Friday, November 09, 2018

If the government can just print more money whenever it wants some, has a budget shortfall, recognizes a contraction in the money supply...

…why are there still taxes?


I mean, not to lessen the pithiness of that question, but where do people think money goes when it’s taxed or spent?

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

You know what really gets me?

It's that all the protesting, all the rhetoric, all the drama when something is built up into a crisis....they all act like we're finally on the cusp of turning human society around, how with the next judicial appointment or the next presidential election or the next symbolic bill going to the floor for general voting, everything is going to turn around, and if life doesn't just suddenly start coming up daisies, at least all our social ills will just start dissolving like a sugar cube in hot tea: rape will drop off and alpha males will suddenly start crying tears of joy, black people will stop getting murdered and will start having cushy jobs drop into their laps as white people move into the back woods and inbreed themselves to extinction, people will come out as gay or trans by the millions, and other things less obviously in the fantasy genre.

One lady quoted by an NPR reporter after the Kavenaugh confirmation: "Are we going to be out here for another 30 years? I don't have 30 years left." Lady, what were you protesting that you thought 30 years of standing in streets with signs was going to change? The Civil Rights Era was over more than 30 years ago, and sorry to say but the last few years of what amounts to "This is the same thing so let us have it!" just doesn't close the argument.  Or was there something else? Abortion? Legal more than 40 years; it's the pro-lifers who are protesting that. Something else? Something more fundamental to the human species, like the propensity to be inconsiderate, invasive, rude, predatory? Sister, no amount of legislation is going to fix nature. Schools and parents have been trying to civilize children for a lot longer than 30 years, and considering we have to start over with every generation, I am surprised you ever thought you'd live to see the day when we finally succeeded once and for all.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

Megan Kelly, NBC employee...

...was somehow unwoke enough to suggest that blackface or anything short of racist fawning wasn’t the worst thing in the world.

She apologized on her show, and it wasn’t good enough.

Trump is somehow more responsible than the media who go around constantly calling half the country racist and sexist and homophobic and Islamophobic, but somehow not being responsible for the outrage that sometimes spills out into physical violence that is positively condoned in many corners of the public sphere (corners, sphere...YKWIM).

 Maybe NBC needs to reconsider how it vets its long time employees. Good luck.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Oh look, they're doing it again.


Still talking about Kavanaugh as if every accusation thrown at him is a conviction of guilt and any response on his part is an admission of same.  

I don't expect everyone against him to recant, even now, but yet again it's come down to a few people being more interested in changing what people think than they are in pursuing justice.

Which is really what's going on.  Improving the thought patterns of moral troglodytes sounds great, but in the end it's just thought policing.  

"Conservatives don't mind if Republicans lie about their sexual escapades.  It doesn't matter; they can always get away with it."  Yeah, because a couple high profile guys at Fox News lost their jobs, while Harvey Weinstein got arrested for accusations of sexual assault than any other three people I can think of, and Bill Clinton is still at large.  This isn't a partisan thing.  That's why when you hear about "rape culture" and "patriarchy" there's a lot of Marxist language but they tend to construct accusations that are barely short of universal.

Not to narrow this down to rape.  It's a narrative they're trying to maintain, using repetition and drama to crowd out uncontested facts.

When Al Gore lost to Dubya, he only demanded recounts in districts he expected better results from, and the results were more in Bush's favor every time, but now we're starting to hear that it was the other way around and Trump in 2016 just did what Bush pioneered, despite the reputation of only the other party getting extra votes from people and from dead people.  When Dubya played fast and loose with wiretaps (not to say that was okay), all you heard was "King George was shredding the Constitution."  When Obama was president, all you heard was "the Constitution is obsolete" and "there were no scandals."  Now that Trump is president, all you hear is "He's a tyrant" even though the closest thing they have to evidence is things completely within his power to do that they happen to find disagreeable; and even though they've been lambasting him since before he was elected, somehow it was his power as president he abused to cause the polarization that results in all the shootings that have been in the news this year, and not the media that have been stridently calling half the country bad names like it was going out of style.

Pro tip:  When you go to see a stage magician, don't look at his cards or his wand or what have you.  Watch his hands.

Do I have to explain this?


Sunday, October 28, 2018

Women go on strike for a day and a country panics...

...men go on strike for...okay, probably for the most part men will founder on trying to cook and do laundry and manage kids a la "Mr. Mom" for a day more than anyone will suffer, with some possible exceptions, if men go on strike for a day.

But what if it's a week?

People who work outside the home and have no homemaking skills may panic immediately if they don't have someone to have their food and clothes ready--we clothe ourselves daily and eat every few hours, after all.  But these are skills than can be learned to subsistence levels quickly.

What about the stuff guys do that keeps them from being smarter about reading recipes or care tags on the back collars of shirts?

Over three quarters of professionals in transportation (something similar happened in Australia recently, so little need to speculate) and utilities, and five sixths of mineral extraction (including oil and gas, so that's almost all our electricity) are male.  That won't have much of an immediate effect in lower population density parts of the US, but in NYC where public transit is the norm, most people aren't going anywhere except on foot.  How long can you live on "I'll stay home today" when your electricity and water are in the same state as taxis, buses, and subways?

Sure, some of these jobs require certifications or formal training, so it might violate a business's insurance policy or accreditation or actually be illegal if women just stepped up to fill in the gaps..but considering almost 90% of the US police force is male, maybe there wouldn't be enough law enforcement around to stop women with pluck but no experience from flying 747s or doing thoracic surgery or taking to the streets as unregulated militia on top of juggling cooking, laundry, kids, and a day job.

But losing nine tenths of your law enforcement strength brings other problems, so good luck with that.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Stolen from a comment on YouTube:

"So I take it that the next time a black man who is wearing a uniform or flashing a badge follows me not just around the store, but OUT of the store and down the block, I should tell him 'You can't do this, because you have no institutional power over me.'"

This in response to the notion that racism is "racial prejudice" plus institutional power, therefore minorities can't be racist; that is, because a minority bigot doesn't have the collective social power to oppress anyone else, there's really nothing wrong with their attitude or the shitty way they might treat people on a personal level.

Except Kanye.  He crossed a line by agreeing with a different subset of white people, so the narrative would insist you believe, and now he enjoys not just the perquisites but all the collective guilt of white civilization.  So the narrative would insist you believe.

Of course, it also neatly obscures a double standard: whites are personally guilty of racism because of demographics and collective, historical racist stuff whether or not they personally wield or enjoy any advantage of a biased system, just like how minorities are not guilty of racism because they don't have the advantages of a large, widespread system invisibly codified to help only them, no matter how hostile they are in person to people of a different demographic or how coordinated they and others in the same demographic are in their efforts to make their encounters with a majority out-group difficult or dangerous.

And this is deliberate.

The point I'm going to make is worth its own post but I riff on it a lot these days.

Trump wants to regulate immigration, to stop people from illegally sneaking into the country and working for less than minimum wage and not paying taxes, and voting just because they live here most of the year, just like we've been talking about for decades.  These are all legitimate concerns: voting is a right and duty of citizens but not of foreign nationals who are only here for their jobs and not interested in becoming US citizens (and obviously this doesn't include the ones who do, but I shouldn't have to point that out), and other countries recognize that when Americans go abroad for work; people who work and get paid under the table make it harder for people on the IRS's radar like US citizens to get jobs, and that really sets a double standard for minimum wage arguments, and "lettuce will become expensive" is really not a compelling counterargument.  But what does everyone say about Trump?  That he just hates immigrants, and it's just because he's racist, and he's wrong because it's ironic since he's of European extraction.

This is not an argument.  This is an obfuscation.

It's also why they say Trump is "literally Hitler" even though Hitler died before he was born and Bush was Hitler before him just because he was moderately conservative by the standards of the day.  It's why they try so hard to show how there's no difference between the National Socialist German Workers' Party and moderns who either consistently vote conservative or actually are racists who just don't happen to be patronizing about it (depends on whom you ask), to the point where if Hitler were alive they'd be telling you he's secretly on the lecture circuit in Mississippi and Indiana--and the only reason alleged modern Nazis of today (not official neo-Nazis, but the ones who just get called Nazi online) get away with their attempts to distance themselves from the German political movement of the mid-20th century is Nuremberg made sure there wasn't anybody left to say today "Yeah, he's one of us."  It's why they have someone volunteer to show up at an NRA function wearing a rifle with a plastic stock and black backpack with the Stars and Bars draped over it to give the impression that the KKK was a branch of the NRA, rather than the NRA being formed partly in opposition to the KKK--you can tell it's someone doing a false flag operation because in his attempt to make a recognizable caricature of conservatives, he's the only one openly armed and is obviously trying too hard to fit in.

When they say "literally Nazis," they aren't just exaggerating.  They want you to believe that's actually true, and maybe they believe it themselves.

Even this post is going to end up used as an example of being insufficiently opposed to Nazi practices (i.e. that not being zealously opposed enough makes me one of them, like in the dying throes of every totalitarian regime of the 20th century would have it--which should tell you something about the nature and danger of their political motivations), by focusing on the argument that Trump and his voters are not all wrong, and skipping over the part where I argue that they're not literally Nazis.  They'll show a picture of Hitler saluting next to a picture of some Republican waving to a crowd and think they've made an airtight argument, and then either use that as evidence for "literally a Nazi" or use "I've proven you're literally a Nazi by ignoring all facts and logic to the contrary" as evidence that the aforementioned juxtaposition is, in whatever sense they put stock in such a thing, the truth.

Friday, May 04, 2018

The most annoying—and I mean merely annoying, but it’s high on the list—about the early 21st century is that everything is labeled as terror.
Unless it’s racism or sexism or some such, but I think terror sums it up best. 
Bully defends himself by saying it’s a joke, and you say “if the mark didn’t agree to it, it’s not a joke, it’s terror?”  No it’s not. What planet do you live on where people have to get informed consent before engaging in any interaction? How could they if attempting to request consent is unsolicited contact in the first place? It’s also not funny if you explain the joke first. Human beings know this.
But this is a bully so we don’t have to give him the benefit of the doubt. Fine; He’s not on trial. But it’s bullying; it might be abuse, it might be harassment, but it’s not terror. He’s not trying to intimidate you to get something else he wants. Or maybe he is, but he’s also treating you like shit because that in itself is what he does to enjoy himself. He’s not trying to oppress you, he just wants your lunch money. Your human dignity is so far down his list of concerns it never occurs to him that you might have any to violate
A guy shoots up a crowd?  It might be terorism, but “what else do you’d call it?” Is a dumb question. Maybe he just wants 26 people dead. Maybe he wants those 26 people dead. Maybe he’s mentally ill and his shooting up a crowd has nothing to do in his mind with 26 people dying.  Whatever his intentions, it's a mass shooting.  Calling everything an act of terrorism, domestic or otherwise, doesn't open people's eyes.  It just makes it easier for real terrorists to hide in plain sight because they don't stand out in a crowd of random people who all are stuck with that label.
Of course, that could be the point.  Try to make everything sound like the problem that everyone wants to solve and then get broad laws passed to address a now-nebulous and omnibus crisis, and profit over the disintegration of society.