Saturday, November 12, 2016

We are in it, all right. But “figuratively”? … or “literally”?

Tis the season for post-mortems… for pompous declamations and dissections, explaining to us all what the F— just happened. And so, across the next week or so, I’ll offer summaries and links to a panoply of rationalizations for this bizarre turn of events.  How liberals, conservatives and other pundits got it wrong… and what I think may be glimmers of actual insight.

We’ll start with those doom-casters out there who proclaim that the sky has fallen. Sure, I fought against this as hard as anyone… and I do deem this to be a ‘disaster.’ But more because of something others find boring -- the 5,000 or so appointees whom Donald Trump will sign off without even meeting any of them. Most will be standard, Bushite factotums from the GOP/Fox go-to list. Forget the flashy cabinet posts. Those mid-level, supervisor positions were the real prize, opening the way for massive graft and crippling of our institutions. I’ll discuss that another time. And yes, it is a calamity.

Nevertheless, to all you Chicken Littles out there, let’s be clear on one thing, that prediction is often led by emotion. When Barack Obama was elected, tens of millions of our fellow citizens likewise envisioned apocalypse. Their confederate catechisms -- nurtured by Fox shills and the darker right -- forecast not only economic collapse, but that black U.N. helicopters would soon be strafing every small town in America. We’d see gun-owners thrown into ATF camps and universal Sharia Law. 

Not even the mildest of these ravings – say about the economy or timid gun control - came remotely close to happening. But refutation doesn't matter, hence the same jeremiads were simply repeated, about Ms. Clinton. 

Doom-meister score: Zero.

I don’t expect us to be anywhere near so lucky, now that the shoe is on the other foot, because in fact the two parties are different. In contrast to the Obama Administration -- the first in U.S. history to be entirely free of indictable scandal -- both Bush administrations blended corruption, incompetence and outright treason, to a degree that was unprecedented in my lifetime. Hence, certainly, some hand-wringing toward a coming Bush III – with extravagant Donaldian flourishes – is justified. 

Many, from Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman to famed environmentalist Bill McKibben, from Putin opponent Masha Gessen to activist-for-veterans Jim Wright, are sounding gloomy alarums. If any of them are right, then Californians were wise to legalize pot. 

If the worst fears prove true, then expect 1861 to be followed by 1865.

And yet, I am strangely sanguine that we can limit such behaviors, this time. In part because G.W. Bush was given generous benefit of the doubt, in his first years.  (Democratic Congresses always negotiate with GOP presidents. In contrast, except in 1995, Republican Congresses have never negotiated, even slightly, with Democratic presidents.) Obviously, we have learned a lesson; Donald Trump will be scrutinized from the very start. His crew will be watched with new technologies of transparency. Schemes will be secretly recorded and then leaked. Civil servants and military officers will protect us, passively or even (I pray it will never be necessary) actively resisting the worst things.

Oh, sure. The KKK is marching. Militias are jubilant. I’m getting waves of emails citing my novel – The Postman – that showed where it all could lead. And yet, here’s a thought that you probably never entertained till now – that John Roberts and Samuel Alito are not just conservatives. They are, foremost, jurists imbued in modern American principles. Are they biased and political? Sure. They will, alas, help to block any reform of the gerrymandering depravity. But they have limits. Anyone aiming to send Black Helicopters after you will have to get past them.

Nor am I convinced that Donald Trump wants to do the worst things that he’s proclaimed at those damned rallies, where throwing red meat to the mob – living for those rabid cheers -- became more about DT’s own thrill addiction than actual policy intention. 

== Did he mean what he said? ==

Oh, he’ll build a wall. He’ll do some deporting and say crude things and propose some lunatic “first hundred days” actions. (Five or six of the forty or so goals he just issued actually make some sense.)  And yet, the (by far) smartest human in Donald Trump’s advisory circle – Peter Thiel – made a comment that I find hopeful. Thiel observed that Trump’s followers take everything he says “figuratively” rather than “literally.”  

Oh, I will be following up on that!  There are several angles, disturbing ones. But for here and now, the question is simple. How many of the crazy things that Trump promised will he actually try to do?

Indeed, looking across Donald Trump’s life, there are plenty of abhorrent things – relentless lying, cheating, bullying, egomania and personal sexism.

On the other hand, there’s little sign of longstanding commitment to livid racism, or religious zealotry, or isolationism, or supply-side voodoo... nor any extensive record of hating science. Those central tenets of the Murdochian cult are more pertinent to policy!  Policies that could either veer the nation into hell… or else leave us well-enough alone to find ways to fend for ourselves.

Yes, he paid lip service to those latter horrors – to racism, religious zealotry, isolationism, supply-side voodoo, and hatred of science -- along with affection for foreign dictators. Boy, did he, during the campaign! And it’s likely he’ll continue ranting. But these aren’t baselines to the jarring cacophony of Donald Trump’s life, the way that self-indulgence, bullying and cheating have been.

In other words, it is conceivable he’ll veer away from dogmatic purity, in favor of just being impressively and astoundingly Donald. Indeed, he might even do the most un-Republican thing of all: negotiate. In which case “The Art of the Deal” might … er… trump the treasonous Hastert Rule

(Yes, I predicted this might happen during the debates. But at that time the rallies… those damned rallies… dominated his every thought.)

If my tentative hopefulness is justified, then DT’s commitment to policy-pertinent turpitudes will turn out to be shallow. Perhaps even somewhat reversible. If so, then I (for one) will look away if he steals a few billions (as Bush/Cheney did), builds an absurdly symbolic-useless wall, or outdoes Bill Clinton’s consensual adventures in that windowless White House hallway.

Much will depend upon his gatekeepers. Nancy Reagan made sure that Ronnie would hear no stories that might rouse his compassion, knowing that RR was a softy, at heart. If Eric Trump and Donald Jr. and Steve Bannon similarly control access to DT, then we will, indeed, be royally and literally screwed. But if the gatekeeper is Ivanka? 

Well, as I said, hope springs, eternal.

== In case I sounded too hopeful… ==

Will The Donald decide, at last, to grow up? Or at least get practical? I made a case for it, above.  

Now let me tell you that the signs aren’t good. Again, it’s the rallies. Those damned rallies, where a weak-willed egomaniac has had the greatest time of his life. It seems that the President-Elect of the United States of America – faced with a four year prison sentence of reading reports and holding sober meetings in the Oval Office – is already concocting an escape plan.

Returning home to Trump Tower from the White House may not be Mr. Trump’s only embrace of the familiar. His aides say he has also expressed interest in continuing to hold the large rallies that were a staple of his candidacy. He likes the instant gratification and adulation that the cheering crowds provide, and his aides are discussing how they might accommodate his demand."  -- from The New York Times.

So do not confuse me with an ‘optimist!’ Let’s be clear. I am volcanically pissed. For the second time in this young century the Democrat wins the popular vote and the Republican wins the White House.  Moreover, the Confederacy used a zillion foul tricks to get here... 

...from gerrymandering and voter suppression to rigged voting machines, Russian hacking, and lies, lies, endless lies. 

I intend to fight hard against the damage that they openly intend to do – to our rights, our planet, our nation and our species’ chance of achieving the kind of civilization yearned for in Star Trek and the best science fiction, or in the dreams of our children. The master-hijackers of American conservatism are doing everything they can, to end our Great Experiment and return us to 6000 years of inherited oligarchy and feudalism.

Case in point: folks at the ACLU have undertaken a constitutional analysis of Donald Trump’s most controversial policy proposals. These include his pledges to deport over 11 million undocumented immigrants, to ban Muslims from entering the United States, to surveil American Muslims and their houses of worship, to torture again, and to revise libel laws. “We have found them all wanting, to say the least. According to our analysis, Trump’s proposals taken together would violate the First, Fourth, Fifth, and Eighth Amendments to the Constitution. Have no doubt about it: Donald Trump’s policies, if implemented, would trigger a constitutional crisis.”  (Naturally, I appeal for donations to the ACLU. Pony up.)

But we need the big picture. How did the Trumpists and the Murdochian GOP nobles – together - convince a majority of white male baby boomers without college degrees… and too many white women… to vote eagerly against their own self-interest? The way that a million poor white Southerners marched to war in 1861, to protect the “rights” of slaveholding plantation lords? 

The specifics are different this time, but the basic memes are shockingly similar. We in the Blue Union – America – won’t win this phase of the Civil War till we start parsing out what’s happened, much less reflexively and far more carefully.

Next time, I’ll focus directly on post-mortems written by conservative ‘sages’ about how they won. Then on the hand-wringing diagnoses of liberals. And even some theories that are straight out of sci fi!  As it happens, many of them offer a little insight…

…like blind savants groping at an undead, diseased elephant.

But for the most part, they are all dead wrong.


Continue to Part II...and Part III

227 comments:

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Rud Merriam said...

Can't help nit-picking that Gore lost in the 20th century while Bush took office in the 21st century.

"...convince a majority of white male baby boomers without college degrees… and too many white women… to vote eagerly against their own self-interest?"

Was there much convincing needed? I'd say the tapped into a vein of fear. Underlying that is the building of that vein the GOP/Fox alliance did since roughly 1990.

My fundamental analysis is that Clinton was a bad candidate who would be a good President. Trump is a good candidate who would be a bad President. It's a flaw in the system that the high office requires someone to be both for the good of the Union. Let me clarify that Clinton was a bad candidate because of the baggage accrued since the 90s, albeit much of it false or misleading based on GOP talking points.

LarryHart said...

I'm not changing the names on this "Hamilton" stanza, because I'm not sure who would be the modern day analogue on this one. Comey maybe?

The ironic thing is that, prior to the election, I imagined Trump would be channeling Aaron Burr in this song. Now, I can imagine Hillary doing so:


How does Hamilton--
An arrogant
Immigrant, orphan,
Bastard, whoreson--
Somehow endorse
Thomas Jefferson, his enemy--
A man he’s despised since the beginning--
Just to keep me from winning?


Later in the same song...

I am slow to anger,
But I toe the line
As I reckon with the effects
Of your life on mine.
I look back on where I failed,
And in every place I checked
The only common thread has been your disrespect.
Now you call me amoral,
A dangerous disgrace;
If you’ve got something to say,
Name a time and place
Face to face.


LarryHart said...

Rud Merriam:

My fundamental analysis is that Clinton was a bad candidate who would be a good President. Trump is a good candidate who would be a bad President. It's a flaw in the system that the high office requires someone to be both for the good of the Union.


Unfortunately, it's not just the presidency that works that way. Just about any job interview requires proficiency much different from that needed to do the actual job.

Michael Byron said...

Consider this: http://peakoil.com/publicpolicy/trump-a-symptom-of-declining-net-energy

Flypusher said...

One nagging concern- de facto President Pence. Anyone who says "teach the controversy" is not to be trusted at all in matters concerning science. I can't hold out much hope of Trump counteracting him here. That guy is so obviously incurious and he gleefully subscribes to so many loony conspiracy theories. Addict Trump needs his rally fix and I doubt he will care for much beyond that.

cosmicaug said...

"Rule #1: Believe the autocrat."

Stefan Jones said...

I hope you address the problem of radicalized followers who don't need legal sanction to act out.

Patricia Mathews said...

"What the frack happened?" The chattering classes were talking to each other, thinking (like the Fundamentalists in heaven in the old joke) that they were the only ones there. That no other people existed. While the working classes have been thrown under the bus for the past 40 years, and more and more groups of people are following them downhill.

And all a good many people (in the sense above) could do was blame it on the personal failings of the unemployed or underemployed. Let "Basket of deplorables" stand as a representative sample.

Part of this is a generational thing (Silent, born 1939): the edgy mockery with which some Gen-Xers have treated everything I grew up to respect has helped delegitimize our entire civic culture, and (your pardon), the Boomer insistence that they need not accept any institution nor law that conflicts with their values ("Not MY President!" they shout as vandals spray-paint the University of New Mexico buildings with anti-Trump slogans) has thrown gasoline on the fire. Sore losers is the mildest term here.

The Democratic Party, to which I've belonged since the first year I could vote, used to be the party of the working people. It dropped them to go off chasing identity politics and the high-tech affluent, who after all, were a better source of donations.

I voted for Clinton above Sanders, even knowing we were approaching the climax of a crisis era of Great Depression proportions, and now - having tried to avoid being blown about by the wind, we're facing the hurricane.

My hope now is that what Trump says - and his mouth is not connected to the head which is upon his shoulders - and what he will do - are two different things. After all, has what came out of his mouth during the campaign had any relation to any facts one could prove?

Jumper said...

I predict Trump will be President for life.

Paul SB said...

Donzelion?

Jumper said...

A completely (almost) different story interesting to students of city planning and gentrification. To me sort of futuristic.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37963136

Flypusher said...

"My hope now is that what Trump says - and his mouth is not connected to the head which is upon his shoulders - and what he will do - are two different things. After all, has what came out of his mouth during the campaign had any relation to any facts one could prove?"- Patricua Mathews

I would advise against contructing your own personal version of Trump that makes sense to you. You need to look clearly at what his is, as alarming as that may be. He has not hidden his true nature. Every time he has had power, he has used it cruelly and selfishly. That matters more than what he says, especially as he has now become addicted to the adulation from his rallies. Actions speak the loudest.

I am sorry that some of the younger folks have been so rude. But that is the bad that we take with the good of free speech. A truly free society demands a thickened skin. There are ways to deal with snark that don't require electing autocrats. That is not directed at you, as you voted Dem, but rather at those who like to cite elitist condescension as a justification for voting for Trump. You can control what other people say, but how you respond is your choice.

Flypusher said...

CAN'T control what other people say...

Duncan Cairncross said...

Tony said

... and yet, the lower wage brackets predominately voted Clinton.

But that is to be expected - they are poor - they have no reserves - they voted for the "safe" candidate - the one who would not make things worse

The Rich voted for the safe candidate as well - they have already got it made

It was the ones in the middle that took the risk and voted for the "Bull in a China Shop" - they felt that they could afford to take a risk - and the only way forwards was a "win"

The Black Cat said...

Pretty hard to mount an effective resistance when the other side controls all three branches of the government.

Paul451 said...

From the last post:

LarryHart,
"I humorously suggested that Trump might put Barack Obama on the Supreme Court just to get back at Ryan and McConnell. I doubt he'd actually go that far, but I wouldn't be surprised for him to be a bull in a china shop to his own party as well as to the Democrats."

Trump's cabinet will include people like Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie, Sarah fucking Palin, Ben Carson and, of course, like any good dictator, he's looking for a cabinet-level position for his creepy son, DT Jr.

He's able to poke at the Republican leadership without doing something like supporting Obama and screwing himself in the 2018 midterms.

"I admit that I had no idea how weak a candidate Hillary would be with all of those groups."

To be honest, neither did I. I knew that she sucked, I knew she would throw away the chance to take back the Senate (and hence the Supreme Court), let alone the House; but I never imagined she would be so incompetent, so useless, that she would actually lose Latino votes, women's votes, and the election. I can't "I told you so", because I didn't tell-you-so; deep down, even during the first hours of the count, hell even after she'd lost, I believed that his odiousness would outweigh hers.

What frustrates me is seeing the exact same too-clever blindness that cost the election being repeating as the excuse for losing the election. People crowing about the demographic death of working-class whites, equating the win with bigotry (rather than in-spite-of).

Even Krugman is still rallying the troops as the side of "American decency". Even though half the econo-stats I had in my comment-vomit in the last post probably came from Krugman's own writing. He knows why working-class whites feel cut off from their own country, but he still can't see past bigotry-as-the-disease, still can't see it as a symptom of the economic betrayal. An economist who lectures us about the failure of Supply Side economics can't see the role of that failure in creating the current political mess?

We aren't going to win.

Paul451 said...

From the last post:

Zepp Jamieson said...
Re: Flag burners.
"What percentage of demonstators are doing that? A dozen out of a million, perhaps? [...]
I'm not burning any flags, and you're talking to me."


Because you are defending the protesters. You didn't criticise, perhaps didn't even register, the flag-burners. Like the people around them cheering them on, instead of hundreds of other protesters jumping over them, "No! I'm protesting to stop my nation being burned!"

Because it's a perfect example of the lazy, futile, stupid, self-indulgent gestures that do nothing except reinforce the very message coming from Trump and the right-wing media, "They are not 'real' Americans".

Because it's symbolic of the self-defeating hate being spewed against the rust-staters who swung towards Trump, which I saw even here. Exactly the same as the flag-burners, the stupidity of attacking, of denigrating, the very people you need to convince to come back to your cause, the complete inability to see the reason for your loss.

Flypusher said...

"Because you are defending the protesters. You didn't criticise, perhaps didn't even register, the flag-burners. Like the people around them cheering them on, instead of hundreds of other protesters jumping over them, "No! I'm protesting to stop my nation being burned,"

Here's the problem with that. Flag burning is pretty blatant trolling, but it still is protected speech. Unless this was an organized protest with rules clearly laid out, I don't think other protestors have a right to jump on them. That is a very compelling reason for these protests to get organized ASAP if people want to have any influence. They need to be peaceful and they need to state the legit grievances with Trump's horrific campaign promises without trolling.

David Brin said...

Frenzied protests. And I do wonder ehat fraction of the rioters and yellers actually voted... or knocked on doors or campaigned or donated or cornered a redder and TALKED to her and LISTENED.

One fellow begs Warren Buffett to offer to pay any fines incurred by members of the Electoral College who choose to reject a candidate as offensive as Donald Trump. That ‘salvation’ ain’t gonna happen, and indeed probably shouldn’t. But the glimmering possibility helps to explain why DT is keeping mum and making pleasant sounds. His team knows they cannot afford scandals between now and the Electoral College vote. https://thusspokejon.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/a-letter-to-warren-buffett/

(A more reasonable possibility… for the electors to pick Tim Kaine as Vice President. To serve as a caution, always lurking at DT’s elbow. Ah, sci fi.)

Jon S. said...

There is always hope. Even Star Trek, in its 21St century, had the Bell Riots and WW3. I'd rather avoid those, but...

Flypusher said...

"Frenzied protests. And I do wonder ehat fraction of the rioters and yellers actually voted... or knocked on doors or campaigned or donated or cornered a redder and TALKED to her and LISTENED."


My first thought upon hearing about these protests was "How many of you bothered to vote? You were warned that this could happen."

"One fellow begs Warren Buffett to offer to pay any fines incurred by members of the Electoral College who choose to reject a candidate as offensive as Donald Trump. That ‘salvation’ ain’t gonna happen, and indeed probably shouldn’t. But the glimmering possibility helps to explain why DT is keeping mum and making pleasant sounds. His team knows they cannot afford scandals between now and the Electoral College vote. "

That fraud trial under Judge Curiel starts in late Nov., so they must be sweating that. Do they really have any legit grounds for more delay? After all the Judge did allow for it to wait until after the election. I think they've used up all their slack. I hope the plaintiffs stand firm. Maybe these protesters should ask Buffet to make up any financial loses the plantiffs incur by continuing to fight rather than settling.


The electors picking Kaine instead of Pence would be a brilliant solution. I wonder if the Electors have the spine to do so. The Trump cult wouldn't care about Pence getting kicked to be curb that much, I suspect.

LarryHart said...

Flypusher:

The electors picking Kaine instead of Pence would be a brilliant solution.


Can they do that? I mean, I know they could back in the day of Jefferson and Burr, but I thought the two-office ticket was instituted to prevent just that sort of thing.

I mean, could we have had Obama/Palin ?


Jumper said...

The propaganda is that we will have no recourse but to accept self-driving cars and the internet of appliances, even though no one elected them and they are like turning a soft white underbelly up to Russian and Chinese hackers. Yet we can't seem to stop it. Why is that?

LarryHart said...

Duncan Cairncross:

It was the ones in the middle that took the risk and voted for the "Bull in a China Shop" - they felt that they could afford to take a risk - and the only way forwards was a "win"


I get why people voted for change. I did just that in 2008 when I voted for Barack Obama. What I don't get is why people think Republicans are the ones who will institute the "change they can believe in". Is it really just because the presidency itself has been Democratic? Even though the obstructionist congress and the Supreme Court have kept any kind of meaningful change from being implemented since President Obama took office, and even more so since the 2010 Tea Party wave?

If Paul451 is correct--that Trump's cabinet and the Republican congress will keep him toeing the party line, then those disaffected workers who voted for Trump will get the diametric opposite of what they voted for. I mean, congress has been Republican-controlled for all but two years since 1995, and if you count "filibustering everything" as "control", then even those two years barely count. Why not try voting for change from that for once?

LarryHart said...

Jon S:

There is always hope. Even Star Trek, in its 21St century, had the Bell Riots and WW3.


I appreciate the pep talk, but I find it hard to take comfort in fictional backstories at the moment.

Jeff B. said...

Paul SB,

You know this line is going to get you a lecture, right?

Fully earned for my total lack of clarity. I recognize all the points you address from my own childhood, and agree with you wholeheartedly. I guess where I was trying to go was that perhaps the cultural trends of anti-intellectualism, in both students and school administrators and boards, could be countered by emphasizing more of the basics of civics and history, in an interesting way.

I was blessed with several such teachers all through high school who actively challenged people to think. Of course there are always those who don't want to think, but that, perhaps, could be minimized.

Feel free to knock me down again for speaking outside my areas of expertise...

Jeff B. said...

I'm inclined to follow Dr. Brin on this one- prepare for the worst, sure, but I don't think we're going to see anything near the disaster predicted by Paul Krugman, John Scalzi, or the like.

I can't be optimistic, but if the Donald surrounds himself with sycophants, then perhaps, just perhaps, they won't be able to hold him to his campaign promises. No one's trying to do damage control right now with his recent backtracking on at least considering to leave parts of the ACA intact. And I don't think he can build a wall no matter how much he promised...

But I am still, truly, deeply conflicted with my career and a Federal civil servant. I'd love to pack up and move to California, but lack of marketable skills and I'll admit the comfort of a very good salary in a low cost of living area make it very difficult to contemplate. If I weren't such an introvert, then perhaps I could do more good staying put and doing my bit, but that's just not gonna happen. I do plan on seeing whether the local Democratic Party would accept volunteer assistance (I can do analysis and planning well, at least), and see what the ACLU might need. Perhaps the latter's something we all should consider.

Jeff B. said...

Paul SB, that still didn't come out right. I do not and cannot fault educators with all the unnecessary constraints under which they now have to operate. I'm just really frustrated and the complete lack of civic literacy and political savvy is so many of the voting public.

But even some of those who once had savvy and literacy seem to have somehow descended into the madness, and this to me is far worse than those who don't fully understand. And this might be the start of many smallscale conflicts. Thankfully my parents saw through the Donald's showmanship, but others in my family bought in. I'm not on Facebook, but I found out today that my cousin, who I once thought was an extremely intelligent woman, has been tagging my 16 year old son and other teenagers with a barrage of what I can only call propaganda about how kids should never grow up to be liberals. I actually considered registering just to tell her to butt out, but my wife's better judgment won and my cousin was blocked from my kid's page instead. The holidays will be fun.

Flypusher said...

Larry Hart, it seems the answer is yes, the EC can split the ticket:

https://www.quora.com/Could-the-electoral-college-vote-for-Tim-Kaine-to-be-Trumps-VP

Obviously unlikely, but so is Trump behaving himself for a month. What would some of those Electors do if Trump loses that fraud trial before the EC vote?

Jeff B, the ACLU is worth a look, as is more involvement at the state / local level. The Federal gov't is going to be dead to us for at least 2 years, and probably 4 (barring some unprecedented EC voting). The CA state government is looking into ways to prevent a GOP dominated Federal gov't from interfering with their stricter environmental standards. Those standards have influence. Even in red TX we got a new County sherif and DA in Harris County, and both are serious about some long overdue criminal justice reform. Harris Co is big enough to have some ripple effects here.

Paul SB said...

Jeff,

I hope I'm not coming across as too angry right now. I probably am. Low serotonin, shock and awe, then my own personal issues. Like you I feel very conflicted about my career. I try, very hard, to do my best, and many of my colleagues tell me I'm a good teacher, but every day I have to stand up in front of a whole lot of really immature brats, vile, ill-mannered fools who are doing everything in their power to screw over everyone else they can. In among these are some wonderful young people who absolutely should not be forced to be in the same room, and have their futures jeopardized by the little deplorables they were unfortunate enough to be neighbors to. Our hyper-litigious society has ensured that no one will get a good education who cannot pay for private schooling. We seem to be in similar binds, and like you, I don't have any other skill set that could get me out of where I am.

Another science fiction author I enjoy, named James Alan Gardner, wrote a book in which the central characters were teachers in a distant future where much of human society had broken down. The main character was a science teacher, who starts the story reading over a letter from a former student who liked him as a teacher, but admitted that the only thing he actually remembered from his class was f=ma. He had no idea what f, m or a were supposed to be, but the formula stuck in his mind. The book is called "Trapped" - which is exactly how I have felt for years. This latest shocker just makes things that much more dismal (and no, I am not recommending that book. Lot's of his others are great reads and laugh-a-minute romps, but not that one!).

Anyway, if I come across as being a little terse, I'm sorry. I hear you on the illiteracy of the kids coming out of our schools, because I se it every day, and as one of the teachers I am presumed guilty every day, and I can lose patience when i hear my (not entirely wanted) profession being badmouthed, because it is very unfair to all those I work with who truly are trying very hard to hold the tide back with the absolute best spoons taxpayer dollars can provide.

David Brin said...

Paul et al. Our daughter does a sci fi lit podcast from Scotland. This week's show talks about "intelligent creatures reverting." Zootopia. Island of Dr. Moreau. Idiocracy... Trumpians.

https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/novum/episodes/2016-11-12T16_05_56-08_00

pappenheimer said...

How many US presidential elections in a row will have to be decided by the electoral college against the wishes of a majority of voting Americans (as this one appears to have been, though the final tallies aren't in) and how big will the margin have to be before we can rid ourselves of this vestigial organ? What if the next 'losing' candidate has 5 million more votes? 17 million? It's like an occasionally inflamed appendix and, if the Bush regime before it is an indication of what the Trump regime will be (I suspect Trump will be far worse) it's at least as dangerous to the national body. (I realize that the gates will likely open to massive vote suppression, but given the voting proclivities of the 18-24 year old cohort and attrition in the upper cohorts, the Republicans are frantically sweeping water uphill.)

donzelion said...

Sorry, Paul SB. Out 'leading' a march down from MacArthur park. I'll be shifting attention to organizing lawyers - a small secret group one of my buddies invited me to join on Weds night grew from the 10 of us to 70,000 by this morning. I need to focus my attentions there.

That said, I'll repeat my call: anyone who actually knows something about police body cam policies? Other than "yes, there should be some." Several San Gabriel departments just got a federal grant - I'll be meeting with them next month and lobbying community orgs on what sort of policies ought to be put in place. I'll refrain from any comments other than that until someone puts me in a direction toward something we can use.

In the struggle to come, I've now seen 70,000 pledges by a sector of troops who can block a great deal of malice. I don't know what we'll do, if anything. But I will do my part.

donzelion said...

Oh, and by 'leading' - that's ironic. I was about 100 yards in front, between the protestors and the police, camera in hand and ready to step in, esp. if counterprotestors or (god forbid) gunmen come in.

From my vantage, the police were trying to guide the protestors toward one route, the protestors ignored them, the police backed away and scrambled to reroute traffic, but all proceeded respectfully. Others elsewhere may have seen something else.

pappenheimer said...

...And my PC died Tuesday night. Most sincerely dead. Glad I don't believe in omens.
Good night folks, and rage well against the dying of the light.

David S said...

And from the ACLU:
https://www.aclu.org/files/field_document/aclu_police_body_cameras_model_legislation_may_2015.pdf

Tony Fisk said...

Some thoughts and references:

Progressives were blindsided by this. How did that happen? Are California and the West Coast as much 'filter bubbles' as the mid West?

A student of Central Asian politics, Sarah Kendzior, has just popped onto my radar (and that of a few others, no doubt). She got it. Her comparisons with those regimes, and the rise of Trump, are worth an uncomfortable read.

Satiricist Jonathon Pie pulls no punches with his pungent opinions about what happened last Tuesday. The points he makes are spot on. I found myself nodding along, while simultaneously puffing up with outrage.
...then I realised what *else* he was up to!

LarryHart said...

@Tony Fisk:

On your Jonathon Pie video, I'm not exactly sure what you're referring to when you say "what *else* he was up to!". But I hope you notice how many of those things he blames the left for doing--things which he insists you can't win if you do them--are the same things Trump does do.

I'm thinking of lines like:


If you are unwilling to discuss, then you are creating the conditions in which Donald Trump and people like him can thrive!
...
But I can't say this to any of my friends, Tim. I'd get fucking lynched!
...
When has anyone ever been persuaded by being insulted or labeled?








Tony Fisk said...

@Larry. You're on the right track. He's giving pertinent advice to the Left as it might be projected from the Right, thereby taking a swipe at both sides. Not the best way to present it, but let it sink in. (As a foil for a lot of the blame: Hastert Rule)

LarryHart said...

Patricia Matthews:

And all a good many people (in the sense above) could do was blame it on the personal failings of the unemployed or underemployed. Let "Basket of deplorables" stand as a representative sample.


I'm not going to argue with your heartfelt analysis from which I just snipped a single sentence, especially in light of the actual outcome of the election.

I do have a question, though. A serious question. What my old engineering professor would have called "a legitimate question", meaning that I'm really asking for an answer that I don't already have predetermined.

Hillary's use of "deplorables" played bad, but if you heard what she actually said, it is obvious that the point she was getting at was that not all of Donald Trump supporters were of that basket. The statement was something very close to "Sure, half of Donald's supporters come from a basket of deplorables, but the rest have legitimate concerns which I will address." Her factual error was to quantify the percentage of Trump supporters who met the "deplorable" definition. But the sense of her statement was the opposite of how it is being played--that while she doesn't intend to advance the concerns of the bigots, she does intend to address the economic and social concerns which Trump supporters express.

Ok, I get that I don't understand how her words come off to the non-deplorable Trump supporters. I'm not asking after the fact how anyone could misinterpret her statement. What I'm asking is this:

Trump said that Mexicans were rapists and drug pushers. Then he clarified that he didn't mean all Mexicans were like that--he meant he'd crack down on the ones who were like that. Here's the question--How is that any different from what Hillary said? Why is Hillary's statement a political gaffe for which she deserves to lose because she's driving people away, while Trump's statement has the opposite practical effect?

What's the difference? I'm really asking.

Tony Fisk said...

The popular vote now has Clinton with a 1.8 million lead, with 7 million still to be counted. That is becoming substantial (if immaterial)

Jumper said...

LarryHart, the answer is probably that other factors were more critical than what they said.

Tacitus2 said...

LarryHart

The context of the Basket of Deplorables.

It was at a fundraiser featuring Barbara Streisand and focused on LGBT issues. Fine, but if you are looking for a "Bridge too Far" moment in recent politics the Federal efforts to punish North Carolina for the whole Transgender bathroom thing - which she references several times - would likely be it. With respect to the issues involved, most of America is moderately sympathetic but thinks that is bad policy.

The actual quote goes: "...the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic -- you name it."

I think this is revealing the extent to which Clinton was in an insulated bubble. If you think Trump has the support of a small nasty following you can get away with calling people hurtful things. Clearly she had no clue as to how large the number of people willing to vote for Trump was. She basically said one quarter of Americans are total jerks. You don't do that if you plan to actually govern in the interests of all.

But then the fatal slip. "Now, some of those folks -- they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America." To say that someone is past redemption runs counter to at least Christian faith, I am not qualified to comment on other belief systems. This removes the possiblity of reconcilliation.

She does go on to say a few favorable things about the other half of Trump's supporters: "..I see friends from all over America here -- I see friends from Florida and Georgia and South Carolina and Texas -- as well as, you know, New York and California -- but that other basket of people are people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they're just desperate for change." She does glimpse the sort of issues that were behind Trump's late surge. But her friends are from FL, and SC, and Texas..and of course NY and CA. Not a mention of the Rust Belt where she lost the election.

You don't win over borderline voters by ignoring them or insulting them. HRC came across as not even able to imagine the forces that would undo her. No wonder the polls will be way off when to be identified as a potential Trump voter gets you those labels.

The cognitive dissonence of Tuesdays election result vis a vis the image of America filtered through social media and SNL, is distressing to many. I generally lobby for civility in political discourse but have been tolerant of how upset many are in the short term.

Tacitus

Ioan said...



Now that 2016 is over, let's revisit some assumptions from 2012.

In 2012, there was the opinion that Hispanic voters were going to turn several states Blue. What happened? I was still lurking on this blog at the time, but here was the prediction I made to my friends back then:

About a fifth of Latinos are undocumented immigrants. Also, over half of us-born Latinos are too young to vote. I can't find the statistics from back then, but here is an updated version

http://www.pewhispanic.org/2016/04/20/the-nations-latino-population-is-defined-by-its-youth/

Probably a large fraction of those are the children of undocumented workers, the "anchor babies". It was assumed back then that as these children came of voting age, they would be reliable blue voters with high turnout on account of their parents' status.

Many people took that projection and assumed that it would apply in the 2016 election. It didn't. Why?

1. There hasn't been enough time for the children-of-undocumented-immigrant population to grow up. Take the following chart, and add 20 years

http://www.motherjones.com/files/images/Blog_Immigrant_Flow.jpg

That is a rough approximation as to when the eldest child is likely eligible to vote. Note that I don't have a way to quickly model the second child.

2. Minority immigrants in general are concentrated in a few states. People will note that those states include Florida, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina. Although that is true, the bulk of non-black minorities live in states which are already very Blue. An increasing minority population will just make those states more Blue.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-Hispanic_whites

3. Baby boomers are retiring. As you've seen from the Wikipedia article, the Non-Hispanic White (NHW) population has had very small growth between 2010 and 2012. Furthermore, a lot of states have experienced a decline in the NHW population in absolute numbers. However, that is due to Baby Boomers retiring, not necessarily to births - deaths. A 2016 Trump voter in New York has a different electoral power than the same 2020 Trump voter in Florida or Arizona. I don't know if the retiring population will completely cancel out the rise of minority populations, but it should check it.

4. A lot of Blue states have the demographics which could appeal to a Trump-style populists. I personally doubt that a Trump-style candidate without the sexual assault would have won merely a narrow win in Michigan. If you look at the statistics, Trump was also close in Colorado, Minnesota, Maine, and New Hampshire.

5. Liberal NHW are leaving Red States and moving to Blue States for the opportunities there. In other words, conservative NHWs are leaving California and New York and liberal NHW are moving in. In the electoral college, that matters. Liberal NHW are also moving into some swing states should ameliorate this somewhat.

Paul SB said...

Donzelion,

It sounds like you have much more important things to do than hang out and eat yogurt with Marvin the Paranoid Android. Good luck, you are in a position to actually make a difference, something that I, as a teacher, can only hope I am doing.

Paul SB said...

Dr. Brin,

I just listened to your daughter's podcast about Zootopia and The Island of Dr. Moreau, and it was fun and interesting. Of course I could go on for hours about every point she made, as can my daughter, who heard just a few minutes of it. If they weren't on opposite side of the Pond I would say those two should hang out. I think they would get along, just going by that. She seems like a bright and thoughtful person with great potential. Just let her know that she needs a better sound engineer, or else some Shakespearean theater training to enunciate over the background music.

Dirtnapninja said...

Maybe the technocratic globalists arent as smart as you think?
Maybe the dreaded white working class are more savvy than you know?
Maybe you cannot reduce people's interests and desires to series of economic formulas?

Maybe they think its not in their best interest to be deluged by new demographics?

Maybe they dont want to be permanently marginalised by a hostile Coalition of Colour,carefully trained to hate white anglos, empowered by revanchist ideology and financed by vast billion dollar foundations?

Maybe they dont want an endless succession of rubber stamp elections dominated by democrats who press their I win button, have their ethnic voting blocs vote for them on command and rule forever, like some giant Tammany hall?

Maybe they are tired of being called shit by smug assholes in the media, and in the academy and wanted to send a message?

Maybe they are stating to see themselves as a nation that deserves to have its interests protected, its voice heard and does not trust the left and its core of ethnic militants to represent them?

Welcome to America 2: The Brownening, where all politics are identity politics.



Paul SB said...

Regarding Trump supporters, deplorables, racism, sexism and economic motivations, didn't we see pretty much the same thing in 1932? Most of the German people weren't any more racist or sexist than the rest of Europe at the time, but they wanted jobs, security and an end to the freefall if inflation they were experiencing. Many of those Germans who were decent human beings were able to vote for Hitler anyway because of the promises he made about fixing the economy, while holding their noses about his bigotry. Loom at the result. He sure fixed the economy!

Not long before the election, Mike Godwin, creator of Godwin's Law, wrote an article about calling Trump a Nazi. It is well worth contemplating in full, as well as some of the articles he links to.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/12/14/sure-call-trump-a-nazi-just-make-sure-you-know-what-youre-talking-about/

Here's the Peter Bergen article he references:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/09/opinions/bergen-is-trump-fascist/index.html

Paul SB said...

Loom at the result? My fickle fingers again! Look! Look!

You too, Dirtnapninja. You're cutting your nose off to spite your face, even if you keep it conveniently hidden behind a mask of cowardice.

Anonymous said...

"vote eagerly against their own self-interest" Really? "eager" is a most dubious verb, given how both candidates were reviled—if not then why "Bad Hombres, Nasty Women"?—and for a saltwater élite to claim to know what someone's self-interest is, well, did you go out to the failing suburbs and ask folks how swimmingly the recovery treats them, or were you busy continually rehashing useless points about how Trump never ever once named previous republicans?

https://granolashotgun.com/2016/11/10/the-history-of-americas-future/

LarryHart said...

Ioan:

It was assumed back then that as these children came of voting age, they would be reliable blue voters with high turnout on account of their parents' status.

Many people took that projection and assumed that it would apply in the 2016 election. It didn't. Why?


In addition to your bullet points, I would add that many Latinos are social conservatives, and that as recently as 2010, they were seen as the natural constituency of the Republican Party, making up for the aging out of traditional white voters. Trump seemed like a special case, personally insulting Latinos in a way that made it seem as if the Latino vote would be strongly against him. I would not have had that expectation if the nominee were Jeb Bush or John Kasich, let alone if it were a Latino himself like Marco Rubio.

None of which explains why Trump--personally--did better with the Latinos who did vote than Mitt Romney did.

LarryHart said...

...and I'm pretty sure that those statistics like "Trump got 29% of the Latino vote" come from exit polls. There aren't any actual statistics of that sort from the voting machines themselves. So it's not a question of rigged machines or suppressed votes. Apparently 29% of self-identified Latinos who actually did vote voted for Trump, or at least told pollsters they did.

I have to wonder why.

LarryHart said...

Anonymous:

and for a saltwater élite to claim to know what someone's self-interest is, well, did you go out to the failing suburbs and ask folks how swimmingly the recovery treats them,


I don't wonder why such folks voted for change. I wonder why they they think Republicans are the solution to the problem rather than the problem. I'm not even talking about Trump right now, but congress.

Trump voters against international trade deals should have given Trump a Democratic congress. Republicans were the ones who (enthusiastically!) enabled TPP, even given their arch enemy President Obama the power to fast-track the agreement. Congressional Democrats were almost uniformly against their own president on that issue.

Jumper said...

Dear Dirtnapninja,
1.No one is omniscient. But those specialists know more than the non-specialists about their fields. Why is resentment of knowledge a thing with you guys?
2. Some people got new jobs and new training. How is it the ones who didn't are so "savvy?" Why is pay so low? Why did Bush let immigration go nuts? Why did a housing bubble run crazy in his term? Why did the Democrats deport more than Republicans? Who hates unions?
3. Strawman argument.

4. See #2

5. If you can't see bigotry it's because you're willfully blind. We know you have the internet, and we know what Trump said, and we know what the biggest bigots in the USA said.

6. is just nonsense. "Tammany Hall" because you don't like Democrats? Bullshit.

7. Nobody called you shit. If you throw up, people are going to say "he threw up." If someone spouts bullshit that's what it's going to be called. This "smugness" is people trying to be nice to people with mistaken ideas. Sort of like how you treat someone who claims the moon landings were fake, if you decide not to simply say "bullshit!"

America has the largest economy in the world and by any sane metric is still not only great but greater than ever as a whole. Also you are flashing your bigotry again.

LarryHart said...

@Tacitus2,

Thanks for the civil discussion. Your points about the rest of Hillary's comments surrounding the "basket of deplorables" remark make sense, and that was the kind of answer I was looking for.

Your final comments were tangential, but I feel the need to respond, albeit from a chastened position.


You don't win over borderline voters by ignoring them or insulting them.


Apparently, some candidates do.


HRC came across as not even able to imagine the forces that would undo her. No wonder the polls will be way off when to be identified as a potential Trump voter gets you those labels.


I suspect we argue across an unbridgeable abyss on this one ("Cerebus" reference), and maybe your view represents middle America more than mine. Much of my adult life was during the Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush years during which being identified as "liberal" was what got you the bad labeling, when liberals who saw anything that could be improved in America were told to "love it or leave it" and deemed traitors worthy of waterboarding. When being against torture meant you wanted the terrorists to win. I have a very hard time grasping the notion that conservatives feel that the national discourse is weighted against them.

Oh, I can see why they think they're getting the shaft from economic and power elites, and why the Democrats have caved to those elites and become part of the problem rather than standing up to them. I don't see how they think Republicans are on their side of that conflict, though.

It has been noted that from a comedy standpoint, it is acceptable to take whacks at the powerful, but looks mean and bullying to take whacks at those less powerful than yourself. When I poke at Republicans, I feel as if I'm doing the former. I'm amazed at how prevalent the opposite view seems to be--that I'm beating up on poor, besieged conservative Republicans from a position of power over them.

David S said...

@donzelion,
It looks like blogger ate my other post.
Look at http://www.iacp.org/MPBodyWornCameras for the international association of the chiefs of police model policy on body cams. Also on the site are links to video and slides from a January 2016 seminar on Body cams.

TheMadLibrarian said...

As a cultural sidelight, Duncan, are you okay? We keep tabs on quakes and tsunami alerts in the Pacific basin, and it looks like NZ had a substantial earthquake with a local tsunami.

Tacitus2 said...

LarryH,

I don't think we are actually standing across an unbridgable gap.

Do you know the Tolkien poem "The Hoard"?

It follows the history of a fabulous treasure throughout the ages. One of the early verses seems to me to sum up the perception of Progressives right now:

"Greed that sang not, nor with mouth smiled,
In dark holes their wealth piled.
Graven silver, carved gold.
O'er Elvenhome the Shadow rolled."

Conservatives think a later verse resonates, although HRC would have to be cast as Queen
not King.

"The swords of his thanes were dull with rust.
His glory fallen, his rule unjust.
His halls were hollow, his bowers cold.
But King he was of elvish gold".

Of course it ends badly.

Keen insights from a better writer than I.

Tacitus

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2, that spirit is there in our American Revolutionary history, as emoted thusly in "Hamilton"

—We are—meant to be
A colony that runs independently.
Meanwhile, Britain keeps shittin’ on us endlessly.
Essentially, they tax us relentlessly,
Then King George turns around, runs a spending spree.
He ain’t ever gonna set his descendants free,
So there will be a revolution in this century.
Enter me! (He says in parentheses)
Don’t be shocked when your hist’ry book mentions me.
I will lay down my life if it sets us free.
Eventually, you’ll see my ascendancy.


The thing is, both parties now see themselves in the revolutionary role, with the party opposite cast as King George.

Todd Ellner said...

Yep. And the autocrat has doubled down on registration and investigation for all Americans who are Muslim as well as exiling them if they leave the US. I believe him.

David Brin said...

Tacitus: ’She basically said one quarter of Americans are total jerks.’ — Um?

‘ You don't do that if you plan to actually govern in the interests of all.’ - baloney. You try to govern is ways that all will benefit. Even those who hate you. Your assumption set is … republican., sir.

Dirtnapninja: if you look at earlier phases of the Civil Wa… and at this one… and at the fact that the ranted mantras at Trump rallies were almost always utterly free of “facts,” then sorry, this is not a matter of oppression by clueless academics. It is a matter of stupidity and insanity, of the same sort that the same demographics showed when they marched off - in 1861 - to serve the interests of their oppressors and class enemies.

Let there be no mistake. The American right, which used to admire science, is now in full tilt war against science. In 1974, conservatives with college degrees had the highest level of trust in science and the scientific community. Today, they have the lowest. And scientific folks have noticed where they are unwelcome. Thirty years ago, 40% of US scientists called themselves Republican, now it is 5% and plummeting. They are voting with their feet, the smartest, wisest, most logical and by far the most competitive humans our species ever produced. 
http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-mistrust-of-science?linkId=25842187

And not just science!  Can you name for me one profession of high knowledge and skill that’s not under attack by Fox & its cohorts?  Teachers, medical doctors, journalists, civil servants, law professionals, economists, skilled labor, professors… oh, yes and science. 

Given that zero metrics of middle class health have ever done better across republican administrations, indeed zero metrics of ANY kind of national health, are we justified in pondering that this tirade by aging white male boomers is more about frenzy than self interest?

Average IQ and education levels of the Republican Party have plummeted since the days of Goldwater and Buckley. Today, the distinguishing trait foretelling whether you are a democrat is not wealth or poverty or race, it is whether you are part of a profession that requires you to actually know stuff.

donzelion said...

David S: Thanks for that - I'm aware of the International Chiefs of Police 'Model Policy.' I'm not aware of many reviews or critiques from those who've been advocating for body cams for some time; there are a number of issues with this policy - e.g.,


(1) the 'use of body cams is restricted to official law enforcement duties' - so much of the benefits of transparency for policy purposes are lost.
(2) all images and sounds are the exclusive property of the department - not held in ownership by the community for its own purposes. this further limits any 'harm' from body cams that a transparency advocate might seek.
(3) generalized responsibility wielded by 'supervisory personnel' - blocks any community involvement in review and use and also insulates against accountability

There's a lot more. I wish that those who claim to be at the forefront could critique more thoroughly; I'd love to see anything credible that the advocates of transparency have put forth, since this model policy strikes me as the work of a group of police chiefs who wish to make bodycams as milquetoast as possible.

Tacitus2 said...

David

LarryHart, to whom I was addressing my thoughts on the basket of deplorables, seemed to catch my meaning. Perhaps in light of my insufficient Democrat credentials I was unable to articulate myself on your level. I am after all no longer practicing in a profession that requires me to actually know stuff.

Let me try again.

I think we can agree that roughly half the voters pulled the lever for Trump. I was not among that number. The actual quote from Mrs. Clinton was:

"You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables." She then goes on to use the pejorative terms I mentioned in my previous post. I do believe that half of 50% makes about a quarter. To be grossly generalistic which I guess is OK.

You don't speak of people..your employers actually, as being irredeemable unless you think they are a tiny, malignant minority who can be scorned to your political advantage. Mrs. Clinton and her handlers clearly did not have a clue at that point just how shaky their own support really was.

As to having a republican mind set. I am not a member of the Republican Party. I vote for Democrats, Republicans and the occasional independent. I do believe, last I checked, that we live in a Republic so I suppose I am guilty as charged.

Sorry if I sound a little testy. I am trying hard here, and have been for some time now to provide an alternative view. A Contrary one if you prefer. I understand that the last week has been hard on you. I frankly worry about you sometimes.

In light of the new political reality, which is of course going to change radically again at some unexpected moment, perhaps some new perspectives on it would be in order from both sides of the political aisle.

Tacitus

Jumper said...

The administration office - the city or county attorney, and a court representative need rather free access also.

donzelion said...

Jumper: re bodycams - "The administration office - the city or county attorney, and a court representative need rather free access also."

Good thought! The 'model policies' are really about limiting how onerous body cams would be for departments; they were adapted by police from preexisting precedent for 'ride-along' vehicle cameras enacted a long time ago.

For police departments, the only real benefit of a body-cam is (1) helping with current law enforcement/prosecution operations (quite the opposite of what our host thinks cameras should be used for), and (2) protecting officers themselves from claims of abuse. The possibility that bodycams could actually be used against the police is obvious to nearly officer who might wear them; they'll do everything they can to limit the damage.

That which might help to guard our freedom WILL be used to oppress - unless those who are aware of the possibilities pay attention and know a better use.

David Brin said...

Tacitus in that case I apologize. But you appeared to be saying that a President Hillary would not have tried to help the white working class. Her remark was stupid. But to focus on style matters in lieu of science or policy is THE very trait we have just seen win an american election.

Did she screw herself by giving Breitbart of Fox ammo to feed red meat to millions who care only about incantations? Sure.

But I am sick of this obsession with incantations.

Now we see the ultimate fruition of that magical thinking, where the incantation matters more than facts. Because it now appears that Donald Trump’s and the GOP’s fervor “repeal and toss out Obamacare” will amount to… some tweaks in the details – many of them offered by Obama himself and refused by the never-negotiate Congress…
http://www.newsweek.com/trumpcare-going-look-very-much-obamacare-519638

…and a massive re-labeling of every feature and component, changing their names. A re-labeling that will let the proclaim “this is what we wanted, all along!” A thorough re-labeling that will wipe away those cooties.

There are no other issues than the uneducated white aging boomer male's livid hatred of those who are smarter than him, and know more. His racism is shallow and not (I believe) at the core of his rage. Certainly it is not self interest, since absolutely every single metric does better under dems.

He bullied nerd in Jr. High school and now they seem to run everything. And he has had his revenge.

Jonathan Sills said...

As it turns out, though, Tacitus, in fact only about half the eligible voters in the US took the trouble to do so. And of those, less than half actually voted for Trump - Donnie won the electoral vote, but the popular vote seems to be going rather strongly for Clinton.

So that indicates that she called less than 1/8 of Americans "deplorable". For comparison purposes, if you wanted to claim membership in a Native American tribe, you'd need to demonstrate at least 1/8 ancestry from that tribe (my wife qualifies - barely - due to the relations between Blackfoots and freed slaves in the immediate post-Civil-War era), more than the size of the Basket.

And with what's been happening, I think she might have called the number a bit low. (Swastikas carved into middle-school walls in Michigan and spray-painted on business windows in New York and churches in Mississippi, four anti-Trump protesters shot in Portland OR, a college student in Michigan threatened with being set on fire if she didn't remove her hijab, people of color being told to "go back where you came from" - and apparently "New Jersey?" is not an acceptable answer, cartoonist Jon Rosenberg sharing with us all the people who've told him that "rotten kikes" like him "don't have to walk into the ovens, we'll shove you in there at gunpoint", a substitute teacher in LA suspended after taunting Latino students in a classroom with how Trump was going to deport their parents and make them go into foster homes... There have been hundreds of reported hate crimes since Tuesday. We're not even going into the unreported ones. Sounds pretty damn deplorable to me.)

LarryHart said...

@Jonathan Sills,

Hillary was apparently tone-deaf, but the point of her statement was to immediately note and dismiss the deplorables, then go on to acknowledge that other Trump supporters share our same concerns, and can be negotiated with and reached.

The election apparently hinged on her unfortunate use of the word "half". Had she said, "Some [or even Many ] of Trump supporters come from a basket of deplorables, but the rest...", we might not be having this conversation.

After implying that all Mexicans were rapists and drug dealers, Trump threw in an obligatory, "I'm sure there are some good ones in there. Some." which was apparently enough not to turn Latinos against him. Sometimes, I guess you do get people to vote for you by insulting them.

LarryHart said...

@Jonathan Sills (again),

So far, we're seeing a spike in racist acts by individuals who only feel empowered by Trump's election. We'll have to carefully watch to see if these types of incidents appear to gain official sanction, with either active participation by the police or an obvious pass being given to the perpetrators by the legal system. When that happens, we're on our way to Krystalnacht II--This Time it's American.

Weirdly enough, Krystalnacht took place on the European 9/11 (ninth-November), which was the day after Election Day this year.

Carl M. said...

I think you can safely expect Trump to follow through on his protectionism. This has been constant with The Donald for decades -- including back when he was for socialized medicine.

Mr. Trump is really a Reform Party President, not a Republican in the Murdoch sense.

At the moment, Trump is bringing in the usual suspects from the Republican Party to help him govern. So maybe this is just a ego boosting charade.

But we also know from history that Mr. Trump is capable of firing his top executives. He went through three campaign managers to get to the White House, after all.

---

As for self-interest, the blue collar working class did vote in its self-interest. Hollywood and Silicon Valley make money from world trade. The midwest and much of rural America has been gutted from low tariffs, and cheap imported labor.

The illegal immigrants may be perfectly fine people, but they are scabs in union parlance. There are two sides to a picket line. It used to be conservatives and libertarians who sympathized with those on the outside. This year the Republican Party has become the union logic party.

And it's Democrats' turn to contemplate the ugly side of union logic.

Ah, trade-offs.

--------

And no, I am not looking forward to the round-up. I'm explaining, not defending.

LarryHart said...

Carl M:

As for self-interest, the blue collar working class did vote in its self-interest. Hollywood and Silicon Valley make money from world trade. The midwest and much of rural America has been gutted from low tariffs, and cheap imported labor.


Low tariffs and cheap imported labor are not going to go away under Republican rule. That's the part I continue to not get.

LarryHart said...

Carl M:

There are two sides to a picket line. It used to be conservatives and libertarians who sympathized with those on the outside. This year the Republican Party has become the union logic party.

And it's Democrats' turn to contemplate the ugly side of union logic.


Republicans at the state level continue working to break unions. A Republican-dominated Supreme Court will cement union-busting into settled law for decades to come.

Flypusher said...

Anonymous LarryHart said...
Carl M:

As for self-interest, the blue collar working class did vote in its self-interest. Hollywood and Silicon Valley make money from world trade. The midwest and much of rural America has been gutted from low tariffs, and cheap imported labor.


Low tariffs and cheap imported labor are not going to go away under Republican rule. That's the part I continue to not get.
====================

Add to that Ryan's most regressive tax plan and his proposed cuts to the social safety net. Trump won't fight for his base's interests here; he's shown no inclination for all the boring details of crafting policy. He's hankering after that next worship fix.

None of this is hidden, but we'll hear the howls of outrage soon enough. They'll get what they voted for, good and hard.

Hamish said...

Re the basket of deplorables discussion - A couple of days ago, I happened across a cogent (and prophetic) piece written back in April this year.

I'm not sure I agree with everything in it, but it seems to track pretty well with observed outcomes.

http://www.vox.com/2016/4/21/11451378/smug-american-liberalism

Jumper said...

Carl, Hollywood and Silicon Valley? No mention of Walmart and Wall Street?

Funny. Keep the plan, tweak it, rename it "Trumpcare" and it's a winner!

LarryHart said...

Flypusher:

Anonymous LarryHart said...


Anonymous? I've been using my real name here for something like 10 years now.

LarryHart said...

@Hamish,

I've been hearing a lot about liberal smugness this week.

While there's something to the idea that people are fed up with it, I'm not sure I agree that what they are fed up with is "smugness", and that liberals are the ones at fault for exhibiting that characteristic. Rather, what people are fed up with is (specifically) "liberal smugness", under the assumption that liberals are not entitled to be smug, that smugness is a right reserved in America for conservatives. It's not "We don't like liberals because they're smug." It's more "We don't like liberals because, by affecting smugness, they demonstrate that they don't know their place."

It falls into the category of other issues I've mentioned lately: voter suppression, the Electoral College, life tenure on the Supreme Court, the filibuster to name a few. All of these are recognized as somewhat in need of reform, but the attitude is usually "Yeah, but what are ya gonna do?" as long as they work to the benefit of Republicans. Only when Republicans find themselves inconvenienced by such constraints is there any political will to reform them.

Paul SB said...

Tacitus,

If Clinton was assuming that Trump's support was - as all the pundits suggested - much less than her own, then she wasn't calling 25% of Americans deplorable. From what the polls were saying at that time, it was closer to 15%. That's still a pretty high number, though I would have to say that in my experience, it's an underestimate. There are a lot of of people on the streets who are just plain assholes - and they belong to every demographic you can name.

But the bigger deal is that a whole lot more than 15% or 25% simply listen to one side's propaganda or the other and don't take dialogue or mutual understanding very seriously. At least in this forum we only get a few of those.

Usually you aren't one of them, but your comment about "worrying about" Larry sounds a little dismissive of his rationality and/or sanity. Maybe you could elaborate on your meaning.

Jonathan Sills said...

Well, Larry, it's not a completely blatant act yet, but Trump has appointed Stephen Bannon, CEO of the alt-right (or, more properly, neo-Nazi) website Breitbart.com, as his chief advisor, so...

LarryHart said...

Paul SB:

your comment about "worrying about" Larry sounds a little dismissive of his rationality and/or sanity.


Read Tac's comment again. That wasn't directed at me.

Hamish said...

@LarryHart,

The takeaway for me was not so much about the "smugness" - You are absolutely correct that both ends of the political spectrum (and sometimes the middle) evince smugness and superiority. It was more about calling people stupid, and then wondering why they didn't vote for you.

I've recently moved back to the US from the UK, and was there during Brexit. I thought that the Brexit vote would get up, and I thought that Trump would win here (Please note that this is NOT what I wanted to happen in either case, just that I thought it would) for much the same reasons.

I perceived a small difference in the messages coming from either side - The Trump camp was saying (loudly and at length) "You can't vote for Hillary - she's a wall street puppet / criminal / corrupt / lesbian / pejorative of your choice".

The Clinton camp (not just the campaign, but the larger supporter group) were saying "If you support Trump, you are a racist / sexist / bigot / islamophobe / misogynist / sexual predator / pejorative of your choice just like him".

A subtle difference, but important. I'm pretty sure no one would enjoy being labelled as any of those things, so you get a couple of things happening.

When asked who they support, they may not have responded honestly. Given the emotion and passion in this election cycle, I would not find that surprising. Not everyone, but perhaps enough to skew the polling.

And following on from that, people voting for Trump that may not have otherwise (i.e. they might have stayed home) - because insulting someone generally has the opposite effect to bringing them over to your side.

I mention Brexit, because there also was a lot of vehement rhetoric from the No camp that anyone who voted Yes was a racist islamophobe. Same circumstances, same polling "error" (although it was not as far off in the UK), and in the end, the same "unexpected" result

Paul SB said...

Um, Larry, I know that comment was about you. That's why I wrote "worried about" Larry.

Don't worry about it, my Dory Brain is much worse than yours. It's probably me he should be worried about. : /

LarryHart said...

@Paul SB
No, it was not directed at me.

You won't be happier with who it was directed at, but he can certainly fend for himself.

David Brin said...

Just posted this on FB & Google +:

This piece in Mother Jones details the scientific connection between the drop in crime across North America and the elimination - twenty years earlier - of lead from gasoline and from paint products. Other proposed causalities - mass-incarceration, availability of abortion, “broken windows” policing - all may have contributed, but statistical and other evidence appears to zero in on lead as the overwhelming primary. Especially the way the same curve can be seen in many countries around the globe, always with the same phase offset starting when they took lead out of their gas.
http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/02/lead-exposure-gasoline-crime-increase-children-health

Moreover, in children, lead levels in blood correlate strongly with later arrest records for violent crimes. And now we know that Lead exposure degrades both the formation and structure of myelin surrounding nerve cells, as well as permanent loss of gray matter in the prefrontal cortex—a part of the brain associated with aggression control as well as what psychologists call "executive functions”.

While it is tragic that eliminating lead from our air and water and homes took so long, the glass is half full, when you consider how controversial the push for replacement and removal of this toxin was, back in the 60s and 70s. Resistance to change was almost perfectly identical to today’s Climate Denialism - often using many of the same turns of phrase.

I had a very minor role to play in this story, as one of the officials who ran the 1970 Clean Air Car Race, from MIT to Caltech, which featured among the first cars to cross the country smoothly on unleaded gas, putting nails in the coffin of the Ethyl Corporation’s propaganda campaign. Is it an accident that the most important lead elimination bill passed about six months later? Well, it makes a great (and funny) story you can read about here.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2013/01/getting-lead-out-quirky-tale-of-saving.html

To which John Poteet Responded:
'I think it's interesting the the people most inclined to climate denialism are the age demographic that got the most lead in their systems as children. Also b.t.w., the generation(s) that overwhelmingly voted for Trump.

'The states that were the first to implement unleaded gasoline: not just the wealthiest states in the nation but also the states inclined to vote for democrats.'

Well, well. Clearly the main hope for America is for boomers to get out of the way.

Paul SB said...

Okay, now my Dory Brain is in full swing. I thought Larry wrote, "That was about me" when he actually wrote "That wasn't about me." And now that I have read it over again, I see it was addressed to our host. Okay, I need to get more sleep. It sounds rather dismissive, though, and a little disrespectful. If it wasn't intended that way, then I offer my apologies to Tacitus right away.

: ( : / : ( : / : ( : / : ( : / : ( : / : ( : / : ( : / : ( : / : ( : / : ( : / : ( : / : ( : / : ( : / : ( : / : ( : /

Tacitus2 said...

Paul SB

No apology is needed. You and I hold a variety of opinions. Some in agreement, others not. But I respect both you and the work you do.

You probably do need more sleep and I realize this has been a tough week for many.

My concern for our host is genuine but probably needless.

Tacitus

Flypusher said...

"Anonymous? I've been using my real name here for something like 10 years now.'

Sorry. Cut-n-paste did something weird.

Paul SB said...

Thanks, Tacitus,

It's not just this week, it's my life. I try, I really do, but I don't think I'm where I should be. I'm probably too OCD or something, too workaholic, and only 1 out . But didn't I say this would not be over when the election was over? Regardless of who won...

It would have been really funny if it turned out to be Jill Stein, though.

Paul SB said...

Dr. Brin,

"Well, well. Clearly the main hope for America is for boomers to get out of the way."

Maybe what they need is a detox, but this far removed in time from the source, purifying the blood isn't going to help, even with full dialysis - and we have no technology to clear lead form the brain. If they can just be convinced ...

LarryHart said...

Paul SB:

But didn't I say this would not be over when the election was over? Regardless of who won...

It would have been really funny if it turned out to be Jill Stein, though.


Then we'd know it was rigged. :)

Jumper said...

If someone claims the moon landings were a hoax, and then get angry when someone who knows different acts smug to them, what's to be done about it?

dennisd said...

@donzelion
Regarding organizing/managing street demonstrations:
From my ACT-UP/Treatment Action Group days in NYC in the late 1980s/early 1990s the most successful (least violent/no violence) street demonstrations occurred when ACT-UP met with the police prior to the demonstration.

Working with a designated community service officer, ACT-UP would explain the purpose of the demo, the location, the march route, expected size of the demo, if sit-ins were planned, etc. We always had demonstration marshals and legal observers. By meeting with the police beforehand tensions could be reduced. Both sides would know what to expect. Point people on either side would be identified so tensions can be addressed beforehand and during a demonstration.

Pulling off a safe, non-violent demonstration calls for trust and cooperation on the part of the police and the demonstrators. It takes time to build the trust with law enforcement but is best for everyone involved.

(My apologies if this is old news for you). Good luck.

David Brin said...

Jumper I will quote: "If someone claims the moon landings were a hoax, and then get angry when someone who knows different acts smug to them, what's to be done about it?"

Tacitus, while I do rail at things that threaten my planet, species and possible hope for the galaxy... I actually have pleasantly low blood pressure! Perhaps from donating blood 84 times.

Anyway guy, have I ever treated you with anything other than affectionate regard... along with occasional collegial and fraternal brusqueness between guys?

donzelion said...

Dennis D -
"the most successful (least violent/no violence) street demonstrations occurred when ACT-UP met with the police prior to the demonstration."
Ah, one of the most impressive groups of protesters: the successors of ACT-UP were out in force yesterday.

"We always had demonstration marshals and legal observers."
Yep. ;-)

"Pulling off a safe, non-violent demonstration calls for trust and cooperation on the part of the police and the demonstrators."
The organizers know what they're doing (and that's not me). So do the agents provocateur, the counter-protesters, and the police. It's the mentally unstable ones I'm most concerned about, and hope a few steady hands on deck may avert riots while still delivering messages. Guess that's how I interpret 'militant moderation.'

Thanks for the best wishes; perhaps I'll see you at a rally some time. For me, this is really 'welcome back to being in it.' Beats Tahrir Square by a mile...

donzelion said...

Paul SB: "It sounds like you have much more important things to do than hang out and eat yogurt with Marvin the Paranoid Android."
Hardly, but didn't know for sure and have been a little preoccupied to check.

"you are in a position to actually make a difference, something that I, as a teacher, can only hope I am doing."
None of us can do any more than hope, in spite of what we see. But as a teacher with roots in Glendora, perhaps a day will come when you can speak to the police as a bona fide member of the community and say that 'this is why body cams are important to me, and to my kids.' A San Gabriel Valley consortium won a grant to get these - and who can say whether those funds will be renewed next year? If this works here, it can be expanded elsewhere. If it fails here, it will delay this elsewhere as well.

Kal Kallevig said...

Michael Byron

That was a very interesting article.

Here is a link that shows countries that have transitioned from being energy exporters to energy importers. Note the relationships between internal turmoil and conflict and this importer status.
XtoM

Paul451 said...

Donzelion,
Re: Your opportunity of a lifetime.

While I'm opinionated, I'm utterly out of my depth when it gets to the level of policy detail you will need, so I shouldn't try to advise...


...But I can't resist a few suggestions.

Make supervisors responsible for officers wearing working cameras, not the officers themselves. Obviously officers will still end up being punished for non-compliance, since their supervisors will find some way to pass on punishment to those who repeatedly "forget" or "break" their cameras; but creating regs which make officers explicitly responsible allows actual maintenance/reliability/morale issues to be ignored by management. (And failing to have any assigned responsibility just leads to abuse of procedures.)

Very unlikely wish: Require direct supervisors and senior managers to also wear vest-cams while on-duty, with financial penalties for non-compliance. "Sauce for the goose." Footage would be legally excluded from externally initiated lawsuits and civilian government, but available upon complaint by subordinate officers or dept-employed civilian staff to the appropriate complaints-committees/union-reps/etc. This specific type of footage would be excluded for use by managers against subordinates. More generally, officers should be empowered to record any interaction with superiors, whether with vest-cams or cellphones.

Not directly related to vest-cams, but certainly empowered by them: An officer-staffed advisory panel to review shootings and similar incidents, with the sole purpose of trying to work out what changes in procedures/training could have prevented the outcome. That is, not to find whether the officer(s) "followed procedures", but to work out why the procedures failed. Both "the officer failed to follow procedures" & "the victim failed to follow instructions" are explicitly not permitted as findings (for the same reason as the "Five Why's" technique.) The panel should be empowered to be able to interview officers and witnesses in strict confidentiality, with no possibility of the interview being available to either management or courts. This would obviously be independent of any existing review procedure, since it has an entirely different purpose. The panel should have the option of making its recommendations public.

Anyway, have fun.

Paul451 said...

Re: Basket of deplorables.
"Half", "no a quarter", "no nine/fifteenths"...

Defending the line using maths?

If you have to explain the joke, it's not funny.

LarryHart,
"The election apparently hinged on her unfortunate use of the word "half". Had she said, "Some [or even Many ] of Trump supporters come from a basket of deplorables, but the rest...", we might not be having this conversation."

No. Because she was still talking about them, not to them.

Similar to Obama's "clinging to their bibles and their guns" comment. It doesn't matter that he was saying exactly the same thing I said earlier (when you screw people economically, they protect what they have left with irrational fury), his tone was of an elitist speaking about them in contempt, even if it wasn't his intent. (He still won because he had enough credibility as an outsider, change candidate. The core of his message, his image, his campaign was change.)

"After implying that all Mexicans were rapists and drug dealers, Trump threw in an obligatory, "I'm sure there are some good ones in there. Some." which was apparently enough not to turn Latinos against him."

To borrow the line doing the rounds at the moment, "Trump did everything he could to lose the election, but Hillary was better at it."

But seriously, the core of his message, his image, his campaign was change. People held their nose and voted for him, in spite of his odiousness, because he was the "outsider" and Clinton was most definitely not. (As I strongly suspect the same swing-voters would have instead held their nose and voted for a "socialist" had Sanders been the other nominee.)

Paul451 said...

LarryHart,
"I can see why they think they're getting the shaft from economic and power elites, and why the Democrats have caved to those elites and become part of the problem rather than standing up to them. I don't see how they think Republicans are on their side of that conflict, though."

Because they say they are. Over and over. In every word and gesture. Think about how many studies have been linked to here that show repeating a lie, over and over, especially in the face of contrary evidence, makes the lie seem plausible.

The words may have nothing to do with how they actually vote in Congress, or in state government, but it's riddled through their entire culture that they are the anti-establishment.

[Which is especially ironic when you think about the original meaning of "Establishment".]

The Democrats, in every word and gesture, proclaim themselves solely aligned with fringe issues. It's not how they vote, which is why the left is so unhappy with the Democratic Party, but it's baked into the language and culture.

Clinton didn't talk about the economy (except to say how well it was doing), she talked about issues like gun-control, climate change, etc, as if she was on a victory tour to celebrate the final extinction of the political-right (which is how I think her advisors felt. They thought they were going to win Texas). Her message was entirely inward focused. As if she was speaking to her staff, as if she was at a dinner party with centre-left friends, as if she didn't realise that anyone else could hear her.

Even that awful debate line, "Trumped up trickle down" shows it. Ignoring the lameness of it, "trickle down" is our shibboleth. It means nothing and explains nothing to people who don't follow economic-politics in detail, but are amongst the victims of supply-side economics. It's designed perfectly not to appeal to swing-voters.

"both parties now see themselves in the revolutionary role"

But only one party says the words.

Paul451 said...

LarryHart,
"I get why people voted for change. I did just that in 2008 when I voted for Barack Obama. What I don't get is why people think Republicans are the ones who will institute the "change they can believe in"."

Democrats (still) don't seem to understand the opportunity they were presented with, and can't create a message of change that can be understood by conservative working-class people.

The group-think inside the Democrat leadership is toxic. You've got either the pathological compromisers, who think they are being the "sensible grown-ups", or the lefty flag-burning trigger-word idiots.

That was what I liked about Sanders. He had the message, was unconventional enough to be seen as an outsider/anti-establishment, was a lefty but not a shibboleth-trapped fool, and thus appealed to the sort of people who ultimately held their nose and voted Trump.

In spite of the victory of Bill Clinton, the failure of Gore, the out-of-nowhere victory of Obama, and the surprising near-miss of Sanders, and the success of Trump, the Dem leadership and their media apologists still doesn't see the opportunity.

For example:

"I mean, congress has been Republican-controlled for all but two years since 1995, and if you count "filibustering everything" as "control", then even those two years barely count. Why not try voting for change from that for once?"

Did you see a single Clinton or general Democrat ad making that case? A single line from Clinton in any of the debates?

Do you not remember the repeated urging of our host for Hillary to say the word "Republican" during the debates?

Maybe if they actually said the words. Maybe if they actually spoke to the people they are trying to convince.

donzelion said...

Paul451: Thanks for your ideas, and no, you're not out of your depth. Nothing in this is 'legalistic' just yet - it's all 'what would be good for the public?' level of policy. That said, $20 million was awarded to departments in 32 different states, so this may be as little as $50,000, or quite a bit more - hard to say since I haven't seen the grant award. Not quite the opportunity of a lifetime, just an opportunity for progress on an important issue.

"Make supervisors responsible for officers wearing working cameras..."
Yes, supervisors need to assign and verify, but community police liaisons and civilians ought to review compliance and at least verify 'down time' and seek explanations through some kind of audit panel. I'm also thinking that as an 'audit' panel, the awards of overtime ought to be linked to proper bodycam use - that'll align incentives (since most police officers will work the overtime and departments prefer to use that rather than hire additional personnel).

Financial penalties may be out of reach for now, but this might be a bit closer to possible. I have no idea.

"An officer-staffed advisory panel to review shootings and similar incidents,"
Something like that already exists (the precise arrangements vary from one department to the next, but many departments call in experts from other departments for their internal non-judgmental reviews.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin to Tacitus2:

Anyway guy, have I ever treated you with anything other than affectionate regard... along with occasional collegial and fraternal brusqueness between guys?


In my role as translator droid, I don't think Tacitus was concerned about your treatment of himself so much as some of your reactions to others down here, and some of your rants in the main posts.


Tacitus2 said...

Paul SB

Persevere!

I have found it necessary on two occasions to walk away from what looked like a very solid, long term work situation in favor of an uncertain path. Both times it was the right move.

I am less "cloaked" now than during my practice days, so if you are interested in the fun side of education check out:

http://detritusofempire.blogspot.com/2016/11/machines-behaving-badly-2016-edition.html

There is a gmail link there, using another odd pseudonym, if you want some off forum career advice.

Tacitus

LarryHart said...

Paul451:

Re: Basket of deplorables.
"Half", "no a quarter", "no nine/fifteenths"...

Defending the line using maths?


I'm not claiming she should have got the figure more correct. I'm saying "half" was too big a net to cast. It gave a non-deplorable Trump voter cause to think "Hey, the odds are good she's talking about me."


"The election apparently hinged on her unfortunate use of the word 'half'. Had she said, "Some [or even Many ] of Trump supporters come from a basket of deplorables, but the rest...", we might not be having this conversation."

No. Because she was still talking about them, not to them.


See, this is why the Democrats should have us working out the drafts of their speeches. Ok, if she had said "Some [or even Many ] of Trump supporters come from a basket of deplorables [explicitly specifying KKK, bullies, etc. ], which has all of us worried, including you other Trump supporters. [Then go on to enumerate her policies which would be beneficial to some on either side...]


(He [Obama] still won because he had enough credibility as an outsider, change candidate. The core of his message, his image, his campaign was change.)
...
But seriously, the core of his [Trump's] message, his image, his campaign was change. People held their nose and voted for him, in spite of his odiousness, because he was the "outsider" and Clinton was most definitely not.

After being mocked so badly for "that hopey changey stuff" eight years ago, it's a bit sardonically humorous to see Republicans so hungry for hope and change. I mean, they even use the words explicitly, without a hint of irony.


(As I strongly suspect the same swing-voters would have instead held their nose and voted for a "socialist" had Sanders been the other nominee.)


I didn't think that would be the case back during the primaries (I did vote for Bernie, but with my heart rather than my head). Now, I'm at least seeing your point. Had the Republicans simply screamed "Socialist! Socialist!" against him, he might have won. Had they drummed into the electorate that "After eight years of socialism from Obama, isn't it time for a change?", then maybe not.

Broken record time: We've had 22 years (give or take a few short periods) of Republicans running congress and at least that long of a Republican-biased Supreme Court, which forced Bill Clinton to the right and stymied anything "leftist" that Barack Obama could do legislatively after two years. I get the desire for change. I don't get why re-electing a Republican congress and insuring a Republican Supreme Court counts as such.

LarryHart said...

Paul451:


"I mean, congress has been Republican-controlled for all but two years since 1995, and if you count "filibustering everything" as "control", then even those two years barely count. Why not try voting for change from that for once?"

Did you see a single Clinton or general Democrat ad making that case? A single line from Clinton in any of the debates?

Do you not remember the repeated urging of our host for Hillary to say the word "Republican" during the debates?

Maybe if they actually said the words. Maybe if they actually spoke to the people they are trying to convince.


Ok, I think we're reaching agreement on the crux of the matter.

I really think that if you and I were speechwriters for Democrats, we could have pulled this off (with you to remind me what needs to be said explicitly rather than simply assumed).

To the extent that people who think our way (even credentialed ones such as Paul Krugman or Ravi Batra) are essentially shut out by the Democratic establishment, it makes your point that Democrats are too insular.

It bothers me that such obvious (to me) points such as "Republicans are not the party of change" are required to be made by the candidates' campaigns rather than made from the bottom up, but I take your point that that's the world we live in. It also bothers me that candidates have to state the obvious or else it is not obvious at all, but I am beginning to recognize that that's my own issue.

Flypusher said...

Donzelion, a question for you. Does your body cam project have any room for any more people who want to get involved? I'm on other forums collecting news and ideas about pushing needed reforms forward since a GOP dominated Federal government doesn't look to be interested. I'd say you are doing God's work here, because we need police accountability very badly. You may have mentioned it in a previous thread, but I haven't stopped by for a while.

LarryHart said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/14/opinion/for-le-pen-the-impossible-now-seems-possible.html

For Le Pen, the Impossible Now Seems Possible

We're living out "Hamilton", but not in a good way:

France is following us to revolution;
There is no more status quo.

raito said...

In many ways, this last Presidential election reminds me of a state constitutional referendum from 1998. It was the first 'big political deal' that cropped up after I'd moved back from Texas. The gist of it was whether the 2nd amendment applied in Wisconsin.

All the media seemed to report that ti was a done deal -- we were going to get rid of those nasty guns! The smugness was rather overwhelming.

And 73.9% of the people voted to put into the state constitution wording confirming the right to bear arms.

Nobody I knew wanted to hear my reasoning as to why the referendum was going to pass. It was going to pass because the majority of the people of the state live in counties where the police response time could plausibly be measured in fractions of hours rather than some small number of minutes. Counties where your nearest neighbor is too far away to count on them putting in a 911 call for a neighbor.

Fundamentally, the liberal communities in Dane and Milwaukee counties failed to recognize that the majority of the state does not live in the same conditions that they do. And no one likes to be talked down to and be told what's good for them.

Wearing comfortable blinders that keep out reality is not an adult activity.

Flypusher said...

"Fundamentally, the liberal communities in Dane and Milwaukee counties failed to recognize that the majority of the state does not live in the same conditions that they do. And no one likes to be talked down to and be told what's good for them.

Wearing comfortable blinders that keep out reality is not an adult activity."

Rural areas and urban areas each have their own unique problems to deal with. And I think gerrymandering makes the problem worse. The TX map has some truly bizarre districts. You have a chunk of territory in the northwest Houston metro region connected by a thin strip through more rural area to a piece of eastern Austin. How can all those people get proper representation? There ought to be a sharp separation between the urban and rural regions, so that any Reps could focus on just urban issues or just rural issues.

Talking down to people is bad, but making false promises is worse. Getting people's hopes up that coal mining is coming back or we can go back to the days of many good-paying lower skilled manufacturing jobs is cruel, and keeps their blinders on.

Deuxglass said...


Bodycams for police definitely should be used but they will, in certain circumstances be used to justify police-on-citizen fatalities by providing a record of the events. The latest studies have shown that fully 30% of these events occur with those who suffer from serious mental illness who at the time were completely out of it. The bodycam would show that the victim did not obey the police and that he was acting in a bizarre manner. Telling someone in a mania phase not to make any sudden moves or put down that rock in their hand just will not work because he is not rational. Given that the police would be worried about their own safety and of those around a bodycam would provide justification. If this would happen in just a few incidents then there would be less of a problem but when we see that it happens in such a large percentage of cases then we are talking about something truly serious. I am speaking from experience having worked with someone who is Bipolar I, the worst kind, and seeing him several times in full-blown mania. It is not a pretty sight and it is easy to understand how his behavior could easily be interpreted as dangerous when in reality it was not. I wish I had a solution but I do not. We should be looking at ways to subdue without resorting to shooting. Tasers are a partial solution but we need better means. The funny thing is that we know how to subdue wild animals but we can’t use the same methods on people.

My experience in development work taught me that success or lack of most often depends on where you were born and in what social strata. You could have the intelligence of Einstein and still end up herding goats. My experience with the mentally ill taught me that the difference between me and the bag lady sleeping in the park is just a few kinks in the genome.

Deuxglass said...

Bernie Sanders has the correct strategy in my opinion when he said:

"To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic, and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him” [Variety].

Encourage Trump when he goes in the right direction, oppose him when he goes in the wrong. I was an early supporter of Sanders and I refrained from criticizing Clinton even after I saw the methods she used to obtain the nomination. I held my nose and voted for her but in my opinion Trump didn't win the election. Hillary Clinton threw it away by her shear ineptitude.

Robert said...

Here's a couple of things.

First, while my friend (and Trump voter) disagrees with me that the Republican Party would actually dare to get rid of Trump, the FBI FISA Warrent investigating Trump's Russian ties has me suspect we'll not long see a President Trump. Republicans will believe that voters will accept Trump being tossed out as a Russian stooge. He believes if that DID happen, Trump supporters would take to the streets... with guns. I almost want to see Republicans be that stupid as it would accelerate their fall from power.

Second, there is considerable fear out there. I know of disabled veterans who honestly believe they will die in the next couple of years because they will be tossed off their insurance and have nowhere to turn. I've heard a couple disabled veterans state Republicans love soldiers but hate veterans and wish they had had the good grace to have died on the battlefield. I know a lot of the sexual minority (I am an ally and I understand the need to not hide subfields, but we're up to LGBTIAQ and I suspect the acronym is going to get even longer - a shorter term will work!) are petrified of what Trump's America will do, and we have sexual minority teenagers killing themselves out of fear of the future. In fact, that is what you see over and over again. Fear.

Fear is not a firm foundation to rule from. Eventually, the fearful will rise up. A lot of bigots may learn the hard way that the reason the meek inherit the Earth is that there is a hell of a lot more of them out there... and united, they can overwhelm the bigots. And having seen what the bigots do to them? When the worm turns, I have a sad feeling we'll see a lot more deaths out there, just to ensure the haters and hurters can't get back up and continue their path of hate.

Last, I'm curious, Dr. Brin. How long do you see it taking before the economy tanks under a pure Republican political system? I've some stocks currently and it would be good to know when I should cash them in. One year? Two? How long before we're in a recession under a President who believes Bankruptcy is an effective method of dealing with losses?

Rob H.

Jonathan Sills said...

Trump's Chief of Staff is the current RNC chair.

His chief strategist is a neo-Nazi who runs Brietbart.com. (Bet he's got a few, ah, solutions for those pesky protesters...)

His Secretary of Education is a Young Earth Creationist who believes the Pyramids were built by the Biblical Joseph to store grain.

His proposal to head the EPA is a climate denialist.

His transition team includes three of his own children, who are supposed to be keeping his investments in a "blind trust".

His public policy proposals include a tax plan that will lower the rates for America's two percent drastically, while actually increasing rates on the middle class.

Yep, they're getting change, all right. Probably not the change they wanted, but hey, they voted for King Stork, they get King Stork, right? (If only that didn't mean I got King Stork too...)

donzelion said...

Flypusher: "Does your body cam project have any room for any more people who want to get involved?"

YES!
(1) First off, find out if your local police departments even applied for the federal grants, which started in 2015 and expanded in 2016. These were $20 mill DoJ grants (as in, the total award was about $20 mill - not an award of $20 mill to each department). The funds in 2016 were awarded in 33 states - about the same as in 2015. If your department didn't even bother to file for a grant, send a letter to find out why. Grantwriting is easy work but takes a lot of hours and they may not have had the resources to apply. Or they might oppose the whole idea philosophically. Only way to find out is by asking (and unlike senators and politicians, police take their citizen requests pretty seriously sometimes, particularly when they're passing up money).

(2) If you think this is important, write your congressional reps/senator and say so. This is a tiny pilot stage project with a laughable budget that is almost surely in the top 100 items to be cut in 2017. We need to defend that budget.

(3) OK, on policies themselves. There are at least two model policy sets out there - David S posted links to both of the ones I'm aware of up above, from major, respectable groups (one the police chief's union, one from the ACLU). Frankly, I don't like either one of them. However, unless people organize and state what is actually needed, ESPECIALLY PEOPLE HERE WHO CARE ABOUT THIS STUFF, the debate will come down to whichever organization fields the most popular support staff (= police unions win).

I've said before on this forum that while there are many, many issues most of us care about, this is OUR issue more than most others. Actually, it's our host's signature issue. If/when he wishes to step in with some insight, I'll be listening carefully. Meanwhile, we make him look like the thought leader he is by pursuing this issue right here with whatever focus and insight we can muster (I'm hopeful that we can muster quite a bit).

"we need police accountability very badly."
Absolutely. And I feel this even though I actually love and trust our police a great deal. We need total government accountability - the media watchdogs have proven to be mercenaries - we must do this ourselves because there is no other way.

donzelion said...

Deuxglass: "Bodycams for police definitely should be used but they will, in certain circumstances be used to justify police-on-citizen fatalities by providing a record of the events."

To be honest, that is likely to occur far more often than the opposite (bodycams used to show police brutality or worse). And that's fine with me: I have no problem with a video record that absolves the police. I have a problem with secretive insider mechanisms that allocate blame through routes with minimal public oversight.

This also goes for public protests, where the same sorts of mental health issues may apply, sparking incidents of vandalism and abuse that are not evidence of 'stupid vicious thugs' so much as sick individuals. It only takes one person thinking through a haze to make things turn ugly.

LarryHart said...

Robert:

First, while my friend (and Trump voter) disagrees with me that the Republican Party would actually dare to get rid of Trump, the FBI FISA Warrent investigating Trump's Russian ties has me suspect we'll not long see a President Trump. Republicans will believe that voters will accept Trump being tossed out as a Russian stooge. He believes if that DID happen, Trump supporters would take to the streets... with guns.


If an impeachment does occur, we (Democrats) have to be smart enough not to fall for the trap Dr Brin suspects we will fall for. Under no circumstances can this be made out as a Democratic attempt to impeach President-To-Be Trump. It actually helps in that case that both houses of congress are in Republican control, so there's no illusion of a "Democrat congress" running things. If we actually want to impeach Trump (see below), it will have to be with the minumum number of Democrats required for the supermajorites, or at the very least, no more than 1 Democrat for each Republican voting "aye".


I almost want to see Republicans be that stupid as it would accelerate their fall from power.


As Trump is not a normal Republican, there's an opportunity there for an unusual alliance. Dems hold back from supporting impeachment in exchange for his support on some crucial Democratic issues. And of course, Trumpian payback against the offending Republicans.

From Hamilton:

This should be fun.

LarryHart said...

Jonathan Sills:

His Secretary of Education is a Young Earth Creationist who believes the Pyramids were built by the Biblical Joseph to store grain.


Watch for that to show up in the Wikipedia entry.

David Brin said...

Robert I hope the recession waits at least a year. If for no other reason, so blame can be fully attributed. Certainly the economy has had good momentum up to this point.

I agree Paul that HC would have been wise to use polemical techniques that I had recommended!

Mentioning the republican party might have been a good idea. Mentioning the Bushes and Cheney etc... how could she not do that!

Anonymous said...

I've watching everyone bring Michael Moore on to their shows because he was the only guy who saw this coming. He makes a lot more sense these days than most so I went on his FB page and demanded that he run for office against the nearest Republican or Demo-con. He ain't a handsome man, but he has a huge platform! I think everyone should make a mental list of intelligent, capable and successful people that they think would be excellent as their representative and then go and bask/beg/demand those giants make such a sacrifice.

That means you Dr. Brin. You would make a kick-ass congressman.

-AtomicZeppelinMan

LarryHart said...

@AtomicZeppleinMan

I saw Michael Moore speak at Northwestern University back in 1995, when "Downsize This!" was his new book. Even back then, the audience wanted him to run for office. His answer was that he's doing more good with his books and movies than he could do in office. I suspect that attitude hasn't changed.

Also, if Hillary Clinton was poison as a candidate because of her baggage, wouldn't Michael Moore come with the same problem?

occam's comic said...

I would like to point out that the Archdruid, John Michael Greer, wrote about Trump becoming president in January. this post really nails this election on the head,

https://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2016/01/donald-trump-and-politics-of-resentment.html



Anonymous said...

@LarryHart

A quick perusal of his Wikipedia page didn't bring up any red flags, so i am not sure what baggage there is with him. Well, other than pissing off Republicans with his half a dozen movies about how terrible Bush Junior was. That seems like more of a point in his favor these days. And how much good is his books and movies really doing? He could do a lot more in Congress or as Governor of Michigan. Time for guys like him to nut up or shut up!

-AZM

Anonymous said...

Also: As a resident of San Diego County and a constituent at one time of either Issa or Hunter, I would volunteer the hell out of a Brin for Congress campaign. And there are many more liberal-minded sci-fi nerds around here that would do so as well.

-AZM

locumranch said...



I can't believe any of you are still confused about the significance of either Brexit or the US Presidential Election:

It all comes down to Progressive Identity Politics, dumdums, as Identity Politics is DIVISIVE by definition because you cannot single out any particular subgroup (gender, ethnic, racial, cultural, religious, political or economic) without fracturing the unity of the greater group, even if said separation is with the noblest equalist, corrective, reparative or progressive intents.

Once was, white males were allowed to define their interests as indivisible from greater social group and, as a direct result of this, they were willing to labour, fight, sacrifice & die to advance the minority-specific interests of other group members.

Numerically speaking, who fought & died in the US Civil War to eliminate slavery? Who sacrificed their personal political authority & social dominance to give women the vote? Who fought & died to destroy the pro-racial purity pogroms of Nazi German & Imperial Japan? Who eliminated Jim Crow? Who allowed women to enter male-dominated professions? Who allowed our educational system to become a male-adverse, female safe space?

And, who did most pro-diversity, pro-globalist and (even) pro-science progressives throw under-the-bus as villains, deplorables, racists & potential rapists?

The same subgroup that voted for Brexit & Trump.


The White Male backlash has begun, and it will continue unabated until one of three outcomes:

(1) The Progressives convince us that they do NOT see us as depraved regressive outsiders worthy of extermination;
(2) We become & remain convinced of our CENTRALITY within this promised brave new progressive utopia of theirs; and/or
(3) We reclaim all of those freedoms & liberties that we so foolishly gifted to the Other.


Best
____
@AZM & all: Most definitely, NO. Try shutting-up yourself !!

Anonymous said...

No Locumrunch, we are very well aware of how Brexit and Trump are the result of hurt white people feelings. Inclusion of others only feels like oppression when your self worth was built on the oppression of "those people". To follow with your description of the noble white man helping the untermench; this straight, white, male is not ever going to shut up and fight for the future that white supremacy can and will try to destroy.

-AZM

locumranch said...




So white males only included others because their 'self worth (is) built on the oppression of "those people"' ?

What, pray tell, is your progressive self-worth built upon if your idea of inclusion requires the exclusion an another people?

Contradict yourself much?

Anonymous said...

I like most kinds of people, though honestly most of my friends are liberal white guys. Like them I saw the struggle of "those people" to gain what I had at birth, like the ability to be treated nicely by cops. It has made me sick from a moral standpoint, but that doesn't seem to have much to do with me, right? Then I mentally tried to tabulate the financial cost of white supremacy to the US economy over the last century and it quickly rose to tens of trillions in lost productivity and prosperity. That is money out of all of our pockets.

Plus: I have been treated so very nicely by all the gay and lesbian people I have meet over the years. Any oppression of them fills me with fury.

-AZM

locumranch said...


One of us. One of us. We accept (thee). Gobble Gobble

Best

Robert said...

No, Locu, you used the wrong sound effect.

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” -- Animal Farm, George Orwell

What you're saying is that all men are equal. But White Men are more equal than White Women, and White Women are more equal than everyone else.

As a greying-haired white man? I say fuck that. Then again, a hearing-impaired white man using a computer to do a phone call had some young fuck rush up to him in the coffee shop where he was and shout at him telling him he was going to be deported and sent back home. It seems that if you're physically or mentally impaired? You are no longer Caucasian.

In the eyes of the alt-Right, I am as much deserving to be "shipped home" as any Latino, African-American, Asian-American, or anyone who's not Native American. And those should just be shot and killed because hey, we took this land by force and let the few that survived live because we were being nice.

---------

As an aside, how long do you think the Tribes have left before the military is sent in force by President Trump to be removed forcibly so the pipeline that will pollute the Missouri river watershed when it inevitably breaks (as so many of these pipelines have been breaking of late) can be built?

Rob H.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Guys
Re the economy
The US economy could really do with a decent stimulus - an injection of infrastructure spending

The reason that it has not happened so far is NOT because of Supply side Voodoo but because the GOP know damn well that it would improve the economy and have stopped it from happening while Obama was in charge

Now that the Donald is in charge I expect the floodgates to open and we may well see something very unusual - an economy doing really quite well under the GOP!!

Berial said...

If they do suddenly think it's okay to do infrastructure how do they keep their jobs when it becomes OBVIOUS that they held the economy hostage for 8 years? (Still hope they do it. We NEED to upgrade out infrastructure beyond badly.)

Robert said...

Duncan, I honestly think you're mistaken.

The GOP will want to ensure that any infrastructure spending goes to crony companies that help the GOP. This will bog down any spending bills with more and more pork. You could very well see Trump veto such a bill and go public with the problems with the bill (especially if there's not enough benefiting HIS interests), which would shame the Republican Congress and set it against him.

Even if a bill got passed, the fact it will go to Republican cronies suggests a lot of that money will be wasted and will vanish like Haliburton suckling at the teat of Iraq. The end result will be far less stimulus than spending.

If the economy suddenly suffers a downturn because of banks suddenly gambling when they shouldn't or something else going sour, then you will see the country fall from a slow growth pattern to a recession. Republicans will then start to shriek about the need for Austerity and will cut spending. The recession will deepen further and further as Republicans cut everything they can get away with. On the cutting board will be NASA, the EPA, food stamps, veterans programs, the sciences, and anything that isn't going to defense industries (mind you, the military itself will see cuts to soldier pay and services, but not to tanks and jets being built).

Oh, and congressional pay will also not be touched.

In four years you will see the country in shambles. There will be widespread long-term unemployment with Republicans blaming Obama left and right and shrieking about Democrats sabotaging everything. They will try hard to rile up voters and pass the blame on. And you may very well see it work. Voters have already shown a decided tendency toward blindly accepting what Republicans say.

Oh, and you will see minorities persecuted. They will be the ones who killed the economy. Along with Democrats. There will be a widespread effort to disenfranchise any minority and "send them home." If relations with Russia and China worsen, you may even see minorities being jailed in for-profit prisons as a "security risk." And there will be no checks on those prisons or their conditions. No one will care.

In eight years of Trump you will see the country a hollow shell of what it once was. There will not be dissent in the streets. Any attempt to dissent will be met with armed responses by armed white militias who are clinging to their superiority despite the fact their saviors have screwed them over.

Rob H.

David Brin said...

Duncan I agree that if they were smart, the goppers would do a huge infrastructure Bill. Both to stimulate econ success while they are in power and to have something to blame, when their tax cuts send deficits soaring.

But that's a big 'if."

Speaking of "Biff" as in Biff Tannen... didn't we just elect him? In every way?

AZM thanks, but (1) My books are both better and more fun than my service in DC would be, (2) They'd not find any scandals but oh the number of things I've said that could be badly taken out of context! (3) Wife'd kill me.

locum expressed himself this time with unaccustomed logic and articulation. Every sentence was parseable and comprehensible and led to the next logically.

The bad news? Almost none of his assertions have any bearing on actual fact. Heck, the dumber white males were the only demographic that Trump led and the DWMs elected a president! So much for being disempowered.

Not a single other statement he made is actually true, even if subdivided. Moreover, Smart and Knowledgeable White Males (SAKWMs) who work in the world of facts and provables despise DT more than any other group does, including college women! Hence we return to the question locum never ever answers.

Why has your cult driven off all the people who know stuff? Almost all of them. Very close to all of them?

Because your cult shrivels if it acknowledges facts. It is wild assertions all the way down. Welcome back, Krystalnacht.

Jeff B. said...

Once more, into the breach...

Flypusher,
...the ACLU is worth a look, as is more involvement at the state / local level. The Federal gov't is going to be dead to us for at least 2 years, and probably 4 (barring some unprecedented EC voting).

As a Federal employee, I could resent that. do hope zombification is not around the corner. :)

And as a rural resident, options for action are quite... limited. Over an hour away from the nearest ACLU office in Pittsburgh, and the local Democrats don't show a lot of promise... Hmm...

LarryHart said...

Berial:

If they do suddenly think it's okay to do infrastructure how do they keep their jobs when it becomes OBVIOUS that they held the economy hostage for 8 years?


That would require the American voting public to have an attention span longer than a tv commercial. What they'll be told to "remember" is that the economy did badly under President Obama, but improved drastically once Trump took over.

This isn't exactly your point, but I'm morbidly interested to see how soon it comes to pass that the deficit is suddenly not a problem any more.

Anonymous said...

#Locumranch 1.22 PM

Coming out of lurkdom:

Numerically speaking... etc

This group, white males, was the largest to sacrifice for the causes you mention, because other groups wheren't allowed in at those times. Had they been, they'd have done their part in the struggles. Like the black divisions in the Civil War and WWII. The more groups are participating fully in society, the more the burdens are shared. While I appreciate their efforts in history (especially in the liberation of Europe in WWII, biased because I live there), when society had already allowed others to participate, the white male sacrifices would have been less. So no special pedestals, just deserved respect because they were there, no more, no less.

Locumranches post brings me to something I've thought about for awhile, but didn't find an answer to: is sharing power an exception to the non-zero sum situations that we see in so many aspects of civilisation? If one person or group gains power, does another automatically lose power?
This is a question to this blog community as a whole, not to Locumranch.


Twominds

donzelion said...

Duncan: "The reason [an injection of infrastructure spending] has not happened so far is NOT because of Supply side Voodoo but because the GOP know damn well that it would improve the economy"

Robert: "The GOP will want to ensure that any infrastructure spending goes to crony companies that help the GOP."
Think you're both right, and that your views are compatible. The Reps did approve infrastructure spending, but not as a long-term plan (hence, minimum major projects).

"The recession will deepen further and further as Republicans cut everything they can get away with."
Thing is, about 60-65% of the budget can't actually be cut - social security, medicare, payment on debt. Stuff that can be cut includes 'discretionary' items - like the military (and everything else you listed, which will definitely higher on their list of preferred cuts).

"And there will be no checks on those prisons or their conditions. No one will care."
That's where you're wrong. I will care. And I'm not entirely alone. I hope.

Jeff B: "As a Federal employee, I could resent that."
As a federal employee, you're already pushing back the horde of zombies and helping hold the country together. I hope you'll shine as an example of service and duty for others who mock your role, whatever it is.

But the ACLU, and other urban-based groups, needs folks in rural areas more than anywhere else as eyes, ears, and stalwarts. Even when you're in the city, it's annoying to attend their functions (and get asked to donate yet again) - just tell them you'd consider joining if they webcast their events and asked for help. If local Dems are unpromising, at least you're doing your job, keeping your eyes open and your conscience clear. That may be enough.

Anonymous said...

IF society, not WHEN society... etc!
Late night grammar fail.

Twominds

LarryHart said...

From today's www.electoral-vote.com (bold emphasis is mine) :


In a circumstance that is unprecedented, President-elect Trump is scheduled to go on trial in federal court on November 28, in one of three cases that has been filed against him due to his involvement in Trump University. His attorneys have requested a continuance until after January 20, arguing that Trump is too busy preparing to assume the presidency.

Previously, Trump has been unwilling to settle these cases. However, urged on by Judge Gonzalo Curiel (of "a Mexican judge won't be fair" fame), The Donald may well choose to revisit that decision. Being on trial would not be a good look for a president or president-elect. That's particularly true if the continuance is not granted, and photographs of Trump on the stand (plus any leaks from the trial) cause the presidential electors to think twice about their options before they meet on December 19. Meanwhile, it would seem that we may have further evidence that Trump did not actually expect to win the election. If he did, why did it take this long for anyone to notice that he might be busy in late November?

LarryHart said...

Twominds:

This group, white males, was the largest to sacrifice for the causes you mention, because other groups wheren't allowed in at those times. Had they been, they'd have done their part in the struggles. Like the black divisions in the Civil War and WWII.


Don't forget the American Revolution itself:

But we’ll never be truly free
Until those in bondage have the same rights as you and me.
You and I. Do or die. Wait till I sally in
On a stallion with the first black battalion.


LarryHart said...

Twominds:

is sharing power an exception to the non-zero sum situations that we see in so many aspects of civilisation? If one person or group gains power, does another automatically lose power?


Depends what you're talking about.

If "one person or group gains power" means that they use that power to further their own narrow interests and to oppress others, then yes, one group gaining the power means others have lost it.

If "one person or group gains access to the possibility of power" because he's no longer judged by his group, but by how good he can be at the job, then he is in a position to lift all boats.

Anonymous said...

#LarryHart 4:19 pm

Thanks! There's a lot I don't know about the American Revolution. This verse is from the musical Hamilton I guess. Does it accurately echo sentiments from the late 18th century or is it the voice of the 21th century writers?

Twominds

David Brin said...

Who can cite the poen about "the best people agree"?

I'll know we've started growing up when a majority of adults have learned to worry about immature trends in basic human nature.

#1 may be our surge to avow that "my kind of people" are the heroes. We are the rightfully aggrieved!

Sure, it's sometimes true. And I will stay silent about this when blacks or native Americans or women assert that their historical grievances should (coincidently) be considered the paramount issues of out time. In all cases, the DIRECTION is supported by all that we know. Their shouts of injustice are justified and I'll not quibble whether sanctimony addiction and "my kind of people" are amplifying their sense of righteous determination.

The opposite holds for white male grievance. Which generally amounts to "I want my old unfair dominance back!"

Yes, I have seen cases where white maleness has been unfairly discriminated against in ways that serve no helpful purpose and that abuse individuals for 'guilt' that they never earned. But those cases are generally individual aberrations. And a burden of proof falls on anyone in this society -- (yes, even now) -- who claims they are truly and generally and overall disadvantaged in life, because they are white-males.

I am willing to listen and assess such proof! If it is presented cogently and backed up by facts. But just yowling and asserting something does not make it so. Especially given the tribalist "my kind of folks" tendency in human nature.

Note also -- these confeds don't even pretend anymore to be part of a great, larger project that has conquered so many of our ancestors talent-wasting stupidities. Instead of saying "I am proud of America for uplifting women and minorities... though I insist white males be treated less harshly, since most of us never committed those old crimes"... a reasonable stance... it is "my tribe WITHIN America matters to me much more than our common nation and project."

It isn't even zero sum thinking. It is negative sum. And a beacon guiding them to hell.

Anonymous said...

#LarryHart 4:25 pm

Sounds like you say that people or groups can use their power to
enable others to live better lives, and that this way a zero-sum game
is avoided.

This could be a way out of the circle I wore in my mental carpet about
this. Thanks, I'm going to think about it some more. But not right now, it´s almost 2:30 am here.


Appreciate this conversation!

It may be some time before I get this posted: my browser and reCaptcha
are having a zero sum power game, not like with my first posts.

Twominds

LarryHart said...

Twominds:

This verse is from the musical Hamilton I guess. Does it accurately echo sentiments from the late 18th century or is it the voice of the 21th century writers?


The "Hamilton" line was spoken by a black friend of Alexander Hamilton's named John Lawrence (it might be spelled differently, but that's how the name is pronounced). I'm pretty sure he's a real historical figure, and he and other black soldiers did fight in the Revolution.

The sad thing in the play (and I believe in real life as well) is that Lawrence died in South Carolina in the last days of the war--the British had surrendered at Yorktown already, but word had not yet reached all of the battlefields. And after the war, those soldiers who had been slaves were returned to their masters. So it's not entirely a wonderful story. But yes, black soldiers and even black officers fought in the Revolution.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

Note also -- these confeds don't even pretend anymore to be part of a great, larger project that has conquered so many of our ancestors talent-wasting stupidities. Instead of saying "I am proud of America for uplifting women and minorities... though I insist white males be treated less harshly, since most of us never committed those old crimes"... a reasonable stance... it is "my tribe WITHIN America matters to me much more than our common nation and project."


I remember that "The Postman" showed the Holnist general character chide one of his lieutenants to remember that "Nathan Holn wasn't a racist, and we shouldn't be either." I also remember that, while the lieutenant accepted the order of his military superior, he clearly didn't agree with the sentiment.

Alfred Differ said...

@Donzelion: Regarding policy, the only one I can think to add regarding body cams is to make David’s Transparent Society book required reading or part of a training course. 8)

There is a short section inside that asks which kind of world we want to live in where he offers a 2x2 matrix of options for who can look at whom. When police where body cams, they need to ask themselves this question and understand the implications of potentially disagreeing with the people they serve.

LarryHart said...

Twominds:

Thanks, I'm going to think about it some more. But not right now, it´s almost 2:30 am here.


As Dr Brin's blog indicates you posted around 5:20 pm Pacific time, you appear to be somewhere in Europe, the same time zone as Denmark and Germany. That's if you're in the northern hemisphere. Care to specify further? No reason to ask other than curiosity.

Alfred Differ said...

Twominds,

I suspect it depends on whether the game players measure their overall benefit or their access to power to govern. The first is probably a positive sum game. The later is a zero sum game at best and could easily turn negative if the players spend too much trying to defend against each other.

raito said...

Overall disadvantaged? No, but in one circumstance for me personally, it was very disappointing to be told that I, specifically as a white male who had supported himself for a decade, was worth less to the powers-that-be than, specifically, women, blacks, or the disabled. And especially worth less than those who hadn't supported themselves.

While I was in college, the banks, government, and schools had not yet implicitly colluded to indenture middle-class graduates for the majority of their working careers. Loans were pretty well capped, and as I recall, part of the cap had to do with whether the student was self-supporting or not. Self-supporting students were not able to borrow much.

I, as a teenage runaway, had managed to spend several years at the local technical college. Pretty simple, at the beginning of each semester, I'd see how much I'd managed to scrape together from a minimum wage job, and that's how much education I got.

Finally, I applied and was accepted to the local University, and a semester later was accepted into the Engineering College. At the same time, I quit my minimum wage job and was able to get (oddly enough, from one of my fellow technical college student friends) a student job paying 3 dollars more than the minimum. This was nearly enough, along with the loans, and the few dollars from other sources, to afford school.

The job dried up. So I was out of work and out of money. I got a call shortly after the beginning of the semester from the college, wondering why I hadn't registered for classes. I told them. They told me that I should call the Financial Aid office, because the college really didn't like having people doing as well as I was doing drop out. So I went down and spent hours with those folks, trying to figure out how I could keep going to school. Upon reviewing my circumstances, I was told in the plainest possible language that the amount of help I could receive wouldn't even pay for my books. I was further told in explicit terms that had I been a woman, or black, or disabled, I would be eligible for more than enough aid to cover not only my books and tuition, but housing and food. And that if I hadn't been on my own supporting myself for the last decade, or hadn't been a white male, I could probably have received enough aid that a simple part-time job would have made up the difference.

So I have my AS, and 80% of 2 BS. Because I wasn't given the same shot at aid as others as a white male. But that's not to say I blame women, or blacks, or the disabled for it. They didn't set those policies any more than I did.

It's not that I expected any privilege. At least I got told to my face about the discrimination in that system.

Alfred Differ said...

Yah. That's the problem with attempts to fix certain types of discrimination by placing a thumb on one side of the scale. The people on the other side see it as reverse discrimination. To top it off, there are actual people with thumbs on the scale, so we know who to blame.

Old school liberals will argue that the scale shouldn't be biased one way or the other, but that stinks when a cultural bias discriminates against a minority. With no funding bias, raito would have received no money AND the other minorities would have been out in the cold too. Stinks, right?

So... should we help everyone? If not, Libertarians will be happy. If so, I want to start my own school so I can benefit the windfall while it exists and tuition rates continue to inflate. The ugly truth is that education costs money. Any bias to correct social ills changes prices. Throw money at those who rightly need help and I'll jack up my prices because I can.

There is a dangerous potential solution to this issue, though. Rates only go up if the supply of education is restricted. Consider what happens if we get out of the business of credentialing schools. We will have a number of Trump Universities fleecing the sheep for awhile, but some of us coming into the market might offer a quality product and partner with others to deliver are complete product at a lower price. Who knows how long it will take, though. I sure don't.

David Brin said...

raito I said I have seen cases of white males unfairly being punished for the sins of long dead white males. Whether you were unjustly treated (and your story is very moving) depends upon how you amortize the air given to the poor black woman in a wheelchair (to mix groups). If it’s afixed pool of aid money - fixed by some natural law - then should we allocate by likely return on the investment? Then it shoulda been you. By some abstract criterion like a test score? That’s sorta fair… though WM’s inherit some advantage momentum anyway.

We are better off if the upper-middle ranks of society fill with more people of diverse gender and race… if only because that is the only way the next generation can STOP fretting about these things! Me? I’d allocate first aid to minorities who aim to be engineers and teachers, then WMs who aim to be engineers and teachers! Then minorities who want to be lawyers, then WMs and so on.

The solution is to invest more. Positive sum.

PS... I am proud to have a fellow like you in this community, sir.

Unknown said...

Good article:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/zorn/ct-donald-trump-wins-disaster-president-zorn-20161109-column.html

locumranch said...


I don't know what AZM & Robert have been smoking, but I want some too if it will give me similar pipe-dreams.

I am not (nor have I ever been) a White Supremacist, nor have I ever claimed that White Males were in any way 'superior' to any other human being. I've suggested quite the opposite actually.

Instead, I've argued that the Anglo White Male identity group is one of the most gullible, contemptible & easily manipulatable group of dumbasses ever to grace this fair planet.

As defined by the original White Man's Burden, the average white male believes that service is the highest ideal.

For the betterment of others, he allows society to define his purpose: He accepts this evaluation; he acts against his self-interest; he sacrifices himself to his culture, posterity, economy and god; he prostrates himself before the rapacious desires of the superficially flawless female; and, he convinces himself that he exists only 'To Serve Man'.

And then, like the proverbial White Knight Errant who has outlived his usefulness, the average white male is asked to accept his own disposability graciously (which most do without complaint) until a few at first, and finally a growing number, rise up and realise that they are merely 'meat & 2 veg' in thrall to a giant social cookbook

Like David, I am also proud to have an uncomplaining fellow like Ratio at the disposal of our community.

Gooble Gobble, indeed.


Best

david s said...

Just a note on Trump's infrastructure. It seems that he's interested in having the government pay infrastructure that can be privatized (think toll roads, bridges, privatized parking meters) or help out the fossil fuel industry (oil pipelines are infrastructure).

I don't see him interested in having the government pick up the tab to fixg Flint's water supply.

https://newrepublic.com/article/138674/beware-donald-trumps-infrastructure-plan

Robert said...

Locu, "what I've been smoking" is called reading a lot, having an imagination, and an inclination to write.

I don't recommend it for you. The extra reading of materials that may be against your philosophical bent could result in you changing your perspective.

Also, I do not know why you consider the doomsday prediction I made as anything admirable. I look at it as classical cynicism - expect the absolute worse so hopefully you won't be surprised by it.

Rob H.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Re - Raito and discrimination

The racial problem here (NZ) is not as bad as the USA but it is noticeable and as a result we have a lot of positive discrimination

IMHO that is a big mistake - what we should do is help ALL of the members of our society that are currently in need of assistance

Discrimination simply feeds racism - help ALL of the poor

To the Librarian - thanks for the concern - the earthquakes were about 400km North of me - I didn't even feel them

I HOPE that our politicians have learned a lesson from ChCh - most of the deaths were in ONE building that failed in the second major earthquake
I would like to see all multistory buildings (there are not that many!)that have been stressed by a major quake have to be very carefully examined and re-certified before being used
To be fair each building in ChCh was "re-certified" after the first one but the default was - pass it if it's not obviously damaged"

David Brin said...

Oh such nobility white males have shown! The noblest of all breeds who have sacrificed their position and honorably uplifted others and in repayment WMs have been so been trodden-on!

Want a surprise? A shock? There are ways in which I agree. Here goes: Look at place names across the Anglo-settled parts of the US... they mostly have native American names. Because white anglo male WAM explorers ASKED. "What do you folks call that?" Which the Spanish never did, naming every site they conquered, and the few conquered survivors, after their own saints.

Why were so many US-Indian treaties violated? Only rarely by some plot or choice of the government... though certainly some, like the infamous Removal Acts and the Trail of Tears. No, they were broken because (1) the well meaning WAMs signed the treaty and went back to DC or universities, carelessly neglecting to leave adequate money and forces to keep *rascal* WAMs out of the treaty reservations. When a criminal WAM committed a crime vs an Indian, perhaps he might be punished. Perhaps. (usually not.) But when some young braves did a bad thing, it automatically meant war. And loss of half the reservation.

I am not excusing that! But it is more complex than movies show. And the other factor was (2) there WAS a treaty in the first place. The Spaniards saw no need. But hypocritical WAMs felt at least some movement toward a semblance of a just relationship was called for. A little effort. Not enough. Awful!

But look up what La Rochefoucault said about Hypocrisy.

“Hypocrisy is the compliment vice pays to virtue”

Same with Jefferson, yammering about rights while keeping slaves. We can howl at his hypocrisy. But he did plenty to move the center of the argument away from the old assumptions of 6000 years, in directions that would later be improved. And improved. In that contemptible but effective way. Incrementally.

Thing is, locumranch is a liar and hypocrite and fool and hallucinating strawmanning dope. But there is one valid point. ALL races have oppressed those who were weaker than them, or whom they conquered. We are nasty things. But a veneer of the best white anglo males -- sometimes egged on by the conscience of their wives -- paused amid rapaciousness and tried (by their own lights) to do the honorable thing.

This makes their depredations somehow seem worse! Because they often came close, as when the US Supreme Court SIDED WITH THE CHEROKEE! And then Andy Jackson sent in troops to evict them anyway! Maxwell Smart would say: "missed doing right by THAT much!

But MLK would not have a Civil Rights Bill without Kennedy, Johnson, Humphrey. Cesar Chavez needed Jerry Brown. MLK and Chavez were the heroes, but the helpers - who had nothing to gain - deserve some cred.

Ah... but if those heroes were republican in 1963, locum.... they have been democrats in this century. And you know it. And your sufferings as a WAM merit the world's smallest violin.

Treebeard said...

Exactly right locum. The anglo-saxons seem uniquely susceptible to the liberal shpielmeisters, who have hypnotized them with abstractions and burdened them with bogus guilt that no other people would suffer. When I hear a guy like Duncan in New Zealand (btw, notice how white liberals always threaten to move to New Zealand, never Zimbabwe?) talking about their “racial problem”, this is an example of the pathology. How does an entire people get convinced that they don't have a right to their own nations and ethnicity? Try going to China and whining about “Han male privilege” and “Han nationalism” and see how far you get. I've been around the world, and the pathology of WASPs and their societies in this regard really stands out for me. The only other group that is comparable are the liberal exilic Jews, which by some strange coincidence, seem to reside primarily in WASP lands, and are widely noted for their talent with shpiels, propaganda, media influence and cultural manipulation. But I'm sure this is all just a wild coincidence...

Paul Revile said...

Dr Brin, Still maintaining the pretence of 'Russian Hacks' I see. How much evidence have you actually seen or perhaps even verified? None? That's right, because it doesn't exist.

An important point since a number of your other arguments resolve down to, "I don't actually know, but people I trust are saying..." In other words you are marching around to a fretful drum of assumptions which appeal to your prejudice. Much the same as can be said for the arguments and arguers you happily deride. Definite room for improvement.

Anonymous said...

Regarding those elite Russian hackers who supposedly were behind the leaks: One of the most astonishing things revealed in the Wikileaks emails is the fact that John Podesta's password was ... "p@ssw0rd"!

https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/22335

Duncan Cairncross said...

Paul Revile
Not only have all (except the FBI) of the US intelligence agencies specifically said that the Russians did the hack
BUT the Russian foreign minister said the same thing - you would think that he of all people would know!

Flypusher said...

Donzelion, thanks for the info. I'll see what my local PD has done and pass it on the others who are interested.


About the rumors that Trump figured he wouldn't make it out of the primaries. It certainly fits with lack of preparation for the debates, his word salads when asked about policies, and these reports that he's surprised at all the work that has to be done! Why didn't he just drop out anytime during the primaries if he didn't really want the job? Like Dr. Brin has said, those rallies are an addiction.

My parents, sadly, are convinced the Trump's people are going to steer him in the right direction, despite a very long track record of bullying and cheating people without any remorse. I'm sure Pence and Ryan are smart enough to figure out that they can just steer Trump into another rally to keep him him out of their way.

LarryHart said...

Flypusher:

About the rumors that Trump figured he wouldn't make it out of the primaries. It certainly fits with lack of preparation for the debates, his word salads when asked about policies, and these reports that he's surprised at all the work that has to be done! Why didn't he just drop out anytime during the primaries if he didn't really want the job? Like Dr. Brin has said, those rallies are an addiction.


It may be simpler than that. Trump hates to lose. He might have expected to be forced out at some point, but he wasn't going to be the one to stop himself.

A bit about that from today's www.electoral-vote.com :


he first major book on the roller coaster of an election we just had is due on December 6. Authored by CNN's Thomas Lake, Unprecedented: The Election that Changed Everything contains at least one bombshell: Donald Trump did not expect his campaign to last beyond October of 2015, and had already promised Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) his endorsement.

Things have changed a lot since then, of course. As soon as the presidential electors meet on Dec. 19, Trump will be president-elect, while Christie will be unemployed as of Jan. 2018. Still, the story—if true—gives considerable credence to the notion that Trump's original game plan was to grab some free publicity and to improve his hand in negotiations with the producers of "The Apprentice." Meanwhile, it also gives the punditry some cover: They have a pretty good excuse for not taking Trump's campaign seriously if he himself was not doing so.

Flypusher said...

"But there is one valid point. ALL races have oppressed those who were weaker than them, or whom they conquered. We are nasty things. But a veneer of the best white anglo males -- sometimes egged on by the conscience of their wives -- paused amid rapaciousness and tried (by their own lights) to do the honorable thing."

I haven't been able to find the exact quote, and I believe that it's Bertram Russell who said it, but a rough paraphrase is that assigning a moral superiority to oppressed groups SOLELY because they are being oppressed is a mistake. If the tables were turned they would most likely treat their oppressors with equal repression. We've seen that again and again in human history, with the Shia in Iraq being a recent example. Every now and then you get a shining exception- think of how Nelson Mandela took power in South Africa. That country still has its problems, but if could have been a bloodbath if Mandela had been interested in payback.

Tim H. said...

Trump's victory looks to be a good measure of how much the working class feels blown off and it's likely to be more of the same, since the GOP thinks it's their victory and why should they change since they won? If four years pass without positive change will moderation be possible?

Jeff B. said...

Donzelion,
As a federal employee, you're already pushing back the horde of zombies and helping hold the country together. I hope you'll shine as an example of service and duty for others who mock your role, whatever it is.

(Hat tip!) I don't really talk much about my job (we're the new NBIB) but we are kinda on the front lines. But unless the entire world turns upside down, the chances of us even being noticed let alone the work changing are minimal.

But the ACLU, and other urban-based groups, needs folks in rural areas more than anywhere else as eyes, ears, and stalwarts. Even when you're in the city, it's annoying to attend their functions (and get asked to donate yet again) - just tell them you'd consider joining if they webcast their events and asked for help.

I'm in the county seat so we do have a fair number of attorneys (two within shouting distance of the house even), so I'm assuming that the ACLU will have some sort of presence here.

If local Dems are unpromising, at least you're doing your job, keeping your eyes open and your conscience clear. That may be enough.

This sadly isn't enough. Unless the Democratic Party gets working on "participatory democracy", and abandons old-school, we're looking at eight years of Trumpism. This is what we're up against- I'm sure my local org isn't exceptional, but they have a single, public facebook page where they feed everyone the official opinions and positions. That's it. The state party org's website has a "volunteer" button, but the only choices are donate, make calls, write brochures, knock on doors, etc. Not one word about the most critical- participate in analysis and decisionmaking.

Way back in the 90s the business improvement-of-the-month, TQM, recognized that for at least some decisions it was best to let the people doing the day to day work actually make decisions, or at least contribute heavily to it. Yet we persist w. groups like both political parties, advocacy groups like the Sierra Club, etc. following inefficient, top-down leadership models. This isolates leadership from the rank and file, and leaves them extremely susceptible to insularity- the coastism bubble that enveloped the entire party this election.


matthew said...

AH, treebeard is kowtowing to the new power - participating in antisemitism as a way to ingratiate himself. Maybe Steve Bannon will give you a job at Breitbart? Is that what you're aiming for? Or just want to be part of the big machine with a fancy brown shirt?

raito said...

Gentlemen,

Thanks for the support. But don't worry too much about me. I've done pretty well for myself, though I wouldn't call myself entirely self-made. I had others help me through some pretty rough times, and helped others as I could.

And these days, in a science-fictiony sort of branching-universe way, I wouldn't today want it to be different. If it were, I wouldn't have my outstanding wife and children.

But I will say that I very much believe that part of my success is due to some very middle-class values. I didn't consider poverty as part of my identity. At the same time, I don't believe that talent and hard work is all that's necessary. There is a component of good fortune.

I continue here because our host always finds something interesting to bring up. As do the commenters.

LarryHart said...

matthew:

AH, treebeard is kowtowing to the new power - participating in antisemitism as a way to ingratiate himself.


Naaah, he's always done that, even before it was fashionable.

David Brin said...

Treebeard amid his near-blatant anti-semitism, then rails that his own kind - White Anglo Males WAMs - are especially stoopid and thus deserving of special treatment. Even in the small ways that he’s right - I said that some top level WAMS have been instrumental in showing the world how to rise above tribalism - he is then stupidly illogical.

What I call noble supra-nationalism and inclusion and he calls self-destructive self-hate arose out of the top manifestation of human sanity — satiability. No form of human insanity does not exhibit some element of insatiability. The sanest people you’ll meet are able to plan to attain their goals…

…then once they achieve them, their NEED for more of the same declines, even a little. This is why the Silicon Valley and Seattle billionaires - though they continue wanting to create new goods and services to get even richer - turn much of their attention to new projects that may garner no more net wealth at all! Spaceships and new transportation systems and all that. Philanthropy.

These self-made industrialists… mostly WAMs and some WJMs… are the only rich folks who reinvested in ptoduction, as Supply Side predicted and they are the ones who despise Supply Side! Because they have some loyalty to the middle class that made them.

And yes, they are loyal to a nation and civilization of expanding inclusion and positive sum thinking, stopping the waste of talent through sexism and racism etc.

We’ve known for years that guys like locum and treebeard cannot grasp either satiation or positive sum. The concepts terrify them. They cannot parse what the terms even mean.

But yes, WAMs and WJMs and others led the way toward a positive sum world. Theya re now joined by many others, so they don’t even get the credit anymore! They even wince and put up with being creamed at by loony-ingrate lefties, big deal. PC bullies are dismal, even infuriating, but they do not harm the positive sum game or our prospects for a great future…

…but WAM troglodytes do. The whole and entire reason that Pax Americana - the best thing ever to happen to the world - has done well, without facing things vastly worse than 9/11, is because we held the moral high ground. Trogs want to deliberately and extravagantly throw it away, the way the neocons tried to do in 2001-2005.

You… are… imbeciles.

locumranch said...


David supports La Rochefoucault's assertion when he describes the stupidity of the Anglo White Male as "nobility" as only failed cultures welcome the other to such an uncritical degree, historically speaking.

Even so, the Western Male stirs from his stupor, turning on, tuning in & dropping out in record numbers, as he refuses to participate in his own disposal, so much so that David's Interstellar 'Iron Dream' becomes ever more unlikely.

"Why work so hard & sacrifice so much," we say, "when the West no longer offers the working male a hearth, home, future or family?", adding only that it takes so very little effort for an unencumbered man to live.

"Find someone else to tote that barge & lift that bale," we add, "because EQUALITY".

The Western Male is sitting this one out.


Best

David Brin said...

Mr. Revile (really?) Like most opinionated rightists, I'll bet you know no scientists, right? Nor members of most of the knowledge castes? Nor members of the intelligence community?

I have spoken several times at a Certain . Intelligence Agency and many other such locales where very smart public servants strive on our behalf. I can only tell you that they are scared. And that my impression is that they support the one announcement made by the national security staff.

You are smug demanding 'proof' since you know they won't reveal sources. But you stahnd on shattered ice, sir. Your side cheats and then cheats and cheats more. Gerrymandering and voter repression are the iceberg's tip. You inflicted that horror, George W. Bush, upon us when he got 167 more votes than Al Gore in Florida in 2000. After the GOP in FLA committed not one but FIVE blatant cheats, including Bush's brother arbitrarily tossing out 60,000 democratic voters before the election, almost all of whom got their vote back in lawsuits... too late... after the poll.

Proud of that? Then why at the recent GOP convention was the name "Bush" never mentioned once? Or Cheney, Hastert, ailes or any of the other convicted perverts?

Voting machines in blue states mostly have paper audit trails. In red states, the voting machines have been shown to often have back doors, letting the GOP secretary of state order any result she wants, with no audit trail. And will you bet me you HOUSE that we won't find that happened, this time around?

You are confederate cheaters who care nothing about facts.

David Brin said...

Vhweeeeeeeeeee! locum's remise was wonderful! Replace "the white male" with "I and "me" sir.

You may be a physician, so your dyspeptic growls may be psychological. (With 5% genuinely supportable grievance.) But most of his compatriotes in the cult have another trait. They are the dumb white males. Every year, the brightest graduates of red high schools flock away and join America. This calamitous eugenics experiment leaves behind the sullen and resentful.

locumranch said...



Bed. Made. Lie.

Up is Down, Blue is Grey, the promised Age of the Amateur has arrived & the Red States now own Blue America.

Either accept this new political reality, or slither away on your hypocritical, anti-democratic & pro-secessionist blue scum-bellies.

We'll be singing our song: The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

Glory, glory, etc.


Best ;)

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

the promised Age of the Amateur has arrived & the Red States now own Blue America.
...
We'll be singing our song: The Battle Hymn of the Republic.


That doesn't sound like "sitting this one out" to me.

Jumper said...

Is an out of work respiratory therapist a "physician?"

Jeff B. said...

Sorry, The Battle Hymn of the Republic was a Union song, the side that was fighting to keep the states united and end slavery.

Oops, sorry, that should be the "tyrannical,violent, hateful oppressors seeking to stamp out the valiant freedom fighters defending their noble way of life."

LarryHart said...

@Jeff B

locumranch loves to deal in irony. He's pointing out that the Confederacy is now its own "union" which the blue states want to secede from. He's not wrong about that.

I could see the US breaking off into India, Pakistan (west coast), and Bangledesh (northeast coast). Especially if the red states try to call a Constitutional Convention and rewrite the rules entirely. Unfortunately for me, Illinois and Minnesota aren't contiguous with anything except each other and Canada (if you count the great lakes as a bridge).

David Brin said...

Guys... he's an idiot.

As for a 'rigged' system... Clearly gerrymandering is a crime akin to the true cause of the American Revolution, back when Ben Franklin told the British leaders all would be settled if the party ruling Parliament been willing to re-apportion seating fairly and give at least thirty seats to the colonies. It was not "no taxation." It was "no taxation without representation."

But now gerrymandering won't be fixed by our soon-to-be-trumpist Court. They will ensure the system stays rigged... in the GOP's favor. As when Al Gore won the popular vote and would have won FLA, but for Bush's brother "losing" the valid registrations of 60,000 democrats.

And now Clinton won Two MILLION more votes, making clear that Trump has no "mandate." None at any level and the system was "rigged" for him.

As for gerrymandering. Obama has made it his project to end this cheat and it must start with democrats stopping it, in Illinois and Maryland etc. Most blue states have already done so and lo, the DP does better! Stop it in all blues and the practice will become a purely Republican crime.

Of course gerrymandering includes the states. The GOP cheated like hell in the 1880s by giving us TWO Dakotas. How on Earth do we need two?

David Brin said...

Oh, BTW... there is nothing unusual about the "north" or blue america talking secession. Around 1810 and again from the 1830s through 1860s, northern states muttered about leaving a US that was utterly dominated by Southern slaveholders. Most members of the Supreme Court owned slaves and the Presidents catered to every southern whim, reducing tariffs near zero and appointing marshals in northern states who helped platoons of rampaging southern irregular cavalry tear across northern states from 1852 onward. (Why do you thing those states radicalized enough to elect Lincoln?)

Likewise, why have there been ZERO serious attempts by liberals to enact any more than the most modest background check legislation re guns? Because ever since they saw how insane the Bushite followers are, liberals have been very quietly been arming themselves.

Oh, these are confederates, the trumpists, along every scale and by every personality trait. Hatred of science. Ass-licking of the lucre-parasite oligarchy. (How thrilling to see Steve Bannon got rich at Goldman Sachs, you idiots! Oh and the racism and all that.

Jumper said...

The red states will get screwed firmly but gently along with the rest of us. I suspect they'll try another real estate bubble. I am reading the fine print on money market funds and they look like they have some back doors. I ask the guys here what should my emergency bag fund be?

locumranch said...


But, seriously ...

Don't assume that the disillusioned Western Male gives a shit about Trump, Le Pen or the Conservative Agenda, just because we reject the routine misandry of Clintonian & Merkelian Progressivism.

It'll take much much more than the MAGA meme to get us off the sidelines, mostly because we've been so thoroughly marginalised for the last 3 generations: We won't work towards a better future if it's not our future; we won't fight global warming if it's not our globe; we won't protect a nation if it's not our nation; we won't build infrastructure if it's not our infrastructure; we won't defend women in general if they're not our women; and we won't provide for generic children if they're not our children.

We're done with the Company Store, Wage Slavery & being screwed over by the Central Bureaucracy:

Give us back OUR OWNERSHIP; then, maybe we'll talk.


Best
______
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6oOuKQnPaU

LarryHart said...

Jumper, re: emergency bag.

All I can offer (and it won't be enough) is this observation of Hari Seldon's in the opening book of Asimov's "Foundation" (bold emphasis is mine) :


"The fall of Trantor," said Seldon, "cannot be stopped by any conceivable effort. It can be hastened easily, however. The tale of my interrupted trial will spread through the Galaxy. Frustration of my plans to lighten the disaster will convince people that the future holds no promise to them. Already, they recall the lives of their grandfathers with envy. They will see that political revolutions and trade stagnations will increase. The feeling will pervade the Galaxy that only what a man can grasp for himself will be of any account. Ambitious men will not wait and unscrupulous men will not hang back. By their very action, they will hasten the decay of the worlds. Have me killed, and Trantor will fall not within five centuries but within fifty years, and you yourself within a single year."

LarryHart said...

I left an important bit out of my bolded sentence there...

The feeling will pervade the Galaxy that only what a man can grasp for himself at that moment will be of any account.

LarryHart said...

locumranch:

Give us back OUR OWNERSHIP; then, maybe we'll talk.


If you're going to go Galt, then go already. You're not going to be proclaimed the Master Race. We get it that you therefore won't help make things better. Why do you keep still being here?


LarryHart said...

...and I've said it before, but it bears repeating. You Republicans are the sorest winners I've ever known.

"Give us the presidency, both houses of congress, the Supreme Court, and most of the states, and THEN maybe we'll talk."

Done. Ok?

"But you're not happy about it. You wish it were otherwise. So I'm throwing a tantrum, and it's all your fault!"

NoOne said...

I'm somewhat surprised that there have been no discussions of The Fourth Turning meta-narratives thus far. (I know Brin likes John Mauldin and I learned of the Fourth Turning stuff through Mauldin's screeds.)

For those who don't know this material: The Fourth Turning divides American history into several eras: the first ends with the War of Independence, the second with the Civil War and the third with World War II. Despite being written in 1997(?), it makes firm predictions that this era's end will start with a crisis event (the onset of the financial crisis in September 2008) and end about 15-25 years later. The Crisis years are called a Fourth Turning.

I'm filled with an immense feeling of dread after matching up The Fourth Turning with the arrival of Donald Trump. This is not going to end well. I put the utter chaos of the past few years in my own corporate corner of the world to happenstance (due to the great stability offered by Obama) but now see larger patterns at work. Sorry to be dramatic, but we must collectively figure out a way to keep things together for the next decade because Kansas.....is going bye bye.

David Brin said...

It's one thing to be stupid. It's another to clutch a theory that all the smart people are actually the fools. Their mountains of "facts"? Infuriating. Their correct predictions? All lies and propaganda! Their efforts to make a more open world where all free peoples can criticize, debate and negotiate?

That? Oh that's tyranny. Welcome to Bizarro World.

donzelion said...

Jeff B: "Yet we persist w. groups like both political parties, advocacy groups like the Sierra Club, etc. following inefficient, top-down leadership models. This isolates leadership from the rank and file..."

Reading through several of the recent posts illustrates why we repeatedly fall back into hierarchic models: there are Locums in every group, and without some top-down structure, a group degenerates into bombastic factions.

"I don't really talk much about my job (we're the new NBIB) but we are kinda on the front lines."
Or perhaps, 'behind the headlines'? NBIB is important.

"This sadly isn't enough."
It's never "enough" to do one's job - there's always more that is needed. But it is 'enough' - in that nothing more can be expected. That said, mind the Hatch Act as you consider what more can be done, and at least some of us respect public servants and the fact that whatever solution is ever realized, ya'll will be on the front lines of its attainment. (That said, the Dems in LA aren't all that much better - just have more money.)

Anonymous said...

I voted for neither Trump nor Clinton. My sister was saddened, angered, and scared by the election. I wrote that the future is rarely neither as good as we hope nor as bad as we fear.

I wish we had a political system that would encourage the best in us, in which the decision would be hard because we the voters had to decide among a pool of politicians that we admired instead of these two. Both my Democratic and Republican friends said they felt like choosing from bad candidate or a worse one. Has anyone read a story with a system better than our republic?

I guess Scott Adams was right and David Brin was wrong. People make decisions based on emotions like the fear and anger that Donald Trump manipulated. Brin argued that America would never do that. Are we that much different from the Wiemar Republic? Despite the language he used in the campaign, I do not believe he wants to be a dictator. In a Frontline news documentary, Omerosa, a wining contestant on The Apprentice reality show and a Trump friend, said that Trump felt humiliated by White House and American press corps dinner when both Pres. Obama and Seth Myers, who was the head writer of Saturday Night Live, devoted considerable time at Donald Trumps expense. All he really wanted was revenge and adulation for his fragile ego. Trump does not realize the horrible burden of power and by winning the election that he has invited people to criticize him. Also, he did not sell his assets and corporations and set up a blind trust. He just gave away the power to his children, who are also part of his administration. There is a possibility of conflict of interest which could be impeachable.

Since his acceptance speech, he has been trying to sound Presidential. I believe this is also another act of hypocrisy, but if he can keep it up, the world may not become the catastrophe that I fear. Then he hires Steve Bannon of Breitbart which is worse than Fox News.

This is a horrible year, but I felt worse during the depths of the Cold War, which we managed to survive.

Jumper said...

I'm not a doomer. In '08 I just let it ride and the market rose again. The thing was, I saw it coming. I just didn't realize the international impact of the U.S. bubble. If they start another real estate bubble I'm sure I'll see it just like last time. I'll just move my funds to a different place. If I can find one. Then I'll move them back.
The gold bugs were out in force before the bubble popped. They're so silly they were pushing that afterwards too. The real clue is when banks start lending en masse to meth heads with house-flipping schemes.

LarryHart said...

Jumper,

I'm terrible at timing the market, which is why I no longer try. I actually bought gold (funds) during the tech boom, and would have done quite well had I kept them, but I foolishly listened to advice that gold would lose value over time, and sold low. If I ever try self-directing investments again, the rule will be "Buy when others are selling and vice versa". In the words of our host, "Be contrary."

During the Cold War, the fear was that politics would lead to nuclear war. In the present crisis, the similar imminent threat is irreversible climate change, but we may be there anyway even without the help of Republicans*. The other potential outcomes of this election, Republican dominance of the Supreme Court and Republican states calling a convention to re-write the Constitution, seem irreversible, but are only very difficult to reverse. Probably not in your lifetime or mine, mind you, but then look how long it took Republicans to get here after 1964, and they managed.

* Someone here mentioned that Trump could make a killing on the submerging of Manhattan if he prepared correctly. It brought to mind that I have assumed all along that climate denial was about continuing to profit from fossil fuels for as long as possible. I had not considered that the point might be to keep the price of soon-to-be-submerged real estate from tanking until the deniers have a chance to sell. But like any good story, it explains a lot.

Tim H. said...

At this point, any solution with a hope of working is going to look socialist, 40 years ago might have been the right time to craft a trade policy that would have been more creative than destructive and we'd still have to deal with the effects of automated production now. A negative income tax or basic income might blunt enough suffering to take the ugly out of national politics, and this might be the real reason the right opposes such solutions, they can ride the pain to electoral success.
Right now, I'm just hoping a grand, equestrian statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest doesn't show up in Washington, DC.

Tim H. said...

And a small thought on de-carbonizing transportation and economic stimulus, electric cars, thanks to Elon Musk, are becoming desirable, we could speed this up if each rest area on an interstate highway provided carrying stations. 220V outlets at the older roadside parks would do a lot to increase the practicality of EVs.

TCB said...

Starting to look like the GOP stole North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Florida.
Now, a lot of people are going to say "Exit polls don't mean anything, they can be wrong too!"
But exit polls never went wonky until about twenty years ago in this country, and now they do so regularly? Suuuure.
If we were looking at any other country and the exit polls disagreed with the official tally by more than the margin of error, we'd say "Yep, that election was probably tainted."
But it's here, and we can't face the possibility. Even though we know the new breed of GOP extremists violates seemingly every other norm or rule, we will let ourselves be told "No, they wouldn't do that! They wouldn't dare!"
Who's gonna punish them if they did?
The FBI?


Let Greg Palast tell you how the GOP steals elections. Quoted from here:

http://www.gregpalast.com/ethnic-votes-stolen-crucial-states-help-fix-us-election-trump-reveals-greg-palast/#more-12932

http://www.gregpalast.com/election-stolen-heres/#more-12923


Electoral Integrity blogger Theodore de Macedo Soares drew attention to the bizarre discrepancy between computer counted official vote counts and exit polls last week, writing: “According to the exit polls conducted by Edison Research, Clinton won four key battleground states (NC, PA, WI, and FL) in the 2016 Presidential Election that she went on to lose in the computerized vote counts. With these states Clinton wins the Electoral College with a count of 302 versus 205 for Trump. Clinton also won the national exit poll by 3.2% and holds a narrow lead in the national vote count still in progress. Exit polls were conducted in 28 states. In 23 states the discrepancies between the exit polls and the vote count favored Trump. In 13 of these states the discrepancies favoring Trump exceeded the margin of error of the state.”

Palast believes such discrepancies, some far greater than any acceptable margin of error are indicative of systematic electoral rigging to steal Democrat votes:
“The bane of pre-election polling is that pollsters must adjust for the likelihood of a person voting. Exit polls solve the problem. The US State Department uses exit polling to determine whether you accept the outcome of a foreign election. The Brexit exit polls were extremely accurate. Yet in the Ukraine the US does not accept the result of the 2004 election because of the exit poll mismatch with the final official count.

“And here for example in North Carolina we have the exit poll raw data at 2.1% favouring victory by Clinton, yet she loses by 3.8% in the final count. In Pennsylvania 4.4% victory suddenly became a 1.2 % loss; Wisconsin: 3.9% victory becomes a 1% loss; Florida: 1.1% victory becomes a 1% loss.

“In the swing States we have this massive red shift because when people come out of the votes, exit pollsters can only ask, “How did you vote?” What they don’t ask, and can’t, is, “Was your vote counted?””

--------------

I believe most people are simply too frightened of this idea even to consider it. But let's face it: if it is no longer posible to 'vote the bums out' because the bums control the counting process, then what you have is dictatorship with a democratic mask.

Like Russia.

LarryHart said...

TCB:

But exit polls never went wonky until about twenty years ago in this country, and now they do so regularly? Suuuure.


I think it was 2000 where the polls started to go so wrong. About the time that unauditable private voting machines became in vogue.

dennisd said...

@Anonymous
I wish we had a political system that would encourage the best in us . . .

We do have a political system that encourages the best in us---but only if we citizens encourage the best in our political system by participating in politics at all levels from local school boards, city councils, planning commissions, state legislatures and beyond. It's not glamorous, it's not easy and it's often thankless hard work. If we want a better political system we can have it but it's up to us to make it so.

LarryHart said...

TCB:

If we were looking at any other country and the exit polls disagreed with the official tally by more than the margin of error, we'd say "Yep, that election was probably tainted."
But it's here, and we can't face the possibility. Even though we know the new breed of GOP extremists violates seemingly every other norm or rule, we will let ourselves be told "No, they wouldn't do that! They wouldn't dare!"


I think it's more like "What can be done about it?" There doesn't seem to be any constitutional remedy for a rigged election, even if proven so after the fact. Any suggested solution would be partisan in nature, with the loser (of the remedy) screaming about it.


Who's gonna punish them if they did?
The FBI?


The Supreme Court? Yeah, you see the problem. All potential referees, umpires, and judges are on one or the other partisan side. Any remedy is judged, not by how fair or effective it is, but by which side wins. We saw that in Florida, where the common-sense notion of extending early voting because of a hurricane had to be forced upon the Republican governor.

Deuxglass said...

Just go back to paper ballots and have each one go by the representatives of all parties large and small. That way each ballot has several eyes on it and it is very hard to cheat. It would be slower and a bit more expensive but it would be the best way. After all the only ones who really need minute by minute results are the news networks.

Exit polls are worthless because people lie. If someone I don't know asks me how I voted I tell them it is none of your business and it isn't although I am sure some people would want to do away with the secret ballot on grounds that it is old-fashioned.

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