more of a childish sense of insecurity. Their troglodyte ways are slowly receding from the meme pool, and it terrifies them that the future will not only not be dominated by their kind, but that "their kind" may go extinct without issue. Remember how he reacted when you brought up vertical farming? They want to believe that all life depends on them, they are the food-producing saviors, and like that Arizona cattle rancher on NPR, they think the whole world should bow down to their awesomeness.

Of course, city people haven't treated them with much respect, either, so there is that. But here again, much would be accomplished if people evaluated each other as individuals instead of defaulting to "types" like Urban Blue and Rural Red. Those who are too stubborn and hide-bound to roll with the changes the world is undergoing are simply going to be swept aside and replaced. Those who are adaptable will change, survive and thrive, like all those farmers at the university learning genetic engineering. Unfortunately, those who are insecure and desperate to impose their ways on everyone else are likely to commit quite a few atrocities on the way to the dust bin of history.

Paul SB said...

‪In the previous thread, Donzelion‪ said...‬
“Paul SB: Dude, you and I have to start talking in person, since our discussions here veer towards verbosity.‬”

Guilty as charged. But I can rationalize my verbosity as having the potential to open minds to ideas they may have never encountered. I’m no David Brin, with dozens of both entertaining and thought-provoking novels that have touched the minds of millions, but at least a couple people here might get something out of all that verbiage.

Still, a yogurt-to-yogurt meeting would be good. I promise not to wear a bag over my head.

“Ahem: you must give Romney a bit of credit there for Mass…”

Oh sure, I’ll give some credit to Mittens. Sometimes, even with a very flawed ideology, some people still manage to get some things right. My principal is a case in point. He’s a micro-managing night terror, but he has learned that sometimes you need to just push the staff in the right directions and they will get the job done well. He’s clearly OCD, but is at least cognizant enough that he doesn’t freak out as often as a typical manager (but it’s bad when he does, though!).

“Curious: "they"? ;-) Yep, I do that too.”

I used to wear a little enamel pin of Saturn, made by William Spear Designs in Alaska (they have a lot of interesting stuff, especially wildlife, if you like that particular form of art. But they only did the one planet). Eventually the pin broke off, but before then people would ask me why I was wearing a Saturn pin, to which I would reply. “It reminds me of home.” The way people react to a loony comment like that tells you a lot about them.

Street Corner Society"
Will add that one to the list.

NB – this is a rather old book (which, I guess, comes with the designation “classic”). It has been a very long time since I read it, and mostly just remember the gist of it. I remember reading Veblen’s 1899 work, thinking that this is one of those classics I just have to read, and struggling through the archaic prose of it to not get a whole lot more than what I knew about it from other authors who cited Veblen. At least I can say I have read the original, though.

“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.”

Possibly. I have never spent much time on the East Coast, so I’m not sure how seriously most Caucasians take their ethnic origins. Few Caucasians I have known were very concerned about whether their ancestors were Italian, or German or anything else, for that matter. They treated it more as flavoring than as pride, with the exception of some people I knew from the Dakotas, Minnesota and thereabouts, near the Canada border. They were quite proud of their Scandinavian heritage and seemed to take it more as an identity than just as “that’s why I have a funny-sounding surname.” I heard the bit about German-Americans and Italian-Americans being the two ethnic groups that most fall for Trump, but I wonder if these people merely checked the boxes because they had German or Italian names, and what we are really seeing is geographical rather than ethnic.

David Brin said...

Dang, you guys are amazing. Let Cory Doctorow have his comments sections 200+ long! My blogmunity is quality! And yes, I remain welcoming of our half dozen or so cherry-bomb-throwers, too!

===

Okay, I did post my list of 10 things Hillary could have done much better in the 3rd debate. Instead of using my main blog, I posted this list on AmericaNewsX. (It is also the first comment under Thursday's Contrary Brin.) Moreover it's still not too late for HC and her team to correct some of these lapses! And they would help.

Like making clear that Trump is not a disease upon the Republican Party. He is a symptom of today's gone-round-the-bend GOP. Another point: it's time to speak of why Vladimir Putin so hates both Clinton and Obama -- because they freed Ukraine from Russian domination. Why is it impossible to say it, plainly?

Drop by and see the other 8 items of friendly(!) criticism. And if HC won't use these points, maybe you can!

This election is about more than the presidency. Only if the GOP is crushed this round will sane American conservatives wake up and realize their movement has been hijacked, eject the cynical manipulators like Ryan and Murdoch, and bring us back a conservatism of thought and calm sobriety. One that negotiates. One that actually likes science.

http://americannewsx.com/politics/ten-ways-hillary-clinton-might-done-even-better/

Paul SB said...

Deuxglass,

"I haven’t commented here for a good time because frankly I was tired of discussing politics"

Drop by any time. We are not all 100% about poly-ticks all the time. And as close as it is, the temptation is always to swing back to things political, but some change is welcome, too. Say hello, share a good book or an album - anything that tickled your curiosity/imagination! (It's too bad we can't post pictures here, or we could share inspiring paintings or art, too.) The way conversation can twist and turn, I'm sure you can work in whatever you are passionate about.

donzelion said...

Paul SB/Alfred:
"Your Oligarch Sabotage Gambit sounds like a movie plot. No doubt one can be produced as a work of 'fiction' to cover them. Those with less malleable memories would be accused of failing to separate fact from fiction. 8)"

You could call it "The Bigger Short" - the sequel. Not even an original idea. ;-)

Tony Fisk said...

But no such conferences are held. I know, because any that are NOT self-serving circle jerks would have invited me! ;-)

But I thought you *had* been invited to one in Leichtenstein a few years back... unless it turned out to be the self-serving circle jerk variety, and served only as material for that scene in 'Existence' where Hamish is contemplating phosphorus, and the host's plumbing arrangements.

Meanwhile, is anyone else having fun with the #Trumpbookreport hash tag? (Review a book on twitter the way Donald would. Some of the contributions are hilariously on target)

Jumper said...

Sometimes discussions on the internet are like cocktail parties with many conversations going at once, and no one gets upset about that.

LarryHart said...

@donzelion,

For what it's worth, radio host Norman Goldman (broadcasting from California) did a segment with Jamie Court from http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/ about California ballot initiatives, and they looked favorably upon Prop 54. They did point out that it is being sponsored by the son of a right-winger trying to give the middle finger to the legislature, but that the initiative is nonetheless a good idea.

Deuxglass said...

Thank you all for welcoming me back. It warms my heart.

Donzelion,

I criticized your Oligarch Sabotage Gambit because it is something I know about. I worked for twenty years in investment banking and worked my way up eventually heading up some operations in Paris and New York. Your scenario is like Trading 101. Every new trader starts out imagining what-if scenarios and looking for clues, indications planning out what to do and so forth. It becomes rooted into your professional DNA. The Big Bad Bear Raid on the World is a classic scenario and has existed at least since the Middle Ages. Remember how the Count of Monte Christo ruined one of his victims? Tons of traders and hedge fund managers are just waiting for something like this and not to protect the market and the economy. They are waiting for it to make money by either jumping on the trend or by catching the short squeeze that comes after. You have a lot of very smart people looking for the least clue and if it is there, they will find it. Too many actors are involved to keep something like this hidden. When it comes to information-gleaning, Wall Street is much better than the CIA.

Now Central Banks seem to like screwing their own economies but what they really hate is someone else screwing up their economy. They are very jealous and Hell hath no fury as a Central Bank when someone trespasses on their territory. A Central Bank can create money to buy whatever the Oligarchs are shorting faster than the Oligarchs can arrange for collateral. Trading against a central bank is perilous. Today stocks and bonds are horribly overvalued but are the big boys shorting? Nope. They know that the Central Banks are buying just about anything and everything these days. In theory they could but up all their respective country’s debt and then cancel it which brings in some other very interesting scenarios. It might happen. Littlefinger was right when he said to Tyrion Lannister when he took over the Seven Kingdom’s finances. “it’s easy once you understand that they are just marks on a piece of paper.”

Paul SB said...

Dr. Brin,

I tried your American NewsX link and got a 404 page not found error.

Deuxglass said...

As for the lack of compassion part, I was referring to the tendency to scorn the other with the result being that you see him not as an opponent but as an enemy. He will scorn you in return and when you want to work with him for some reason or the other he will tell you to fuck off. Having the high moral ground gives you a nice warm feeling but when it morphs into pathogenic and addictive self-righteousness then you have lost the battle. You have to ask yourself what is your objective. Is it to feel good or is it to convince the other. Sometimes I felt that there was too much “hurray for our side”. If you don’t have compassion then you can’t understand the other.

locumranch said...


Since Larry_H & David have been so kind to point out my errors of logic, specifically that 'Your mistake is in thinking that Trump (as with Hitler) would be unleashed against your enemies and he'd stop there', I wish to return the favour in kind:

Your mistake is in thinking that Hillary Clinton (much like Hitler) is your Dog who will protect your interests and stop there, even though she's bought & paid for by various Corporatists, Big Finance, Pharma & Power, Goldman Sachs and the Saudi Royal family.

Paul_SB is then so kind as to verbalise the true intents of our brave new Tolerance Society -- "Those who are too stubborn and hide-bound to roll with the changes the world is undergoing are simply going to be swept aside and replaced" -- a sentiment, confirmed by a quick Google search, that appears to be a favorite of history's most infamous socialist, HITLER.

It therefore falls incumbent upon me to issue yet another well-worn plea for Tolerance: "People, why can't we just get along? When are you citified, blue-necked, reverse-discriminating peckerfreebushes going to realise that xenophobes, conservatives, heterosexuals & religionists have the SAME RIGHT TO EXIST as your rainbow-coloured coalition of morally superior, godless, post-gender, new-speaking menstrual worshippers.

Thanks to Paul_SB, among others, the Rural Reds are finally waking up to Multiculturalism's "Final Solution".

You should have listened to Deuxglass when you had the chance.


Best

LarryHart said...

@locumranch,

No one is talking about killing you unless you're shooting at us first. People who agree with you do have a right to exist, as do dinosaurs, but luckily for the rest of us, there will be fewer and fewer of you as time goes on. Saying so is not the moral equivalence of genocide.


Your mistake is in thinking that Hillary Clinton (much like Hitler) is your Dog who will protect your interests and stop there, even though she's bought & paid for by various Corporatists, Big Finance, Pharma & Power, Goldman Sachs and the Saudi Royal family.


But I don't think Hillary is any kind of savior. I also don't think the presidency has the sort of power you think it does. Hillary's appeal to me is that she's a non-Republican who can win the office, and that her subsequent signing and vetoing of bills will be used for good instead of evil.

I'm not even afraid of Trump-as-president so much as what your ilk thinks it allows then to do. You'll get a rude awakening when you try, but I'd prefer not to live through the intervening week or so.


Thanks to Paul_SB, among others, the Rural Reds are finally waking up to Multiculturalism's "Final Solution".


That's funny, coming from the people who think Hitler didn't go far enough.

You should have listened to Deuxglass when you had the chance.



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

Jefferson, always hesitant with the president,
Reticent. There is not a plan he doesn't jettison.
Madison, mad as a hatter, son. Take your medicine.
Damn, you're in worse shape than the national debt is in.
Sitting there useless, like two shits.
Turn around, bend over, I'll show you where my shoe fits!

Deuxglass said...

Hi Paul SB,

What country did you come from?

Maybe Locum is from the Heartland but I don’t know. Myself, I hail from southern Ohio with an overlay of Old Florida and yes we see East Coasters as money-grubbing shysters and Californians as superficial flakes. Only we are the Salt of the Earth and worthy of whatever. The Heartland is what keeps the country together, literally. Without us The West and East Coasts would be islands thousands of miles apart! Nevertheless sometimes we find it necessary to stoop and speak to the unfortunate quasi-subhumans from the two opposing ends from time to time and I must, in modesty, admit that I have a certain knack, nay a gift, in communicating with those who are unfortunately less endowed than those who have the blessings of coming from the Heartland.

Sorry, I got carried away with tribalism. It can happen to the best of us but on second thought, why is there no record of Lincoln calling the confederates nasty names? Was it compassion and did he feel that hate would not heal the divisions?

Deuxglass said...

Hey, how did I get into this thing with Locum???

donzelion said...

LarryHart: Thanks for posting the link.

It's segments like that which make me hope Dr. Brin will take a stance on Prop 54 and spend some time exploring what he sees in that. On this issue of transparency, more than almost any other, he's allocated pretty extensive thought and SHOULD have a platform if he wishes for one. No, nobody has a 'duty' to speak out, but sometimes when a person is a leading voice in a field, and then does not speak about a major development in that field, one wonders why.

"They did point out that it is being sponsored by the son of a right-winger..."
Indeed. Charles Munger Senior was/is Warren Buffett's partner; he guided Berkshire Hathaway investments for decades. Dr. Charles Munger Jr. (who sponsored this bill) is a Stanford/Berkeley trained physicist. That's unusual...

Munger Jr. (1) backed the very anti-gerrymandering reforms in 2010 that Dr. Brin has repeatedly cited with approval, and (2) backs allegedly 'moderate' Republicans against party hacks. Interesting...

"...but that the initiative is nonetheless a good idea."
We have, moderating this forum, an expert who has been writing about transparency for decades. We do not yet have his views on this transparency initiative. I hope the reason we haven't heard from Dr. Brin is that he's shopping an article weighing in on the topic to other newspapers or media outlets: this is HIS issue, more than almost any other. I'd like to know whether he thinks it's a good idea or not because I'm curious; but more importantly, I'd like to see expertise and leadership in a topic recognized in a matter of current urgency.

That said, I think it could be a good idea, but see some significant costs. As with all transparency measures.

donzelion said...

Locum: "Your mistake is in thinking that Hillary Clinton (much like Hitler) is your Dog who will protect your interests and stop there"

I have very limited expectations of Hillary. However:
(1) If the federal minimum wage is raised to $12/hr, then that could help a large number of employees. Trump has no interest in that (let each state decide); Hillary does. To the extent she's 'bought & paid for" by corporations, she's chosen a number they can live with ($12/hr), rather than one that would hurt them ($15/hr?).
(2) If the student loan debt system is adjusted, we can reduce costs of college from $100k for a family down to a much lower burden. That will help millions of Americans. Trump cares about emails and Benghazi. I care about student loan debt (even if mine is paid off).
(3) If America moves increasingly from 'clean coal' toward nat gas, solar, wind, etc., that ultimately hurts the Saudis - and every coal and oil baron in America. Those guys do not like Hillary AT ALL. They may give money to fund HIV treatment in Africa through her nonprofit - but that doesn't change the investments she'd lead, which will still hurt them long-term.
(4) If the "system" is rigged in America, then it's rigged in favor of the largest, richest individuals and companies. Taxing their financial transactions MAY adjust that, in time. Breaking them up MAY adjust that, immediately. But how much tax? What purpose? Should this even be tried, or is the "system broken" but the breakages need to be kept in place because low taxes on the wealthy create jobs? (Actually, the evidence is clear: low taxes on the rich that Bush Jr. enacted did in fact create tens of millions of jobs....90% of which were created in China, or for construction contractors during a bubble.)

When talking about Hillary, the discussion can flow to those policies: are they good ideas? Do they go far enough? When talking about Trump, the discussion is how evil Hillary is, and whether or not Trump is evil.

"going to realise that xenophobes, conservatives, heterosexuals & religionists have the SAME RIGHT TO EXIST as your rainbow-coloured coalition of morally superior, godless, post-gender, new-speaking menstrual worshippers."
We have ALWAYS realized your right to exist: we have ALWAYS defended that right, and guarded you against abusive government that might imprison you. We will ALWAYS do so.

We will disagree with your views, but fight to the death to defend your right to express them.

donzelion said...

Deuxglass: "I criticized your Oligarch Sabotage Gambit because it is something I know about."

Your criticism was poignant, rational, and quite plausible issues. I think I answered those issues.

"Your scenario is like Trading 101."
My scenario is a modernization of an ancient practice. Yes, it is a fantasy, and no, I don't have evidence of it occurring. I do have experience working with investment banks though, and am aware of the trades that saved Goldman and Morgan (Buffett gets credit with his $10 billion loan to Goldman at 10% interest, but the real money that backstopped them was a digit larger and came from a different source).

"The Big Bad Bear Raid on the World is a classic scenario and has existed at least since the Middle Ages."
Exactly my point. I am not actually suggesting a new tactic: this is a classic idea, that has manifested repeatedly, and seen from a certain perspective, accounts for behavior by a number of conquerors (e.g., Julius Caesar is deprived of capital by opposition Romans - which literally results in starving the plebes in Rome - so he conquers Egypt to bypass the financial constraints imposed by other Romans...and then after outmaneuvering them, they turn to personal assassination as their best option.)

"Too many actors are involved to keep something like this hidden."
Which is why I'm not saying they'd need to hide the conspiracy, or even conspire at all. Simple incentive and bandwagon effects are enough to do this.

"When it comes to information-gleaning, Wall Street is much better than the CIA."
On THAT point, we'll have to disagree. Wall Street is good at monetizing existing information. Discovery? Not so much.

"Now Central Banks seem to like screwing their own economies but what they really hate is someone else screwing up their economy."
Agreed.

"A Central Bank can create money to buy whatever the Oligarchs are shorting faster than the Oligarchs can arrange for collateral."
Agreed. And thus, it was extremely difficult to break the Bank of England, let alone to simultaneously break 5 Asian tigers all at once. Yet it did happen.

"In theory they could but up all their respective country’s debt and then cancel it which brings in some other very interesting scenarios."
In theory...perhaps. But there are always consequences.

The Game of Thrones scenarios are a Hollywoodized variation on actual experience with ousted oligarchs recovering power after major setbacks. History is rife with actual demonstrations of how and where this occurs. When this ancient practice manifests in the 21st century, there will be a financial apparatus working alongside it, rather than a purely military manifestation. The 'marks on a sheet of paper' (or columns on a computer) matter immensely once something stops operating quite the way one expected it to operate.

LarryHart said...

Deuxglas:

Sorry, I got carried away with tribalism. It can happen to the best of us


I understand valuing your own family and like-minded people over others. What loc fails to realize is that doing so does not give the people whom you personally value special status over the others in the eyes of civilization and the law. There's a difference between an election that is rigged because the people in charge are cheating. It's another thing entirely to assert that the majority must certainly agree with you and your tribe, so therefore, any election in which your side loses was de facto rigged.

but on second thought, why is there no record of Lincoln calling the confederates nasty names? Was it compassion and did he feel that hate would not heal the divisions?

Hey, how did I get into this thing with Locum???


He's referring to your lament that this list contains a lack of compassion for people outside their own group. You might not have meant by that what he thought you did.

David Brin said...

donzel, I’ve studied a bit. HALF of prop 54 is terrific, forcing any bill to be voted on whatever version had been posted 72 hours before. I like it. The other half, demanding legislators be on camera all the time, creeps me out as unnecessary.

But do not defend Mr. Munger with his effort to end gerrymandering. Yes, it worked great and reduced radical politics and showed the way for the nation… but he wanted NONE of those things! His aim was to trick blue voters into betraying their own party, so the GOP would pick up more seats after gerrymandering ended. Good theory! And yes, blue voters are smarter and less partisan and they DID break with their own democratic party to end gerrymandering. The result?

Nothing Munger expected. The next election, with districts much more compact and fair and less gerried, the dems won MORE seats! Radical partisanship fell, as the minority party members in each district gained sway… but everyone became more interested in negotiation, and Munger’s GOP pals all became more moderate. From his perspective, his initiative was a disaster.

For which we owe him thanks. Now gerrymandering can be called a purely red crime. Well, as soon as Obama talks Illinois and Maryland into stopping it.

LarryHart said...

...man, that last post of mind was terribly edited.

Sorry.

Paul SB said...

It's funny how extremists of almost every stripe work their way to Godwin when they see that they are losing the battle. I remember hearing "man on the street" interviews when Obama was first sworn in, snickering at old Latinas who claimed that a black president would send all the brown people to the gas chamber. Didn't happen, Paly! Our host, myself and a number of people here have said time and time again that exactly what Robert Heinlein said decades ago, that liberal democracy defends the rights of all its citizens, even the deplorable ones, because rights are only rights if they are universal. The irony, also often pointed out, is that the ones most inclined to take those rights from everyone else are the ones most vocal about predicting their rights will be infringed.

No Final Solution is needed. You more fools open their damn fool mouths, the fewer people are willing to listen them and credit their damn fool memes. It's a slow, semi-Darwinian process, but the losers never go down without a fight.

Larry, commenting to little loci, said: "I also don't think the presidency has the sort of power you think it does. "

I've read the United States Constitution. No, the President is not the King. President Clinton will not repeal the Second Amendment, nor will she enact the Emergency Powers Act, because neither of those things are possible. This is why Trump loves the uneducated. He can rile them up into a fervor with outright lies, and no matter how much reliable information is out there (on the internet or otherwise) most of them simply won't believe any facts that don't match their pre-conceived notions.

I'm off to buy supplies for the earth science classes. It's a long drive to the nearest rock shop, so it will be awhile.

David Brin said...

The AmericaNewsX editors sometimes take my postings down then edit and put them back up. Irritating.
http://americannewsx.com/politics/ten-ways-hillary-clinton-might-done-even-better/

David Brin said...

Locum: “Corporatists, Big Finance, Pharma & Power, Goldman Sachs and the Saudi Royal family.”

Har! All of these… all! … are republican constituencies. Every single one of them. Throw in the Russian oligarchy. I have to wonder about locum. He keeps insisting that to declare — (declare!) — an opposite-to-plain-facts can somehow make that opposite true.

Yeah… because some DP pols sometimes listen to or give speeches to “Corporatists, Big Finance, Pharma & Power, Goldman Sachs and the Saudi Royal family” that means THEY are the actual slaves of “Corporatists, Big Finance, Pharma & Power, Goldman Sachs and the Saudi Royal family.” No, no it can’t be the GOP pols who have made it their cole agenda to be complete and utter slaves to “Corporatists, Big Finance, Pharma & Power, Goldman Sachs and the Saudi Royal family.”

Yesssss. Liberals are the bigots, those who would rein in the banks are in the bankers’ pockets!

“realise that xenophobes, conservatives, heterosexuals & religionists have the SAME RIGHT TO EXIST”

Ooooh, poooor babeee! You are oppressed with… criticism! Your nasty, troglodytic, intolerant bigots get CRITICIZED! Oh no! Poor fragile flower.

You know that makes you wimpeeeeee. So you make up another opposite. That liberals aim to turn that criticism into death camps!

Only it it your side that makes camps. Historically, yes, liberals did make the Japanese internment camps (at which death rates went DOWN from civilian life). And we regret that. But it is your side that has the Timothy McVeighs. The KKK.

And your party was - till trump - the most uniform, disciplined and purist-chanting-dogmatic political force ever, in American life, chanting every slogan issued by Roger -pervert - Ailes.

Has trump changed anything? Not the dogma, hate or chanting, He simply pushed Ailes over and took the reins.

donzelion said...

Dr. Brin: "Has trump changed anything? Not the dogma, hate or chanting, He simply pushed Ailes over and took the reins."

Screw Trump. You weighing in on your own topic of transparency is more interesting and potentially important. So...your thoughts on Prop 54? ;-) (The others might be nice, but few of them are so directly linked with your own subject of expertise, and few of them are begging for your insight like this one - though that insight may amount to a shrug and 'of course yes' or 'of course no' or 'who cares? not important' - any of which would be more interesting than Trump's latest nonsense).

donzelion said...

However, this merits some reconsideration:

"Historically, yes, liberals did make the Japanese internment camps (at which death rates went DOWN from civilian life). And we regret that."

Earl Warren, as Republican Governor of California, fought for the internment camps and made them happen - largely playing to a base of conservative, bigoted Californians who have always been with us and have always been prominent. He spent his next decades repenting. His repentance came in the form of Brown v. Board of Education, the first Supreme Court judgments to ban gerrymandering (Baker v. Carr), the broadest expansion of civil rights by the Court to individuals - extending rights even to the KKK itself to march down the street without being arrested (Brandenburg v. Ohio).

When liberals err (as we do often), the repentance can be amazing.

Deuxglass said...

donzelion,

It is always a pleasure to discuss with you because you have a strong knowledge of and a keen analysis of history. Most people have no idea of the financial sophistication of the Ancient World. Rome had a very active stock market where parts of holding were bought and sold. There is some evidence that some OTC contracts were standardized. Options and futures of the OTC variety surely existed to take advantage of price movements of the underlying. Unfortunately Ovid never wrote verses glorifying financial transactions of the period so the record is spotty, nevertheless some evidence does exist. As Caesar knew; no money no army and that has been true since at least Sumerian times. History started with money.
What Wall Street excels at is finding REVELENT information to its needs which is to make money. It does not seek the Truth, which is not important. It seeks and finds information that causes prices to move. The feedback is almost immediate. Trading on information which is relevant results very quickly in profits. If the information is bad you lose money very quickly. Information which has to spend days or weeks moving up the chain of command usually is worthless because it is old news. Too much water has gone under the bridge (there are exceptions but they are rare). From the inside you would be surprised at the amount of information non-public that circulates.

Runs on currencies happen all the time. There is one going on the Pound right now. Soros didn’t “break” the Pound. He just made it easier for the Bank of England to decide that supporting the Pound was not worth the trouble because as you said, there are consequences. I know. I was there in a ringside seat. The Asian Tigers were just collateral damage.

The “just marks on a piece of paper” works only up to a point before the proverbial shit hits the fan. What you want to do is to be out before that happens. You use the Greater Fool theory for that. In 2008 they were AIG and the German Landerbanks. which served that function thank you very much.

In short, we seem to agree on most things.

donzelion said...

Nor can this pass without comment:

Goldman gives $10 mill to Cruz to campaign (as a loan, and through his wife, and otherwise).
Goldman gives $1 mill to Clinton Foundation to pay for HIV treatment in Africa.

Some folks see these as identical gifts - "See, she took money too! She's just as bad!" Such folks are idiots. From Goldman's perspective, diversification is the natural path of doing business. OF COURSE they give some money to their adversaries in exchange for a possibility of access.

Similarly, the Saudis. They give $1 mill to the Clinton Foundation. They 'give' $XXX billion to Goldman (a much larger amount than Buffett lent, at a lesser return, but still considerable). But only a silly fool thinks that Goldman is a slave of the Saudis, or Clinton for that matter. A fool who has no idea what slavery actually is.

David Brin said...

onward

onward

i_/0 said...

From: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/10/blanket-corporate-media-corruption/

"Political lying is a sad fact of modern life, but some lies are more dangerous than others. Hillary Clinton’s lies that the Podesta and Democratic National Congress email leaks are hacks by the Russian state, should be countered because they are untrue, and because their intention is to distract attention from her own corrupt abuse of power and money. But even more so because they recklessly feed in to a Russophobia which is starting to exceed Cold War levels in terms of open public abuse.

Clinton has made no secret of her view that Obama has not been forceful enough in his dealings in Syria, and within her immediate circle she has frequently referred to the Cuban missile crisis as the precedent for how she believes Russia must be faced down. It is her intention to restore US international prestige by such a confrontation with Putin in Syria early in her Presidency, and perhaps more to the point to restore the prestige of the office of POTUS and thus enhance her chances of getting her way with a probable Republican controlled senate and congress.

The problem with a game of nuclear armed chicken is we might all end up dead. The Americans do not read Putin well. As my readers know, I am in no way a fan of Putin. He believes he has a personal vocation to restore Russian greatness and has been ever more consumed by a religious devotion to the Orthodox Russian Church. It seems to me highly improbable Hillary can make him back down over Syria. I am no more a fan of Assad than I am a fan of Putin. Nevertheless to risk nuclear war over a desire to replace Assad with rival swarms of vicious disjointed Saudi and Al-Qaeda backed jihadist militias, scarcely seems sensible.

Is Trump any less dangerous? I don’t know. I simply fail to understand the cultural background from which he springs, and what I do understand, I dislike. Were I an American, I would have backed Bernie Sanders and I would now back Jill Stein.

It is worth noting that Hillary’s claim that 17 US Intelligence Agencies agree that Russia was the source of the leaks is plainly untrue. All they have said is that the leaks “are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed attacks.” Under extreme White House pressure to state that the Russians did it, that extremely weak statement was the only thing that the US Intelligence chiefs could cobble together. It is very plainly an admission there is no evidence that Russia did it, but the appalling corporate media have reported it as though it “proves” Hillary’s accusation of Russia is true.

Bill Binney is like myself a former recipient of the Sam Adams Award – the World’s foremost whistleblowing award. Bill was the senior NSA Director who actually oversaw the design of their current mass surveillance software, and Bill has been telling anybody who will listen exactly what I have been telling – that this material was not hacked from Russia. Bill believes – and nobody has better contacts or understanding of capability than Bill – that the material was leaked from within the US intelligence services..."

i_/0 said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNi7oZJ8LKQ

drf5n said...

Hey David,

What do you think of Hillary Clinton's "... go Google it. Google 'Donald Trump Iraq' ... and you can actually hear the audio of him saying that."

It's the kind of fact-checking folks already know and trust. Of course now the results are polluted with the story of Clinton asking.