Saturday, November 26, 2016

Weighing Options

"The law's totally on my side, the president can't have a conflict of interest."
            -- Donald Trump, November 2016, New York Times interview

"Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.”
            -- Richard Nixon, 1974

After a cleansing pause for Thanksgiving - reflecting on how much we still have, to be thankful for - let’s go back to more post-mortems on the election. Like why and how this happened. But first:

1) Last time I spoke of all the frenzied ravings about “Electoral College Gambits,” like urging enough GOP Electors not so much to vote for Clinton as to abstain and thus plop this mess into Paul Ryan’s lap. Make him take responsibility.

Or see my 2004 proposal that some electors vote for the other party's VP nominee, as a gesture toward coalition, conciliation and renewal. 

Look. I had been a defender of the Electoral College, calling for reform, not abolishment. But I am fed up. The College was designed exactly for a moment like this, when sages elected by the population of each state should protect us from unqualified demagogues. If not now, when?

My most original suggestion was for some billionaire to rent a resort hotel and invite the Electoral College to actually meet, all expenses paid, for the first time in 240 years, before going home to vote! Hey, it couldn’t hurt to ask them to actually deliberate, as intended at the beginning.

Only then might they discuss ideas like this: "Members of the Electoral College should not make Donald Trump the next president unless he sells his companies and puts the proceeds in a blind trust, according to the top ethics lawyers for the last two presidents."

Some of these ideas sound cool and fun to picture… but face it, they aren't gonna happen.

2) Last time I also suggested a billionaire offer giant whistle-blower awards for any henchmen who squeal about vote tampering. It’s a sub-type of my general call for an annual Henchman’s Prize, which could do the world more good than anyone can imagine. Seriously, we can’t imagine.  That’s the problem. 

3) As for electoral tampering, well…  this cogent article by Craig Wright explores how perhaps Donald Trump was entirely right, that the election was "rigged." 

Five separate sniff tests stink to high heaven. For example, did Russia meddle? Certainly in the realm of propaganda and social media dirty tricks, to a degree that's now well-documented. Our intelligence services know even more. And if President Trump orders them not to confront this act of war, then we'll know what "T" word his first initial stands for.

But rigging goes much farther. Take the fact that exit polls - which have a history of great accuracy -- only failed to correlate with outcome in states with Republican governors and Republican secretaries of state, with voting machines built by companies owned by Republican activists. In all other states, exit polls performed well, as they have historically. Indeed, these cheats have been going on since Gore-Bush, so it will take time… and boiling, righteous-wrathful determination… to root them out.

4) Still hoping for recounts? Well, okay. Jill Stein's Green Party has led that charge successfully, so far, in Wisconsin, and one hopes to catch the thieves red-handed. (Again, some zillionaire offering a whistleblower "henchman's prize" could make all the difference.) Still, don't get your hopes up.

== Assuming we’re in it ==

No, there will be no panacea, no quick fix. I promote all of those ideas (above) more to get Americans into practice for a long, long struggle to save the nation from the latest, of many phases of our national fever – confederate fury. We’ll have to look at tactics that sink – a little – toward their level. 

Take the matter of boycotts.

It was raised when VP-elect Mike Pence attended the hit Broadway show “Hamilton”, getting a mix of audience cheers and boos. After the final curtain call, a cast member appealed to the departing Pence for inclusiveness and tolerance in the coming administration. There was nothing offensive in timing or content. Still, the right tizzied with shouts for boycotting “Hamilton.” (How do you “boycott” a show whose tickets are notoriously expensive and difficult to obtain?)

Boycotts can be a powerful force, under narrow conditions, e.g. Donald Trump’s businesses are taking a hit… some are being renamed “Scion,” it seems, to avoid brand failure. (He may be saved by the emoluments of foreign governments, leasing at his hotels.) But that’s a sideshow. Let’s drill down into when economic politics can work.

In this era, you do not need a majority to like you, only a large enough minority. Fox News proved the profitability of this model, keeping one-third of the nation glued to its endless maelstrom of falsehoods, raking it in for Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes, while stoking an ongoing Riefenstahl-level Nuremberg rally. 

Eagerly, MSNBC tried to imitate that successful Fox business model, catering to a lefty-Bolshevik echo chamber, but failed, tumbling almost into bankruptcy because – it appears – liberals are too fickle to stay glued to a single news source. They wander off – a difference in character. (In fact, liberals are not “leftists” in any meaningful way. See addendum below.)

Hence, any attempt to boycott must offer real leverage. You’ll never sway Fox, for example, by refusing to watch their channel. That just puts you in the other two-thirds and they’ll shrug. One third is more than enough to draw in advertisers, eager to buy time in order to reach tens of millions.

Far more effective would be to boycott those advertisers. But web sites urging this have been up for years, and Rupert Murdoch has merely chuckled. 

Only now, our attention is roused. This is no longer a boutique interest. We’ll know daily that the Trump Administration is a direct product of fact-allergic habits taught on Rupert Murdoch’s personal propaganda network. So perhaps this old idea can yet gain some real bite. 

Anyway, give a scan of the Fox advertisers. Calendar a reminder to skim it every quarter, or so. Tell your friends. Don’t let supposed ‘bad blood’ between Fox & Trump fool you. Murdoch is the heart and brains of this thing. 


Just look at Donald's appointments. Rupert Murdoch is still the puppeteer. 

== A “Scary New World” ==

So, is The U.S. Abandoning The World Order It Created? 

For example, the same NATO that Ronald Reagan loved and that leaped to our aid, after 9/11, is despised by both Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, as well as Trump's top security appointees.

Right wing pundit Peter Zeihan isn’t exactly crowing about a Trump presidency.  In his latest posting, Scared New World, he glowers cynically: 

* The World Trade Organization has less than a year to respond to what will undoubtedly be a tidal wave of U.S. cases. Should those cases not be dealt with in adjudication at a pace and in the way the new White House desires, the United States will start taking unilateral moves which will, in essence, obviate the global trade order.

*  One of those first moves -- which might not even wait for the WTO to try and act -- will be to declare China a currency manipulator as well as revoke its status as a free market economy. … This could throw China into its first recession in 30 years.

*  NATO is for all intents and purposes dead. Russia’s moves into Ukraine will increase, and broadscale Russian plans for its entire western periphery -- everything from Latvia to Poland to Romania to Azerbaijan -- will accelerate. The only way forward for Europe is for Sweden and Germany to massively rearm.  

* Almost everything from the Obama presidency will be undone by the end of January 2017. Obama has shown next to no ability/interest in having conversations with Congress, even with members of his own party. The only large law passed during his entire tenure is Obamacare, so only it cannot be undone without a few strokes of a pen. How that law is modified or unwound requires Congressional involvement, and since Congress remains in the hands of the Republicans, that too is on deck -- it will just take a bit more time. Any international treaties negotiated by Obama -- whether they be the Paris Climate Accords or the TransPacific Partnership -- are dead.

Phew!  Although it is nothing short of lunacy to blame Barack Obama for recent political gridlock. That resulted from the openly avowed Republican treason called the Hastert Rule, which barred any GOP officeholder from negotiating with a democrat, ever, over anything at all. Moreover, No one mentions the reason for Putin's grudge against democrats, blaming Obama and Clinton for "stealing" Ukraine from the Russian orbit.

Also, Republicans are in a tight spot, since Obamacare was originally their own damned plan.  All of their alternatives are variations on it. So expect extensive tweaking and cosmetic changes in nomenclature.  And "health savings plans" that no one will buy. So much for 7 years of hysterical, no compromise screaming.

Still, Zeihan certainly paints a vivid image, and there is little to prevent DT from doing any of this.

== More scary bits ==

Last time I offered reasons why Trump may listen to cooler heads – a hope also envisioned by Michael Dorf of Newsweek. Those reasons will work for us… and yet will probably fail. Especially if Trump keeps up the damned rallies. Which he's sure to do when he feels besieged.

Re foreign affairs: The most plausible prediction is that Vladimir Putin will bolster his friend by rapidly negotiating a deal in Syria, in order to cement Trump’s “art of the deal” mastery.  Perhaps “federating” the state, locking Assad’s grip on the country’s western third - the valuable bits - and letting go of the rest.  This would make Trump look strong while giving the Russians everything they truly want.

Trump is then liberated to eviscerate NATO -- Putin’s central goal. Bad news for Estonia and the other Baltic States.  If NATO is no longer drawing a hard red line before them, then Russian speaking populations could serve as an intervention lure/excuse, as others were in the Donbas. Think Sudetenland.

Of course, if this led to actual harm to Estonia, then it could embolden some House members toward impeachment.  Ooog. Interesting times. (Will Trump revoke the Iran nuclear deal?)

In fact, there may be an immature satisfaction or silver lining to be seen, when a Trump-led U.S. abruptly drops its 70 year burden that saved the world, and stomps off the stage. The new anti-western axis – extending from Ankara through Moscow and Iran and Beijing to Manilla – will surge and make some short term gains…

…and not keep them. Not so long as Russian women refuse to have babies. Especially as internal fractures erupt that seem not to be on anyone’s horizon, quite yet. For example, the Siberian vacuum will draw in a powerful and assertive China, turning its gaze northward.

Scary stuff, and Donald Trump’s crew is not up to these challenges. Still, we’ll at least get to ask the rest of the world “do you miss us, yet?”

== Final Note ==

All right, ‘the rules” don’t require that the office go to the winner of the popular vote, even by the immense margin we just saw.  Still, there is something honor demands, and the dishonorable ignore such things.

It was behooved upon G.W. Bush, in 2000, to say: 

"I know a majority of Americans didn't want me, so I will offer compromises and even appoint some people who will remind me to heed what the people clearly wanted."

Bush didn't do that -- (despite my urging it, at the time, go figure!) -- and may his entire corrupt clan squat in shame for it. (Yes, and the shame of knowing that their own party did not even mention them, at the RNC this august. What party has ever slunk and turned its back so, upon its last two presidents?)

But Trump's negative-margin - the large majority of his fellow citizens who voted zealously against him - is far more vast. Indeed, DT's biggest crime - so far - is making his appointments from the standard list of Bushite factotums, including a long series of fellow billionaires. So much for the Trump "Revolution." 


He could have at least tried the ecumenical approach

Alas. The fact that he has made no such outreach is proof of what kind of man he is.

Ft. Sumter has fallen, boys and girls. We need to remember what we’re made of.

==

==

==

Addendum.  NPR tracked down the young creator of one of the non-Russian Fake News sites that fed a firehose of false stories into the alt.right-o-sphere, during the election. He claims to have been boggled by the eager gullibility that sucked in even the craziest conspiracy stories. "Coler says his writers have tried to write fake news for liberals — but they just never take the bait." Entirely consistent with what I said about MSNBC.  This is not about left-right. It is about sane-insane.

168 comments:

Laurence said...

Trump is then liberated to eviscerate NATO -- Putin’s central goal. Bad news for Estonia and the other Baltic States. If NATO is no longer drawing a hard red line before them, then Russian speaking populations could serve as an intervention lure/excuse, as others were in the Donbas. Think Sudetenland.

Trump is an appeaser, and history shows it is appeasement, not open confrontation that most commonly leads to war. When an aggressive power is met with firm resistance, they know where they stand, and know which lines cannot be crossed. By contrast, appeasement leaves the aggressor nation thinking they can get away with whatever they like, eventually, they cross a line, and the appeaser freaks out and forced to step in. In WWII Hitler felt that since he could get away with invading Poland, since Chamberlain had not lifted a finger to save Czechoslovakia. In the Falklands conflict Callaghan had openly discussed the possibility of returning the Falklands to Argentina, and Thatcher followed up on this by withdrawing British warships from the region. Bush senior told Saddam Hussein he had no interest in Saddam's border dispute with Kuwait, believing Saddam would only annex part of Kuwait, not conquer the whole country. John Major and again Bush senior were both extremely reluctant to intervene in Bosnia, this emboldened Milosevic.

Trump will let Putin think he can take whatever he likes, and them he will panic. Add to this pattern Trumps colossal ego, and track record of turning on his "friends" (a category that not so long ago included Hilary Clinton) and well...lets just say I am beginning to regret watching Threads just before the election.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin in the main post:

Look. I had been a defender of the Electoral College, calling for reform, not abolishment. But I am fed up. The College was designed exactly for a moment like this, when sages elected by the population of each state should protect us from unqualified demagogues. If not now, when?


Well, the electoral college has morphed into a method of weighting the scales in favor of Republicans. As I have ranted about before, the American people seem to be ok with that--Republicans are considered to be the natural heirs to positions of power, so therefore cheating in defense of Republicans is no vice. The first time a Democrat wins the electoral college but not the popular vote, then we'll see a groundswell to overturn that election's result, or at least to eliminate the electoral college altogether.

A ridiculous right-wing political cartoon appeared in today's Chicago Tribune, the caption of which read "Election night without the electoral college", and it showed the states distorted for population, so California, Texas, Florida, and New York were huge and all of the western and southern states were tiny little squares. The point it was clumsily trying to make is that without the EC, candidates would only have to "win" the big states and ignore everyone else. What it willfully ignored is that without the electoral college, a candidate can't just "win" Florida (for example) and get all of the votes for the entire state. The 48% or so votes for the other candidate would still be part of the nationwide total for that other candidate.

Katy Williams said...

What about the increasing effects of climate change, which is proceeding much faster than expected ? Trump can continue to deny it, but it'll be hard to ignore as the weather becomes more unpredictable and dangerous.

Flypusher said...

"What about the increasing effects of climate change, which is proceeding much faster than expected ? Trump can continue to deny it, but it'll be hard to ignore as the weather becomes more unpredictable and dangerous."

Methinks when his Florida resort is threatened, then he takes it seriously, but then it's too late.

Flypusher said...

Concerning Trump's failure so far to take an ecumenical approach, is anyone really shocked? Disappointed is perfectly understandable, but no one should be shocked, given his decades long track record of being a petty, self-centered, vindictive bully. This story illustrates quite well the content of his character:

http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/what-sort-of-man-is-donald-trump

I see no evidence that he is sorry about this or any of the other mean and nasty things he's done.

Tacitus2 said...

I think it quite unlikely that a recount here in Wisconsin will change anything. Although I suppose you could argue that it has been an entire election of unlikely events. Well, if a recount confirms the tally and it makes people move from Denial to Acceptance, very well.

As we discussed in an earlier post, exit polls are a slender reed to cling to. It is fair to say that they have a "history" of accuracy. But like so many established political "facts" you have to consider new realities this time around.

The percentage of people who consent to be exit polled has been declining and is now under 50%. It would only take a modest skew in who decides to "non respond" to GIGO the entire system. And in a year when Trump supporters appear to have kept quiet in the face of considerable public disdain, I think it very likely that they would be more likely to say "no thanks". Republican states....more Trump voters....are there lower response rates to exit polls there? This would be a helpful stat.

And of course you have the issue of which precincts are selected as "bellwethers". But the real issue is how pollsters extrapolate the increasing holes in their data. The article I linked to last week said that the pollster's employees had to make their best assessment of whether a non responder voted one way or the other.

To suggest this is anywhere close to Science is....well, lets say I have some problems with that concept.

We all have caller ID now. Many of us no longer have land lines. Early voting is felt to skew D but really, do we have that data either? Polls in general ain't what they used to be.

GIGO all the way...

But as I said, if this gets people back to their senses faster and can be done in a sane fashion, so be it.

Tacitus

Duncan Cairncross said...

What would happen if the re-count did show that Hillary had won those states?
Or even one of them?
I would have thought that the best way then would be to do a full recount on ALL of the states

But what would happen?
Could the electoral college vote be delayed?

David Brin said...

Tacitus, you did not even deign to mention the other possibility.

Tell me, what happens if -- before the recount gets fully underway or finished, there's a mysterious fire that burns the paper ballots? Will you even then smell smoke?

Duncan, I am afraid it falls to the House of Representatives.

David Brin said...

So much for the Master of “The Deal.” Trump goes wild, appointing every conceivable right wing buffoon, intending to do the very opposite of what a large majority of the public wanted. He could have said: "I know a majority of Americans didn't want me, so I will offer compromises and even appoint some people who will remind me to heed what the people clearly wanted."

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2016/11/weighing-options.html

Instead it’s: “I know a majority of Americans didn't want me, but the rules let some voters gat enough extra influence to sign the contract. I win and fuck em all!”

While this is in keeping with his character (http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/what-sort-of-man-is-donald-trump ) …

…it is also stupid business practice! The company’s Board of Directors - usually a rubber stamp — hasn’t approved the deal yet! (The Electoral College.) Is he that sure of the electors he pre-chose, that he can afford to give the nation the finger, before they even sign?

Screaming at Jill Stein and those paying for a Wisconsin recount? What? Either the paper ballots agree with the computer count or they do not. If not, wouldn’t we know? What is to screech about?

David Brin said...

I pointed out that Republicans are in a tight spot, since Obamacare was originally their own damned plan.  All of their alternatives are variations on it. So expect extensive tweaking and cosmetic changes in nomenclature.  

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/11/26/503158039/paul-ryans-plan-to-change-medicare-looks-a-lot-like-obamacare

Now, Paul Ryan’s plan and Trump’s are both looking like Obamacare with Obama’s name and wording scratched out and a couple of tweaks that could have been negotiated 6 years ago. U, guess who I predicted this.

TCB said...

I've seen a recent essay which argued that the electoral college only existed to please the slave states, because so many of their inhabitants couldn't vote; therefore the slave states would have lost every time. Made sense to me; I say get rid of it.

A different thought I've been having, though, concerns striking convicted felons off the voter rolls. The argument we often hear is "He forfeited his right to vote when he took a hatchet to Granny, why are you so worried about HIS rights?"

Well, I'm not worried about the felon's rights per se, but my rights and those of lots of non-felons. Here's what's really happening: Republicans use lists of felons to keep people from voting when they have that right. States differ: some restore a felon's right to vote once the prisoner is released; others, once probation has ended; some felons must be pardoned; in Vermont, felons never lose the franchise. Bottom line, though: in most places, a felony conviction removes you from the rolls for years to come.

Moreover, GOP programs like Crosscheck are used to disenfranchise millions who just have similar names to some felon (or to someone registered elsewhere). This has proven to be a sort of affirmative action job program for conservative politicians across America.

A post-election corker of a story: "Washington state Republican Senator Doug Ericksen announced Wednesday plans to introduce a bill that would allow authorities to charge protesters with committing “economic terrorism,” following a round of rowdy anti-Trump protests in Seattle and Portland, Oregon. The Republican state lawmaker’s legislation would lead to stricter penalties for those involved with or participating in illegal protests. If approved, it would allow felony prosecution of those who break the law in an attempt to coerce private citizens or the government by obstructing economic activity. Such a proposal would mean violators could face five years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both."

Wildly unconstitutional, for sure, but if GOP lawmakers could get away with this sort of law, it makes it easy to sweep large numbers of opposition voters into the voting-rights dustbin.

Proposal: The US should no longer have ANY restriction on the vote except age and citizenship. PERIOD. (It makes sense not to let the inmates of a penitentiary vote in the local elections where the big house is located: they might outnumber the town it's in! But that's the only exception; statewide and federal elections, no restriction).

As the Nixon White House tapes showed, the GOP has used the Drug War to beat down and disenfranchise political enemies for over forty years, and if it's not drugs it'd be 'terrorism' or something else. This temptation can only be removed by restoring the vote to every citizen without exception. (And yes, make election day a holiday and require everyone to vote. None of this flaming hoop scam).

David Brin said...

TCB why a restriction based on age? Ask every American who reaches 18 top do all the basics that legal residents do, to become voting citizens.

Dave Werth said...

Related to the Fox News and MSNBC item there was a story on NPR's "All Things Considered" program Wednesday where they tracked down the owner (Jestin Coler) of a fake news site that posted the headline "FBI Agent Suspected In Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide."

He said "The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could kind of infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt-right, publish blatantly or fictional stories and then be able to publicly denounce those stories and point out the fact that they were fiction." He was amazed at how quickly fake news could spread and how easily people believe it. He wrote one fake story for NationalReport.net about how customers in Colorado marijuana shops were using food stamps to buy pot.

"What that turned into was a state representative in the House in Colorado proposing actual legislation to prevent people from using their food stamps to buy marijuana based on something that had just never happened."

The part that really caught my ear was "Coler says his writers have tried to write fake news for liberals — but they just never take the bait." That says something about the gullibility of lots of people on the right. Advertisers want to reach people like that so they support their media.

Apparently Coler is on the liberal side politically but he's making something like $30,000/month from the advertising revenue so he's going to keep doing it.

The story is here: www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/11/23/503146770/npr-finds-the-head-of-a-covert-fake-news-operation-in-the-suburbs


Lorraine said...

The College was designed exactly for a moment like this, when sages elected by the population of each state should protect us from unqualified demagogues. If not now, when?

Looks like the popular vote protected us from demagogues. Looks like the founders underestimated the masses.

Lorraine said...

It's always been the case that Republicans treat a narrow victory as a mandate, while the Democrats timidly release trial balloons given less than a landslide. Part of the Lucy-and-the-football dynamic, or perhaps an expected consequence of living in a "center-right nation" as the mainstream media repeat until true. Every appointment being an in-your-face political statement is the Donald's victory lap. Dominate-the-room has been his strategy for business, politics, everything, probably since childhood. Laurence is right that appeasement leads to wars, but Trump is not so much an appeaser as an appeased.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

Tell me, what happens if -- before the recount gets fully underway or finished, there's a mysterious fire that burns the paper ballots? Will you even then smell smoke?


I think Tac and I are both too set in our beliefs. Tacitus's faith in the machinery of government reminds me of my father before Watergate. So for him, any alternative explanation is more plausible than electoral fraud (except in Chicago, of course).

For myself, it's just the opposite. The notion that Trump won Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania by cheating is something I believe absent any evidence either way. So evidence of cheating would simply confirm what I already think to be true.


Duncan, I am afraid it falls to the House of Representatives.


It falls to the House if no candidate gets 270 electoral votes, but that's not what Duncan was asking, is it? He asked if the electoral voting could be delayed while the individual states' outcomes were being sorted out. I'm not sure there's a rule that covers it, so if anything, I would expect it to be in the hands of the Supreme Court.

Cynical follow-up: They're the ones who decide presidential outcomes in the first place, right?

baron said...

David, what would be a real ft sumter line for you?
Also why don't the left use the amazing avalible symbols of the union forces? Black lives matters should carry the 54th battle flag,
Wear union caps when protesting, carry Sherman's flag when marching against various racist groups?

David Brin said...

baron, every one of the last five Halloweens I have urged folks to use blue, Union kepis. It will surely happen, now.

Treebeard said...

I'd say the appropriate response to Trump's election is not to don a civil war cap, call for recounts or pore over data trying to understand how one dude with a phone, a twitter account and a bad hairdo outsmarted the entire big data smart-guy political/media/technosphere. All that pompous, serious stuff just fails now, because we are in the age of the Trickster – a time when trolls have a better understanding of what's going on than ideologues, and clown suits makes more sense than civil war uniforms. Like I said months ago, when your society is a circus, why not elect the biggest clown? Trump ran an innovative 21st century campaign that broke all the rules; Hillary ran a dull 20th century campaign that had zero magic. So it's time for geeks to recognize the genius of our new Troll-in-Chief, kiss his ring and maybe learn a thing or two. Besides, geeks threatening war over one lost election is a laughable spectacle, but not in a funny way. Piles of dead bodies and McCarthyism is your response to being out-trolled? I thought you guys were supposed to be the clever ones?

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Brin,

Peter Zeihan has a set of political beliefs that are bit more complex than the standard right winger. He is crowing about Trump because it confirms his predictions in his book, "The Accidental Empire." which refers to the United States. He believes that the people of the US will end their support of using the military to maintain world peace and the free trade system. That will result in economic and political crisis that the US, with its geopolitical and demographic advantages, will prosper. My main objection is his belief that shale oil will make the US energy independent for the next 20 years. Many shale oil companies are in financial crisis and the budget of oil exploration has gone down in recent years as oil prices have declined to comfortable levels. He is a charming, educated, and humorous speaker, but I believe his conclusions are incorrect. "The Accidental Empire" is a interesting book to read but the "American energy independence" is misinformation.

Deuxglass said...

If Trump does a lousy job then he will be out in four years. Even Hillary Clinton would win then if he doesn’t deliver so why not wait him out? There are a lot of Republican lawmakers that loath him and who would make common cause with the Democrats in Congress to impeach him If he crosses too many lines. If he tries to undermine the Constitution 80% of those who had voted for him would turn against him. We have survived bad presidents before and we will survive him. Yes Clinton won the popular vote but three-quarters of that vote above Trump’s comes from one state, California which has greatly benefited from the economic policies set up by the Bush and Obama administrations. Unfortunately the Midwestern states were directly harmed by those same policies. Is it any wonder that they swayed to Trump? Do you think that they have suddenly become “confederates” just because a majority of their citizens decided that enough is enough? Take a drive as I have done this last summer to visit relatives and what I saw was devastated towns and cities one after the other. The Democrat Party abandoned them long ago yet they still voted for them until now. Can you blame them? They are the patient ones.

Since Californians feel so disadvantaged I suggest that the state should break itself up into three separate states thereby gaining four extra senators all the while keeping its electoral clout. That way it would be fairer to Californians and we would not have to change the Constitution. I think that would be a reasonable solution. Any takers?

General Wesley Clark, a Clinton supporter, talked about the importance of the middle class. He said that if the economic base is strong with a wide middle class, a country can do with mediocre leaders but if the base is weak even brilliant leaders will not save the country. I agree with him.

TCB said...

Dr. Brin, I was being sloppy when I said age restriction; I meant 18 and up just like now.

Dwight Williams said...

Mainland China's going to have additional problems of their own, this among them.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/dementia-crisis-in-china-public-health-crisis/article33047108/

raito said...

Re: election cheating,

What would happen if, say, 2 years down the road election cheating was proven beyond doubt?

(unrelated, but interedting anyway)

The time: Black Friday
The place: Mall of America, Barnes & Noble, SF&F aisle
The phenomena: Half dozen unrelated young females in the aisle. No males (except for me). Highly unusual at any site, unheard of there.

Russell Osterlund said...

I think moving forward we need to concentrate on ramming Trump down the throats of all those who voted for or inadvertently supported him. Responsibility for every future disaster must be placed on the doorstep of the Republican party, both the Tea Party right and those few remaining moderates "that stood with their party's nominee". And, those "never Hillary" Democrats and independents who only saw her "flaws" need to be forced to look in the mirror and confront their own flaw of what they have brought down on all us. And, finally, until those media pundits, who sagely talked about historic negatives, but may now have the courage to acknowledge their own negativity and the monster they created by saying "We were wrong", we need to remove by turning a deaf ear on the audience they crave and ignore and starve them of their relevancy.

Tacitus2 said...

LarryH is quite correct, I do have faith in the machinery of our political system. Not blind faith of course, and my faith is in the system not in "government" as the latter term strikes me as more applicable to certain subsets of our political ecosystem.

My faith is of the basic conservative variety, what he have going has served us very well and has much more good than bad in it. But part of our system is the ability to change when appropriate. You would have to work pretty hard (I'm lookin' at you Washington Post!) to scrounge up a scruffy handful of what even I would term Deplorables who would claim that abolishing slavery and extending the franchise to women was anything other than a necessary and salutary development. Even if the Democratic Party as it then existed was not enthusiastic about it.

Regards Chicago. I have a peculiar fondness for some of the more outre aspects of US History. Sure, situations where important bills disappeared into the pockets of hard to find politicians, or where voter rolls were enhanced by "Parrots pining for the Fjords" did benefit some and harm others. I doubt Larry or anybody else would deny the past history of Old School corruption in Illinois. Hell, it is one of the few examples of effective bipartisan cooperation. But it is not at all like the days of Cermak and Daley the Elder.

There are some commentators out there that suggest that perhaps, if the real mission here is to create more transparency in and confidence about our electoral process, perhaps a few states that Mrs. Clinton won should be recounted. I doubt the logistics for this are practical, and it would reinforce what I could see as being an unsalubrious trend. But heck, if D.Trump really only spent (50%?, 20%?) of what HRC did, he could afford it

Heretically Yours

Tacitus

Anonymous said...

I am reading that Clinton got 6,621,346 votes to Trump’s 3,549,576 votes in California. Clinton won the popular vote by more than three million in California. To say that Clinton won the popular vote simply means she won California.
It seems that the way to increase California’s clout would be to break it up into several states, as was mentioned up-thread. That would increase its senators. Of course, we would no longer be talking about California’s clout as such because each of the new states would be a separate entity and have its own clout to think about. It is also possible that one of those states goes Republican and thus “California’s clout” actually becomes diluted.
When all is said and done, it will come down that the system we have is the best that can be achieved.

LarryHart said...

Tacitus2:

LarryH is quite correct, I do have faith in the machinery of our political system. Not blind faith of course, and my faith is in the system not in "government" as the latter term strikes me as more applicable to certain subsets of our political ecosystem.


I wasn't trying to be snarky when I compared your faith in the up-and-up-ness (to coin a phrase) of the machinery to my late father's. It's actually reassuring to be presented with an argument that the election isn't rigged. One piece I can't turn away from, though (see below).


My faith is of the basic conservative variety, what he have going has served us very well and has much more good than bad in it.


And yet, how does that not apply to the historical accuracy of exit polls? That's what I can't un-see--that exit polling has been accurate for decades, and is still accurate in locations that don't use untraceable, proprietary software to generate vote totals, but has become embarrassingly inaccurate in such locales, always in the favor of one particular party. An alternative explanation bears a high burden of proof that the obvious correlation doesn't imply causation. And cell-phones don't enter into it, as these are exit polls, taken at the polling places.

But part of our system is the ability to change when appropriate. You would have to work pretty hard (I'm lookin' at you Washington Post!) to scrounge up a scruffy handful of what even I would term Deplorables who would claim that abolishing slavery and extending the franchise to women was anything other than a necessary and salutary development.


You probably wouldn't consider comics writer/artist Dave Sim to be "deplorable", but he stated right out that it was a mistake to "give" women the franchise because they act on emotion rather than logic. Ann Coulter (who is certainly deplorable) says she would gladly give up the vote if it were denied to all women. I can't think of specifics off the bat, but I've heard the argument that black Africans had their lives improved by being brought to America and given steady employment.

Even if the Democratic Party as it then existed was not enthusiastic about it.


Can we all agree that the Democratic Party from the 1850s up until Roosevelt is not the same thing as today's Democratic Party; in fact, the opposite thing?

Regarding Chicago. I have a peculiar fondness for some of the more outre aspects of US History. Sure, situations where important bills disappeared into the pockets of hard to find politicians, or where voter rolls were enhanced by "Parrots pining for the Fjords" did benefit some and harm others. I doubt Larry or anybody else would deny the past history of Old School corruption in Illinois. Hell, it is one of the few examples of effective bipartisan cooperation. But it is not at all like the days of Cermak and Daley the Elder.


Agreed. I don't claim Chicago was never that way, but that the modern Republican Party is the one who has taken political chicanery up to 11. Also, if you look closely at a 1960 electoral map, you will find that Kennedy would have won even without Illinois. There has been cheating and quasi-legal maneuvers since 1789, but it seems to me that only recently has the cheating been the margin of victory. That's just my perception, though, so feel free to counter-argue.


Deuxglass said...

Tacitus2,

"Parrots pining for the Fjords" I like that allusion and it does fit Chicago's electoral reputation.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

TCB why a restriction based on age? Ask every American who reaches 18 top do all the basics that legal residents do, to become voting citizens.


Isn't that a restriction based on age?

Paul451 said...

Treebeard,
"McCarthyism is your response to being out-trolled?"

McCarthyism? You do know that it's Trump's advisors who literally proposed reopening the HUAC.

And brag of making "enemies lists" during the election, for retribution.

And propose making the act of protesting into a crime of terrorism.

--

Deuxglass,
"in four years. Even Hillary Clinton would win then if he doesn't deliver so why not wait him out?"

See above. And add in the Supreme Court.

"If he tries to undermine the Constitution 80% of those who had voted for him would turn against him."

No they won't. Or they wouldn't have voted for a Republican, and they wouldn't keep voting Republican at the state and Congressional level.

I agree that they are desperately trying to change the cause of the damage to their communities, but they've been fooled into voting for the very people who caused that damage.

If the Democrats (as especially the DLC leadership) and their media apologists have been too stupid to craft a message to appeal to precisely those voters (indeed shouted down the only candidate with a message that did appeal to them), why do you think they will suddenly be smart enough to craft one when Trump crosses some arbitrary line beyond the ones he's already stomped over?

Nothing I've seen since the election makes me think the Dems understand why they lost.

Paul451 said...

Tacitus2,
"As we discussed in an earlier post, exit polls are a slender reed to cling to."

It isn't just exit polls, there are also discrepancies in some key areas between the number of votes cast and the number of people on the rolls.

"It is fair to say that they have a "history" of accuracy. But like so many established political "facts" you have to consider new realities this time around.
The percentage of people who consent to be exit polled has been declining and is now under 50%. [etc]"


As was pointed out in that earlier discussion, the exit polls remained mostly accurate wherever there was a good paper-trail.

What part of your supposed "embarrassment" factor would lead to only those voters using electronic ballots to not want to admit they support Trump...

...while paper ballot Trump voters remain proud and unashamed?

"if the real mission here is to create more transparency in and confidence about our electoral process, perhaps a few states that Mrs. Clinton won should be recounted."

Trump is free to make the request in states that allow it.

You are implying, in your usual backhanded way, that the lack of such recounts is evidence of some kind of conspiracy by the Dems or pollsters or the media or someone. But the nature of the rules would require that Trump is in on your conspiracy.

Tacitus2 said...

Paul 451

Nate Silver, once and future Seer in Chief, does not think much of your arguments:

http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/demographics-not-hacking-explain-the-election-results/

You can take things up with him and there get better answers than from me. BTW, back before he hit the Big Time he and I exchanged the occasional email.

As to the questions etc you put to me, happy to oblige.

I have not seen a clear synopsis of which precincts in WI used paper versus electronic voting. I can envision a Trump supporter being a little more "loud and proud" in a rural, red district than in a blue enclave or a 50:50 mix. True as well of Clinton supporters but keep in mind that Wisconsin has intense concentration of D voters into fairly concentrated areas.

I think it would also be interesting to drill down into the exit polls. Companies don't put everything on the table regards methodology. In what precincts did the exit polling and the tabulated result vary the most? In these precincts was the non response rate to exit polling higher? What sort of criteria did pollsters deploy to "guess" at the political allegiences of non responders? Some of this is proprietary stuff of course.

I don't generally make "backhanded" points. But the brevity of this format does not permit us to say "Hey, lemme explain that one. I'll go get us another beer first".

I have seen allegations of voter ID fraud, mostly linked to some unpleasant stuff on illegal immigrants and felons voting. I am not making that case. But with the fervent denials that anything like this could ever happen in America, or at least in Blue America, it would be interesting to take a look with the same degree of scrutiny you are currently directing to my friends and neighbors who cheerfully greet me and hand me my ballot every election cycle. Trump could do so. In the interests of harmony he probably should not.

Political analysis is far from real Science. But if numbers can be scrutinized fairly we may actually learn something about the real mood of the electorate.

Don't take this as backhanded, but many of you seem to be having difficulty reconciling the numbers with your world view. If the former are correct will you be altering the latter?

Tacitus

Marino said...

@Dave Werth:

I don't believe such tactics works (Fake news websites making up alt-right false news to lance their bubble). Confirmation bias kicks in and those fake websistes reinforce the beliefs. Here in Italy a guy put up a site publishing outlandish fake news about crimes by immigrants ("Black muslim man rapes white girl, her father castrates him", stuff like that), just to exploit ad clicks. And yet those fakes were taken as true by the most rabid nativists were widely circulkated and there was no way to debunk them.

occam's comic said...

Treebeard
that was your best comment on this blog.

David Brin
Fuck you!
Fuck you for calling for a new civil war. The globalization policies you advocate for have caused much harm to the people living in the midwest and now you want to restart a civil war that would likely be fought where i live, because you don't like the person elected. Fuck you!! for calling for a war in the place I live while you are safe in California.

A civil war will be unimaginably worse than a very bad Trump presidency.


So just quit it.
Don't be calling for a civil war, use the civil rights movement as inspiration for resistance.

TCB said...

Occam, if you'd been paying attention to Dr. Brin's site, you'd know that he says the Civil War never ended and the Confederates are back in the saddle.

And we don't know how bad a Trump presidency can be.

Given what the Earth's atmosphere is doing, it might make 1863 look like Disneyland.

Jumper said...

It's the pure malice that took the Democrats by surprise. The willingness to destroy, lie and ruin.

occam's comic said...

TCB
The civil war was actually a war that had a real beginning and a real end.

And now that a president was elected that David thinks will be a horrible president his response is the same as Jefferson Davis - a real civil war.

That is a pathway to immense suffering for me, my family, my loved ones, my neighbors and all the people living in the war zone. I am 100% against that.

I think Trump will be horrible as president, but I will not be killing people nor advocating that people be killed. Martin Luther King is my model for resistance not Jefferson Davis. Peaceful, non violent, direct resistance is a far better response.

David Brin said...

Occam’s Comic…. same back atcha, dope. I have been making it very clear that the Confederacy is a recurring American fever, with outbreaks in 1777, 1830s, 1852-1865, and so on. Only a couple of these outbreaks were bigly (get used to the word) violent. And I hope this phase won’t be one of those. But to deny that we are in a major phase is just… plain… stooopid.

I am not “calling for” this phase of the civil war. It has been thrust on us, as the others were. Aggressively and with volcanic malice that erupts out of a deep sickness in part of the American character. A sickness that hates modernity, science, equality and all change, while devoting deep fealty to strongman-feudalism.

It despises every aspect of our Great Experiment - our Revolution - and if we let it drag us backward, into becoming another silly hierarchy of inherited privilege, then our species will not get to the stars. America is that important.

I am not “calling for” this fight. I am demanding that the people of the Revolution - the Americans - wake up, as the Union did in other phases - and win it. Unlike the Confederacy, which sees victory as crushing all the smartypants, the Union historically wins and then offers “charity to all.” Welcomes the confeds back with open arms. Pours assistance.

You are wrong, sir. "Civil Rights" methods will fail. Appealing to the conscious of trolls will not work. It just makes us look weak and invites their raucous, joyful sneers. Witness Treebeard. They will only respect strength.

David Brin said...

Wow a tsunami of comments. Starting with Treebeard (notice I use his name, when he acts closer to human) posting a paragraph that - while snarky and utterly wrong - is not a mass of deliberately evil insanity.

My reply: Thanks, but we already know very well that this is a conflict between wonkish, college graduate, know-a-lot “elites” (who happen to be a majority) vs a lemming mob of trolls following a facile juggler-clown. And the troll army won. You are right about that. One for you.

Ah but three things. (1) Your side cheated, down the line and in collusion with a hostile foreign power. Calling me a whiner for pointing that out is just more trollery, it is not an argument. All it does is justify our pulling out the stops.

(2) The cheating was manipulated by the caste that Trump is now putting into all power slots. Your army of confederate trolls get nothing out of this. They will be raped by their plantation lord massas, but taught to chant appreciation for it.

(3) “Piles of dead bodies and McCarthyism”? Har, you only see what’s in the mirror and can only conceive of your enemies as being like yourself.

(4) Given a choice between Idiocracy and Star Trek, yeah. I know what I’ll fight for.

David Brin said...

Deuxglass, your wait-him-out approach is obviously our option, but while digging in and getting much more serious about the open war that’s been declared against every knowledge caste in America. (And praying for Gisburg’s health.) There is likely to be a recession fairly soon, and the fact that it won’t be on HC’s watch could leave intact my statistical Outcomes Comparison - that all metrics do better across DP administrations.

Russell O. I offered a very specific suggestion in my blog, to start fighting back by re-igniting the boycott of Fox Advertisers. Sure, Fox is no longer the sole or most radical nexus. I’d hope to include Alex Jones advertisers! But we have to start somewhere.

Tacitus, the GOP made an assiduous effort to ensure that the manufacturers of our voting machines - e.g. Diebold - are owned by not just extreme republican activists but outright Birchers. Are you telling us that doesn’t raise your hackles, even a little?

What will you do if/when Scott Walker responds to this recount by calling for elimination of paper ballots, altogether?

TheMadLibrarian said...

I'm willing to contemplate a boycott of products and companies that supported Fox and the Trump campaign, but the list is so comprehensive that boycotting all of them pretty much means you are reduced to buying very little, plus some of those companies (notably drugs) are the exclusive suppliers for things that aren't available as generics. Not willing to cut off nose to spite face; will have to be selective.

Tacitus2 said...

David

I respond to actual events as they occur. Are you so certain of Diebold/Koch/Walker High Treason that you are already willing to issue a call to literal arms?

I feel I venture far out into middle ground. Its pretty lonely out there. Sure, lets take a look at the votes. Am I expected to also adopt your, uh, more vivid political notions?

Sometimes feel as if I am one of the only ones in this here saloon who actually is willing to consider new data.

Tacitus

David Brin said...

No Tacitus, you do not consider new data. I have never seen a sane and reasonable person so demonstrate the basic conservative trait of swiftly normalizing the shocking. This is why I keep asking you hypotheticals. Because if you declare something in advance would be over-the-line and unacceptable, then when it happens, you won't be able to yawn and say, what's the fuss? That's just normal.

ML: yes. A more targeted boycott may be necessary.

Alfred Differ said...

@treebeard: kiss his ring

It doesn't really matter who asks me to do this and for whom as my response would be the same. I'd rather burn down the circus tent and force the show out into the open air where it won't appear so glamorous.

Tacitus2 said...

David....

Have I not put forward reasonable questions? For instance regards the possible causes of exit poll inaccuracy? I feel as if I am striving to be reality based but you take me to task for not having pat answers for hypotheticals....We are down the rabbit hole here.

But for reasons that frankly puzzle even me, I keep trying.

OK then, lets hop in and see what the Mad Hatter is serving for Tea.

You suggest obliquely, or perhaps directly that Scott Walker might burn paper ballots to keep them from being counted. Any individual or official who does that should be impeached, charged and when found guilty, sent to prison. The same should apply, hypothetically of course, to any local official who turned up with a suitcase full of fraudulent ballots should the dastardly Mr. Walker ever attempt such villainy.

You ask if Diebold offends or concerns me. And indicate that it is owned and run not only by Republicans but by "Birchers".

Looking at this question has led me here and there. All the way from Kos to some weird neonazi stuff. None of them like Diebold!

I am not sure who you are saying is a member of the John Birch Society. The current leadership of the Diebold-Nixdorf Corporation is almost all German, since the two organizations merged in August of this year. The various other names that seem to pop up with Diebold in the last decade are Tom Swidarski and the Urosevich brothers, Bob and Todd.
I don't see any Birch connections there, but the brothers did ruffle some feathers by collectively owning two companies that make lots of voting machines (Diebold and ES&S). The latter has its headquarters in Omaha...at 1108 John Galt Drive!

An earlier exec, Walden O'Dell was a prominent Bush supporter and donor who said something stupid about delivering votes for the Republican party. He was shortly let go. He was quoted at the time as saying he chose his words poorly, and that the individual actually running that division of Diebold was a registered Democrat.

If you go way back there might be a whispy connection. Money to start Diebold and I think ES&S was fronted by a very conservative man named Ahamanson out in Irvine CA. He appears to have at least flirted with some fairly fringe beliefs but I do not seem him as being in any role with either company.

Diebold has taken a lot of deserved abuse for dubious payments overseas to get business. In other words, baksheesh. And the quality of their software has been criticized. I have not seen a confirmed instance of their machines being used to alter votes cast.

There. I have had a good look see. Maybe I have provided you with some new info.

Your conspiracy theories could do with the occasional update.

Tacitus

Alfred Differ said...

The FiveThirtyEight analysis (By Carl Bialik and Rob Arthur... not Nate Silver) is probably going to stand up in the average sense. Where the statistical risk lies is in a close margin election. There HAS been a demographic shift in the midwest, so I doubt re-counts will find much. I'm still for them, though.

One thing I'm learning to appreciate lately is how much the statistics knowledge acquired by hard-core baseball fans is altering our political landscape. Dig into the backgrounds of FiveThirtyEight people and you'll see it. I think there is a good Age of Amateurs argument to be made there. 8)

Flypusher said...

" Unfortunately the Midwestern states were directly harmed by those same policies. Is it any wonder that they swayed to Trump? Do you think that they have suddenly become “confederates” just because a majority of their citizens decided that enough is enough? Take a drive as I have done this last summer to visit relatives and what I saw was devastated towns and cities one after the other. The Democrat Party abandoned them long ago yet they still voted for them until now. Can you blame them? They are the patient ones. "

I don't blame them for being angry about not sharing in the spoils of the current economy. I do blame them for failure to critically examine the man who claims that he will save them. Trump has a long track record in terms of how he does business and his character. He has stiffed small contractors, been busted twice by the DOJ for discriminatory housing practices, tried to take people's homes through eminent domain to build a parking garage for his casinos (fortunately stopped by the courts), has had multiple bankruptcies where he made sure that he was paid handsomely, but left shareholders, creditors, and employees in the lurch, and despite all his talk about companies moving jobs overseas, hires foreign workers instead of Americans for his resort. He's lying to those people in coal country about bringing that industry back; it's dying, cheap natural gas is the primary reason, and Trump also says he wants more fracking!! So far it looks like he's willing to let Paul Ryan impose his economic plan with more tax cuts for the rich and a shredding of the safety net. So far this ballyhooed infrastructure plan looks like tax breaks for things already in the works, and unlikely to benefit the non-wealthy much- private toll roads, but no new water mains for Flint? There only thing he's offered is vague, feel good, rhetoric ("You're going to win so much, you'll get tired of winning???") These people are getting played, and they cannot say they they were not warned.

Duncan Cairncross said...
What would happen if the re-count did show that Hillary had won those states?
Or even one of them?

Sadly Duncan, I don't think it would matter much. By all means do those recounts, because if there are any shenanigans I want to everyone to see them, but HRC would be horribly hamstrung if she assumed office on a reversal. I see no good outcomes no matter what happens. We are going to have some setbacks with a Trump administration. One can hope that the GOPe types can mitigate damage to NATO and our other agreements, although I'm not hopeful. We will have to keep a constant watch on this administration and be ready to help out fellow citizens who because they are Hispanic or Muslim or Black or some other minority group, have good reason to worry that this new regime won't be respecting their rights as Americans.

occam's comic said...

No David I still completely reject your call to arms.

And i find it weird that you think non violent direct action is weak. Was it Martin Luther King weakness that won civil rights? or was it Gandhi weakness that drove the British out of India?

Imagine if the Confederacy had adopted non violent direct action against Lincoln and the North, say organize the plantation owners to reduce the cotton crop by 50% percent and jack up the price they charge the northern factories. The interests of the rulers of the confederacy were badly served by the war they started but would have been much better served by staying in the Union and using the non violent political process.

And honestly, the way your talk about the Americans that disagree with you as troglodytes and traitors is very similar to the propaganda that the Nazi's used against the German Jews. (sub-humans who have stabbed the country in the back) This process of dehumanizing and demonizing your political opponents leads to horrible outcomes. I know lots of Trump voters and none of them are anything like the vile monsters that you think they are.

Tony Fisk said...

While Nate Silver has stated the results can be ascribed more to demographics than cheats, he has also said that Trump's hysterical tweeting* in response to the recount is causing him to rethink this. Quantitative analysis vs qualitative opinion.

In more fanciful moments, Sarah Kendzior likens Trump to the Man with the Red Eyes through which "It" governs Camazotz in "A Wrinkle in Time". I find him more like the Masters from "The Coming of the Tripods": an expert manipulator who used Fox as a form of the Trippy Show to enslave a fraction of the populace into (red) capping the rest. Ridiculous! And yet... "Hail the Trumpod!" has an ominous ring (one I will not be kissing).

I do retain some faith in the defensive mechanisms of state, if people are willing to stare down the basilisk and use them. The recount is one example. Several are still to be put into play. However, if you think Trump can simply be removed in four years, I think you are in for a rude awakening in the next twelve months.

*Is someone who responds to a recount with claims he would have won the popular vote if it weren't for those millions of illegal voters fit for democratic office?

Tony Fisk said...

In case you missed it, Joy Reid had Sarah Kendzior speak on her show today. Link

Alfred Differ said...

@Deuxglass: California which has greatly benefited from the economic policies set up by the Bush and Obama administrations

You are subscribing to a big-man analogy of economics here. Many do. It is a mistaken approach, though. Talk to enough of us here in CA and you'll find a sizable fraction who think the policies of Bush and Obama made things worse than what we could have done if we had simply be let alone. We haven't succeeded because of policies from DC. We've succeeded in spite of them.

Trade across the Pacific Basin is bigly (ugh) important for understanding what has happened over the last three decades and likely to continue well into this century. The Cold War is over, billions are joining the global market, and California coastal cities are sitting pretty as access points for the US. Midwestern cities on the Great Lakes used to fill a similar role connecting the Midwest to Atlantic trade, but Europe isn't where trade is booming lately.

Not all of California is benefiting like the coastal regions are. Move inland and you'll find mid-western attitudes. The money is along the coast, so anyone with half a brain and a decent education moves closer to it to find work, establish new companies, and build a future.

Y'all are welcome to join us. Seriously. The gold isn't in them thar hills. It's near the ports and big cities. For people with blue collar skills, the opportunities reach further inland too. A real estate developer I know near Sacramento is currently complaining he can't get decent construction workers in enough numbers. We tend to preach white collar work too much leaving him with a shrinking labor pool.

occam's comic said...

So rather than a call to arms, and dehumanizing and demonizing our fellow americans I am pursing a different approach to limiting the harm done by President Trump. And I invite you all to join me.

I am going on a consumer strike. Saving money for the coming recession is a top priority. Being far more careful on who i am supporting when i spend my money is becoming a serious hobby (and something that a groups of people sharing information would make more effective). If i do make a large optional purchase it will only be for things that structurally reduce other expenditures, for example more insulation for the house or replace the furnace with a heat pump.

This is a simple strategy that everyone who wants the Trump presidency to fail can easily get on board with and be better prepared for the recession when it comes. But it is also a strategy that can convince some Trump voters to get on board with. I have talked with some Trump voters at work about how I am expecting another recession soon, and how I am cutting my expenses and how it might be a good idea for them to put some money away for that coming rainy day.

Now this consumer strike should not be the only response to the Trump Presidency but it should form the base of the resistance to President Trump. As Trump does more horrible things more visible non violent direct action can be added.

Alfred Differ said...

occam's comic:

I think you overestimate the power the South might have had if they'd been able to collude and for up cotton prices. Cotton was a big deal in the South precisely because the price was as low as it was. Collusion likely would have driven cotton purchases elsewhere. It is very rare that sellers have a huge amount of power over buyers because both are sellers to someone else. Collusion likely would have screwed both North and
South, but the North's economy was deeper and more likely to adjust.

Not a good strategy I think.


Regarding your personal risk considering your location, I'll offer some sympathy, but not much. I think it unlikely this phase of our Civil War will turn hot, let alone lead to the kind of battles we saw 150 years ago. City burning is certainly in the range of the possible as we saw 50 years ago, but I doubt the youngest generation will tolerate it happening for long. If things start going too violent, they will look up from their cell phones and tablets and get angry at us for screwing up their futures. A few people will be figuratively hung from a high branch, a political upheaval will occur, and then we'll go back to doing what Americans do most of the time. Slow, incremental change and the bourgeois deal makes the world better place.

Alfred Differ said...

I can't sign on to that strategy. I'd be harming my relatives in the fly-over states.

I'm not interested in seeing Trump fail. I'd rather he did not and suspect we can survive him without too many burnt cities. Broad economic responses harm those near the bottom of the social diamond the most, so I'd prefer something better targeted.

Jumper said...

Hey, Alfred, I am reading this on the development of American know-how, and if I didn't get the link from you originally (!) you'll probably want to read it, as it touches on a common interest.
https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/amerstud/article/viewFile/2075/2034

occam's comic said...

Alfred,
The downside of the south staying in the union and having the slave owners failing in colluding to raise cotton prices beats the hell out of having to endure Sherman's March.

(and by the way I do live in the city of Cincinnati, and have some experience with riots that I don't want to repeat.)

And feel free to come up with a more targeted approach, I would be interested in what you come up with.

But hey, a recession or worse is coming to America in the next four years and saving up for it is something that makes a lot of sense for an individual to do. And i feel no qualms about recommending that other do the same.

LarryHart said...

baron:

David, what would be a real ft sumter line for you?


Not answering for Dr Brin, but for myself, re-instituting slavery would definitely be over the line. Also any attempt at Nuremberg-style laws, making subgroups of human beings less than human under the law.

I'm not sure I can ascribe treason to the notion of getting rid of Medicare, so for that one, I think I'll leave them to the tender mercies of their own duped supporters.

LarryHart said...

Deuxglass:

Take a drive as I have done this last summer to visit relatives and what I saw was devastated towns and cities one after the other. The Democrat Party abandoned them long ago yet they still voted for them until now. Can you blame them?


You misspelled "Republican Party" :)

The only power the Democrats have had since 2010 is the presidency, and that was quite hamstrung by the other two branches of government. The states you are talking about, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio, have had Republican governments whose policies are only a bit less ruinous than Kansas. At the state and federal level, Republican policies including TPP are the ones hurting those workers and not taking care of them after they are hurt.

Voting for "change" by voting Republican is absurd. I understand the emotional desire to lash out, but you are trying to make it sound as if these voters had rational reasons for voting for the party whose policies they are angry about. Or do you think those voters really wanted TPP and the elimination of Medicare?


Flypusher said...

"LarryHart said...
baron:

David, what would be a real ft sumter line for you?


Not answering for Dr Brin, but for myself, re-instituting slavery would definitely be over the line. Also any attempt at Nuremberg-style laws, making subgroups of human beings less than human under the law."

I agree with those, and would add any serious follow through on threats made by Trump during his campaign to the 1st, 4th, 6th, and 8th Amendment protections. You have people seriously talking about enemies lists, a HUAC 2.0, praising the WWII internment camp models, bringing back stop and frisk, and suing the press for reporting unflattering truths. That ought to alarm every American and make them literally fighting mad.

LarryHart said...

Paul451:

And propose making the act of protesting into a crime of terrorism.


Add that to my personal list of potential Ft Sumter moments.

LarryHart said...

occam's comic:

Now this consumer strike should not be the only response to the Trump Presidency but it should form the base of the resistance to President Trump. As Trump does more horrible things more visible non violent direct action can be added.


I think you take too literally the notion that Dr Brin is calling for us to start an actual shooting war. He wants us to be prepared to meet fascist force with force (which is what the right-wingers claim the Second Amendment is for), but I would expect that resistance of the type you are advocating is precisely the kind of thing he'd encourage.

Anonymous said...

Why are you assuming there will be another election? The first thing the administration will do is declare an emergency that forestalls elections for the duration.

LarryHart said...

Anonymous:

The first thing the administration will do is declare an emergency that forestalls elections for the duration.


The first thing? Bush and Obama were each supposed to do the same thing. I'm not buying.

Jumper said...

LarryHart, your rational pointing out that Presidents don't control the purse strings, Republicans have, is why I repeatedly call their voters "stupid" or "idiots." People who refuse to learn this basic fact about our own government have no credibility and are as "anti knowledge" as they are portrayed.

Tony Fisk said...

Trump now tweeting about the "serious voter fraud" in California, New Hampshire, Virginia. It's squirrels, I tell ya! Squirrels all the way down.

If I were to Don my "mwauhauhat", and contemplate the hacky havoc I could wreak, I might carefully tweak swing states in my favour, and blatantly stack the safe blue states against me. Then, if someone were to look for issues, I could look elsewhere.

David Brin said...

Alfred: “Not all of California is benefiting like the coastal regions are.”

Yes but coastal californians are taxing themselves to create a bullet train whose principal beneficiaries will be Merced, Bakersfield and Fresno. Those cities will boom as a result and are already benefiting.

===

Occam’s Comic… I repeat my back atcha. I am sick of what has been a deliberate and directly treasonous campaign to weaken my country and our Revolution by turning confederates against all the knowledge professions in America. All of them. Name an exception. It is so blatant the Glenn Beck…

…yes Glenn F***ing Beck … is now apologizing and contrite. !!!

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/27/magazine/glenn-beck-is-sorry-about-all-that.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fmagazine&action=click&contentCollection=magazine&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=7&pgtype=sectionfront

When every single metric of US national health plummets across all republican administrations, that is not happenstance, that is not coincidence, it is not incompetence. Such statistical perfection can only come from enemy action.

I do NOT deem non-college, white male aging boomers to be the “enemy” any more than they were in the Civil War. But the Plantation lords who riled them WERE. And so are the plantation lords behind this current treason.

Your intention to help throw the US into a recession seems in no way superior to my call to respond culturally, to culture war

David Brin said...

Tacitus, your scholarship efforts adds to the discussion and are appreciated. And absorbed. And yet, your reactions are exactly as I described. You normalize the insufferable and shrug off as “normal” the outrageous.

You know that paper audits should be possible in every precinct in the nation, but are less possible in Red America.

You know that it should not have been necessary for Jill Stein to demand a recount in Wisconsin. In California, several precincts are chosen randomly for audit recounts. The random recount of selected WI precincts should have started November 9. Automatically and routinely but with guarantees they are chosen randomly. The fact this hasn’t happened stinks to high heaven and you know it.

Gerrymandering has more and more become a red crime. Yes, there’s Maryland and Illinois and the head of the democratic party has declared his intention, upon leaving office, to get those two to follow the lead of a dozen blue states in ending that foul, despicable, openly and proudly cheating practice.

Are you going to try to tell us that I am offering “conspiracy theories” about gerrymandering? No, sir. You have normalized the outrageous. You cannot bring your blood up even one degree, over a monstrous crime.

You know that Voter ID laws might be reasonable, if eased in with compliance assistance for the poor. But that GOP officials have bragged openly that the laws are intended to - and effectively - repress DP votes. And not one cent has been allocated for compliance assistance. In fact, DMVs are closed uniquely in poor areas and university areas. Yet, you normalize this and demand that I prove cheating?

Flypusher : “HRC would be horribly hamstrung if she assumed office on a reversal.”

Oh I agree. We’d be slammed by a volcano of Timothy McVeighs. But if evidence of major cheating appears, then DT is the one who will be hamstrung. With 2018 looming and the DP recruiting angry retired colonels, you may see some Congressional resistance to this obscenity.

David Brin said...

"Trump now tweeting about the "serious voter fraud" in California, New Hampshire, Virginia." Then prove it!

LarryHart said...

"Trump now tweeting about the "serious voter fraud" in California, New Hampshire, Virginia."

What, he thinks he would have won California. The others, I can maybe see that they were close and a recount might change results, but so what? He won the election. Why try to change the result? As a hedge against overturning the results in the rust belt? It seems more of a tantrum than anything else to me. "I would have won all the states except for cheating!"

I should be glad that, for some reason, he didn't name-check Illinois. Maybe our elections are so pristine that not even Donald Trump could raise suspicion about them? Yeah, that must be it. :)

Anonymous said...

Stop talking gibberish. Cover the International Pedo Ring.


Hillary and Podesta is using CIA to kill people.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3498775/posts?q=1&;page=101

Hillary is suffering from Mad Cow Disease from eating brains of dead babies in Satanic Ritual.

locumranch said...


As a cynic, I've mentioned the human propensity for role reversal often, yet even I'm a little startled by how quickly & thoroughly one election loss has transformed our favorite positive-sum, progressive, pro-union constitutionalist into a zero-sum, conservative, anti-union secessionist.

In one fell swoop, (1) he has abandoned all of that positive-sum claptrap about how political participation makes the entire electorate 'winners', (2) he has become a conservative obstructionist, desperate to maintain all of the gains & advantages that once pertained to his particular demographic, (3) he talks about electoral college & constitutional nullification because it's application has disadvantaged his interests for once and, now, (4) he even talks about tactical militarisation in order to move on to the next phase of this new US Civil War.

I suspect that I have not been cynical enough.


Best

Tony Fisk said...

Trump's tweets are a distraction. The real story is in the NYT.
Potential Conflicts Around the Globe for Trump, the Businessman President

...and Sen. Ben Cardin has started the garbage compactor

Tim H. said...

I wonder if 1912 was when the GOP began to go off the rails, with the exile of TR and most of the progressive wing of the party. I recently read "American Ulysses : a life of Ulysses S. Grant" and was struck by how liberal the GOP of his day was, especially in human rights. I suspect that if they had nominated TR in 1912, FDR's New Deal might never have been needed.

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occam's comic said...

Well David I am glad that your medication is kicking in and you are walking back your call to violence. Violence from the left is stupid, dangerous and counter productive to the goals of the left.

OH and by the way it is not your country it is our country, including all those people that voted for Trump. And calling half the country stupid, racist, traitors, who hate everything good is not going to convince anyone not already on board to join you. As a matter of fact that kind of deranged propaganda can really turn off a lot of people. So no, I think your attempt to intensify the culture war is a big mistake that plays right into Trumps hands.

As far as my intention to help throw the US into a recession, you and I both know that a recession is on its way regardless of what we advocate, so I am going to be saving up and preparing for it, you and everyone else who reads this blog should as well. And let me tell you, a conversation about the coming recession with Trump supporters is a fairly pleasant conversation that can actually help them when the recession comes. Calling them stupid bigots who hate everything good makes them want to support Trump just to piss you off.

As far as I can tell at least half of Trump's support is about an inch thick and most of his supporters that I have met are uneasy about the choice. As the Trump Presidential disasters start rolling in, most of his supporters will turn on him. But they won't turn towards us if we keep calling them stupid bigots who hate everything good. We need to be calm, firm, resolute, and intelligent in our opposition to the Trump Presidency and that means not dehumanizing and demonizing our fellow Americans.

And hey here is an idea How about the Democratic Party start advocating and implementing policies that actually help the majority of the American people. Obama care is hated because it is a republican plan that forces people to buy shitty for profit insurance with large co-pays and when you get sick you still deal with scumbags at the insurance company who want to deny you care. And how about prosecuting the criminals on wall street and the big banks. Thousands of bankers should have gone to jail over the mortgage loan disaster just for submitting falsified records to the courts. UBS helped thousands of wealthy americans commit tax fraud and UBS is still refusing to cooperate with the IRS to bring those people to justice. And yet the Obama administration still allows them to keep their license to bank in the US.

(As far as measures of american health that have gotten better under republicans, crime rates started their fall from historic highs under the first Bush, continued under Clinton, and the second Bush and appear to be bottoming out under Obama. Now i am fairly certain that the fall in crime rates is due to the dirty hippies who fought to get lead out of gasoline and paint but reductions is crime rates is real and has occurred under republicans and democrats)

Zepp Jamieson said...

One possibility being raised is that should Trump not put his business interests in a blind trust, as required by law, then the Electoral College would be obliged to reject his claim to be President. This issue is being raised with Electors now. It's a situation unique in American history; a candidate vowing to break the law before he even takes office.
He set another new low today, becoming the first winning presidential candidate to claim fraud played a major role in the election. He claimed, with no apparent basis, that millions of illegal aliens voted in the election.

Flypusher said...

From the Federalist #68:

"The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States."'

"Low intrigue" and "little arts of popularity"- Hamilton described Trump perfectly. I don't expect enough faithless electors, but faithlessness would certainly be justified by Hamilton's reasoning, just on the basis of temperment alone.

Is the blind trust required by law? I was under the impression that there's vagueness in the exact requirements.

David Brin said...


Occam again, I reiterate that your first screeched-at-me “F” is wholly and enthusiastically mirrored back at you, again. I made no call to ‘violence’ and if you ever repeat that slander elsewhere then you can “F” all the way up yourself.

I can point to history. When the Union side of our psyche wins, we are generous with our brethren and welcome them back. Many of them would put me against a wall. They wave Old Glory when it suits them and then the Confed battle flag, whenever things go slightly not their way.

I have many pleasant conversations with confeds and fundies because I know how to do it well. And yes, some of them can be lured away from the hate festivals and screaming venom at the knowledge castes. I am all in favor of that. But first we have to get mad enough so that during those conversations we look them in the eye and say: “That is bullshit and it borders on treason.”

That rocks them back. Nothing short of it does.

“Obama care is hated because it is a republican plan that forces people to buy shitty for profit insurance with large co-pays”

Utter total and spectacular bullshit. The dems never liked Heritage-Care, Romneycare. They adopted it because SOMETHING had to be done. Give them 60% in Congress and we’ll have Canadian health within months.

I never claimed that all positive trends across DP administrations were directly causal. What I have said is that the PERFECT fact of better outcomes across DP admins puts a huge burden of proof on those who assert that GOP twits should ever be trusted with a burnt match.


David Brin said...

Not a single 'electoral college gambit" will happen unless my idea is done - inviting them to meet. Then maybe 40 or 50 might be emboldened to tell DT "Give us these things or get fucked."

David Brin said...

But it won't happen.

Alfred Differ said...

@Occam's Comic: Having savings is always a good idea. The trick is to have enough income to create savings without hardship. Recessions are bad enough when our enthusiasm bursts without us making them happen through anticipatory fear. Do save, but also consider living where you can earn more at whatever you do or can learn to do.

A modern day Sherman's march can be avoided by the loser of this phase of our conflict if they choose to de-escalate before they completely piss off the eventual winner. Fighting a war of attrition kills a lot of our kids and nothing pisses us off more than that. Roll over before that, take the lumps and bruises, and that will be that until the next time people forget the pain. One of the points David makes translates roughly as the red states not realizing how seriously over matched they already are. It's not really in doubt who would win, just how long it would take for the blue cities to decide to do what had to be done. Much like our Civil War, things would linger making it look like an even match even though it isn't.

I haven't been to Cincinnati in who knows how long. I did make it to Columbus, but the small town version of it in Indiana to the west of you. It was like a different world to me, but I wasn't born in California, so it wasn't alien. What I saw was the world moving on. I grew up in various desert states and know a ghost town when I see one. There isn't much to be done for dying cities except to save the people sooner than later. For example, if you ever plan to change careers, do it during a boom. Don't wait for a bust when employers are less motivated to pay relocation expenses. The best use for savings I know if for human capital, not mattress stuffing.

Alfred Differ said...

My over the line list includes a Muslim Registration List.
Too much like our Japanese internment camps during WWII.

@David: Yah. Not buying it with the bullet train. Forcing someone to take a gift (or their medicine in this case) isn't going to win hearts and minds. If Elon wants to build the train, I'd happily support that. What y'all voted for, though, struck me as too much social engineering. I know Gov Brown supports it so you'll stay loyal, so I'm not trying to sway you. I'm just saying I never bought into it.

David Brin said...

ALfred, the benefits to Fresno etc were not selling points, though they go along because of increased property values already. But those benefits will happen and CA will become even more attractive & valuable. Fact is, HS rail has benefited every single nation that instituted it and so did business.

Alfred Differ said...

@locumranch: anti-union secessionist

So predictable even in the way you tell the story.

Your mistake is believing your side wears blue. We aren't at the hot Civil War phase yet and hopefully never will be. We are pretty close to something that might appear analogous to the Fugitive Slave Act, though. As soon as funds are withheld from cities as punishment for not providing reciprocal support of federal immigration or religious registration policies, we WILL be there.

I will not join an illiberal posse is not a secessionist statement.

Alfred Differ said...

Then let Elon build it and profit from it. I trust him far more.

Anonymous said...

Another reporter is Killer by Hillary for covering Satanic Pedo Ring run by Hillary. When will you cover "Spirit Cooking?" How many people have to die? Why is the MSM silent on this issue???


http://www.snopes.com/monica-petersen-killed/

Anonymous said...

Hillary #bodycount keeps growing....

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3495628/posts#comment

Deuxglass said...

The Fort Sumter moment? California succeeds from the Union. A hastily assembled California National Guard takes over Vandenberg Air Force Base without a shot (launching pads for space are very valuable assets). Camp Pendleton is surrounded (all that valuable real-estate just waiting to be developed!) but resists although land connections are cut. Washington declares that California’s succession is illegal and resupplies the base by air. San Diego’s military bases are in chaos as progressive and conservative elements separate out but soon enough the progressives get the upper hand and declare Southern California a no-fly zone to airplanes from the east. New York and New England are sympathetic to California but geography is against active support because they are too dependent on the hinterland to follow California’s example. Washington challenges the no-fly zone by sending a cargo plane filled with non-military supplies. The new California Air Force shoots it down. The die is cast.

Anonymous said...

Follow the Jew:http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sociopolitica/esp_sociopol_illuminati_0a.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBrYayUqxc4&t=330s

Marino said...

Is it possible to remove the absurd posts about the alleged Hillary pedo ring, as they may end in some liability for dr. Brin?

Flypusher said...

"You probably wouldn't consider comics writer/artist Dave Sim to be "deplorable", but he stated right out that it was a mistake to "give" women the franchise because they act on emotion rather than logic. Ann Coulter (who is certainly deplorable) says she would gladly give up the vote if it were denied to all women."

How many men voted for Trump because they loved the fact that he was openly an obnoxious asshole and wished they could be just like him? HUMANS can have this bad tendency to vote on emotion rather than logic.

As Coulter is a professional troll, I can't take here seriously, other than to say too late, the 19th is here to stay.

LarryHart said...

I found this interesting on today's www.electoral-vote.com . The bold emphasis on the key phrases is my own"


Politico, which is by no means a left-wing publication, has a headline that reads: "Trump falsely claims millions voted illegally." This is big news. The news is not that Trump made up a totally bogus tweet. The news is that Politico, a mainstream publication, is willing call him a liar in so many words. That is new. In the past, publications would write: "Trump says millions voted illegally, Democrats deny this." Now Trump is starting to get fact checked in real time. If he continues tweeting and saying things that are completely false, like this tweet about illegals voting, he is going to have a rocky relationship with the media. And the more he attacks them, the more they are going to fight back.

And about that "illegal voters" claim, incidentally: It is nonsense. This "story," if it can be called that, began with a series of tweets from a self-identified voter-fraud "expert" named Gregg Phillips, who used Twitter to declare that, "We have verified more than three million votes cast by non-citizens. We are joining @TrueTheVote to initiate legal action." The story was quickly picked up by questionable news sites like infowars.com, and alt-right types like Milo Yiannopoulos. Phillips has thus far declined to provide any evidence whatsoever for his claims, which simply don't stand up to scrutiny. It would be nearly impossible for that many fraudulent votes to be cast, and it would be even more difficult to prove that this had happened, particularly since Phillips first made his claim before most states had certified their final tallies and released complete data. Further, Phillips has made these kinds of claims before and had them debunked.


Throughout the campaign, Trump was given unprecedented media coverage even as he complained about the bias against him. Trump was great entertainment value, so the corporations in control of media outlets weren't thinking to the inevitable consequences of the candidate they enabled. Now, it sounds as if they've had their "What have we wrought?" moment of clarity. Trump and his supporters hate the media and the First Amendment. That can't be good for business.

If media outlets push back against a hostile president, certain posters on this list will no doubt accuse them of belligerence, just as D-Day was no doubt a case of bullying against Europe.

LarryHart said...

Flypusher:

HUMANS can have this bad tendency to vote on emotion rather than logic.


I wasn't saying that Dave was correct in ascribing that quality exclusively to women. Just using it as a counterexample to the notion that no one, not even the deplorables, was proposing rolling back the right of women to vote, or to re-institute slavery.

Zepp Jamieson said...

The only vagueness is that in lieu of a blind trust, the president-elect can simply divest, sell all interests in the entities that will lead to conflict of interest.

Zepp Jamieson said...

I love how howling right wing nuts like Anonymous think "Unproven" means "Proven." Here's what Snopes went on to say:
"Monica Petersen may have been critical of the Clinton Foundation's work in Haiti (although the evidence presented comes from secondary sources and not from Petersen herself), but there's no evidence linking the Clintons to her death.

On 18 November 2016, several people took to Facebook to ask the Human Trafficking Center if Petersen had been killed by the Clintons. The organization has deleted most of theoe messages, but they did respond to at least one by saying that such messages should be ignored because giving their posters attention "will only feed the flames of their craziness""

Not what you would call a ringing endorsement of your lunatic conspiracy theory.

locumranch said...



Just a quick word about the Right's slavish 'Yes Massaa' submission to the Big Bad Oligarchy & its tendency to vote against their working class interests, followed by the typical role reversal.

The Left accepts that the USA has become an Oligarchy in fact, yet they act so damn eager to become boot-licks to the same Oligarchy with a more appealing progressive face:

'Oh, Please Save Us, Good Zillionaires,' they (and Larry_H) cry to the likes of Elon Musk, George Soros & Bill Gates, 'Come run roughshod over EU Copyright Law, the US Constitution & popular will so we may die to protect your pro-globalist agenda & we may become wage slaves in your progressive oligarchic utopia for ever & ever'.

Role Reversal.


Best

Jumper said...

So many strawmen. Such piles of bullshit. locum, you defecate through your mouth. See a real doctor.

LarryHart said...

@locumranch slanders me with:

Oh, Please Save Us, Good Zillionaires,' they (and Larry_H) cry to the likes of Elon Musk, George Soros & Bill Gates,


Care to cite a case of me saying anything like that? Because it's either that or acknowledge that you are a lying liar.


Zepp Jamieson said...

I never have figured out the obsession the far right has with George Soros. They pop up with monotonous regularity on various chat boards, raving about how Soros is the Big Jew (he isn't Jewish, but never mind) behind...well, everything. Gay marriage, terrorism, science fiction, whatever. They're so common that I refer to them as "men of many Soros". Musk, as far as I know, is apolitical, but in the madness that is the modern right, techological innovation is a librul plot. Gates is vaguely liberal,although, as with Soros and Musk, I've yet to hear that he is leading a leftist populist movement.
Now, it's nearly impossible to eliminate the pernicious power of big money on a democracy, but it can be contained. Locum, would you support eliminating Citizen's United and replacing it with public-funded campaigning? Forbidding all gifts to elected officials, and limiting corporations to a maximum of five lobbyists in Washington?

Deuxglass said...

Dr. Brin,

We do need to be vigilant and ready to counter every anti-science actions taken by the new administration but we also must encourage the pro-science actions they would take if they ever do of course. If Trump wants to up NASA’s budget I definitely would not oppose him on ideological grounds. If he switches funds from climate research to space exploration then I would have a problem. Both should be priorities but sometimes you must choose. What I mean to say is that I will not lock myself into a Good vs Evil mindset. To some the world is black and white but to me it is grey.

We will get a recession eventually but the timing is less certain now. The markets want to believe in the Infrastructure Bill and since we don’t have any details, the market prefers to rally on hope and it should continue until we get down to the details and then reality sets in. Some of the metrics are still looking good enough to putter on a bit longer.

What I am doing now is looking into Jeff Sessions and Stephen Bannon’s backgrounds when they touch on finance. There could be a very interesting scenario shaping up here. I am not talking about scandals and such. It concerns what he really wants to do when it comes to Wall Street.

Alfred Differ,

I have spent a lot of time California the last few years since one of my kids went to school in LA. I have been all over the state and I like it but I would not consider moving there. As I explained in an earlier post, California feels like an enclave to me and I would miss seeing green things around me. I am probably mistaken but I feel a certain fragility. As you said, it consists on a narrow strip of wealth along the coast and the rest is ordinary. I was thinking one good drought and it all dries up and blows away.

Deuxglass said...

Dr. Brin,

How about calling a Constitutional Convention to discuss a range of issues such as standardizing voting methods and voter ID requirements? You could have a good debate on the Electoral College question as well. The States would be able to negotiate directly with other States without having to go through Congress. We might even end up with a whole new system of government!

LarryHart said...

@Deuxglass,

In theory, that sounds like a good idea, for normal times.

In practice, I'd be leery of a Constitutional Convention with Republican majorities controlling most states and congress. Once we let that cat out of the bag, we could be in for eliminating the Bill of Rights (except for the Second Amendment, which would be the new Article I), re-instituting slavery, full citizenship restricted to members of a State Religion, and corporate fascist autonomy. Even codifying White Nationalism probably wouldn't be off the table.

Robert said...

Going off on a science-based tangent: scientists have developed radioactive diamond batteries. More specifically they take the isotope Carbon-14 which is considered radioactive waste from nuclear reactors, process it so much of the C-14 becomes a gas, collect the C-14 vapor, and turn it into man-made diamonds. They then coat the C-14 diamond with another layer of non-isotope carbon diamond. And apparently radioactive decay in the C-14 causes the diamond to generate an electric current.

The amount of radiation released is the equivalent to a banana.

Rob H.

Deuxglass said...

Bernie Sanders has just published details of his "Outsourcing Prevention Act" that he will be introducing to the floor soon. It looks very hardcore and he is calling on Trump to fulfill his campaign promises.

https://medium.com/senator-bernie-sanders/the-era-of-outsourcing-is-over-a4e72bd8a613#.wj2wwyc08

Anonymous said...

There are probably plenty of ways the the Left can "game the system" as well as the Right does. Large Blue States could carve their states up into numerous "virtual states" that would share the same governor and legislature. No changes to local life, but it would add many senators, that could be elected regionally (to be fair) or "at large" to let the majority of Democratic voters swamp out the election each time. The two problems with this is that Congress has to approve the addition of states (assuming the state(s) in question approve the idea) and there would then be a race to the bottom of smaller states doing the same in response.

Personally I think that the Senate would be best run if it was a nationwide election that elevated the top 100 to the upper chamber, thus creating constituencies not bound by geography and politicians tightly bound to those voters.

But the only way to get a better Republic is to fight and fight dirty. The Confederates are craven and short-sighted, but they never bring knives to gunfights.

-AtomicZeppelinMan

Zepp Jamieson said...

Deuxglass asked, "How about calling a Constitutional Convention to discuss a range of issues such as standardizing voting methods and voter ID requirements?"
I've said in the past that if I ever opened my paper and read that they had cleared the way to convening a constitutional convention, my first step would be to flee the country. The thing is, in such a convention, everything in the existing constitution is on the table, and can be struck down by a simple majority vote. You can imagine what groups would be jockying for dominance in such a convention, and what they might want. Some of them still haven't forgiven Madison and Jefferson for that "no Religious Test" language. Everything would be open season. Everything.

Anonymous said...

Robert, thank you for the link about C14 batteries, very interesting!

Anomymous, you can stop spamming now. We had our laugh and now it gets
old. The only link worth following was the Snopes one. I did look at
some of the others and they're only bizarre nonsense.
If Marino is right and this spamming will hurt the blog somehow, I
hope Dr. Brin will remove this rubbish.

Donzelion, and Dr Brin if you have time, what is your opinion on this
article
about police bodycams with facial recognition
?
If I read it correctly it's not yet a thing, but would you think the
main result would be a chilling effect on the trust of citizens, or
could the net effect still be positive?
My first gut reaction is "hmm, not sure if I'd be happy with it"
because I'd wonder about its implementation. It could lead to a
greater imbalance of power, when implemented with that aim in mind,
instead of leading to greater transparence of a good (not nosy) kind.

I'm bunching these comments and subjects into one post instead of
separating them, because it seems Recaptcha is willing to give me only
one or two passes each comment thread. I know, I know, need to
upgrade. On my todo list, but not with high priority.

Twominds

Deuxglass said...

Zepp,

I believe that a 2/3 majority of States have to agree before it can be called and a majority of 3/4 is needed to change the Constitution. I think those are big enough guarantees.

LarryHart said...

AtomicZeppelinMan

But the only way to get a better Republic is to fight and fight dirty. The Confederates are craven and short-sighted, but they never bring knives to gunfights


You're hitting upon a built-in dysfunction of the system. It rewards knowing how to play the game rather than knowing how to govern.


LarryHart said...

Deuxglass:

I believe that a 2/3 majority of States have to agree before it can be called and a majority of 3/4 is needed to change the Constitution. I think those are big enough guarantees.


I think you're confusing two things. An amendment requires ratification by 3/4 of the states. A Constitutional Convention requires only 2/3 of the states to call for one. Once it is called, the rules of the convention itself are unclear, as it hasn't happened since 1787, but my understanding is that there is no restriction on what can go into the new Constitution. If the delegates decide (for example) that each state gets two votes and that articles can pass with a simple majority, then we'd be in for a Republican wet-dream.

I believe that 33 states are controlled by Republicans, which is just under the required number to call such a thing.

I'd file this one very carefully under "Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it."

Anonymous said...

STOP ERASING THE TRUTH.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_B57lbSi_6o

Jumper said...

See a doctor, anonymous. You are deep into magical thinking, paranoia, and delusion. We don't respect bullshit much around here.

Alfred Differ said...

If a convention is called, that is the one plausible excuse I see for States leaving the Union. A new Constitution implies we are scrapping the one we have.

@Deuxglass: Your CA secession scenario isn't complex enough. We have a big naval base in San Diego. If we take Oregon and Washington with us (no doubt we'd try), then you have to consider the WA naval bases too. Combined, that is about half of the US nuclear fleet. Don't forget the submarines either.

It ain't gonna happen, but it would be a mess of epic proportion if it did.

The most likely scenarios have split opinions at each base of operations. See the mess?

LarryHart said...

Jumper:

...We don't respect bullshit much around here.


Plus, I wouldn't recommend going anywhere near those links. I'd be afraid of getting cooties all over my PC.

Alfred Differ said...

click-bait. Resist the impulse.

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

If a convention is called, that is the one plausible excuse I see for States leaving the Union. A new Constitution implies we are scrapping the one we have.


That's a point I hadn't thought of. If a new Constitution is written from scratch, are all 50 states required to submit to it sight unseen? Many of the compromises in Constitution 1.0 were put in there to keep the smaller, southern states on board--otherwise, they would not have come aboard. Wouldn't that be the case with version 2.0?

If the country did break apart, I'm not sure where Illinois would end up. Hopefully, there would be a period of time when residents of the Feudalist States of America would be allowed to migrate to the Democratic States of America (and vice versa, of course).

Jumper said...

Putin, among others, would l-o-v-e to watch us have a Constitutional convention.
I'm your wicked Uncle Vladimir
I'm glad you won't see or hear me
As I fiddle about
Fiddle about
Fiddle about !

Jonathan Sills said...

When the tongue-in-cheek suggestion of many Blue States leaving the US and joining Canada hit the 'net, quite a lot of us on the western side of Washington reacted with, "Yeah, like that's going to happen. But on the other hand, would it be so bad...?"

There's a fairly sharp political divide along the Cascades - the state has a reputation as "liberal" because most of the people in it live in the Seattle-Olympia metropolitan axis - but the west side, at least, might go along with such a split. The east side might finally get their chance to form the state of Jefferson, as has been long discussed.

No idea how folks in Oregon or northern California feel - eastern Oregon and northern Cali tend toward a conservative mindset, but it seems to be more old-school conservatism and less the modern semi-fascistic version. For me, I'd rather stay here and fight to preserve my country despite Trump, but if Canada really would annex the West Coast as a new province or three, the idea's quite tempting...

Jumper said...

Never give up. Never surrender.

Tim H. said...

The Republican party's founding DNA included substantial human rights activism, "How can Republicans recover their human rights mojo?" seems a relevant question.

LarryHart said...

Jonathan Sills:

There's a fairly sharp political divide along the Cascades - the state has a reputation as "liberal" because most of the people in it live in the Seattle-Olympia metropolitan axis - but the west side, at least, might go along with such a split. The east side might finally get their chance to form the state of Jefferson, as has been long discussed.


If someone would form the State of Hamilton, I'd be tempted to emigrate. Especially if I got to pick which Lin-Manuel Miranda song became the new national anthem.

LarryHart said...

Tim H:

The Republican party's founding DNA included substantial human rights activism, "How can Republicans recover their human rights mojo?" seems a relevant question.


In order for anything like respect for human beings to become ascendant, the twin monsters of white Christianist supremacism and corporatist fascism would first need to be staked through the heart, decapitated, and their parts buried at separate crosswalks.

LarryHart said...

An excerpt from a possible national anthem for the State of Hamilton. Probably needs some adaptation to the purpose. I'll put Secretary of Music Miranda right on it:

Alexander Hamilton,
We are waiting in the wings for you.
You could never back down;
You never learned to take your time!

Oh, Alexander Hamilton,
When America sings for you
Will they know what you overcame?
Will they know you rewrote the game?
The world will never be the same,
...

Alfred Differ said...

If you want to see the world freak out, call a constitutional convention. It will make Trump look like an historical blip. The only nation on Earth that can hurt the US much is the US.

Anyone who actually wants this, though, is going into the mental bucket I reserve for people who want a Revelations-style End-Of-The-World. It's the same bucket for rotting fish memes. 8)

Anyone who just wants to play with the idea instead, should skip the nonsense of us joining Canada. I think it far more likely we'd ask British Columbia to join us and then check in with the energy producing provinces with a pipeline offer to a western port in an anti-anti-NAFTA style.

Alfred Differ said...

@LarryHart: sight unseen?

I suspect it would still require ratification by States much like Constitution 1.0. The question would become how many are required? Precedent suggests 3/4 of the States or 38.

Before we resort to this, I politely request we bring DC in as a State and Puerto Rico too. DC passed an initiative to petition Congress to be admitted and I think we should take up their cause. We don't need more senators from existing States. We need to treat some Americans properly and grant statehood.

LarryHart said...

I was apparently mistaken about a Constitutional Convention not being bound by ratification by 3/4 of the states. Unless I'm reading this wrong. Below is Article V of the Constitution [with a few comments inserted in brackets like this] :


The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall
deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this
Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two
thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for pro-
posing Amendments, which in either Case, shall be valid to
all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when
ratified by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the several
States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof
, as the
one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by
the Congress;

[So either a congressional amendment or amendments considered in a convention must be ratified by 3/4 of the states in order to be valid ]

Provided that no Amendment which may be
made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight
shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses
in the Ninth Section of the first Article;
[meaning that no amendment can prohibit the importation of slaves until 1808 ]

and that no State,
without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage
in the Senate.


[The notion of two senators per state cannot be altered, even by a Constitutional Convention, except with the consent of the individual states themselves ]

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

@LarryHart: sight unseen?

My bad. I was misinformed about Article V (see above post) and thought that a Constitutional Convention could write a new Constitution from scratch and that all states would be bound by it. So any state not willing to go along would essentially have no choice but to secede from the Union. I think I was mistaken, though.

Still, I believe 33 states are Republican controlled, so we're not so far away from 38 Republican states being able to ram Constitution 2.0 down our throats.


Before we resort to this, I politely request we bring DC in as a State and Puerto Rico too. DC passed an initiative to petition Congress to be admitted and I think we should take up their cause. We don't need more senators from existing States. We need to treat some Americans properly and grant statehood.


I agree with your sentiment on DC, although I'm not sure a single city belongs as its own state, so I'm a bit ambivalent. As a Democrat, of course, I'd go along with DC statehood, but I'm not sure it makes sense. As to Puerto Rico, I thought they've essentially petitioned not to be granted statehood.

David Brin said...

Soros! You've all seen my riff on this. How hilarious is the Foxoids' rant about this scary dude. Soros (!) is so machiavelian and manipulative that he *toppled eight foreign governments!* Ah, the pathetic-frantic way the right wing svengalis avoided ever once *naming* those eight foreign governments(!) that George Soros supposedly single-handedly(!) toppled. And the way their incurious, nodding dittohead viewers never once... not a single one of them, ever... asked "hey, could you name or list those eight foreign governments George Soros personally toppled? That the entire right wing spin machine credits George Soros - mastermind - with bringing down?"

Now, more than ever, with the American right going into a tizzy of Putin adoration, they don't want that question asked.

Alfred Differ said...

@LarryHart: Last I checked, Puerto Rico leaned in the direction of statehood, but it should obviously be up to them. It's just that I think we should reach out and invite them. Vigorously.

DC has more people than some states. It is small in area, but the libertarian in me would get a kick out of reducing the area under direct control of our federal government to something about the size of the Vatican and for a roughly similar reason.

The people of DC get skewered by the rest of us when our political mood shifts. They should have a state-like level of isolation in which to run their own American Experimental Lab.

Anonymous said...

WHERE IS JULIAN ????

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvvuSoJD4eo

Anonymous said...

Enjoy the blog. This comment section feels more like a Halloween party. And if it were a real party, I'd probably want to bring a lead testing kit and check some of the cups. On a brief serious note, I'm starting to feeeeel lots of Science Fiction elements percolating out of the murky drip of our daily news cycle. Imagine how some of the departed in the genera would react. I'd love to have the reaction of Asimov and Phol and Edgar Rice Burroughs and Heinlein and Philip K Dick. Imagine if one or more of them was resurrected. Maybe I'm the only one, but I get this feeling--especially after reading the collection of your enlightened comments, arguments, cyber towel slaps and troll farts like we're in a Philip K Dick Production. But it's time to lighten up!

Time for...Dick. The Musical!

It’s January of 2017. Anaheim., CA. Smell of Motor Oil. Sweat. Chlorine. This must be Disneyland. Of dear God... it is a small world after all. And the ride is stuck. The jaws on the plastic simulacra click like mashed typewriter keys. A 50-year old clone of Philip K. Dick awakens still clutching his pen and notepad with semi-coherent notes from last night’s Exegesis session. He is alone. With the song. The faces. He screams.

A Ganymedean Slime Mold raises a tentacle over the boat’s gunwale. Begins to sing into its iphone. Using the I Am T-Pain app the sensual voice sounds simultaneously like the artist formally known as Prince and the cassette drive of an aroused Commodore 64 computer.

"Wake up! Mister Dick. It’s Twenty Seventeen.
Donald Trump is President! And life is but a Dream.
Jorry Miller from Ubik---Gabriel Baines,
Your nightmare’s alive—I’m not jerking your chain!"

The Slime Mold gestures to the boat emerging from the darkness behind them. A pink laser flares...

Anonymous said...

Who is Podestra? 14 + fish:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=By9ksvUv6yg

David Brin said...

One of our Anonymous contributors was an interesting fellow! (Try signing your missives at the bottom... even if it is a stage name.)

The others are dingbats.

Tony Fisk said...

This is tangential to the topic of the post, but I just saw "Arrival". It's a rather good story of first contact, and the subtleties of communication.

With that in mind, I don't think it spoils too much to say any Australian audience would have done a double-take at the words: "Abbott is in death process."

Anonymous said...

Hey Brin, do you think Podesta (posta) killed Justice Scalia? Major Wikileaks Day ($500,000). Have fun. :)

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3499103/posts#comment

David Brin said...

Science fiction, based on plausible scenarios and readers who know reality from fiction, may be doomed, in a generation when imbeciles suckle koolaid ravings as "truth" while driving away all the people who know stuff, because things called "facts" hurt dey wittle heads.

I will not slum amid your insipid ravings, sir. It comes down to this. Your cult wages outright war against every single US profession that deals in facts and knowledge and skill. Science, teaching, journalism, medicine..... name it.

Your candidate was measured as telling 70% lies or half-lies. SEVENTY PERCENT of his statements! Yet you deem that hilariously admirable and a sign of strength. The average IQ of the GOP has plummeted and those horrid, smartupants college grads - like us here - are getting what we deserve.

Only what happens when DT finishes terrifying the officer corps and intelligence community and even Roberts and Alito?

Deep inside, that what you fools are counting on. For adults to come back and fix things, after your tantrum.

Deuxglass said...

I think Slim Mold would be a good nickname for our visiter who prefers to remain Anonymous. It fits him well. Let's use that name to refer to him the next time he pops up.

Deuxglass said...

Typo, It should be Slime Mold.

Paul SB said...

Tony,

I saw "Arrival" recently, too, and it was so nice to see a science fiction movie that had real, mentally-stimulating science as its premise. The real kicker - without spoiling anything - is which particular science formed the core of the story. Not the usual physics fiction!

Tacitus2 said...

Not only was Arrival rather good, we also saw trailers for other SciFi films that are in the pipeline. "Passengers" might turn out OK. "Life" looks like an Alien clone and is far off enough that it may be just a stupid SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER, but we might get lucky. Sigh. And I understand something called Rogue One is being made. No doubt Popcorn and 'Splosions but such films do make tons of money that if nothing else supports the infrastructure that allows smaller, better films to be made. Arrival's aliens were probably created in short order by talented folks between StarWarz gigs. I know, an estimated 47 million dollar budget sounds pretty big but in Hollywood its chump change. Gaia Awful bombs often cost some multiple of that. The Popcorn movies allow the crafting of better stuff...

Tacitus

tim H. said...

LarryHart, I like your proposed solution, but possibly it's soluble with something less drastic, adding a social cost to sociopathic business methods, shaming. It would require the cooperation of influential "Godbotherers", who would be risking a reduced take when they offend those members of their congregations and the most hardcore would ignore it, but ceasing to glorify dehumanization would be a good first step.

LarryHart said...

Now, Trump insists that (aside from the 3 million illegals thing), the rules of the campaign caused him to concentrate on the midwest, and that if the goal had been to win the popular vote, he would have campaigned differently. All fair and reasonable observations, but as usual, only applicable to himself. When the tables seemed to be turned, he was ranting a different tune:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/zorn/ct-trump-obama-pardon-hillary-clinton-zorn-1113-jm-20161111-column.html


Speaking of the Electoral College, a guy I follow on Twitter was carrying on like a maniac about the idea that the loser of the popular vote could win the U.S. presidential election.

"We can't let this happen," he tweeted. "We should march on Washington and stop this travesty."

One minute later: "Let's fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice!"

Two minutes after that: "This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!"

Twelve minutes later: "The Electoral College is a disaster for a democracy."

The date was Nov. 6, 2012, when some early returns made it appear that Republican Mitt Romney was going to beat incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama in the popular vote but lose in the Electoral College.

The guy on Twitter was Donald J. Trump, epic hypocrite.

LarryHart said...

Tim H:

LarryHart, I like your proposed solution, but possibly it's soluble with something less drastic, adding a social cost to sociopathic business methods, shaming.


It took me a while to remember what "solution" you refer to. My vampire-killing analogy wasn't meant as a solution so much as an argument that respect for human rights is not simply off the radar of modern Republicans, but diametrically opposed to the party faithful.

Your suggestion, unfortunately, is exactly what the faction that brought Trump to power is rebelling against, and winning. "We're tired of you making us feel bad about being deplorable!"

Berial said...

A link talking about the 'sore winner' phenomenon. It's not going away.

http://www.salon.com/2016/11/17/sore-winner-syndrome-why-are-donald-trumps-supporters-still-so-angry-abraham-lincoln-understood/

LarryHart said...

A key passage from Berial's Salon link:


The political right often seems to take little joy in its victories, instead remaining focused on its defeated enemies. Compromise is unacceptable: Right-wingers seem to demand total capitulation and when their adversaries continue to resist, they are enraged.


Which explains why certain posters on this blog don't understand themselves when they rant "We don't want anything from you." No matter how much they win and advance their own agenda, it gnaws at their misshapen souls if we don't acknowledge and bow to their wonderfulness.

LarryHart said...

Continuing from that Salon article:

This is why the right-wingers are so angry. It’s not enough for them to win. Those who opposed Trump must stop opposing him. We must agree that Muslims should be banned from entering the country, agree we should torture and kill suspected terrorists and their families, agree immigrants should be rounded up and deported, agree there should be guns in schools, agree women should be punished for having abortions and agree to all the rest of it. Until we stop resisting completely and declare that we are “avowedly with them,” they will continue to believe that “all their troubles proceed from us.”

That is not going to happen. Trump’s forces may have won the election but they have not won the hearts and minds of the American people who didn’t vote for him. And they won’t. This administration will be met with fierce resistance from millions of people, from the moment Trump takes office until the day he leaves. There will be no appeasing him, and no easing of his followers’ guilt for what many of them know in their hearts to be ugly and cruel impulses in consenting to this white nationalist program. It’s all on them.

Lincoln had this to say to his fellow Unionists about how to proceed in a situation such as this:

Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.



That last bit may become the motto of the Free State of Hamilton.

Berial said...

I think what Larry is saying is 'read the whole thing'. :)

It really has been with us since the beginning of the country.

Zepp Jamieson said...

@Larry Hart
They're actually making things worse for Trump with their strutting arrogance. They permanently injured any claim to legitimacy George W. Bush may have had after 2000 with their snarls of "Get Over It" and now, not only do we have the foolish arrogance, but they are actually attacking and threatening people who don't agree with them.
I often wonder if they don't base such behaviour on how they think they might react in similar circumstances. Oh, they don't consciously think "We lost, so I'll surrender now". But they suspect -- usually correctly -- that that's exactly what they would do.
I'm always amazed by people who appear in the comments section of the Guardian and advocate dealing with one imagined foe or another by "bombing the shit out of them." A small but appreciable percentage of the Guardian readership remember the Blitz, They know there wasn't much talk of surrender back then.
They can't imagine people reacting to adversity with courage and resolve, these right wingers. It's quite beyond them.

occam's comic said...

David said:

““Obama care is hated because it is a republican plan that forces people to buy shitty for profit insurance with large co-pays”

Utter total and spectacular bullshit. The dems never liked Heritage-Care, Romneycare. They adopted it because SOMETHING had to be done. Give them 60% in Congress and we’ll have Canadian health within months.”

HA HA

David Your capacity for self-delusion is incredible. We had a democratic house and senate and president that chose to enact Obama Care, they could have just as easily enacted Medicare for All. They chose this republican plan that forces people to buy shitty for profit insurance with large co-pays. Because there are plenty of elected Democrats who are corporate sell outs who wanted to protect the profits of the insurance companies.
I bet that your imaginary democrats also closed down Guantanamo Bay, prosecuted the torturers and criminal bankers, ended the use of the assignation drones, declared that the Glabal War on Terror over and used the peace dividend to decarbonize the economy. The real democrats did not even try.

And Hey, have you visited your favorite site Evonomics lately. Their take on globalization is very different from yours. The purpose of Globalization was to increase corporate profits in two main ways.
First, reduce the income that was going to the American working class and redistribute it up towards the salary class and the wealthy. This was the expected result and it was achieved.
Second, make the environment and the people in the third world pay for the cost of pollution in sickness, death and disease. Environmental racism for profit. This is what was expected and it is what happened.
So when you are looking for monsters on the left and monsters on the right don’t forget the monster in the mirror who supported and benefited from this class warfare and environmental racism.

The reason I wrongly assumed you were advocating violence is because when I said use Martin Luther King and a role model not Jefferson Davis, you replied that non violence would fail and that it was a strategy of weakness.

Jonathan Sills said...

Dr. Brin, if your last was addressed to the anonymous Podesta-obsessed person, I'm afraid your aim is off. Facts simply do not matter to the sort of person who believes sincerely that an entire street of businesses are engaged in a massive child-rape ring based out of a pizza house and conducted through a series of previously-undiscovered underground tunnels in Washington, DC. If you can swallow that, what dribbles out of Trump's orifice will slide down easily.

Paul Revile. said...

"Trump is an appeaser, and history shows it is appeasement, not open confrontation that most commonly leads to war. When an aggressive power is met with firm resistance, they know where they stand, and know which lines cannot be crossed. By contrast, appeasement leaves the aggressor nation thinking they can get away with whatever they like, eventually, they cross a line, and the appeaser freaks out and forced to step in. In WWII Hitler felt that since he could get away with invading Poland, since Chamberlain had not lifted a finger to save Czechoslovakia."

All very interesting. Britain stepped up against the Nazi's in 39 and yet the Americans were even later to the party. When did they join the war? Purely on the terms you set, that's quite an interesting mythos you have going on there. not to mention grandpa Bush et al trading with the enemy... keep going, you'll redefine the word 'coherence' in no time.

LarryHart said...

occam's comic:

We had a democratic house and senate and president that chose to enact Obama Care, they could have just as easily enacted Medicare for All. They chose this republican plan that forces people to buy shitty for profit insurance with large co-pays. Because there are plenty of elected Democrats who are corporate sell outs who wanted to protect the profits of the insurance companies


You are correct about that--sort of. There were certainly enough Democrats shilling for the insurance companies (Lieberman most of all) to join Republicans in a filibuster, even during the few months when there were only 40 Republicans in the Senate. Another part of the story is that President Obama felt he had to have the insurance companies on board or else they would have dropped a billion dollars or so into advertising against him.

So granted, Democrats alone are not the solution to the problem. But the common meme that therefore, Republicans are the solution is ridiculous. Some Democrats are against national health care, but all Republicans are against it. One Democrat (the president) is for TPP, but most congressional Democrats are against it, while most if not all Republicans are for it. So to oppose TPP or to strive for national health care by kicking out the Democrats and giving power to Republicans is the height of absurdity.

LarryHart said...

Donald Trump on Twitter (no, seriously) :

Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!


The perfect protest against this, of course, would be to very publicly burn the Confederate flag.

Jonathan Sills said...

I like the way you think, Larry. :)

Alfred Differ said...

Democrats are not all that unified and we saw that in 2009. It only took a couple of blue dogs to halt the ACA. Combine that with a few more who might be in the pockets of health insurers and it is enough to create a need to compromise. The Dems of 2009 did NOT have the freedom to do just anything.

Alfred Differ said...

very publicly burn the Confederate flag.

In the state of Lincoln, it might be even better. 8)

occam's comic said...

Larry
I vote for the least bad candidate all the time, and that typically means that I vote for the democrat. I voted for Clinton because she was the lesser evil. But you know it is very hard to be excited about the lesser evil.

Alfred,
I know that, I was just pointing out the absurdity of David's comment that electing democrats will get us Canadian style health care.

Lorraine said...

Some "states as laboratories" types like to point out that the first step in Canada getting Canadian style health care was Saskatchewan getting Canadian style health care. But the first step in Saskatchewan getting Canadian style health care was a third-party candidate becoming premier of Saskatchewan. Parliamentary democracy FTW!

Alfred Differ said...

@Occam's comic: Heh. David does have a point to make, though. In a wealthy nation like ours, we oughta do something to ensure everyone has access to affordable health care. He's more of a progressive than I am, so I have a dim view of a national service like the Canadians have, but on the moral front I think a lot of us could agree.

Another point is that between the two major parties, the one most likely to do something effective, meaning a system designed to provide health care and not designed primarily to enrich our oligarch-wanna-bees, happens to be the Democrats. There should be no doubt that a large wing of their party wants this badly even if it isn't large enough (or respectful enough much of the time) to cobble together a majority large enough to govern. Whether their motivation is to serve people or to trap them as dependents can be debated by reasonable people, but their end goal can not.

If given a chance Democrats WILL push for a national healthcare system. If given a reasonable chance, they just might pitch one that won't bankrupt us. Reasonableness comes from their opponents negotiating in good faith, though. On that front, I'd argue from a Smithian perspective encouraging the system to operate mostly in the private sector where the rules prevented EVERYONE from acting if they wanted to halt the innovation plays at one act. I'm doubtful a Canadian system would meet that requirement, but I'm even more doubtful our elected officials to stand by and let it work without meddling. We can still talk, though.

Of course, talking is hard to do in the current climate. I'm not sure it has ever been easy, though.

Alfred Differ said...

@Lorraine: third-party candidate

Yah. Did that happen suddenly or did the third party gradually grow larger from within Saskatchewan?

I suspect that what stops a lot of our third party efforts is they reach for too much too fast. Our current GOP national party is in a situation reminiscent of where our Whigs were around 1850, so this could matter to us over the next decade.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Yup, Tommy Douglas, NDP. America needs an NDP party who will promote leftists.
Keifer Sutherland, who often plays a fascistic torture-happy government operative on TV, is the grandson of Tommy Douglas--and in real life, shares his politics.

David Brin said...

“Trump’s forces may have won the election but they have not won the hearts and minds of the American people who didn’t vote for him. And they won’t. This administration will be met with fierce resistance from millions of people, from the moment Trump takes office until the day he leaves. There will be no appeasing him…”

Sorry Larry, but you don’t know Democrats. Democratic Congresses always negotiate with and compromise with Republican presidents, in order to get some business done. GOP Congresses (with the sole exception of 1995) never, ever negotiate with a democratic president, even over vital national needs.

See this pattern playing out again.

https://www.arcamax.com/currentnews/newsheadlines/s-1899143

Occam has gone head over heels nuts. His slander that I pushed violence was openly and widely hurled and now we see his basis was putting on a rhetoricl thread a micron thick. That is called slander, sucker.

And the 2009 democratic Congress was very thin and very very busy. They had seen what happened to Hillary Clinton in 1994 and they wanted to anchor in SOMETHING. Should they have done more? I hollered then that they should expand Medicare downward to 60 and to include all kids up to 25. That would have stunned the insurance industry into cooperating with Obamacare for the rest.

Still. You are a political naif. And an arrogantly cocksure one.

LarryHart said...

@Dr Brin,

That wasn't me speaking--it was a quote from Berial's linked article.

I think the writer is talking about resistance from the man on the street rather than from congress. In any case, we're not talking about a "Democratic congress" negotiating with Trump. It will be the states and the individual who will or won't go along with the fascist tropes such as turning in your neighbors.

Berial said...

Just wanted to second what LarryHart was saying. He was quoting the salon article and I also had the impression, sadly, that she was talking about 'the masses' more than Democrats proper.

Never know though. Hope springs eternal and all that. Maybe THIS time WILL be different and the Democrats will basically choose a line and actually refuse to back off of it as the minimum they will tolerate. (As if.)

LarryHart said...

Regarding flag-burning, why is this even a thing any more? I know that dirty hippies used to burn the flag to protest the Vietnam war, but that ended 40 years ago. What is it about that one particular form of political expression that causes it to merit an exception to First Amendment protection, and that a "Flag-Burning Amendment" is something politicians feel they have to go along with or be made un-electable (the way Hillary went along with the Iraq war vote)?

First of all, no one can burn "the flag." There is no such object as "the flag" except as a Platonic ideal. If I burn a flag, it doesn't make your flag or anyone else's flag go away. If the flag in question is my property, then where's the harm to anyone else? Furthermore, the invective is not against the physical act of burning, because burning is the respectful way to dispose of an old flag. Therefore, what Trump and Republicans in general want is a law against burning a flag to demonstrate anger at the United States. They want to criminalize political dissent.

But even that isn't sufficient, because I'd bet money that they wouldn't have a problem with groups like that Alaskan separatist thing Sarah Palin's husband belonged to--the one whose founder insisted he wouldn't be buried under "their damned flag!"--protesting angrily against the United States. They obviously don't have any problem with suggesting that America sucks right now (and must be made great again). They don't have a problem with someone saluting the Confederate flag of treason against the United States--no suggestion that such folks warrant jail time or loss of citizenship. No, it's perfectly acceptable to protest that America isn't right-wing enough. But protest that America is too right-wing--that necessitates punishment at the level of treason?

The fact that Trump said such a thing doesn't really surprise or anger me. It's the thought that so many of my countrymen are nodding their heads going "Yup, he's telling it like it is!" That was the shock of election night. That so many Americans apparently feel their criticisms were being unfairly ignored, while simultaneously insisting that criticism is a right that only they themselves are entitled to.

Tony Fisk said...

The perfect protest against this, of course, would be to very publicly burn the Confederate flag.

I was thinking of a pile of red baseball caps, myself. Then I thought about the resulting air pollution. Do we have more environmentally friendly ways of showing our displeasure?

David Brin said...

onward

onward