Thursday, January 31, 2019

Worrisome directions for democracy


See what one of our top Paladins for democracy – Lawrence Lessig – and his colleagues have been doing, over at Equal Citizen. In one case, they are pushing to enable presidential electors to vote their conscience. 

Speaking of whom… The coming Unrig Summit - March in Nashville - will thrash out how to "un-rig" our democracy, eliminating cheats that have crept in or been crammed in by cheaters. Wish I could present my *simple* fix for gerrymandering that answers every excuse used by John Roberts to sidestep the issue. ("Minimal Overlap") or my FACT Act. But my Futurist Cred, while substantial, is spread too thin. But Lawrence Lessig and others will be there, standing up for our bold revolution against 6000 years of feudalism.

One fight-back just occurred to me. For ages it's been proposed that black citizens of Alabama move next door to Mississippi, especially to a few carefully chosen counties where some millionaire or NGO surreptitiously buys-up inexpensive property, using now gerrymandered districts to their advantage. Same with S. Carolina and Georgia.But even easier. A well-sited Google Research Center in Wyoming could draw in enough other companies to an advanced research town where tens of thousands might stay 6 months for voting residency and... You work it out. What? Wyoming would object?

== No Witnesses ==

Your “no-collusion!” uncle would have been in hysterics by now, if Obama had done 0.01% of any of this. There are no detailed records of five personal meetings President Donald Trump has had with Russian President Vladimir Putin -- Trump has gone to "extraordinary lengths" to keep the specifics of his conversations with his Russian counterpart under wraps.

On at least one occasion, President Trump took possession of his interpreter’s notes after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, U.S. officials said. There is no detailed record, even in classified files, of Trump’s face-to-face interactions with Putin over the past two years, the officials said.”

Remind your mad uncles that Vladimir Putin called the fall of the USSR the “greatest tragedy in history.” And we’re supposed to trust Lenin-raised ex-KGB agents turned billionaire mafia oligarchs, because a pussy-grabbing slumlord and his casino-owner pals say so? 

The time has come to call these uncles and confederates by their true name. Commies.

== Short Takes you need to know ==

ROUNDUP!  Too many news items! You may have seen some of these, but you need to know all of them. Like:

- National Security Adviser John Bolton called on the Pentagon to provide military options to strike Iran, exactly as I said he would, as Trump desperately seeks a distraction and Putin plans to scoop up all the prizes. (No other outcome from a US-Iran “war” is remotely possible.) But with our protector caste fully alert, it will be up to Putin to supply some clever pretext. Beware fellah. Our folks are clever, too. God bless the U.S. Navy.

And more…

- … like Whole Foods snapping up a hundred defunct Sears/KMarts (see this map) giving Amazon a huge footprint. Especially ironic since, if Sears had just held on to its 100 year old catalogue two more years, in 1993, Sears would have been Amazon and owned half the planet, by now. Whoever made that catalogue decision goes down in history as the stupidest-ever manager. Hire Science Fiction author consultants!

 - …. I thought this was a joke about heavenly punishment…Fire damages MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN studios in D.C. as Mike Pence scheduled to appear.” But yeah, they are in the same building. And it took an accident for us to learn this weird coincidence.

- …like “A senior Russian official has canceled a planned visit to the United States, claiming he feared a second civil war being waged by opposing political forces there.”

"Rogozin is not the first to raise the prospect of a second Civil War amid the polarized political climate in the U.S. In June, former Trump adviser Roger Stone warned of a potential civil war in an interview with Newsweek and, days later, University of California, Berkeley professor Robert Reich argued that "serious social unrest" may be on the way, even if an actual civil war remained unlikely. Later that month, Republican Congressman Steve King tweeted, "America is heading in the direction of another Harpers Ferry" and "After that comes Ft. Sumter," referring to the Confederate raid on the U.S. fort that sparked the Civil War. Amid all this talk of Civil War, a poll that same month found 31 percent of likely U.S. voters thought the prospect of a second such conflict breaking out in the next five years was likely."

Addendum: Note where I have long spoken of this, only we are in phase EIGHT of a culture struggle that goes back to 1778.

By the way, Harpers Ferry was more than just an abolitionist radical trying to lead a slave revolt. It was retaliation for 8 years of raids by squadrons of southern irregular cavalry that had been rampaging across northern states since 1852, burning and kidnapping and even killing, supported by a southern-owned federal government, causing northerners to radicalize, arm themselves and restart their militias… and elect Abraham Lincoln, who Fox would today dismiss as a “leftist.”

And more…

- …like there’s a lot of talk about Tucker Carlson’s veer toward populism in some of his rants, on Fox. He appears to be demanding an accounting from Wall Street and other uber oligarchs, for screwing middle America. How populist!  Only… Tucker Carlson knows his job. It is to stay slightly ahead of the curve and steer some of it. He knows that white, lower-middle-class America is on the verge of finally realizing they've been screwed by oligarchy’s Republican-Foxite tools. Instead of even trying to defend oligarchy, anymore, their one chance is to mix it with other "elites" and keep just a teensy bit more rage aimed at the "Deep State" and at intellectuals and Fake News and every other fact-using profession.

Were he sincere, Carlson would have started not with Wall Street, but the anti-science Denialist Cult that might kill us all. Or else start with Vladimir Putin. He won’t. He can’t.

… aaaand the Keystone Pipeline, abruptly re-ignited by Trump upon entering office, is now revealed to be heavily engaged with a Putin-ally Russian oligarch. And you’re surprised that the same people who shrieked over a Canadian Uranium company owned by Russians being distantly linked to Hillary Clinton have nothing to say about this? 

== President Pence ==

Members of the pundit-o-sphere keep softballing the notion of a Pence Presidency. This op-edder in the NY Times,for example, jests about Pence not dining alone with any unchaperoned woman, but at least they’d bring pets back to the White House! Sure, the Pences are homophobes, but history has left them in dust and besides, he spent 12 years in Congress without passing a single piece of legislation. So what? Me, worry? Clearly noxious but likely harmlessly ineffectual, compared to Putin-puppet Donald Trump, right?

Carumba. There is one huge fact about Mike Pence that we are PC-banned from ever raising or mentioning – his devoutly central and all-consuming theology. The wing of the Republican Party that dominates it now -- except in areas that the oligarchy cares about, like taxes and the environment -- is Dominionism, a radicalized branch of fundamentalist Protestantism that has made the Book of Revelation the sun that its members revolve around. We are talking Handmaid’s Tale levels of fiery-apocalypse fixation. Moreover, if you corner a dominionist with good, leading questions, he or she will proudly avow to praying daily for doom-events described BoR to come to pass, and as soon as possible.

You need to educate yourselves. Learn what that means. This no longer has anything remotely to do with a bearded-beaded, sandal-wearing, forgiveness-preaching ecumenical-socialist Galilean rabbi. This is what they believe… and desperately want, ASAP. 

Torture and pain for 99% of their neighbors in this real world, followed by their damnation and exponentiated torment for all eternity. An end to all democracy. An end to all argument and competition, all ambition and curiosity. An end to any and all further generations of children. And a clear, explicit end to the United States of America. This is no exaggeration. It is literally and explicitly what they seek. And yes, there comes a point when theology is acceptably a subject for voter consideration, especially when allocating the keys to nuclear weapons.

Right now, much to Vladimir Putin’s dismay, the Trump White House is vile, but ineffectual. It leaks like a sieve and the entire American Protector Caste is on alert. Take him down? You’ll replace all that with a Pence Administration that’s packed with utterly disciplined dominionists, crooning smoothly to draw relieved military and intel officers back from the cold… while seeking implacably to achieve their one and only goal. The literal end of our world.

Oh, you who so desperately howl for the impeachment of Donald Trump, you have cause! Only consider Trump’s impeachment insurance. A fellow like Ol’ Two Scoops will demand company when he falls. If he goes down, so do we all.

== States of Emergency ==

Interesting article from The Atlantic about states of emergency and the vague and very broad powers that might be within reach of an un-“stable genius.”

“Unlike the modern constitutions of many other countries, which specify when and how a state of emergency may be declared and which rights may be suspended, the U.S. Constitution itself includes no comprehensive separate regime for emergencies. Those few powers it does contain for dealing with certain urgent threats, it assigns to Congress, not the president. For instance, it lets Congress suspend the writ of habeas corpus—that is, allow government officials to imprison people without judicial review—“when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it” and “provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.”

And: “Congress passed the National Emergencies Act in 1976. Under this law, the president still has complete discretion to issue an emergency declaration—but he must specify in the declaration which powers he intends to use, issue public updates if he decides to invoke additional powers, and report to Congress on the government’s emergency-related expenditures every six months. The state of emergency expires after a year unless the president renews it, and the Senate and the House must meet every six months while the emergency is in effect “to consider a vote” on termination…. By any objective measure, the law has failed. Thirty states of emergency are in effect today—several times more than when the act was passed.” (Hey, dig the diamond studded cufflinks, in one of the images!)

Elizabeth Goiten goes on to describe the powers apparently given by a 1942 law that might let a president use an emergency declaration to control the Internet. Even scarier: The Insurrection Act of 1807 provides the necessary authority. As amended over the years, it allows the president to deploy troops upon the request of a state’s governor or legislature to help put down an insurrection within that state.”

Mind you, this is the sort of imagery that rightwing nut-jobs howled about Obama’s intent to bring in U.N. Black Helicopters and set up concentration camps. And anyone who believes that today’s U.S. military officer corps would go along with such things has been watching too much Info Wars and/or The Handmaid’s Tale.

Though yes, I have relentlessly called upon US citizens and others to read up on past use of pretexts for seizing emergency powers. 

The Tonkin Gulf and Gleiwitz incidents might be repeated in the Straits of Hormuz, by a president desperate for a nice, tidy U.S.-Iran “war” that would distract at home while giving his Moscow master all the marbles. The Reichstag Fire should come to mind, too. It certainly was on Margaret Atwood’s when she portrayed a fundamentalist terror strike on DC then giving them an excuse for a putsch.

And now add Venezuela.

The article ends with a similar, scary scenario. But I think our skilled professionals would protect us from anything so blatant. I am less sure that they’ll be so vigilant if the same thing is tried by a smoothly-soothing-voiced (and spectacularly more-dangerous) President Mike Pence.

97 comments:

progressbot said...

.


Dr.Brin

You are in process of failing your Reality Check just now. Be advised!

Well.

" All right, you are refusing to waken, so we'll let you go.
Dear friend. Beloved. Go back to your dream.
Smile (or feel a brief chill) over this diverting little what-if tale, as if it hardly matters. Then turn the page to new "discoveries."
Move on with the drama — the "life" — that you've chosen.
After all, it's only make believe."

excerpt form "Reality Check" D. Brin (2003)


.


PS //And this is why I will progressively and increasingly ignore you.

Then you deserve to stay with commenters like yana, locum, etc...
And that is, not my problem.
Sorry for disterbin your sleep.

And what a laughable threat... to threat with something you ALREADY doing. %)
Or you think I do not see and cannot analyse your reactions?
Your readiness to answer Locum malackrel? For example. %)

progressbot said...

\\Your postings are very difficult to read and people generally skim through these comments section, picking just one or two points to answer.

I see no honesty in this words.

If you feel it that I do not fit in your cosy small... how to name it -- its better to say it straight.
Because of... you know, difficulties with foregn lang and so on.

You need to say it blunt.
Because I'll hardly recognize and/or appreciate any diplomatic sweettalks.


\\But you will find plenty about Von Neumann self-replicating machines in my novel EXISTENCE.

Thank you for your considerations.
But I do not interested in some hollow abstractions.

What I was wanting to talk about -- is real modern techs and prospects of its development.

(Or... have a place to chit-chat with smart people about sci things... but that's not so important)

porohobot said...

Heh... you already recieved that "From Russia, with Luv"? %^)

About russian hackers cracked Mueller files? ;)

porohobot said...

\\The time has come to call these uncles and confederates by their true name. Commies.

You know that you sounds like Locum? (they not commies... they cargo-culted savages, raised on Hollywood blockbusters watched in secret, scraping/learning role-models from it %)))


\\Whoever made that catalogue decision goes down in history as the stupidest-ever manager. Hire Science Fiction author consultants!

Hah! And that says one to which Future hopelessly knocking to his door.


\\anti-science Denialist Cult that might kill us all.

Do you need such cult? With duffy and yana, and jim around you? %)



I'll just double it.

"""
>> Jon S. said...
\\...welcome outsiders, and consider their insights potentially valuable.

It look not that great... as for me. %(
"""

It do not works. %((

Mark Gast said...

Is it time to ban the bot yet?

Alfred Differ said...

Russian crackers didn't crack squat when it comes to Mueller.
They were given discovery documentation prosecutors have to give to defendants.
They turned that information into propaganda for their current op.

They won't like it later when we've ousted Trump and many of us remind our government afterward that we see what was done as an act of war. Literally. Act Of War.

Larry Hart said...

What's Howard Schultz up to really? His stated excuse is that he'll be a sensible, third way beyond the ridiculous Donald Trump and the "far left radical" Democratic candidate. But the guy has to know that a president by himself can't get an agenda accomplished without congress, which will either be controlled by those very Democrats and Republicans. He also has to know that he can't possibly win many states and probably won't win any.

So he's got to have a reason why he's threatening to be a spoiler in the election. The only question is, does he want to help re-elect Trump, or is he after some concession in exchange for pulling out of the race? If the latter, is he looking for concessions from Democrats, or from Trump? And if the former, is he a MAGA guy, or is he being blackmailed over kompramat?

Inquiring minds want to know.

matthew said...

I'll never forgive Lawrence Lessig his attempt at being a third-party spoiler in 2016. He can be your "paladin" but he is one of the top 10 people in the world responsible for Trump in the Oval Office (along with Jill Stein and my old friend, Gary Johnson).

His egotistical take on running for office was just enough to encourage the Never Trumpers to not defect to HRC. No forgiveness for those that helped the GOP. Spare us from "centrists" like Lessig and Schultz, please. We do not need them.



matthew said...

Oh, and President Pence? It will not happen. Pence is heavily implicated in dealing with the Russians during his time as transition leader. It will be inmate Pence and President Pelosi if there is an impeachment.

Alfred Differ said...

If you don't try to appeal to some of us nearer the center, you are screwed in 2020. (Yah. Me too.) We will split anyway. It won't matter if there are third-party or independents in the race.

matthew said...

Alfred, statistics prove you wrong. Most Americans are far to the left of milquetoast "centrist."
What's needed is not reaching out to the mythical undecided centrist. What is needed is simply getting a majority of voters in the correct states excited to vote for someone they actually want to win.
You do not excite left-leaning (the majority of Americans, remember)voters by reaching out to the center.
You excite the majority of voters by standing for something they believe in.

Schultz, Lessig, Bloomberg, etc. are only useful to Trump, not to actually winning the contest.

Larry Hart said...

All fine, but I wasn't asking "What do you think of Howard Schultz?"

I was asking what he's up to, from his point of view. I mean, it can't be what he says it is, since that will never work. So what is his motivation?

David Brin said...



1. Porohobot you seem different from “progressbot”. Please confirm this?

2. Progressbot you are a guest here. I divide my attention amongst members of a large and dynamic community. You demand that I read every word of your lengthy and VERY difficult-to-read postings, then you howl at me for not answering in detail.

It does not seem to occur to you that screaming at me only makes it more likely that I will shrug and avoid you. Right now I am still skimming and trying. You will soon end that.

And yes, “commie” is a very effective way to surprise US right wingers who have enslaved themselves to former communist, former KGB agents.

The essence of Leninism was never socialism, it was raw, oligarchic power, paranoid and ruthless. In that respect, hell yes, followers of Putin aren’t just mafiosi. They are also “commies.”


matthew:
“I'll never forgive Lawrence Lessig his attempt at being a third-party spoiler in 2016. “

What a pile of absolute, counter factual bullshit. He ran in Democratic primaries as a democrat, strictly in order to draw attention oto electoral process reform. This is horse hockey.


Alfred, desperate attempts will be made to split the anti-GOP front. And every single splitter should be examined for Kompromat. Knowingly or unknowingly, they are enemies of us all.

Alfred Differ said...

Matthew,

I don't give a damn about your statistics. Give me a candidate I can like and I'll vote for her. Give me Harris and I won't vote for Johnson, though that won't matter much since I'm from California. Give me Warren and I might vote for Johnson if he runs.

The 'centrists' are undecideds. They are people who don't like what's on offer and they only sound like they occupy the center. They don't really, though. Some of us are very opinionated.

The Democrats already have my House vote for 2020. I've met a declared libertarian competitor for my Dem representative. I wasn't impressed. He'd probably caucus with the GOP, so that's a non-starter.

Alfred Differ said...

David,

Agreed. Splitters who do so for that purpose will be summarily shot. (Okay... not literally.) 8)

I sincerely hope Trump is primaried and all this is moot.
I most sincerely hope Trump is impeached and removed so the GOP can move on and make this moot.

I most, most, most sincerely hope the GOP is crushed in all branches of government in 2020 as an object lesson.


It's just that I don't see Schultz as a problem for the Democrats. To me, he looks more like a primary challenger for Trump who isn't trying (just yet) to appeal to GOP voters. Matthew is right about Democrats leaning left a lot lately and that means 'Not Schultz'. I'm just hoping they pick someone who can appeal to people who would like Schultz who recognize the need not to split the vote.

Alfred Differ said...

@Larry,

I think you might be underestimating Schultz' ego here. I'd take him at his word for now and accept that he believes what he says. That doesn't make what he believes true, but that can be said for most of us. 8)

Larry Hart said...

Alfred Differ:

The 'centrists' are undecideds.


I assume you used the quote marks to mean "Those who call themselves centrists are really something else." Because the words "centrist", "undecided", and also "independent" are often used interchangeably, but they in fact have different meanings.

Mike Will said...

Schultz may be playing a smart game. Teasing a run might discourage a hundred wannabees from entering on the D side. He could then pull the plug at the last minute. Sort of like a the moon and/or Jupiter sweeping away killer asteroids to protect life on Earth. It might even encourage egotists to run on the R side too. I like to think that coffee increases one's IQ. This theory supports that hope.

progressbot said...

.


Dr.Brin

Sorry.
But there is a reason behind my incentive to annoy you.

That tech (as any other) I'm talking about -- can be used as weapon.

And if it can be -- it will be used.

And it will be VERY nasty. Especially that it can be in police "non-lethal" use TOO.

And I saw only one way to mitigate that possibility -- increased speed of evolution.

So it will be developed for more complex and non-military use FIRST,
for the benefit of all of mankind, earlier... then, BEFORE it'll fall in hand of smarty-mafia, like Putin, etc.

So... that's why I cam to you for advice. And maybe for help.


.



PS Sorry again. I never intended to make it some trick.
As declared in the beginning of previous post comments thread == ProgressBot its just alterego for Porohobot. To make emphasis on sci and tech topics.
While leave Poroshenko(your, UA presidente) Bot for use in political brawls.

I also dislike Poro, and would like to be more Pro... but it's politics, it's ce la ve.

porohobot said...

\\1. Porohobot you seem different from “progressbot”. Please confirm this?

Done above.


\\2. Progressbot you are a guest here. I divide my attention amongst members of a large and dynamic community. You demand that I read every word of your lengthy and VERY difficult-to-read postings, then you howl at me for not answering in detail.

Sorry.
I just mere human.
And though rationally I was not meant it that way.
My emotions about contents of comments to previous post took over me. For a bit.

And of course. I do not mean you, niether read nor comment my every word
On the contrary... as you can see, I trying to make it short, and to emphase important (IMHO) with markup.

And if it would be no bother for you -- can you give me a little hint -- what exactly is "difficult-to-read". So that I could improve.


\\It does not seem to occur to you that screaming at me only makes it more likely that I will shrug and avoid you. Right now I am still skimming and trying. You will soon end that.

Sorry. (shy)


\\And yes, “commie” is a very effective way to surprise US right wingers who have enslaved themselves to former communist, former KGB agents.

If want to use it only(?) as rhetoric. To sway your fellow americans. Have nothing to oppose.


\\The essence of Leninism was never socialism, it was raw, oligarchic power, paranoid and ruthless. In that respect, hell yes, followers of Putin aren’t just mafiosi. They are also “commies.”

Still. I. As born in USSR. And as inhabitant of post-soviet.
Have more reason to think that my opinion is more precise. On that topic. Isn't it?

Alfred Differ said...

Larry,

aw. I messed up that sentence too. 40 lashes for me. 8/

Centrists aren't really undecided voters. It's more complicated. As you point out, people use the terms interchangeably, but they also use 'left' and 'right' as if they have some objective meaning.

What I'm trying to point out is that Democrats absolutely BETTER HAVE a strategy for pulling in people who are otherwise soft on supporting them. These people are a mix and can easily split between available options. If the Democrats don't get enough of them, they are toast in 2020. Appealing only to progressives is very, very stupid even if one prefers what they offer. The Democrats need non-progressives voting for them in 2020.

When I speak of options and split votes, it is important to remember that even in a field with no independent/third-party candidates, there are still three options.

#1 D
#2 R
#3 Don't vote

People who don't like what is being offered might prefer #3 to the lesser of two evils.

porohobot said...

>> Alfred Differ said...
\\Russian crackers didn't crack squat when it comes to Mueller.
They were given discovery documentation prosecutors have to give to defendants.
They turned that information into propaganda for their current op.

Still. It works in their favour. (are you still do not understand their strategy?)


\\They won't like it later when we've ousted Trump and many of us remind our government afterward that we see what was done as an act of war. Literally. Act Of War.

Hope so. (it makes only "civil war" yet)

Alfred Differ said...

porohobot,

When our host uses 'commie', you need some fluency in American English and culture to catch what he is implying. That word means a lot to us who are old enough to be in school during the Cold War. It means even more to those who remember duck-and-cover drills.

Me? I'm a cold war baby. My teeth will identify my birth year for ages to come because above-ground testing of nukes peaked the year I was born. 'Commie' means the people my father would have fought (and died) in a war that almost turned hot. Radioactively hot. Had it done that at the most likely flash point (Cuban crisis), I never would have made it to my first birthday.

Anyway.... 'commie' has special meaning over here. Those of us old enough to remember the war are aghast at how cozy the GOP is with Russian leadership. We would have thought that utterly impossible earlier. Even less likely than Hell freezing over.

porohobot said...

>> Alfred Differ said...
\\'Commie' means the people my father would have fought (and died) in a war that almost turned hot.

So it's just labeling word? or tag word?

To name "all bad things of the world... in the one word"?

The same as RFians(russians) use word "fascists"? (because that was what they were taught via books and films about That War)

Well. I still honestly believe that namecalling -- is not good politics.
And Even more so. It's bad-bad idea. Learned in countless brawls with vatniks/russians.
To use name-calling against namecalling hypocrites. It'll only make em happier. And stronger.

But still. It's only my opinion. As bystander in all in-USA circumstances.

Alfred Differ said...

'Fascist' is a similar kind of word here. We don't use them lightly among educated people, but there are times when they convey EXACTLY the connotations intended. In this case, our host really does intend to point out the hypocrisy of certain members of our communities. Trust me... the word works as he intends.

As for 'fascist', many of us use it for Stalin just as easily as Hitler and Mussolini. I can understand why Russians would not, but many of us in the West see little difference between the dictators except in how successful they were at war.

The reason why 'commie' and 'fascist' work for name-calling over here is there shouldn't be anyone at all who wants the label applied to them. The few who do are the idiots who wear swastikas and soviet-era military symbols. They are the young males who want to be seen as spitting in the eye of authority as though it gives them credentials for being strong-willed in front of women who like that kind of thing. Some women do, but not many. 8)

Larry Hart said...

Alfred Differ:

@Larry,

I think you might be underestimating Schultz' ego here. I'd take him at his word for now and accept that he believes what he says.


It's not passing the smell test, though. Rich folks don't generally waste time and money on an endeavor that won't pay off. And there's no way he'll win enough electoral votes to approach a win, if any at all. And if some miracle he became president, there's no way he could enact a personal agenda without having congressional Democrats or Republicans on board with it.

I could understand a whim, "I wonder what would happen if I ran for president," and all, but he must have people around him who explain the likelihood of a win vs the likelihood of unintended consequences. That he seems bent on going forward whatever the damage tells me he's got another motive.

What he can do is be a spoiler, and Occam's Razor says that's his point in running. And from there, I wonder if he wants to be a spoiler (and which side he wants to spoil), or if he wants to gain concessions in exchange for not being a spoiler (in which case, what exactly does he hope to extract?).

See, I find it insulting when politicians not only lie, but tell such transparently obvious lies that it feels like they're playing us for suckers. When Schultz talks about his reasons for running, his manner says, "This is my story and I'm sticking with it. Work with me. Pretend that answered your question. Once the election happens, you'll understand what I was doing."

Larry Hart said...

Alfred Differ:

When I speak of options and split votes, it is important to remember that even in a field with no independent/third-party candidates, there are still three options.

#1 D
#2 R
#3 Don't vote

People who don't like what is being offered might prefer #3 to the lesser of two evils.


I'm not going to argue with the fact that non-voters really do act that way. I will argue that it's a dysfunctional attitude in that it helps produce the exact result they'd most prefer not happen. If enough people don't vote for the lesser of two evils, then the greater of two evils wins. In your scenario above, there are two possible outcomes:

#1 Lesser evil wins
#2 Greater evil wins

Not voting might seem like a choice for "neither lesser nor greater evil winning," but in practice, there's no way to achieve that outcome.

Jon S. said...

What Schultz appears to want is assurance that, as a billionaire, his taxes won't go up for any reason. If the rest of us die in the process, well, he's still got his billions.

Anonymous said...

@Jon S

Yes, between Warren's wealth tax and AOC's tax rate proposals he and other billionaires tax payments would increase considerably. I think he is trying to derail those ideas before they gain too much traction

john fremont

matthew said...

Lessig ran as a Dem, then played footsie with an independent bid. Reference:
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/10/lawrence-lessig-reluctantly-weighs-an-independent-presidential-bid/444969/

He ran a stunt campaign claiming he would resign after he got campaign finance reform, then attacked the Democratic Party leadership after he didn't attract enough attention to get into the debates.
He then tested the waters to see the appetite for a 3rd party run.

His complaints about Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Dem Leadership, justified or not (I don't have an opinion), were replayed over and over again to suppress the Clinton vote. He became part of the Clinton-is-dirty narrative that Russia pushed so successfully to suppress the vote on the left.

Cari Burstein said...

@matthew I think you're confusing Lawrence Lessig with Jill Stein or something. Lawrence Lessig didn't run as a third party spoiler- he explicitly ran in the democratic party campaign in an attempt to get conversation he considered important into the primary discussion. In what way did that make him a third party spoiler? He had no impact on Trump getting elected.

Personally my big issue with the Schultz thing, or any rich person deciding to skip primaries to throw himself into the direct election is that it's pretty much a vanity play to get around the actual structural limitations of our current election system. They know they can't really win, but by running that way they can throw their money at getting attention to their priorities. It's just that by doing it, they are likely to create a situation where things get even worse. That being said, people were just as unhappy with Sanders running as a democrat when he was at heart an independent, so I guess it's one of those no-win situations.

I personally would love to see a restructuring of our election system such that a third party was actually a viable option, and I am not sure how we could ever get there given that the parties have no incentive to want to change anything that might encourage it. But as long as it's the system we live with, the better use of that money is to actually try to put it behind change in other ways.

matthew said...

Alfred, I like Harris too this time. Unlike you, I wouldn't mind Warren. My wife loves Beto, I'd prefer to see him as VP

Don't want - Booker, Biden, or Sanders despite backing him in 2016 (too old now).

matthew said...

Cari- my link above to Lessig mulling a 3rd party run.

Cari Burstein said...

@matthew Apparently our comments crossed paths. Anyhow he didn't actually run as an independent that I recall. Talking about it is not unreasonable- it also doesn't mean he would have even pushed all the way through to the actual election. His goal was to get attention to an issue, not to spoil an election. I personally don't think running for president was the right way to get attention to the issue, but I understand why he thought it was worth a try.

If your complaint is he made some negative statements about the DNC and that was used to make them look bad, I hardly think that Russia was dependent on him for material. The DNC also did make quite a few mistakes in how they handled that primary, it's not unreasonable to call them out.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Re- Voting in America

The biggest issue would appear to be voter registration

The USA has very low levels of votes cast compared to other nations
BUT the biggest difference is NOT
Registered voters actually voting - that is not that much worse than other countries
But Eligible Voters being registered - THAT is where the biggest discrepancy is

Anonymous said...

@Larry Hart

Schultz is a defacto Republican who doesn’t want to run in a Republican primary because he would lose, seeing how the party apparatus is all in on Trump. Camouflaging himself as an “independent” is an avenue to get some Democrats and unaffiliated voters to consider voting for an essentially Republican candidate if he can make it to the general election.(I think he's pro choice but on most economic issues he's boilerplate GOP. ) The strategy is Republicans will get what they want- a Republican who is not as incompotent and corrupt as Two Scoops. Perhaps he peels off enough Dems and independents to re elect Trump or get Pence into the Oval Office. Either way, Democrats will be headed off from retaking the White House and implementing their agenda.

john fremont

locumranch said...


What do Brin, Lessig, May, Macron & Merkel have in common?

They are all autocratic elitists who disparage democratic populism while they masquerade as pro-democracy advocates.

Brin is a climate science cultist who wants to silence the climate change denier heresy; Lessig is a white collar globalist who wants to disenfranchise the blue collar anti-globalists; May is an EU loyalist who wants to nullify the British Brexit-seeking majority; Macron is an over-educated bureaucrat who despises the democratic agency of the Yellow Vests; and Merkel is Stasi operative who seeks an end to the democratic European nation state.

They claim to LOVE democracy while they seek to crush the democratic validity of the trumpenproletariat, brexiteers, gilets jaunes, Jane Does, Joe Blows, Larry Lunchpails & Mr Everyones.

They are the walking talking personification of the Orwellian Equality which states that 'all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others'.


Best
____

If only he possessed the technical wherewithal to pull it off.
Porohobot demonstrates admirable audacity in the attempted construction of his own alter ego Progressbot, if only he possessed the technical wherewithal to pull it off.

David Brin said...


Progressbot, you just showed us that you can post in much more understandable English. I was able to read and understand all of the posting and it was shorter and more efficient.

“That tech (as any other) I'm talking about -- can be used as weapon.”

By coincidence I just watched the Jurassic World move from last year. Which is about that exact topic. It is also horrible. An illogical mishmash remake of Jurassic Park2, the same way that #4 was a remake of #1.

There are very many technologies with potential for abuse. There is only one answer, the same one that all Crichto movies ignore… Light.

“Still. I. As born in USSR. And as inhabitant of post-soviet.
Have more reason to think that my opinion is more precise. On that topic. Isn't it?”

Your opinion and views are welcome here! But I have just as good a perspective from the outside, as one who understands Marx and Lenin pretty darn well for a westerner. And Lenin was much more like a Czar than he was like a Marxist.

I find that “commie” is VERY effective at rocking-back our mad, confederate uncles. At the gym, I leave the Fox watchers stunned and worried. Especially after they gripe about Alexandriia Ocasio-Cortez.


John Fremont, the best argument that AOC and Warren can make is that “The Greatest Generation did this. And the smartest rich people of the 1930s went along, to prevent much worse.”

None of the Dem front runners knows a thing about administration or governing… except Harris, a little. I am SICK of that!!!! Joe Biden could do one term during which Warren could get trained while being point man arm-twisting to get stuff done. Then take over. Zero drawbacks. And we get three terms, not two.

David Brin said...

Re Jurassic world... SAME DAY see this debate about de-extinction. https://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/dont-bring-extinct-creatures-back-life

Alfred Differ said...

matthew | I'd still vote for Warren over Trump if it comes to that. Won't matter here in CA unless Democrats in other states find some way of insulting our senator. 8)

At this point I think my wife will vote for anyone/anything without a Y chromosome.
I run out of adjectives for describing just how angry she is about all this.

Alfred Differ said...

Larry,

he must have people around him who explain...

I doubt it. Not yet anyway. They come later in the form of campaign staff and campaign management. I'd bet serious money he's working mostly off what he himself believes from self-counsel. Maybe in a few months that will change.

As for being a spoiler, that's what all third-party candidates wind up doing... except when they don't. Most of them don't spoil anything in a statistically significant sense, though election losers like to blame them anyway. I'm fine with that because it keeps the two major parties more ideologically nimble. If you see a spoiler enter the race early, adjust your message and platform early. Fail to do it and you don't deserve to win.

There are times when spoilers and upstarts shatter events, though, and we need them trying to do that occasionally. Our friends from Wisconsin should be able to remind us where the GOP originated and maybe which party they displaced way back when? What's more important, though, is noting why that other party COULD be displaced. It would be worth asking if the current GOP is in a similar position because it won't be the Democrats shattering them if they are that weak. It has to be an upstart.

Alfred Differ said...

Larry (again),

dysfunctional attitude

Not really. I think you'd be correct IF the non-voters could actually agree on which of the two is the lesser evil. My experience teaches me that they don't, so they choose not to be responsible for either one. Their preferred outcomes becomes 'avoidance of choosing any evil.'

Yah. I know. Not calling out evil is a type of evil too. I've tried that with some of the people i know. They reject it as morally incorrect. They point instead to those of us who choose one of the evils and argue we are worse. I don't buy it, but there is rarely a point arguing with people about what they think is or isn't moral behavior. Foundational stuff that is. Set in concrete at an early age.

porohobot said...

>> Alfred Differ said...
\\'Fascist' is a similar kind of word here. We don't use them lightly among educated people,

'Wide masses' use it too? I mean this tag/label words? Are common among deplorables too? That is bad.

\\ but there are times when they convey EXACTLY the connotations intended.

I didn't see it. For example in conversations with dr.Brin. He somewhat hesitant to name Putin fascists. While his(Put_in) resemblance with Mussolini is... quite stark. IMHO.

\\In this case, our host really does intend to point out the hypocrisy of certain members of our communities. Trust me... the word works as he intends.

That exactly could be the problem.
As I know Russian Dems. Also good and smart people... they where.
But they was rediculed into nothing. By Putin's propaganda.
And exact because of heavy use of name-calling. From BOTH sides.

So now. All and any dems in RFia are name-called. And even close to stigmatizing.
With tags like dem-shizophrenics, lib(ped)erasts and so on.(I think you can read the poison of this words even across language barier)

Name-calling is too powerfull weapon... if given to the crowd of Locum-Sharickovih.


\\As for 'fascist', many of us use it for Stalin just as easily as Hitler and Mussolini.

EXACTLY. That is exact reason of Putin's resentment of the West.
Not "greatest catastrophe" as our host states... he(Put_in) could not be less conserned of it, because -- he CAME to power on the wave of that "catastrophe".
It would be like... Hitler who says that WWI was "greatest catastrophe".

I already said it not once. That message. Do not reverberate in minds of vatniks.
It was concokted solely for EXTERNAL use only. To sway gullible westerners.
Make putinferstainers, usefull idiots out of em.

No. Real and Genuine its "why YOU do not LUV our beloved Stalin?!! trying to point as at his foul deeds? HOW DARE YOU... YOU, who still not repent Native Americans Genocide and Colonization Politics at all???!!!!!!!!".

That IS the core of Putin's propaganda.
That reverberate well as in RFia, as in Europe (especially in young members)...
and I see it on your turffs too. (look at locum, jim)


\\ I can understand why Russians would not, but many of us in the West see little difference between the dictators except in how successful they were at war.

And other part are ready to say "he was blody bastard, but he was THEIR bloody bastard"?

\\The reason why 'commie' and 'fascist' work for name-calling over here is there shouldn't be anyone at all who wants the label applied to them. The few who do are the idiots who wear swastikas and soviet-era military symbols. They are the young males who want to be seen as spitting in the eye of authority as though it gives them credentials for being strong-willed in front of women who like that kind of thing. Some women do, but not many. 8)

There is thin but important differencies here.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Alfred
"avoidance of choosing any evil"

That may account for people who are Registered not voting

But IMHO the numbers who are NOT Registered is a bigger issue

porohobot said...

>> Alfred Differ said...
//Yah. I know. Not calling out evil is a type of evil too. I've tried that with some of the people i know. They reject it as morally incorrect. They point instead to those of us who choose one of the evils and argue we are worse. I don't buy it, but there is rarely a point arguing with people about what they think is or isn't moral behavior. Foundational stuff that is. Set in concrete at an early age.

I know EXACT example. In Ukraine recent history.

That show that "Not calling out evil" is a bliss.

On our prev-previous presidential ellections. Where candidates was Yanukovosch and Timoshenko.
Timoshenko as politic rised to power on ruins of Pomarancheva(Orange) revolution. Or Maidan 2004.
Tried to push her way with slogan "Do not sway from right path!".

But quite enough of us seen her dishonesty. And give NO votes to her in seconds.

So... we have Yanukovosch instead. And next Maidan 2014. And war.

But I'd shroud in horrid... what could it be, if there'd be that Tiulia-presidente.

Ukrainian democracy and prospects WOULD BE BROKEN beyond repair. I am sure of it.

So. "Not calling out evil" is a bliss. When you have to proceed with making deals with hypocrites. %\


>> David Brin said...
\\Progressbot, you just showed us that you can post in much more understandable English. I was able to read and understand all of the posting and it was shorter and more efficient.

Thank you.

\\“That tech (as any other) I'm talking about -- can be used as weapon.”
\\By coincidence I just watched the Jurassic World move from last year. Which is about that exact topic.

Sorry. I do not see it. How?

My topic is serious. If we leave it as is -- there'd be WW3.
And I need at least some discussion of that possibility.
Especially from that who shout "Hire Science Fiction author consultants!". %(



\\There are very many technologies with potential for abuse. There is only one answer, the same one that all Crichto movies ignore… Light.

Yep. So I seeking it. That Light.


\\And Lenin was much more like a Czar than he was like a Marxist.

Lenin was a mere crysis manager. No more.
He lost his health and grip on power exactly with end of Civil War.
And was not significant figure after 1921.
Or it was conspiracy to calmly overthrone him... maybe even Stalin's one.
Who knows.
As you understand... there could not be easy and definite answer.

But call him a Czar... I beg my pardon, but it's utter malackrel.

ONE thing for sure. Thing we know as USSR -- was NOT his doing. (it doesn't mean he not guilty at all... just that he was unable to show his evil, to that extent... because of death)


\\I find that “commie” is VERY effective at rocking-back our mad, confederate uncles. At the gym, I leave the Fox watchers stunned and worried. Especially after they gripe about Alexandriia Ocasio-Cortez.

I already answered on this... in comment to Alfred above.

yana said...


None of the chatter for another 18 months means anything. The only thing that we need to know, in February 2019, is that voter turnout in the 18-29 age group was 31% in 2018. Recent midterm years, for context:

1994: 22%
1998: 20%
2002: 20%
2006: 24%
2010: 20%
2014: 21%
2018: 31%

Not only that, but 18-29 groupers favored 2018 Dems over Reds 67% to 32%, the largest leftwards margin in that 24-year period, even including the 2008 non-midterm which waved Obama into power. In 2016, 26% of the younguns scored "some" or higher on attention-meter to politics, even in a big presidential election year. In the midterm 2018 season... the number was 46%.

I know those things are hilarious, vids of kids tripping into fountains and walking into lampposts, so absorbed in their phones. But they're not just stacking candies and digging memes, the "kids" are getting seriously aware that sexism, colorism and xenophobia all result from current laws which are allowed to stand. If they want society to resemble what they know from snapgram, they now know that they'll have to vote for it.

The 'Mad Fox Uncles' reviled hereabouts are the same 30-something percent who expect civil unrest in five years. They HAVE to, it is the only hollow grasping hope they have, of rationalizing a political movement which is tarnishing rapidly into basic human meanness.

Roll the demographic back a few decades, and 72% of the young say that "dramatic change could occur in this country if people banded together."

(quote from theconversation.com 2018-11-08, albeit a left-leaning outlet, but the numbers come from the polling at Tufts, which is fairly reliable.)

porohobot said...

Excerpt from Russian Wikipedia about Lenin.

In March 1919, after the failure of the initiative of the Entente countries to end the Civil War in Russia, secretly arrived to Moscow on the instructions of US President W. Wilson and British Prime Minister D. Lloyd George W. Bullitt offered to conclude the Soviet Russia has peace with all other governments formed in the territory of the former Russian Empire, while paying its debts with them.Lenin agreed to this proposal, explaining this decision as follows: “The price of the blood of our workers and soldiers is too expensive for us; we, as merchants, will pay you for the peace at the cost of heavy tribute ... just to save the lives of the workers and peasants.” However, the offensive of A.V. Kolchak’s army on the Eastern Front against the Soviet troops, which began in March 1919, instilled confidence in the Entente countries that the Soviet power would soon fall, resulted in the negotiations not being continued by the United States and Great Britain

Doesn't ring a bell? ;)

porohobot said...

"""
Bullitt Mission of 1919[edit]
Prior to the negotiation of the Versailles Treaty, Bullitt, along with journalist Lincoln Steffens and Swedish communist Karl Kilbom, undertook a special mission to Soviet Russia to negotiate diplomatic relations between the US and the Bolshevik regime.[9] It was authorized by Wilson advisor Edward House. On March 14, Bullitt received a Soviet proposal that demanded that the Allies agree to a peace summit on the Russian Civil War, which they had been participating in. The proposed terms for discussion at the conference included the lifting of the Allied blockade on the country, the withdrawal of foreign troops from Russia, disarmament of the warring Russian factions, and a commitment by the Bolshevik government to honor Russia’s financial obligations to the Allies (the second time in writing that the Soviets promised to honor the Tsarist debt.)[10][11]
The Allied leaders rejected these terms however, apparently convinced that the White forces would be victorious. [12] Prime Minister Lloyd George had given early support to the Bullitt Commission, but refused to make its findings known to the public. George told Bullitt this was due to pressure from Winston Churchill, who was an ardent anti-communist.[13]
Having failed to convince the leadership to support the establishment of relations with the Bolshevik government, Bullitt resigned from Wilson's staff.[9] He later returned to the United States and testified in the Senate against the Treaty of Versailles. He also had his report of his Russian trip placed into the record.[14] Margaret MacMillan describes both Bullitt and Steffens as "useful idiots" who were swindled by Lenin into Western abandonment of the White Russian factions.[15] Most historians, however, consider Lenin's peace offer to be a genuine effort to end a war that threatened his regime.[16] [17] [18] Stephen M. Walt called it a "lost opportunity" for the Allies to obtain better terms from the Soviets than they ultimately did.[19]
"""
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Christian_Bullitt_Jr.#Bullitt_Mission_of_1919


PS See. Putin's propaganda DO have concrete foundation. As well as his accusations of West authorities as hypocrites.

And I am 100% sure... that it's just impossible to fight hypocrisy with hypocrisy... especially when one of them successfully dress yourself in toga of the Truth. %((

yana said...


On the topic of de-extinction, everyone thinks glamorous dinosaurs, but few people remember that where we have a Mediterranean Sea, once was a lush valley. When the pillars of hercules parted, rising waters forced many animals into the mountain highlands. Today, those are Sardinia, Sicily, Crete, Corsica, Malta and Cyprus. Elephants, being smart, were among the survivors.

Via the charming process of island dwarfism, there arose a species of pygmy elephants across the Mediterranean, standing 5 feet tall. Sorry to say, the evidence is strong that we hunted them until we ate them all. But how cool would that be, re-introducing the world to miniature elephants?

Dino DNA is proving too far degraded to reconstruct, and geneticists are ever-more aware that one base-pair out of spot can be catastrophic in multiple ways. Let's set our sights on a more recoverable species. It's only a few thousand years since people ate the last pygmy elephant.

Obviously, fundraising would be a crescendo in elementary and middle schools, no taxpayer funds would be needed. Coke and Pepsi would both start putting little elephants on their cans. Look, if i knew how to start a NGO, this one is a born winner, a billion dollars raised in it's first year, minimum.

But everything is a two-bird one-stone thing, right? Lessons that science learns from bringing back a mini elephant, will also allow us to breed micro-mini elephants. As pets, micro elephants will be the height of adorable. They'll spread like wildfire, and any Chinese magnate will be able to afford a household herd. Cheap ivory around the world, which can be sheared without killing the animal, will mean an end to the stupidly senseless poaching of today's elephant-sized elephants.

progressbot said...

Thanks for comic relief, yana. %)

yana said...


comic relief

No kidding, resurrecting pygmy elephants is a billion-dollar idea. It won't earn anyone a billion dollars, but it could raise a billion in a year, easy peasy. It's too cute to fail. If someone in west-central Eurasia were to start a campaign, a foundation, dedicated to raising the miniature elephant from the midden heap of history, they would not earn a billion dollars, but might earn a good living by managing a billion-dollar fund. Maybe enough to gain political contacts, a media voice for his or her political views, and if the idea really took off, maybe the administrator would earn enough money to sink into masslink nanorobot research.

My gift to you.

progressbot said...

You need to know the right people for it, I presume.

And it need to be people from USA. As I hardly see europeans to share that way.
Who else? Chinese? Far call.

All who I know in USA... it's people in this blog (if that can counts as acquaintance at all). And some russian-ukrainian immigrants in USA. Who are hardly have such ambitions.

And anyway. I either have no knowledge of ins and outs of (such) business in USA, no initial funds or connections to start.

And... I'm too tech-savvy and honest. To see how stupid that idea is. To try to advertise it and to try to sell it to people.

But anyway. Thank you. %)

Mike Will said...

@yana

The Picoderm Foundation

My gift to you.

porohobot said...

>> Mike Will said...

About our previous talk. About "my run are almost over". %(((

It came to me, that the same mechanism I stated here for weapon "if it can be -- it will be used."
works the same for that who want/hesitate to have prolonged life.

Calm, considerate and rational people, tend to come in agreement with their end of life.

So. There'd be only selfish, greedy, eager to live and irrational who will inherit Earth that way.

We already have such filter with inherited wealth... aka feudalism (tm).
And with it... we'll have double as that. Grand Filter. Filter of the life span.

Eternity in company with clones of Trump, Putin, etc. If not for you/me, then for children. If it is not a Living Hell... then I don't know what.

So. Maybe, just maybe, you'd reconsider, ah?

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin to porohobot:

I find that “commie” is VERY effective at rocking-back our mad, confederate uncles. At the gym, I leave the Fox watchers stunned and worried. Especially after they gripe about Alexandriia Ocasio-Cortez.


Porohobot, what I think you don't understand is that "commie" isn't just a generic bad name to call a Republican. It's the essence of what they've viscerally opposed for the past 70 to 100 years. The entire 1950s "Red scare" was about purging "commies" from the government and society in general. Heck, most electoral campaigns against Democrats try to scare voters into perceiving the Dems as "commies".

Demonstrating to Republican voters that the candidates they like are in bed with "commies" should have the same effect that you'd expect from demonstrating to Jewish voters that the candidates they like are acolytes of Hitler. Really, that bad.

Larry Hart said...

yana:

But how cool would that be, re-introducing the world to miniature elephants?


Arthur Clarke's Imperial Earth, taking place in 2276, had "miniphants" as a kitchy method of local transportation inside of New York City.

Larry Hart said...

yana continues:

As pets, micro elephants will be the height of adorable. ... Cheap ivory around the world, which can be sheared without killing the animal, will mean an end to the stupidly senseless poaching of today's elephant-sized elephants.


How far away can we be from vat-grown ivory? No elephant even required.

Larry Hart said...

Paul Krugman tells us what many of us don't already know, but should:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/31/opinion/howard-schultz-president.html

...

Both pundits and plutocrats like to imagine themselves as superior beings, standing above the political fray. They want to think of themselves as standing tall against extremism right and left. Yet the reality of American politics is asymmetric polarization: extremism on the right is a powerful political force, while extremism on the left isn’t. What’s a would-be courageous centrist to do?

The answer, all too often, is to retreat into a fantasy world, almost as hermetic as the right-wing, Fox News bubble. In this fantasy world, social democrats like Harris or Warren are portrayed as the second coming of Hugo Chávez, so that taking what is actually a conservative position can be represented as a brave defense of moderation.

But that’s not what is really happening, and the rest of us have no obligation to indulge centrist delusions.

Tim H. said...

Speaking of BOR:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-47066659
One does wonder, "Which God?".

Tim H. said...

Paul Krugman has an interesting impression of Elizabeth Warren:
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/28/opinion/elizabeth-warren-tax-plan.html?partner=rss&emc=rss
Bodes well for those of us who would vote for "Roosevelt Mk 3".

Larry Hart said...

After two months of nothin' Jim Wright (Stonekettle Station) has been on a roll.

Not only is there a new post up today about Howard Schultz, there's a post-shutdown one from last Sunday that I never even saw.

http://www.stonekettle.com/

porohobot said...

>> Larry Hart said...
\\Porohobot, what I think you don't understand is that "commie" isn't just a generic bad name to call a Republican. It's the essence of what they've viscerally opposed for the past 70 to 100 years. The entire 1950s "Red scare" was about purging "commies" from the government and society in general. Heck, most electoral campaigns against Democrats try to scare voters into perceiving the Dems as "commies".

So what?
Mainstream of RFia's propaganda are based on finding "fascists" elsewhere:
in Ukraine, in Europe... USA they still hesitate to call fascists... but it's only because of fading hope in Trump.

That way. One can filter their news feeds. As only they start to remember "great bourgeois sins", like Native American Genocide -- only then you can rest assured that all case with 'collusion' has ended.


\\Demonstrating to Republican voters that the candidates they like are in bed with "commies" should have the same effect that you'd expect from demonstrating to Jewish voters that the candidates they like are acolytes of Hitler. Really, that bad.

Doesn't work. For vatniks.
But I'll hope that it'll work out for you.

\\The answer, all too often, is to retreat into a fantasy world, almost as hermetic as the right-wing...

Yea... %((( but I already have told it. About "internal immigration" notion. Common in RFia.

Larry Hart said...

An excerpt from the latest Stonekettle:

http://www.stonekettle.com/


...

Great. Another rich white straight male martyr, just what America needs.

These sons of bitches should be bullied. Maybe they'd understand what it actually means. How it actually feels. The damage that it actually does. The lives it destroys.

Listen to me: bullying is what happens when those who have power use that power to brutalize those who do not.

That is not what’s happening to Howard Schultz.

Howard Schultz isn't being bullied.

No one is bullying Howard Schultz, I doubt he’s ever been bullied.

He has all the power and now he wants more. And he’s trying to use that power to silence any questions, to bully his critics and his questioners into silence.

Just as rich privileged assholes like Howard Schultz always do.

He wants to be president. President. And so he's getting the scrutiny and the questions every candidate gets. No more, no less. But just like Trump, he thinks he's special and he shouldn't have to face it.

And that's it, right there.

That's the thing.



That is what makes Howard Schultz, and his ilk, ultimately unqualified to lead this nation.



It is not just that he doesn't know how to handle that scrutiny, it's that he doesn’t think he should have to handle it at all.

...

Mike Will said...

Re: Paul Krugman
Krugman embraced Asimov's "Foundation" at an early age. The idea that economies are directly related to science and evolving psychology is NOT knee-jerk Marxist doctrine. It's more Jungian if anything (a subtle but very important distinction). It's more in line with the 'progress of the human mind' school. Asimov's family escaped Russia just before Stalin and Hitler. He poked fun at pompous dictators and facile populism. I don't think anyone could accuse him of communist sympathies. Ursula K. LeGuin once called him "the old chieftain of the Cold Warriors". The left makes a mistake by shunning Adam Smith. The right makes a mistake by labeling Krugman as a commie. I miss the debates between Krugman and George Will on ABC's "This Week" years ago. They often left me with the eerie impression of watching two sides of the very same coin.

matthew said...

"Picoderm," that is a fantastic good one, yana. Trademark that bon mot stat!

David Brin said...

Porohobot, I was answering your question: Jurassic world is about a new technology being turned to weaponry and getting out of control.

I find your minimizing of Lenin to be astonishing. He first tried to stay Marxist by allowing bourgeoise capitalists to run companies that create capital (as the Chinese are doing now) but then got frustrated and killed them all, leading to the vast state enterprises we later saw, which led directly to Stalin’s farm collectivization. and purge of the kulaks.


His paranoid power structures were czarist, with alterations of the names of the Checka thugs.

“ONE thing for sure. Thing we know as USSR -- was NOT his doing.” ???????

“In March 1919, after the failure of the initiative of the Entente “ Yes I am aware of all that. The British leadership class from those decades should have all been hung.

Putin’s accusations of Western hypocrisy have many excuses. Colonization of Native American lands, Slavery. Broken promises in the revolution. Vietnam… and his claim that NATO broke promises by moving eastward to include Estonia and Latvia. And he includes that “stealing of the Ukraine.” You see? I read his speeches and I listen.

It is still bullshit. American crimes of hypocrisy are criticised by free Americans at the time. And they are studied and rejected by later generations of Americans in order to improve.

Crimes committed by Czarist/Stalinist/Putinist agencies are NOT to be criticized openly, or studied, or regretted. Criticism and exposure of such things is a criminal offense and assassination of critics is a positive act.

Putin honestly views Western NGOs as agents of deliberate aggression against Russia’s legitimate sphere of interest. He considers his current open war against the West to be retaliation for Obama and Clinton “stealing the Ukraine.” And the opinions of millions of Ukrainians do not matter at all to him.



yana… yay mini elephants. MW: Picoderm…. oog.

jim said...

Tim H,
If you are really interested in taking the Question “Which God helped the election of Donald Trump?” seriously, I would really recommend a series of posts that John Michel Greer did call the Keck Wars.

I found it to be a really fun read about some of the weirdest parts of the 2016 election.

Spoiler for those who will not follow the links: native American god or gods that are associated with change or transformation are the prime suspects. (see part 4)

https://www.ecosophia.net/the-kek-wars-part-one-aristocracy-and-its-discontents/

https://www.ecosophia.net/the-kek-wars-part-two-in-the-shadow-of-the-cathedral/

https://www.ecosophia.net/the-kek-wars-part-three-triumph-of-the-frog-god/

https://www.ecosophia.net/the-kek-wars-part-four-what-moves-in-the-darkness/

porohobot said...

>> David Brin said...
\\Porohobot, I was answering your question: Jurassic world is about a new technology being turned to weaponry and getting out of control.

In movie.
In movies they can do many funny things. Like occupation of USA by N.Korea. %)

I'm trying to talk about real things here.

There is this:
"BMW & MIT self-assembly lab envision car interiors with 3D-printed inflatable material",
Disney with their 3D-printed toys...

But it's all toys. Gimmicks. Maybe (clever?) gadgets.

But I see it like with Palo Alto PARC center... where they make graphical interface
which was then cloned by Jobs an Gates...

Because OLD dudes in Xerox... was not able to grok REAL potential of what they doing.



\\I find your minimizing of Lenin to be astonishing.

I just think one need to be fair.

And... if you give ALL fame for evil doing to Lenin... what will remain for Stalin?
But Stalin KILLED MUCH MORE people... and enslaved YET more.

But I do understand... USA was allies with that "uncle Joe"...
and it is not easy to make that confesion... that you was allies with bloody bastard. (that is NOT accusation... just admitting the facts)

But... that EXACT point Putin AIM to -- if you was able to co-work with Stalin (and many other despots, to say truth... Kim Jon Un as fresh example) -- why, WHY???!!! you hasitate to co-work with ME???


\\He first tried to stay Marxist by allowing bourgeoise capitalists to run companies that create capital (as the Chinese are doing now) but then got frustrated and killed them all,

That's contre-factual observation. As for me.
It was STALIN who aborted Lenin's New Economic Politics (NEP).
Lenin was not in power from 1921... when he have had TWO consecutive strokes.

Blame all on the dead/deadly ill... is not good.


\\His paranoid power structures were czarist, with alterations of the names of the Checka thugs.

It natural for Moscovian Tsarism/Russian Empirealism/USSR/RFia's modus operandi.

Blaming it on one gravely ill old fart... it's like blame all current problems of USA... on Trump alone.

Very easy to fall... in such fallacy.


\\“ONE thing for sure. Thing we know as USSR -- was NOT his doing.” ???????

He was shot in 1918, was gravely ill in 1921, lost his mind (because of sifilis they say) and died in 1923...

But history of USSR spans at least 70 other year. And MOST of atrocities was done in THAT time span.

While 1917-1923 time can be easily and plausibly blamed on Czar's errors.


//And he includes that “stealing of the Ukraine.” You see? I read his speeches and I listen.

Some of his missives -- genuine. But most of them -- faked.
As human raised in USSR he know TOO well that practice of "internal machiavelism" -- that truth need to be provided in tiny doses... and be hiden between lines.
That is how vatniks DO live.


\\It is still bullshit. American crimes of hypocrisy are criticised by free Americans at the time. And they are studied and rejected by later generations of Americans in order to improve.

Of course bulshit. But plausible bulshit. Like that "She wanted it herself" victim blaming. To someone who like to "grab the pussy" itself.
That is THAT shit vatniks DO live IN... and say they LIKE it... and WANT all other people to live IN it.
Ukraine first of all.
But... ALL other World TOO.
They DO sincerily want all world to live in their shit. That thing called "russian soul" and "russian cosmism", and many other "poetical" wording they trying to envelope their shit to make other people EAT IT TOO.

Anonymous said...

David wrote: You demand that I read every word of your lengthy and VERY difficult-to-read postings, then you howl at me for not answering in detail.

Honestly, I've started scrolling past both p-bots. I don't have time to puzzle out the frequent posts, and when I do look at them they seem as rant as locum (who I also skip).

locumranch said...


'Demonstrating to Republican voters that the candidates they like are in bed with "commies" should have the same effect that you'd expect from demonstrating to Jewish voters that the candidates they like are acolytes of Hitler'[LH].

Larry_H's above quote, along with his ongoing disparagement of the "white straight male" voting plurality, proves only that Larry_H is yet another autocratic minority elitist who shares our host's utter disdain for both statistics & popular democracy.

As recent statistics of US political party affiliations show that the Democrats represent approximately 1/3rd (or 34%), Republicans represent 1/4th (or 25%), and Independents represent 2/5ths (or 39%) of the voting US population, it's the height of elitist arrogance to assume that either Democrat or Republican parties control a democratic majority of US voters when they do NOT, , as evidenced by the vanishing utility of both the 'Commie' and 'Fascist' political slur.

The unpleasant truth is that True Democracy equals Populism and, in the US & EU, it's marching our way wearing hobnailed thousand league boots, caring not a whit for the somewhat enlightened (but willful) OPINION of an elite & autocratic minority.

The time has come,' the Walrus said,
To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
But, mostly, the DEATH OF KINGS !!


Best

matthew said...

Wait, is "jim" the same person that was here under a different name urging us all to investigate the "wisdom" of John Michael Greer AKA the Archdruid years ago? Or are his followers coming here one after another? JMG is a *very* marginal figure and it boggles my imagination that several of his disciples have come here independently.

Just sayin' it seems like someone has targeted this board. Wasn't the "car-sitter' a JMG disciple too?

jim said...

I used to post under the name Occam's Comic, but after the spamming of the comments list last year I started to use my google account.

If you don't like him don't follow the links.

But Tim H's comment about which god wanted Trump to be in the Whitehouse actually has a really interesting answer in the Keck Wars series.

porohobot said...

>> locumranch said...
\\As recent statistics of US political party affiliations show

It's common knowledge among "elitist & autocratic minority."
to provide links/references for data ones provides. ;)

Othervise it's just another Locum-bullshit. %P

David Brin said...

jim: cool project. Spoilers please? Summarize the Kek wars thesis in a few sentences?

poro: “In movies they can do many funny things. Like occupation of USA by N.Korea. %) I'm trying to talk about real things here.”

1. de-extinction of ancient creatures is happening now.
2. This is a site where everyone reads science fiction, and hence we think farther than next year.

3. I discuss “dual use” technologies that can be mis-used in great detail with many companies and agencies.
4. All Michael Crichton movies make crazy assumptions. I mentioned Jurassic World because we watched it the same evening you asked your question. Are you trying to police my conversation?

I speak ill of Stalin in many places. Please be patient.

“WHY???!!! you hasitate to co-work with ME???”

I have no idea what you are talking about. You are speaking here and people (sometimes) answer & converse with you. What are you asking for beyond that?

Lenin was already shooting counter-revolutionary capitalists before 1921.


Hey, Locum, try polling Independents re POLICY matters. Most of them are democrats except in name. Which is because liberal minded people dislike labels. While Republican confederates are obsessed with symbolism. Naming US Navy ships. A big beautiful “wall.”

Death of kings? You are an on-yer-knees asslicker of oligarchs and aristocrats.



Oh, so THAT’s what happened to Occam’s Comic?? Har! Welcome back son. An irritant. And hence welcome here.

porohobot said...

>> David Brin said...
\\I mentioned Jurassic World because we watched it the same evening you asked your question. Are you trying to police my conversation?

E-em... hard question you are asking me. %(

It's obvious as for me. That we have different experiences, different communication habits, different backgrounds.

That exactly what makes communication interesting... as for me. But also, it's do create such misunderstandings too.

And I can only rely on your judgment here.
As I neither have authority (mere anonymous bot) nor experience in such things (usual brawls with vatniks never come to such extents)

From my POV I just wanted to instill my clarifications. Manifest that framework in which I trying to present my thoughts.
That's not easy to do even in native language.
And it can look like "police the conversation". Now I admit it.



\\I speak ill of Stalin in many places. Please be patient.

My initial contre-argument was about Lenin being Czar... that was what puzzled me.



\\“WHY???!!! you hasitate to co-work with ME???”

\\I have no idea what you are talking about. You are speaking here and people (sometimes) answer & converse with you. What are you asking for beyond that?

E-eh. Sorry. My bad.

It was meant to be like Putin's exclamation. I thought that'll be clear from context.
Sorry again. %(((


\\Lenin was already shooting counter-revolutionary capitalists before 1921.

That's like my uncle. Older and full of USSR propaganda asked me: "Are you with Whites? Or you are with Red?".

While I tryed to argue with him from objective history standpoint.

It was Revolution. And revolution means lots of victims. It's inevitable. And moot.

But what is wrong. Very-very wrong. It's attempts to justify that victims as "needed sacrifices" or as "holy martyrs". From this or that political standpoint.


\\Death of kings? You are an on-yer-knees asslicker of oligarchs and aristocrats.

Name calling, again. %(

jim said...

OK, the first thing to realize is that John Michael Greer believes in the reality of magic. Not the Harry Potter kind, but in tools and techniques that can allow you to change consciousness in accordance with will.

https://www.ecosophia.net/the-kek-wars-part-one-aristocracy-and-its-discontents/
https://www.ecosophia.net/the-kek-wars-part-two-in-the-shadow-of-the-cathedral/

In part one and two he talks about the overproduction of elites and what happens to the people who get the education and training but don’t get the positions of power vs those that do. He suggest that they are trying to change their consciousness in different ways.

“though, the magic of the privileged becomes more popular as the number of unwelcome realities to exclude goes up. That happens, in turn, when the number of people whose needs and grievances aren’t being addressed by the existing political order goes up. Thus a society in the face of certain kinds of crisis experiences a double upsurge in magic: among the excluded, as a way of changing things, and among the privileged, as a way of hiding from the need to change things.”

In part two he talks about the “chaos magic” that some in the Alt-right seized upon.

“As a result, tens of thousands of young and angry outcasts who were part of the chans and a galaxy of similar online communities took up the intensive study and practice of basic magical workings without any sense of how to manage interactions with nonphysical beings—or, indeed, any notion that such interactions might need to be managed. That, in turn, pretty much guaranteed that if something other than human took an interest in the situation, a lot of the graduates of the chans’ magical boot camps were going to be swept up in something over which they had no control at all.”

https://www.ecosophia.net/the-kek-wars-part-three-triumph-of-the-frog-god/

This essay is about 4 chan, pepe the frog, keck and the weirdness that happened with Alt-right mages in the 2016 election.

https://www.ecosophia.net/the-kek-wars-part-four-what-moves-in-the-darkness/

In the final post, Carl Jung, Vine Deloria Jr., Wotan, Hitler and Archetypes are talked about before exploring mythical archetypes of North America with the focus on the “Changer” .

“That’s one of the things about archetypes. When one of them finds a human vehicle and begins to reshape the collective life of a society in its image, if you know the archetype you can predict exactly how things will unfold. Jung didn’t make many predictions in the essay of his I cited earlier, but it should have been obvious from the start that once the Wotan-archetype found its vehicle and seized the German imagination, it would make a beeline for Ragnarok. What’s more, after his death, Hitler continued to fulfill the myth in classic style, becoming the modern world’s Lord of the Slain, galloping forever through the midnight skies of our collective imagination with six million ghosts following behind him.”

David Brin said...

jim, no question that magic is the creation of subjective realities in other peoples’ heads. The shaman could not make rain fall, but he could convince the tribe they needed him.

By that measure, I am an industrial grade magician who labels his products truthfully. “This is a subjective experience.” Unlike, say, Fox.

An interesting scenario by Greer. Thanks for summarizing. An extreme example is the una.bomber Kac z ynske, whose book is a classic “B+ student” raging that lists of assertions and anecdotes and quotations should be accepted as proof of a completely counterfactual theory and plan.

jim said...

David
I think that JMG would say that a lot of the tools and techniques of magic should be applied to change your own consciousness in occurrence with your will. That there is a "magical" path for self actualization.

But I am also sure he would agree that storytelling is a very magical technique.

Mike Will said...

PZ Meyers talks about magical thinking sometimes. One of the most compelling aspects of AI for me is the lack of such biases and fallacies. Thinking machines are primitive and naive, but that's part of their charm.

locumranch said...


David wants me to "try polling Independents re POLICY matters (as) most of them are democrats except in name," and I would, except for the fact that the predictive value of polls approaches zero as evidenced by polled predictions of HRC's Landslide 2016 Presidential Victory.

Even so, David's political posts exhibit an undeniably anti-democratic & elitist flavour as he routinely favours fact-using voters over the uneducated, the deep state voter over the polity, the progressive voter over the conservative & the climate change cultist voter over the denier.

And, as seconded by Larry_H, the democratic ideal of voter EQUALITY only applies to those voters who share our host's enlightened values in all respects, but it never applies (apparently) to the denying, deplorable, masculine or majority voter.

That certain 'approved' voters are more equal than others, this summarises the progressive pro-diversity argument to a 'T'.


Best

David Brin said...

blah-blah-de-blah. Liar. Yawn...

Duncan Cairncross said...

Re - tiny elephants
It's probably easier to go smaller than larger but the whole elephant is evolved as big animal its shape and skeleton are all "big animal"

I suspect that a tiny elephant would need a complete interior redesign to be viable at all

If nothing else it would have a brain and eyes that were too small for it's body

porohobot said...

>> David Brin said...

Have you looked ALL 4 series of "People and Dolphins?" ;)

Because it contains peculiar thoughts about (cross-species) communication too.

That I dim as important.

Did you notice that in Lenin-Bullitt negotiations?
That russian WP do says that it's West emissary who proposed terms of a treaty.
And Lenin only eloquently agreed on it "for the sake of little this".
While english WP promptly stated that it was russians proposal.

I bet you saw it. As you readily answered "to hang these English bastards". ;)
Am I correct with my understanding here?

But... there is one layer deeper.
There was Real Circumstances. Facts. If someone could dig into historical materials.
Question witnesses. There'd be precise answer. From which one can rightfully deduct -- who are to blame.

But... there is ONE more layer.
If look at it pragmatically. There is no importance in such question. Whose initial proposal it was.
Because Lenin was not dumb and was able to concoct offer West desired.
As well as Bullitt, as professional diplomat could light up West needs without making proposals.
As well as... he have had no authority to accomplish that treaty without consultations with higher-ups.
As well as... it all could be (and was) just a play from Lenin's side. To win some time.

See... on that level the whole point of "whom to blame" is moot.

And that exact level I'd like to discuss things. (shy)
Complicated, isn't it? ;)

Tony Fisk said...

Talking of 'picoderms', de-extinction has long been touted for their wookier brethren. The mammoth steppes were a surprisingly rich ecosystem, and herds of large, nutrient-spreading beasties were what kept it going. Could they do so again? They also came in miniature form (who coined 'mimmoths'? ... aha! Girl Genius.), the last ones dying out on Wengel Is. at about the time of the later Pharoahs

progressbot said...

>> David Brin said...
\\poro: “In movies they can do many funny things. Like occupation of USA by N.Korea. %) I'm trying to talk about real things here.”

\\1. de-extinction of ancient creatures is happening now.

And ecological implications are correctly counted for it? ;)

\\2. This is a site where everyone reads science fiction, and hence we think farther than next year.

Yea? And "Accelerando" and "Night of the living dead"(NOT movie, SciFi novel) too? ;)


\\3. I discuss “dual use” technologies that can be mis-used in great detail with many companies and agencies.

About existing technologies. I betcha.
What about ones? That still not developed? Not imagined even, ones???
Because they could emerge, could be imagined ONLY as result of further development.
Like Bitcoin/Blockchain for example? Could Charles Babbidge or Turing imagine something like that? %P


\\jim, no question that magic is the creation of subjective realities in other peoples’ heads. The shaman could not make rain fall, but he could convince the tribe they needed him.

And what alternative they have? I mean... what if that shaman "magic" worked only because there is no alternative to it.
IMHO. It poses a good question to our current level of knowledge, our science. We dim as pinnacle.
*What if* there is something even MORE advanced out there??? We just dunno about it.


\\By that measure, I am an industrial grade magician who labels his products truthfully. “This is a subjective experience.” Unlike, say, Fox.

Yep. Science -- that is the Real Magic.


\\whose book is a classic “B+ student” raging that lists of assertions and anecdotes and quotations should be accepted as proof of a completely counterfactual theory and plan.

B+ students always exist more then A+ one. %)


>> Mike Will said...
\\PZ Meyers talks about magical thinking sometimes. One of the most compelling aspects of AI for me is the lack of such biases and fallacies. Thinking machines are primitive and naive, but that's part of their charm.

That's only while they are primitive. I presume. %)

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

I am an industrial grade magician who labels his products truthfully. “This is a subjective experience.”


Humans are often stubborn enough that we only learn a lesson through painful experience. I should know not to touch the hot frying pan, but I don't really learn that until I do touch it and get an actual lesson in reality. A good writer can give me the experience of having touched the pan without actually touching it first. *

Isn't that the value that the shaman brought to the tribe?

* In the sense of the saying among writers that "No one wants to write a novel, but everyone wants to have written a novel.

Larry Hart said...

jim:

But I am also sure he would agree that storytelling is a very magical technique.


Dave Sim used to joke with fellow comics writer Alan Moore that they were really hypnotists. And he was kidding on the square.

Larry Hart said...

locumranch:

And, as seconded by Mitch McConnell, the Republican ideal of voter SUPPRESSION only applies to those voters who share America's enlightened values in all respects, but it never applies (apparently) to the denying, deplorable, masculine or majority voter.


I corrected your typos. No need to thank me.

progressbot said...

>> Larry Hart said...
\\Humans are often stubborn enough that we only learn a lesson through painful experience. I should know not to touch the hot frying pan, but I don't really learn that until I do touch it and get an actual lesson in reality. A good writer can give me the experience of having touched the pan without actually touching it first. *

Yep. And name of this writer -- Stanislav Lem (shamless adverizing) ;)


\\Isn't that the value that the shaman brought to the tribe?

No. Shaman's role -- is to keep safe knowledge. As little as it was in that time.

Mike Will said...

Richard Dawkins touches on this human lesson learning in his later books. For example, little ones are told scary stories by elders about poisonous snakes. Sadly, some only learn through direct experience. Thus the propensity for belief in magic is intensified by evolution. Thank God for Darwin :)

progressbot said...

\\"Night of the living dead"(NOT movie, SciFi novel) too? ;)

That was russian translation which I read. Titled "Night of all dead" in russian.

Title "The Days of Solomon Gursky" by Ian Macdonald.


>> Mike Will said...
\\For example, little ones are told scary stories by elders about poisonous snakes. Sadly, some only learn through direct experience

Quite contrary. That is great evolutional adaptation.
Just try to imagine what it'll be if ancient dogmas would be prserved for eternity. %P


\\Thus the propensity for belief in magic is intensified by evolution. Thank God for Darwin :)

Yep. Because... I said it earlier and above. It's more important for Evolution to have instant decisions... even if it not efficient.

locumranch said...


David can call me a liar & marginalise my political opinions as much as he wants, and I don't mind at all because we live in a 'One Voter Equals One Vote' paradise where every vote cast by the stoner, climate denier, populist, know-nothing, liar, flat-earther, nazi, white supremacist, welfare cheat & hatemonger carries the exact same weight as the vote cast by the genius, climate cultist, peacenik, scientist, environmentalist, NASA engineer & social justice warrior.

I mean, really, what kind of ELITIST would want the opinion of the ignoramus to carry less weight than the opinion of the fact-user??


Best

porohobot said...

And what's your point, locum? ;)
You realy think that you presious "stoner, climate denier, populist, know-nothing, liar, flat-earther, nazi, white supremacist, welfare cheat & hatemonger carries the exact same weight" would vote THE SAME AS YOU? %P
Realy? %))))))

Larry Hart said...

locumranch:

I mean, really, what kind of ELITIST would want the opinion of the ignoramus to carry less weight than the opinion of the fact-user??


A stopped clock is apparently right twice a day. Loc said something true (accidentally, I'm sure).

Society functions better when the fact-users outnumber the fact-deficient by a supermajority, but there's no way to build that state of affairs into the rules without creating a decider caste who determines which citizens get to vote and which do not. And such a decider caste is always subject to capture. Having everybody vote has its potential setbacks, but it's better than the alternatives.

The "wisdom of crowds" isn't a psychohistorical certainty, just something that usually works out in the real world. It can fail, even spectacularly so. If a majority of Americans really are deplorables, then that's what our country is, for better or worse. The options then for decent, compassionate citizens who know what reality is and believe in the rule of law are to submit, leave, or rebel. I'm simply not ready yet to accept as fact that there are more of you than there are of me.

Anonymous said...

It's the same inside our brains too.
Not always our top thought is the best one.

Treebeard said...

To me a "commie" is a radical who believes in the forced collectivization of society, state control of the economy, getting rid of capitalists and aristocrats, burying religions and traditions, forcibly removing human inequality, and exporting this revolution globally. So calling Putin or Confederates commies seems rather inaccurate and laughable, like something an old crank would do at a gym with Fox News on the TV.

David Brin said...

One reason to keep locum around. hilarity! "I mean, really, what kind of ELITIST would want the opinion of the ignoramus to carry less weight than the opinion of the fact-user??"

Choked on my tea!

onward

onward