Friday, January 18, 2019

Angry: Perjury Charges Are Not Enough

We have here a BuzzFeed News report that Trump pressed his attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about a Russian property deal, suborning perjury. From BuzzFeed, the source of gossip, memes, and sexy photos. Multiple Congressional Democrats are (finally!) talking about starting impeachment proceedings. Not for mass child theft at the border, not for withholding emergency aid that could have saved thousands of lives in Puerto Rico, not for probable treason. For lying to Congress.

We have Oregon Senator Merkley referring Secretary of Homeland Security Kristjen Nielsen to the FBI for perjuring herself. Not for stealing thousands of children. For lying to Congress.

I am glad these criminals (alleged criminals, all right) have been caught out and are probably going down. Maybe, eventually, there will be some sort of truth and reconciliation commission that will deal with the crimes against humanity. Maybe there will be actual charges against the so-many Homeland Security officials who participated. Maybe there will someday be a trial for treason for Trump and all the people who probably sold out to Vladimir Putin's Russia. But not today, not yet. For now the only penalties are bad names among obscure bloggers and Twitter commentators.

And maybe all the criminals will die in their beds, untroubled by any significant punishment beyond bad names.

Fk Trump. Fk the Republicans. Fk the child thieves. Fk the rapists. Fk the millions who support these crimes.


“Fuck every cause that ended in murder and a child screaming.” – Iain Banks

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Information Warfare: the Media and Trump and Russia

And all of a sudden the Trump-Russia connections are all over the news. But these are not news; the basics have been known for two years, and all that has been done is filling in the details. Which is important, but why is it suddenly worth headlines, when it was not before the election, or early in Trump's term, when it might have made a difference?

Near as I can figure, the answer is that the owners of the big media corporations have noticed that Trump is a threat. Too late, suckers!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Climate Change: Reconsidering Nuclear Power

We may be able to use nuclear power if we become competent socialists.
I have been reading James Mahaffey’s Atomic Accidents, an account of failures of nuclear technology. This is merging in my mind with responses to climate change, which are now desperately needed.
For a long time, my position on nuclear power has been that it would be an excellent technology if we could find saints and angels to run the system. Lacking a supply of those, we had probably best solve our energy problems in another way. This book, if anything, confirms me in that position. But time is running out to avert planetary disaster from climate change and nuclear power does not contribute to global climate change. Perhaps it is time to rethink nuclear power.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Reflections on Conservative Attacks on AOC

I find the attacks on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez troublesome, and not just because I largely support her politics.

AOC's family was and is living the American dream. The father had a moderately successful career as an architect and the family moved to the 'burbs. The father died young, while AOC was in college during the crash of 2008, and AOC and her mother were poor for a while. She graduated from Boston University with honors. Now AOC has been elected to the House of Representatives and is earning a decent civil service salary, like all Representatives.

This is exactly what conservatives keep telling us poor non-white people should do. They did it, and AOC is, for the moment, successful. She has maintained her connections with her community and the values of her family. If anything, they should celebrate her!

Apparently some conservatives don't really believe one should work hard and make good. Secretly, when they say that poor people should work hard and hold to their families and values, they really expect poor people to fail.

Not a surprise, no, but sad.
 

Saturday, January 5, 2019

The Laughter of Trump

"Now at last there was a sound: a sound of laughter. It was the laughter of Something incapable of joy, laughing only because It was compelled by Its nature to terrify." – Fictional demon king from James Blish's, Black Easter / The Devil's Day
It seems we only ever hear Trump laughing when someone else is hurting.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Candidates: Racism, Sexism, and Economic Inequality

(To be replaced, soon, I hope, by a longer post provisionally titled "Information Class Warfare."

Bernie Sanders comes out for addressing economic inequality. He is attacked as racist and sexist. Elizabeth Warren comes out for addressing economic inequality. She is attacked as racist.

Why, there might just be a pattern here.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Racism, Sexism, and Class Prejudice Make Us Fools

Or, mediocre white men.

The excellent Digby writes about Paul Ryan:
Poor Paul Ryan. The golden boy of the Ayn Rand crowd was once assumed to be a future president, or at least one of the great statesmen of the Republican Party. He was considered a rarity among Republican pols --- a policy wonk with the polish and personality of Ronald Reagan. (I know that sounds crazy, but people really did think that.)
In his years as Presidential hopeful and Speaker of the House he was revealed to be an incompetent fool. The man is not remotely credible, never was. How did he get so far?
Objections on the left to conservative officials often center on their intellectual failings: their literal disbelief in facts and their repetitions of errors. Conservative economics makes no sense, the conservative understanding of science makes no sense. Their foreign policy is brutal and criminal. They fail even at remembering what they said a few days ago, even with technical aids. Liberal blogger and podcaster Driftglass is fond of saying, “Memory is the liberal superpower” and this is true: conservatives do not remember, even from a few days ago, what was said. Rudolf Giuliani, Michael Cohen, Brett Kavanaugh, Republican lawyers all, seem not to know the law, or even how to negotiate. These mediocre white men come apart when stressed. They are incompetent.
Why then are they in charge of anything?
As a society, we have a bias towards mediocre white men. As a society, we make the mistake of raising skin color, sex, and appearance over other characteristics, downgrading intelligence, honesty, and competence. It is not hard to know that Donald Trump is a dangerous fool and a poor executive, or that Giuliani is a poor lawyer, or Cohen was a corrupt lawyer who made his way by making corrupt deals, or that Kavanaugh started cheating in high school and never stopped. These mediocre white men have competence in some areas but, without the bias that supported them in their careers, they would be powerless mean non-entities.
Racism, sexism, and class prejudice make us poor judges of character and vulnerable.
Racism, sexism, and class prejudice make us fools.