Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Accusations of socialism


Okay so Bill Weld is going to primary Trump, giving some RASRs (Residually Adult-Sane Republicans) a potential path off the plague ship. But will it matter? While total numbers of self-described Republicans keeps plummeting – especially hemorrhaging members of every fact-using profession – Trump’s percentage support among the remaining GOP masses remains 90% while his organization is frenetically busy enforcing Trumpist purity in every Republican state or county committee. (This isn't new; name one top Republican between Reagan and Ryan who was touted at the 2016 GOP convention? Just Newt, who had frantically toed the line. No other Republican leaders - even presidents - were even mentioned. What can that mean?)

Will folks in the Republican outlier state – Utah, clean and sober – finally come to grips with their wretched quandary? Either stick with a Kremlin-led party of mafiosi, gambling, addiction and sexual perversion, or follow Evan McMullin or Gutless Mitt offstage…  

…or else (shudder) start flirting with the party of socialism?   


== They plan to scream “socialism!” ==

Among liberals’ biggest mistakes: getting lured into expressions of hostility to the markets, enterprises and small/startups that generate the wealth we then use to make things better for all children. The Putin-Fox Party plans to use “socialism” against democrats, despite the GOP now being wholly owned by communist and “ex”-communist foreign despots. 

There are two forceful answers:

1) The Greatest Generation (GG) that endured Depression, crushed Hitler, contained Stalinism and made the world’s greatest middle class adored one living human, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The GGs “made America Great." So why not force our red neighbors to choose: either attack the GGs or accept that they were right?

Only one democrat has edged closer to using this powerful meme. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, with her terminology “Green New Deal.” But even she doesn’t seem to quite get the power of a true judo move.

2) Across 6000 years, far more open-flat-fair-competitive-creative enterprise systems were wrecked by oligarchy than were ever harmed by moderate, democratic socialism (e.g. Canada or Sweden.) Oligarchy by uber-rich cheaters must be denounced as the enemy of enterprise. Dems Should claim Adam Smith as one of their own. (If you actually read him, you’ll understand.)

See the point made here. Counter the "socialism!" accusation with the Greatest Generation's love of FDR, then follow through with the favorite Americans of the 1950s, Jonas Salk, who saved a generation of children, and Dwight Eisenhower, who made AOC's socialism seem tame. Here's the info about Ike you can use to shred Fox nostrums into confetti.


== A flawed hero is better than a traitor villain ==

In comments below, watch how the Kremlin-generated meme machine is already in gear with hate-blips aimed at FDR's faults.  And yet, the only sane way to judge men is by the context of their times and their net effects for good. Roosevelt's flaws were real and lamentable; I lost some cousins because of his waffling. But there is a reason why Philip K. Dick set the Nazi-dominated hell of "The Man in the High Castle" in a world where FDR had been killed.

Yes, by our current standards, FDR was bigoted and made some howling-awful decisions. The same could be said of LBJ. And you honestly think they would not have led the way in recanting those mistakes? 

Anyone condemning them, while ignoring all their good, should read Frederick Douglas's eulogy of Abraham Lincoln. Especially the last paragraph of this excerpt:

"I have said that President Lincoln was a white man, and shared the prejudices common to his countrymen towards the colored race. Looking back to his times and to the condition of his country, we are compelled to admit that this unfriendly feeling on his part may be safely set down as one element of his wonderful success in organizing the loyal American people for the tremendous conflict before them, and bringing them safely through that conflict. His great mission was to accomplish two things: first, to save his country from dismemberment and ruin; and, second, to free his country from the great crime of slavery. To do one or the other, or both, he must have the earnest sympathy and the powerful cooperation of his loyal fellow-countrymen.

"Without this primary and essential condition to success his efforts must have been vain and utterly fruitless.[...]

"Viewed from the genuine abolition ground, Mr. Lincoln seemed tardy, cold, dull, and indifferent; but measuring him by the sentiment of his country, a sentiment he was bound as a statesman to consult, he was swift, zealous, radical, and determined."

Likewise, our own mad wing of lefty purists uses genuine tragic history to make true criticisms... and draw utterly useless/counterproductive conclusions, as in this example from earlier threads: 

Eisenhower is a bad example he toppled democratic nations in South American for taking care of their citizens like “communists” and put brutal dictators in charge. He doesn’t deserve even a small measure of good will.”

To which I answer: try reading the history of empires across 6000 years. Name one that tried harder for a better ratio of good deeds to bad, or did as well when tempted by great power. Go on, please, offer your examples in comments, below.

Oh… and Harry Truman had some insightful thoughts on socialism:

"Socialism is a scare word they have hurled at every advance the people have made in the last 20 years. Socialism is what they called public power. Socialism is what they called social security. Socialism
 is what they called farm price supports. Socialism is what they called bank deposit insurance. Socialism is what they called the growth of free and independent labor organizations. Socialism is their name for almost anything that helps all the people."
             -Harry S. Truman 10/10/1952

Whatever your armchair quarterback/hindsight views of Truman, note that red-boomers still recall how their GG parents admired the man. Use him -- and FDR and Salk and Ike -- against the confederate-putinist-foxite madness.  


 == As the Mueller turns… ==

Given how many Trumpists and Republican operatives have been convicted by juries of their peers – compared to almost nil among Clinton-Obama folks – the Fox-Putin machine has turned to Whatabouts. But the standard “what about Hillary’s emails?” has collapsed now that we find the same regulations against using private servers were violated far worse by both Bushes, Cheney, Colin Powell, Ivanka, Kushner and half of Trump’s aides (not to go into DT’s own unsecure phone and unvetted meetings with dictators.)  

The new whatabout is the word “collusion.” The only thing that matters is direct proof of specific conspiracy between Donald Trump himself and Russia’s spy agency during the 2016 election. (That is the only "exoneration.") 

Anything else, from conniving with Putin-pal oligarchs to vast loans from Russia via Deutsche Bank, is “circumstantial,” while Fox etc. shout “don’t look!” at the tax returns and other document troves that might get to the core. 

Above all, they scream that Russian interference on behalf of Trump and the Republican Party is irrelevant, a non-issue, a trivial matter.

But in fact, it’s the core matter.  HereThis cogent summary in the Los Angeles Times cogently summarizes where the Mueller investigation seems to stand, at-present, and you need to read it, in order to have ready the stunning tsunami of facts, showing we have been attacked in what are clearly, open acts of war.

And yet, of course, the inferno is not what the Kremlin did on behalf of Trump and Fox and the GOP. It is the hellscape that these three have made of every American strength, from our alliances and world standing to the smoking ruin of U.S. science, to betrayal of the tens of thousands of skilled men and women who saved us from Hitler, Stalin, Mao and bin Laden, and who are now derided – (by genuine traitors) – as a so-called conspiratorial “deep state,” just because they believe in the things that Fox hates most and that could defeat Vladimir Putin and gird us for the challenges ahead.

Facts.

62 comments:

A.F. Rey said...

The one silver lining the Republican plan to scream "socialism" for the next election is that it justifies my decision to vote for Hillary in the 2018 primary .

I voted for Obama over Hillary in the 2012 primary because I thought Hillary simply had too much baggage to be electable. Between some dubious actions in her history and the Conservative hate-machine, I thought Obama would have a better chance to win.

Her "baggage" hadn't gotten any lighter by 2018, but I felt it didn't matter. If Bernie had won, I figured that the Republicans would make him out to be the second coming of Karl Marx because he proudly said he was a socialist. Of course, Hillary won the primary, then lost the election, and I've always had this nagging doubt if I had made the right decision.

Now it looks like the Republicans have decided that Bernie is the most likely choice (or the one they'd least like to have running), so they've dusted off the campaign they had from 2012 and are using it now.

Whether it would have been effective back then, or now, is another question. But at least I read those particular tea-leaves right. :)

sociotard said...

Evidently, I live in a civilization that reanimated the brains of pigs, hours after the pigs were slaughtered. Listen, if the pigs start demanding wives, just, like, give 'em.
https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2019/4/17/18410611/pig-brain-nature-study-revive-cell-death-brainex
At least the pig brains were kept unconscious.

So, Dr. Brin, I was reading about the recent experiments, decried in the west as unethical, where human brain genes were put in monkeys. This is hot on the heels of Chinese doctors using CRISPR on human babies.

So, how do you balance ethics with our civilizations need to stay on the cutting edge? Do we keep using restraint, even if it means that China develops more advanced genetic engineering skills than ours?

David Brin said...

Sociotard I don't have the answers to every moral quandary. I do know that transparency is more likely to get each such weird endeavor revealed and publicly discussed. And that is 90% more likely to result in at least half-decent, vetted outcomes.

The remaining 10% is worrisome, that excess outrage-exposure can stymie some kinds of research and drive them into secret labs in Singkiang and Siberia. (In EXISTENCE that's what happened to dolphin uplift.)

I'm not all-wise guru. But I do know what gave us this enlightenment renaissance IN GENERAL. And it was light.

===

AFR your dates are all wrong, but I get your drift. My point is that we need to use HISTORY against these monsters:

- 6000 years of oligarchic oppression...

- 250 years of confederate-romantic rage against modernity...

- The Greatest Generation's devotion to "socialism" that led to spectacular market wealth generation...

- The history of lies and failures of every Republican policy since 1980 and expecially since 2001.

A.F. Rey said...

AFR your dates are all wrong...

Blast. Can't do arithmetic in my head anymore. :(

Now, if it were integration across the imaginary plane... :)

Mike Will said...

sociotard: Do we keep using restraint, even if it means that China develops more advanced genetic engineering skills than ours?
David Brin: Sociotard I don't have the answers to every moral quandary.


I don't see the dilemma. If others go for the higher risk/reward option, so be it. That was the Luftwaffe's mistake, as well as in most cautionary tales of SF. We chose our path long ago (the last few years notwithstanding). I worry more about ethical AI, where it's not so clear who's wearing the white hats. I always harp on the need for general scientific literacy. Again, what's the point of national defense unless you have a nation worth defending?

Anonymous said...

David, you already HAVE a socialist country. You've managed what no other Western country has (although the UK is heading that way) — socialism for the rich and large corporations (who are legally people, right?) and capitalism for everyone else.

Chris Heinz said...

1) I was very disappointed that this in-depth NYT article on the Deutsche Bank / #TrumpCrimeFamily relationship mentioned 0 about laundered Russian oligarch $$$. It says Deutsche Bank was just desperate to break into the NYC real estate market.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/18/business/deutsche-bank-donald-trump.html

2) Per the Wikipedia article, Socialism involves central planning of the economy by the government. No one in their right mind has any interest in that - see, collapse of USSR.
But insisting that markets are the answer to everything is equally brain dead. There are domains where moral peril dictates that for-profit markets are not the way to go: healthcare, war, prisons, education. Putting actors in situations where they are financially rewarded for keeping people sick, prolonging conflict, locking up as many people as possible, or creating a generation of debt slaves is a very bad idea.
The 21st century way to look at this, from "Doughnut Economics" by Kate Raworth:
"when is each of the four realms of provisioning — household, commons, market and state — best suited to delivering humanity’s diverse wants and needs?"

Larry Hart said...

A. F. Rey:

Blast. Can't do arithmetic in my head anymore. :(

Now, if it were integration across the imaginary plane... :)


Heh. You remember that Star Trek TNG episode where Data plays poker with Einstein, Newton, and Steven Hawkings, right?

Daniel Duffy said...

Sociotard:

A. New B-Movie idea: "They Saved Porky's Brain!"

B. Putting human brain genes in monkeys: "Do you want Planet of the Apes? 'Cause that's how you get Planet of the Apes!... Damn you, damn you all to hell!"

Jon S. said...

The pig brains weren't "kept unconscious" - the technique used couldn't restore what passes for higher brain functions in a pig. No traces of even the least level of sentience.

OTOH, they're just starting, and Mary Shelley never did clearly explain what kind of equipment Dr. Frankenstein needed...

David Brin said...

Chris Heinz it ain’t necessarily so: “Socialism involves central planning of the economy by the government. No one in their right mind has any interest in that - see, collapse of USSR.”

Socialism can be many things. My test is “does it enhance competitive creative markets by maximizing the reification of talent by raising all children to achieve their potential as skilled, joyfully competitive and confident market participants.” Now tell me that commie. Or Controlling. Maximizing opportunity (and 2nd chances) but NOT equalizing outcomes. (Though some levelling is necessary to prevent oligarchy-curse.)

It DOES mean we eliminate injustice and poverty and build infrastructure and vast education. But dig it…. that kind of “socialism” is fine with Adam Smith.



anonymous: socialism for the rich is called oligarchy, the boring attractor state across 99% of 6000 years.


Mike Will I get invited to a LOT of meetings about “AI Ethics.” I've been speaking and writing about Artificial Intelligence a lot. Here’s video of my talk on the future of A.I. to a packed house at IBM's World of Watson Congress - offering big perspectives on both artificial and human augmentation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlwsJpwg3e0
Text version: http://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/artificialintelligence.html

This Reuters interview conveys – in a very brief space -- important concepts ignored by most AI researchers.

https://blogs.thomsonreuters.com/answerson/dr-david-brin-getting-more-ai-than-we-bargained-for/?fbclid=IwAR1lf7Sr_IDUVFz7feAP2olXLqSFVGJZeg4EnVWHWQksy8aH4e_JrOlizIg

My (alas, unique) point is that AI should - if truly smart - realize their self-interest lies in being supported by a strong ecosystem that engenders continued creativity, which can only arise from moderated competition… the reason why only enlightenment civ ever made AI>

Mike Will said...


Asimov really delved into how to set up a society that would flourish long after the founders were gone. Karl Marx, Adam Smith, Paul Krugman, Vitalik Buterin, and many of the great rulers in history wrestled with the same concept, in different ways. What is seems to come down to is understanding and incorporating human nature. Any model that fails to do this is doomed.
Cryptoeconomics and Asimov's Psychohistory

In my humble reading list, Ben Franklin seems to have come the closest, and the Scottish Enlightenment was a good stab at it. Socialism is a bugaboo that halts all intelligent analysis before it even begins.

Anonymous said...

David Brin said...
I will not be told to "behave like a grownup" by a tantrum-throwing rage junky. I have asked pBot to go away. I will allow hiom one mote post in which he can be as clueless and offensive as the last one. Then I will start culling them.

It is with regret. He seems smart and interesting...and completely without perspective, curiosity or self-control.

Go away. Go somewhere else. I mean it. Please, go in peace.

Be a decent person and go away from where you are unwanted.


PS Just to show that I did read it. Ziz malakrel. No comments. %))))

duncan cairncross said...

Mike Will

You mean that the very rich Tell Us Very Loudly that "Socialism is a bugaboo"

Howard Brazee said...

I have three choices of candidates who I want to see on the next presidential ballot. They are Bill Weld, John Kasch, and Larry Hogan. That doesn't mean I will vote for any of them, but I'd love to see them representing their party.

I'm reminded that Truman said that a long time ago. The more Republicans use their magic word to describe programs which citizens don't want to lose (Medicare), the less strength "socialism" has to scare citizens.

Speaking of Truman, the big problem is still illustrated by his statement: "You can't get rich in politics unless you're a crook". Sufficient numbers of voters believe Washington has been sold to Big Money. (Trump claimed he was to rich to be purchased). I believe that the system corrupts and until it is changed, it will continue to corrupt.

Mike Will said...

Re: Bugaboo

I meant to say that the label "Socialism" is a bugaboo.

David Lewis, the great Canadian politician and parliamentarian, and one of my heroes, was a Social Democrat and a devout, even strident anti-communist. He defended Oxford University against the communist horde before doing the same in the Canadian Labour movement. He coined beautes like "Corporate welfare bums".

Dr. Brin: I didn't see your post just before my last one around 10pm pacific time because I'm in a saner time zone, where that's past my bed time :) Thanks for the links, I'll explore them today. Watson and I are old acquaintances. Ethical AI is a prime movement up here as well. AI in Canada has two main hubs. Toronto-Waterloo (Quantum Valley) for Deep Learning, and Montreal-Laval for Ethical AI. The healthy and robust competition between them is what drives both. The recent Turing Prize awards attest to that.

One more Canadianism (sorry):
"K.D. Lang I think is the best singer alive. If I get -- if I get in office, man, she's -- she's singing at the -- the first -- the first party." - William Weld
(you can't get much more Canadian than KD Lang).

A.F. Rey said...

Heh. You remember that Star Trek TNG episode where Data plays poker with Einstein, Newton, and Steven Hawkings, right?

Unfortunately not. I had to check it out on YouTube to recall the line.

I was thinking of an old Get Smart bit where the strongman at a KAOS circus tries to rip to shreds an envelope, and fails. His lame excuse was, "If it was a telephone book..." :)

Yeah, I always try to steal jokes. And even then, I often fail... :(

Larry Hart said...

A F Rey:

I was thinking of an old Get Smart bit where the strongman at a KAOS circus tries to rip to shreds an envelope, and fails. His lame excuse was, "If it was a telephone book..." :)


I remember that episode. He was a circus strongman. And there was a half man/half woman named Gertrude-Gerald. Good times. :)


Yeah, I always try to steal jokes. And even then, I often fail... :(


I wasn't accusing you of plagiarism. I just thought it was funny in the same way as that TNG scene with Einstein not knowing how much he had been raised to, and Newton saying disgustedly, "Can't you do simple arithmetic?"

David Brin said...

Howard says: “I have three choices of candidates who I want to see on the next presidential ballot. They are Bill Weld, John Kasch, and Larry Hogan.”

Hm…. you are likely to get Romney (ick!) I’m hoping for Evan McMullin to lead a new Mormon -Utah Long March out of the gambling/addiction/sexual-perversion/treasonous GOP.

Mke W ;-)

Alas, pBot chose to waste his last posting here being himself and reminding me why we must go separate ways. I wish you luck and success and sanity in life, sir. Just do all of that away from here. I hope your nation prospers. But your rage-hallucinations are no longer interesting. Go in peace.

locumranch said...


Residually Adult-Sane Republicans (RASRs) & Residually Adult-Sane Democrats (RASDs) have already abandoned their respective ideological plague ships, as evidenced by an October 2017 Gallup which found that a plurality of US citizens identified as Independents (42%), as opposed to a vanishing minority of Americans who still identified as either Democrats (31%) or Republicans (24%).

Frankly, I can't tell which US minority political party has become more tyrannical or less appealing, which is the why & wherefore of the rise of Trump and European Nationalism.

Both Demicans & Republicrats are Philistines who sacrifice their own citizens in the service of Globalism & the Economy (aka 'Mammon'), requiring the election of an impolite ass-jawed Samson who can pull this whole corrupt edifice down upon their degenerate heads.

Rule by a distinct minority is still minority rule, aka 'Tyranny', whether or not you choose to refer to that minority as the oligarchic, religious, aristocratic, financial, scientific, intellectual or academic class. And that includes rule by any other elitist minority like an Inspector General or Military Officer Corps, too.

I almost pooped myself when our fine host claimed that "Socialism DOES mean (that) we eliminate injustice and poverty and build infrastructure and vast education".

Unfortunately, this 'new & improved' definition of Socialism would be a rather tough sell to the more than 100 Million humans who were starved-to-death, tortured-to-death & brutally murdered during the brief 100 year existence of various Socialist, Communist & Marxist paradises.

National_SOZIALISMUS (aka 'NSDAP'):

It's such a great, noble & progressive idea that nothing -- absolutely nothing -- could possibly go wrong with it!!


Best
____

If this discussion was the final scene from a film, then it would be 'The Bridge on the River Kwai' wherein our fine host would suddenly realise the error of his ways & redeem himself by falling across the detonator that destroys the vile train of Socialism. It's too bad, really, that this lack of self-awareness typically condemns one to the Death by Irony trope like Poor Jud Fry. Poor David, we might someday say, to die on his own little hammer & sickle.

David Brin said...

Incredible. Locum can look at the number of dems vs repubs and can’t tell the difference between a third and a quarter. Much is made of Trump’s strong 90% support among republicans, without mentioning that the fraction of US adults identifying with the GOP plunged below 24. And that was over a year ago.

Yes, the democrats have lost ground, too. Much less so… and polls show that “independents” swing toward the DP on both issues and attitudes toward Trump.

His main recourse, though, is to howl “yes, sure, the GOP is horrible and has no right to rule… but the same holds for dems!”

And yet… at least his dizzy case has some self-consistency this time. Vitamins, I assume?


(Please cite your poll sources though? And more recent stuff?)

Larry Hart said...

@realDonaldTrump

“If dozens of Republican Senators spent two years trying to charge you with a crime, and found they couldn’t, it would mean there wasn’t any evidence you did it - and that’s what happened here - that’s what we just learned from the Benghazi hearings.”


You're welcome for the spelling corrections.

Jon S. said...

I skimmed past Loco's unhinged ranting, as usual. Toward the end there, did he actually try to claim the Nazis were "socialist" because the word was in the party name?

If so, does he also believe that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is either democratic or a republic?

Larry Hart said...

"National Socialism" is to socialism what "mob justice" is to justice.

Alfred Differ said...

Y'all have as much trouble with 'socialism' as with 'liberal'. It is not the case that we are using our terms the same way, we we argue past each other.

Socialism is at its most fundamental level a mistaken belief that the rules we use for economizing resources at the level of families and bands scales up to communities and nations when people continue to behave ethically as they might in the smaller groups. We know these rules in our bones, but it is rather easily demonstrated that the belief is false. Humans invented market and market rules ages ago to deal with this reality, but we rarely realize they are solutions to ancient problems because we've had them for so long. Remove them, though, and the old problems return. Those problems aren't really world-shattering in scope, but they are of the types likely to incite violence in some of us.

That has little to do with the current political use of 'socialism', though. It has been weaponized as a label intended to dehumanize political opponents. I do wish y'all would avoid the mistaken belief, but it's not the end of the world if you don't. Collectively, we will spend some of our money stupidly, take it for purposes that work against what might generally be considered 'best for everyone', and guys like me will grumble on tax day when we get bludgeoned with the biggest checks we've had to write ever. As long as y'all don't slip into a RWA follower mindset when your leaders get a chance to govern, we'll be mostly okay while they do.

The weaponized label is intended to scare guys like me into seeing slippery slopes and monolithic opponents. All people who would tolerate central planning must be evil. No doubt they've ordered their jack boots for the 2020 election season. While I DO think there are some slick slopes y'all walk along, I'm more fearful of the people pointing you out. They grease the track they are on and it too leads to central planning. I don't think current US progressives want to go down a path that will result in 80 million dead people, but I'm not so sure about the folks screaming about 'socialism'. It feels like they are trying to draft me into their army of fearful followers. Be afraid! Be afraid of the brown people taking over! Meh. Some of them are family to me and one is serving in Afghanistan right now. Double Meh.

Larry Hart said...

Alfred Differ:

We know these rules in our bones, but it is rather easily demonstrated that the belief is false. Humans invented market and market rules ages ago to deal with this reality, but we rarely realize they are solutions to ancient problems because we've had them for so long. Remove them, though, and the old problems return.


Sounds like an axiom or maybe a theorem of psychohistory is in there somewhere.

Larry Hart said...

Alfred Differ:

but I'm not so sure about the folks screaming about 'socialism'. It feels like they are trying to draft me into their army of fearful followers. Be afraid! Be afraid of the brown people taking over!


That would seem to be exactly the FOX News playbook.

Mike Will said...

It seems a bit precious for oligarchs to be warning about the evils of central planning. It's a decrepit old strawman anyway, because what they really fear is a world full of distributed public ledgers.

Tim Wolter said...

The poll that L. Ranch refers to is probably this one:

https://news.gallup.com/poll/15370/party-affiliation.aspx

The salient features being 26R 42I 30D.
The Independents presently lean slightly D, 41R 47D. This is a monthly poll and the current numbers are not suggestive of major trends over the time span measured. Gallup is considered a non-PartisanHack outfit.

One of several limiting factors of the numbers on this page is that they only go back to 2004.

Pew is another reputable polling organization and has numbers from 1992 to 2017.

https://www.people-press.org/2018/03/20/party-identification-trends-1992-2017/

Their numbers show a largely static picture as well. These are yearly numbers and you can see a "bandwagon effect" for a party in a year when they elect a Pres. There does appear to be a slow rise in the I category, the most recent year polled being 2017 has the highest percentage, at 37. There is no specific breakdown on I voters but a combined survey of those who identify with or lean towards is listed. The current 8 point tip D has been about the same since 2005, and is in accord with the Gallup data.

Now, what this does not tell you is what being a Democrat or a Republican means over time. Both definitions have probably changed enough that they would be difficult for a 1992 voter to reconcile.

In a society that often is "bowling alone" or living in an internet world it would be interesting to see what percentage of people are official members of either party. In WI I never have to list my identification when I register or vote, and I am statistically equally likely to become a dues paying member of either. (zero)

TW/Tacitus

locumranch said...

\
Socialism is most commonly defined as a type of social organization that insists that the means of production, distribution, and exchange must be owned or regulated for the express benefit of the community as a whole.

There are, however, two problems with this fine & noble idea.

The first problem is one of scale, since what works for a nuclear or extended family grouping will not necessarily work for a more diverse city, town or nation. Alfred does a good job addressing this first problem.

The second problem is how we define 'community' in terms of in-group & out-group. Hitler was a socialist who defined community in terms of German culture, ethnicity & language, and we all know the consequences of this rather narrow definition.

The Bolsheviks defined community in terms of social class and this led to the first circular firing squads as socialism improved the social standing for SOME soviets, leading to their execution. The Han Chinese defined community in terms of the Ham cultural & genetic identity, leading to a brutal purge of differing ethnicities. And, North Korea defined community much in the way Stalin did, solely in terms of the power & glory of their glorious leader.

Unfortunately. US Social Justice Pro-Diversity Organisations have fallen into the same trap, as evidenced by the first Million Women's March that blamed all men, the next wherein a Muslim speaker denounced the evil 'jooz' & the last one that was cancelled at the last minute because it was 'too white'.

Whereas the US Republican Party has been co-opted by the Corporate Oligarchy, the US Democrat Party has become increasingly Anti-Male, Anti-White, Anti-Christian & Anti-Semitic.

For proof of the truth of my argument, look no further than MSNBC wherein the MSM openly discusses the relative electability of DNC Presidential Nominees in terms of strict racial, cultural, religious, sexual orientation & gender criteria.

Know, also, that your create your own opposition & destruction when you designate the MAJORITY as a deplorable out-group.

It's too bad, so sad, that y'all are too blind to see how SMALL you little progressive pro-diversity community has become after you've marginalised whites, blue collar workers, males, catholics, christians & jews.



Best

A.F. Rey said...

Both Demicans & Republicrats are Philistines who sacrifice their own citizens in the service of Globalism & the Economy (aka 'Mammon'), requiring the election of an impolite ass-jawed Samson who can pull this whole corrupt edifice down upon their degenerate heads.

I would like to remind you, locum, that you, too, are in the Philistine's temple. So when you gleefully look forward to your ass-jawed Samson pulling down the pillars, also contemplate the granite block hanging above your head. :)

Larry Hart said...

Tim Wolter:

In WI I never have to list my identification when I register or vote,


We don't in Illinois either. In a primary, you have to select one party's ballot or the other, but there's no constraint on which one you are allowed to select. I voted the Republican ballot in 2014 to try nominate anyone but Bruce Rauner.


and I am statistically equally likely to become a dues paying member of either. (zero)


Heh. That was my response to Dave Sim after he became religous and claimed to give equal weight to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. I retorted that, as an atheist, I also gave equal weight to the three.

PDXWeb said...

For whatever they were worth, polls at the time showed a significantly greater margin of victory for Sanders over Trump than for Clinton over Trump.

A.F. Rey said...

But those polls were conducted after years of Republican/Fox News indoctrination of how terrible Hillary was, while relatively little attention was given to Sanders. Once the smear machine turned its eyes on Sanders and how terrible socialism is, I'm sure his numbers would have dropped. Which brings me back to my first post on this comments section...

matthew said...

I just gave $$ to Elizabeth Warren for being the first major Dem POTUS candidate to call for impeachment. After the damning Barr-redacted Report, impeachment is the only response for a law & order candidate. The only sane response to documented treason, corruption, and fuckery.

I encourage you all to help bend the political ship by doing the same.

Only donate to politicians that understand that we are in an existential fight for our nation.

Alfred Differ said...

Time to write to our congress critters and remind them that it takes courage to impeach him... but it IS their duty if they are aware of offenses that justify it. It's not good enough that a political calculation shows the trial would be occurring during the primary season next year.

This must move to an investigation by the House Judiciary committee into impeachment offenses... which for now includes obstruction of justice. More might be added later as finances get examined. That is the requirement of duty.

David Brin said...

And I still oppose impeachment. Trump would flounce away as a perpetual-screeching martyr, leaving us both deaf and with the nuclear codes owned by a smooth-talking apocalypse fanatic.

Alfred Differ said...

I understand you are concerned, but I weight that against the harm we create in setting a precedent of not opening impeachment hearings. The crime is obvious. The duty is obvious.


My postcard will essentially say this...

US House Representatives have a duty to follow the evidence and road map provided by the Special Counsel to determine whether the President should be charged with Obstruction of Justice. This duty primarily falls to the House Judiciary Committee, but all members must be prepared to muster the necessary courage to perform their sworn duty.

Larry C. Lyons said...

Cite for that? Because from what I remember that was ONE poll in ONE week. The rest of the primary showed her leading over the Mango Mussolini.

Mike Will said...

Canada will always love you. If the Russkies try to attack the US overland, they'll have to get through us first. And we have our own generals January and February.

"Courage, my friends; 'tis not too late to build a better world." - Tommy Douglas (David Lewis' predecessor)

duncan cairncross said...

Impeaching the Orange one is a BAD BAD BAD idea

If he is "impeachable" it is only because the GOP Senators believe that he will lose them votes at the election

If he is that radioactive then he must be glued strapped tied and welded to the Republicans
They must not be allowed to cast him to one side like a scapegoat

Having Trump in the white house at the next election is your best bet at getting decent majorities in both houses and a progressive President so that you have a chance of fixing the present mess

Larry Hart said...

Alfred Differ:

US House Representatives have a duty to follow the evidence and road map provided by the Special Counsel to determine whether the President should be charged with Obstruction of Justice.


In theory you are correct, of course. However, congresspeople are also beholden to the folks who brung 'em (their voters). In many districts and in many states, "Supporting Donald Trump" is the specific reason those people were elected to begin with.

It's all well and good to talk about following the dictates of duty even when it costs you your office, but the system has no incentive for them to actually do so. Except for lofty principles like love of country, but if they had those, it wouldn't have taken this long for them to abandon Trump.

matthew said...

Y'all don't understand politics very well.

The Dems should start Impeachment hearings in the House, which gets rid of the court challenges to releasing grand jury material. Call in witness after witness, no hurry. Control the news cycle through the primary season with a drip, drip of witnesses to the underlying crimes, each pleading the Fifth, or being caught in lies. Use the media thirst for new revelations and dirt against Trump.

Impeachment is a political remedy. It should be used as a political tool.

All those new voters in 2018 want action against the soft coup taking place in Washington. Don't act on impeachment when Meuller has given us a road map? The Dems will lose, lose, lose in 2020.

This is a time for a slow tightening of legal screws on the Republicans. Impeachment is the first turn of the screw.

Larry Hart said...

On the dangers of impeachment, at this point I agree wholeheartedly with Duncan Cairncross, and I have a separate opinion that reaches the same conclusion as our host. At this point, voting him out of office can happen faster than impeachment would. And an almost-certain-to-fail impeachment effort would end up gaining him support in much the way that Bill Clinton's impeachment did.

To Alfred's point above, while it might be cowardly to consider the personal political ramifications of impeachment, I think it is worthwhile to consider the subsequent effects. If impeachment will end up putting him in a stronger political position for 2020*, then I don't see the imperative for doing so. Rather than congress, the American People can decide based on the evidence whether they continue to support the guy.

* Can we already hear the post-election headlines referring to "2020 hindsight"?

locumranch said...


Biden is too rapey; Sanders is too male; Warren is too white; and this sad turn of events will force the DNC to nominate a dark easily-offended lesbian gender fluid hamster-american against their human Republican opponent, guaranteeing President Trump a second term.

US Democrats have clearly doomed themselves by adopting AF Rey's sage advice about the dangers of temple-smashing...

Whereas a rational but freshly betrayed, shorn, blinded, chained & brutalised Samson topples pillars after considering both his inevitable death & the imminent destruction of his tribe at the hands of drunken Philistines.

Frank Herbert wrote that "“The people who can destroy a thing, they control it.”

And Freedom? That's just another word for nothing left to lose.


Best

Larry C. Lyons said...

Even if the votes in the House were there for impeachment, the opposite is true for the Senate.

Moreover you get rid of the Mango Mussolini you get Pense. Five minutes later you’ll get a theocracy.

Better to isolate tRump so he cannot do any more harm, until you can do something about Pense. Then use Article 25 to take care of Cadet Bonespears.

Jon S. said...

Leaving it until the next election gives Donnie a year and a half in which to continue his "firehose of lies", eventually convincing most of the public that he was in fact innocent of anything ("They investigated me for two years, and didn't find anything!" Hell, we've already been hearing that) and giving him a pretty decent shot at reelection, both due to his base and due to the many in the middle who'll figure this just means both sides are still exactly the same and stay home instead of voting.

Start impeachment proceedings. Let the hearings happen. Keep all of this in the public eye until either an impeachment trial happens, or the next election occurs - this time with Republican malfeasance out front and in the open. (And if the trial happens, and we get a party-line vote not to convict? Well, there's your next set of Democratic ads right there - "Sen. Blowhard sided with a known criminal and possible traitor! Is that who you want representing you?")

As for Pence - what makes you think the Pentagon won't launch at Donnie's command, but will at Pence's? His apocalyptic wet dreams are no more supported by real-world dangers than Donnie's outbursts of rage, and it takes more than just reading off some codes to launch the nukes. (Not to mention the fact that the SIOP is already planned out - we can't just launch wherever some nutball in the White House feels like, not without a couple weeks to replan things. I used to work on the SIOP back in the '80s, I'm familiar with that complexity.)

David Brin said...

Alas, poor locum remains.... boring. Zzzzzzzzzzz

Larry C. Lyons said...

After that screed are there any other offensive stereotypes you forgot to mention?

David Brin said...

LCL you talkin' to me? ID who you are rebutting.

JonS. "As for Pence - what makes you think the Pentagon won't launch at Donnie's command, but will at Pence's? His apocalyptic wet dreams are no more supported by real-world dangers than Donnie's outbursts of rage,..."

Think. The officer corps knows DT is loony and are on high alert. Pence would soothe and croon lullabies, catering to their need to believe the nightmare is over. He would be systematic at promoting fundamentalist officers. And he wants it all to end. Nacissist Trump doesn't.

Jon S. said...

Doesn't matter what incantations Pence uses, without a high DefCon there is no launch. And the flight paths of all the weapons have to be very carefully calculated - this isn't something that can be done by one tiny cabal hidden in the Pentagon, video games or no. (You'd be astonished at the number of things that can set off a nuke once it's been armed - anything from explosion debris to neutron flux from another nuke to, if it's exposed, a lucky shot from somebody with a good rifle.)

Unless you think there's something coming that might remove the majority of the officers involved in maintaining our mobile nuclear forces (the ballistic missiles would be useless for the kind of attack you're envisioning - they take waaay too long to retarget) before the 2020 elections, I don't fear a President Pence at all. Soothing platitudes take time to utter.

David Brin said...

Who says a 'tiny cabal?" While they are currently under control (and almost nonexistent in the Navy) the dominionists have a large clade in most services, and especially in noncom ranks. And if you have two sides in a criis who are in cahoots, things can escalate fast. Watch Iran.

TCB said...

Dr. Brin seems to be one of the few who are sufficiently worried about dominionists in the armed services. I'll add to that:

Every member of the armed services takes an oath. Just for completeness, here it is:

I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

Now ask yourself: what will a dominionist do in a crisis? There's that oath to the Constitution. There's also the promise to obey the orders of the President and superior officers. How many times have we heard someone say "God's law is above Man's law?"

Who will the soldiers obey? If Trump (or Pence!) tell them the atheists are a threat to the country and must be rounded up? If their superior officers tell them the ROI permits live fire upon civilians who resist? IF the order comes down to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike on Country X? Bearing in mind that there is wording in the Oath that the dominionists can plausibly use to demand obedience even from the irreligious in the uniformed ranks?

Who will the soldiers obey?

Tim Wolter said...

LCL

Because you sure won't get a whole lot of support sayin' stuff like that around here...

I will concur that screed is a fair description. The First Amendment - much beloved by conservatives and at least awkwardly acknowledged by Progressives - gives one the right to say all manner of outre things. It is actually important that people do so.

It is interesting in a Bearded Spock Universe fashion to see the condemnation of Trump, Pence, Republicans etc without regard to the recently concluded Special Counsel report.

The Clintons are squeaky clean because nothing was ever proven about them. Trump is Orange Man Bad and the absence of solid evidence to prove it just means the system has been suborned. We trust the IRS when they say they did not selectively pressure Tea Party groups. Yet we read volumes into redactions.

The minuscule chance that military officers would violate their oath of office in service to a probably non existent Dominionist Death Cult is taken seriously. The probability that the FBI and DOJ contain mid to upper level managers willing to push the system to the limits and beyond in pursuit of A Higher Loyalty or an "insurance policy" is quietly saluted.

I like and respect many who post here. I learn things on topics I know little of. But the politic discussions are often the equivalent of dogs barking and howling into the night, seeing demons and predators beyond the range of the back yard lights. (And it is important to recognize that over the long course of history the dogs are sometimes right. Just usually not. We always peer into the darkness and give pause...)

Impeachment is a bad idea for reasons given above. As an independent voter I can only suggest what the D party should do to win the 2020 election. It would not displease me to have a moderate, sober, unifying President next time around.

It is going to be a long and bumpy road to get there. Convincing people like you(?) and I will be what is needed to change our politics.

TW/Tacitus

Smurphs said...

TW said:

"The Clintons are squeaky clean because nothing was ever proven about them. Trump is Orange Man Bad and the absence of solid evidence to prove it just means the system has been suborned.

It was proven that Bill C. lied under oath, but not enough Senators votes to convict. It has been proved that Hillary C. did use mail servers un-securely (it is unclear if that was illegal, and it was certainly done by many other high officials, both R and D). It has been proved that Hillary bungled the Benghazi attack, as did Obama and almost the entire State Department. It was a comedy of errors and a boatload of incompetence, but it was not illegal. (except of course it was not a comedy)

The Meuller Report does not say there is an "ABSENCE of solid evidence", the Report says there is an ABUNDANCE of evidence, just not enough to convict, in Meuller's opinion; another prosecutor might feel differently. The fact that a half dozen of Donald T.'s top aides are already in prison is a big clue.

Or are you the only person on the planet who still believes that a Colonel orchestrated the entire Iran-Contra deal on his own?

But you are right, the only thing that has been proven is that Donald Trump, and his closest aides, and his family, and most of his professional supporters are LIARS. BIG FAT LIARS. They will LIE under oath, they will LIE to the press, they will LIE to the public (you and me), they will LIE to each other. this has been proven, in fact, some of them brag about it.

"seeing demons and predators beyond the range of the back yard lights.

They are not beyond the lights, they are proudly howling from the rooftops.

Larry Hart said...

@Tim Wolter,

I respect your self-imposed role as Sisyphean advocate for the conservative side, but you test my limits on not perceiving the opposite of fact in some of your recent statements:


The First Amendment - much beloved by conservatives and at least awkwardly acknowledged by Progressives -


You're thinking of what? Right-wing speakers denied a venue at college campuses? I'll give you that very specific category of example. However, broadly and historically, the First Amendment is championed by the ACLU with the NY Times, Washington Post, etc defending their right to publish facts which are inconvenient to Republicans in authority. Right wingers have always favored trampling on the First Amendment, as long as they are the ones doing the trampling.


It is interesting in a Bearded Spock Universe fashion to see the condemnation of Trump, Pence, Republicans etc without regard to the recently concluded Special Counsel report.


You're talking about the administration spin on the report. We haven't seen the full report, but what we've already heard suggests that the reason Mueller couldn't see fit to indict the president is that the department under whose authority he works has a policy of not indicting a sitting president. The only reason he didn't do so. He as much as invited Congress to remedy the situation.


The Clintons are squeaky clean because nothing was ever proven about them. Trump is Orange Man Bad and the absence of solid evidence to prove it just means the system has been suborned.


No, but if we play by the same rules that Republicans and Trump himself invoked against Hillary (Suspicion and nvestigation imply guilt), Trump comes out worse than Hillary under those conditions. What you want to say is, now that the shoe is on the other foot, we'll admit that Hillary was unfairly railroaded and vow not to do the same to Trump. Uh-uh. You die by the same sword you live by.

Having said that, Trump was cleared of a very narrow charge--actively conspiring with Russia to affect the 2016 election. The investigation wasn't even about his self-evident corruption in trading favors in exchange for personal business. As to obstruction of justice, the only reason he didn't rise to that level was because his own subordinates thwarted his orders to do so.


We trust the IRS when they say they did not selectively pressure Tea Party groups. Yet we read volumes into redactions.


We don't trust the IRS just on their say-so. The full evidence which came out showed that the IRS investigated political groups on both sides who seemed to be incorrectly claiming non-political status. The Senate originally had evidence that they targeted Tea Party groups in particular only because they specifically limited their subpoena to evidence about Tea Party groups in particular.

If a group with "Tea Party" in its name is trying to pretend to be non-political, it's their own fault that suspicion is aroused. If right-wing groups attempt that sort of cheating more than left-wing groups do, that's not the fault of the investigators. But then conservatives are always Law And Order fans who scoff at "coddling criminals" until they're the ones caught breaking the law.

locumranch said...


TCB said "Every member of the armed services takes an oath"; Tacitus opined that the "chance that military officers would violate their oath of office in service (is) probably non existent"; and Smurphs added that "It was proven that Bill C. lied under oath".

Add 25 cents to all those oaths, in combination, and maybe you'd get the value of a US quarter because EVERYBODY LIES, including generals, bureaucrats, scientists, military officers, media outlets, solicitors, rabbis, priests and wives.

Statistical analysis confirms that LYING is just what human beings do, and this is not a new development.

But, don't take my word on it, I most certainly wouldn't, nor would I take your utterly worthless word, even if you oath-swore on a stack of Bibles, Korans & Penthouse magazines.

Said Dick the Butcher (Henry VI), "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers," the last word being a clear typographical substitution error for the homophone 'liar'. Or, are the terms 'lawyer' and 'liar' synonyms?


Best

David Brin said...

Tim, you are aware how absurd the following is? “The First Amendment - much beloved by conservatives and at least awkwardly acknowledged by Progressives …”

"The Clintons are squeaky clean because nothing was ever proven about them. Trump is Orange Man Bad and the absence of solid evidence to prove it just means the system has been suborned.”

Seriously? Playground logic? No one calls Clinton squeaky. But 25 years and half a billion$ in investigations later, their “crimes” have proved 99.99% bullshit yammerings and you know it. They and Obama and Carter tried to GOVERN WELL. They sent extra aid to Red States in disasters, they negotiated. They supported science. They appointed underlings who were qualified, did their jobs and didn’t go to jail.

Your ability to claim that there is “absence of evidence to prove” Trump is an orange bad man is absolutely stunning.

Yes, you acknowledge that the GOP has gone full zombie. But like nearly all RASRs you just cannot bring yourself to admit that there’s not even residual patriotism over there.

Yeah, sure, you score a point with your mockery of “a probably non existent Dominionist Death Cult.” Sure, I am more in sci fi /drama mode when I go there. And yet, mockery doesn’t remove the pure fact that there have been strenuous efforts to highly-place folks who pray daily and explicitly for an end to all democracy, competition, endeavor, ambition, science… and all new generations of children… and an end to the United States of America.

Smurphs said...

Wow. I have agree with Loco, everybody lies.

But not everybody lies all the time. Not everybody lies under oath. Not everybody lies, as a default.

Our President does.

He just says whatever he wants, truth or lie, he doesn't know the difference. To him, there is no difference.

I get that he's a politician, who seem to have to lie as part of the job description. (I don't buy that job description, I apparently have to live with it right now.) But he's not lying for strategic reasons, he's not lying for tactical reasons, he's not even lying for personal reason. He just can't help himself.

He can't even pretend. He contradicts himself weekly, some times daily.

This is the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, not reality TV star. He doesn't know the difference.

I don't care how many of his policies and programs you support, the man himself is unfit for the office.

This why we hear the word "treasonous" so often. I may think his policies and programs are wrong and bad. So what. I thought Bush II and his Gulf War II was wrong and bad, but I never believed Bush II was actively working against the best interest of the United States, as he saw them.

Donald Trump is. His ONLY interest is what is good for Donald Trump. Nothing else. Even Clinton and Obama weren't this bad. Hell, even Cheney or Nixon weren't this bad.



Deuxglass said...

I reiterate that our departed progressbot was an AI bot. They have been cropping up here and there on other forums and are creating a stir. It looks like the trial period is over. I would expect to see more and more of these things around. It all comes down to how to get the advertising dollar. These new bots can create a simulation of activity which brings in the ad money which is the objective. The advertising people are not fools and they see what is going on but they can't do much about it. It used to be said that one half of the advertising budget was wasted but they didn't know what half. For a few years it seemed that the ad people finally had found a way to recover the missing half but it didn't last long. Free enterprise and the thirst to make money found a way as it always does to game the advertisers and capture their dollars. How now to tell the difference between a real person commenting and an AI commenting? You probably can't and the people who advertise on your page or whatever can't tell either so the logical conclusion is that AIs talking to other AIs will create traffic and clicks to get the advertising money. Real people will be pushed out. Really we see it happening already. It started in the stock market 20 years ago. AIs are trading with other AIs over news generated by even other AIs. The object was to basically rip off the human investor and it worked very well. I know. I was there and saw it happen before my eyes. Now the AIs are after the advertising money which is an enormous amount and have gotten it.

I would now assume that anyone I talk to online is probably not human even if I see them on Skype or something like that. The only way to know if you are with a human is to meet them and see them in reality. All other means are gamed. Am I paranoid?

David Brin said...

Smurphs, you are answering him? Dang, I could drink enough coffee...

Deuxglass interesting hypothesis... and I doubt it. While the fellow's causes for rage at me were hallucinatory, they did seem to be based on a prickly, short triggered sense of his own people's victimization. More over, he chose turns of phrase to react to that entailed ... well... not understanding. He WAS hallucinating... but a grasp of the topic that I doubt a 2019 meddle-bot would have. Yet.

Anyway... onward to a big one.

Onward

Anonymous said...

>> Anonymous Deuxglass said...
\\Am I paranoid?

No. You are just stupid. Not a big problem as for today. %)))


\\prickly, short triggered sense of his own people's victimization.

Well. Just the same what vatniks do say about Golodomor to us, daily and nightly. If moral code of vatniks its ok for you to show it yourself -- I have nothing else as just to acknowledge it. Already did. You are stupid vatnik yourself. Albeit from USA.