Friday, August 11, 2017

Fight the insanity & stupidity... as if you're sane and smart

This one's been sitting in the queue for a while, while the craziness just piles higher, each and every day. So let me begin by addressing just the most fearsome of so many recent lunacies.

Congress must cancel the 2001 War Powers act that gave the president (based on those WMD lies) pretty much carte blanche. If they had a glimmer of gumption they would replace it with a commission of American sages who can - if unanimous - free the military chain of command to ignore or pause precipitate or suicidal orders from any POTUS.

This would likely pass any Supreme Court test. A president is "commander-in-chief" - a tactical role afforded by the Constitution, but Congress has the right to declare actual war and that right must be taken back. Now.

And sure, the saber rattling today is about North Korea. (Elsewhere I've offered a way to motivate China to act, at last -- by declaring they'll be liable for civil damages for any actions taken by Kim. Those accountants will take that seriously!) But come on. Korea? Really?


Bannon and Gorka and every other oligarchic power center, from the Iranian mullahs to the Saudis and many less-smart Israelis to our oil barons and -- above all -- Vladimir Putin all desperately want Donald Trump to distract the world from his troubles by pouring brief swarms of pippety-poppety tomahawks into Iran, making lots of flash and doing very little real harm, while oil prices skyrocket, the mullahs crush the Persian democrats and Putin gets a loyal protectorate. And yes, the mullahs would chortle with joy, as their power in Tehran is locked-in for another generation. It is the win-win scenario deeply desired by every despot on Earth.

But enough said about today's mania.  Let me now put in some bigger perspectives, before the next news cycle exhausts us, further.

== "Resistance" isn't futile. But do it smart ==

Never let it be said that the left lacks its own (much smaller but loud) array of impulsively emotional fools.  “Several thousand protesters marched through downtown Los Angeles on Sunday, waving signs and chanting, “Down, down, down with Trump — up, up, up with the people” as they urged Congress to impeach the president.” 

Oh sure, go ahead and march. But it’s absurd to use the “I” word, yet. Impeachment now would be the height of stupidity, for reasons that I lay down – clearly – here.   

But the simplest is that our civil servants and military officers are now totally alert and will stymie anything truly awful. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is the Republicans’ problem. His replacement - in contrast - would run a tightly disciplined White House packed with Dominionist fanatics, bent on ending the world… and I mean that literally. Go read my many reasons for patience.

Even better would be for some Democrats to use what is blatant about Donald Trump’s psychology!  Is not a single democratic politician able to see?  Actually see what we have before us? Or read a psychological profile?  The dems – led by Schumer, Warren and Franken – need to gather and pick straws.  And the short straw “winners” will have a simple duty – that I lay out here.  It must be done!  For the sake of our nation, civilization and children!

== Pundits: Good, the Bad the Hopeful and Ugly ==

I’ll start with the ugly. This essay, by Vijad Prashad is utter drivel.  A complete panic-rant.  It contains almost nothing that is either true or helpful. And hence, I urge you to read it and inoculate yourself against the kind of leftist babble that will not aid us in our mission of overcoming the right’s psychotic madness. Panic… does… not… help. 

In sharp contrast is this test of your maturity: "How I became a man without a party," by Bruce Bartlett, a lifelong Republican who served in the Reagan White House. (His latest book: The Truth Matters: A Citizen's Guide to Separating Facts from Lies and Stopping Fake News.) In moving gradually – then hastily – against the growing Republican/confederate insanity, he does not apologize for – or recant – at least some of the Reagan-conservative views that he then supported. Others, he admits, appear to have failed. But, he asserts, they sincerely seemed worth trying, at the time. In other words, while conservative, he is also a human being and citizen who is grownup enough to heed facts and evidence. 

Bartlett now freely admits what any sensible citizen must: that the entire conservative movement has been hijacked by monsters.

The incompetence of the George W. Bush administration finally drove me over the edge…. In 2005, I wrote a book attacking Bush from the right called Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy”. No Republican today would disagree with a word that I wrote, but, at the time, criticizing a Republican president was grounds for defenestration. I was fired from my job at a conservative think tank and banished from polite Republican company.”

For a few years, I still considered myself to be a Republican, hoping that some degree of sanity would be restored. But it only got much worse. The election of Obama seemed to drive even moderate Republicans over the edge into hysterical hatred and opposition, egged on by the so-called tea party, which consisted entirely of people who knew absolutely nothing about government or policy except that they were mad as hell.

“This dictatorship of the idiocracy drove me out of the GOP. I began referring to myself as an independent. Once freed from needing to feign party loyalty, I found myself receptive to ideas I had once rejected out of hand. I wrote a book that was skeptical of supply-side economics — the Republican theory that tax cuts are the cure for every economic problem. I wrote columns sympathetic to the welfare state and other heresies. I lost the last few Republican friends I had.”

In other words, this fellow is an archetype of the people we must find, hunt down, and confront, grabbing their lapels until they agree to harrow with us out of hell. Nothing else will make the needed difference, more than luring ten million residually sane, decent, patriotic, science-admiring American “ostrich conservatives” to lift their heads out of denial. Just 10 million, out of a population of 360 million. If we can win over that many more Bruce Bartletts, the nation – and civilization – will be saved.

I referred to this elsewhere, in urging that the Democrats create a Big Tent that’s welcoming, even to Americans who retain this or that conservative trait or view. And yes, I describe where to find candidates who can invade red districts and do this on the ground. Taking our country back. See one spectacular example that has gone viral, a retired Marine Lt. Col. fighter pilot -- she may make a huge difference in Kentucky! Though overall, little good will be done unless these super-smart missiles are aimed into every single red state assembly and senate district, too.

Ah, but will we welcome these folks? Bartlett – apparently sincere – fears we won’t. He writes,I’ve grown to hate my former party. You’d think this would make me a prime candidate for recruitment by the Democrats. But I’m not. First, no Democrat has ever reached out to me. I am not insulted by this, only surprised. And my efforts to suggest ideas to Democrats have been uniformly rebuffed. Like the Republicans, Democrats are wary of apostates and are only receptive to those born into their church, it seems.”

Like so much of what this former Reaganite believed, we must prove that this, too, is mistaken.

== The soup-du-jour ==

The article/essay that's circulating most widely, right now is "How America Lost Its Mind The nation’s current post-truth moment is the ultimate expression of mind-sets that have made America exceptional throughout its history," by Kurt Anderson, which appears in this issue of The Atlantic.  

It might not cheer you up.  (And I don't agree with every appraisal.) 

But now that the War on Science and against all fact-using professions has spread to include the "deep state" FBI, Intelligence agents and the U.S. Military Officer Corps, we really need to dust off our supposedly superior brainpower to solve the potentially lethal sickness of Idiocracy.

 == Hypocrisy at the top ==

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert was released from prison in Minnesota. For 6 years this admitted child molester was head of the Republican Party and the GOP's standard bearer. He declared the "Hastert Rule" that threatened punishment against any Republican who, at any level or for any reason, ever negotiated - even over matters vital to the national interest - with any Democrat, helping Rupert Murdoch to turn the GOP into the most tightly disciplined partisan machine in U.S. history. 

Hastert's #2 Republican - Tom DeLay - who raised political cheating to a high art, also became a convicted felon. 

(Oh and count the number of Fox News ranters and GOP congressmen who have been revealed as sexual predators! Two recent examples? Members of the Oklahoma legislature were forced to end their time in office prematurely. State Rep. Dan Kirby (R) had a nasty habit of making unwanted sexual advances toward female members of his staff, while State Sen. Ralph Shortey (R) allegedly had an even nastier habit of paying for sex...with children. So, they're both out. Then of course there's more recent news about Fox's alleged sexual predator number... 20? Eric Bolling.)

Hastert's tenure, two heartbeats from the presidency, followed the previous top Republican - a 3x divorcé - and preceded the fellow who lied to us all about WMDs and plunged us into trillion dollar quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan.  But fundamentalists will make any excuse for the stunning immorality of GOP leaders - including the present "grabber." 

They excuse these opposite-to-Jesus stinkers for one reason. Because they hate the same folks. Scientists. Teachers. Journalists. Law professionals. Anyone who deals in facts.

When you have a common enemy, all is forgiven. And yes. Judge a movement and its members by who they proclaim as their enemies!  All the folks who look at God's creation - called objective reality - with Heaven's greatest gift. Honest curiosity.

== Miscellaneous Facts ==

The U.S. teen birth rate plummeted 53% since 2007, with a 9% drop in 2016 alone, as all of the vigorous Obama-era programs took full effect.

Robert Reich is pushing Medicare-for-all… and sure, yeah, I support it. But with open eyes, cause there are problems.  Medical care is unlimited, "non-fungible," and hence has to be rationed in one way or another. The old vile insurance system rationed by kicking out the sick and the poor to die. Europeans ration by committee and giving 'priority' to children who calculate out to have more quality years at stake. In pushing medicare-for-all, you are asking for the latter. Be honest about it. Yes it is better, but don't pretend it'll be problem-free.

And finally...

Oh, ye yanks out there; do you know any verses of the Star Spangled Banner, other than the first? Have a look - and listen to - the fifth verse added by Oliver Wendell Holmes, as our nation fell into treason and Civil War, back in the 1860s.

Here’s half:

When our land is illum'd with Liberty's smile,
If a foe from within strike a blow at her glory,
Down, down, with the traitor that dares to defile
The flag of her stars and the page of her story!

The reference to betrayal from “within” seems especially apropos, as a New Confederacy rises, bent on destroying our Great Experiment in ways far more devious and effective than mere secession. Read - and  listen to - the rest. Feel stirred, awakened, and roused to duty.

189 comments:

Jonathan Sills said...

Dr. Brin, you still fail to comprehend the childlike mind of Donald Trump.

Yes, he loves flattery. However, his decision-making is, on the evidence, aimed more at impressing his flatterers than at obeying them - and he assumes they have the same values he does. He wishes to impress them by being "manly", by bravado and braggadocio, not by seeming "reasonable" to them.

Any of his political opponents flattering him would only cement in his mind that his current course is the correct one, and make him all the more determined to carry on destroying our nation. I have no simple prescription for this, save hoping that any charges against Trump will also hold against Pence (and that is, in fact, quite possible). It's sad, but true - drawing straws would result in nothing but the loss of Democrat's credibility. (Cue jokes about political credibility below.)

David Brin said...

Jonathan, the flattery is supposed to be decisively about non-political matter. "I disagree with the president's environmental policies. I believe they are foolish and could mean a catastrophe... but I've never seen better hair and I've shaken his hand and it is full sized with a normal, manly grip."

Everyone... every person at Fox and in the WH woul holler that "it's a trap!" DT would nod his head, yes, I get it. A trpa....

...and he'll invite the flatterer to lunch, to golf, to dinner... and the POTUS would hear a different point of view than the poisons poured into his ear by Bannon & co.

There are no costs. The democrat's constituents will know what he's doing. It will be an open secret. But if I am right... and Rebecca Solnit... then there's an opportunity to widen his inputs, and that might possibly save all our lives.

Paul451 said...

David,

Trump apparently spends more time watching cable news than doing anything else. Hours per day.

A lunch once a month isn't going to change that.

[Alfred, and anyone who's interested, I left a slab of replies in the last thread, didn't want to bomb a new one before it has some depth of comments built up.]

Paul451 said...

Computer modelling of planetary formation suggests that Venus most likely would have had an ocean early in its history.

http://planetaria.ca/2017/08/08/ancient-waterworld-new-evidence-venus-may-oceans/

Tony Fisk said...

@Paul451 I don't think David is expecting a sacrificial flatterer to radically change the (currently non-) resident's ways.* Nine times out of ten, it may not even achieve anything, but it would provide an opportunity to apply an incremental nudge away from his more insane and spiteful edicts.

Macron appears to have drawn the straw for team EU.

*I'd be so great at it, as you can probably tell!

Michael C. Rush said...

>>But the simplest is that our civil servants and military officers are now totally alert and will stymie anything truly awful.

Hope is not a strategy.

LarryHart said...

@Paul451 and @Alfred Differ (on previous thread),

Let me just interject here that you're having two overlapping but different conversations. Paul is describing a social dysfunction and Alfred is countering with an economic argument. While these are not opposite things, they are different things.

At an admittedly-ridiculous extreme, it might make economic sense for unnecessary workers to starve to death, but that's no way to organize a human society.

LarryHart said...

Michael C. Rush:

Hope is not a strategy.


Neither is pretending to wake up and going, "So, it was all a dream!", but it's amazing how far the bar has fallen in nine months.

Tony Fisk said...

"Hope is not a strategy.", and "So, it was all a dream!" are comments which beg this response.

aciddc said...

What does Barlett mean by this: "I’ve grown to hate my former party. You’d think this would make me a prime candidate for recruitment by the Democrats. But I’m not. First, no Democrat has ever reached out to me."

No Democrat has ever encouraged him to support Democrats? I find that hard to believe. What kind of recruitment does he have in mind? It can't possibly be that he wants to be recruited to run for office as a Democrat or something like that can it?

It's to Barlett's credit that he's woken up somewhat from the madness dominating the Republican Party, but if he's looking back to Reagan as someone who had it right he's not exactly there yet. Hopefully he'll complete his evolution and come up with a more rational policy outlook at some point, but "until recently I was a nutcase but now I'm somewhat less so" is not really a mark of distinction.

Tim H. said...

A formative moment of contemporary conservatism?
http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/08/should-read-nancy-maclean-as-1956-drew-to-a-close-colgate-whitehead-darden-jr-the-president-of-the-university-of-vi.html

Mike Davey said...

"I referred to this elsewhere, in urging that the Democrats create a Big Tent that’s welcoming, even to Americans who retain this or that conservative trait or view."

The left seems to be moving towards the defenestration of anyone who isn't ideologically pure. I'm afraid they may go the way of the right. I hope I'm wrong.

reason said...

Just get rid of the presidency. It was always a stupid idea.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Off Topic. Finally. A Definition of "Science Fiction with which we can all agree!
http://www.gocomics.com/overthehedge/2017/08/12?ct=v&cti=1382438

Zepp Jamieson said...

Reason: The President was intended to be the top administration, the bureaucrat in chief. That notion died the minute they chose a war hero to be the first president.

LarryHart said...

Mike Davey:

The left seems to be moving towards the defenestration of anyone who isn't ideologically pure. I'm afraid they may go the way of the right. I hope I'm wrong.


It works for the right because the right to run as a Republican is a path to power, and the ability to withhold that right is a credible threat. What do Democrats do when they enforce ideological purity on their side? "We won't nominate you as the candidate to lose in a general election?"

That doesn't mean the Democrats aren't doing this, but it is stupid of them to do so.

locumranch said...



(1) "Congress must cancel the 2001 War Powers act that gave the president (based on those WMD lies) pretty much carte blanche"[DB].

Remember when the US Democratic Party supported Obama's 'Declaration of War on ISIS' & supported his military escalations against Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and Syria during his tenure as US President back when the US Republicans would have JUMPED at rescinding the 2001 War Powers Act & restricting Obama's executive authority? It must be Amnesia!!

(2) "But the simplest is that our civil servants and military officers are now totally alert and will stymie anything truly awful" [DB].

Funny how Trump has appointed more (retired) members of the enlightened, exceptionally well educated & selfless US Military Officer Corps than any other president in US history. And with such fantastic results for US Democracy!! Please, let's appoint more retired military officer corps members to positions in 'civilian government'. Most likely, Trump would JUMP at the chance to create an 'independent' Inspector General Corps, staffed by ex-MOC members like Mad Dog Mattis.

(3) "Bartlett now freely admits what any sensible citizen must: that the entire conservative movement has been hijacked by monsters[DB]".

Quelle surprise! That a beleaguered US Republican Party, after being routinely accused of being sexist misogynistic racist child-molesting monsters by its more enlightened opposition for generations, would consider affiliating itself with other antisocial 'monsters' who have been similarly accused. Call it the flip-side of 'Identity Politics' and expect many more inspiring minority rallies like the #WhiteLivesMatter march going on in Charlottesville Virginia right now.

In all-of-the-above categories, this type of reactionary 'push back' has historical precedent, and only a Cyclical History Denier from the Progressive Linear History camp would overlook the unintended consequences of its aggressive social policy agenda that depended on sowing sociopolitical division.

And, by all means, let's celebrate plunging US & First World Birth Rates as a total victory against 'Teen Pregnancy' as our once self-perpetuating social demographics disappear down the Behavioral Sink and/or Toilet with a giant flushing sound.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/03/health/united-states-fertility-rate.html


Best

David Brin said...

ocum: “routinely accused of being sexist misogynistic racist child-molesting monsters…”

Which of those things can you statistically and factually refute? They are all blatantly on record. You keep electing sexual predators and perverts, then tune in and drool over TV and Radio “personalities” who are more of the same.

The rest was drivel.

David Brin said...

M Rush: “Hope is not a strategy.”

Okay fellah, YOU offer up 10% as many new , original, plausible and aggressive strategies as I do weekly.

Jumper said...

Such good vocabulary skills. Such garbled communication. What scrambled mind. It's a waste.

I wouldn't say Washington governed as a general. He delegated much to Hamilton and others, and acted as a civilian leader should.

locumranch said...



http://www.ranker.com/list/democrat-sex-scandals/web-infoguy

You can go to the above website if you want to read up on prominent US Democratic Party perverts, predators, sex fiends & child rapists if you're keeping score, but that's besides the point. My actual argument was:

"That a beleaguered US Republican Party, after being routinely accused of being sexist misogynistic racist child-molesting monsters by its more enlightened opposition for generations, would consider affiliating itself with other antisocial 'monsters' who have been similarly accused."

By portraying generations of white male conservatives as "sexist misogynistic racist child-molesting monsters", your Progressive Party shaming tactics have DRIVEN generations of falsely accused white male conservatives in the welcoming arms of actual monsters like the KKK, White Nationalists & 'He Man Women Hater' clubs everywhere.

This was YOUR doing, this divisive Fruit of the Poisonous Identity Politic Tree, despite & as a result of all your 'good intentions'.

After all, where the #$%& did you expect all of those marginalised (and falsely accused) conservative white males to GO when you excluded them for your non-inclusive not-welcoming & not-happy Big Diversity Tent??

Told you so.


Best

Jumper said...

Hayek:

“Personally, I find that the most objectionable feature of the conservative attitude is its propensity to reject well-substantiated new knowledge because it dislikes some of the consequences which seem to follow from it—or, to put it bluntly, its obscurantism. I will not deny that scientists as much as others are given to fads and fashions and that we have much reason to be cautious in accepting the conclusions that they draw from their latest theories. But the reasons for our reluctance must themselves be rational and must be kept separate from our regret that the new theories upset our cherished beliefs….
By refusing to face the facts, the conservative only weakens his own position. Frequently the conclusions which rationalist presumption draws from new scientific insights do not at all follow from them. But only by actively taking part in the elaboration of the consequences of new discoveries do we learn whether or not they fit into our world picture and, if so, how. Should our moral beliefs really prove to be dependent on factual assumptions shown to be incorrect, it would hardly be moral to defend them by refusing to acknowledge facts.”

LarryHart said...

Zepp Jamieson:

The President was intended to be the top administration, the bureaucrat in chief. That notion died the minute they chose a war hero to be the first president.


Actually, I'd credit George Washington with setting the template for the peaceful transition of power which has lasted over 200 years. It might have been "The Postman" which called that particular characteristic of Washington's to my attention, and it is certainly played upon in the musical "Hamilton".

John Adams is the one who wanted the presidency to come with royal titles and the like. Apparently, the other prominent politicians of the time took to calling him "His Rotundity" for that reason.

When did the modern era of the president as "king of the hill" and celebrity-in-chief kick into gear? Seems like it would be no earlier than FDR. JFK? Nixon? Reagan? Later than that?

Vonnegut's "Player Piano", published way back when the earth was cooling in 1953, anticipated the American presidency as a role for a tv celebrity without real power. Curiously enough, Vonnegut used the name "Johnathan Lynn" for that novel's president, which sounds like a riff on "Lyndon Johnson", but seems a bit chronologically early for such an allusion.

Jumper said...

Dimon is dangerous and insane. It's as if he can't see how fractional banking must have regulation to avoid crime, bubbles and collapse on large scale.

As the Wiki article on fractional banking, and many others articles, don't cut to the chase, I'll note the way I see it: a banker lends to someone to buy a house. (It doesn't have to be a house, but lets use that example.) They have now a mortgage: a promise to repay plus the ability to foreclose if not paid. They can count that as if it's still in their bank. So they can make another loan to someone else, and count that mortgage like money in the bank. And so on. With no limit they can lend on a thousand homes. See where it goes?

A reserve regulation has always been required in modern times. It is most certainly not a new thing saddling the creative capitalists. It is a safety leash on greed, bubbles and gambling addicts.

Paul451 said...

Larry,
"Paul is describing a social dysfunction and Alfred is countering with an economic argument."

I agree we're having two different conversations, but not quite the way you mean. Alfred thinks he needs to asplain how "markets" work to a stupid person, whereas I'm talking about a temporal effect, something that changed.

Nothing Alfred said explains why there was such a sharp change in the US, and why only (or at least primarily) in the US.

(Or perhaps it does explain a lot. That someone like Alfred is so insulated that he can't even accept that there has been a change might does explain why nothing will be done to fix it.)

--

Tony,
Re: Trump and flattery.
He bathes in it (and invents it when it's absent), but he doesn't listen to any words that surround it. Look at the number of flatterers who have been sacrificed by Trump. He demands loyalty, but, once shown loyalty, he assumes that makes you unworthy of his respect.

"I'd be so great at it, as you can probably tell!"

The best. Everyone says so.

Paul451 said...

aciddc quothing Barlett: "I've grown to hate my former party. You'd think this would make me a prime candidate for recruitment by the Democrats. But I'm not. First, no Democrat has ever reached out to me."

He finally accepted that the Republican Party was broken beyond repair, but he expected the Dems to immediately become his fantasy Reagan Republicans because he deigned to speak to them, and anything less than grovelling acceptance is the Dems refusing to accept ideas from outside the tent. He spent decades helping monsters, helped break the spine of his country, but now he grudgingly accepts that "some aspects" didn't work, and that makes him an "ideal candidate" for the Dems?

Look, I've bemoaned the Dems inability to understand why they've lost so much of the country, but that doesn't mean they should be chasing these faux-intellectuals. On the contrary, IMO, one of the problems with the Dem leadership, and their media apologists, is that they actually do desperately want these faux-intellectual "Conservatives" to like them. Willing to sell out policies that would win them the country -- and save the country -- in order to "compromise" with people like Barlett. They adopt Republican economic policies, health policies, welfare policies, constantly accept their framing, desperately hoping for one sign of affection from these pampered, over-privileged, morally corrupt pukes. You see it even with David, he's so eager for "sane conservatives" to join the cause that he considers Barlett's comments to be a sign of a "grown up", rather than that of a spoilt child who expects to be praised because he stopped wrecking things. Sorry David, but these are precisely not the people you need, these are the people who will drive away the people you need.

--

And before I get yelled at, this is not about "ideological purity". I want actual rank'n'file conservatives to take over their regional Democratic Party and thus influence the national one, even if that results in a compromise to things I support. Adults negotiating is fine and healthy. With Barlett, I'm judging the character of the man, not the beliefs. Surrendering to the morally bankrupt is not "adults negotiating". It's... a different thing...

--

The protesters:
"Down, down, down with Trump — up, up, up with the people"

Lord how I hate the left.

J.L.Mc said...

Out of curiosity, David. If trump is impeached and this mike pence becomes president, how will his leadership affect Australia?

Zepp Jamieson said...

"I'd credit George Washington with setting the template for the peaceful transition of power which has lasted over 200 years."

I wasn't criticising Washington. I was just noting that the notion in the General Public that the President was something more than just the Chief Bureaucrat was set in stone from that moment onward. It opened the doors for subsequent presidents to amass and sometime abrogate powers above and beyond the job description. It's why Presidents and not House Speakers (who have more power domestically per the Constitution) are on Mount Rushmore and much of the money. And that was before the rise of the Imperial Presidency in the 20th century.

Zepp Jamieson said...

"When did the modern era of the president as "king of the hill" and celebrity-in-chief kick into gear? " -- Larry Hart

I would make the case that it began with Huey Long, who was a showman, showboater, and shameless demagogue. Before he was shot by one of those disappointed office seekers who keep cluttering up the history books, he had a massive groundswell of support, one large enough that FDR wasn't sure he could beat him in the '36 election.

Andrew Jackson was probably the first populist, running on a program that genocide could be fun and profitable.

David Brin said...

 J.L.Mc said...
Out of curiosity, David. If trump is impeached and this mike pence becomes president, how will his leadership affect Australia?


RESPONSE… watch the flick ON THE BEACH. Because the Dominionists want nothing less than the end of the world.

———

Put up or shut up, locum. Don’t send us to a right wing screech-slander site. Show us someone respect-worthy who’s done an actual comparison of actual rates of conviction for sexual predation in a court of law.

Your party puts perverts in charge of both its main media and Congress. The top Republican of the nation, for six years, the Speaker of the House, a convicted boy-buggerer. It seems perhaps a quarter of the Republicans in the Oklahoma state assembly! A pack of perverts.

“By portraying generations of white male conservatives as "sexist misogynistic racist child-molesting monsters", your Progressive Party shaming tactics have DRIVEN generations of falsely accused white male conservatives in the welcoming arms of actual monsters like the KKK, White Nationalists & 'He Man Women Hater' clubs everywhere. “

And that is why you are monsters. You screech and tear at everything the Greatest Generation built. You attack first for decades, as confederates always do, biting every hand that we offer — (as when Obama offered the GOP their OWN DAMN PLAN for health care. … Then oh how you howl when we finally get fed up, stand up late (as the Union always does) and look you in the eye and call you what you are.

You claim that cause and effect is reversed? Prove it! Oh, you can’t. Because facts are allergens.

Hastert-Rule. Hastert-Rule. Hastert-Rule. Hastert-Rule. Hastert-Rule. Hastert-Rule. Hastert-Rule. Hastert-Rule. Hastert-Rule. Hastert-Rule. Hastert-Rule. Hastert-Rule. Hastert-Rule. Hastert-Rule. Hastert-Rule. Hastert-Rule. Hastert-Rule.

You started it. This civil war is entirely your side’s doing.

Moderate liberals dislike the shrill lefties who you point at, screaming “all liberals are like that!” Moderate liberals have none… zero… none at all… of the traits that you slander us with. None. And when you say we are like that and do those things you are a flat-out, big fat liar.

But the deal is, we still have moderates. They run the DP and every blue state (except Illinois.) You reactionary crazies, in contrast, have succeeded. You have driven all the conservative moderates either out or insane.

Duncan Cairncross said...

I'm with Paul451 on this
Not just the Democrats but all of the left wing parties seem to crave acceptance by people who have shown over and over again that they are broken reeds

We need to stop catering to these idiots who were so thick that they needed to be hit with a 2x4 just to realize that they were supporting monsters

Glen Filthie said...

"You started it. This civil war is entirely your side’s doing....."

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

We aren't pissing on the Greatest Generation, buddy. We're pissing on yours. And we've been taking your shit for decades too. Got a few thoughts for ya to consider before I shoot that high horse out from under ya:

This next civil war will be over very, very quickly. Guess which side owns all the guns, moron.

Don't expect the military to side with you - you've forced them to dilute their strength with diversity and although they can't say so, most of them hate you for it. Just as you've hated them.

Fuck ya, Brin. Let's do it. I'm kinda betting you'll go quiet as a church mouse when shit gets real.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Filthie's little screen reminds me of the one good thing the events in Charlottetown today might do: It may drive the neonazis back under their rocks where they belong.
And Trump's incredibly tepid and timorous responses shows that he is in fact nothing but a creature of Steve Bannon and the neo-nazi right.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

But the deal is, we still have moderates. They run the DP and every blue state (except Illinois.)


You have some interesting notions about the Democrats who run Illinois. They may be corrupt, but they are not extreme leftists. They are extreme about holding onto power, but at the moment, an island in a confederate sea and with a hostile governor, I don't hold that against them.

Also, they've hardly been monolithic. In the past 40 years, our governors were Republican from 1976 to 2002. Only from 2002 through 2014 was the state run entirely by Democrats. There was even a two year period in the 90s in which both state houses were Republican controlled. Democratic hegemony is a recent thing, and a reaction to Republican corruption. We were kind of a bellwether for the country that way--our 2004 election for Senator presaging the 2008 presidential election.

LarryHart said...

Glen Filthie:

This next civil war will be over very, very quickly. Guess which side owns all the guns, moron.


"There are some parts of New York I'd advise you not to try to invade."

LarryHart said...

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/12/opinion/charlottesville-and-the-bigotocracy.html

...
President Lyndon Baines Johnson once argued, “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

We have a bigoted billionaire-cum-president who has done precious little for the white working class whose resentment fueled his rise. They have emptied their ethical and economic pockets in support of him even though he turned his back on them the moment he entered the Oval Office. The only remnant of his leadership they have to hold on to is the folklore of white nationalist sentiment, and xenophobic passion, that offer them psychic comfort if little financial stability.
...

David Brin said...

Hey Filthie guy, welcome! Except every single thing you say is opposite to true.

When BOTH Bushes left office, NOT ONE major unit of the US Army or Marines was “fully combat ready.” Not… one….. Can I repeat that? Not one. (Oh no! A fact!!!)

When Obama and Clinton left office EVERY single major unit of the US Army or Marines was “fully combat ready.” Every… single… one. The officer corps has noticed which party uses lies to justify spending warriors' lives like toys. And which one treats them with respect.

You rave and screech. But the Hastert Rule is iron proof that your cult started this. It was a declaration that politics of negotiation, like adults, was over. And it was declared by the leader of the Republican Party, later proved to be a convicted boy-buggerer.

I know many serving and retired generals and admirals and colonels and majors, Filthie guy. How many do you know? They are fact-users. They can see the Arctic is melting with their own eyes. They work with scientists every day. The scientists your cult despises, along with every single other profession of fact users.

“Guess which side owns all the guns, moron.”

Imbecile hasn’t noticed. Liberals have armed themselves since 2001. Yes, their homes contain fewer weapons. That is because we all have one trigger finger. (All right. You're a big tough two-gun pistolero!)

Paul SB said...

Glenn Filthie is an interesting name, isn't it? Country legend Glenn Campbell just passed away, and filthy is how we are purported to see certain peoples, here, who might be inclined to listen to the style of music. It's doubtful that there are too many ignoramuses that read our host's work and so would be inclined to read his blog, though we do have a couple. It's easy enough to wear any face you like on the internet. My suspicion is that this is not some new bridge lurker, but one we already know masquerading as his own moral majority.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Which side has all of the guns?

If it actually came to a civil war I suspect that the gun toting ammosexuals would have an initial advantage

But that that advantage would be fleeting and that they would throw it away and be very surprised when the people who know things started putting that knowledge to work

Who is more deadly - a redneck with a gun or a pissed off engineer?

David Brin said...

BTW... the Greatest Generation? You are not worthy to mention them.
Funny thing that our parents in the Greatest Generation, the heroes who defeated Depression and Hitler, contained communism, went to the moon and who created the most dynamic, entrepreneurial and FLAT social structure the word ever saw... did not agree with a single policy espoused by today's mad right.  

In those days, the middle class skyrocketed, small business startups boomed, creative/productive enterprises were about goods and services, not financial juggling and capitalism thrived... under high marginal tax rates, government regulation and the presence of strong unions. Science was admired! The second most popular American was Jonas Salk, a scientist. But the American who they loved best? The one that the GG's had pictures of, on their walls?

Franklin... Delano... Roosevelt. Exactly the fellow who the mad confederacy calls Satan.

When was "America Great"? Well you better not say during the Greatest Generation, because they struggled hard to make a better America and made us. And they made a titan of science, technology, and tolerance and diversity. And that generation would spit in the eye of every single confederate traitor who tries to reverse everything they believed in.

Huh!  Spin the dial forward. Unions are nearly vanished, along with the declining middle class.  Govt regulations in finance have been stripped and when was the last time you saw anti-trust laws used to break up anti-competitive, too-big-to-fail lumbering monopolies or duopolies?  

Federal tax rates are their lowest in 70 years. The federal work force is smaller than it was under Reagan. Civil servants are despised, neutered and now furloughed, yet it is Government ("of the people, by the people, for the people") that is the hated universal always-villain.  Never, ever the caste that oppressed freedom and enterprise 99% of the time, across 6000 years.

David Brin said...

PS... that last one I clipped from my "canned" file. I do that often, when dealing with locum and others. If they can repeat nonsense, then I can save lifespan by pasting.

The rest of you can either skim of... enjoy!

===

Oh I showed my son the great 1960s flick ZULU. What a terrific movie... and such a sound track! It was never compiled into a CD!

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Dr Brin

Show him - "The Man Who Would Be King" - Michael Caine and Sean Connery

Tony Fisk said...

Who is more deadly - a redneck with a gun or a pissed off engineer?

Note that, in this poster, Uncle Sam is brandishing the traditional weapon of Naval Engineers (Royal ones, at any rate)

Patrick Farley's been doing a fine line in recycled posters of late (under "Woke Giant"). This isn't one of them.

Ah yes. Zulu was a good movie.

LarryHart said...

To the idea that the armed authorities despise liberals and will join the alt-right in uprising:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/12/us/charlottesville-protest-white-nationalist.html


After the rally was dispersed, its organizer, Jason Kessler, who calls himself a “white advocate,” complained in an interview that his group had been “forced into a very chaotic situation.” He added, “The police were supposed to be there protecting us and they stood down.”


"Waaahhhhhhh!"


Zepp Jamieson said...

Paul SB: Our little trollfriend may have been riffing off Glenn Beck, too. Certainly the air of bellicose braggadocio would fit.

locumranch said...


I've pointed out how we have arrived here on the cusp of Civil War Part Deux in both the US & EU, through the divisive, inflammatory & irrational application of Identity Politics, and now I will tell how to postpone & PREVENT the pending fratricide & bloodshed of Civil War2 in a few easy steps, if the Progressive Party is so inclined , assuming that the Progressive is ready & willing to deal with the damaged Conservative in a reasonable & scientific manner.

The appropriate study is linked below:

http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2015/09/28/abused-dog-behavior.aspx


(1) Abused Dogs & Conservatives Have a Greater Tendency to Perform Certain Behaviors

"According to the researchers, the dogs in the study displayed higher levels of 12 behavioral characteristics, 8 of which are known to be among the most common reasons people relinquish their dogs to animal shelters.

These 8 traits and behaviors include: Excitability, Fearful(ness) , Attachment, attention-seeking, Hyperactivity, Rolling in feces, Persistent barking, Fear and aggression toward strange(rs), Bizarre, strange, or repetitive behaviors such as hoarding, digging deep holes, compulsive sucking on pillows, and circling.

(2) Some Behaviors Can Be Both a Result and Risk Factor for Abuse

"In most cases of abuse, there is little information about a dog's personality and behavior before the abuse occurred, and this was true for the dogs in the Best Friends study.

The researchers also cautioned that the differences they evaluated between abused and other dogs don't mean the abuse caused the differences. Further, it's possible that certain canine behaviors are risk factors for abuse, meaning dogs with those behaviors are more often abused.

Numerous studies show that fearfulness towards unfamiliar humans and dogs is closely coupled with aggression toward them. These study results provide further evidence that aggression in dogs, especially abused dogs, is often motivated by fear. The researchers also theorize that abuse causes fear, and fear leads to aggression as a conditioned response"

(cont)

locumranch said...


(3) Creating a Safe, Secure World for a Previously Abused Pet or Conservative.

"If you know or suspect your dog was abused before she came to you, it's important to keep two things in mind: you shouldn't expect an overnight change in her, and you shouldn't count on a complete turnaround in her trust level or behavior.

It takes time to help an abused dog learn to be less fearful and develop trust in humans again. With knowledge, hard work, and commitment, a previously abused pet can be transformed into a much-loved member of your family… but she can't be reborn. It's important to always remember that.

Here are some general guidelines for creating a safe environment for a previously abused dog: Make her feel loved and needed; communicate clearly with her, Do not force anything on her under any circumstances – allow her to adapt to her new family and life at her own pace, Provide her with a safe place where she can be alone when she feels like it, Protect her from whatever she fears
Create opportunities for her to be successful and build her confidence, Feed her a balanced, species-appropriate diet and make sure she gets plenty of physical activity, including 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day. The form of exercise may need to be adapted so your pet feels safe.

Rehabilitating an abused dog presents a significant challenge, because these animals have been exposed to negative things they can't unlearn despite your best efforts. But it's important to feel hopeful, because life-changing progress can be made and there's nothing more gratifying."


Ha ha. I made a funny to suggest that you consider treating the conservative with the same empathy that you would treat an abused dog with 'post traumatic stress disorder', but you won't & you can't because you LACK EMPATHY as most progressives & animal lovers do, for when they say they absolutely LOVE animals & the underprivileged what they really mean is that they HATE people (in general) & the 'over-privileged' (in specific)..

You can't just hand wave inconvenient negative conservative experiences out of existence; you can't ignore them; and it doesn't matter as to whether or not you feel that those negative conservative feelings of fear & aggression are justified. You have to accept & deal with them either by the neutralising effect of kindness & empathy or by reinforcing them with disgust & antipathy, and reinforce them you do when you shame, marginalise & banish those deplorables who live here too.

And, what the hell does a word like 'over-privileged' mean anyway?


Best
_____
_____
You can find all of those same Democratic Party sex fiends & perverts on Wikipedia if Ranker rankles:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federal_political_sex_scandals_in_the_United_States#1970.E2.80.931979

Zulu is a great flick, but you're fooling yourselves if you imagine that the the 'savage' Zulu were villains & the so-called civilised Brits were the 'good guys'. During the same time period, the British campaign in India led to 29 million native deaths. That's 29 MILLION dead Indian civilians, making the Nazi death camps look innocuous & ineffectual in comparison. Keep that in mind as you dehumanise, shame & ostracise your confederate opponents.

Kal Kallevig said...

locumranch

You can deal with an overly aggressive dog with kindness and careful use of a muzzle. Wannabe confederates are way more difficult and muzzeling is not considered to be good form by most liberals.

Paul SB said...

Wow, locum actually managed to do something intelligent! Of course, comparing "his" people to dogs is kind of suggesting that they are people who are not capable of thought, only acting on instinct, but he brought in some real behavioral science here. Of course he also totally straw-manned the people he has made his enemy, but that's no surprise. I could quote the lines where he once again insists that he knows what other people think bette than they do themselves. He doesn't seem to be capable of parsing either the arrogance or the stupidity of that. But let's look at something more like a bottom line.

"You can't just hand wave inconvenient negative conservative experiences out of existence; you can't ignore them; and it doesn't matter as to whether or not you feel that those negative conservative feelings of fear & aggression are justified. You have to accept & deal with them either by the neutralising effect of kindness & empathy or by reinforcing them with disgust & antipathy, and reinforce them you do when you shame, marginalise & banish those deplorables who live here too."

The problem is not that "liberals" and those evil identity-politics playing minorities and women don't want to help. Sure, there are some who hold generations of anger and hate in their hearts from ages of being oppressed by white male-dominated society, but that's hardly a majority (unless you believe the paranoid screeching that emanates from the right-wing media). Most of the people he imagines to be his enemies are people who advocate for freedom and equality for all people, without exception. It's the two wrongs don't make a right thing. Fools who want revenge only catch us in an unending cycle of violence, and most rational adults understand that (as long as we're talking about movies, might I recommend "Eleni" which is on that theme).

The problem is that a certain subset of the people consistently vote for policies that screw themselves, then turn around and blame the very people who are trying to help them. Seriously, the only color that matters is green. At one time almost the entire South was covered by the "Goiter Belt" - a huge swath of territory in which huge numbers of people had their necks swollen up so much they looked like frogs, and had difficulty breathing and swallowing because of it. The problem? Poverty. They had so little money they could not get enough iodine in their diet, so their thyroid glands would swell and fail. Did evil Yankee liberals do this to them? No, the society created by their old plantation lords did this. Did the evil Yankee liberals sit idly by and do nothing for them? No. Our buddy FDR formed the FDA in 1934, and among its first actions was to require salt manufacturers to add iodine. The goiter problem in the South disappeared in a matter of a couple years.

At the same time, the same FDA required dairy producers to add Vitamin D to milk to help people who have dark skin but live in colder climates where they can't get enough sunlight to generate the Vitamin D humans need for healthy bones. But instead of seeing that the government has a built-in motivation to keep its citizens healthy, many people fall for the easy "big government is evil" slogan and vote in the very people who ensure that they - black, brown, red, yellow and white - will continue to live lives of poverty. Racism is a canard - it keeps the lower classes at each other's throats while the thieves at the top suck us all dry. If the people marching in Virginia had more than two brain cells rubbing together for warmth in the cold, hard vacuum between their ears, they would unite with minorities and all of the 99% against the people who are truly their enemies. But when the slave masters hold the key to education budgets, do you think they are likely to run a system that helps to develop people's brains so they can figure this stuff out? Seriously?

Locum's delusion plays right into their hands...

Paul SB said...

Zepp,

You could be right about a different Glenn, but it certainly wouldn't be Glenn Gould. :]

Paul SB said...

On the subject of Glenn's, anybody remember that old 70s show called "Hee-Haw?" It was a country music variety show that Glenn Campbell was in. I don't remember a lot, but they had this running skit where two people sang, "Gloom, despair and agony on me!" then went into jokes about all the bad things in their lives. I don't recall them ever scapegoating minorities, blaming the government, or giving the Hitler salute (my mother would not have been watching it if that had been the case). It was all pretty ordinary, daily life kind of stuff. My how times change ...

Jonathan Sills said...

"Guess which side owns all the guns, moron."

Ah, my deluded acquaintance, I certainly hope it never reaches the point where you must learn the sheer silliness of that statement. We might not fetishize guns the way you do, but many of us have them - and proper training in how to use them. (In this household, we rely on improvised weaponry should such become necessary, because one of our number is an Iraq veteran with severe combat PTSD, and keeping him and firearms in the same place would be a recipe for disaster. Come on over and tell him what a wimpy liberal he is sometime, would you? And bring your guns, too - it'll be fun to watch him feed them to you. On the other tentacle, most of the people I know have three or four hunting rifles around, and often a few semiauto pistols as well.)

David Brin said...

Locumranch (full name) gave us something worth at least skimming, this time. Yes, it is true that all brain studies show conservatives to be more motivated by emotions like fear and disgust than liberals, a fact that is consistent with George Lakoff’s diagnosis that they yearn for a “strong father” in whom they can vest all power. This is the basis for my demand that the democrats field 5000 retired military officers in 2018, to show red voters what real strength looks like. (It’s not yattering-blustering-lying narcissists and sexual predators.)

This is also validated historically. In all 8 phases of our recurring civil war, the Tory-Confederate-Klan-Alt-Righters were always utterly Romantic — obsessed with hated others to blame, and utterly obedient-kowtowing to owner-oligarch-plantation-inheritance lords.

Locumranch proposes that one root of this is that the alt-righters are liked whipped dogs, and I’d somewhat concur. Only like a beaten pit bull, they will not turn on the abusive owner, but concoct or accept reasons to leap and bite those who put out a hand or help and friendship, as Blue America has been relentlessly hated for sending floods of money and help for 70+ years. (For example turning Appalachia from a gap-tooth, goiter-ridden hillbilly hell into a region of steadily rising education and middle class living.)

His appeal is actually kinda poignant, and I am sure he truly believes that liberal verbal tauntings are responsible for the rise in confederate-treason and fact-hating frenzy. Indeed, there is one way in which he may be somewhat right! Every June, the best and brightest from rural and suburban high schools run off to the bright lights and universities… in effect, scampering off to Mordor. We have stolen their children for 100 years! And at a psychic level, that’s gotta hurt.

And when Southern states built their own universities? Austin, Raleigh, Athens… all became either islands of enlightenment or towers of Sauron, depending on your view of things. The latter view being insane… but almost kind of understandable. And yes, it needs our attention.

I commend Locumranch for his effort. He’s still a whining fact-avoider. But this was better, son.


Zulu was a huge step toward respect for the other, in the 1960s. It was totally respectful to the Zulus and did not elevate the British to Good Guys… just the underdogs you root for.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Gould reportedly had some paranoid streaks to his makeup, but nothing like Beck. Doubt Beck can even play the piano...

Paul451 said...

Glenn Filthie's screed made me realise the answer to LarryHart's previous question of why people like Loco/TB and the extreme right in general are such poor winners, going even more bonkers when their guy won the Presidency. Rather than calming down and realising that there isn't a "war" against them if they can still win a simple vote. (And then the usual practice of celebrating briefly before being disappointed in the broken promises from their own leadership.)

There's two parts, they are cowards, and they mistake people who held their nose and voted for Trump with their own kind, the anti-American traitors. They think that Trump winning means they now have more people than those who voted for the uppity negro President, so the gloves are off, the self-fantasies are now out in the open. They want to kill you, but are too gutless to even say it unless they think you are outnumbered.

But like many in the Dem leadership, they fail to recognise that Trump won because a proportion of the people who previously voted for Obama then voted for Trump. By definition, those are not his fellow travellers. They are ordinary people without the understanding to recognise who is hurting them, people who have been thrashing back and forth across the political spectrum trying desperately to change the economic pattern over the last 40 years. They do not sympathise with the neo-Confederates (they hate the screaming idiots), nor with the racist/sexist bigots (although they hate the screaming idiots on the left too), they are just Americans trying to find a better path. They can be lied to, they can be tricked -- they have certainly been gaslighted by the Right and that is America's danger -- but they are not on your side.

--

Interesting that Loco quotes advice intended for caring owners of animals abused by others. At least subconsciously, he recognises that liberals are the side that values kindness, and thus susceptible to calls for sympathy. Of course, his political premise has been that the "abuse" of neo-Confederates came from urban liberals, so bit of a contradiction there. That's because, as I said, he can't tell the difference between criticism and violence. America has indeed been abused, and like a good attack dog, Loco defends his abusers when someone raises their voice in opposition.

(It's also interesting that such allowance for misdirected anger by the victims of long term abuse (not just criticism but actual abuse) is never extended to blacks, women, gays, etc. It also begs, would the loudest voices on the Right ever even consider Locumranch's analogy as applying to those groups? Or would he be mocked as a SJW if he made that comparison there.)

David Brin said...

Thanks for the links to those art images guys. I am spreading the memes on FB & G+. Especially Patrick Farley's stuff.

Jumper said...

Paul SB, the "despair, gloom and agony" song is easily findable on YouTube and I listened for laughs recently. However, long ago I noticed what Hee Haw had going for it. Whenever Buck Owens was gone, Roy Clark invited some of the most awesome pickers in the world on the show and they played extremely good music, often purely instrumental. I am no fan of pop country music but some good wine was sneaked onto the table.

Here's just a drop in the bucket:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ7gKipK-Do
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFadVIY3tS8

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

Yes, it is true that all brain studies show conservatives to be more motivated by emotions like fear and disgust than liberals, a fact that is consistent with George Lakoff’s diagnosis that they yearn for a “strong father” in whom they can vest all power. This is the basis for my demand that the democrats field 5000 retired military officers in 2018, to show red voters what real strength looks like.


In the immediate aftermath of 9/11/2001, some episodes of "The West Wing" discussed that very attitude, not toward white supremacists but toward Middle-Eastern Islamicists. The idea was that being nice to them and welcoming them as equal partners wasn't working because it only made us appear to be dealing from weakness. The staff contemplated a change in policy, which amounted to doing whatever we had to to protect American interests and never mind trying to court favor in that part of the world. "If it takes the American flag flying over Mecca, then that's what it takes."

I see that as the prescription to the dilemma locumranch apparently proposes in a recent post concerning the aggrieved confederates. A false choice between being nice to them, thereby getting our outstretched hand bitten for showing weakness; or else give back blow for blow and thereby give them cassus belli against us. The third way is to do what we must to defend our way of life without regard to the desires of enemies within. If the psychologists are right, they'll respect us more for not caring what they think.

As Toby Ziegler summed it up, "They'll like us when we win."

Jumper said...

Who were the Republicans tut-tutting about Obama's anti-colonialism? And why would locum not see that the rejection of the entire concept is a major progressive theme?

Such a waste.

David Brin said...

This excellent reporting explores the three former officers Trump calls "my generals" -- Mattis, Kelly and McMaster -- who by any measure are the adults in this administration. Yes, they were from the moderate right wing of the US Military Officer Corps, politically. But every sign (e.g their erudition, education, science friendliness and fact-using careers) suggests that the USMOC is our best hope for sanity to kick in, when it's needed most.

http://img.alternet.org/right-wing/trumps-generals-can-save-world-war

There are moderate and even liberal wings to the USMOC, though I expect that few are Bernie Bros. No matter. That is where I've long said the Democrats should recruit. Not just candidates for swing congressional districts, but 5000 to run in every deep-red state assembly district. And you can do your part, by pondering... "do I know such a retired officer I can arm-twist into serving, yet again?"

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2017/06/a-time-for-colonels-part-two-working.html

Alfred Differ said...

Raito,

I was using the inflation index (https://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl) to show what $3.35 then has to be now to have parity in the markets. Obviously $7.25 falls far short. Equally obvious is the fact that the legislators you might wish had kept minimum wage up to match failed to do so and many of them purposely so. (We CAN reasonably debate whether they should or shouldn't, but it is clear they had intent.)

So by your own argument, someone making minimum wage today is making >half< of what they made 40 years ago.

No. You are denominating income in dollars. A ‘real’ income is denominated in terms of what you buy. Actually a whole basket of things. Housing, gasoline, food, energy, etc. If, by some accident of coincidence, the basket now costs half of what it cost back then, you’d be breaking even in terms of real income. It hasn’t done that though.

One has to be very careful measuring these things and remember that the supply of $$$ has risen dramatically. It is a fiat currency, after all. Both Progressive and Conservative legislators have allowed them to be printed/created at a ferocious clip over the span of my life. One side wants a war. The other side wants a social safety net. Both cost boat loads of money and plunge us into debt. Whether one can morally justify the expense isn’t the point, though. We print the stuff and inflate the currency as a coping mechanism for dealing with the enormous debt. This trick is a soft form of default, but the richest among us have hedged for it leaving the people at the bottom to suffer the damage.

I worked minimum wage jobs in the mid-90’s to pay credit card bills and I lived very cheap otherwise. I did the poor student thing to in the decade before that. My social security statement says I earned $3K in 1987, but I think my parents flat-out gave me another $2K. It’s hard to remember. [In 2017 dollars that’s about $11K to live on.] My rent was $300/month leaving me an average of about $100 to live on the rest of the month. Rent was about 72% of my income. I was a disaster waiting to happen and one DID happen that led to a concussion and enough of a head injury to stop my research (and ability to earn an income) for almost a full year. My research journal shows the disaster. I’m stubborn, though, and that had nothing to do with the head injury. 8)

No doubt we could swap more stories and discover a lot of similarities between us. I have no doubt that kids today can’t do what we did. Education costs WAY too much. The inflation rate on that part of the basket is outrageous. Redistribution isn’t going to fix that, though. We were in the same situation regarding health costs. Outrageous. Guess which way I leaned on ACA. 8)

Jumper said...

Alfred, I was just looking at some old bookmarked links of mine and thought of your back-burner quest to figure out what "it" was that jump-started our tech wonderland. The article was about the invention of the assembly line with identical parts.
https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/amerstud/article/viewFile/2075/2034

Of course we all know about it, but it seems a likely suspect for "the main thing."

Alfred Differ said...

That's certainly a big one.

Nowadays, I suspect there is no 'main' one, though. We might track backwards through time finding connections in the sense that James Burke described, but I suspect they are too thick for anything ever to be 'the thing that did it.'

What I look for nowadays are things we either don't do anymore or odd things we started doing that might not be thought to have 'caused' anything. For example, the social change among the Dutch where their definitions for a few virtues shifted slightly away from Aristotle toward the way the bourgeoisie would prefer they be interpreted could easily be overlooked as a local event of no global importance. It got copied by the English, though, when they effectively stole the Dutch empire. It got copied again (imperfectly each time) in the American colonies. For it to be non-causal of anything, it really shouldn't be desirable to copy it. It would serve no purpose. Yet... we did.

For the assembly line, I have to scratch my head and wonder why the Chinese didn't invent it. Maybe they did and our history hasn't caught up yet? If they didn't, why not? It's not like they weren't the oldest surviving civilization on the planet. If so, why didn't it take off with them as it did with us? We were upstarts living in piss-poor hygiene compared to them. For a LONG time.

I'll go take a look at the journal article, though. Should be fun. I've also acquired Sapolsky's book too. It looks like a good project.

Paul SB said...

Jumper,

Thanks for the links! I try to reminisce on my childhood as infrequently as possible, but once in awhile something lurches to the surface and gives me the "unfinished business" smack. Now I have that tune stuck in my head...

I was never a fan of country music either, but my mother had a phase for a few years. I always pay heed to an instrumentalist who does the job well, and there's something about a banjo that sounds so cheerful. Ages ago I found a recording of "Der Ring Ohne Worte" - Wagnerian opera without all that horrible singing. The instrumental music is glorious, even if the composer was a bastard. If I could find the same thing for country music (sans the twangy guitar) I would enjoy it.

Alfred Differ said...

Paul451,

Do you really not see that they have wildly asymmetrical effort requirements?

No. I’ve tried to start businesses. The successful ones are nowhere near omniscient nor omnipotent. Individual, pissed-off customers can do enormous damage to them if fully motivated or proportional damage if not. My little deli example could have gone on to include me bad-mouthing them at work where a few of us know of them or taking a dump on the floor in their bathroom and timing that with a call to the health services folks. There are a LOT of things one can do in retaliation that involve differing degrees of effort. We are NOT powerless. However, we certainly can make ourselves weaker by choosing not to act ourselves. Maybe I can find an intermediary who will defend me and remedy some recent insult? Pfft. I’ll do that for certain insults/crimes in order to respect the rule of law, but not on the majority of other dealings in my life.

Do you really not see the massive asymmetry of the effect of failing to achieve an agreement?

Of course I do, but that has NOTHING to do with equality of authority to obligate. Trade occurs because needs exist. Your need may be more dire than the other person’s need. I get it. However, neither of you should have an unequal authority to obligate the other. Period. End of Story.

I get that you don’t like being in an inferior position in a trade. No one does. That isn’t the asymmetry that concerns me, though. When the rules of trade are arranged such that you STAY in an inferior position no matter what you try, THAT concerns me. THAT is an unequal authority to obligate.

Those wages did rise for 40 years, almost perfectly in sync with GDP growth, even though the wage-competition mechanism you invoke existed then as now.

Yah. And along the way, the nations of the world dug themselves out of the hell they created during WWII. Reagan’s election coincides roughly with the end of the recovery phase for Europe and a pivot in China. Of course things changed.

You're playing Locum's game, redefining words as if that changes the argument.

I understand the accusation, but I respectfully disagree. I DO think we are arguing over different things, so that’s why I keep going back to what I’m trying to say about the authority to obligate. It isn’t about the power balance between trading partners. It is part of the meta-structure of our markets. I get your concerns about power symmetry too, but I might not agree with the details.

[cont’d]

Paul SB said...

Larry,

Your third way is pretty much just doing democracy the way democracy is done, which means enforcing justice consistently regardless of who is guilty of a crime. I'm sure that there are people who want the violence in Virginia to lead to a real, earth-shattering revolt that would bring the nation to its knees. I'll point out a parallel between them and the last time someone tried that trick: Timmy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing. McVeigh and partner were from Michigan, but went far from their to commit that act of barbarism, convinced it would be the first shot in a new Civil War. What really happened was life in prison. It looks like a large contingent of the Nazis that showed up in Virginia weren't local boys. The Detroit Red Wings thing is a creepy parallel. The one who drove the car was from Ohio, though. Today the internet and cell phones makes it much easier to pull in people from all over. Still, probably the number of actual White Supremacists is rather small, percentage wise. They have been emboldened by the White House victory of the deplorables, mistaking that cheat for a Mandate from Heaven and proof that their sad asses really do represent the real America.

More than a year ago, some of us here were predicting an uptick in hate-motivated violence regardless of who won the election. Looks like we were right. Hopefully the authorities will be quick with their water cannons and handcuffs, and justice will prevail.

It would be funny, though, if instead of jets of water they peppered the fascists with pink paintballs. All those phony manly men will go crying home to their mammas.

Alfred Differ said...

Paul451,

Improvements in QoL also occurred when growth in median income was matching GDP growth

Agreed. I’m also inclined to agree that technology growth needs rising wealth in the masses, but I think that is happening due largely to dropping prices and NOT rising incomes.

the growth in buying power of the handful of hyper-rich has consumed the increase in buying power of the nation.

No. I disagree, but we will both have to get very wonkish if we want to continue arguing this.

” If the poor can afford flat screen TVs/smart-phones/etc, then they aren't really poor.”

There are days when I think that one and others like it are designed more as cultural cruise missiles than as anything useful in the educational sense. There IS some truth to it, but it is crafted to push your buttons. To see that truth, take a chill pill and ask yourself where the poorest among us would be without smart phones. The answer should start with ‘Cut Off From The Future’. In an absolute, historical sense, a poor man with a smart phone isn’t poor. A rich man without a smart phone can get by, but a poor man without one is in trouble. However, we live in a relatively rich nation and we use a relative sense of poverty in local measurements. Since smart phones aren’t all that expensive anymore, I don’t think they are good measures of poverty. Access to quality education IS.

(1) It ignores that GDP didn't stop growing, the nation got wealthier, in spite of or because of global competition. It's the people in the nation who didn't.

What a bunch of crap. We did and you don’t know how to count it apparently.

2) this break in the connection between GDP and wages is a US phenomenon, not global, then "global competition" has no explanatory power.

More crap. The US wasn’t devastated by WWII. Much of the world was. Of course there is a difference between us and them. You and your pocket economist are reaching for a rationalization that supports your moral outrage at people near the top who cheated to get there.

[cont’d]

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

For the assembly line, I have to scratch my head and wonder why the Chinese didn't invent it. Maybe they did and our history hasn't caught up yet? If they didn't, why not? It's not like they weren't the oldest surviving civilization on the planet. If so, why didn't it take off with them as it did with us? We were upstarts living in piss-poor hygiene compared to them. For a LONG time.


Maybe for the same reason the Galactic Empire didn't invent miniaturized atomic motors? China has lots of human beings. It might just be easier to use humans to do stuff than to mechanize.

I also suspect that the idea of mass production--creating thousands or millions of identical items out of identical parts--is not something that comes naturally in the old world in which art and craftsmanship are valued at least as much as mere functionality.

Jumper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alfred Differ said...

Paul451,

I'm neither the Tree or the Loco, I don't crow about the US's fall as revenge, nor preen about how it will bring back the Big Men.

I know you aren’t and I genuinely respect you and your concerns. I really do. It’s just that I don’t agree on what to do even if I do agree with you sometimes about the moral need to act.

The chaos in US politics is people giving up holding on and starting to strike out. They tried Clinton to change things, they tried Obama, they've tried all the Republicans praising "job creators" and promising to bring justice to "those fatcats in Washington", and now they've tried Trump. The pattern is not towards a Roosevelt, let alone a George Washington. Wherever the people turn next, it ends badly for you, and thereafter the world.

Yah. I’ve noticed. I’ve also noticed that they aren’t trying the one thing that is actually proven to work. Do. It. Yourself.

blind assertion

Very true. I’m reluctant to turn David’s blog’s comment space into an economic battle zone. He leans progressive in his economics and has better things to do that wade through the material I would offer. That isn’t the fight he is fighting. I’ll occasionally liken Keynsians to followers of Ptolemy, but that is more about economics than it is about defending civilization. He has used the Cincinnatus metaphor in the past. The General didn’t need the most accurate model of economics to understand his duty. In fact, an effort to educate him about such a thing would have been correctly labelled as a distraction. So… I’m reluctant to do what Libertarians are much too inclined to do. Correct everyone on the internet.

I can, though. Heh. I might even learn something along the way. Do you really want that?

LarryHart said...

Paul SB:

I'm sure that there are people who want the violence in Virginia to lead to a real, earth-shattering revolt that would bring the nation to its knees. I'll point out a parallel between them and the last time someone tried that trick: Timmy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing.


An even more recent example was that guy in South Carolina who shot up a black church. His stated desire was to spark a race war. Instead, the locals and the country rallied behind the victimized whose families forgave the guy (They're better Christians than I would have been) and he got to sit in jail and observe his epic fail. If he "accomplished" anything, it was to get the Confederate Battle Flag taken down from the state Capitol.

This recent KKK/Nazi thing seems to have accomplished a similar result. The Filthie hit-and-run poster here was salivating for a fight in which the police and the army would back the confederates. That's not what's happening, even in Virginia.

Jumper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alfred Differ said...

@LarryHart | I also suspect that the idea of mass production--creating thousands or millions of identical items out of identical parts--is not something that comes naturally in the old world in which art and craftsmanship are valued at least as much as mere functionality.

Nonsense. The Chinese are just as aware of how to make money as anyone else. In many ways, they advanced the art LONG ago.

They got trapped by the people above them who wanted only one kind of innovation to succeed. Your innovation had to serve the interests of those near the top or you would be stifled/killed. An assembly line approach to manufacturing would have undermined control of society by those at the top, therefore it was forbidden.

The Dutch didn't do it that way even if some among them tried a bit. They simply didn't have the authority structure in place while they were fighting the Hapsburgs. Innovation got WAY out of hand and made many people WAY too rich before the aristocratic structure could be re-imposed. Just look at the history of England's Glorious Revolution and the description of the fleet that sailed through the Channel.

The Dutch got filthy rich doing something the Chinese didn't even though the Chinese had a huge head start, more people, and more knowledge. The Dutch were not the first to mechanize. They were not the first to arrange trade from one end of Asia to another. They were not the first at a lot of things, but they did one thing well that didn't seem to matter except to a few local aristocrats... until it mattered on a global scale. By then it was much to late to halt the tsunami.

Industrialization is a consequence of a small social change.

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

” If the poor can afford flat screen TVs/smart-phones/etc, then they aren't really poor.”

There are days when I think that one and others like it are designed more as cultural cruise missiles than as anything useful in the educational sense. There IS some truth to it, but it is crafted to push your buttons. To see that truth, take a chill pill and ask yourself where the poorest among us would be without smart phones. The answer should start with ‘Cut Off From The Future’.


Agreed. There are all sorts of items (electricity and running water come to mind) which are considered necessities of life now which once made their possessors richer than kings of old in terms of quality of life.

(Almost) everyone has a smart phone now. That would seem to make everyone richer than the time when a car phone was a very expensive brick. But you can't eat it. You can't even trade it for a whole lot of food, because prices are so low. Things like electricity, running water, and ubiquitous communications/entertainment devices make the society as a whole wealthier (in a way that really does raise all boats, not just the average). But they don't pull individuals up from poverty or make individuals more secure when their jobs might go away.

I think the problem is when you start relieving people's higher order needs while they are still subject to hunger, cold, and physical insecurity. They may be "wealthier" in an absolute sense if they have more access to communication and entertainment than ever before, but a person who wonders where his next meal or rent payment or bath is coming from is still poor, no matter what else he has access to.

Jumper said...

Antifas may be the enemy of your enemy, but they are not your friend.

On guitar and various pickers (and I was amazed to be reminded Roy Clark no slouch in the country fiddlin' skilz too) I had two youthful friends who were dedicated guitarists, rockers of course, who nevertheless impressed on me that respect must be granted to those of any genre who truly master the craft. Thus my Johnny Winter- loving bud who demanded respect for whomever played the Andy Griffith theme on the show's intro. The other guy became an undersung sideman and dependable studio musician who backed up for Cyndi Lauper,and numerous country and country-rock bands.

Thus my further respect for Roy Clark for his rendition of Malagueña. It's on YouTube too. It is not easy to play. It's not that it's a great rendition. It's a life lesson from Roy.

This version is when he had just learned it, and recommended.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xssnp7R51A

And re. when Glen Campbell appeared:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-sExIVBVaw

Alfred Differ said...

@LarryHart | But you can't eat it.

Well… of course not. You are supposed to use it like every other utility. It is like electricity and heat. When they pipe cognition to you through that phone, you’ll see what it is really for. We are still learning to do that, though. Right now you might be getting too much crap, or find it difficult to filter, or find the UI too weird, or whatever.

But they don't pull individuals up from poverty or make individuals more secure when their jobs might go away.

I strongly disagree. They pull in a big way. It is certainly possible to resist that pull, but many go with the flow and then mistakenly fail to realize that has happened to them.

Put your phone down for a month and see what is missing.
It’s not just entertainment and communication.

LarryHart said...

@Alfred,

I'm not disagreeing with you on smart phones. I'm saying they're somewhat beside the point.

Human beings are not lifted out of poverty by having their third- or fifth-order needs met cheaply as long as their first-order needs are still in danger.

Paul451 said...

Larry, quoting West Wing character, Toby Ziegler,
"They'll like us when we win."

That explains why Israel is so popular over there.

"Human beings are not lifted out of poverty by having their third- or fifth-order needs met cheaply as long as their first-order needs are still in danger."

Which was what I trying to say in my snipe about it in the previous thread. Using mass IT as a way to dismiss accelerating income inequality is nonsense, and therefore favoured by Fox and those who craft their nasty little talking points.

Paul451 said...

Me: "Those wages did rise for 40 years, almost perfectly in sync with GDP growth, even though the wage-competition mechanism you invoke existed then as now."
Alfred: "Yah. And along the way, the nations of the world dug themselves out of the hell they created during WWII. Reagan's election coincides roughly with the end of the recovery phase for Europe and a pivot in China. Of course things changed."

That would be a great explanation if the US GDP was falling. But it says nothing about changes in distribution of growth within a country.

Me: "this break in the connection between GDP and wages is a US phenomenon, not global, then "global competition" has no explanatory power."
You: "More crap. The US wasn't devastated by WWII. Much of the world was."

Canada wasn't. Australia wasn't. They've both been equally affected by shifts in manufacturing, outsourcing, etc, they both saw post-war growth (usually less than the US) but they haven't seen the sudden disconnect as the US did, except in a smaller way whenever our "conservative" politicians repeated the US right's policies. And again, "changes in the world" doesn't explain why national growth figures were unaffected, just the median figures. Ie, the people, not the nation. Your explanation still has no explanatory power.

"I get that you don't like being in an inferior position in a trade. No one does. That isn't the asymmetry that concerns me, though. When the rules of trade are arranged such that you STAY in an inferior position no matter what you try, THAT concerns me. THAT is an unequal authority to obligate."

Which suggests that if we flip it around, treat that as a prediction, it means that if wages for nearly every American suddenly stagnate and remain stagnant for four decades, even though the GDP grew at the same rate through those four decades as they had the previous four (as did the other national income measures, I just use real, per-capita GDP growth as a quick proxy), then it provides strong evidence that your country went from one with some kind of symmetry between workers/employers to one in which the "rules of trade" have been "arranged such that {workers} STAY in an inferior position no matter what {they} try."

That explains the sudden effect. It explains why it occurred in spite of GDP growth. It explains why it occurred disproportionately in the US, and not even in neighbouring Canada; and why it occurs to a lesser degree in countries which adopt US-style economics.

None of the explanations you offer can explain all those factors, or even a few.

Hence telling them to "Do. It. Yourself." is completely worthless; it's deliberately blinding yourself to the problem so you don't have to do anything. The game has been rigged, telling someone to "play harder" or "play smarter" is obnoxious.

"You and your pocket economist"

You've made a few remarks like that. You can stop now.

Paul451 said...

While related, this is a different topic, more of a vague drawing together fragments of things and trying to see the underlying pattern,

Alfred,
"but I think that is happening due largely to dropping prices and NOT rising incomes."

There a huge differences, IMO, in the shape of price/demand curve depending on whether the incomes of more than 90% of the population are rising or not. When incomes are rising, your overall demand can increase simply by having new people entering into an income level where they can afford the technology, whether the price of the technology falls or not. That means there's always an increasing market for more expensive technology, which means economies of scale improve even with no breakthroughs in technology, and that feeds back in to allow a significant increase in market size when prices fall even a little. Hence there's more reason to invest in new technology, not just rationalising/optimising the systems you already have (improving your plastic lids) but it being worth investing in genuinely new breakthroughs, because the market is effectively always increasing enough to cover the cost.

However, if you no longer have a population that's rising into higher income levels, then as you chase the market, you are constantly moving into a lower income level. And because of the exponential curve in income distribution that you actually see, that means doubling your market size takes a significant reduction in price, which eats your revenue and hence your margins. You are chasing diminishing returns much, much sooner in an income-frozen market than in an income-growing market.

Therefore, for an income-frozen market, it takes a much greater reductions in cost to achieve a reduction in price that can increase profits. Therefore many fewer reductions in costs lead to noticeable reductions in price, therefore many fewer potential changes in technology will be pursued.

Moore's Law has, IMO, hidden that. Adding increasing computing power at decreasing prices to designing, manufacturing and product capabilities has allowed some technologies to "chase down" into lower income markets then they could otherwise. But I don't think it's infinite, at some point those diminishing returns overcome the advantages of more and/or cheaper computing power. (Likewise, the developing world has provided an expanding market, rising in wealth, but again, there are diminishing returns.)

I look at the change in the average American's standard of living over the last 40 years, compared with the changes over the previous 40, and I see a great slowing. Even life expectancy gains have been limited to higher incomes. Blue collar workers have not only seen no gains in life expectancy for some time, but recently have seen decreases.

David Brin said...

Alfred, you and I are much more akin in our versions of libertarianism, than different. I believe competition that is regulated to remain flat-open-fair-creative is the greatest creative force. And further that the state is not always — or even mostly — the greatest enemy of that kind of flat-fair competitive arena. There are older, worse enemies, against whom we had a Revolution and many subsequent civil wars. It's called cheating human nature.

Still, yes, I would ally myself with and even call myself one of the “progressives” if you tally the number of their measures that I agree with. and yet, I justify my “progressivism” in very different terms. The Lefty moralizing-chiding stances I deem much less defensible or morally superior than they think.

I deem equal rights and tolerance/diversity, eccentricity and generosity to children to be far better supported by the inarguably superior outcomes that these things engender. Always. I know of no circumstance when it did not pay off well, when we moved toward ending a prejudice that wasted human talent, or expanded the overall number of skilled, confident and empowered competitors.

Hence the irony that my defense of liberal endeavors — antitrust breakups of oligarchic power, free education and healthcare, infrastructure, prodigious state support for R&D and science… my support for these things is grounded less on goody-goody moralizing (though yes, there’s that), than upon justifications that can be deemed libertarian. Competition-propelling justifications that should be deemed more libertarian that the current captured and cult-like majority of those who claim that term.

As for Keynsianism, I am moved, again, by outcomes. Kensians who are honest and prudent - like Bill Clinton and Jerry Brown - use good times to buy down debt so that they can stimulate when times are bad. This method has generally (with admitted exceptions) worked more often than not. Spendthrift-wastrel “Keynsians” are not.

In any event, given that Supply Side has NEVER once been right and serves only to justify rape-ripoffs by the same rentier-caste parasites who Adam Smith denounced, I am forced to choose the side that is at least right some of the time.

Paul451 said...

And relates to the tech thing:

Alfred, to Larry,
"Your innovation had to serve the interests of those near the top or you would be stifled/killed."

That's the technological danger of the distortion of growth distribution. When the only growing market is a few thousand people at the very top, instead of the 100 million at the bottom (or the billion at the very bottom), that leads to an increase in bespoke craftsmanship (from the ethereally elegant to the Trumpesque) but no path for breakthroughs to move down-stream to the masses. And more importantly, because such societies tend towards class-stassis, with a restriction in paths upwards for new players, you won't see new technologies being developed at the same rate. (Even in IT/internet, what was the last New Big Breakthrough company? Amazon is nearly 25yrs old. Google is nearly 20 years old. Facebook nearly 15.)

It's interesting to look at Musk-like tech billionaires who are trying to get new technology to the masses. But IMO, when you look at the number of developments that have come from Musk alone, and look at how little he's actually "invented", the stagnation of the industries he's challenged becomes more apparent. It's as if a necessary energy has been lost from technology markets.

--

Aside:

"I worked minimum wage jobs in the mid-90's [...] I earned $3K in 1987, but I think my parents flat-out gave me another $2K. It's hard to remember.
[In 2017 dollars that's about $11K to live on.]"


No it's not. US minimum wage hasn't increased with inflation. In 2017 you'd still have earned around $3k.

"My rent was $300/month"

Housing, OTOH, has increased. So you'd literally couldn't do today what you could then.

The entire option has been removed. It's not just a matter of people "not trying", it's doesn't exist to try.

And it's the same with a million other paths.

Can't you see how that changes the comfortable reasoning you are hiding behind? Can't you see why I call you blind to your privilege? You are assuming options that were available to you that literally don't exist any more. Paths that were available to your parents, that don't exist for similar-income children today. The two generations that led to your life are no longer possible.

David Brin said...

Wow
https://m.dailykos.com/stories/2017/1/11/1619079/-Comparing-Presidential-Administrations-by-Arrests-and-Convictions-A-Warning-for-Trump-Appointees

Zepp Jamieson said...

The numbers of indictments for the Reagan administration would likely have trebled had George W. Bush not issued a flock of pardons on the eve of Clinton's inauguration to a dozen or so members of the Reagan administration under investigation.

Robert said...

Loved both "Zulu" and "The Man Who Would Be King". Zepp is right about what to show your son next.

Really appreciated the Bartlett and "Fantasyland" articles. When did you first notice Bartlett? After all, he defected in Bush II's first term. And the Fantasyland author has nailed why I consider Republican 'Libertarians' phonies: Republicans are very selective, cherry-picking libertarians: Let business do whatever it wants and don’t spoil poor people with government handouts; let individuals have gun arsenals but not abortions or recreational drugs or marriage with whomever they wish; and don’t mention Ayn Rand’s atheism. She had plenty of faults, but I have a pretty good idea what Ayn Rand would think of the clowns who took over the Republican Party. The closest thing the Rs had to an outbreak of real libertarianism was Ron Paul's antiwar campaign in 2008. His son has been a total disappointment.


Bob Pfeiffer.

LarryHart said...

Robert:

She had plenty of faults, but I have a pretty good idea what Ayn Rand would think of the clowns who took over the Republican Party.


She'd probably see Elsworth M. Toohey come to life in Trump. And she'd have a good sardonic laugh at the name "Mooch".

Viking said...

I will try to actually comment on the post for once, hopefully before "Onwards":

I also would very much endorse some wise sages between POTUS and the armed forces. I would want them to interpret the constitutionality of orders, and also work like an ombudsman, so the grunts could have timely feedback on whether their orders are legal.

The president's powers are limited to deal with clear and present dangers, while Congress should deal with declaring war. For example, the North Korean situation has been 20 years in the making, and the timescale of strategy shifts is longer than the typical timescale of legislation, so Congress is obviously negligent in not taking charge.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korea_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction

The problem is that congress has been negligent since the Korean war, never declaring war, nor punishing the executive branch with extreme budget cuts in response to undeclared and thus unauthorized wars.

Re: Locumranch

I really like Locumranch's unfiltered mind dumps, and more often than not, the majority posters use name calling than refuting his arguments, however referencing Dr. Mercola is sub standard. There might be some good nutritional advice on his site, he is evolved beyond the FDA/Archer Daniels Midland fraudulent food pyramid, but there is the claim that medium length chain fatty acids in the diet increases metabolism, however, all my attempts at an independent verification of that claim leads back to Mercola. To me, that is a strong warning of a quack and a charlatan.

While it is generally accepted that Breitbart and National Review are biased sources, so are huffingtonpost, dailykos, and mercola.com, even though either of them might write something true.

Viking said...

BTW, Medium Chain Length Fatty Acids are also known as coconut oil.

http://products.mercola.com/coconut%2Doil/

There is obviously a clear financial motivation for the false claim.

Berial said...

I missed the 'onward' signal in the last post. Please excuse the double post:

@Paul451

I think you'd enjoy reading Mark Blyth. Here's a pretty good summation by the man himself here: (I haven't read his books yet.)

https://youtu.be/vSS4GCA__As?t=1m51s

Jonathan Sills said...

The problem, Viking, is that we have refuted loco's claims. Time and again, they've been shown to be nothing more than the most arrant nonsense. And yet, he continues making those claims, a pattern ongoing for years now.

For myself, I just skip over his mind-droppings, a process Peter David, in his blog, called "shrouding" (after an incident in the original Paper Chase TV-movie in which the law professor, weary of one student's repeated asking of deliberately obfuscatory questions, walked up to his seat and draped a sheet over him, then ignored any sounds coming from under the sheet for the rest of the class). Some continue to engage him, for their own reasons. But attempting to change his mind is both pointless and wasteful of valuable mental energy.

(The same, incidentally, is true of the sapling. Every so often, one of them will string together words in a seemingly cogent fashion, which our host encourages on the off-chance they might actually issue a coherent thought, but thus far we have been disappointed on that score.)

LarryHart said...

Johnathan Sills:

For myself, I just skip over his [locum's] mind-droppings, a process Peter David, in his blog, called "shrouding" ...


I just realized that's a picture of Peter David you've got as your icon there, isn't it?


Some continue to engage him, for their own reasons.


As you know, I've been most guilty of that--just not being able to let his comments stand. I've recently come over to your attitude, though. Life's too short to keep metaphorically taking poison into my system, even to counteract it.


The same, incidentally, is true of the sapling. Every so often, one of them will string together words in a seemingly cogent fashion, which our host encourages on the off-chance they might actually issue a coherent thought, but thus far we have been disappointed on that score.


Exactly. The off-chance chance that there might be some diamonds among the garbage no longer seems worth the while of plowing through the garbage to find them. It's a mug's game.

Charlottesville changed everything. White supremacists, Nazis, and the KKK (pardon the redundancy) have proven themselves to be not simply ideological opponents, but clear and present dangers. Refuting their arguments, as if there is any argument there that needs refuting, is too much effort to expend. They need to be dealt with as bugs are dealt with in "Starship Troopers", or as Holnists are dealt with in the world of "The Postman".

matthew said...

Hmm, Don't know why Charlottesville changed anything that wasn't clear by the time one of the fascists killed two on a Portland train after they stood up to protect two threatened children.
Anyone that is is waking up to discover that the American Right are killers must have missed Oklahoma City also.
Or those darn Bundy's and their attempt to start a revolution.

The real problem is the percentage of police and military that support Nazi groups. Oathkeepsers, 3 percenters, militas, all have very high membership numbers from Nazi-supporters. Something that has been pointed out for many years but is labeled under the rubic of "the left just wants Political Correctness," an attitude I see all too often on this site.

Now watch as all the Libertarians fall all over themselves about how the antiracist protestors were really just abridging the rights of the Nazis to protest.

LarryHart said...

Well worth the entire read...

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2017/08/dahlia_lithwick_on_the_nazis_in_charlottesville.html


...
Some of this administration’s legal and policy efforts may succeed for a time, but they will end in the way of flaming torches, unenforceable restrictive covenants, racially discriminatory adverse possession, and zoning tricks. These practices will end the way reverse-engineered monuments to the Lost Cause will eventually end in Charlottesville. They will be replaced. The Nazis may come to town, terrorize and threaten people with guns, even brutally murder a young woman. This president may fail to condemn it. But all right-thinking Americans will recoil in horror. And white supremacists will be replaced. There is no room for them here. On Saturday they were relegated to parking at the shopping mall and walking miles in the hot sun, in their sad supervillain Comic-Con outfits. Today they are already slinking back to their own homes, where they are also being replaced, by history, by moral justice, and by our children, who are growing up exactly where they belong, at home, irreplaceable, sacred, and, especially today, brave.

Paul451 said...

Berial,
I usually avoid the preaching-to-the-choir sources. (I haven't bothered to read Piketty's Capital, for example.) But there is something about hearing this kind of tired/angry rant in a Glasgow accent.

Paul SB said...

On Charlottesville, I think there is a point to keep in mind. With all the resources of the Internet, the Unite the Right hate-peddlers managed to summon around 500 people, while the local counter protest was more than 3x the size, and they were local people. Last I checked, Virginia was south of the Mason-Dixon Line, yet clearly the hatreds we associate with the Confederacy was outnumbered, and they had to bring in people from all over the country. Probably any city they go to wave their banner and flash their armbands will be met with the same. The truly vile are not the majority, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Berial said...

@Paul451 I Know Right?

I don't completely agree with everything he say's but there are a lot of videos on YT with him speaking to groups about his book or his research. They are all pretty good.

Marino said...

Re: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DHE9pvlVoAA5oL6.jpg
I've ROLMAOed... it looks like a Proust's madaleinette poster from our '70s (Italy).
The wrench used as a weapon then was the trademark and signature of the self defence arm of a far Left group named something that would translate as Workers'Vanguard (one of them I was acquainted with brought his own one around in a suitcase. Now he's a researcher in peace and desarmement issues, the irony...). We had even a slogan about how fast fascists ran away at the sight of it. Maybe mr. Filth (ain't no typo) out there should get a close encounter with it 😂
Anyway, any comments about the nazi scum labeling the murdered woman in Charlottesville as a "childless overweight slut"? Does loco blame this too un poor abused conservatives? For some rabid dogs euthanasia is the only way...

LarryHart said...

Marino:

For some rabid dogs euthanasia is the only way...


Amen!

My late uncle was very upset when the movie "Schindler's List" came out. When I asked him why, his response was, "There were no good Nazis."

I'd update that to present tense.

David Brin said...

SO far, so good. Sure, there's way bad. The deaths. The way these groups are nucleating so many frustrated former Jr High bullies (and some of their victims.) And yet they must be helping drive residually sane American conservatives away from the mad GOP and Fox.

And it's not too early to start thinking about Halloween. I assign one or two of you to write to the costume/clothier companies to warn them to ramp up for kepi orders! Heck. Both colors.

Paul451 said...

Larry,
"Refuting their arguments, as if there is any argument there that needs refuting, is too much effort to expend."

While I often ignore Locumranch, I will say the point of engagement isn't to convince him, it's to ensure he doesn't go unanswered. A different thing...

Matthew,
"Now watch as all the Libertarians fall all over themselves about how the antiracist protestors were really just abridging the rights of the Nazis to protest."

Actually, the usual approved talking-point is that fascism is a left-wing movement.

locumranch said...



Paul451's comment about the Nazi's is spot on: National Socialism shares a Left-wing platform most analogous & akin to FDR's 'New Deal', the difference being that the Nazis were more overt in their antisemitism than FDR was.

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/apr/07/opinion/la-oe-medoff-roosevelt-holocaust-20130407

Unfortunately, Paul's belief that Elon Musk is "trying to get new technology to the masses" smacks of credulousness because (1) Tesla has NEVER made a profit, (2) its EV technology appears derivative & over-priced, (3) his Hyperloop exists only as fantasy, and now (4) Musk is attempting to sell Tesla's massive debt as a 1.5 BILLION USD bond offering.

(1) https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/05/tesla-keeps-losing-money-so-why-is-it-worth-more-than-ford.html
(2) https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2017/6/26/15872468/tesla-gm-ford-valuation-justifying-disruption
(3) https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601417/the-unbelievable-reality-of-the-impossible-hyperloop/(
(4) http://fortune.com/2017/08/10/elon-musk-tesla-model-3-stock-junk-bonds/

All-of-the-above is most reminiscent of either Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme or the infamous 'Credit Mobilier Of America Swindle', and I'll give you dollars to donuts that Elon Musk's 'Dream Factory' will turn out to be YUGE disappointment for all concerned, especially when its collapse will most likely murder Space X, the entire (infantile) US civilian aerospace industry & Electric Vehicles for generations.


Best

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

And yet they must be helping drive residually sane American conservatives away from the mad GOP and Fox.


You'd think so, but I don't see it happening. American conservatives are like Krusty the Clown (from "The Simpsons") voting for Sideshow Bob and going "Well, he did try to frame me for armed robbery...but I'm itching for that upper class tax cut!" As long as the neo-Nazis help elect Republicans who promise to lower taxes and deregulate business, they'll pander to that constituency.

I have not yet gone quite so far as to add "Republicans" to the list of Nazis, KKK, and white supremacists, of which "There are no good ones," but it's getting damned close.

Paul451:

While I often ignore Locumranch, I will say the point of engagement isn't to convince him, it's to ensure he doesn't go unanswered. A different thing...


I agree, but I've reached the point at which if what he says requires answering--that is if third parties out there listening are going to give his arguments any credibility, then the terrorists have already won. I wouldn't waste my time publicly debating a flat-earther for much the same reason.

David Brin said...

It is vital that we not let their insipid mania lure us down their path. Confrontational "resistance" and counter-marching are understandable and necessary, to some degree. But we'll only win by convincing ten million wavering US conservatives who still nurse a glimmer of adulthood to defect from the madness. Win over the right ten million? And this would be over.

Consider what's at stake. If they win, then the enlightenment experiment and the American Pax that led to more human advancement than all other periods combined... is over. We'll tumble back into plantation-lord-oligarchy, which has always been the goal of cheater lords, since 1778 and in every phase of our recurring civil war.

If we win, then science and progress and the possibility of Star Trek will continue. As will their pain! Because we will continue to lure their best and brightest children to the bright lights of the universities and cities (Mordor). And their pain over that is real!

No one pays attention to the deepest roots of their hatred. Which is not racism. It is the fact that nerds are winning and junior high school bullies are losing. But even deeper. For 100 years we have been stealing their best and brightest. Their children, luring them away with candy of the mind and transforming them into … more nerds.

When you finally plumb those roots, you realize the generator of this inchoate rage. I do not apologize for it. We should do it more! But I strive to understand.

We must be the smart ones who "get" what's happening. And yes, racism is part of it! But it is mostly a surface-preening gloss. Look what's deeper. Scratch the surface and you'll see. For most of these guys, hatred of other races is shallow. Their hatred of folks who know stuff is by far the fiercest thing.

http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/09/phases-of-american-civil-war.html

LarryHart said...

@Dr Brin,

You are correct as far as that goes. What makes the Nazis special is not their racism. It is their willingness to engage in terrorism. We must be willing to deal with Nazis for the same reason we must be willing to deal with Radical Islamic Terrorism (tm)--because they've declared war on us and won't stop being a threat until they themselves are thoroughly defeated or destroyed.

Your Holnists weren't racists either (or at least General Macklin didn't think they should be), but the population of that era knew enough to put aside their internecine differences and band together at the mere rumor of surplus camouflage.

David Brin said...

Locum is back to every single thing is opposite!

The Greatest Generation adored FDR and your cult, sir, sig heils to the plantation lords who have systematically torn down every social contract that the Greatest Generation made. And every single stage - union busting and supply side vampire sucks for the oligarchy... every single one had direct effect on reducing growth/innovation rates and transferring wealth from the middle to the top. Every... single... one.

Oh, American Jews loved FDR too, though mixed with wretched disappointment that he equivocated and waffled at some horrid moments. Do you honestly think they weren't aware of who FDR's enemies were? Henry Ford and Lindbergh? The snooty isolationist pack? Are you really completely nuts? He... killed ... Hitler.

You maniacs scream "FDR connived for Pearl Harbor to happen so we could war against Hitler!" and also "FDR was a Nazi!" You aren't just crazy. It goes deeper than crazy.

Jonathan Sills said...

I just realized that's a picture of Peter David you've got as your icon there, isn't it?

No, actually, that's a picture of me. I don't remember how old Peter is, but I think I'm a bit younger than he is (54 next month). Physically more decrepit than he, but on the other hand my cardiac health, unlike his, is excellent. I credit heredity - of all the things my male-line ancestors have died of, heart disease hasn't been one. (Got one uncle on my mother's side, but that's about it.)

Erin Schram said...

David Brin said,
No one pays attention to the deepest roots of their hatred. Which is not racism. It is the fact that nerds are winning and junior high school bullies are losing. But even deeper. For 100 years we have been stealing their best and brightest. Their children, luring them away with candy of the mind and transforming them into … more nerds.

My farmer relatives have gone to Michigan State University and returned to the farming community with degrees in agriculture, dairy science, or veterinary medicine. My brother, who liked to spend summers on our uncle's dairy farm, picked up a bachelors in biochemisty and works at Michigan State University's veterinary lab. Now that I live in Tompkins County in New York, I see Cornell University's researchers and Cooperative Extension Program working with farmers. I read in the local paper about children presenting their trained animals at the 4-H fair and recognize them as kindred to the children at science fairs and robotics competitions.

In contrast, a mathematician coworker described his hometown in rural Ohio. He said that the only reason they could imagine going away to college would be to return to teach at the local high school.

James Damore's recent anti-diversity manifesto at Google is an example of a nerd with repressive ideas. Fortunately, the tools of nerds are civilized. I am confident that when he posted his manifesto to Google's internal social media seeking approval, he was instead greeted with constructive criticism that dismantled the flaws in his ideas. Too bad the manifesto was shared outside Google, leading to bad publicity and the firing of Mr. Damore rather than the education of Mr. Damore.

I also remember when the geeks and nerds lost their loser status in the late 1980s. It was the computer geeks who saved the rest of us nerds, because computers became popular and ordinary people needed a computer-savvy friend to help them. The ivory-tower expert might still be an object of ridicule, but the next-door neighbor expert is a welcome member of the community.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Dr. Brin, I suspect you got to the line "Barbarism is not the only option. Our choice is much starker: socialism or annihilation. It is the end of everything that has emerged once more as a possibility." in Vijay Prashad's essay and your knee jerked. Whether you like that or not, the rest of his essay, about US policy misadventures in Syria and Korea, along with mention of the consequences of climate change, is pretty much spot on.
Prashad isn't exactly a "government bootheel for every neck" communist; he's a democratic socialist, closer to Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn than Stalin or Mao. He actually approves of private ownership and privately run business.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Where are Republicans vis a vis the Nazis?
There are six states--all controlled by Republicans--that are seeking to decriminalize driving a car into groups of protesters. In all six cases, the pending legislation requires only that the motorist convince police responders that he didn't do it on purpose, and he skates.

LarryHart said...

@Zepp Jamieson,

While I would love to agree with you that Republicans are evil bastards who would make it legal to run down liberals with their cars, can you please cite more details? The only such stories I was able to find online concerned one state only--North Dakota--and seemed specifically aimed at protestors of the Dakota Access pipeline. It didn't pass the legislature, and that was back in February. I doubt such a law could pass anywhere right now, as Nazis have given "running into a crowd and killing people" a bad name, just as the original Nazis did for anti-semitism.

I would be curious how such a law would be tailored to exempt white terrorists from running down liberals while still criminalizing the act of a Muslim terrorist running down white people.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bill-would-legalize-accidentally-driving-into-and-killing-protesters_us_587a3dabe4b0e58057ff1ebc


...
At this point, it’s unclear whether any of these measures stand a chance, and there’s no committee hearing set for HB1203. It might be crazy to think they’re anything more than posturing, dissenters say.
...
UPDATE: The North Dakota state House voted against the bill, 50-41, on Feb. 13.


Paul SB said...

I think there's another issue that runs quite deep, and it's an issue that is seen everywhere you have humans, but Americans maybe have a more contradictory relationship. That's walking the line between our valuation of uniqueness verses conformity. This is probably true everywhere to some extent, but maybe more keenly felt here. There is a huge current of thought that values the rebel, the underdog, the one who does it his way. But on the other side everyone wants to be "normal" and fit in with the crowd. These different ideals match the temperament types you find everywhere in the world. The serotonergic temperament that is uncomfortable with difference, tends to go for conventional careers, conventional religions, conventional values, on the one hand, and the more individual, spur-of-the-moment dopaminergic temperament that cares little about expectations and a lot about trying new things. These are polar opposites. It shouldn't be too hard to guess which ones stay in their home towns all their lives and which ones are attracted to the big cities with all their stimulations. Since these temperament types are about 50% genetic, what you might expect to see are places where those who have the serotonergic temperament tend to concentrate together - they don't like people who are different from themselves, while the more dopaminergic folks will flee the stifling conformity of their parents and natal communities.

But there's an odd thing I noticed a long time ago about this: that even those who think they are being unique and non-conformist end up conforming to certain non-conformist expectations. Punk rockers think they are being so unique and different from everyone else, dressing and acting just like every other punk rocker. The heavy metal headbangers I grew up with, who were usually the bullies in middle school, all said they were different from everyone else, while all wearing identical Iron Maiden t-shirts. The Nazi Party guys who tried to recruit me when I was in college told me that fascism allows people to be unique and creative, to which I replied that only the people on top get to be, everyone else has to conform to them. Their reply was that this why you have to be one of the ones on top.

The right wing is all about iron-clad, enforced conformity, which is why they can't stand diversity. The left wing, on the other hand, is all about individual freedom, which is why the looney left conformity enforcers are always a minority faction.

LarryHart said...

I can't be the only one who noticed that when #SoCalledPresident reads a speech off of a teleprompter denouncing white supremacists and Nazis, he looks exactly like one of those hostage videos where a beaten prisoner who probably has guns trained on him denounces the capitalist running dogs.

LarryHart said...

Paul SB:

But there's an odd thing I noticed a long time ago about this: that even those who think they are being unique and non-conformist end up conforming to certain non-conformist expectations


My brother actually had this said about him in high school:
"I may be a non-conformist, but I'm not a non-conformist like him."

David S said...

Here is the North Carolina bill to protect drivers. It passed the house, it has not passed the senate. Because of current events, it is losing traction and probably won't pass.

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/politics-government/state-politics/article167100452.html

LarryHart said...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/huppke/ct-charlottesville-trump-rally-huppke-20170814-story.html


...
Many said that last sentence after the tragedy in Virginia: "We're better than this."

But we aren't. We, as a country, allowed this moment to unfold. We allowed a man unwilling to directly and emphatically condemn Nazis become president of the United States. We let him place white nationalists in his administration, in the halls of the People's House in Washington, D.C.

We aren't better than what happened in Virginia.
...
There aren't "many sides" to this kind of hatred. There's the hatred, and there are people who oppose it, and to equate the two is despicable.
...
There aren't "many sides" to this issue. The existence of other radicals doesn't make the presence of Nazis in the year 2017 OK. And nothing makes the death of a peaceful protester OK.

A young woman was killed by a charging car, and these people called her fat and said "most people are glad she is dead." That's not OK in this country. Ever.

Trump can stay silent. Those who support him can do the same. That will rest on their souls.

But silence from the rest of us is unacceptable.

Speak up. Scream out. Take a stand.

We are not, at the moment, better than this.

But we sure need to be.  

LarryHart said...

David S on legalizing the running down of protestors:

Because of current events, it is losing traction and probably won't pass.


That's kinda what I was expecting--that any such bill which hadn't already been passed into law before last Saturday would become untenable now.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Larry: Here's the link to the story about six states moving to remove liability for hitting protesters with cars. https://thinkprogress.org/republican-lawmakers-in-6-states-are-trying-to-protect-drivers-who-hit-protesters-4da6e6ebaa59/

Some have already failed, and in the light of this weekend's incident, none of the others are likely to pass.

LarryHart said...

Y'know how usually when some quiet guy suddenly snaps and shoots up a mall or the like, his family and neighbors always say that they'd never have expected that sort of thing from him.

Not so with the driver who ran down a protester in Virginia. People who knew him back home are going, "Yeah, I always knew he'd do something like that."

locumranch said...


It's called 'cognitive dissonance', this inability to discard the false but comforting narrative when confronted by true but painful facts, as in the case of our sainted FDR.

"He... killed ... Hitler", insists a David-in-denial, when in fact FDR did NOT do anything of the sort. FDR was a born-to-wealth & privilege aristocratic who convinced 30% of US male population to fight & die for US corporate interests abroad while he sat in a wheelchair, diddled his secretary, admired Mussolini's accomplishments, excluded & returned Jewish refugees to the Nazis for execution, and gave comforting 'fire side' chats that urged US citizens on to self-sacrifice for the greater 'Good of the State'.

FDR's April 14 1939 letter to Hitler neither mentioned the plight of the Jews nor condemned Nazi ethnic purification policies, concerned as it was with protecting corporate interests abroad:

http://www.exordio.com/1939-1945/codex/Documentos/letter_roosevelt_hitler.html

In December of 1942, as (previously hidden??) details of Hitler’s Final Solution finally "reached the Allies" long after the US had entered the European conflict, then & only then did FDR condemn Nazi Antisemitism in a manner prophetic of a much later Bush & Cheney Administration's pivot from a WMD excuse to pro-Democracy justification for the Iraqi Invasion.

FDR's New Deal policies represented de facto 'Socialism'. They were instituted from 1933 to 1939 long before FDR had a 'falling-out' with Fascist buddies from Europe; and they effectively 'nationalised' the US Banking Industry, the Railroads & many private industries while leading to the militarisation of US civilian life through the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps (aka 'the Green Shirts'), the Civil Works Administration & the Public Works Administration.

The USA owes its current 'Global Dominance' to its institutionalisation of the policies of National Socialism, it's sad but true:

Pax Americana, Über Alles, and may it rule for a 'Thousand Years'!!!!


Best
______
God help us! 'We have met the Enemy & he is US', so much so that I can no longer tell who the 'true Nazis' are. Both sides are racist. The 'Antifas' fascists don black uniforms, take to the streets, break windows, chant pro-Establishment slogans denouncing 'Whitey' & demand the elimination of Free Speech, while the Alt-Right fascists seem more 'racist' because they're largely (ahem) 'white' while they denounce National Socialism, resist an increasingly militarised Police State & dare to respond to increasing Antifa violence with violence.

The Alt-Right is 'The Resistance'. Viva Zapata!!

LarryHart said...

The article posted by Zepp Jamieson:

According to The Outline, lawmakers in Florida, Rhode Island, and Texas have also flirted with similar measures this year.


Rhode Island???

matthew said...

Fuck off Locum. He finally shits his bed with his admiration for the Alt-Right. Fuck off, fake "doctor"

Zepp Jamieson said...

Larry Hart: "I can't be the only one who noticed that when #SoCalledPresident reads a speech off of a teleprompter denouncing white supremacists and Nazis, he looks exactly like one of those hostage videos where a beaten prisoner who probably has guns trained on him denounces the capitalist running dogs."

You aren't. I was wondering if they had to tranquilise him first, as well. The scripted stuff was about as half-hearted as it gets, but when he went off script with his "well, everyone does it" nonsense, he completely ruined the moment, and actually sank to a point many Republicans don't wish to go.

Darrell E said...

LarryHart said...
"http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/huppke/ct-charlottesville-trump-rally-huppke-20170814-story.html


...
Many said that last sentence after the tragedy in Virginia: "We're better than this."

But we aren't. We, as a country, allowed this moment to unfold. We allowed a man unwilling to directly and emphatically condemn Nazis become president of the United States. We let him place white nationalists in his administration, in the halls of the People's House in Washington, D.C."




I notice many people in many places expressing this sentiment. And man, I certainly agree with it. But there is a whole group of other assholes that I haven't seen mentioned any where in the same context. Those other assholes include, but are not limited to, the entire Republican Party machine and its various Tools over the past 20 years or more that worked so diligently at preparing the way for a Trump, the Republican Party leadership and their manipulators that enabled and then allowed Trump to become the Republican Party presidential candidate, the previous and their lower tier quislings that supported Trumps run, and of course the reprehensible assholes leading the Republican congress during Trump's reign, particularly McConnell and Ryan. I know you and most others here don't need me to point that out, but I think it should be said out loud at least as often as Trump is mentioned.

These people are far more to blame for enabling this than Trump is. Trump is like a poorly designed and dangerous tool. These assholes created the tool and then were stupid enough, cynical enough, greedy enough, to try and wield it.

I wouldn't go as far as you, Larry, and lump all Republicans in with Nazis but I have gotten to a point where it has gotten really hard for me to not just immediately classify anyone who is Republican as an asshole who isn't worth the time or effort to try and work with. But then I recall that many of my friends and family are Republican supporters, though I really have no idea how any of them feel about Trump. And that almost all of them are genuinely good people over all. In most cases their ethics correspond very highly with mine and this is what really perplexes me. Why would people with such ethics continue to support the Republican Party? Their ethics don't correspond at all with the ethics that the Republican Party demonstrates. The party they support doesn't exist any more and hasn't for a long time, maybe never. What I keep coming back to as the key problems are cultural indoctrination (i.e. they were raised that way) and especially gullibility. So many people are such easy marks. They've never learned to think critically or evaluate evidence and in many cases don't believe they are capable or qualified to do so. So they are easy marks for authority figures that, using carny tactics honed since ancient times, cynically appeal to their base emotions. That kind of manipulation, exemplified by the Used Car Salesman archetype, has always immediately pissed me off.

LarryHart said...

matthew:

Hmm, Don't know why Charlottesville changed anything that wasn't clear ...


Point taken, and I myself have been saying that while I'm glad to see some prominent Republican politicians and businesspeople jumping off the Trump train, I wonder what they were thinking before. Nothing Trump has done should surprise anyone who was paying attention at all.

What Charlottesville does is to put paid to the notion that there is any path to reaching the deplorable Trump supporters with persuasion. The alt-Right has declared war on civilized society. They can't be reasoned with or negotiated with except maybe by unconditional surrender on our part. Unless that's what we're willing to do to keep the peace, we'd better be prepared to bring overwhelming force to bear as we did in WWII.

LarryHart said...

Darrel E:

I wouldn't go as far as you, Larry, and lump all Republicans in with Nazis...


Point of clarification--I haven't reached that point quite yet. I can see it in the headlights, though.

Viking said...

Since there is lots of talk about the events in Charlottesville on this thread, here is an interesting hypothesis:

The extensive national and international coverage seems like excellent advertisement for white supremacy. Like in the case with Trump, even negative coverage provided a boost. Given the minuscule part of the population that can be counted as white supremacists, this coverage can only increase that tiny fraction. Even if 99% of readers are 100% on board with the message, the remaining 1% far exceeds the white supremacists' fraction of the population. Additionally, it makes the white supremacists more sympathetic, given that the counter protestors belong to the same bunch of thugs that assaulted a female professor because she invited an unpopular speaker, and made lots of property damage in various anti POTUS protests during the late fall after the election.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/24/us/middlebury-college-charles-murray-bell-curve.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/13/opinion/understanding-the-angry-mob-that-gave-me-a-concussion.html

In line with the hosts recommendation that the names of mass murderers not ever be mentioned, the consistent action in regards to a white supremacy protest would be to ignore it, and not cover it in the press.

Since Huffington Post, Washington Post, NY Times are quite busy covering Charlottesville , can we then assume they want more nazis, or should we assume they have low intelligence, and act counter to their owners' interests?

Also, see:

http://blogs.harvard.edu/philg/2017/08/15/the-unfortunate-events-in-charlottesville/

LarryHart said...

Viking:

Since Huffington Post, Washington Post, NY Times are quite busy covering Charlottesville, can we then assume they want more nazis, or should we assume they have low intelligence, and act counter to their owners' interests?


Since the "failing" New York Times and Washington Post et all have been doing this for decades, I'd assume they know their business more than you do. Since they neither want more Nazis nor can I believe they have low intelligence, there must be something wrong with your premises.

The idea that national outrage "only encourages these people" and so the best reaction to murdering thugs is to cede the battlefield to them is absurd.

LarryHart said...

From the "unfortunate" article posted by Viking:

Friends who are reasonably analytical are inferring from news coverage of this gathering of a few hundred people that Nazi ideology is sweeping the U.S. Is that reasonable? What if the media had simply refused to cover this gathering? None of the counter protesters would have showed up (and therefore none would have been killed). Nobody other than locals in Charlottesville and their Facebook friends would ever have found out about it. Especially if you don’t agree with it, why give a platform to an ideology that is persuasive to 1 in 27,000 adult Americans? Is there some concrete political advantage to be gained by featuring this fringe group?


In the 1920s, no one thought the fringe group of real Nazis were a threat either. Ignoring them into oblivion doesn't work.

The news media tried that strategy with Bernie Sanders, and that didn't work either. Maybe if they hadn't covered ISIS, that group would have just gone away? If they hadn't shown the World Trade Towers collapsing, terrorists would have realized the futility of such actions?

Is it just a symptom of our hyper-partisan political age that the decision of whether an event is newsworthy is expected to depend upon whether covering the event does or does not advance the political agenda of the news organization itself? That the news organization is somehow failing in its job if they don't make their decisions for such reasons?

locumranch said...


And so Matthew swears his undying allegiance to the Evil Forces of Establishmentarianism Hypocracy, by advocating in favour of moral standards to which he & his establishment progressives do not and need not conform:

He stereotypes all of the Alt-Right as 'White Supremacists' because a few meet that definition, yet he takes offence when others stereotype his cohort as hypocritical self-righteous white-hating rock-throwing fascists when more than a few most definitely meet that particular definition.

What's the matter, son, you support Free Speech, the Freedom to Associate, the Right to Demonstrate & the Right to Stereotype for thee but not for me?

It seems that Matthew desires a world wherein everyone labelled 'deplorable' defers to the moral superiority of the establishment, drops to their knees & bows their head in contrition upon being so named, and gives established authority leave to goose-step up & put a bullet into the back of their deplorable heads.

Familiarise yourself with the life & times of Emiliano Zapata before you make a fool out of yourself.


Best

Paul SB said...

I was just listening to a report about a group of white supremacists in California (yes, lefty liberal California has righty scumbags, too) and the leader of the group, who is taking a softer approach talking more about the positives of being a WASPM than the evils of not being one. He said that the event in Charlottesville was a good thing, because it gives them more publicity. But then, if the press don't talk about them, they will still circulate their poison in person and on the internet. Maybe the press will do as much to galvanize decent human beings against them.

I'm not exactly sure what the hell Viking is talking about with his "low intelligence" crack. Yes, the media are all businesses, and big events get them ratings. That has nothing to do with whether or not any of their employees or owners want more nazis. If it isn't them, there will always be someone in the news. And like the Beckett Affair and subsequent invasion of Ireland, this stuff sure is taking attention away from irregularities and possible collusion with a hostile foreign power in the election.

On the other side of the aisle, I have known quite a lot of Republicans who despise white supremacists, and I would bet that the counter protestors included many of those. I lived for a couple years in a small town in the north of Colorado when there was a KKK rally, many of the people who came out and protested them were pretty steak-and-potatoes conservatives. But the Republican leadership is a different creature from its followers. They know that while the most extreme right-wingers are as likely to vote Nazi Party or not vote, your more run-of-the-mill racists comprise a very large proportion of their voting base. They can't be too vocal about opposing the nazis for fear of alienating those who aren't smart enough to tell the difference between extremists and everyone who fits in their ethic category.

matthew said...

Nazis do not get free speech protections from me. They get the protection from the government but not me.
The Alt-Right are fucking Nazis. Swastikas and armbands.
Locum idealizes the Nazis, even after a terrorist attack.
Ban him.
Fuck him.
He adds nothing to any community.
Fuck off and die, fake doctor.

Darrell E said...

Regarding the idea that Nazis and White Supremacists should be ignored else you are helping to advance their cause, I couldn't disagree more. This is very similar to free speech issues, the concept not necessarily the law. I think that many of the arguments that are commonly referenced in support of the very liberal free speech that we have in the US apply directly to this argument as well.

Instead of me bumbling around trying to explain the following link is to a video clip of Christopher Hitchens interviewing head of the White Aryan Resistance John Metzger back in 1991, and it demonstrates much better than I could explain. Briefly, it is much better to shine light on this kind of thing and expose these people as the immoral assholes they are lest they fester out of site and lest we forget how quickly such rot can gain power under the right circumstances?

Christopher Hitchens VS John And Tom Metzger

In this specific case, the Trump Era, why in the hell would anyone want to help Trump and the Republican Party keep these assholes in the dark where no one will see them or their connection to them?

locumranch said...



Such profanity-laced 'Hate Speech', Matthew. Ban yourself first.

At the outbreak of the Revolution, "Zapata's agrarian revolt was soon construed as a 'caste war' [race war], in which members of an 'inferior race' were captained by a 'modern Attila'".[46] Zapata is now one of the most revered national heroes of Mexico. To many Mexicans, especially the peasant and indigenous citizens, Zapata was a practical revolutionary who sought the implementation of liberties and agrarian rights outlined in the Plan of Ayala. He was a realist with the goal of achieving political and economic emancipation of the peasants in southern Mexico and leading them out of severe poverty.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emiliano_Zapata

From then on, the Plan de Ayala became the banner under which the Zapatistas fought successive revolutionary governments. Their tenacious defense of agrarian principles was incomprehensible to many people of that era, but evident to the farm workers, who felt deeply identified with their lands. General Zapata said this to Francisco Villa during their conversation in Xochimilco on December 4, 1914: “They feel a deep love for their lands. They still can’t believe it when they are told: This land is yours. They think it’s a dream. But when they have seen others harvesting crops on these lands, then they will also say: I’m going to ask for my land and I’m going to plant. The people love their land above all else. It is what sustains them, usually.”

http://banderasnews.com/1009/nr-emilianozapata.htm

Carranza then called together a constitutional convention but did not invite Zapata; the convention approved and passed a constitution and elected Carranza as president of the republic. A new U.S. envoy, William Gates, visited Zapata and then published a series of articles in the United States; he contrasted the order of the Zapata-controlled zone with the chaos of the constitutional zone and said that “the true social revolution can be found among the Zapatistas.” When these articles were read to Zapata, he said, “Now I can die in peace. Finally they have done us justice.”

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Emiliano-Zapata

++++++++

The parallels between Zapata (the life & times of) and our current Red Rural & Blue Urban conflict are unmistakable:

(1) "Zapata's agrarian revolt was soon construed as a 'caste war' [race war], in which members of an 'inferior race' were captained by a 'modern Attila'", much in the same way that the rise of the Red Rural confederacy is oft portrayed as a 'race war' in which members of an 'inferior race' of ignorant anti-science hillbillies appear to be captained by a modern Trump;

(2) "Their tenacious defense of agrarian principles was incomprehensible to many people of that era", just as the views of the Red Rural confederacy appear incomprehensible to the many Davids & Urban Progressives of this era; and

(3) Back in 1917, Willian Gates noted that "the order of the Zapata-controlled zone (appeared much preferable to) the chaos of the constitutional zone", much in the same way that Red Rural order appears much preferable to the Blue Urban Chaos emblematic of our Brave New Progressive Diversitopia.

Though neither racist nor Nazi, I will say this as a Red Rural resident, "This Land & its Harvest is OURS".

Again I say, "Viva Zapata !!"


Best

LarryHart said...

matthew:

The Alt-Right are fucking Nazis. Swastikas and armbands.


After you mentioned a locumranch post above, I cheated and read it to see what you were talking about. It was the one where he said something like "I can't tell who are the real Nazis."

The armbands and swastikas are kind of a clue.


Locum idealizes the Nazis, even after a terrorist attack.
Ban him.


Nah, that would play into the "Pretend they don't exist and they'll go away" narrative. Better that people see what he really is.

You can personally ban him if you want by skipping over.


Fuck off and die, fake doctor.


Ordinarily, I don't go for that level of invective, but as I said above, Charlottesville changed everything.

donzelion said...

Stepping in after a break...Jonathan Sills hit this on the head:

"Dr. Brin, you still fail to comprehend the childlike mind of Donald Trump."

If flattery is to be an effective weapon, it must be directed towards those who call Trump's failings into starker light. Anyone know a "real" hero who actually stood up for the country? Defend that person, and tout the difference. Anyone know a "real" businessman who built something that profoundly impacted our society, that actually created jobs for Americans (not just wait staff at casinos)? Flatter THAT person, and let others draw their own conclusions. Anyone know a "real" politician who has made lives better in a place s/he has governed? Flatter that person, and start defending real achievement v. television/twitter celebrity.

The best, most effective flattery is to ignore bombastic imbeciles like Trump and look at grownups achieving truly amazing things - and make sure others know who they are.

donzelion said...

Mike Davey: "The left seems to be moving towards the defenestration of anyone who isn't ideologically pure. I'm afraid they may go the way of the right. I hope I'm wrong."

You are wrong. The "left" does include several who are extremists and demand purity tests before accepting members, but none of them have been elected. The furthest on the left - Bernie Sanders, say - is a pragmatist who vehemently opposes such purity tests, and the 'progressive wing' (Warren say) advocates 'crazy' policies like ensuring that financial instruments are not sold fraudulently (horrors!).

That said, there is the
(a) caricature left, trotted out by FoxNews along with anti-vaxxers and other nutjobs to set up 'entertaining' arguments,
(b) agents provocateur 'left' who are actually rightwingers who realize that most Americans voted against the Republican president, but are savvy about how to beat the majority by making it look 'crazy'
(c) a fringe left, full of crazies of one sort or another (just follow detox and other health fads to see their target audience).

Those sorts do not welcome moderates or conservatives, and are fully aware of every litmus test (and always seek more).

donzelion said...

Darrell E: "Regarding the idea that Nazis and White Supremacists should be ignored else you are helping to advance their cause, I couldn't disagree more."

"Shining light" on wretched beliefs does little to address them: rather, anyone who knew who Metzger was, and who still banked with him, offered him or his followers jobs, or otherwise contributed to his people ought to know who and what they are dealing with and have options to refuse to do so.

"why in the hell would anyone want to help Trump and the Republican Party keep these assholes in the dark where no one will see them or their connection to them?"
These assholes are frequently paranoid, convinced that their 'white male culture' is threatened. Fine, let them congregate with other white men in little clusters in backwoods places far away from jobs, opportunities, and money. Let those nutjobs hide out in the desert scrub. Let them give one another jobs, and live outside of social security and taxes - they are going to fester, but let them do so in poverty, whining about how oppressed they are far away from decent folks building a better country.

Paul SB said...

Darrell,

I hope it's option B rather than A - that seeing this stuff on the news will help to galvanize the decent people against them. And in support of Donzelion, I'll note that there have been some images going around FacePalm showing pictures of the demonstrators, identifying them by name so their employers fire them. These days few businesses want to be associated in any way with such slime.

More radio tidbits (I seem to be running a lot of errands today), there was an interview with Max Brooks, son of the much more famous Mel. He talked about working with military officers and said that these people go to work every day worried about the state of public education, and whether the sewage systems are working in third world countries, and they get that climate change is real and are concerned about militarization of the Arctic. This is just the stuff our host has been saying for some time. What gets me about it is that it really shows that the right wing is sharing the Emperor's wardrobe.

http://www.npr.org/2017/08/15/543614192/novelist-max-brooks-on-doomsday-dyslexia-and-growing-up-with-hollywood-parents

Think about the business leaders who are abandoning Trump right now. Give it time and they will become a smaller and smaller fringe, if we can just get their hand off the levers of government. Maybe that's why they are getting so noisy now.

donzelion said...

Locum, your analogy between the Trumpist alt-right and Zapata is as 'helpful' as your analogy between Trumpist alt-right and abused doggies looking for a home. Neither actually tells us anything about Trump, the alt-right, or much of anything else. But both tell us a lot about you.

That said, I am struggling to find any 'agrarian principles' that the alt-right is defending. The ranchers who besieged Oregon last year protested (1) a lawful prison sentence, a conviction that arose from (2) not receiving large enough government handouts (the government subsidized the ranch lands they'd been using, but they wanted free use -
and deemed anything else to be 'oppression' by that other BLM, the Bureau of Land Management).

"Though neither racist nor Nazi, I will say this as a Red Rural resident, "This Land & its Harvest is OURS"."

Your use of 'ours' here implies a social ownership of the benefits of that land, a 'community' claim rather than a personalized claim. How much of it is yours? When did you stop working as a doctor and become a farmer?

That said, both Zapata and his 'ideological' descendants did indeed make a similar claim, largely against absentee landlords who claimed ownership but never touched their own soil - a cry not unlike Mao and others. That you would identify with him, while ostensibly rejecting him, shows a fragile self-identity - making you an ideal tool for any feudalist who needs folks to think like you to ensure a pool of volunteers who will fight and die to preserve their wealthy estates (all the while mistakenly thinking they are protecting their own 'freedom').

Darrell E said...

Paul SB,

I'd note that what you described as in support of donzelion would not have been possible if these assholes hadn't exposed themselves to the public and then the media and other people paid attention to them.

donzelion,

I'm all for them being sad little puppies ignored by everyone else. But they aren't. They've got people that are sympathetic and even supportive of them in high places in our government and they are emboldened enough now in the Trump era to start making noise like they haven't in decades. In the real world they aren't ever going to be ignored the way you would like them to be, not in the current climate. They may be few in number in absolute terms but for the first time in a long time they have a bit of political power and it isn't inconceivable that they could increase that. I mean, look, Trump made it to the White House. Remember how most everyone on "our" side of the spectrum was poo pooing that as impossible?

David Brin said...

Matthew, yes, Locum was back in the sewer. We know that his hatred of FDR is precisely because he was NOT a conniving oligarch and instead “betrayed his class” in favor of the working middle class. That “betrayal” is the whole and entire reason the plantation lords concocted incantations for marroons like “L” to parrot.

BTW someone hijacked your account and posted a glowing account of Zapata in your name. Of course Zapata fought the oligarchs and you are their eager stooge. Check your security.

Viking, giving press to the neo-naz’s yes sends more flocking to them. And that’s fine. They are making clear that we’re in phase 8 of a real civil war. And the sooner all the fact-professions know it, the quicker it will end.

Paul SB said...

Darrell,

"I'd note that what you described as in support of donzelion would not have been possible if these assholes hadn't exposed themselves to the public and then the media and other people paid attention to them."

- Yup

Matt G said...

David,

In an unrelated topic, it looks as if someone has built a civilian workaround to the emergency cell phone problem (cell phones should be able to create ad-hoc networks if cell towers are down or otherwise unavailable) that you advocated in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

locumranch said...


When Zapata & his agrarian peasant army of 'Zapatistas' revolted against the abuses of then Mexican President-for-Life Porfirio Díaz in 1910, they allied themselves with a wealthy northern landowner called Francisco Madero & helped make him the new Mexican president with their guerrilla tactics. When President Madero betrayed Zapata's agrarian revolution, Zapata & his Zapatistas rebelled again.

President Madero was deposed by General Victoriano Huerta in 1911, and Zapata & his Zapatistas rebelled yet again, allowing Venustiano Carranza & his Constitutionalist Army to seize the presidency. When President Carranza was deposed by the 'Conventionists' at the Convention of Aguascalientes, Zapata & his Zapatistas allied themselves with Pancho Villa & other Conventionists against rogue President Carranza, until the day of Zapata's assassination in 1919.

At NO time, however, did Zapata or his 'Zapatistas' become the unquestioning & loyal supporters of those (their temporary) allies, remaining loyal only to themselves & their location-specific interests.

Why, then, does anyone SUPPOSE that the Red Rural confederates owe permanent allegiance to temporary allies like the Fed, the Union, the Trump, the Kochs, the republicans, the white supremacists or whosoever those momentary allies may be?

We can always rebel against those suckers when the time comes, after they've finished eliminating each other.


Best
________

'This land is ours' in the social sense of self-rule, self-ownership & 'Our Body, Our Choice'. Do what you want in your own locales -- fight over proper gender pronouns, abort your futures & off 'zher' selves if you so choose -- but leave the Fly-Over states to their own devices.

Its hilarious that Larry_H thinks 'ze' can tell the Good Guys from Bad Guys by their uniform. Ze forgets that dressing all-in-black, as the most militant of 'Antifa' Progressives do, is the historically accurate uniform of Fascists everywhere. It wouldn't surprise me none if he also believes that only Satanists eat Underwood sandwich spread.

I laugh also, thinking of George Bernard Shaw, when moralists like Cousin Matthew allow themselves to be baited into fights with Neo-Nazis & Other Pigs because (first) they get filthy, (second) the pig enjoys it & (third) they soon become ersatz-Nazis & quasi-Piggies themselves.

Paul SB said...

Dr. Brin,

A couple years ago I dressed as Emiliano Zapata for Halloween at my school. But just for laughs I combined it with my penguin costume, so I was Emiliano Zapenguin. I probably owe you a quarter for that one ...

Paul451 said...

Matt G,
Re: Beartooth.

However, as the name suggests, it is just a range extender for bluetooth, a very short range comms protocol. The handset is already capable of covering many miles using multiple frequencies without an added device. No hardware is required, it just requires communications standards that require phone makers to include it by default. (In the same way that they require that phones be capable of calling the local emergency number regardless of what network they can detect, or whether there's a sim-card in the phone. This is just one step further.)

The fact that people have to struggle so hard to get around this issue shows how overdue it is.

Paul451 said...

Aside, a range-extender on a vehicle, using normal 3G/4G frequencies, can reach 70km over flat terrain. Handset-to-handset would be shorter due to reduced signal strength, but still vastly more than protocols like Bluetooth or WiFi. (Bluetooth v5 is limited to around 250m, but realistically is much less.)

LarryHart said...

On the way out of my work building, I saw a tv screen (with no sound) with the CNN chiron showing something like "Trump press conference goes off the rails". The visual was not a press conference, but just looked like scenes from Charlottesville.

Anyone know the Cliff Notes version of what that was about?

Zepp Jamieson said...

@ Larry: I haven't heard of any violent demonstrations today. Presumably file footage of Charlottetown.
Trump backtracked to his cowardly position of false equivalency, declaring one side to be just as bad as the other. Republicans are in open revolt, and even Faux news is calling him "a moral disgrace" and demanding Republicans either kick him out of office or resign. At least five members of the Business Advisory council have now resigned.

donzelion said...

Darrell E: "I'm all for them being sad little puppies ignored by everyone else. But they aren't."

Increasingly, they are. In the 1930s, anti-semitism could be 'fashionable' and Jewish slurs mainstream. In the 1960s, 'nigger' was a common term of discussion; now, one scarcely uses the term in quotes without pausing. Granted, there are a few fighting for the right to 'use the n-word without restriction' - who go on television to describe 'political correctness as a national security threat' - but they seldom even want to use such words, let alone associate with such folks.

Trump & Co. live on the edge of this group, offering a 'safe space' for the folks who mock safe spaces, listening to the whines of the folks who do little other than whine about how oppressed and threatened they are (Christmas is under siege!). Yes, they're making noise in public, just as they've been doing so trollishly - 'bravely' fighting through a thousand online screeds for over a decade now. But 'in the real world' - most employers check social media to determine whether a person is a 'fit' employee, most landlords check out their tenants, most banks check backgrounds - and most of them pay some attention to the rantings of anyone before connecting with them.

"for the first time in a long time they have a bit of political power and it isn't inconceivable that they could increase that."
They don't have 'political power' - they have a 'safe space.' These munchkin militants hate anyone who needs such protection, mostly because they feel so threatened they don't want anyone else to have one.

"Trump made it to the White House. Remember how most everyone on "our" side of the spectrum was poo pooing that as impossible?"
We were naive. How to say 'it's a done deal!' when the electoral map shows Republican majorities at the state governorships, the legislature, the judiciary - as it has for most of the last 20 years? We couldn't believe Evangelicals would choose a casino gropester over Hillary, but we knew full well that the folks who elected Obama opted for an outsider over 'the establishment' in 2008, and did so again in 2016.

But a march here and there by a fringe group does not signify power. And as these sleazeballs start changing their names and identities and masking themselves in public, their lack of power will increasingly become clear.

Meanwhile...when is Jeff Bezos going to stop advertising on Brietbart? I'm reconsidering my Amazon Prime subscription...and hoping that every legit company starts to close off channels to these punks (Google FINALLY put a 'source blocker' into place in 2016 so one could start the long process of barring fake news sites even if they're 'popular'). Bit by bit...

donzelion said...

Locum: "Why, then, does anyone SUPPOSE that the Red Rural confederates owe permanent allegiance to temporary allies like the Fed, the Union, the Trump, the Kochs, the republicans, the white supremacists or whosoever those momentary allies may be?"

I am no expert in Mexican history, but the more you self-identify with a proto-socialist agrarian land redistribution group (far more socialist than any Democrat ever in America), the more tragi-comic it becomes.

But the sad fact is that the feudal masters KNOW damn well how fickle your loyalties are; they learned from Mao and Zapata, among many others, and mastered an 'art' of presenting a circus of horrific enemies coming to take your guns away, to destroy Christmas, to 'unwhiten' everything. 12 months ago you were afraid Hillary would have you arrested for your beliefs - a paranoid delusion then, but when I reminded you that I, along with hundreds of millions of other Americans would make sure that never happened, you still embraced the folks who really are willing to go to extremes (consider Trump's Justice Department collecting IP addresses for left-wing groups from Dreamhost as part of a criminal investigation - compare with the 'oppression' Obama orchestrated by denying 501(c)(3) tax exemption to a handful of political lobbyists).

Neither Zapata, Pancho Villa, nor any other Mexican revolutionary spent much time jousting with windmills. But today's right finds such spectacle glorious entertainment - and more importantly, while performing as a circus, they distract from their nonperformance of more difficult, less popular duties (like, say, keeping a clean environment in both agrarian and urban settings).

Tony Fisk said...

@larry Trump press conference goes off the rails

That would be in reference to a tasteful cartoon showing the "Trump Train" running down a CNN reporter. The resident retweeted it briefly then, in a pointless attempt at plausible deniability, deleted the RT (ie "he-re boys"). Just in case nobody had noticed he was off his meds (apart from the mescalin patch under his armband) he also retweeted someone concluding Trump *was* a Nazi.

From what I've heard of it, the press conference shows that he's through with the pacifiers. To paraphrase that tee shirt classic with the two vultures: "Patience my ass, I wanna nuke someone!". I only hope the name of the person currently assigned to hold the Football is Lucy.

Tony Fisk said...

OK, having looked at the video, Trump was back to 'equivalence', except that gaff about the "alt-left came at us".

Nobody in attendance was buying it.

LarryHart said...

There are none so blind as those who will Nazi.

LarryHart said...

What the eff is the "alt-left"? As opposed to the normal left, I mean.

But then, as Norman Goldman put it, what's the point of talking about "NEO-Nazis"? If they wear swastikas and do the Heil Hitler thing and talk about killing Jews, why not just use the term Nazi?

I understand that Trump can't offend the only clade who consistently backs him, but come on! When American politicians are courting the Nazi vote? Something is seriously wrong.

Jumper said...

Apparently a few non-Nazis were there to protest statue removal, so I'll cede that bit of fluff, as I have a whole load of more serious axes to grind with that pig Trump.

Anyone remember Hyperterminal, or one of the better programs? Its name escapes me. You could talk almost directly computer to computer, only the telco switchgear was intermediary, and even talk on the phone while trading files, etc. Skype used to work direct too,before it was seen as a threat and acquired and altered.

Anyway, here's this
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/11/the-lost-civilization-of-dial-up-bulletin-board-systems/506465/

Alfred Differ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alfred Differ said...

Paul451,

I had the start of a long reply all lined up when I looked up-thread at the exchange between you and Larry and saw his warning that we were talking past each other. I stopped writing and spent a while thinking about it. I have to agree, so I've tossed it all. It's not that I haven't read what you wrote, but I intend to try to get back to what YOU are talking about first.

Let's start with one thing. I'm not working under the assumption that you are dumb or ignorant about how markets work. If I thought you were, I probably wouldn't bother talking to you. It wouldn't be worth it. I DO sound like I'm talking down to people when I write things out, but you'd realize I'm not if we were face-to-face. If I write a lot, I'm genuinely enjoying myself with someone who could potentially teach me something. You qualify.

Next up, I recognize that a sharp change happened in the US. However, I've read about half of Piketty's book. Sharp changes happened in Europe too. Something really big happened around 1980 and the major economies started behaving in ways that haven't been seen since before WWI. Take a peek at his book. I disagree with him on a number of things and think his early assumptions are flawed enough to invalidate his later conclusions, but the change in the ratio between saved wealth and national income turned in the UK, France, US, and pretty much anywhere WWII had an impact. The sharpness of the turn depends a lot on how bad things got during WWI and WWII and the intervening period. It wasn't so bad here in the US, so the post-WWII aftermath wasn't as dramatic. I ask you to take a peek at his work because I think it is possible that what happened here is connected to what happened elsewhere. Basically, one can't 'fix' what one doesn't understand. I think your concerns may be mistaken.

As for asymmetries between buyers and sellers, I CAN see them and they are troubling when the buyer's appetite is insatiable. They don't concern me as much, though, as the asymmetry in our authority to obligate others. If I stretch a bit beyond my deli example I can point out how my city can obligate me to purchase electricity from a single utility. I have some say in that through election processes, but not much. Contracts can be signed while some fool is in office. This might not attract a lot of attention, but I got to see some of the aftermath of the 2001 debacle involving Gray Davis (CA governor at the time) and the wholesale electricity industry. My peers at my previous employer don't remember 2001 as the year of 9/11. They remember the extreme pain when our State was raped.

Purchasing asymmetries ARE a problem, but underneath them one usually finds obligation asymmetries. Help fix one and one might help fix the other.

Jonathan Sills said...

The man explicitly compared Robert E. Lee to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. He claimed there was "violence on both sides", that "the alt-left came charging at us" - he quickly backpedaled and said "at the protestors", but the statement was already made and recorded.

He explicitly gave aid and comfort to Nazis and the KKK - which, so far as I am concerned, are enemies of the country. Were I in the position to do so, I would finally charge him with treason for this.

This wasn't weasel-worded, or hidden by "dog whistles" - he said what he said. Plainly and clearly. He expressed sympathy with the murderer of Heather Heyer, with those who would kill my wife for being black, call our children abominations, and hang me as a race traitor. I really do think at this point that Donald Trump is a greater threat to this nation than Michael Pence, who would almost certainly be unable to push through any of his Dominionist nonsense in the remaining time in the term (even assuming the Russia investigation doesn't pull him down, and that noose seems to be closing on the entire administration at this point).

Tony Fisk said...

It was like that notorious speech in "Existence". The resident wanted his indignation hit, and wasn't getting it.

LarryHart said...

Cheetolini:

I didn't want to "RUSSIAN" to a statement.


You can't write this stuff.

Alfred Differ said...

@David | You sound to me like you are politically where I was about 12 years ago. I was a registered Democrat, but disagreed with them on a few fiscal issues and heavily when they got to the moralizing planks. None of that mattered enough to make me side with the GOP, though. I can’t stand the social conservatives. My split with the Democrats was friendly. After we dealt with gerrymandering and altered our elections to create run-offs in November, I felt the Democrats didn’t really need me as an ally. They didn’t do anything bothersome, though, and I’ll side with them if they need me. For now, though, they don’t.

Flat, open, fair, creative, and all the other descriptors of what is going right should be our collective vision, so I’ll disagree with you on a few details on achievable objectives, but not in the way we lay them out toward the vision.

For example, I’ll point out that the Keynesians aren’t the only prudent economists out there. It isn’t a choice between them and the nutty supply-side folks. Many non-nutty members of the profession are classical liberals as compared to the modern, US variety. I think it might be worth a bit of your time to distinguish between them or make finer distinctions. Some of them are defenders of civilization and potential allies.

For another example, Adam Smith’s approach, when taken en masse, is certainly better than serving the monsters he called out. Be aware, though, that this message has already succeeded with some economists who would take it further. If you don’t step up your game and distinguish between them better, you might think a potentially ally is an opponent.

Finally, I think Donzelion might be on to something when he challenges you regarding certain members of royal families and their motivations to do what they do. You know your sources and I don’t, but think carefully. He has direct experience.

Years ago, when I first started working on the tasks needed to make us a space-faring civilization it NEVER occurred to me that most of them would be of a social nature. I thought it was a technical problem. Hmpf. Lady Embarrassment has delivered her lesson using a club to get through my thick skull. Ouch. Moving on now. 8)

Alfred Differ said...

Okay. I've been hearing about the press conference all day. Time to go home and see it for myself. Maybe tomorrow I get to buy a new TV.

Jumper said...

Admirers of Lee are, of course, admirers of a complete fiction.
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/the-myth-of-the-kindly-general-lee/529038/

Alfred Differ said...

@locumranch | We can always rebel against those suckers when the time comes, after they've finished eliminating each other.

One of those little rebellions caused 750K deaths in this nation of about 31 million. Scaled up to our current population, that would feel a bit like 9.7M deaths.

Is that what you want? Do you think it is baked in?
Do you even think that is a good idea?

donzelion said...

Alfred: using Locum's currently favored analogy of the Mexican civil war, with 1.3 to 2m deaths in a population of 15-17m.... scaling up to our current population would make for an even more extreme comparison.

But like most mouse-based munchkin warriors, Locum doesn't really want that. He doesn't really know what he wants. Just to feel....something. Our anti-romantic hyper-rational rants give him a focus that Faux & Friends do noy.

David Brin said...

Eeep! Locum’s mexican history is a melange of solid truthful gruel and poison-laced chunks of glass and lies.

re cell- peer to peer, I’ve yammered about this for decades. All we need to gain huge resilience is P2P TEXTING! Voice isn’t even necessary for the central benefit of robustness.

I would be willing to give them Robert E. Lee. He was a damned traitor who hurt his country. But he represented the one noble trait of the Confederacy, its stunning martial virtues of courage and innovative ferocity on the battlefield. Indeed, poor southerners still volunteer for military service more than anyone else. Stonewall was a real bastard and NB Forrest was a spectacular one, but in the context of an actual battlefield, I’d let them be represented.

But this has a lining. Every southern college town is roiling with modernist rage against this resurrected treason. The Union is awakening to the monster that has tried to kill America 8 times.

Jumper said...

Does California have paper tape voting machines? Have officials ever reminded people to check the printout as they vote? Do they audit the vote?

Darrell E said...

donzelion,

Steve Bannon. Sebastian Gorka. Julie Kirchner. Katharine Gorka. Stephen Miller. These are just some of the people that Trump has working for him in our government that have ties to White Supremacists or similar. I'd invite anyone who cares to spend some time googling these people to see who they have associations with and the things they have done or participated in both in the past and since going to work for Trump.

I think "a bit of political power" is quite accurate. Are we in danger of Third Reich 2.0? Fuck no. Is this embarrassing as hell? Yes! Can these people cause trouble with their bit of political power? Yes, they can. They have already. They have affected legislation, they have affected management of government departments and programs, they have affected Trump's Executive Orders.

How big of a mess will we have to endure? How long will it take to clean up? I don't know. Hopefully we clean this up real quick. But, look at the epic mess the Bush Jr. administration left us with. Even after 8 years with a Democrat in office we've made but little progress in cleaning that mess up.

Probably the worse that could happen is that we pay no attention to these people and they or their ilk quietly become a standard fixture in our government steadily working to create opportunities to screw shit up their way. A steady nuisance that inhibits forward progress.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

But this has a lining. Every southern college town is roiling with modernist rage against this resurrected treason. The Union is awakening to the monster that has tried to kill America 8 times.


It is also now painfully obvious that Confederate symbols are not about reverence for the memory of the genteel antebellum south. They're about in-your-face forcefully reminding "other" people that they'd better keep to their place or else have deadly force used against them, and that white privilege not only exists, but should be codified into explicit law.

I don't even care any more whether the protesters qualify as racists. The fact is that they're terrorists. They're not only willing to kill those who make them angry by having different values, they think nothing of doing so. Their response to a brutal attack by one of their own resulting in death is that the victim had no value in their value system, and so her death is a positive boon. And it sickens me that the Justice Department of the United States of America is doing everything it can to declare that their existential fight against terrorism is only about Islam and has nothing at all to do with White Christianist Terrorism (tm).

Viking is wrong in his assertion that this filth would slink away if the news media would only refuse to shine light on them. The mainstream Republican party has tacitly benefited from courting the Nazi vote while obfuscating that fact as much as possible to their non-deplorable voters. Thanks to the coverage of Charlottesville, Republicans now have to oppose Naziism or be outed as collaborators. It is obvious now that there is no third choice.

LarryHart said...

appropos nothing political, but it made me think of a question...

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

Actually, Mooch may not technically belong in the sequence, since he was never actually sworn in. He's the Trump administration version of Stephen, who was elected Pope but died of a stroke three days later, and so was not consecrated. For 1,200 years, the Catholic Church has had trouble deciding if he counts as a Pope or not.


I never heard that story before, but it made me wonder. History buffs all know that William Henry Harrison died after 31 days as president, but at least he was inaugurated first. We've never had a candidate elected president who then dies before the inauguration, but I suppose eventually it will happen. Is that a constitutional crisis, or is there an orderly procedure as to what happens in that case?

The most reasonable expectation is that the VP-elect would be sworn in and then immediately be "promoted" to the presidency, but I'm not at all clear that the rules actually provide for that outcome, or any other outcome for that matter.

Anonymous said...

Alfred Differ: "Time to go home and see it for myself. Maybe tomorrow I get to buy a new TV. " That's a cryptic remark. My first mental image is Alfred getting so agitated that he throws the beer bottle through the TV screen. But that contradicts my impression of Alfred.

@LarryHart:
"Viking is wrong in his assertion that this filth would slink away if the news media would only refuse to shine light on them. The mainstream Republican party has tacitly benefited from courting the Nazi vote while obfuscating that fact as much as possible to their non-deplorable voters. "

How many Nazis do you assert voted Republican? And how are Republican voters subdivided between non-deplorable, deplorable and irredeemable(=nazi?)? Don't worry about my feelings, I have not voted Republican since year 2000, and I look at both establishment party as corrupt thieves, and through our foreign policy, murderers.

Are you questioning why there is radio silence from the good doctor (adult conservative), and the recent new poster young theoretical physicist author dude (intelligent literate libertarian)?

It is very clear to me that the victory of Donald Trump was a coin toss based on the tiny margin of victory, and you are refusing to consider the possibility that your "lets rub their face in it" attitude brought out a small number of extra votes by Republicans looking down on immoral DJT and were not planning to vote, but are tired of getting their faces rubbed in stories that are clearly biased, when observed by anyone outside the echo chamber.

Admit it, there is an old adage, "No news is bad news", all the negative coverage of Trump backfired, in the absence of WaPo, HuffPo, NYT, Trump might very well have lost.

If we look at the hosts relentless mentioning of Dennis Hastert, it is an obvious gay shaming with plausible deniability, and also an attempt at "shame by association", meaning republicans are associated with a pervert.

The liberals have won all major societal battles the last 50 years:

1. Nearly all laws restricting voluntary behaviors are stricken from code or never used. This includes laws against same gender relations, laws against fornication, financial penalties from infidelity (no cause divorce).

2. Welfare benefits are on an upward slope. When I immigrated, I was told that if I received any welfare payments for the first 5 years, that would result in my deportation. That is the law. On the other hand, an audit of the practice of this rule revealed that among 83 types of welfare benefits, only receiving 2 of them would trigger deportation proceedings. Obviously it is OK to lie on the form that says you are financially secure when immigrating.

3. Roe vs. Wade. As a libertarian, I believe everyone owns their body, so I don't have a moral issue with status quo, but strictly speaking, this is a states right issue, by the constitution, probably abortion would be allowed in all blue states, and disallowed in many red states.

What has happened the last years, is liberals mocking conservatives and rubbing their faces in the liberal victories, not only do they have to watch what they consider immoral behavior that used to be illegal, they also have to finance it, like ACA forcing all health plans to cover abortion and birth control, the trans gender bathroom irrelevancy, gay marriage, which is really only a form of economic warfare through the tax code, like ACA. Trump was a push back and blow back, but in my view, only a temporary sideways step, slowing the inevitable march towards being more like Venezuela and Brazil.

Viking said...

Sorry, the "Preview" reset my "Viking" identity, the 11:00am post is mine.

Viking said...

To clarify this:

"On the other hand, an audit of the practice of this rule revealed that among 83 types of welfare benefits, only receiving 2 of them would trigger deportation proceedings. Obviously it is OK to lie on the form that says you are financially secure when immigrating."

I realized an alternate interpretation is that somebody who receives one form of benefits is fine, but someone receiving 2 forms is in trouble.

Out of 83 types of benefits, immigrants can receive any of 81 types without fear of deportation, based on established practice. The two disallowed benefits are SS Disability Income and food stamps (SNAP).

https://www.yahoo.com/news/ap-fact-check-no-trump-order-deport-welfare-204357727--politics.html

https://aspe.hhs.gov/basic-report/summary-immigrant-eligibility-restrictions-under-current-law

LarryHart said...

Viking:

Admit it, there is an old adage, "No news is bad news", all the negative coverage of Trump backfired, in the absence of WaPo, HuffPo, NYT, Trump might very well have lost.


I'm not going to say that's the opposite thing (though it might be), but that's a different thing from covering a violent Nazi rally. I'm in agreement with you that the news media shamelessly gave Trump all kinds of free publicity, normalized him, and allowed him to frame his message to viewers. You don't have to limit the list to partisan outlets. Remember "Trump may be bad for the country and the world, but he's great for CBS." I hope whoever said that understands how wrong he was (at least in the long term).

You seem to be polarizing everything into liberal or conservative. In that view, showing Nazis for the evil that they are is "liberal", and only makes conservatives double down on supporting Nazis against the liberals, just to get back at them. I hope that is not the case--that a good number of conservatives recoil in horror at what they're being associated with.

If this was WWII and we were discussing newsreels showing the Nazi march across Europe, would you consider that a liberal attack on conservatives which deserved to have blowback? I hope to hell not.


How many Nazis do you assert voted Republican?


I'm not exactly sure what you're driving at, but I think that's the wrong question. The important question is "How many Republicans are ok with empowering Nazis in exchange for their votes?" Up until now, I'd have said "Most of them." Maybe that's changing now. If so, the coverage helped effect that change.


The liberals have won all major societal battles the last 50 years


Reagan tax cuts? Bush tax cuts? War in Iraq? The end of welfare as we know it? Bankruptcy protection erosion? Citizens United?

That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure there are plenty more conservative victories to crow about. And that's before the Neil Gorsuch appointment to the Supreme Court. Had God not saved us from Scalia, the court was about to find that "whole number of persons" meant white Christian Republicans.


What has happened the last years, is liberals mocking conservatives and rubbing their faces in the liberal victories,


You're not seriously saying that conservatives don't do end-zone dances over their victories, are you? Both W and Trump won (if you call it that) by the slimmest of margins, and then proceeded to govern as if they had an overwhelming mandate for the most radical elements of their party's agenda. The same with Illinois current Republican governor.

To me (and I'm sure you feel differently), what you're saying is that liberal victories are illegitimate, and therefore offensive on their face. The very fact of a liberal win is enough to make conservatives apoplectic and rightfully so. If they overreact in defense of conservatism, that's no vice. Victories by conservatives, the rightful rulers of America, are simply the world working as God intended, and so only a whiny liberal would be upset by them.

As I stated above, I'm not entirely in disagreement with you. It's probably bad form for liberals to rub anyone's nose in their defeat. I'd rather be magnanimous in victory, especially since the goal is to run the country well and help people, not to defeat them. Running roughshod over the losers is a right-wing game. But exposing Nazis for the vileness they represent shouldn't be a partisan issue in America. If it is, then what does that tell you about Republicans?

Alfred Differ said...

@Viking | It's more like throwing the TV out the window. 8)


all the negative coverage of Trump backfired

I think that is quite likely to be true. Clinton's campaign screwed up in its own ways too, but from where I sit, it looks like the media that supported her had no real feel for what was going on in the public.

Obviously it is OK to lie on the form that says you are financially secure when immigrating.

Welcome to America. Some of us don't think we should be asking questions like that of people who work up the courage to come here. It might not be that it is okay to lie. It might be that some of us don't want to know.

abortion

Yah. Technically it is a State issue... until one violates a woman's liberty which makes it an amendment #14 issue, thus a federal issue. I think the Court made an error when deciding Roe v Wade by making it a privacy issue. It is really about liberty. Without the ERA, they decided it on privacy, but we don't really need the ERA today to see some restrictions on abortion as a liberty problem.

slowing the inevitable march towards being more like Venezuela and Brazil.

aw man. You were doing fine until you went here. Trump does represent a blow back, but the progressives won't lead us to a Venezuelan future. Not even close. They make piss-poor socialists when it comes right down to it and they DON'T trust government as much as libertarians think. An American Progressive DOES have liberalism in their intellectual history along with a muddle of other things.

Alfred Differ said...

@donzelion | Our anti-romantic hyper-rational rants give him a focus that Faux & Friends do not.

Yah. That makes some sense. I love the imagery for mouse-based, munchkin warrior too. 8)

He's missing us in the evenings, though. Many of us are far less rational after the sun goes down. When the dark of night is partially illuminated by the flickering campfire, we are all romantics.

LarryHart said...

Viking:

Out of 83 types of benefits, immigrants can receive any of 81 types without fear of deportation, based on established practice. The two disallowed benefits are SS Disability Income and food stamps (SNAP).


I'm not sure that counts as a liberal victory. Certainly not the type of thing anyone is claiming credit for and rubbing in someone else's face.

What about gun control (lack of)? That's a pretty big conservative victory in the social realm. And Stand Your Ground laws. And the end of the fairness doctrine. The gutting of the Voting Rights Act.

You're going to have to do more to convince me that liberals have been winning so much we're getting tired of winning.

Viking said...

@LarryHart

You made many points.

"Reagan tax cuts? Bush tax cuts? War in Iraq? The end of welfare as we know it? Bankruptcy protection erosion? Citizens United?

That's just off the top of my head. I'm sure there are plenty more conservative victories to crow about. And that's before the Neil Gorsuch appointment to the Supreme Court. Had God not saved us from Scalia, the court was about to find that "whole number of persons" meant white Christian Republicans."

I agree there are victories of the republican party, but I was really talking about conservative, not republican in terms of societal changes. Many of these republican victories are more oligarch giveaways to pharmaceutical companies (Medicare part B), feeding Halliburton, Lockheed and Boeing with useless illegal wars, agricultural subsidies to ADM etc. There is nothing conservative about these, but those were victories of the republican party.

I also think these, and the things you mentioned will be forgotten by history books, but the changes in laws regulating human interaction that I mentioned are more significant on the conservative liberal scale. I might be insensitive (ok, I am definitively insensitive), but the things you mentioned as conservative victories I am cataloging as progressives crying the sky is falling for every tiny setback.

I realize that on the individual level, if you managed to get $120K in non dis-chargeable student debt from a worthless college for a worthless degree, this is a personal catastrophe. But it is nothing a historian will care about. Rosa Parks, MLK and the litigant in Roe v. Wade, on the other hand, will stay in the history books probably as long as USA exists.

Viking said...

@LarryHart
"What about gun control (lack of)? That's a pretty big conservative victory in the social realm. And Stand Your Ground laws. And the end of the fairness doctrine. The gutting of the Voting Rights Act."

I am a libertarian. I might be ridiculous. (Ok, I am sure I AM ridiculous in your mind). The natural interpretation of second amendment is that private individuals and corporations can have exactly the same military weapons as national armies. That was the case in 1776. The navy had cannons, and so did private trading ships. If the second amendment does not instill fear in government, it is already gutted beyond its initial intention. Staying within SF and libertarian-ism, in the book Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson. there was an Inuit with a private H-bomb, wired to detonate if his heart beats ever stopped. The most likely response given the technological development in weapons is to get rid of the second amendment, and given my correct interpretation of the constitution, this would not be a conservative/liberal point of contention anymore, as both parties would agree that nobody except the army they control should have nukes or 16" cannons. To me, the second amendment debate is a lot like the joke about the "hooker" who would do it for a million, but not for $50, the left and right are just bickering about the details, while pretending we still have a second amendment. The "Jefferson Rifle" counts under the same pretense.

locumranch said...



It's like arguing with my elderly parents, trying to discuss the political ramifications of both Charlottesville and the growing Right & Left divide with those who FEEL that all those right-wing dominionists, racists, anti-abortionists, deporables & climate deniers should be silenced, imprisoned, shunned and expelled due to to their unredeemably despicable views, so much so that I have exhausted my verbiage & leave all further explanation to someone who has NEVER been at a loss for words no matter how bizarre the circumstances.

I therefore give you Captain James T. Kirk, S2 E23, 'The Omega Glory' episode (and his words inexhaustible) as he lectures the Yangs that the sacred words of 'Eed plebnista' either apply to EVERYBODY (including the most deplorable) or they apply to NOBODY:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsRo-m9muFE


Best

LarryHart said...

Viking:

I might be ridiculous. (Ok, I am sure I AM ridiculous in your mind).


Not in the way you think. I'm not the caricature liberal that locumranch makes me out to be.

The Second Amendment doesn't mention guns at all. It talks about the right to bear arms. If that means anyone can have any kind of gun, it also means anyone can have any kind of sword, bomb, or weaponized germ. The interpretation that all sorts of other weapons can be restricted but guns cannot is absurd. There's no separate verbiage about guns. None.

If that's not exactly what you're saying, it's at least in the same ballpark.

referring to an earlier post:

I agree there are victories of the republican party, but I was really talking about conservative, not republican in terms of societal changes. Many of these republican victories are more oligarch giveaways to pharmaceutical companies (Medicare part B), feeding Halliburton, Lockheed and Boeing with useless illegal wars, agricultural subsidies to ADM etc. There is nothing conservative about these, but those were victories of the republican party.


Ok, but you're moving the goalposts then. My examples might not be victories for True Scotsmen...I mean conservatives, but they are not liberal victories either--certainly not something that conservatives should need to get back at liberals for by voting an Nazi-enabling idiot into the White House.


I also think these, and the things you mentioned will be forgotten by history books, but the changes in laws regulating human interaction that I mentioned are more significant on the conservative liberal scale. I might be insensitive (ok, I am definitively insensitive), but the things you mentioned as conservative victories I am cataloging as progressives crying the sky is falling for every tiny setback.


You're talking about things like ending slavery and equal rights for minorities. Are you really saying that such things are so humiliating a defeat for conservatives (True Conservatives, I mean) that they finally have to upend the chessboard by supporting Trump? Don't many of these progressive victories turn out to become conservative values once they stand the test of time?

That's what I personally consider a progressive victory--not running roughshod over conservatives, but proving that a progressive solution really does work and having it ultimately accepted by the general public.

Viking said...

@Alfred Differ:

"aw man. You were doing fine until you went here. Trump does represent a blow back, but the progressives won't lead us to a Venezuelan future. Not even close. They make piss-poor socialists when it comes right down to it and they DON'T trust government as much as libertarians think. An American Progressive DOES have liberalism in their intellectual history along with a muddle of other things. "

There is an ongoing meme that empty condos and houses should be confiscated and used to help the less fortunate. In local governments, I see thugs refusing to do maintenance with the regular budget, rather intentionally make schools and public facilities so bad that they can ram through a bond issuance that increases property taxes beyond the constitutional maximum 3% per year here in Oregon. We have a much better starting point than Venezuela, and deeper pockets, so as you mentioned before, we can do make more mistakes before we suffer, because we are richer. I do cringe when economic illiterates, that would fail your suggested financial savvy test, make it into city councils and legislatures where they can do damage way beyond their own family.

You are more optimistic than me, as a physical sciences major, mental extrapolation is pretty automatic for me. I hope you are right.

Viking said...

@LarryHart:

"Are you really saying that such things are so humiliating a defeat for conservatives (True Conservatives, I mean) that they finally have to upend the chessboard by supporting Trump?"

Our republic has very few levers accessible by the voters, electing the president is indeed a very blunt tool. I would be all for a Swiss style direct democracy.

Will respond more later. Not my intention to move the goal post, I am offering the perspective of somebody outside the two major bubbles, but perhaps inside somewhat the lunatic libertarian bubble.

matthew said...

@ Viking - I'll turn one of your questions around. How many Nazi's did *not* vote for Trump? How many white supremacists voted for HRC?

The simple truth is conservatives now have even less excuse not to turn away from their destructive course.

LarryHart said...

Viking:

"Are you really saying that such things are so humiliating a defeat for conservatives (True Conservatives, I mean) that they finally have to upend the chessboard by supporting Trump?"

Our republic has very few levers accessible by the voters, electing the president is indeed a very blunt tool.


You miss my point. The emphasis is not on "electing the president", but on "upsetting the chessboard." Like Brexit. A vote that means "I know this will probably make things worse, but I'm already so little invested in things working well that I don't fucking care!"

You're saying conservatives have reached that level of frustration because we've ended slavery, allowed blacks to vote and sit in front of the bus, made it not the law's business if non-married adults to have sex?

And they call us snowflakes?

(Republicans are the true snowflakes, as they are white and cold, and if you get enough of them together, they'll shut down the public schools)

David Brin said...

Viking: you clearly do not understand the Jefferson Rifle. The 2nd amendment is inherently the very weakest. A future court WIL interpret the “militia” prelude and that will be that. Read the JR article again.

Locum would cite the dumbest trek episode ever.

Viking you assert Fox exaggerated anecdotes. The statistics show that dems govern fairly well and goppers do not. Period. http://davidbrin.blogspot.com/2014/06/so-do-outcomes-matter-more-than-rhetoric.html

David Brin said...

onward

onward

Viking said...

@LarryHart, perhaps after onwards?

"You're saying conservatives have reached that level of frustration because we've ended slavery, allowed blacks to vote and sit in front of the bus, made it not the law's business if non-married adults to have sex?"

Now you are moving the goalposts:

I mentioned Rosa Parks as a liberal victory (along with those I mentioned that frustrate conservatives) that will remain in the history books, in contrast to Reagan tax cuts or bankruptcy reform, which I claim are mere blips. Your jab about conservatives being upset about the ending of slavery is totally outside my claim that the last 50 years have gone in the liberals favor, and is insulting to conservatives.

I am all for laws about fornication being annulled or repealed, I am simply highlighting the conservative perspective.

You are putting words in my mouth that were never there.