Bullshit Arguments

I’m certain I’ve written the same blog I’m about to write, or a version of it, once or twice before, probably going back to 2015.
But, it is clear and it is true that when people want to argue with me about  Bernie, or when people post stuff criticizing Bernie, it’s always the same arguments and they are super lame arguments, which have nothing at all to do with whether or not you like his policies.
70% of Americans, roughly, like his policies, when they are presented for polling each one individually.
He’s too old, some people say.  Well, he is up there, no denying.  It would have been nice if he’d been elected in 2016, when he was 3 years younger than he is now, but it doesn’t matter.  He’s in fantastic health.  He shoots hoops and plays baseball with kids, he marches in several parades a day and runs makes more public appearances than anybody.  He is the model of what a 77 year old man should look like, a shining example to us all.  They should be asking him questions about what he eats and how he stays so fit, and other than that not commenting on his age.
“I just don’t like the way he talks,” they say, “always wagging his fingers.”  Well, that is one way of making a point.  It’s a bit more dignified than Beto O’Rourke jumping up onto tables and flapping his arms like a chicken.  “He’s too argumentative,” they say.  Well, this is an election and he is a politician seeking office.  He’s actually expected to be argumentative.  This is not a negative thing at all.
“He won’t be able to get any of the stuff he promised passed.”  Well, that’s true of any candidate.  All a candidate can do is state their policies, let us know what they’ll try for, and then they have to deal with congress.  Bernie’s pretty good at dealing with congress, (the amendment king) and even back when he was mayor of Burlington he had a rep for working with people of opposing viewpoints to get things done.
Socialism.  This is a strange one.  Ask them if they are against public education, or a public police force, or the interstate highway system.  These are all examples of Democratic Socialism.  What’s super weird is that he gets attacked by some to the left of him, saying he shouldn’t say Democratic Socialism when he’s really more of a Social Democrat.
Really.  People say that.

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Worse Than Spilled Covfefe

During his 4th of July speech, Donald Trump said “In June of 1775, the Continental Congress created a unified Army out of the Revolutionary Forces encamped around Boston and New York, and named after the great George Washington, commander in chief. The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown.

“Our Army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do, and at Fort McHenry, under the rocket’s red glare it had nothing but victory. And when dawn came, their star-spangled banner waved defiant.”

Such a glorious turbulent inkbath of words deserves a closer look.  In 1775, the Continental Congress created a unified Army out of the Revolutionary Forces encamped around Boston and New York, and named after the great George Washington, commander in chief.  They called it the great George Washington, commander in chief army.  The Continental Army (wait a minute – that’s not the great George Washington commander in chief army – they changed their name!  (anyway, moving on) suffered a bitter winter of (sic) Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of (sic again) Yorktown.  Actually, although he sort of glossed over the 5 years between the crossing of the Delaware and the victory at Yorktown, this part is not historically inaccurate.  Now we go to crazy town.  I’ll just print the whole thing again: “Our Army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do, and at Fort McHenry, under the rocket’s red glare it had nothing but victory. And when dawn came, their star-spangled banner waved defiant.”
Honestly, I think reporters from now on should restrict their questions to things like “What war was the battle of Fort McHenry in?,” or “What century were airplanes invented,” or “What’s a rampart?”  Because he would not know.

 

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Caban v. Katz

And on it goes.  Trump continues to shock everybody, with his infantile parade but more so with the revelations that conditions in the conversation camps along the U.S. Mexico border are absolutely as horrific as had been rumored, and so they attack the freshman congresswoman from Queens, for bringing it all to light.
Truly, truly shitty people.
Speaking of Queens, we have the unfolding election for District Attorney (or at any rate, the Democratic nomination for that position, which makes the position more or less a foregone conclusion)  On the one hand, Tiffany Caban.  A public defender, she has been endorsed, and often compared to, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.  On the other hand you have Melinda Katz, who is Queens Borough President and has been endorsed by Joe Crowley and other old line Democrats.  Guess who is cheating?
Of course, I can’t prove that, but there are about 2,500 ‘affidavit’ ballots – I guess that means people who’d been purged from the rolls but showed ID and voted anyway.  then, there was the sudden reversal.  With Caban leading by over 1,000 votes and only a few thousand left to count, they all seemed to start going the other way.
That’s not proof, but it is statistically unlikely.
And, we know that the New York City board of elections has cheated in the past.
It’s worthy of an investigation, at the very least.

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Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July, I suppose.  It’s the national holiday of the United States, and every country has the right to celebrate its national holiday, right?  Of course.
The problem is that the United States dominates the world, and not in a very benevolent way.  Or, to phrase that a bit differently, the U.S. dominates the world, and a handful of unscrupulous rich people dominate the U.S., and they don’t care that they are killing off all life on Earth, they don’t care if poor families are in concentration camps in horrible conditions (you cannot compare what’s happening on the Mexican border now with the Japanese internment camps.  Conditions now are way, way worse than conditions then), and they have no particular objection to starting wars in which thousands, hundreds of thousands, or maybe even millions of people die, as long as they make money.
So, there’s a bit of hesitance to wave that flag, to say how proud you are of the country that put an end to monarchy, invented the light bulb and the telephone, fought on the correct side in WWII, gave the world not only rock and roll but also the Blues, Gospel music, Bluegrass, and Jazz, and landed on the moon, with a little help from Nazi scientists.
It’s a two-sided thing, of course, as is everything, but for those who are enjoying their cookouts and fireworks, by all means, go ahead and enjoy.  There is still a lot of good amid the bad, and tomorrow is another opportunity to change things for the better.  Don’t ever give up on that.

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Bratty Brits

The most infantile and misdirected protest I’ve seen recently, maybe ever, is the British delegates to the European Parliament turning their backs during the European Anthem (I hadn’t even realized the Europe had an anthem, but apparently it’s Beethoven’s Ode to Joy).
What were they protesting, actually – Europe?  That makes no sense.  Europe is not forcing the U.K. to leave Europe.  In fact, most Europeans (like most Brits, I suspect) are against it.  On the other hand, Europe isn’t forcing the U.K. to stay in the union.  Actually, the EU is being about as big on this issue as they can possibly be.
Stay, go, do what you like.  So, why are they turning their backs?  It’s sort of like “We’re leaving and you can’t make us stay even though you’re not trying to make us stay, well we don’t like you and that’s why we’re leaving and so we’re going to turn our backs on your stupid song, ha ha.”

I can’t imagine what positive results they expected to gain from it.

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Gross and Disgusting People – What Can We Do About Them?

The Facebook group for the Customs and Border Patrol people (and 9,500 out of 20,000 of them are members.  I expect the others just don’t spend much time online.) that was just exposed by congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is truly gross and disgusting.  Which is about what you would expect from gross and disgusting men doing a gross and disgusting job, which they volunteered for because they are gross and disgusting.  And sexist.  And racist.
And cruel.  When these border patrol people were little boys, there is no doubt in my mind they tortured small animals for fun.  When they were in high school, they were the hall monitors.  Sucking up to power so they could get a small bit of power which they could use to lord it over people with even less power.
Evolutionarily, it is the Alpha Male thing.  When we were apes, traveling in small groups, it made sense.  A cruel sort of sense, which put most of the males in any group into a life of subjugation, and all of them into a state of stress, but it got our species from where it was then to where it is now.
Now, though, it is time to move to a higher level.  With the arrival of AI, and limitless clean power sources, and space travel, and exploration into realms we never even knew existed, mankind is evolving and we have to decide what we want to be.
I vote for a kinder, gentler human race.  Bullying assholes like those working now on the American Mexican border need to be out of a job, at the very least, and moved to some position where they can’t hurt anybody.  They probably also should be removed from the gene pool.  For the good of us all.

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Saturday Science Fiction Film Review

I have pretty much run out of interesting TV series on Netflix, and so yesterday I watched a couple of films.  One is one I’ve been telling myself for a long time I should see, and the other was one I didn’t know existed but it was science fiction, so I’ll always give that a shot and if it’s completely stupid I can always turn it off in the middle, which is a big advantage to home viewing.  I liked the latter much more than the former.
The one I’d been wanting to see was Bladerunner 2049.  I was among those who said “No, this is a movie which should not be made.  The original was perfect.”  Then, people who were also fans of the original Bladerunner began seeing it and reporting that it was pretty good.  Maybe not as good as the original, certainly not as ground breaking, but worth seeing.
I wouldn’t go so far.  It did have some good moments.  I quite enjoyed the scene where his holographic girlfriend melded with the (completely human) hooker, so they could experience real sex together, but the premise itself, that a replicant had had a live birth, was stupid.  If it wasn’t designed to give birth, then it’s not going to give birth.  Also, it was a 3 hour movie which could have been easily cut down by half just by reducing all the  long, pensive, no  action scenes by half, because that was pretty  much  all  of them.
I’d give it maybe two stars out of five, and they would be distant, dim stars at that.
Oblivion was much less hyped.  Tom Cruise was Jack Harper, Tech-49, one of the few people left on Earth fighting the aliens while the rest of the human race has buggered off to a new colony on Titan.  Or so they say.  There’s a shift of perspective in the middle which changes everything and which I did not see coming.
Lots of fast action, some cool tech, a couple of hot women.  I’d give it 3 and a half stars, which is pretty close to 4.

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