Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Science, human nature, power! Delusion! And a few final political thoughts...

A brief (mostly) apolitical interlude before civilization shifts. Maybe 90% of this posting is about what should be our core focus.  Moving forward as a joyously confident scientific civilization.

But first: Where do the candidates stand on science? Science News meticulously compares the science-related statements of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.  

Scientific American analyzes the answers given by Clinton, Trump, Johnson and Stein to twenty questions pertaining to science and science public policy.  Very enlightening... and worrisome.

These attitudes are reflected in The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters, by Tom M. Nichols, professor at the Naval War College. Nichols delves into the prevalent cult of anti-expertise sentiment that pervades the media -- against journalists, teachers, politicians and scientists. 

A related matter. We all know that humans go into denial and reject evidence, when it conflicts with cherished beliefs. (I am amazed that humans managed to create a scientific, sober civilization even once, across 6000 years.) But studies show this bias against factual refutation can happen from simple repetition of a falsehood, alone. 


Mind you, some parts of the War on Science are waged by some dark-insipid corners of the far left -- 


-- though nothing like the all-out war on all science and all other knowledge professions by all corners of the entire U.S. right. 


No one is more terrified of the possible return of a Republican Administration than our senior military officer corps, who can see that American Conservatism has become utterly addicted to delusion. The US Navy, in particular, has to adapt to a real world that is factually changing as the "Five hottest years on record have occurred since 2011." They have no truck with the delusional cult that American conservatism has become.


Oh, but one thing should make us humble, in denouncing our hallucinating neighbors: another fundamental of human nature. Isn't it always your adversaries who are the deluded, fact-resistant ones? Sure, in my case, that's true! But I'm contrarian. I don't believe anyone is ever more than 70% right. Not even my heroes, or my political "side." Not even that smug-pompous fellow I see in the mirror.


I have no idea whether that attitude makes me 'wise.' What I do know is that it makes me consistent with my core belief -- expressed in The Transparent Society -- that we only thrive by living amid ornery, reciprocal accountability. That criticism is the only known antidote to error (CITOKATE.)  


Ours is the only civilization ever built on that principle. I'm loyal to it.


== Powering the Future ==

Almost straight out of the pages of EARTH… though it’s taken way too long… we are finally seeing tidal power go mainstream. Scotland unveiled the first turbine for the MeyGen tidal stream project, the world's first large-scale tidal energy farm. The project will initially install four turbines, but will eventually have 269 turbines, enough to power 175,000 homes.   


Showing what can be done… in the era since Ronald Reagan threw away Jimmy Carter’s cells from the White House roof and zeroed our sustainables R&D budget… Costa Rica has managed to run for two months relying solely on various sources of renewable energy. “Of course, the country’s relatively small size helped, with the seasonal heavy rainfalls. But so did the four hydroelectric power facilities, which accounted for 80.27 % of the country’s total electricity last August. Geothermal plants that contributed roughly 12.62 %. Plus the wind turbines, with 7.1 %. Not to mention good ol’ sunshine lending a hand with 0.01 %.”

Is HP about to take 3D printing to a whole new level?  To several new levels?  This is one of dozens of looming technologies that could be civilization game changers…

… like Elon’s endeavor to combine roofing with solar and make a unified – more efficient way to cover our buildings. 

Have the Chinese been filling their oil reserves enough to tilt markets? It appears so. A satellite-imaging firm ca says Chinese inventories in May stood at 600 million barrels, substantially more than commonly thought and nearly as much as the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. If so, what looked like oil demand over the past couple of years was not a result of higher consumption but of strategic planning. If China has just been bargain hunting, it could cut imports and help keep prices low.  It could also mean that recent OPEC agreements to cut output won’t be very effective.

Let’s just hope the Chinese aren’t stockpiling because they know a scary reason to do so in the short term.  Just sayin.

== Environmental concerns ==

Toxic nanomagnets from polluted air: A bunch of human brains, dissected, show lots of nano particles made of the strongly magnetic iron oxide compound, magnetite likely formed during combustion or friction-derived heating, such as slamming on the brakes of a car. In other words, filtered by our brains from air pollution. We simply inhale them. They’re so small—around 150 nanometers or less—that they could (purportedly) easily move into the brain directly through any cracks or openings in an olfactory bulb.  

August 2016 sets record as hottest month so far. NASA's records show that the past 10 months have been a series of record-breaking temperaturesAnd Arctic sea ice keeps shrinking.  How many times must this happen, before the cultists back off and let us use science to save this planet? Look at the chart below. LOOK at it! Show it to your crazy, Fox-watching uncle. This is not about "left" or "right". It is about sanity.

Oh but it should not have taken this. All it should have taken is two words. Ocean Acidification. Which any of you could measure for yourselves and can only have resulted from humanity pouring carbon into the atmosphere. Say that too, to your uncle.

Ocean Acidification. Ocean Acidification. Ocean Acidification. Ocean Acidification. Ocean Acidification. Ocean Acidification. Ocean Acidification. Ocean Acidification.

But the XKCD comic - A Timeline of Earth's Average Temperature - says the situation better than I do. 

Chandran Nair looks at tropical cities like Jakarta, Manila or Mumbai where the "heat-island effect" of cities, congested and growing through migration, combines with climate change to make life even more stifling and miserable for the poor. 

== Finally ==

Yes I know you've already voted... Except for lazy-ass cynics who snarl "they're all the same!" As an excuse to sit on their butts and feel superior while others go out and save the world.

You know that I am a pragmatic moderate, who believes passionately in the militantly moderate, practical, incrementally progressive civilization that has been very very very good to most of us, uplifting 3/4 of the world's children out of poverty, discovering (if not always implementing) tools to save our planet and our future.

I've pounded so many points, this campaign. But none is more important than this. Donald Trump is not a fluke.  He is a symptom of a recurring (confederate) fever that surges once per generation.  It manifests in outright war against every profession dealing in facts and knowledge and the future.  The confederate hatred of science, especially, means that they are at war also against your children and your future.

Take them down, all the way down to local offices. If this fever is burned out - cauterized - then our conservative neighbors may take a hint. Perhaps they will tune out Fox and radio shockers and rediscover the arts of negotiation.  (And yes! Negotiation for business! We need a sane conservatism!) 
They might even restock their offerings and send us adults - (yes, adult conservatives) - in 2018.

But that Phoenix will only rise from ashes.

If Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Ike and -- yes -- Ronald Reagan were here today, they would be urging you to burn it to the ground, so that a sane Grand Old Party might return.



247 comments:

1 – 200 of 247   Newer›   Newest»
Tom Crowl said...

A brief thought on "delusion"...

Its been suggested by some anthropologists that the key that separated Sapiens from other members of the genus Homo was our ability to embrace fictions!

And that its this that forms the core of the cognitive revolution that ended our competitors life on earth.

Its asserted that this ability to create 'new realities' by imagining elements in our environments (both tangible and intangible) being combined in ways not seen in nature... that gave us the edge for survival.

While this is a difficult assertion to prove... nevertheless it's clear that our ability to 'self-delude' has been both a great boon to progress at times... its also been a cause for great destruction and misery.

Isaac Newton believed in alchemy... and Michelangelo thought Savonarola was right-on!

And, no doubt, Hitler believed he was creating a great civilization.

SO...

DELUSION: Can't live with it. Can't live without it.

Damn, another dilemma for humanity... like the wealth/power concentration bias... and the inevitable counterforces caused by (in my view)... BOTH the altruism AND (let's call it).. the delusion dilemma.

Any kind of long future for humanity requires that such dilemmas be recognized and addressed... because they can't be eliminated.

occam's comic said...

For anyone interested in following the situation in the arctic more closely I would really recommend the Arctic Sea Ice Forum

http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?board=3.0

Typically the melt season gets going in March and ends in September.
Normally the refreezing season is boring, but not this year.

Lots of real time information, good discussions, and links to research on the arctic and the climate.

David Brin said...

Tom C the Delusion Dilemma is humanity's fundamental. We found a way to turn it positive sum. Reciprocal Accountability. I can spot your delusions and you point out mine.

Tom Crowl said...

There's certainly truth in the fact that Trump's rise can be related to a periodic sort of 'confederate' resurgence...

BUT... if we add in the strength of Sanders in the primaries it can be seen that there are other forces also at work in the electorate.

The public is loudly signalling a broader discontent with the political status quo. For the Democrats to ignore this would be a bad mistake.

Clinton's likely victory... (its still too early to say for sure) is not likely to be followed with a successful presidency w/o significant and clearly effective reform.

I'm not holding my breath.

raito said...

From last time,

Alfred Differ,

The sticking point is that a driver's license is not an ID. It's a license that's also used as an ID. And licenses expire. Whether an ID should expire or not is another conversation.

My weirdness is that the address on my physical license is incorrect, and has been for quite some time. WI does not require a new physical license when one changes address, it just wants you to let them know you moved. So I ended up spending a couple more minutes while whether using a license with an incorrect address was OK. Thinking won out, as it was clear that I'd used that license to vote in exactly that place previously.

As far as the latest article...

These days, computing of any decent complexity is no longer deterministic. Yet most people believe that a computer is a simple machine. Put some numbers in, a deterministic set of operations occurs, and a set of numbers comes out. This is not even remotely so. Point someone who believes in that simplicity to problems like the Dining Philosophers.

The beginning scene out of Hogan's The Two Faces Of Tomorrow is a pretty good idea of what happens when you don't know how the decision is going to be made, and on what incomplete data. Though in that case, the problem was worsened by a human.

3D printing. I recall that I was nearly working in that industry almost 20 years ago, on machines that could process as many as a couple dozen materials. I was told that the mold cores for Corvette engines were formed on those machines. I wonder if the companies in that industrial segment just never bothered to see the more down-scale possibilities. Rather like mainframes vs. PCs, it appears from my perspective that the glue-gun printers built from the bottom upward, and now that they're worth using, features from their bigger cousins will begin to trickle down.

What I see from the HP article doesn't look as innovative as they make it out to be, at least as in pure tech. It's much like printer technology. You had the massive line-printers that shrunk down to the affordable, but limited daisy-wheel, then to the more flexible but still affordable dot-matrix, to the less-affordable, but speedy and accurate lasers, to the inexpensive inkjet. It looks like 3D printers are getting to the level where money is beginning to think about them. And just because I don't see much innovation in the technology doesn't mean I demean those who repurpose various technologies.

Tom Crowl said...

I totally agree about reciprocal accountability.

To belabor a point... the collective micropayment in advocacy is, in my opinion, an essential element of this.

Its a necessary tool to combat the lack of accountability which often and repeatedly runs through the history of successful civilizations.

It can be argued that this form of feedback could be politically dangerous. This is undoubtedly true.

The question is... in the long run... is it more dangerous to NOT have this and/or other forms of feedback available.

People can argue that it would be good or bad for society... just don't try to tell me its trivial. Scale changes everything.

And, of course, then there's also saving journalism.

A.F. Rey said...

Final thought on the election...

I was discussing the specter of Trump winning with a friend at work...

Which we both agreed would basically be "So long, and thanks for all the fish..."

Which, of course, is an huge exaggeration...

Unless, of course, he really is a Vogon...

Which, from his behavior, isn't so far fetched...

So I have just one question for ya'll.

Has anyone read Donald Trump's poetry????

O O
O

David Brin said...

Tom Crowl knows a thing or two about micropayments, guys.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin in the main post:

Oh but it should not have taken this. All it should have taken is two words. Ocean Acidification. Which any of you could measure for yourselves and can only have resulted from humanity pouring carbon into the atmosphere. Say that too, to your uncle.


I know this is one of your "things", but when you say this, it always makes me wonder, why would my crazy uncle care if the oceans are acidifying? Why would that fact change his mind about anything political? How would he even know that it affects life in any important way?

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Guys

Re- ID for voting

WHY!!
What good does it do? - here we just amble up - the nice lady ticks my name off and gives me my ballot

Registration is automatic with a small deluge of letters to make sure you are registered

We don't need no stinking ID!!

Multiple voting is easily caught and would be investigated if it happenned

LarryHart said...

Duncan Cairncross:

Re- ID for voting

WHY!!
What good does it do? - here we just amble up - the nice lady ticks my name off and gives me my ballot


It depends who you are asking.

For the Republican governments who institute voter suppression laws, ID is an excuse to make voting more expensive and inconvenient and easier to challenge. Often, they don't even hide that fact, for example, the declaration that Pennsylvania would go to Mitt Romney because they have voter-ID laws, or the fact that Texas allows a gun-owner's id card to be valid for voting, but not a student id. They might as well admit that the idea is to suppress the votes of Democrats. The Supreme Court was about to rule that the constitution's "whole number of persons" meant something like "number of Republicans" until God saved us from Antonin Scalia.

For the people who are conned into thinking voter-ID is a good idea, they are probably conflating registration with voting. I have no problem with having people prove their eligibility when they first register to vote. But once that is done, all you should need to do to cast a vote is to identify yourself as the person who is registered to do so. A signature is considered good enough here in Illinois.

Tony Fisk said...

All it should have taken is two words. Ocean Acidification.

"Soured seas". Any agronomist would get it.

LarryHart said...

Tony Fisk:

"Soured seas". Any agronomist would get it.


My question is--why would someone who doesn't care about what happens in Alaska or the North Pole because that's so far away--why would such a person be moved to change any opinion based upon something happening way far away in the ocean?

Tony Fisk said...

Larry, an agronomist would certainly care about whether their soil is 'sweet' (alkaline) or 'sour' (acid)

David Brin said...

Ocean acidification (1) utterly refutes "it's not happening" and (2) refutes "it's happening (if the US Navy says so; but it's not human caused."

(3) It lets you follow with "how acid can it get before you'll care? Is there some level where you'll decide that not to let the Saudis and coal barons and their paid radio shills talk you into hating science? What level might that be?"

"Oh, you don't know what level of acid you can shrug off? Then... maybe ask... science?"

LarryHart said...

@Tony Fisk,

An agronomist probably isn't a climate denier in the first place. Dr Brin keeps bringing up ocean acidification as a metric which my "crazy uncle" would have to accept as proof that climate change is a real problem. I think he'd just shrug and go "What do I care about chemistry?"

Dr Brin:

It lets you follow with "how acid can it get before you'll care?


Why wouldn't he just say "I don't care at all"? I'm not arguing that it's objectively not important. I'm saying it won't resonate with someone who doesn't already know or care about the science. Big storms and flooding are something that my crazy uncle has to notice and care about (though he'd deny that global warming is causing them). Ocean acidification is something he'd just ignore, the same way he ignores extinction of species he's never seen in person.

David Brin said...

LH... follow the logic of reductio ad absurdum. Would he care about an acid ocean if all the world's fish and whales and dolphins died? If it burned you to go into the surf? If we could no longer get cheap Chinese socks and phones because all the freighters sank?

If he admits he would care at that point, then we're arguing degrees.

Sure, that ain't happening. But some of those things may party happen, to degrees that affect food supplies worldwide.

The question is, why support the shills for coal barons and petro sheiks who don't give a crap about him?

Alfred Differ said...

The answer to Duncan’s ‘why’ question is to consider the voter registration agents who used to require people to count the number of jelly beans in a jar to register. The nice lady who ticks off your name might not be a nice lady in every precinct too.

Registration should be a one-time event, but it won’t be because people move around and the ballot one receives depends on location. Registering one’s identity is the thing that should be done once and that’s enough. Demonstrating one is who they claim to be is what the ID is for and we should be able to ask that as often as it is reasonably needed. Demonstrating that one is registered for a particular location should work the same way.

Signatures are about as useful on voter logs as they are on checks. They leave evidence that could be checked, but they don’t prevent anything.

My beef with voter id’s isn’t the one David points out. I’m supportive of his desire to see compliance budgets arranged, but I’m more concerned with who can issue the ID’s. If the only authorized ID’s come from government agencies, we have everything bass ackwards and one day the jelly bean counting will resume. The right way to do it is to allow competition for what qualifies as valid ID and prevent a government monopoly on issuing them. Rules can be issued by government, but they must be done in a manner that permits private competitors to be responsible for authenticating a person’s identity and liable for fraud they tolerate.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Alfred
If the nice lady was not a nice Lady I would simply call the police, there is no way that I can see that she could effect my vote

OK she could tick my name off without me being there - but then when I turn up it would become obvious or at least the subject of a police investigation

The tick marks do not "prevent" fraud - but they do reveal that it has happened which is effectively the same thing

I have no idea how your private identity verification companies could possible work anywhere near as well as a simple government department - sound like total nonsense to me

Jumper said...

Give me your thumbprint and I'll make your reputation gold.

LarryHart said...

Is everyone just to stunned to post, or is my cache not being cleared?

Just posting to check.

TheMadLibrarian said...

Everyone is watching the electoral snafu? CF? in incredulity. No one expected this type of swing, and I'm wondering if I am in fact living in such an echo chamber that this result never even appeared on the event horizon.

Tony Fisk said...

You have a problem, America.

...Actually, no. Make that: we have a problem, Humanity.

donzelion said...

MadLibrarian: I panicked after Brexit, felt relief after the debates, and now am utterly crushed with shock. Shocked at how far off the pollsters were - almost all of them. Shocked at how this suggests people think.

Shocked at myself for how I've approached this election year, thinking rationality mattered. It does matter, but apparently to a minority of Americans. The rest are just as dangerously gullible as Germans in 1932...a comparison our host made 6 months ago, which I disbelieved at the time...but now...? Anything is possible.

LarryHart said...

@Tony Fisk,

I don't remember which country you are from, but we're taking you down with us.

Gallows humor. I'm not happy about that.

Tony Fisk said...

Looking at the Houses, I'd say Trump's time in office may be the shortest in history.

LarryHart said...

@donzelion,

Trump is costing me $60. I need my passport renewed, and I've been debating whether to pay for the expedited handling, and if Trump lost, I wasn't going to bother.

Tony Fisk said...

Larry. Australia. Trust me, I know the feeling.

LarryHart said...

Tony Fisk:

Looking at the Houses...


I don't get it. Are you talking impeachment?

LarryHart said...

I want to build a wall around Illinois. And make Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, and Iowa pay for it.

Tony Fisk said...

I am.
Actually, maybe I don't know the feeling. Abbott/Turnbull did, at least, have an effective opposition. OK. Shouldn't read too much into other country's issues.

Except... only 10% vote but, Washington...?

LarryHart said...

@Tony Fisk,

It depends which portions of Washington state have already reported in. Remember when FOX News overrode Karl Rove and called Ohio for Obama, even though the vote already in was against him. But the networks knew that the remaining votes were going to be from Cleveland.

hadend said...

To all 'pragmatists':

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/10/democratic-party-clinton-trump-white-voters-workers/

donzelion said...

LarryHart: I do not believe I've ever been as wrong as I seem to have been about any major political event as it looks like I've been tonight, so take any thoughts with a grain of salt, BUT if Trump wins, he'll have to remove all those people in the federal offices who would drag their feet and block him from achieving his agenda. That will take a year or more of quiet before the storm.

But if you're a Muslim, a minority, or any other groups that have been targeted, all bets are off.

LarryHart said...

Paul Krugman in the New York Times. I think he speaks truly. We didn't understand what our country is.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/cp/opinion/election-night-2016/the-unknown-country




We still don’t know who will win the electoral college, although as I write this it looks — incredibly, horribly — as if the odds now favor Donald J. Trump. What we do know is that people like me, and probably like most readers of The New York Times, truly didn’t understand the country we live in. We thought that our fellow citizens would not, in the end, vote for a candidate so manifestly unqualified for high office, so temperamentally unsound, so scary yet ludicrous.

We thought that the nation, while far from having transcended racial prejudice and misogyny, had become vastly more open and tolerant over time.

We thought that the great majority of Americans valued democratic norms and the rule of law.

It turns out that we were wrong. There turn out to be a huge number of people — white people, living mainly in rural areas — who don’t share at all our idea of what America is about. For them, it is about blood and soil, about traditional patriarchy and racial hierarchy. And there were many other people who might not share those anti-democratic values, but who nonetheless were willing to vote for anyone bearing the Republican label.

I don’t know how we go forward from here. Is America a failed state and society? It looks truly possible. I guess we have to pick ourselves up and try to find a way forward, but this has been a night of terrible revelations, and I don’t think it’s self-indulgent to feel quite a lot of despair.

LarryHart said...

Even though my retirement fund probably just dropped over 20%, I'm having a bit of gallows-humor schadenfreude watching panic on Wall St over a Republican victory. Wall St did phenomenally under President Obama, but they used their money and influence to oppose him at every turn because...why exactly?

The leftists and populists didn't like Hillary because she is a "tool of Wall St", but Wall St didn't support her either because...why exactly?

So now, they've gotten what they wanted, but already aren't very happy.

LarryHart said...

MSNBC reporting that the Canadian immigration website is crashing.

They had to re-iterate that they were not making a joke.

hadend said...

No, the 'pragmatists' (so to speak) assured everyone that their candidate was the stronger one and the 'grown-up' and have now fucked us all. Dp not blame this on the left or the populists, but the shitty, avatar-of-every-failed-neolib-policy-of-the-last-25-years candidate you decided to promote.

David Brin said...

I do not give a damn about the opinions of a teensy-ranting lefty-flake ankle biter who did nothing, did not knock on doors (as I did), did not fight hard and produce combat memes by the bushel (as I did). He is personally a microbe. Ah choo.

David Brin said...

A science fictional perspective:

If Nate Silver was our Hari Seldon, then DonalD Trump is the Mule.

Some of you get it. You know exactly what I mean.

(Paul Krugman does.)

A.F. Rey said...

Welcome to the Twilight Zone.

Tacitus2 said...

I don't often agree with Krugman but he's right. I don't understand the country I live in. This is not the outcome I expected, wanted or voted for.

Sigh.

Tacitus

David Brin said...

The person I despise at this moment is Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who could have retired in 2015 and let Obama appoint her replacement.

Now gerrymandering will not be banished by a court decision. We will have to end that foul crime one state at a time.

Be of good cheer, lads and lasses. The confederacy seemed unstoppable in 1861.

Still... if America's women choose to talk the millennials into "dealing with" us horrifically sanctimoniously awful white male boomers, the way I depicted in The Postman... well... I wouldn't blame em.

hadend said...

The whole country apparently listens to the demented sentiments of a pretentious SF writer . Thank god we have you on our side, Brin!

LarryHart said...

@hadend,

My comment was:

The leftists and populists didn't like Hillary because she is a "tool of Wall St", but Wall St didn't support her either because...why exactly?


the point of which was that if Hillary really was a tool of Wall St, you'd think their money and influence would have been behind her. It wasn't. They apparently prefer any Republican to any Democrat, so now they've got their wish...except it's apparently their nightmare.

I wasn't "blaming" anyone other than Wall St itself, at least not in that comment.

hadend said...

Yep, that's what would have changed everything, a moderate Democrat retiring from SCOTUS. Love how your instinct is always to blame the left/libs! #Grownups

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

If Nate Silver was our Hari Seldon, then DonalD Trump is the Mule.


Who is the Second Foundation?

hadend said...

Your post makes no sense. They bet on HRC, it looks like that was a losing proposition. You don't think Wall St. will try to make a deal with a Trump presidency?

David Brin said...

Not just a microbe but an imbecile.

The good news...? He lurks. He snipes! At strawmen! Gents. We have the "balance" I called for. A leftie version of locumranch. What fun we have around here.

A.F. Rey said...

One small bright spot is that, as FiveThirtyEight pointed out a number of months ago, a bad candidate that gets elected President can do more damage to a Party than one that loses. And I don't think anyone expects greatness from the Donald--except, of course, the Donald himself. :)

Perhaps this will destroy the Republican Party. Assuming we last long enough to see it...

hadend said...

And what is your strategy going foward Brin? I would love to hear your 'ideas'...

hadend said...

Just here to tell you that before you indulge every stupid impulse to blame the 'left' (secure tin-foil hat now), take a goood long look in the mirror, asshole.

LarryHart said...

hadend:

You don't think Wall St. will try to make a deal with a Trump presidency?


Why are Dow futures down 800 points, though? Wall St is not celebrating an unexpected victory.

hadend said...

Breathe into the paper bag your therapist gave you. The POS's in Wall St. will most certainly try to make a deal. Stop projecting noise around the election into the long-term.

David Brin said...

If the minority vote turns out not to have come out, then I am tempted... in my sullen, grouchy exhaustion - to stop listening to sanctimonious guilt tripping. I will still fight for justice and rights and police accountability and good things. But no more guilt trips.

Tony Fisk said...

Markets always react to unexpected news badly.

LarryHart said...

@Dr Brin,

Did the minority vote stay home, or were they voter-suppressed? I'm still not clear on that, and no one is making the distinction.

One thing is clear, though. Voter suppression will now be seen as a winning strategy.

David Brin said...

I still want Tacitus 2018! But this will be a very different 2018.

Especially since by then it will be President Pence. See the scenario for Ryan's Impeachment Gambit! You all saw it here.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2016/06/avoiding-impeachment-bait-why-donald_20.html

Ryan will get his puppet. Murdoch will get his party back. And Ryan will blame the dems and steer the Trumpists' rage at blue America.

David Brin said...

Dow plunges. But yes folks, there is joy in Moscow.

hadend said...

Please, desperately blame anything but your own stupidty Brin!

Marino said...

Aren't investigative reporter, and sociologists out there? Now he discovers that, and before?
It's really self-indulgent, to despair now,after having not noticed those shifting trends earlier

donzelion said...

Dr. Brin: "I will still fight for justice and rights and police accountability and good things. But no more guilt trips."

I have not yet begun to fight. Time to develop some new tactics.

raito said...

At least in WI, look at the ones who didn't vote R or D. In the past several elections, the percentage of those not voting for the 2 major parties was about 1% of the total. This time it appears as though it'll be around 5%. That's not insignificant.

And it sure isn't the non-college rural whites voting Libertarian.

hadend said...

"Time to develop some new tactics" Exactly...

Tony Fisk said...

The Pence gambit was exactly what I was thinking when I saw where the Houses were headed.
Perhaps if some Hawaiins and Californians were to retire to Florida?

David Brin said...

I will say this once to hadend. If you come in and rant occasionally, even daily, but keep a civil tongue, then you will be treated as we treat locumranch. As a lunatic but one of our own, occasionally pointing and screeching at things that are interesting, if wrong.

If you spew shotgun style, or rave nastiness, as you have done this evening.... and I get that this evening is unusual, you get a pass... then you'll be banned as a troll. Those are the rules.

Ankle biter.

Alfred Differ said...

If Nate Silver was our Hari Seldon, then Donald Trump is the Mule.

The Mule had control.
Trump is riding a tsunami, not controlling it.

Both parties are going to burn for this.

Marino said...

RAH's crazy years coming?
Scudder-Holn 2020, Cthulhu-Azathoth 2024 😣

hadend said...

Stop trying to preemptively blame 3rd party voters Raito.

donzelion said...

Hadend: Aside from calling our host 'stupid' on his own blog, indicating a bit of anger on your part (reciprocating a blast of anger from him) - aside from disdain for Hillary - and Wall St - and whatever else - is there anything you actually do want from politics?

I am trying to think of any cause that a progressive might embrace that hasn't been pushed back years (decades?) by what is transpiring today.

Alfred Differ said...

From what I'm hearing so far, it wasn't the minority not showing up. It was the angry, white, uneducated people showing up in unexpected numbers.

Obviously, they are pissed. Whatever the reason (Kepi on order) they are seriously angry.

hadend said...

Ban me dickhead. I actually know what I'm talking about, whereas locumranch is a troll you can easily refute. If you'd like your lil' corner of the internet to be an echo-chamber, than what can I really do about it? I've said my piece already. The fact that you have nothing but a blanket ban suggests the obvious: you have no argument. Buh-bye!

Marino said...

Have fun:a self-styled libertarian on an Italian blog where I post is happy for the victory of a supporter of tariffs sponsored by the KGB.
And myself, a former commie, rooting for Hillary

Alfred Differ said...

I'm seeing a lot of talk about Ryan's job being in jeopardy, but I'm not so sure. Speakers aren't powerless. Even without impeachment on the table, he might be able to get a few Democrats to do things.

Marino said...

The EU and frau Angela?

hadend said...

Donzelion,

Exactly why should I listen to you today? We have heard the pragmatist's arguments and they have fallen completely on their face. Why are emboldened to speak against progressives instead of humbled by your failures?

raito said...

hadend,

I've blamed no one for anything. All are free to vote for any candidate, or even write them in. What I'm pointing out is a 5X change in non major party voters. That's quite a difference from the past. And positing who they might be, according to my observations.

I'd find it interesting to see if other states had the same trend this time around. And whether it means anything in the longer run.

Blaming someone else for their vote is childish.

Jonathan Sills said...

Well, it was nice having health care for a while. Guess I'd better start pricing wheelchairs, because with no income I can't use Donnie's medical savings programs, and he wants to take away the ACA that's been paying for what care I've been able to get for my degenerating spinal discs. (And he's apparently being handed a Republican Congress to rubber-stamp his every stupidity.)

hadend said...

raito,

"Blaming someone else for their vote is childish."

I absolutely agree, which leads me to this:

"And it sure isn't the non-college rural whites voting Libertarian"

Alfred Differ said...

@hadend: Why are emboldened to speak against progressives instead of humbled by your failures?

Because you need the rest of us if you are ever to achieve a coalition large enough to govern.

Pretty simple really. There aren't enough of you.

Lick your wounds for awhile and then be patient. These folks will realize that before the next election.

hadend said...

@Alfred Differ Aren't we running your candidate who was sold as the eminently, practical, 'grown-up' one? Maybe you should lick your wounds.

Alfred Differ said...

ACA repeal will be filibustered for awhile.
After that, people at various state levels will consider options.
My crystal ball is far from perfect, but I can't see a very blue state not finding a way to reproduce what their people want to keep

atomsmith said...

Voter suppression will now be seen as a winning strategy.

It can go that way, or it can become a strategy that worked for a while and then stopped working.

It depends on whether or not Trump is able to implement his anti-immigrant pogrom.

A.F. Rey said...

Hadend, you can blame Democrats, Liberal and Brin all you like for Trump winning tonight. But there is one thing you can't blame them for.

Trump being nominated in the first place.

That lies solely on the shoulders of the Republicans. They are the only ones to blame for that.

Alfred Differ said...

@hadend: I voted for Johnson. I'm not so sure he was considered the practical one.

I live in CA. They don't need my vote on the blue side.

I also have issues with many progressives. Some of you are as authoritarian as Trump appears to be. Similar 'I know what is best for you' approach, different color stripes.

I have no wounds to lick.
I DO have embarrassments to explain to my foreign friends... yet again.

hadend said...

A.F. Rey

No I can blame the Democrats for backing a weak, shitty candidate. Please explain your 'logic'.

donzelion said...

Hadend: "Exactly why should I listen to you today?"

You made some points in anger. Several points were made in anger in your direction. I asked you a question: what do you actually want? That's not something that I'm asking you: it's something YOU are asking you. Whether you listen to me today, or tomorrow, or never, the question is still lurking in your own head because you cannot escape it. It is a part of who you are.

"We have heard the pragmatist's arguments and they have fallen completely on their face."
The pragmatism in my mind at the moment is reconsidering positions on personal firearms. If most of the country has opted to vote for a man based on his aggressive posturing, then a time may be coming to respond in kind. A week ago, I chastised Locum for advocating treason. I am not moving in that direction. But the pragmatic thing to do is to prepare.

"Why are emboldened to speak against progressives instead of humbled by your failures?"
I am humbled by my failures; I had hoped reason would prevail. If it does not, then one must prepare for alternative forms of communication. I am still planning what to do.

What are you doing? Other than calling people whom you might otherwise agree with 'stupid,' as if that 'I told you so' achieves a single thing that you believe in.

hadend said...

"Some of you are as authoritarian as Trump appears to be". I don't know what to say to you other than that someone who disagrees with you on the internet has far less influence on your day-to-day life than POTUS. Here's to you developing a little perspective... As for the rest of your post, you voted 3rd party but how does that contradict anything I've written on here previously?

hadend said...

Donzelion,

You seem to love to point to people's anger as if someone cannot be both angry and correct. You have consistently promoted HRC( please don't make me google search this shit) as the 'pragmatic' candidate yet seem unwilling to accept the consequences of that position.

"I am humbled by my failures; I had hoped reason would prevail." The subject betrays the predicate.

Jonathan Sills said...

Alfred, the state of Washington could only afford to expand Medicaid because of the federal subsidies. Our tax structure was destroyed systematically, starting in 1998, by former watch salesman turned professional initiative pusher Tim Eyman. He started by convincing the people of this state to remove the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax (MVET), with a slogan of "Thirty-dollar car tabs!" Well, we didn't actually get that, because it turned out our pretty-passable public transit system was funded largely by that. Folks didn't want to pay the taxes, but they wanted to commute, so they demanded the state cover it anyway.

Next problem - the state constitution actually spells out how much is supposed to go to paying for education. And without any tax increases, and with the tax cuts Eyman was putting on the ballot every year or two, they didn't have the money to afford little luxuries like public transit. Or health care, which was promptly slashed. Or highway maintenance. Or maintenance of the fleet of ferries on which much of the economy of the west side of the state depends. Or...

And if - make that when - the funding requirements fall squarely into the state's lap again, the strictures will once again be tightened. And since I'm under sixty and have all my limbs (so far), I will once again fall outside the guidelines...

Marino said...

It's not a matter of government issuing IDs, it's government RATIONING it. Here in Italy se have a voter card stating that you can vote and where, and various IDs (National ID, driver's licence) are cheap and easy to get.

hadend said...

(Staring at David Brin) May you all rot in a Gettysburg grave.

donzelion said...

Hadend: I have consistently promoted the platform of HRC. I have never been a great fan of her (and our host has been piercingly critical of her posturing during debates and otherwise), but tried to guide you to think about what she intends to do and what actually matters.

When we lose track of stuff that matters, we fall into shallow "I don't like this!" nonsense.

My 'pragmatism' is based on having witnessed genocide, having picked blood and brains off the ground and put them into plastic bags, having tried to work law in places of lawlessness. I know what it is to reject 'the system' - and try to stand against it: what it is to watch activists get ground into servants or morph into monsters. I hope you never get that sort of education. For me, it was substantially more relaxing and financially rewarding to professionally 'assassinate' corporate stooges on behalf of other corporate stooges and to try to figure out the pragmatics of averting job losses for large groups of other human beings.

hadend said...

Please stop trying to pass your milquetoast bullshit as wisdom. Your candidate failed spectacularly so stop talking about how you 'hope [I] never get that sort of education'. This is the internet, so take a deep breath. I love how you say it was financially rewarding to 'assassinate' (nb: excellent use of quotes to denote something exaggerated) corporate stooges while promoting HRC. Does this actually work on people who haven't lived outside the USA?

hadend said...

May I say outright that I will happily spit in your face Brin if I ever see you on the street. Welcome to D-town baby!

donzelion said...

Goodbye, Hadend. I shall never speak to you again.

hadend said...

Et tu mon amie, Donzelion!

hadend said...

I hate you all. There goes SCOTUS dickheads!

hadend said...

You are scum. You may all rot in hell.

Tony Fisk said...

Bye, harmless.

Treebeard said...

So much for the smart guys and experts. Since they've been wrong about everything else, consider the possibility that they'll be wrong about Trump being a bad president. What's next, global temperatures start dropping? Have fun in New Zealand.

donzelion said...

Meanwhile, in the world of "transparency" - and without much commentary from anyone here, California has opted to enact a proposition on publishing all legislative activity online, and archiving it for 20 years.

This is new. CSPAN never did the 'archival/retrieval' thing: to the extent anyone has used or watched their electoral footage, it's been limited to hacks and experts. Lawyers (and occasionally, judges) will review that footage to get a sense of why certain laws have been made. Courts will argue about administrative policies and procedures and judge officials by their official conduct.

Our host's attention in terms of the struggle ahead has been on reining in police abuses, which is worthy. But the money flows through the legislature, and most Californians don't even know their local, state authorities. Perhaps that's a problem worth rectifying, and perhaps, a model of rational governance has come forward that is worth pursuing further. (BTW, Charles Munger, the same Republican behind California's anti-gerrymandering effort in 2010 was also behind this measure, which was opposed by the democratic party establishment - intriguing).

Perhaps the ultimate requiem on 2016 will be 'transparency matters' more than expertise and number-crunching - that it is a better, more reliable, useful tool to protect than anything else.

Alfred Differ said...

@Jonathan Sills: Got any relatives here in California? I've moved my family once for a job and got picky about where we lived for school boundaries. When you are pricing wheelchairs, consider your broader options.

It might also be time to point out to your state legislative representatives that this is going to be a non-trivial issue. Letter writing helps if you and others in your situation don't use form letters, but so does camping out in their offices.

I have a sister-in-law living in your state. While she is in decent health, she has reasons to be thinking along similar lines as you. Advocacy can work and is worth the try.

Alfred Differ said...

@hadend: (If you aren't banned by now)

you voted 3rd party but how does that contradict anything I've written on here previously

I wasn't trying to address what you've said previously. You asked a question and I did my best to answer. You need these people you are pissing off if you want your side to get a chance some day to govern. They didn't go with your approach this time, but that doesn't change the situation you are in. You need them or you will remain as irrelevant as my libertarian friends. I've met a number of people who have fallen into deep cynicism. It's not a pretty sight. I suggest you not repeat their error.

The Democrats will learn from this pain, but they won't listen to your side if you attack them.

LarryHart said...

atomsmith (nice name, BTW) :

"Voter suppression will now be seen as a winning strategy."

It can go that way, or it can become a strategy that worked for a while and then stopped working.

It depends on whether or not Trump is able to implement his anti-immigrant pogrom


I meant that it creates a positive feedback loop. Suppressing the minority vote allowed a win of the presidency and the Senate, which allows a win in the Supreme Court and other federal courts, which will rule in ways that make voter suppression more do-able.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

Be of good cheer, lads and lasses. The confederacy seemed unstoppable in 1861.


But the Confederacy left the union then, so the US congress was run by Unionist states. They didn't make that mistake this time.

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

Got any relatives here in California? I've moved my family once for a job and got picky about where we lived for school boundaries. When you are pricing wheelchairs, consider your broader options.


I mentioned previously that my wife has an irrational aversion to California. However, I might have to try working on her. I'm not ashamed of how Illinois voted in the presidential or Senate races, but we do have a billionaire Republican governor who is not likely to do anything helpful with health care.

Jeff B. said...

I am still in shock. The emotive side is panicking, it's the end of the world. The logical side says "don't panic, we don't know the future."

The emotional side say that sometimes caution and logic aren't enough. The logical side counters that even if the worst is happening, you have to understand the situation before you can do anything about it.

AS Dr. Brin's stated numerous times, when Republicans control Congress and the White House, nothing happens. Will that happen this time? I sure hope so, it might be the only hope.

I knew Pennsylvania had its redneck contingent- I live in the midst of it. But I did not expect our college-educated professionals, and women, to vote for the entertainer.

And now I am deeply, immensely compromised. As a federal employee I will now be reporting to someone I actually despise and loath, him and everything he stands for. My specialty is such that I lack many transferable skills for work outside the government, and the one area in which I could conceivably go to school for- postsecondary education- has been rocked in the years since college, so realistic options are nil.

I'm under the weather so that's making everything dark, but I don't see the path forward, for me, or for my country.

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

"If Nate Silver was our Hari Seldon, then Donald Trump is the Mule."

The Mule had control.
Trump is riding a tsunami, not controlling it.


I'm not really asserting this to be true, but in a science-fictional kind of way, doesn't the suggestion that Trump was controlling it with extra-human powers make a certain amount of sense?

Isn't even our mood right now similar to that of Terminus as the first Foundation fell?

Come to think of it, hadn't the first Foundation, just prior to the Mule, become something akin to our "elite establishment" that voters of both parties rail against?

I ask again--who is our Second Foundation in the model?


Jeff B. said...

And a random thought about the polls- while I've no idea how the pollsters got things totally, consistently wrong, my wish (likely to be unfulfilled, I'm sure) would be for Pres. Obama to quietly have FEC and Homeland Security do some monitoring of the electoral processes in certain key states that were close but threw the election. PA and MI and CO were suspiciously close, when all the evidence pointed otherwise. With DHS' warnings about foreign interference in the election...

Unlikely? Absolutely. But, if there WAS hacking and we don't check, then our election process is irreconcilably tainted.

But: if we check and find evidence, then what? If we cancel the results, then we're tied up in legal battles (and possible riot) for years. Democracy hinges on trust, and any suggestion that we've been compromised will never be taken as anything but partisan sour grapes.

Democracy, hoisted on its own petard.

LarryHart said...

Jeff B:

I am still in shock. The emotive side is panicking, it's the end of the world. The logical side says "don't panic, we don't know the future."


"End of the world" is hyperbole, but I do know how you feel. We really don't know what comes next, and that in itself is unsettling. Looks like I picked the wrong year to look for work, as I wonder who will be hiring in the near future. And as Mr Sills mentioned above, health care is probably going away for anyone with an existing condition. Possibly Social Security and Medicare too. So there are real things for middle-aged guys with families to worry about (not that I know how old you are).


AS Dr. Brin's stated numerous times, when Republicans control Congress and the White House, nothing happens. Will that happen this time? I sure hope so, it might be the only hope.


But Trump isn't your normal Republican. Will congress keep him in line, or will they fall in line themselves?

I knew Pennsylvania had its redneck contingent- I live in the midst of it.


My brother lives in Union County. I didn't call him in the middle of the night, but I suspect he's not feeling too well today.

But I did not expect our college-educated professionals, and women, to vote for the entertainer.


I also didn't expect Trump to not get trounced in the Latino vote. Just before I finally went to bed, I think they were saying Trump did better than Romney with Latinos.

With such a uniform result, it's hard to argue the vote was "rigged", but I'd be more comfortable thinking it was, even if the result stands, rather than accept the fact that Trump is really that popular.

And now I am deeply, immensely compromised. As a federal employee I will now be reporting to someone I actually despise and loath, him and everything he stands for. My specialty is such that I lack many transferable skills for work outside the government, and the one area in which I could conceivably go to school for- postsecondary education- has been rocked in the years since college, so realistic options are nil.


Were you in government work during the Bush years? Sometimes, you have to stick out a job and hope it gets better, and sometimes it does.

Of course, who am I to talk on that subject?


I'm under the weather so that's making everything dark,


Ok, that I can speak to. It's not a good idea to evaluate how depressing things look when you are sick. It does magnify the bad feelings.

but I don't see the path forward, for me, or for my country.


That's the thing, isn't it? Is it really my country after all, or am I just a kooky visitor who has overstayed his welcome?

LarryHart said...

Jeff B:

But: if we check and find evidence, then what? If we cancel the results, then we're tied up in legal battles (and possible riot) for years. Democracy hinges on trust, and any suggestion that we've been compromised will never be taken as anything but partisan sour grapes.


I think the most we could get from "It's rigged" is to reduce the perceived mandate that Trump has to do whatever he wants. I don't see any way the result could be reversed.


Democracy, hoisted on its own petard.


Once we went down the path of voting with private, proprietary mechanisms which cannot be independently verified, that was probably inevitable.

LarryHart said...

Today's www.electoral-vote.com , saying a lot of what we're saying here:


Over the next several days, we'll cover some of the fallout from this earth-shattering development. For now, a few immediate questions, lessons, etc.:

How can the pollsters ever show their faces again? They missed, early and often, over and over. For all the recent polling embarrassments, this one will be the king for a very long time.

Beyond polling, every other "clue" that we have for predicting an election has been thrown into question. Unemployment is 4.9% The stock market is as high as it's ever been. Obama's approval rating is sky-high (by modern standards). The betting markets were wrong. The polling aggregators (including us) were wrong. The exit polls were wrong.

Similarly, everything we thought we knew about campaigning was apparently in error. Conventions? Don't matter. Debates? Don't matter. Endorsements? Don't matter. High-profile defections? Don't matter. Missteps? Don't matter? Commercials? Don't matter. Ground game? Doesn't matter. An All-Star team of campaign surrogates, including one former president, one sitting president, and a wildly popular first lady? Doesn't matter. The "blue wall"? Not a thing.

Could Hillary Clinton have run a better campaign? In retrospect, she probably should have invested more time and resources in the Rust Belt, but otherwise she ran the modern campaign playbook with great skill. There does not seem to be much more that she could have done.

Does Trump appear to be headed for a disastrous presidency? Historical precedent says yes, and yet historical precedent was turned on its ear tonight. One obvious question: Exactly how badly would he have to mess up to lose his re-election bid?

The GOP is going to get a nice, long run with its hands on the levers of power. The party has the White House for at least four years. The House is gerrymandered nine ways to Sunday, and the Senate map in 2018 is ghastly for the blue team, so they will have Congress for four years.

What will Trump's relationship with the GOP be like? Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) held him at arm's length, he clashed with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) was nothing but disdainful, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) slammed Trump at his own convention. Meanwhile, there are going to be plenty of new officeholders who owe their jobs to Trump's coattails.

Are we really going to have an Attorney General Christie? Secretary of State Gingrich? Secretary of Homeland Security Rudy Giuliani?

It will take a long time to unravel some of the mysteries of November 8. How, for example, did Donald Trump capture more Latino voters than Mitt Romney? How did nearly half of the non-college women vote for the man behind P***ygate? Was there really a Bradley effect, where people were lying about whom they planned to vote for? How can it be that only 37% of the population believes that Trump is qualified to be president, but roughly 50% voted for him?

...

LarryHart said...

more...

The new power brokers are, it would seem, white working class voters. Will Trump re-center the nation's priorities on them? Can he? Many of those jobs that left are not coming back. Trump and Congress could change the laws to make it unprofitable for companies to do their manufacturing abroad (over the dead bodies of the GOP establishment and donors) but if those factories do come back, they will be modern factories employing 100 computer engineers, 100 mechanical engineers, 10,000 robots, and 0 blue-collar workers.

On a related point, was this a bloodletting that the establishment needed? The Democrats have spent quite a few years focusing on the concerns of coastal elites and minorities at the expense of other constituencies. The Republicans have spent years obstructing, and waving shiny objects like gay marriage, while doing the bidding of the business wing of the party. Those who are disheartened tonight might hold out hope that Tuesday night's stinging rebuke, which was directed at both Democrats and Republicans, will cause a reboot of some sort. Perhaps the nation can, one day in the not-too-distant future, get back to a place where compromise is possible and the filibuster is not the first card that Senators play.

Russia is likely very happy tonight, Ukraine, China, and Mexico are not. Trump seems likely to make America's relationship with the more difficult countries of the world (Iran, North Korea, etc.) worse. Meanwhile, will America's traditional allies be able to work with The Donald? To take him seriously? Will America have any moral authority any more?

What's going to be first to go? Obamacare? The Paris Accords? NAFTA? NATO? Surely, PaddyPower will be taking bets soon.

To those who may have thought we were living in a post-racial world, keep in mind that the KKK had their best night in 50 years. And, as CNN's Van Jones pointed out, part of the story on Tuesday night was "whitelash."

Further, will we be able to have a national conversation about sexism? There can be little question that at least some of the opposition to Hillary Clinton was gender-based. Meanwhile, 50 million people have bestowed their vote on a man who, at very least, objectifies women in the coarsest of terms. And, at worst, who thinks nothing of sexually assaulting them.

Whither the Democratic Party? Everyone thought 2020 would be a bitter struggle for the soul of the Republican Party, between the evangelicals, the mainstream Republicans, and the populists. Instead, it's going to be a struggle for the soul of the blue team. Who will emerge victorious? The establishment Democrats, in the person of a Martin O'Malley or a Gov. Jay Nixon (D-MO). The progressives, with an Elizabeth Warren or a Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) or a Sen. Jeff Merkeley (D-OR) carrying the torch? Or maybe Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) carrying the establishment banner. Some other faction?

What, exactly, is going to happen with the Trump University case? What happens if a sitting president is convicted of fraud? The GOP, if recent memory serves, has been pretty eager to impeach any president found guilty of such behavior.

LarryHart said...

Pathetic attempt at cynical humor: We should have known the rules have changed when the Cubs won the World Series.

Whoever posted the entire Kipling poem "If" a few days ago, that might be good advice. Especially "If you can keep your head when those about you / Are losing theirs and blaming it on you..."

I obviously didn't sleep much last night (maybe 3 hours if that) and I have to look for work today. Furthermore, my daughter still has high school and my cats want to be fed. Life does go on, though whither America? I have a feeling that life and politics and maybe even identity will have to become much more local.

LarryHart said...

...and it wouldn't be me without an appropriate line from "Hamilton" :


France is following us to revolution.
There is no more status quo.
But the sun comes up, and the world still spins.

occam's comic said...

A more forward looking and perhaps more useful Science Fiction reference:

JOIN THE RESISTANCE

I am serious, if the conservatives can have the tea party we can have The Resistance.

Paul SB said...

"To those who may have thought we were living in a post-racial world, keep in mind that the KKK had their best night in 50 years. And, as CNN's Van Jones pointed out, part of the story on Tuesday night was "whitelash."

Further, will we be able to have a national conversation about sexism? There can be little question that at least some of the opposition to Hillary Clinton was gender-based. Meanwhile, 50 million people have bestowed their vote on a man who, at very least, objectifies women in the coarsest of terms. And, at worst, who thinks nothing of sexually assaulting them."

Racism has only been around for a few centuries, but sexism goes back for millennia, written deep into our culture. All our holy books are steeped in the objectification of women. There are far more memes in the mix to counter racism than sexism.

While Larry has been thinking Hamilton, my mind turned to a much more crass source of inspiration, which seems appropriate, given who our new Führer is now.

I want to break it up I want to smash it up I want to fuck it up
I want to watch it come down
maybe afraid of it let's discredit it let's pick away at it
I want to watch it come down
now doesn't that make you feel better?
the pigs have won tonight
now they can all sleep soundly
and everything is all right

from "March of the Pigs" by Trent Reznor

NoOne said...

The amazing thing about this election is that it came down to about 70000 people in PA and about 30000 people in WI. That's how razor thin was the margin.

It has been 40 years since Jimmy Carter's win and we are due for a failed president. Trump will end the Reagan era and we'll rebuild in 2021 by starting the climate change era.

Tim H. said...

It's going to be darkly amusing to watch this shotgun marriage of populism and contemporary conservatism play out, the demonstrated superpower of what passes for conservatism these days is "Obstruct & destroy", which is unlikely to go over well with the base. The KKK will see this as their victory, but it's not, most Trump voters won't wish to see civil rights rolled back very far, and will be appalled by some of what will be done in their name. There is some hope of a backlash in the next election, but chances are, the Democratic Leadership Council will continue to misunderstand what happened, and again, snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Circumstances may become "Interesting" for those of us who aren't mainstream, may the dark angels pass you by.

LarryHart said...

occam's comic:

A more forward looking and perhaps more useful Science Fiction reference:

JOIN THE RESISTANCE


Or if it gets really bad...JOIN THE MOCKINGJAY!

Tacitus2 said...

Perhaps now my consistent, and I think very Conservative, opposition to ending the Senate filibuster is looking a little better?

It is a dangerous time when either party has enough political power accumulated to thumb their noses at the opinions of the opposition, who after all represent just a smidge under 50% of the electorate.

I may well end up joining that Resistance....

Tacitus

LarryHart said...

Tim H:

The KKK will see this as their victory, but it's not, most Trump voters won't wish to see civil rights rolled back very far, and will be appalled by some of what will be done in their name.


Perhaps, but the time to stop that was during the election. I'll be telling the Trump voters whose lives get worse, not better, "I told you so," just as to the Republican business establishment who will be looking back on the wonderful Obama years, but their misery won't help the people victimized in their name.

Circumstances may become "Interesting" for those of us who aren't mainstream, may the dark angels pass you by.


Yeah, I can at least pass for white, and could probably manage "Christian" in a pinch. My heart goes out to those who can't so easily blend in.



LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

Perhaps now my consistent, and I think very Conservative, opposition to ending the Senate filibuster is looking a little better?


Point taken, but don't you think the Republicans will end the filibuster themselves, now?

matthew said...

... told ya so. Months ago I described exactly the sort of polling bias we just saw. I got called hysterical here.
I'd much rather have been wrong.

Tacitus2 said...

Larry,

I hope not.

But in this season of strangeness, who can say?

I would oppose doing so and would expect enough sense among Senators to keep this from happening. Political fortunes change. And will do so again.

Tacitus

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

It is a dangerous time when either party has enough political power accumulated to thumb their noses at the opinions of the opposition, who after all represent just a smidge under 50% of the electorate.


Or a smidge over 50% if the latest numbers are to be believed.

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

I would oppose [eliminating the filibuster] and would expect enough sense among Senators to keep this from happening. Political fortunes change. And will do so again.


They've been salivating over the Supreme Court nomination, and have (successfully) prevented President Obama from filling it. Do you honestly think there's a chance they'll let Chuck Schumer stand in their way?

A.F. Rey said...

My wife was right. First the Cubs win the World Series, now Biff is in charge.

It's Back to the Future coming true.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, soon the social justice warriors will be back in charge. Demographics will ensure this outcome.

As a libertarian, I take certain pleasure in seeing the SJW movement be slapped around a bit. However, Trump is not my candidate, his stated policies are not going to balance the budget.

I have enjoyed listening to all the talk here about the "rise of the confederacy", but it made no sense to me. The current policies of deficits forever (shared by both parties), are the equivalent of selling the younger generation into slavery, what is more confederacy like than that? US Government pays a ridiculously low interest rate. At one time, the bond market will price the risk correctly, from that point on, all the short term T-bills that get rolled over regularly will be much more expensive, I can see our interest expenses tripling over a decade. At that point, the discretionary budget will be gone, and entitlements shaved, in the absence of pure wealth confiscation. This is not going to end well.

The social justice warriors in Oregon that pretends they are state employees might have caused this outcome (Trump), when they imposed a $100K+ penalty on a Jesus freak baker in Oregon. This was an extrajudicial economic penalty, that did not go through a regular circuit court with a jury.

http://nypost.com/2015/04/26/christian-bakers-face-135k-fine-for-refusing-to-make-cake-for-gay-wedding/

Discrimination is stupid, but if not sanctioned by state powers, the moral imperative is that people be allowed to decide who they will associate with, or not associate with.

BTW, why is this not described as a hate crime?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/10/26/flash-mob-of-150-teens-attacks-temple-university-students-cops-in-philly/

Disappointed Libertarian Ankle Biter

PS. I am an immigrant, and one thing that attracted me to this country is the attitude of "Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me". This is disappearing. Where has my country, the former champion of open discourse gone?

Anonymous said...

Once Trump and the Republicans repeal the ACA, I'm done. Past Health care costs have already loaded me up with debt. I can't afford the old premiums and healthcare costs. My wife and son have separate medical conditions that would likely seem them denied any insurance. As a person who has to spend every waking moment as both an income earner for the family and a caretaker I am basically screwed.

Trump's victory, and the Republicans retained control of the senate is kicking a guy when he is down at this point. The guy is me, and those worse off.


donzelion said...

Filibuster? Ugh. It is not the Senate that will save us.

I propose a tax embargo until the electoral college is abolished. California, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts - the big states finance moochers in the small states, who hate us and take from our generosity to pave their roads and build their fortunes.

They want to 'drain the swamp'? Fair enough: so time to turn off the flows that finance that swamp. Second step is to make states that benefit unfairly pay the full price of admission.

I keep seeing 'California Secession' items among my friends - yet I will not abandon my friends in other states. Instead, let us all declare that if taxes are the price of a civilized society, those who are not civil do not get the benefit.

donzelion said...

Paul SB: I have a different Trent Reznor song in my head right now...and it is driving my thoughts on taxes:

"No you can't take it, No you can't take it
No you can't take that away from me"

"Head like a hole.
Black as your soul.
I'd rather die than give you control."

Don Raymond said...

I don't know how I can't give in to doom and despair at this point. I'm not a rocket scientist, but one things I've learned from studying math & history is that the last thing you do to a nonlinear chaotic system like climate is poke it with a stick. Now we have 4-8, maybe more years of not only doing nothing, but aggravating the problem? How soon before we push climate beyond even our most pessimistic models? And a war with China, or even a renewed Civil War, will distract attention and resources long enough that there might not be a chance to recover.

Anonymous said...

Denial and rejection of evidence--ah well when a corner of the blinkerers slip askew and lo!--there are the poll numbers for a populist candidate predicted some years ago by Spengler one might consider an actual study of history for a change--or will the blinkers be yet hastily re-secured and the blind cry, onwards?

David Brin said...

Anonymous I guess we'll see how "fantastic and beautiful" Trump's ACA replacement will be.

--
Don Raymond, Sustainables like solar and wind are hitting their stride. And perhaps leadership of the world will shift elsewhere.

I am far more worried about the United Staes Military Officer Corps, who may under a Trump presidency find themselves having to choose between their utter devotion to civilian authority and their duty to protect the citizens of this country. Under those conditions, even if they choose well, we'll have something precious and unique that winds up being sullied and harmed.

--
We are all fragile at the moment. I won't be banning anyone for a few days. Even screechers. They are easily skimmed-past.

David Brin said...

Anonymous libertarian, you are not an 'ankle biter." You offer up your standard libertarian catechism eloquently and politely and portions of it resonate with me. I have no fondness for the most sanctimonious wing of SJWs.

But for any libertarian to deem any part of the Republican Party to be in any way closer to the core libertarian spirit than the democrats - well that's just koolaid drinking from the teat provided at great and lavish expense by Koch-Forbes-paid shills.

"Hate all government" is an incantatory diversion from what should be libertarianism's core -- encouragement of flat-open-fair-creative competition. If you guys devoted eren three neurons to contemplating the horrors of feudal human history, you'd know what Adam Smith and the founders knew.

That the true enemies of flat-open-fair-creative competition are oligarchs, not civil servants.

--
Again, anyone who cites Spengler is way to too stupid to pay the slightest zzzzzzzz....

occam's comic said...

I guess it needs to be said,

Recognizing hard realities like a President Trump, or unavoidable climate change, or even your (and your loved ones) progression towards death, does not mean giving in to doom and despair. Recognizing the reality and figuring out how to deal situation can give your life much more meaning.

Andrew said...

DB,

I don't post here often, but I do come back from time to time and one of my favorite aspects of your writing is your defense of a pragmatic, sensible libertarianism.

-A

donzelion said...

Don Raymond: re climate change

Time for coastal communities to declare "tax independence": if the federal government does not protect our infrastructure, we must do it ourselves.

But look at those electoral maps, and you can see an interesting trend: folks inland are HOPING New York, Miami, New Orleans, and other coastal cities get deluged. They will profit handsomely from new beach fronts. Just as upstate Louisiana profited from the fall of New Orleans. This is a whole new frame of reference. The folks who reject science aren't stupid: they're real estate speculators gambling on making a killing from a few thousand people drowning.

raito said...

Anonymous,

"Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me". This is disappearing.

This was never true, and is one of the most pernicious lies we tell our children.

Communist in the '50's? Gay in the '60's? Muslim today?

What others call you can and will hurt you.

That doesn't mean that it should be so, only that it is so.

David Brin said...

dozelion it will take a century for 'new beach fronts' to be attractive. They'll be cluttered with junk and half-submerged ruins, as I describe in EXISTENCE. No. Folks will turn their backs on our mother, the sea.

A.F. Rey gets post of the morning when he said... ‘My wife was right. First the Cubs win the World Series, now Biff is in charge. It's Back to the Future coming true.’ Agh! We left Jennifer sleeping on the porch swing!

Staying light:
Now we’ll never know if Bill Clinton would have been called “First Laddy.” Or if he’d get a cabinet appointment to keep him close… or an ambassadorship to keep him far. (Sweden, if she still likes him; Afghanistan, if not.)

SONG you might recall:
“Mister we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.
Didn’t need no Welfare State.
Everybody pulled his weight.
Gee our old LaSalle ran great.
Those were the days.”

Ah but see how I answered nostalgia for the 1950s.
http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2011/10/was-1957-america-better-than-today.html

Much more seriously:
I am far more worried about the United Staes Military Officer Corps, who may under a Trump presidency find themselves having to choose between their utter devotion to civilian authority and their duty to protect the citizens of this country.  Under those conditions, even if they choose well, we'll have something precious and unique that winds up being sullied and harmed.

LarryHart said...

@donzelion

Interesting theory, but do you think Donald Trump really wants Manhattan to be inundated?

Don Raymond said...

"The folks who reject science aren't stupid: they're real estate speculators gambling on making a killing from a few thousand people drowning."

Does that mean my little cow town might actually get a decent restaurant? :)

Part of my despair comes from relocating from the SF Bay Area to Deep Red cow country ... the Oregon refuge standoff was only a couple of counties over from me, and many people here would prefer land-grabbing cattle barons over wildlife refuges they have no interest in.

David Brin said...

Andre thanks. Libertarianism could turn into a genuine movement with real intellect, if they could break koolaid habits force-fed them by the oligarchy. It is liberals and libertarians who share overlapping goals and could argue and negotiate respectfully over method. There are no overlaps with the party of fundamentalism, racism and feudal oligarchism.

donzelion said...

Jeff B: I remain skeptical of foreign interference accounting for what happened, BUT you may be on to something. Everyone was scrutinizing the ballots in the cities, the machines in the cities, etc. Who is reviewing the voter rolls in the rural areas?

My Mom just told me that I received my ballot in Oregon - where I haven't lived for 4 years, and which I thought had been terminated after I relocated to California and registered here. It was supposed to be terminated, without me taking further steps to verify. But my Mom lives in the 'purple/red' part of Oregon - where the local elections operators appear to have been sleeping on a registration for a 'white American man' (the demographic they want to retain in the voting rolls).

I wonder if that is consistent? If there are lots of men in the rural areas who voted 3x times? Each poll site can only verify the person who comes before them - they can't verify a person who goes to numerous different locations.

Carl M. said...

You wanted Republicans to worry about the rise of Oligarchy. You got your wish. They elected a populist. And like populists since Julius Caesar at least, he comes with danger for our republic.

Note how Trump took some usually blue states in the Midwest. He went after the voters that once formed the core of the Democratic Party, before the McGovernites took over. Feel free to use the phrase "union thug" when describing Trump. He promises to enforce a picket line around the entire country.

The bygone age of a working class middle class that you celebrate was an age of extremely tight immigration restrictions and limited competition from imports. Reagan broke some strikes when he granted amnesty.

Be careful what you wish for. You might get it.

(P.S. You really don't want the far right to believe in evolution. That gets really ugly really fast.)

(P.P.S. You didn't get what you wish for on global warming. Time to get entrepreneurial. No federal help for the next four years.)

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Guys

What happens now?
Trump is due in court in December(?) - for rape of a 13 year old - and also for fraud about his "University"

What happens if he is found guilty??


Hillary lost to Trump -
I believe that means she would have lost to any of the other GOP clowns

Which means that even a stronger DEM candidate would have lost to a slightly stronger GOP candidate

Is this just because "It was their turn"?? - we have had two lots of Obama - it was time for the other side??

I console myself with the belief that the Donald will still be better than any of the other clowns - even if they have the same awful aims he will be less competent about achieving them

Hell - he is in power now - maybe he will sell the Supreme Court vacancy to the highest bidder?

Robert said...

If I were a cynical man, I would expect several things to happen.

1. Abolishing the Filibuster so Democrats cannot stop the Republican destruction of Democracy.
2. Eliminating the Voting Rights Act entirely, and possibly pass legislation banning independent panels to end gerrymandering.
3. Pass legislation making Gay Marriage illegal and a felony. All existing gay marriage will be null and void. Any tax breaks from filing jointly must be repaid immediately.
4. Pass legislation making it so felons and ex-cons cannot vote. This will effectively disenfranchise the black vote and some of the Hispanic vote.
5. Elect three Supreme Court Justices. Why limit it to one? Stack the court for the long-term in arch-conservative hands. And make sure the men put in place are younger conservatives.
6. End civil rights legislation, claiming it's not needed and discriminates against the people it's intended to protect.
7. Pass legislation empowering Christian groups.
8. Make Abortion illegal. In fact, most forms of birth control will likely be found to be "assisting in abortions" and also be found illegal. Use of these will be a felony. Prescribing them will be a felony.
9. Make it illegal for people under 21 to gather in public groups because they obviously aren't mature enough to make their own decisions.
10. Expand on the Patriot Act to allow for Enemies Domestic.

And rely on their stacked Supreme Court to ensure their destruction of democracy remains in force.

You will also see the FBI starting to crack down on advocacy and political groups to disrupt groups seeking to oppose the Republicans. No doubt the base in Cuba will start filling with Enemies Domestic. And if you're a terrorist, even an American one, you have no right to a trial or the like.

But I am a cynic. Maybe Dr. Brin's belief in Republican laziness will continue.

Rob H., who already is hearing people blame the Libertarian Party for Clinton's loss

Jumper said...

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1995/06/22/ur-fascism/
Umberto Eco speaks from the grave.

donzelion said...

Robert: The party that won the popular vote in 4 of the last 5 elections LOST the election in 3 of those cases. The system is indeed rigged. Any cure for the rigging that doesn't focus on the precise cause of the problem is a distraction.

The electoral college should have died with the federal income tax - otherwise, states that are 'takers' can oppress states that are 'givers.' The moochers came out of the woodworks to defend the gifts bestowed upon them by the cities: it's time to make them pay.

"The bygone age of a working class middle class that you celebrate was an age of extremely tight immigration restrictions..."
Not so. Indeed, the immigration restrictions were enacted in the late 50s, and mostly enforced by the end of the 60s - and even then, immigrants were granted citizenship immediately if they were anti-Communist or if a family member volunteered for the military. You are right about the absence of import competition: WWII sort of wrecked the ability for many countries to scale up exports for quite some time.

To revert to the 1940s-60s era, we would need to engage in World War III and wreck factories overseas once more.

Jeff B. said...

Larry Hart,

23 years Federal service, so yes I survived Bush. But he and his Congress didn't come off as an existential threat to my career like the Donald does. I thought he was mildly unqualified for the office because of less-than-stellar intellect, but he was just another speed bump. Now?

Jeff B. said...

Donzelion,

I propose a tax embargo until the electoral college is abolished. California, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts - the big states finance moochers in the small states, who hate us and take from our generosity to pave their roads and build their fortunes.

Not sure I follow- are you talking about millions of citizens in blue states withholding individual federal taxes? Or something the state governments themselves could do?

And how could something this drastic stop short of civil war? (not entirely joking, says he deep behind the lines...)

donzelion said...

Rob H:

"3. Pass legislation making Gay Marriage illegal and a felony. All existing gay marriage will be null and void. Any tax breaks from filing jointly must be repaid immediately."

This is one of many cases where "Taxation Secession" makes sense: until America establishes a true democracy, no taxes paid by hundreds of thousands of Americans. Let's see how many government workers will try to collect unpaid taxes when those workers' salaries themselves aren't paid. Let's see how well Indiana and other 'takers' do when they have to pay their full share.

"7. Pass legislation empowering Christian groups."
Related to "Taxation Secession" - if we all create 501(c)(3) organizations, based in our own name, and refuse to pay any taxes, the IRS lacks the manpower to review such organizations already. We can demand the same privileged treatment as the right wing 'Christian Corp.'

"But I am a cynic. Maybe Dr. Brin's belief in Republican laziness will continue."
They have the luxury of laziness: we are financing them, and their people are expropriating the generosity of the states that built America.

Alfred Differ said...

@LarryHart: If it helps with your wife, let her know she can find pretty much any political environment she wants here. We are more of a moderate sized nation than we are a State. There is a lot of diversity.

I'm not really asserting this to be true, but in a science-fictional kind of way, doesn't the suggestion that Trump was controlling it with extra-human powers make a certain amount of sense?

Nah. Go talk to some of the women closest to you. See if they are really under anyone’s control. See if that seething anger is still there, because they’ve been putting up with cr*p from guys for generations. Bow your head in apologetic shame for guys everywhere and ask them what we can do to help next. They probably don’t want solutions right now though. They’ll probably want someone to yell at. If they take you up on it, you know the Mule doesn’t own them. 8)

ask again--who is our Second Foundation in the model?

Heaven forbid we have such a group too.

The ‘elite’ should be parsed into their groups because there is one in particular being railed against. McCloskey refers to them as the Clerisy. They are intelligent, educated, often white, and believers in the notion that they could design a better society. Like oligarchs, they think they could lead/rule better than the confused rabble. Some of them actually say so, but those who don’t wind up enabling authoritarians by misunderstanding and misleading others with their confidence in their knowledge.

I have to be careful describing these folks because David might think I’m supportive of the war against smarty-pants. I’m not, but I do recognize a legitimate beef the Petite Bourgeois has with the Clerisy. I think some among the Clerisy are guilty of treason against the Enlightenment and suspect the war on smartypants is broader than it should be because it is hard to tell who is on which side. In their own revolution, the French beheaded a whole lot more people than they needed to in order to bring about change, and something similar is underway here. In this sense, I think David is right about the Oligarchs controlling the message and effectively turning our Petite Bourgeois into Confederates, but I think we can turn them back to our side if we point them at the correct people whose heads should roll.

The question I'm asking right now is whether or not the Oligarchs can control these folks. I'm doubtful, so I'm tempted to offer the troops some targets.

Jeff B. said...

Donzelion,

I remain skeptical of foreign interference accounting for what happened, BUT you may be on to something. Everyone was scrutinizing the ballots in the cities, the machines in the cities, etc. Who is reviewing the voter rolls in the rural areas?

Pennsylvania has no paper ballot or receipts, so here at least it might be plausible. From what I could discern it looks like they use some sort of cartridge system to record the votes, which I'd presume to get uploaded to a central system. The only line of defense is that I think the PA Sec of State is a Democrat.

But I think that I was trying to get at is, a. there was a clear, announced threat of international intervention, b. there were some suspiciously close votes that went for the Donald in states predicted to go the other way. When you falsify, you do it subtly, just enough to tip the scales, not adding millions of extra votes.

So I'd want an audit (even secret to avoid disrupting the civic order) to assure that there were no shenanigans. And if there were, then it could hopefully be fixed before the next administration takes office via executive order.

Jeff B. said...

Spent much of the day trying to analyze what happened, and why. Way, way too early to diagnose, but hey, why let that stop me?

1. The well-known information bubble of the Right has its match on the left. Not in our perception of the world, perhaps, but at least for the leadership, a total detachment from much of the country. There are many isolated pockets of would-be democrats across the country, even in the Reddest areas, but no effort at all to build on this. Not one canvasser in the last 4-5 elections left the cities and larger towns, at least not from what I saw. Not one focus group, town hall, discussion, brainstorming session. This "Coastism" has bothered me for years- Hollywood, the news, the Democratic politicians all focus on both sides of the country.Abandon the hinterlands, when both congress and the electoral college are unduly weighted toward them, at your peril.

2. This "Coastism" or "Urbanism" perhaps led to quick, summary judgments of the motivations of the Red parts of the country. Sure, racism is a big factor, but if you blame everything on racism, you don't have to bother looking to see what else is involved. There're plenty of college-educated people out here in the Wilds, potential leaders and recruiters, who are an untapped resource for understanding our friends and neighbors. Economic opportunity? Fear of change?

3. Rotten Boroughs- I don't think I've seen many acknowledge the fact that our political system places far greater weight votes from rural states than urban areas. My congressional district stretches almost the entire north-south "height" of PA, but has the same power as a neighborhood or large district in Philly or Pittsburgh. And further, PA has 20-40x the population of Wyoming, but only 6-7x the electoral strength. It's the system we have, and we have to work with it, but it does automatically tilt the scales.

4. Of course: gerrymandering. (If Pres. Obama's efforts after he steps down involve any new nonprofit entity, it'd be tempting to sign up!)

5. The Fox Propaganda machine and its congeners. The other bubble's still there and still strong. How to you break it open to let in the fresh air of reality?

6. Another of course: the mainstream media's complicity in it's false equivalency games.

Jeff B. said...

Robert,

As for what the next four years hold, I'm not nearly as cynical. The Republicans in the past have backed off of destruction for destruction's sake, and I'd even guess that many truly believe in democracy, but suffer from the false belief that theirs is the only true answer.

My predictions:
1. Not much change domestically:some court cases against Democratic causes, but nothing earthshattering
2. No change in the wealth gap
3. An increase in excuses to outsource govt. functions to contracting (where corruption and profiteering will benefit Republican donors)

But no martial law, police state, or removal of the props of democracy. The end of the Senate filibuster's a tossup.

Internationally it's much more difficult to predict, because Trump's ignorance and isolationist tendencies might cause all sorts of chaos.
4. tensions in relationships with Europe, Mexico, China, Brazil, Japan, the oil states. Especially China.
5. Weakening of NATO and Asian alliances.
6. Difficulties with Iran.
7. Increased terrorism.
8. slow exodus of international students from the US- why stay if not wanted or welcome?
9. Putin, not an expansionist but determined to secure Russia's borders from European "threats", continues to sow disruption, and perhaps pressures the Ukraine back into its sphere...

Carl M. said...

Tim H. This "shotgun marriage of populism and conservatism" has been around in this country from the beginning. I first encountered it nearly 40 years ago when I got a copy of "None Dare Call it Conspiracy" bundled in with a book of free energy patents I ordered out of the back of a magazine. (Either Science Digest or one of the Science Fiction mags. I forget.) But go way back and there was the Anti Masonic Party, the American Party (the Know Nothings), the Populist Party (which was anti immigrant), and the Reform Party.

Henry Ford (you my have heard of him) was part of this thread. He included conspiracy theory lit about Jewish banking interests in his cars for a time. Was insistent on indoctrinating immigrants to pretend to be WASPs. Made cars for the masses and paid wages that were high for the time.

Carl M. said...

Robert, if you are worried about Christian fundamentalists, you better hope The Donald doesn't get arrested before inauguration or impeached afterwards. The Donald lined up a gay billionaire for his nomination. The Donald has a very European attitude towards sexual mores. He has been in the vice industry for a rather long time.

Pence, on the other hand, is a real conservative. Pence is The Donald's life insurance policy.

Don Raymond said...

Jeff B.,
I would add that the media and the Democrats fought the wrong battle. I talked to many Trump supporters who were opposed to what they perceived to be PC culture run amok - trigger warnings, microaggressions, etc.
So when the attacks on Trump focused so much on his behavior, this just played right into the anti-PC mindset.

Jeff B. said...

Don Raymond, absolutely. I'd probably take it a step further and suggest that Hillary was (as some here like Robert said long ago) the wrong candidate. The Republicans are masters at crafting emotional, gut-level appeals- heck, that's what their party seems entirely about these days (and I say this as a sad former Republican)- it's all about what people feel.

And against that Democrats threw a master of logic and policy, a proud wonk who could not demonstrate a connection to the voters. That, and the taint of years of Republican false allegations against her, the continued smokescreen of "corruption" in a year that seems to have been about sticking it to the corrupt elite, might've made her doomed from the start.

We needed an Obama or a Bill Clinton- perhaps strong on policy, but masters of the common touch, charisma, affability. We can't just focus on what's appealing to the Democratic base, we need a charmer who excites the electorate.

Alfred Differ said...

@Donzelion: Heh. Tax Embargo.

Many years ago I read an article that talked about secession discussions. The author made a point that the southern states weren’t likely to do it again. Instead, he argued that California would and it would be over taxation. Whether he was right or not didn’t matter to me. I had never heard the argument put the way he did and found it interesting enough to read. It wasn’t the taxation that would be the real issue, though. It was supposed to be the proxy/rationalization we used to argue the cultural divide was too large to tolerate anymore.

The argument finished with us taking Oregon, Washington, and BC with us because they have their own reasons to be annoyed. It’s not that they like California or trust us politically, but that we are large enough to make a viable nation. I don’t remotely think this will happen for geopolitical reasons and I would oppose it if it ever came up, but since then I’ve watched our politics with an eye on this unlikely scenario. You proposing a tax embargo is right in line with the early signs of the scenario. 8)

Jeff B. said...

And forgot to note, Hillary was the best option of all the Democrats- I by no means think Sanders would've gotten anywhere near as far as she did. But it was settling for hamburger when we really needed a steak.

Sorry to ramble on like this. On a roll.

Robert said...

You misunderstand me. It doesn't matter if Trump or Pence is in office, that checklist is a worse-case scenario I can see happening. And I left things off of it.

One person I know who was anti-Hillary (but didn't vote for Trump either) was commenting on how Trump would be impeached and removed from office within two years. I told him "you better hope not. Pence is far worse." And a lot of people echoed my sentiments in this.

Trump may very well find that his one hope of remaining in office is the Democratic Party that if smart would refuse to vote on Impeachment or in removing him from office - and indeed might try filibustering those attempts. In two years, a Trump Presidency may very well owe its remaining power on Democrats as they block Republican efforts to remove Trump - at least, until they can impeach and remove Pence first.

If Republicans decide to rest on their laurels and celebrate rather than push through legislation to solidify their rule, in two years they will very likely find themselves losing the Senate and possibly the House. And if recession strikes under Trump? You could see a number of Republican-run states starting to turn Democrat.

I don't think Republicans are that stupid. They know the writing is on the wall. It depends really on if they are willing to betray American Democracy to remain in power. It may very well end up being the ethics of Republicans in the House and Senate that decide the future of this Republic.

As if you guys didn't have enough to freak out over.

Rob H.

Robert said...

One other thing that will be most interesting to watch.

Republicans hate the whole state legalization of marijuana.

What's going to happen when the DEA starts raiding marijuana shops in states that legalized its sale? And what will states do when the Justice Department hits them with demands to turn over tax revenue from the illegal sale of marijuana (seeing on the Federal level it's still illegal)?

Rob H.

Don Raymond said...

Jeff B,
I also think the glimpse into the inner workings of the DNC didn't help - the fact that Wasserman-Schultz essentially anointed HRC as heir apparent possibly drove voters to third parties simply out of spite.

donzelion said...

Jeff B: "Pennsylvania has no paper ballot or receipts, so here at least it might be plausible."

I wasn't thinking about issues on the 'votes' themselves, but the ways of gaming the system behind the votes. Folks have feared 'dead men voting' for decades - and adapted a system over even more decades to stop that sort of fraud. But there are countless types of fraud that could occur, which would similarly take time to rectify.

For myself, I suppose I need to contact the Oregon Secretary of State and find out why I'm still getting ballots in Oregon (which is a thoroughly blue state, but STILL has me on the rolls, much to my surprise). If this is happening in Oregon, it is happening elsewhere too - but it will be happening differently.

"I'd want an audit (even secret to avoid disrupting the civic order) to assure that there were no shenanigans."
Audits evolved along with accounting over centuries in response to frequent, daily sorts of fraud that were vigorously challenged. We should assume that the same sorts of practices that financial services took generations to rectify (to the extent they've even rectified them) will be present in electoral systems: but we also shouldn't be complacent in the belief that a tool for detecting fraud will actually work - it only works against problems people care about.

"This "Coastism" has bothered me for years- Hollywood, the news, the Democratic politicians all focus on both sides of the country.Abandon the hinterlands, when both congress and the electoral college are unduly weighted toward them, at your peril."
Time to abandon the electoral college. When the 16th Amendment makes the coasts the focus of payment of income taxes, the electoral college distorts the value of non-coastal communities that pay a much lower share.

Democrats have let this slide, though they won 4 of the last 5 popular votes, but lost 3 of the last 5 elections. It's time to raise this up, as the system is inherently unfair.

"There're plenty of college-educated people out here in the Wilds, potential leaders and recruiters, who are an untapped resource for understanding our friends and neighbors."
There are plenty of us in the cities too, who were never invited to do a dang thing. Shucks, the only candidate whose people reached out to me personally was Bernie. This has to change.

"PA has 20-40x the population of Wyoming, but only 6-7x the electoral strength. It's the system we have, and we have to work with it, but it does automatically tilt the scales."
It's time to change this system we have. We can pass an amendment that requires payment of personal income taxes. We can similarly pass an amendment that abolishes the electoral college. It is time: folks in the rural areas collect revenues, dividends, unemployment insurance, and a host of benefits from folks who work in the cities. Abolish that mooching, and see how things stand.

"5. The Fox Propaganda machine and its congeners. The other bubble's still there and still strong. How to you break it open to let in the fresh air of reality?"
Fox is a Republican propaganda machine. CNN and MSNBC, however, have been very critical of Hillary - as is typical of liberals. We don't respond well to militancy - but maybe now is the time to wake up.

I think taxes are the way to do it. And a consistent fixation on how rural America is stealing from urban America.

donzelion said...

Alfred: re "Tax Embargo"

I don't see California abandoning Miami (the rest of Florida mooches off them), NY, Massachusetts, Illinois (Chicago), and other states. But the 'cultural divide' - aside from abortion and homosexual rights - isn't a real thing: it's a fiction, the sort of fiction that causes the same folks who DESPISED Bill Clinton for marital infidelity but don't see that as a problem for Trump. They do not believe in a single goddamn principle: they believe in power, which presents propaganda as principle.

And right now, it's the electoral college that confers that power. And the ability to gouge the coastal states, the producer states. There is no other cause: the rigging is baked into the Constitution, and it is time to change the Constitution. A provision that was proposed in 1780s to prevent civil war failed in its original purpose - and it's perpetuation is failing now.

But it really should have ended after the 16th Amendment - we've retained it because nobody pays attention to the system that overpowers even gerrymandering in terms of grossly devaluing "big state voters" for "small state voters."

"You proposing a tax embargo is right in line with the early signs of the scenario."
I am looking at the California secession discussion groups that have popped up (and was proposing that line of logic at 2 am last night - a little drunk with despair). But we can never abandon NY, Illinois, Mass, Miami - we owe too much to too many of these people, and at the end of the day, we still love them.

At least for now.

Alfred Differ said...

@Anonymous (SJW slapper):

"Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me".

I appreciate your trust in us, but if you study our history in the 1960’s, you’ll see we aren’t the nation you imagined. We like to think we are, but the SJW movement wouldn’t have any fodder to work if we were.

What we DO manage to accomplish most of the time, though, is to avoid killing each other in our pain. The words hurt, but few of us will brandish a weapon over them.

BTW, why is this not described as a hate crime?

Because we try to set the bar quite high for that definition. Maybe they will later, but they shouldn’t use the term early especially when children are involved.

David Brin said...

CArlM I have often and accurately described the oligarchs’ use of ancient confederate techniques to steer inchoate white rage against elites toward those elites the oligs find inconvenient, instead of at themselves.

Saw a (rare) pundit on TV explain that Trump’s followers take everything he says “figuratively” rather than “literally.” If you look back across the lat 6 months, much abruptly makes sense. Indeed, she also pointed out that DT was never an ideologue. An authoritarian bully, yes! But it is conceivable he’ll veer away from dogmatic purity.

What worries most is his addiction. He needs his rallies. The Oval Office will be hell, by comparison. And a leader who holds big rallies is — problematic.

RobH, It’s not just laziness that might save us. And his internal obsessions with ego, not ideology. There is also the essential decency of the American professional castes. We are the ones who seem weak because we seem less passionately sure of ourselves. But push us too hard and we’ll see who has all the technological prowess that underlies all aspects of power.

“The question I'm asking right now is whether or not the Oligarchs can control these folks.”

Glen Beck, George F Will… are they asking “what have we wrought?”

Oh, here’s a sci fi-ish thought. HC won the popular vote by a little. But there’s a possibility she was cheated of a bigger margin. Because in deep red states like Alabama, no one was double checking the results. The electoral votes were foregone as was statehouse control. So the GOP establishment could order up any result they want, including padding the popular vote results. Question: given that they are extreme and admitted cheaters, why would they not?

Watch The Free State of Jones.

David Brin said...


Donzelion offers up one cute tactic… all professionals declare themselves vicars of a church… ooooog.

Jeff B…. thought provoking list of items to consider…

Don Raymond I oft say that Blue America CONTAINS some problematic bullies at the FAR-left. They are dismal-nasty people. But the ENTIRETY of Red America CONSISTS of such. Unless you are on a university campus, the problem is the latter.

Robert it is vital that Democrats in Congress carry tiny recording devices, to catch Ryan when he offers the Impeachment Gambit. The dems must not fall for it. Take the recordings to Trump.

Robert said...

Dr. Brin, if Democrats bring proof that Republicans are trying to impeach Trump to him, he will go public immediately. This will tell his followers that Republicans are out to screw them once more. It will be worse than the Tea Party. It'll be the Tea Party on Steroids. You won't be seeing conservatives running. You will see populists run as Not The Incumbent and drive out the existing power base.

Our one hope is that such a group would be so diverse and varied that it would destroy Republican unity forever. Especially if the populist anger carries over on the State level and you see hundreds of State Representatives tossed out on their ears.

Rob H.

Don Raymond said...

Dr. Brin,
"Blue America CONTAINS some problematic bullies at the FAR-left. They are dismal-nasty people. But the ENTIRETY of Red America CONSISTS of such"
Agreed absolutely. I've been a reader for a while, but until today, hadn't felt enough despair to come here seeking some ray of hope. Trump's already picking climate skeptics and land-auctioneers for his cabinet.
I'd add that the academic Left was already making corrections to their dogmatists, but the Right was offended by their perception of "authoritarianism" (which as near as I can say is defined as "treating the Right even a scintilla as badly as the Right treated everyone else.)
Furthermore, I think society is pretty good at parsing intent; there's a difference between edgy PC-baiting and outright bigotry.

Alfred Differ said...

@Donzelion: Look up the stats on the most attempted amendment to the federal constitution. You’ll find it is all about the Electoral College. You know what it takes to pass them. I’m sympathetic, bit it SO isn’t going to happen without calling a convention. Do that and all Hell will break loose.

I take the secession scenario about as seriously as David’s Saudi conspiracy notion, though even less likely. It is a useful frame of mind to use when thinking about taxes, but I’m sure there are better solutions.

However, I am applauding you putting the concepts of ‘taxation’ and ‘theft’ in the same together in print. You might find some Libertarians aren’t as nutty as we sound. 8)

Carl M. said...

David, I 100% agree about the rallies. They are a return to the days of the National Recovery Administration. Bleah! (I found Obama's commie dictator stare into space pose disturbing as well. In his favor he dialed it back over the years.)

I did not vote for Trump or any Republican this time around. Straight ticket L. I didn't waste my vote on Hillary.

----

Trump has had a long running obsession with having some protectionism. There are videos of him being consistent on that particular message from 20 years ago.

Europe, by the way, protects its working class from cheap Chinese imports by collecting a significant portion of its taxes in the form of a VAT. Our income/payroll combination is effectively a subsidy on foreign imports, as these taxes are higher than our import duties. This is what most of my libertarian and conservative friends don't get.

The rise of Trump, the WTO protests, Occupy Wall St. and Black Lives Matter are all manifestations of the same problem: you cannot have open borders and low tariffs and have an egalitarian society -- until the rest of the world catches up to U.S. wealth levels. Trump is Dick Gephardt gone gangsta.

For Adam Smith, low tariffs were a progressive measure, as the Corn Laws were price supports for the nobility. Here in the U.S. high tariffs were taxes on slave owners, and thus progressive.

As for the whole "trade begets peace thing" I would note that England built a giant empire during it's low tariff days. Hardly peaceful. The U.S. was isolationist with regard to Europe during its high tariff days. It is Obama and Clinton who are trying to start WWIII with Russia and the nationalists who are saying NATO is obsolete.

History is complicated.

Tim H. said...

I believe it would be in the power of an individual state to apportion electors in accord with the popular vote in each congressional district. This would reflect the will of the voters more accurately, without a constitutional amendment. Getting a dominant party to risk electors might be another matter...

Carl M. said...

Tim H, you are correct. But does the Republican Party want to give up on that big chunk of electors it gets cheap from Texas? Does the Democratic Party want to give up solid California?

If your proposal was done, we would see a change in the popular vote as Republican presidential candidates try harder in NY and California, and Democrats in Texas.

There is also the problem of Gerrymandering, as David would point out if I failed to mention it.

---
But all this is window dressing. We will continue to get divisive candidates as long as we have plurality take all voting. Range Voting favors consensus builders.

Tim H. said...

And politics attracts people who mostly don't want a consensus, though they may wish to call what they rammed down their opponents throats a consensus...

Tony Fisk said...

So Hilary might have won the popular vote by... 200,000, out of a total voting pool 500 times that size, against a person so manifestly unqualified as Trump? How does the popular vote get to be so finely balanced? (and not just in the US. Look at Brexit, Switzerland, Australia) It feels like a form a democratic heat death. Nobody is sure what just happened. Is white privilege that powerful still? Did college educated whites use the WL emails as an excuse? Was the winding back of Voting Rights to blame? I don't know.

I think the 'Pence Gambit' is something to watch for. Unless another 'Runway Incident' occurs first. Sorry if this sounds brutal, but Empires are birthed in ugliness, and America is in unknown territory. Ponder everything, even the wrong things.

Jeff B. said...

Donzelion,

I think I'd tend to agree with Alfred here- we're not going to get at the Electoral College, not in the immediate future. I think it's a question of priorities- first we tackle gerrymandering, then work at restoring some balance in the governor's mansions and statehouses, and then electoral reform- the third won't happen without the first two. The fix is in, so unless we eliminate that crutch, change isn't going to happen.

Gerrymandering? Unless it's more or less a national push, the Democrats would be foolish to sign on except for sure-thing states like MD- increasing Republican representation at the expense of their own weakens them nationally. First stop the bleeding, then take care of the headache.

Jeff B. said...

Tony Fisk,

I'd give the Pence gambit less than 10% odds of happening. The Republican establishment fell all over themselves after the primary to prove their bona fides, and line up behind Trump. There is absolutely no indication that they have the nerve or backbone to be willing to contradict him. Perhaps they planned for it, but having the nerve to openly disagree with the annointed, and incur the wrath of the awakened Trumpists, would be shocking.

LarryHart said...

Jeff B:

My predictions:
1. Not much change domestically:some court cases against Democratic causes, but nothing earthshattering
...

But no martial law, police state, or removal of the props of democracy.


Not directly. But they will gut the Voting Rights Act even more and in other ways give license to suppress likely-Democratic voters. And they'll take another case like the one they would have ruled on before Scalia was raptured, so that those supposedly-"constitutionalist" judges can rule that when the Constitution says "whole number of persons", it really means "whole number of registered (or maybe eligible) voters". The effect of that is to make fewer urban districts and more rural ones, both congressional districts and state legislative districts. What they'll do is cement their own lock on power for decades beyond when the will of the voters supports it.

LarryHart said...

Carl M:

Pence, on the other hand, is a real conservative. Pence is The Donald's life insurance policy.


Against Democrats, perhaps. Not against Republicans.

LarryHart said...

@Alfred Differ:

Look up the stats on the most attempted amendment to the federal constitution. You’ll find it is all about the Electoral College. You know what it takes to pass them. I’m sympathetic, bit it SO isn’t going to happen without calling a convention.


There is a way for some states to do it, though, without changing the constitution. Admittedly, it will be harder now without the "blue wall", but if enough states to equal 270 electoral votes agree to a legally binding pact to award all of their (states') electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, then the result is the same as if the president is elected by popular vote. I thought California was already part of the attempt to form such a pact.

Tom Crowl said...

This result is a surprise.... but not a shock.

ON ISSUES.... (immigration, taxes, social liberalism, etc.) every data point would suggest that the Democrats should not only have the Presidency but both Houses as well.

Yet they lost! Are the American people irrational?

Yes, they are. People are prone to that under certain conditions.

It's called the "Ultimatum Game"... I'm sure you heard of it...

Where a person (or class)who feels he's being treated unfairly by a "deal" will REJECT what he/she considers a bad deal...

biting his nose to spite his face.

Now whether another considers that position irrational... or even thinks that its a great deal and that person should accept it...

Is utterly IRRELEVANT.

This was not an issue election... this was an ultimatum game election.

We need an issue oriented rather than politician oriented political system.

Jumper said...

Love all the "followers of Sanders" who refused absolutely to do what he asked them multiple times. What kind of person is that?

Oh, David: please patent this as adapted to desktop printing. Weave and deposit molten drops atop each layer of weave. A nitrogen atmosphere should suffice. I grant you half the proceeds. Make it 51%.
http://www.jeccomposites.com/knowledge/international-composites-news/carbon-fiber-reinforced-aluminium-composite

Jonathan Sills said...

"I didn't waste my vote on Hillary."

Indeed. And the numbers say that you, and people like you, are responsible for electing Trump, because while you would never have voted for him, you refused to vote for the only viable opponent, and in many areas the difference in the vote between the two was less than the number of "protest" votes cast.

Carl, I sincerely hope that your righteousness in not "wasting" your vote is sufficient to keep you warm, in the coming years.

TheMadLibrarian said...

Duncan, any openings in NZ for a gang of talented computer geeks? DH is considering packing up the business and emigrating.

Alfred Differ said...

Whether Carl has issues to reflect upon depends quite a bit on where he lives.

Please do remember that absent a 'protest' vote option, some would have stayed home or left that line blank. They would melt into the statistics for people who choose not to participate. Voting third party gives everyone a chance to see just how many WOULD participate if they were offered a decent candidate.

Tony Fisk said...

No Alfred. Until you have a preferential system that allows you to let candidates know where their support is coming from, people need to vote for one of two.

MillenniumCrow said...

Dr. Brin,

I'm a long-time lurker becoming a first-time poster, so please excuse any breaches of etiquette and/or obvious noob-ery. I'm an active-duty U.S. military officer and very much an admirer of George Marshall as the Platonic ideal of the apolitical U.S. military man. If it's all right with you, I'd prefer not to give any more details than that (hence the pseudonym).

Like many of the commenters here, I've been in a state of utter psychological shock for most of the day. In fact, I've talked to several other non-Trump voters and the symptoms appear to be universal. People tell me that they feel as if they've stumbled into the Twilight Zone. I'm wondering if there shouldn't be some creative and funny name for this phenomenon.

What's perhaps worst is that I feel the need to hide this from the majority of my co-workers, as I'm sure most of them don't feel the same way. On the one hand, it's relatively easy for me to blend in with them, but on the other it can be so hard not to speak my mind, hence why I've come here.

I firmly believe that Trump is a national security disaster of a staggering magnitude and would be happy to expound on that fact at length at some point in the future. Oh, and maybe comment on some cool science-y things too, if the community will have me.

Finally, I'd like to thank you and all of the commenters here who've been politically active in ways I've wanted to be but find to be ethically/legally dubious. I only wish your efforts could have succeeded.

Robert said...

NO. Simply NO.

You do not get to tell us we can only vote for one of two parties.

You do not get to blame Libertarians and Greens for not voting for your candidate.

Do you honestly want to know why Clinton lost?

Because William Weld backed out and insisted that Libertarians should vote Clinton. This, along with the FBI pulling that bullshit with the e-mails? Caused a bunch of people from the Republican Party and some from the Libertarian who were GOING to vote Johnson to flee back to the Republicans and Trump.

Notice. Polling showed Johnson losing vote and Trump gaining it.

Do you honestly think that the nearly 4% that remained loyal to the Libertarian Party would vote for Clinton? No. They would not.

So blame Libertarian-leaning candidates who got cold feet and decided Trump was better than Clinton. But don't think that if you eliminate all parties but Democrat and Republican that you would magically have Clinton elected. That would not happen.

There is one other factor that caused Clinton to lose. The DNC played favorites. If they had been fully transparent and fully neutral in regards to Hillary Clinton's opponents? Then there would have been no real outcry if Sanders had lost.

In the meantime? Do not dare blame third-party voters. You do not know of what you speak.

Rob H.

Robert said...

The above e-mail being in response to Tony Fisk, btw.

Rob H.

David S. said...

I'm a long time lurker who seldom posts, but I just wanted to welcome MillenniumCrow and all the other new posters and to say thank you to all regular posters. The level of discourse here has been a source of comfort.

-David S
North San Diego County, California


Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Librarian

I honestly don't know - but software is an international thing these days all you need is decent internet access (talking as a total noob on this subject)

If you do think of coming over there are two places in NZ - Auckland and everywhere else

Auckland is our only really big city - with the advantages and (IMHO) massive disadvantages that go with big cities

It's really nice where I am (Gore - Southland) but it's a small town and the Aucklanders (JAFA's) think we spend all of our time in fur coats chivying the penguins out of the way

Robert
Choices have consequences - the idiots who voted for Nader and let Bush in are directly responsible for hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths
They share that responsibility with the ones that stayed home and the ones that voted GOP - but they do own part of that responsibility

Those that permitted the Donald to become POTUS may end up with a similar responsibility on their souls

Tony Fisk said...

Welcome, MilleniumCrow. You and IlithiDragon may have a few opinions (I think he might off on active duty atm, though)

Tony Fisk said...

@Robert, well I suppose I should have expected an equal and opposite reaction, especially at present.
But your argument is essentially the same as mine, turned round: the only effect your minor parties have is to drain one of the major ones. If I know not of which I speak, enlighten me.

The problem is, as I see it, third parties don't get an energy gradient in a first past the post system. Whatever their policy merits, Libertarians/Greens in the US have no hope of getting a rep. up. Even in Australia, where minor parties can grab a little oxygen from offering preference deals, it's taken decades for the Greens to gather the popular support for one parliamentary rep in the Lower House: Adam Bandt, Melbourne, despite the combined efforts of the ALP and the LNP! (No, I'm not in his electorate. Mine's a little further out, and as lib as they come)
The Senate's another matter. I approve of the new 'along the line' voting rules, even though the fellow formerly responsible for the 'preference whispering' among the minor parties stated it was considered it a public service to keep One Nation cooped up. Maybe, but not his call!

Paul SB said...

Millenium Crow,

"People tell me that they feel as if they've stumbled into the Twilight Zone. I'm wondering if there shouldn't be some creative and funny name for this phenomenon."

- Maybe what we are experiencing is a Trumpotic Breakdown.

Seriously, I don't get angry very easily. The fact that I've been listening to Nine Inch Nails all day says something, at least to me, anyway, since I listen to that kind of stuff maybe once every few years. : /

TheMadLibrarian said...

Crow, welcome. I saw your other post on Scalzi's blog; either of these sites have a relatively civil level of discourse and you will be able to have a reasonable discussion with others who also value it over frothiness.

Duncan, the geeks are a dying breed who work not just on software, but hardware too. Need a server farm maintained, data salvaged from a deceased drive, or a group of disparate computers chivied into playing nice with each other, they're your go-to. Will pass on your suggestions; also, need librarians? :D

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