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Showing posts with the label politics

Epstein's "Suicide": The Last Straw Before a Political Explosion?

Will the supposed suicide of Epstein finally cause a populist political explosion in the USA? Unlikely but possible.

What will it take for the general public to wake up from their sleepwalking about how America actually works?

In the mean time, let's be realistically optimistic that enough documents are already in the hands of prosecutors that can incriminate some very wealthy and powerful people.

America's Last Chance?

I keep wondering whether I will bother to read a single history book in my 'next life.' The reason is that I fear that reading them during my current life has been a big waste of that life.

It's not that I expect the reading of history books to make me clairvoyant about the future. But it should at least help me identify fundamentally important issues and structures. If it can do that, then at least I won't waste much time on trivial or superficial things.

Consider the Russia-Gate hoax. Many people might think that this is purely a partisan issue or dependent on how much you hate Trump.

I hate Trump, but that seems like a secondary matter. There are more important questions.

Quoting Paul Craig Roberts:

The felonies committed by the CIA, FBI, and Obama Justice (sic) Department constitute no less than a coup against the president of the United States, an act of sedition and treason.Yet, those responsible might never be held accountable.Later he adds,
This is the last chance …

"do svee DAH nyah" to the Democratic Media

So what happens now? Will there be an investigation of collusion between the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign with FBI employees and members of the Obama administration?

I predict there won't be a forceful investigation; in part, because of fatigue, and in part because of the mild milquetoast-ness of many Republicans.

But there may be a more sinister reason: perhaps they are afraid to investigate the FBI. The FBI's dirty tricks over the years would be brought to light, and besmirch the authority of the Central Government.

And perhaps the FBI simply has too much dirt on politicians in both parties. It would be easy for it to get revenge against Congress.

The FBI has the same position relative to the American Empire that the Praetorian Guard had to the Roman Empire, or the Janissaries had to the decaying Ottoman Empire.

Although I feel no real rage towards the Gullibles (the competitors of the Deplorables) who believed the mainstream media feeding frenzy over th…

Deplorables and Fireworks on Public Lands

You can't set your expectations too low for weekend warriors who are camping on public lands. (And crowded public lands at that!) At the moment the yahoos a couple hundred yards away from me are shooting off fireworks at dusk.

I believe that fireworks (even sparklers) are illegal on public lands, regardless of the time of year. You should never tell yahoos that you are thinking of calling the authorities -- it could be dangerous.

Besides, would it do any good to call authorities right now? Perhaps the local sheriff would come out, even though the land is federal. I don't know what the situation is with federal law enforcement personnel, right now. 

And if they weren't shooting off fireworks they would be (legally) blasting away at tin cans with military-grade firearms, or blasting away with a yellow Chinese generator, or thumpah thumpah music from outdoor 300 watt speakers, or blasting around other people's camp with a UTV or dune buggy...or farting, scratching at their a…

Non-Binary Approach to Politics on Blogs

There seems to be an unwritten rule in the blogosphere that you shouldn't discuss politics. Sometimes the rule is made more explicit by someone who acts like they are being idealistic. Actually though, they are probably more worried about scaring off eyeballs -- monetization of their Yoob Toob channel or their blog is really their main concern.

But in a way I agree with them. There is no point in offending people-who-disagree-with-you while boring people-who-agree. 

So we keep our mouths shut, and the System grinds along, unimpeded. This isn't 'idealism.' It is subservience and defeatism.

What we need is a third choice. Consider the current trend of the moment: non-binary attitudes toward sex. What if we were to take a non-binary approach to politics?

One such approach in a travel blog is to see juxtapositions along the road that surprise you -- they might even be bizarre. But if the juxtaposition is thought-provoking, it is good for something, especially if the blogger of…

Turning the Murder of a Journalist into Electoral Success

The independent punditocracy is criticizing the Establishment Media for paying so much attention to the murder of Khashoggi by the Saudis, given that it has paid almost no attention to the death rained down from the skies by the Saudis onto miserable Yemen.

But there is an explanation, and it shows that the Establishment has learned something from their Kavanaugh debacle.

The Establishment cannot have an overhang, a positive aura, survive until the mid-term elections, to the benefit of the Republicans. They can't have voters still thinking about the deplorable behavior of the Democrat groups during Kavanaugh's confirmation.

So attention must be diverted elsewhere, and quickly! If the Never-Trumpers are lucky, Trump will be seen as the defender of cruel, spoiled, despotic Saudis. And perhaps this time, the guilt will be established. It is possible the Trump is stupid enough to fall into this trap: after all, Israel and Saudi Arabia are allies in everything but name. 

Or maybe split…

BREAKING NEWS... Russians Put Kavanaugh on Supreme Court

Boris & Natasha (*) are at it again. Wasn't it bad enough that they installed their agent in the White House in 2016?! But now they appear to be on the verge of installing another agent on the US Supreme Court...unless there is some 11th hour and 59th minute surprise. 

The mainstream media hasn't quite yet broken the bad news to the public. But I owed it to the readers to do so. Nobody else will commit quite yet -- except maybe "The Onion."

(*) For the benefit of young readers, there was a cartoon back in the Cold War, The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, that featured two Russky spies, Boris and Natasha. 

Herding Dogs as a Model for Ideal Government?

Recall I was wondering how the experience of working with the general public can change a person's political views. I have thought for years that democracy was an over-rated shibboleth.

But the experience of working with the general public as a campground host has convinced me that democracy is completely impractical.

One could generalize on this and make a big project out of re-reading and re-estimating the classic authors on political science. I haven't really done that. In part it is laziness.

But it has always seemed that general thinkers float around in the clouds too much, and that they are actually lazy and inaccurate thinkers. They fall in love with their own pretty theories and think they have had the final word on the subject, and that the disciples of rival philosophers should be tortured and then put to death.

A good Baconian (like me) would rather reduce the size of an issue to something small enough to be manageable.

As an example of that consider how a general politi…

The Most Successful Organization in America

Guns are in the news, again. There is a way to put that to constructive use, while avoiding the stuff that has been talked to death already. This is easier to do if you have no real interest in the issue of guns or their control, and that is the case with me.

Think of how alien gun culture is to the average soccer mom in the big city. Think of how out-of-date gun culture is to modern, city-centered culture, where all the money and votes are. And yet gun ownership is still alive! How do you explain the success of the gun lobby in defending their hobby?

There has got to be a lesson in their success for anybody in any organization which wants to succeed. Somebody should write a book on this. 

I do not want to talk about 'gun control.' I want to talk about how a lobby can succeed when everything seems stacked against it.

A Classic Movie and the News

If you feel that you are wasting time watching too much News, here is something that might make you feel a little better: sometimes the News makes you see a classic movie in a new light. It can renew your interest in the movie. Perhaps movies or books that lend themselves to new interpretations are the very ones that become classics.

It happened to me last night, as I rewatched Billy Wilder's "Stalag 17."  At the end of the movie, William Holden identifies the German spy in the barracks of the prison camp. The spy has been tipping off the Germans, sometimes lethally.

Holden makes a short speech towards the climax of the movie. It fits in perfectly with the news about the FBI's dirty tricks. 

Machiavelli and "the Memo"

Earlier I praised reading hotheads on the internet. As long as a reader can gloss over emotional rants over their hobbyhorses, one idea in their post might be useful.

And this benefit came again, when reading about the memo. Yes, that memo. Let's not waste each other's time preaching about morality, integrity, what the 'Founding Fathers' would have thought, good versus evil, or any other irrelevancies.

Let's look at it the way Machiavelli would have: as power-seeking leaders think of things as they try to get what they want. 

Some Republican pundits were disgusted with how long it was taking to bring The Memo out, since that was giving the Democrats time to organize a counterattack. 

Have the Republicans failed to gain what they should have from this scandal?  And is sheer stoopidity the only reason for this?

Actually the Republicans had a good reason to hesitate bringing the memo out to the public. Think back to Watergate: Nixon and the Republicans had won big in 1972.…

Machiavelli's Advice to the President

Yes, predictions are indeed hard, especially about the future. Still, it is that time of year. I predict that Trump will become a lame duck president in early November of 2018, and a one term president after that.

These predictions are not based on how much I like or dislike him. I am simply thinking like Machiavelli -- that is, non-morally -- and trying to guess how things will play out. If you were a highly paid political consultant, what would be your advice to Trump?

But first, consider a vivid memory of the day after the election in 2016. I was in a parking lot in Nevada, which is now a Blue State, with all its refugees from California. An old and very noisy pickup went blasting through the parking lot at high speeds. He had an American flag attached to the cargo bed of the truck. It is as if he were saying gloating, "Take that, you bleeping Hillary voters -- and why don't you move back to California!" 

Presumably he had guns and Bibles in the front seat of the truck. …

More Equality is Needed for NFL Team Rosters

Some cynics say that politics is a sour and depressing topic, and that we should just avoid discussing it. Nonsense! I am enjoying the 'take-a-knee' protests by NFL players during the national anthem.

For one thing, it takes gumption to do what they are doing. That used to be a trait of Americans when they were a free people, way back when. 

The anti-protesters say that the players are welcome to their political opinions, but they shouldn't use their workplace to trumpet those opinions.

Oh really? Why aren't the anti-protestors concerned about the Military using NFL games as recruitment posters? Look at the military brass bands at half-time, the moments of silence to honor dead Heroes, and the flyover of Air Force jets. Do none of those things express a political opinion, at least implicitly?

The anti-protesters could win this situation by simply eliminating the tradition of playing the national anthem. Why don't they? Most entertainment industry events in America or t…

Identity Politics in a Campground

It has been a long time since I have been this positive about the political scene in the US. But don't misinterpret me. The situation has become so surreal, on both sides, that it has become easy to laugh the whole thing off. And laughter is more positive than anger.

For instance, identity politics is drowning in its own absurdity. The other day I was invited to give my comments to a large corporation where I had recently made a large purchase. Considering the blue-state headquarters and clientele of this corporation, it shouldn't have surprised me to be asked about which gender I "identified" with.

What phoneys!  If they really wanted to liberate human beings, why not broaden the question to "which animal species do you identify with?"

I know my answer. The other day I was making the rounds at dawn at the campground. No members of homo sapiens were up and about. But several dogs were already living the good life. A society of dogs seemed to be sharing a secre…

What Exactly Is a Conspiracy Nut?

Everybody has their deficiencies. If it happens to be paying attention to the news, then you no doubt hear the word 'conspiracy theory' bandied about, quite a bit. Nobody ever talks about what exactly is meant by the term. Why does conspiracy-mongering appeal to some people and not others? There are questions that are worth asking about the subject. But all you really hear is somebody using 'conspiracy' theory as a handy smear against anyone with a different political viewpoint.

Recently I stumbled across an interesting discussion on, of all things, a mountain bike forum that bears on the subject of conspiracy theories. The topic was 'Which goodie on bikes is most over-rated?" Considering the cost explosion in the mountain bike industry, it seemed like a topic that was worth reading. The discussion was better than usual: the commenters were knowledgeable, and thread-hijacking and trivial quips were minimal. 

And yet, something was missing. The discussion was mir…

How Real World Experience Affects Political Theories

Although I am not one of them, there are people who enjoy reading political science or 'theory of government' books. It would be interesting to see what a person of that type would go through if exiled from their reading lamp to the right place in the real world.

Let them take a campground hosting job for awhile. Quite aware that my suzerainty is much better than the average gig, or rather, that its clientele is much above average, I am still affected by the experience. It gives me a chance to see how people behave when they act as they really want to act.
Many people immediately turn to generating noise, destruction, or filth. Unmindfulness of the consequences of their own behavior on their neighbors, who have an equal right to enjoy their public land.Using a construction site generator to power a microwave oven to make a cup of tea or coffee. Are they really unable to understand that they can heat a pan of water on the propane stove in 3 minutes?Do they need high power applian…

Trump's Post-White-House Career

I am officially going on record as predicting that Trump is going to be a one-term president. It is reasonable to ask what his plans are for his emeritus years. An ex-president should do something with a certain amount of importance; but it shouldn't be too strenuous, either.

Perhaps he should get on the board of United Airlines. Maybe he can drain the swamp there.

Popular Tastes and the Recent Election

My entire central nervous system, my soul, my personal dignity, everything that seems to define my existence, is under assault right now.  I am having breakfast at a fast food joint, and using the "free" wi-fi. Free, my butt. Look at the price I am paying for it. A loudspeaker (of rather good quality) is blasting trashy popular music at me, as I try to read, write, and think.

Who selects this music?! But I should stop complaining. It could be rap music. Most of it is just lewd female shrieking in rather standard love songs. Gawd, I hate Whitney Houston.

But from a different angle, this torture is beneficial. Sometimes you need to be shocked into confronting unpleasant truths. Consider the recent elections from the perspective of popular music, movies, or whatever.

If this election did not prove 'Democracy: the God that Failed,' then at the very least it shows that universal suffrage is an absurdity. And yet, in the 1800's it was seen as 'progress' that ideal…

A Healthy Downsizing Project for Election Day

Election day is probably the only day that brings more relief than Christmas. And for pretty much the same reason: a protracted, half-insane process has finally ended. 

From an individual's point of view, both Christmas and presidential elections represent a marvelous opportunity to practice mental hygiene, by ignoring these two seasons as much as possible. If you do a good job at that, you have accomplished a lot more than by downsizing physical clutter in your life.

It's possible that I am fooling myself about how well I've performed this mental downsizing over the last 18 (?) months of the presidential election cycle. Very well then, at least I'll do a good job on election day.

Today's project will be the ultimate downsizing project. I will spend the day reading Benjamin Constant's "Political Principles." He seems rather forgotten today. A real shame. So far his book has been interesting and easy to read. For the most part it is an attack on Rousseau&…

Some Hope for a Clinton Presidency

I have no prediction about who will win this presidential election. It is humbling to see my supposed knowledge of history provide so little perspicuity at this time. The closest thing you could offer to a 'solid bet' is that a Clinton presidency -- if one comes -- has no chance of accomplishing anything, because it will be mired in legal battles, scandals, charges and counter-charges.

Ah but wait...maybe history does offer hope for a Clinton presidency. In order to distract the public from her endless scandals and legal problems, couldn't she go 'all in' for War? It would be easy for her to go that direction. She is already a neo-con, and part of the Beltway foreign policy consensus. She is the Defense sector's favorite candidate, other than John McCain.

More American involvement in Syria is the most likely course. But considering the sheer number of scandals and possible indictments, she should keep her options open on bombing and invading Crimea, Poland, the B…