I have two:
9-11 – if you did US dates the ‘correct’ way! 😉
Now it would appear that we are caught between Barack and a hard place.
I may just put up a black square on my FB page tonight.
I’ve already done it.
That’s alright – Trump’s got you covered:
He looks like he needs some fake-tan in that pic…
He looks constipated…in other words, full of s**t!
This is what Brexit has felt like for the past few months. Desperate times.
As a non-UK EU national living in the UK, I can only concur.
You guys only economically screwed yourselves. I fear we went for the whole self-immolation package – economics, social policy, defense policy, etc…
Well, being not British, I wasn’t allowed to vote.
Also, the UK referendum came with a new government, and I’m not sure they’re up to much good either.
Incompetence all around 🙂
Does this mean ‘merca will spend the net several months talking about a hard recession vs a soft recession? We could only be so lucky.
This disaster may turn out to be a boon for the UK though; our downfall may lead to your resurgence, certainly as our dollar plummets. After all, the last recession allowed wee Belgium to buy up our biggest brewery. Who knows what you, or perhaps Luxembourg, or Andorra may end up with this time. Maybe an Irish company can buy Apple by the time trump is through.
As for that “special relationship” we have with the UK, I’d say it might be time for you to start seeing other countries, except that with Brexit, you’ve taken a vow of celibacy, so it looks like both countries will spend the next several years fucking ourselves.
I half-hautily believed it could never happen, here. At the same time, I was so exposed to what Hitler and the Nazis did, early in my life’s education, that I was very afraid. Now, I am just afraid.
And an almost perfect split of the vote too.
I don’t think anyone knows what you’ve elected yet, including the evangelical right.
The terrifying possibility is that they do know. After all it couldn’t have been more clear who Donald Trump is and what he represents.
No, I am not so sure. Trump lies about everything. We’ll see how much of his campaign pitch was lies.
I think he’s not going to follow through with the wall. Or much trade protectionism (it would be bad for his own businesses). And I don’t think he has any real plan to grow jobs, expel 12 million people, or fight terrorism, so he won’t ‘follow through’ on those even if he sincerely wanted to.
However, I also think he’s going to let his conservative advisors and co-workers in the Senate and House line up judicial nominees for him. I don’t see him caring enough about the issue to fight with them on it, and the list of potential nominees he already put out is evidently extremely right wing. So I expect we’re just a couple years away from the judicial branch rolling back Roe v Wade, Obergefell, overturning the constitutionality of ACA, for sure allowing sectarian prayer by public officials in meetings, and possibly (but less likely) overturning several foundational creationism and school prayer cases.
You left out the conservative right-wing support of corporate income via many sorts of power. Trump would be on board with that.
Roe vs Wade under threat for sure (how well do ‘morning after’ pills keep in the freezer?). Several amendments too.
Affordable care act
Ah- the infamous Obamacare, and/ or Medicare?
Which country around can develop abortion tourism? Maybe Canada?
I believe (but am not sure) that conservatives in Louisiana already tried to pass a law making it illegal to go out of state to get a marriage license not offered in the state. That effort failed. However, I would expect that future efforts (with more conservative justices) to criminalize “going elsewhere to get a service our state doesn’t allow” may succeed. If so, we might expect that this approach will quickly be adopted against both abortion providers and gay couples.
[Tries to remember whether Atwood was Canadian, and what she called the border guards and Thought Police in Gideon.]
Yes, Canadian. I’m remembering The Handmaid’s Tale. I don’t recall the name of the border guards and thought police, though.
Well, the names were in print, so there’s little chance of Trump’s followers getting the references when referred to by Atwoodian insults.
I was almost tempted to ask when/ if there’s a “popular culture” (i.e. TV or radio) presentation of “Handmaid” in America. But I decided the answer was more likely to be “no” than “which one”. And as for a movie … idea already forgotten. Unless the pr0n industry has done their version already – which they probably have.
Well, I type corrected : movie in 1990 ; ballet, stage and opera will have negligible popular appeal ; radio was probably the version I recall catching part of ; but interestingly, “Hulu announced in 2016 that they will produce a 10-episode series of the novel […]. Margaret Atwood will serve as consulting producer.” (Not exactly sure who Hulu are, but this has the potential for raising a nice little stink.)
Hulu is like a TV channel, except it is on the web, instead. It shows classic old TV programs, current ones — also from actual TV channels, and has begun making some of their own.
Yeah, I looked into it. Without a phone line, I’m not going to waste another second calculating the download costs.
I won’t even pay the membership fee. Like cable TV, these sort start by requiring consumers to pay for content on grounds of no advertising, and then they add the ads to get double-paid. I boycott.
The religious fundies have an absolute reverence for financial investment and foaming hate of government anything unless its assisting business. State tax havens, hedge funds and rorts will be forever unscathed, but endless government money will be wasted on obstructive “government” tactics. Trump has had 4 bankruptcies and he no doubt is a consummate financial wheeler dealer. And that isn’t touching the global political situation and global warming.
When the foreign policy and economic mayhem come home to roost in America Trump voters and sympathsizers will just scream about conspiracies and the MSM and want to bash whoever they hold to blame even more.
I agree with your last paragraph. Any negative consequences of electing Trump simply won’t be Trump’s fault in their eyes. It’s always been and always will be Eastasia’s fault.
Time to rephrase Don McLeans’s American Pie to read, ‘the day science died’. Sigh!
The bettors absolutely deserve their winnings. But if they’re feeling especially sympathetic, they might authorize Professor Ceiling Cat to write an equivalent cheque to Médecins Sans Frontières. It would be one of the few good things to come out of this clusterfuck.
Although… spending the money on hard liquor makes sense too.
Ooo, somebody lost some bets.
That’s the least of my worries.
I’m truly sorry Professor Ceiling Cat wasn’t a better prophet. And wish it didn’t seem a clear certainty that we’ll all have far greater troubles over the next 4 years at the least. Most ghastly to contemplate is what fools he might place on the U.S. Supreme Court and the further damage they will do to our nation for decades to come.
I doubt the people he packs the Supreme Court with will be fools. Dangerous, divisive, discriminatory WASPS, yes; fools, unlikely. At least not until the third term.
Not WASPs. Catholics, like the entire court now except for Hagen and Ginsberg (I think).
Ironic given the Pope’s rebuke to Trump
I was struggling to find an acronym for Trump’s deme (genus? gens? I forget the term again. Need more coffee.)
Does it really matter if they’re Catholics or Prods? Apart from which end they enter the football ground?
I assure you that none of the winners of those bets with PCC(E) is glad to have won.
My friend reminded us all on Facebook of something a Canadian politician wrote to all of us in his dying days (he had cancer);
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. – Jack Layton
We thought hope was stronger than fear. We were wrong. Fear won last night. Fear, ignorance, and hatred. Now we just have to grit our teeth, wait for the fallout, and fight to cling on to some semblance of what american society from FDR to Obama had attempted to build, whenever, wherever, and however we can.
You broke your ladder?
You almost got me to crack a smile there. 😐
Congrats, oh perfect ones, for mentioning so early and so often that we knew that of course nobody *really* wanted to vote for Hillary, what with her, oh, emails and, um, things, but, gee, we probably should hold our noses and vote for her, even though too bad it wasn’t good old Bernie and blah and blah and blah. We’ll you got what you deserved and, sadly, the rest of us are stuck with it too.
No, they still voted for Clinton and advocated doing so. We would have to see if the numbers of liberals who didn’t vote for her made a difference. I suspect not.
“No, they still voted for Clinton and advocated doing so.”
But always grudgingly as the lesser of two evils, rather than the orders of magnitude better choice. The lesser evil is still evil, and that rhetoric fed the Hillary hate.
To quote a signature line from Another Place : “Chthulu 2016. Why vote for the lesser evil?”
Yeah. Hillary’s horrible, horrible, horrible… I’ll hold my nose and fight back the vomit and vote for her, but don’t forget for a second how horrible, horrible, horrible she is.
Just harmless rhetoric, since nobody anywhere could be dissuaded from voting for this horrible, horrible person in spite of her horribleness.
Yes. There is that…
+1 from me too. I think that the “rational left” have spent too much of their time attacking Hillary and regressive leftist college students, forgetting about the real danger.
There’s some irony to be found in liberals spending all their time being easily offended by easily offended college students, instead of focusing on easily offended conservatives that vote for Trump as a way to get revenge for the so-called offenses against white cis men.
And no, I don’t expect anyone to understand what I just wrote. 😛
I understood it perfectly.
Not that the ‘easily offended college students’ helped in any way whatsoever, all they did was encourage Trump votes as a reaction to their absurdities.
I really doubt a candidate left of Hilary would have somehow brought in voters that decided to vote for Trump. That’s IMO fairly wishful thinking on the part of Sanders supporters.
Yes, and I suspect HC would have been been ablke to push through more of Sanders’ programs than he would have been. Meaning, a little compromise is necessary sometimes. A little Now it’s more like negotiating with hostage takers.
I don’t think potential Dem voters would have been put off by the quantity of leftiness involved. A number of polls show Bernie easily beating Trump by being able to take a large number of angry low-income voters who ultimately voted Trump.
The vote breakdown shows that racism and misogyny (while vile to the left) was not the deciding factor for a very large number of voters. Most Trump voters were white, BUT there were significant numbers from minorities and women. Incredible but true, the percentage of Blacks, Latinos, Asians and women who voted for Trump was greater than those that voted for Obama in 2012.
This election was about how the ‘elite’ have brought the US out of recession, but not by restoring jobs to the working and middle classes. The increase in wealth has gone principally to the rich corporations and those already making huge (yuge) amounts of money. In this case, the Dems elected in the primaries someone who would continue such policies.
Not at all. Bernie was an anti-establishment candidate, which is what the Trumpists voted for. Bernie would have given the angry vengeful voter an option other than voting for Trump. Hillary is the establishment personified. No one who’s angry about mega-wealthy bankers enriching themselves at the expense of normal people would be likely to vote for her.
I do not think that those opinions were read that much, or those who read them were much influenced by them.
Here are some words. This pretty much mirrors my internal monologue at the moment.
Four Weddings and a Funeral (NSFW)
Trump was selling fear and America bought it.
Hillary was always a very flawed candidate.
America is still not ready for a female president.
Clinton won the popular vote, so your penultimate sentence is clearly false.
You are missing the point. Winning big in large liberal states did not get Clinton any bonus electoral votes.
Barely. The site I’m looking at is saying 47.65% (Clinton) vs. 47.53% (Trump). I think Tony is right in emphasizing her flaws were the problem. Just a couple of weeks ago she was sitting at +10 points – she didn’t lose a 10 point lead in three weeks because of the oddities of the electoral college.
“I think Tony is right in emphasizing her flaws were the problem.”
No, over-emphasizing, and exaggerating her flaws by many was a problem, and I think much of that was motivated by inherent biases against women.
Interesting discussion of that here: http://atheisticallyspeaking.com/as287-atheist-ethics-implicit-biases-alonzo-fyfe/
I wanted to add as I’ve mentioned before one need go no further to recognize these biases exist than to imagine if a woman candidate were twice divorced, and had 5 children from 3 different men. She’d be seen as damaged goods, and wouldn’t even have a chance at being nominated.
I am a woman, and I wouldn’t want a person who has made such a mess of her personal life to be in charge of my country.
(By the same token, I wouldn’t vote for Schroeder of course if I were German.)
However, we’ve just elected a man “…who has made such a mess of (his) personal life…” In our history, we have elected many such men who’ve lived lives that don’t stand close scrutiny. From our earliest presidents to our more recent ones, our male presidents have not lived perfect lives. It seems inequitable to hold women to a higher standard unless we hold all human candidates to that same standard. Hillary, has been married only once (as far as I know), has “stood by her man” in his darkest times (more’s the pity), and has had only one child by that one husband, and claims to be a Christian. President Trump has lied so much, no one can know what he really believes. He’ll do anything to make a deal with anyone. We have begun “to live in interesting times”.
True. Trump’s personal life is one of his many, many cons. As for the “interesting times”, I independently said the same to a friend an hour ago!
I mostly agree with you, Mike, but not completely. Exaggerated flaws and decades of pseudo-scandals were part of it.
I think the core “Hillary issue” was really a DNC, Democratic leadership issue. They have been particularly unable to recognize the underlying dissatisfaction in the electorate, including within the Democratic Party. Hillary represents the DLC wing of the party, the wing that pushed trade pacts but failed to deal with the economic fallout experienced by all those voters who threw an electoral molotov cocktail at the system yesterday.
I think that she should not have been nominated in the first place. Many months ago, I wrote on another blog that I disapprove when members of the same family take turns in ruling a country, G. W. Bush should have never been elected, it is good that Jeb Bush is out of the race, and Hillary must follow so that not to set an awful example for the Third World.
Well, I’d vote for Michelle Obama. In a hearbeat.
Too bad I don’t have a vote.
I haven’t seen the final tally yet. (It was Chthulu-o’clock when I crashed for a couple of hours, then went gardening.) Is this finalised?
I get the point about the Electoral Collage being to ensure that a successful candidate has widespread support, but in that case why isn’t it divided to constituencies of (approx) equal size? Which would be about 600,000.
Oh, let me guess- NIH, or “tradition”?
“I get the point about the Electoral Collage being to ensure that a successful candidate has widespread support.”
While I’ve never fucking understood how the fucking electoral college does any such thing!
No. Aidan appears to be confused. The electoral college was put in place to prevent this exact outcome from happening. The idea was that the people couldn’t be trusted, so they’d vote for “electors” who would then vote for the president. The “electors,” not being redneck idiots, would safely elect someone who is not Donald Trump (or 18th century equivalent). When the rules were changed, so that “the electors” didn’t actually get to make decisions, but had to do what the idiot voters told them to, the whole point of the system went out the window. What it does now is ensure that rural votes count more than urban votes and only a couple of swing states get to choose the president.
As Alexander Hamilton writes in “The Federalist Papers,” the Constitution is designed to ensure “that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.” The point of the Electoral College is to preserve “the sense of the people,” while at the same time ensuring that a president is chosen “by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice.”
I wonder if Hamilton would think that in 2016 the Electoral College had accomplished its goal as laid out above.
Thanks for concurring with slightly better language and evidence than I used. 😉
Go to the YouTube channel of CGP Grey and watch his series of videos on the Electoral College. The first explains the general set up and history. The second, published 5 years ago, explains how to win through a rather backdoor method, which seems awfully similar to what Trump did. The third is a blip updating statistics with Hillary’s recent experience. They’re not long, and they are extremely informative and well presented.
Thanks, but I prefer articles to vids. And I do know quite a bit about the electoral college’s founding rationale and history, since I’ve been railing about it for years. I understand the founders’ original intentions and all that. I just think it’s a fucking anachronism that needs to be abolished.
I’ve a feeling that if it had been Elizabeth Warren running, America could have got behind a female president. Hillary, for so many reasons, just didn’t resonate with the public.
Also, with the fear side of things, there was a lot of fear being put forward from the democratic side, with claims that Trump doesn’t have the temperament to deal with the nuclear codes, and that a Trump presidency will usher in economic turmoil, speed up climate change and turn America into a fascist state. That could be true – but, like Brexit, that message doesn’t engage the voting public. Fear just ends up putting people off. Much as I despise him, Trump’s message was simple and usually condensed into ultra simple soundbites: “Make America Great Again”, “Lock her up”, “Only I can fix it”, “Build a wall”. Obama had a similar, populist message with his “Yes we can” campaign slogan, but at least there was a clear idea of what he intended to accomplish: close Gitmo, reform healthcare, repeal Don’t ask, don’t tell etc.
And yeah – Hillary was flawed, mostly by being too much a part of that Washington bubble, and never managing to step out of it and convince Joe Public that she would have their back. Instead, it was pretty clear that there would be more of the same lobbyist-dominated politics that make ordinary people feel marginalised and disengaged. But I don’t think she is evil, like the RW media like to put out there.
Oh well. At least the stand-up comedians will have four years of solid gold material.
There is also a chance that Hillary’s “flaws” included things we would consider “strengths.” It was nasty how competent and powerful that woman was.
“Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris,” — Colin Powell
And he was right it seems.
Well, I think Trump would win a hubris contest with any other living human.
All the people who say, “There’s no difference between the Republicans and Democrats” now have four years to test their theory.
Not so much…just because Trump nominally put the R after his name, most ‘real’ R’s rightly view him as a carpetbagger to their party.
Oh, they’ll fall over themselves backtracking their values until they can hold up his divorces, serial adultery, etc as ‘family values’ and ‘the American way.’
Meet the new boss…
And this time the Republicans will fully deserve to reap all the blame for the horrors to come.
They tested that in 2001
1. It’s not really a theory, it is more of an empirical observation
2. Trump didn’t win because he was a republican, I think people either forget, overlook, or are unable to comprehend that.
So there’s no difference between Republicans and Democrats on abortion, gun control, education, the environment, immigration, gay rights, and so on? And it makes no difference whether the Supreme Court justices who will decide these issues for the next 20 to 30 years are chosen by Democrats or Republicans? That’s a relief.
Maybe the Republicans who control Congress will refuse to confirm any Supreme Court justices whom Trump nominates–as they are doing with Obama–since he isn’t a “real” Republican. And I guess Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie aren’t really Republicans either, since they’re going to be in his Cabinet.
1. Abortion, gay rights and gun control are fairly minor issues that primarily serve the purpose of riling up the base to vote for one of the parties.
2. Because of that, the parties have no incentive to actually follow on their promises (if they did, then there would be nothing to run on). Did Bush ban abortion? He had 8 years to do so… Did Obama do anything to restrict guns? He had 8 years to do so too… Etc.
3. On immigration there is a bipartisan consensus — let illegal immigrants in, undermine wages (which benefits the rich and the salaried professionals who get cheaper agricultural products and services). There is also a bipartisan agreement to use illegal immigrants to scare the base — the republicans threat to deport them and use the Mexican “rapists” and cartels to scare white voters into voting republican, the democrats use the threat of republicans deporting immigrants to scare Latino voters into voting democrat. Meanwhile the Obama administration has deported a record number of immigrants. Which it should — the definition of an “illegal immigrant” is someone who is in the country illegally, and is therefore breaking the law. I never understood how anyone can defend that with clear conscious — if you do so, you are literally for breaking the law on a mass scale. But it becomes readily understandable once we analyze who benefits from it (see above).
4. On environmental issues there is a bipartisan agreement to do nothing to protect the environment if doing so would violate the interests of corporations. The fracking boom happened under who? And fracking was exported throughout the world by who exactly? The Clean Air Act was signed by who? Etc.
5. On the more narrow topic of climate change, there is also a bipartisan agreement to do nothing. Bush refused to sign Kyoto. But Kyoto happened in 1997. Between 1997 and 2001 there were four years of a democrat administration. In 2009 Copenhagen fell apart under who? Paris (an agreement to do nothing) was signed by who? Etc.
6. Regarding the Supreme Court. The major problem of money in politics is the result of a series of SCOTUS decisions dating back to the 1970s (Citizens United was only the latest) gradually lifting restraints on spending. There have been numerous administrations from either party in that period. Did anything change? Regarding the rest, see points 1) and 2)
7. There is a universal bipartisan agreement on most of the things that truly matter:
– infinite growth-dependent, resource-exploitative, environmentally ruinous socio-political system? Check
– imperial foreign policy? Check
– support for the military industrial complex? Check
– support for the expansion of the security and surveillance state? Check
– pro-corporate legislation and tax policy? Check
– “free trade” neoliberal economic policy? Check
– gradual rolling back of whatever social safety net mechanisms the New Deal and the 1960s achieved? Check.
Mostly agree, although Trumps proposal at wholesale ejection is unacceptable. Also the kind of vision Bernie holds out involves first world social services and material living standards(e.g. good housing, food, education, transport, medical services etc) that Ultimately Must depend on industrial era science and technology. The military industrial complex and the stranglehold of an overly developed finance and investment sectors are things to break up I agree. The sheer complexity and division of powers of the US system with its overlay of numerous states helps protect such vested interests; making for weakly defined political parties open to special interests, in a congress at loggerheads with a thwarted executive. Comparative Constitutional Engineering, Giovanni Sartori. From other reading I think the complexity and divisiveness of the system requires an Establishment to function, which in turn tends to protect family and dynastic ambitions, contacts and wealth. Only some of the framers of the constitution at the constitutional convention were the founders – and most wanted to create the kind of democracy that would preserve power in the hands of the gentry and propertied.
Also the problems you raise might seem to be solved by a hypothetical return to a pre industrial era – and apart from requiring global catastrophe this was very far from equitable or peaceful anywhere in the world. I also think some of your analyses on other threads regarding women’s role in this and attitudes to minorities confuse domination/extraction and status objectives with humane objectives and assessments of genuine necessity.
Yet paradoxically, the foreign policy you advocate and say Bernie would pursue underestimates domination oriented (as opposed to basic needs oriented) behaviours of foreign leaders and assumes only the US or west has these.
“What you say it is, that it is not.” Alfred Korzybski
Cubs world series
2016, the year that didn’t seem possible.
I woke to the smell of fear and hate.
The only bright spot on the horizon is the realization that the Dems will be forced to find a viable candidate.
The Republicans didn’t have a viable candidate, and yet he still won.
In my lifetime, Americans don’t like keeping any party in charge for more than 8yrs. genuinely surprised when Obama got a second term.
What did this cost you?
Ready for the coming sideshow?
Checking all results her in Missouri, er, Misery, only two candidates I voted for actually won, and one of them was running unopposed. Rep. Cleaver is the SINGLE bright spot in this darkest of nights. Anyone else do as poorly?
MN swung heavily rightwards. Ugh.
Everyone I voted for lost, but then I only voted for three people (president, senator, and congressman). The county I live in is so heavily Republican that the Democrats don’t even run candidates for local races – they have zero chance of winning.
I live in one of the three blue counties in Misery, but as a former slave state, I expect little as I’ve seen little change in attitudes (including my own father, who seems to think the Civil War is still ongoing). My mother & step father and my aunt all recently moved to the Ozarks where they have the same options as you; none. The only deems in the whole county are retirees who’ve moved there from KC or St. Louis. It is amusing in a dark and disturbing way that those people, like my father, have voted for a government that seeks to destroy the “welfare state” and the very teat upon which these deplorables suckle. Perhaps they assume the government will only end welfare programs for minorities.
who seems to think the Civil War is still ongoing
Round 2, opening shots last night?
Perhaps they assume the government will only end welfare programs for minorities
… Which is what WASPS (and associates) are approaching in increasing areas.
“Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.” (I can’t remember the source.)
There were 11 ‘things’ on my ballot (including positions, bond measures, and state constitution changes). Two of them were local uncontested races though. Of the remaining 9 contested things, I ‘won’ 4. C’est la vie.
I better get off this thread before the First Amendment is repealed.
Nice knowing you folks.
[Passes flak jacket]
I think you’ll need this more than me.
[Exits stage left, clutching Irish citizenship forms]
Trump was at least conciliatory and magnanimous in his speech; perhaps President Trump will be less awful than Candidate Trump, now that he’s won and has nobody left to defeat. That’s the last faint sliver of hope I’m clinging to in response to this inconceivable catastrophe.
Don’t bet on it. Even if all he wants is to sit on the throne, he’ll send monsters to the Supreme Court.
“all he wants is to sit on the throne”
I think you nailed it.
Two ways to look at that –
1. All credit to Trump for that at least
2. So already he’s reneging on his campaign promises
Yes there is a word.
Also, The Onion nailed it [of course]:
It was rigged!!!!!!!!!
I am horrified.
This is historic…
almost like Hitler winning control of the Reischstag.
I hope the human species can survive this toxic lurch into the unthinkable.
The question I’ve posed on tw*tter remains to be answered: did “we” elect the next Berlusconi or the next Hitler? Certainly “we” have put all liberal social and environmental programs against the wall to await the firing squad, and we know how the house and senate rethuglicans will behave, but will trump be the rapist clown he has been or the killer clown he has the potential to be?
The New Yorker’s David Remnick has a few words. They’re worth reading
Yes, David Remnick has summed up the current situation quite well. Except perhaps for the election of 1860, the future course of this country has never been more uncertain. But all signs are ominous.
A few disparate thoughts from Germany….
Up until last week I was fearful that Trump would win, but it then looked to me like the Dems had everything under control.
I have absolutely hated the US media’s obsession with polls. The problem with sentences like “Hillary Clinton has a 92% chance of winning” is not that it was wrong, but that it was meaningless in the first place. It is even more meaningless to say “The margin of error is +/-4%.” Well, try “+/- 92%.”
So it turns out it wasn’t just the Trump-heads who were living in an echo chamber…
And to those who put in a “protest vote” in their “safe state”, well how does your smug little symbolic act feel to you now? And which one did you vote for? The one who thinks Trump’s economic policies are better than Clinton’s, or the guy who doesn’t know what a Leppo is?
And please don’t say Bernie or Biden would have won. No one could have stopped that tsunami of stupidity and ignorance that just swept across your country.
Merkel has already congratulated Trump and laid down a long list of conditions for co-operation: respect for human rights, equal treatment regardless of skin color, religion, sexual orientation and political views — “on the basis of these shared values…” German politicians are stunned and haven’t got a clue what the hell Trump is going to do, which is not surprising of course, as neither does Trump.
The far right in Europe already took Trump’s victory in the primaries as permission to start living out their inner idiot. They started complaining about black and brown national football players being depicted on kids’ chocolate bars, and banning burkinis.
It is only possible to seriously counter Islamist extremism if society has its right wing loons under control, because the way right wing loons approach the problem is either dumb and weak (burkini ban), or stupid and violent (ban all Muslims, attack refugees).
So let’s make a start… From now on when someone calls Trump an Islamophobe, the best response is not a lecture on the preferable term “anti-Muslim bigotry”, but to say “Yes, Trump is an Islamophobe. We have to stop him and his demented cronies from trashing civilized values.”
German politicians are stunned …
One possible silver lining from this cloud is that EU politicians might finally stop ignoring and dismissing the widespread concerns of a large swathe of their electorates.
They have been slowly waking up to the problems. This just means that as well as dealing with Muslim extremists infiltrating schools and prisons, etc, they also now have to deal with an empowered white supremacist movement changing the discussion from protection of human rights, to protection of “our Christian values”, while burning down refugee shelters and beating up brown skinned Germans.
“And please don’t say Bernie or Biden would have won. ”
I think you have just elided the most important take-away message of this election:
The DNC and the Democratic Party establishment insiders lost this election, like so many before it, because neoliberalism is a corrupt failure.
The only positive outcome I can see from this debacle is that we have the opportunity to reform the Democratic Party and I would suggest that they let Bernie do it.
That would be the Bernie that was thrown under the bus, who consistently won poll after poll against all comers but was christened “Unelectable” by the DNC. The most popular politician in the country.
The man whose platform is embraced by a huge majority of the demographic future of our country. That Bernie.
….Yup only to Bernie reforming the party, BTW.
You mean that Bernie was was never a Democrat until 5-Nov-2015? That Bernie?
Seems like he needs to found the Bernie Party.
Somehow the irony of complaints about non-whites being pictured on chocolate (chocolate FFS!) bars … Isn’t so funny.
You’re quite right about the “probabilities”. Even in Bayesian terms (which I am skeptical of), they require the model to be more or less correct, which almost all of them weren’t.
They treat it like it’s the score in a sports match.
who doesn’t know what a Leppo is?
I only know about lerts, as in, “Be a lert. The world needs more lerts.”
It has to be said:
Knowing what we now know and feel, was it worth it to keep up the steady condemnation and character assassination of a woman who would have been qualified and suitable to be POTUS? She was and is good enough.
Pepto Bismol sales will peak today.
But wait, there’s more: https://www.indy100.com/article/donald-trump-presidential-elections-racist-supporters-think-black-people-less-evolved-survey-shows-7404016
Black people less-evolved than Trump supporters? Who’d have thought it? Is there “some science” to back up this claim? It doesn’t sound reasonable on its face.
I have personally known such thinkers in The South. They really do exist.
Well, that’s hopeful. They believe in evolution! (And here we thought all the Trumpites were diehard Creationists and science-deniers).
You know me – good taste was never one of my failings 😉
“Well, that’s hopeful. They believe in evolution! (And here we thought all the Trumpites were diehard Creationists and science-deniers).”
The 48% percent who don’t believe blacks are less evolved believe they are descendants of Ham.
Get over yourselves. Pop your collective bubble.
You were wrong about the election. What makes you think you are right about what follows?
Nothing other than Trump’s conduct and statements during the election.
Well, if the statements are to be believed in, people have a lot less to worry about that if Clinton had won.
The speech yesterday talked about infrastructure spending and manufacturing and good relationships with foreign countries.
In other words, New Deal stuff and peace.
One would have expected a democrat to be talking like that…
The justified fear is that while HRC was a democrat neocon, Trump will be a puppet for republican neocons.
Yes a New Deal alright. He’s so honest he (and his son) don’t even trust their respective wives to vote of them. I wonder if the Trumpists will want to vote for him next time round?
I wouldn’t be that harsh, but I would be interested is discussing how this happened and why.
How, for example, did Trump know 14 months ago about the Wiener emails, and how did he seem to know what wikileaks would do in advance?
Why does it appear that the FBI and Wikileaks coordinated their releases toward the end?
Why did the FBI appear accidentally to release a bunch of FOIA documents at crucial times?
All this happened in plain sight, and no one in the mainstream press expressed much interest in what was happening or why.
The mainstream media was too busy discussing the latest polls.
Yes, I partially blame journalists for not doing their jobs.
Rumors have it that the leaks actually came from within the US intelligence agencies. Which actually kind of makes sense if you think about the whole WikiLeaks phenomenon, but that is a long topic on its own
It sure makes sense, though.
The FBI need to be shat on from a great height. It seems their founding thug’s penchant for meddling in politics still rules.
(Yes I do mean Hoover, of course).
Yet, WikiLeaks was taken out for 24 hrs by a DDOS attack on election day just in time to block a batch of fresh emails being released.
And the initial statement by the FBI was to the effect that Clinton was not to be prosecuted but anyone else who did the same thing would be.
There are hints of dirty tricks in all directions. The media seems so untrustworthy now that I am not sure I can even safely form an opinion anymore on some issues.
The whole thing feels like a classic self-fulfilling prophecy myth: the steps taken to avoid catastrophe may actually have caused it.
Osama bin Laden has won. The events of 9/11 have blossomed into the poisonous fruits of hate and fear, and those fruits have yet to fall from the tree.
If I were living in one of the Baltic countries now I would be very afraid.
Absolutely. In Bulgaria, I am feeling uncomfortable.
I would be feeling embarassed with the kind of idiotic nonsense the Bulgarian president has been spewing for the last couple years.
And I would be feeling really uncomfortable with the prospect of the country being trapped between the two great powers in a hypothetical future war (think Belgium in the 1910s).
But Russian invasion now? Really?
We had an excellent President who said and did the right things. I am sorry that he is not running again. Americans currently can only dream of such a president.
As for “being trapped between two great powers” – Belgium was neutral, while Bulgaria is a NATO member. Now, with Trump at the helm, it is a bit unclear whether NATO really exists anymore. It is now that we can be trapped, or rather pressed and stomped upon by Russia, Turkey or both.
“But Russian invasion now? Really?”
Did you predict the Russian invasion into Ukraine? You never know when and where Russia will invade. But it will invade some day, somewhere. And unlike the USA, it never pulls out voluntarily.
Anyway, I have already lived under Russian domination when I was young, and I speak quite decent Russian, so let’s say there is nothing to be afraid of.
Well, I guess few people here are actually familiar with what the Bulgarian president has done and how he has behaved in the last few years, so let’s leave it at that.
Did you predict the Russian invasion into Ukraine?
Ukraine is a very very different situation:
1. Crimea is a historically Russian territory (only transferred to Ukraine in the 1950s by Khruschev for internal political reasons, an act, it should be noted, that the West should not be recognizing given that it did not recognize the Baltic republics as being part of the USSR throughout the Cold War), with vital strategic importance.
2. Eastern Ukraine is also largely Russian ethnically and pro-Russian in its sentiments
3. The US was trying to not only control Ukraine but install rockets there, basically gaining a first strike advantage. That was never going to be allowed.
4. The US also tried to bait Russia into getting itself into war in Ukraine. But Putin refused to show up.
All things considered, the Russians did what they had to, did it in the most careful manner possible, and were fully justified in doing so.
Which of these factors applies to Bulgaria?
Also, regarding the Baltic states. If the treatment of the very large Russian minority in Latvia (an EU country!) had been applied to another ethnic group in a different country, all human rights organizations would be making noise about it all day every day, the government there would be constantly demonized in the media, etc. Instead you never hear anything about it.
By your “arguments”, Turkey has perfectly legitimate claim to take over Bulgaria. And with the large mass of Russian immigrants and refugees at our Eastern coast, so has Russia. Actually, the deputy chair of the Russian parliament has already said it.
As for the USA allegedly going to use Ukraine to launch a strike on Russia… do I look like an idiot brainwashed by the paid Russian trolls? The truth is that the USA in 1994 deceived Ukraine to give up its nuclear weapons, and 20 years later abandoned it to the mercy of the obligate aggressor Russia. Obama’s USA even refused to sell arms to Ukraine, though it is selling arms to just about everyone else.
By your “arguments”, Turkey has perfectly legitimate claim to take over Bulgaria.
I wasn’t aware that Bulgarians are a newly created ethnicity who until a hundred years ago identified as Turks…
One lives and learns…
Bulgarian state was originally formed and led by the Bulgars, a Turkic people. Bulgars worshiped the pre-Islamic Turkic deity, Tangra (for the Turks, Tengri). A fairly strong case that we were originally “Turks” and are now under a delusion from which we should be rescued. Still, I do not see why the Turks should lord over us.
“I wasn’t aware that Bulgarians are a newly created ethnicity who until a hundred years ago identified as Turks…”
How long time should pass after the “creation” of an ethnicity so that you recognize its right to exist and not be engulfed by your beloved Russia?
And why do you find more important how people identified 100 years ago under a severely oppressive colonial regime than how they identify now?
Alternatively, if you need a place to which you can escape, contact me in Israel. Jerry has my email address.
Thank you! BTW, we have just elected an awful president, a pro-Russian living fossil. I am happy that everyone is concentrated on Trump and there is no limelight left for my little corner of the world.
Then may he — and Trump, too — rest in peace… soon! And their replacements, sequentially, until decent national leaders finally fill the two voids.
I generally agree, except that “rest in peace” has too solemn connotation; maybe “retire to spend more time with family” (instead of being sent to spend it with one’s ancestors, as Terry Pratchett said about some bad fictional rulers).
Watching the BBC’s coverage of the election and seeing the sea of red caps at Cleveland and other places my immediate thought was to open a shop selling pitchforks.
A $1 billion campaign budget and a slavishly in-the-tank media was supposed to be the reason Hillary won. Turns out that’s the reason she lost.
You heard Trump through the in-the-tank media filter. Pop the Maddow / Maher bubble.
Some here talk about Fascism. How about a party that put up and propped up *one* terribly flawed candidate and allows no criticism. The DNC destroyed other candidates. The Fifth Column in the Forth Estate, supported her to the bitter end. It was deemed misogynistic to even criticize her. That’s facsism.
Furthermore, to all these people saying they’d leave the US for Canada if Trump was elected, your irony meter must be broken. Why not Mexico?
Didn’t expect that.
However, I see things like Brexit and the election of Trump as a quite normal reaction to globalization.
Get ready for Attorney General Guliani.
Transitioning from an industrial economy to a knowledge economy was a fantasy, and promising easier access to a college education does not resonate with people who know they are too stupid to succeed in college. The Obamas and Clintons are all mensa material & the product of educational opportunities not available to stupid people. Bernie Sanders’s message wouldn’t resonate with them, either. It took a stupid person to reach out to all the left-behind stupid people, but even as stupid as they are, in 2020 when the factories haven’t reopened, they will see they’ve been duped. By then perhaps the Democratic party will have a message of hope for the 49% who are below average in IQ.
Best case scenario: Trump is so deeply non-ideological that he’s essentially a weather vane in terms of policy. He has no policy. He is not tied to anything he’s said to get himself elected. Therefor, just about anything could happen during the next 4 years. He could pivot in a liberal direction without contradicting positions he has held in decades past. He may nominate decently humane Supreme Court nominations, and remain within the Paris agreement on climate. He can do practically nothing about globalization of the economy in any event and may secretly find it advantageous to his business sense. The Mexican border may receive a bit of cash to appease the constituency, but business generally love cheap labor.
This is not a prediction. Just a search for some less than terrible futures.
My mind literally went into “shock” mode last night. I could feel my mind trying every way to divert from believing the reality that was unfolding. Almost to the point of fantasizing that it wasn’t happening.
My 14 year old son had followed the election
and went to bed extremely worried about a possible Trump victory. This is one of those moments as a parent: how do you calm down your kid when you know his worries are not only sound…but that he doesn’t even know the half of it?
Tell him that established democracies are well protected to prevent elected idiots from doing excessive damage (and idiots are frequently elected, nothing abnormal here).
My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is beginning.
It’s still early, but perhaps “Midnight of the Century” might be fitting. This is awful.
Harambe, a deceased gorilla, received at least 15,000 write-in votes. We are a nation of juvenile idiots and this is probably the President we deserve. This election had nothing to do with policy, they never do, this was a test of the American electorate and we failed, miserably. We are, definitively now, the ignorant trash the rest of the world thinks we are.
The rest of the world is wrong, not to mention that it often elects leaders like Trump or worse. If you could just look at the candidates for our runoff next Sunday! But I digress.
World class trolling 🙂
Jerry, you blocked me on FB for defending people who posted their worries Trump could win. You blocked me for saying “oh come on” in my reply to you, and you feeling it was rude.
Posting this here so you can delete it and go back to your fragile echo chamber. But try and poke your head out from time to time, to see why other people have been concerned and feel the need to repeat themselves.
I made a similar defense of people expressing their concern as not being excessive repeatedly here, and was never blocked. I suspect you were being rude.
@Mike, well that’s fine for you. Go ahead and suspect it.
It’s each person’s prerogative to block or not of course, and each person can decide what’s rude. YMMV. I thought as a past commenter and person working in science communication we could have a straight conversation about it. Again, it’s Jerry’s prerogative on his page.
FWIW, here’s what got me blocked, responding to Jerry’s post that all of the repetitive anti-Trump posts were virtue signaling:
– – –
Jerry, a homophobic, misogynistic, racist billionaire bigot is on the ticket for presidential election in arguable the most influential country on Earth, and you seem to be upset with people voicing their upset with that. Maybe *you* have Trump fatigue, but come on. You can see why all of these posts are happening. I’m not American, but it’s gratifying to me to see posts calling Trump out on his terrible behaviour and what that means if he wins the White House, however remote that chance may be. Those posts mean maybe your whole country isn’t lost to fear. Keep ’em coming. A bit more “virtue” being “signalled” from America does the world some good.
You may not be American but you spoke for many of us who are.
I wonder if the outcome might have been different if there weren’t so many Dems stating they were going to hold their nose and vote for Hillary. That sounds like just another kind of signalling to me.
Maybe if many Dems had a better sense of smell and hadn’t nominated the only candidate who couldn’t beat Trump we wouldn’t be having this discussion. Those who refuse or unable to see the many serious Clinton flaws should open their eyes.
Ah, yes, I remember you. It was your “come in” which Jerry found rude, and told you so. So Mike’s suspicion is well founded.
Yes, as one of my friends who saw the exchange noted, “Once somebody says “oh come on”, the door is open for “oh really?” and “seriously?” and all kinds of blatant profanity.”
Oh, come on, Ant.
Just sayin’ – Jerry (rightly or wrongly) explicitly called it out as being rude.
Yep, I didn’t miss that. Can’t think of a way to respond that doesn’t risk my neck…
(Sorry that I felt I could get away with it with you. Debated about adding a winkie, but wasn’t really feeling very winkie-ish.)
Jerry did his best to encourage voting for Clinton – he may have been wrong about the outcome
Mike, I was blocked a few months ago and was not remotely rude, so I wouldn’t necessarily assume that Glendon was being rude.
Is your name actually Mellow?
Yes, that’s my real name. I’m an illustrator and blogger for Scientific American.
Pleased to meet you Glendon Mellow. Thanks for replying.
I also got blocked once or twice, but it apparently was accidental or due to some glitch in the system. When Jerry returned from wherever he’d traveled, I emailed him, and he got me back on. Stuff happens, sometimes.
Thanks, Doc, but I emailed Jerry twice and he never responded or refriended me…
Sorry to hear that. I was only talking about here, on his website, in case that matters.
I got that impression from the one comment, here, directly to Jerry: The message, on its face, was acceptable. The insulting rudeness, meant to draw an emotional response, was against Da Roolz.
This election has demonstrated to me how little we understand about human social behavior, the interplay of human culture and human nature.
This is the way the world ends – not with a scream but with a Trumpet.
Apologies to TS Eliot.
A Trump presidency was embarrassing and astonishing. A Trump presidency with Republican-majority Congress and Senate, with an open SCOTUS seat (or seats), is just terrifying.
And I mean that in a genuine way. I am poor, I am atheist, I am a person of color. My remaining family are all women who fit two or more of those descriptions too. I earnestly do not know what will happen to us. Our healthcare, women’s rights, gay rights, my job and the social programs that keep my family afloat, our bodily safety in an alt-right white nationalistic world…. I’m young, so this is the first time I have been heartbroken and terrified about my future in this country.
No closing statement. I’m just sad and scared.
Most of the rest of us will do our best to have your back.
I too am afraid — about the death of democracy and freedom and civil society.
Seems like a big slice of the US is just fine with Trump’s:
– Threatening to flout the constitution
– Normalizing sexual assault
– Mocking disabled people (FFS!)
– Threats to silence dissent by federal agency or law
– Threats to destroy the sable order of treaties that have prevented WWIII for 70 years
– Threats to incarcerate his opponents extrajudicially
– His ridiculous idea of herding undocumented immigrants into concentration camps and then pushing them “over the border”
I fear for our future.
I am concerned for you and for your family members. And I am moving to Israel this month. I will, in all honesty, feel safer there, despite a recent history of Palestinian rockets fired into the locale from Gaza.
Anyway, get your passports now. The government office is going to be flooded with requests in 2017, in part because the 2007 flood of new passports will be expiring. That earlier year was when pass-cards became available, as well. A new law, coming in 2017, will require government ID with a chip (like credit cards have, now), just to board a plane. That will also cause a flood of passport applications.
The process is quite easy, and pictures are most economical at Costco: 4 for $5.
Good luck to you. Let me know, if you need to come to Israel. Atheists seem to do well, there, and women’s health rights are built into the national healthcare system, including abortions.
I am having custom made bumper stickers that read, “IMPEACH PUSSY GRABBER” if anyone wants one . . . let me know.
No, see we only impeach Democrats that have consensual sex.
Didn’t you get the memo?
I love it! I won’t have a car, soon, just public transportation, but what a great bumper sticker!
Many of you have your own ideology to blame for your fears concerning Trump. Trump would be far less dangerous under a small government whose main concern was protecting liberty rather than laying a heavy hand on citizens “for their own good.”
I’m still optimistic our institutions will prevent an extensive amount of damage, and we will simultaneously learn not to want, expect, or allow so much from government.
When the waiter gets your lunch order wrong, do you blame that on the Government too?
Do please provide one example of a society flourishing because they stripped their government to the rails?
Placing an entire religion under suspicion and empowering the government to close mosques isn’t a heavy hand?
Your Milton Friedman meets Ayn Rand fever-dream is a fantasy. We’ve tried this approach to policy before. We know the results. They are unimpressive.
Many of the Trump voters are reacting to damage that has been done to the working class by conservative fiscal policy and voting for the exact same economic agenda that put them behind the 8-ball is NOT a good decision.
I fail to see how my ideology has anything to do with any of this.
And before you go off on your whiny rant about how the mean old liberal rained on your misinformed libertarian parade remember, you threw the first elbow.
Closing mosques is exactly the kind of thing government should not do. Did I say anything remotely implying that? Protecting liberty is the primary function of government.
If you are “one of the many” I was addressing, then you will not be pleased when President Trump is issuing executive orders the way President Obama did. I won’t be either. My point, that you seemed to miss, was this expanded executive power makes Trump more dangerous.
I cannot give you an “example of a society flourishing when it stripped it’s government to the rails” since I don’t know of any that has done such stripping, government tends to grow – unless you want to count Japan and Germany after WWII, they did pretty well. On the other hand, anyone can name several societies that have suffered massively from governments thinking they could plan everything out for their people, and determine how they should pursue happiness – Soviet Union, China, etc. But since China has lightened its heavy hand, hundreds of millions are living vastly improved lives. The American colonies are another good example where prosperity followed escape form the heavy hand of British regulation.
The root problem the West is now facing, and the Trump (and Sanders) support helps us see, is the increasing displacement of people due to computers, robots, and other technology. I think a centrally planned solution to this will fail. On the other hand allowing human creativity, distributed throughout the population, will succeed.
You are correct about ideology in general, but you are wrong about the details.
Trump was not elected because of big vs small government issues, but because of the abandonment of the New Deal by democrats, who have adopted neoliberal ideology since the 1970s.
The result of which was the reemergence of effective monopolies and the merger of big business with the government, all at the expense of the common people.
The resentment of the latter manifested itself at the polls yesterday.
There is a much deeper problem behind all this, and one that nobody is talking about — how those economic and political changes are happening against the background of the early stages of the terminal decline of industrial civilization due to resource depletion and environmental degradation. The situation cannot be understood without a firm grasp of those factors. Nothing in Trump’s background and behavior tells me has such a grasp, which means that people will be largely disappointed by his presidency. But no such signs were visible in the alternative either.
GM, you missed my point. I’m not claiming the “ideology of many here” caused Trump to be elected, but that ideology, which has allowed Presidential power to swell, makes Trump all that more scary.
The serious problem is not “… the terminal decline of industrial civilization due to resource depletion and environmental degradation.” Malthusians with this kind of chicken little worry have been shown up as fools since Malthus himself, and there have been many. Human ingenuity has always overcome these dire predictions.
The real problem is for people to find ways they can be useful amid a society with such rapidly expanding and powerful technology.
“The serious problem is not “… the terminal decline of industrial civilization due to resource depletion and environmental degradation.” Malthusians with this kind of chicken little worry have been shown up as fools since Malthus himself, and there have been many. Human ingenuity has always overcome these dire predictions.”
Given a finite, non-renewable resource and a nonzero positive rate of depletion, it is a mathematical certainty that said resource will vanish. Resources like fossil fuels will disappear in the not-too-distant future. The main problem is determining when exactly, and how a fossil-fuel dependent economy will react to losing the majority of its main supplies over the next century or even decades. This is all while ignoring the issue of global warming completely, which generates larger problems than merely worrying how we’ll power our homes in the future.
As for environmental degradation, it’s hardly a “chicken little” worry. Air, water, and soil pollution have been longstanding problems throughout the world ever since the industrial revolution, having claimed plenty of fatalities and caused much sickness via respiratory diseases, poisoning food, and so on. There’s mining runoff containing destructive chemicals like mercury, agricultural use of destructive pesticides, smog in China, and so on. Not to forget soil erosion is occurring at a higher rate this century due to intensive farming methods. Even the better predictions for global warming, the biggest act of environmental degradation, predict a worldwide humanitarian disaster at a measly rise of two degrees Celsius.
Those predictions have not only come true, but are still coming true and will continue to do so without radical economic backpedalling. The delay of an effect is not the same thing as the non-existence of said effect.
Meanwhile, back here on earth we are better off by almost any measure you can name than we were a generation ago. And those a generation ago could have said the same, their parents and grandparents as well, extending back to the Enlightenment.
The idea that we should stand still and stifle the human creativity that will solve the problems we do have, is the sure recipe for disaster.
Meanwhile, back here on earth we are better off by almost any measure you can name than we were a generation ago.
This is true for every bubble while it is being inflated.
And for every Ponzi scheme before it goes bust.
But all bubbles burst and all Ponzi schemes go bust.
And all civilizations either collapse or stop growing.
You were told that the basic laws of physics dictate that the same will happen to us unless we do away with the infinite growth paradigm. You chose to ignore it.
This is the “wnyevolutionistrue” blog, BTW…
There is a basic difference with this bubble, which has been inflating for 350 years. We humans learned what real knowledge is and how to accumulate it from one generation to the next. For the only time in human history progress rapid enough to be noticed and stable enough to continue over many generations was achieved. Maybe it will end in a year or a millennium, or at the heat death of the universe, but your argument is the same Malthusian babbling that has never panned out before.
we are better off by almost any measure you can name than we were a generation ago
Well, the conspicuous counterexamples are, in fact, resource depletion and environmental degradation, neither of which are desirable in the long run. Despite specific measures such as the ban on DDTs following campaigns in the 60s and 70s, chemical pollution has increased simply because factory farming, mining, and fossil fuel extraction have increased in the same amount of time, while the issue of tackling global warming has arguably become more difficult to tackle politically. Fossil fuel use has increased and expanded, along with the corresponding increases and expansions of travel services such as car traffic levels and airport flights and expansions. Moreover, the overall trend has been a net loss of natural environments, with few if any signs of reversing.
Presumably, the riches generated e.g. by oil companies do contribute to major advances in medicine, economic prosperity, etc., but then the same could be said about the prosperity of individuals abusing credit cards in the short term. This wouldn’t be so much of a problem if the trends for resource depletion and environmental degradation were slowing down or reversing, but for the last few decades the trend has consistently and overwhelmingly been in the opposite direction. It’s not even as if there aren’t plenty of more sensible alternatives, such as commercially viable renewable sources, or safer farming practices. There are even safer ways to encourage population decreases, thereby reducing pressure on resource use by tackling the problem of overpopulation too.
The idea that we should stand still and stifle the human creativity
Is one you’ve just dropped into the conversation, apropos of nothing, on the frankly arbitrary assumption that you’re the only one here who would champion human creativity. Besides, problem-solving involves recognizing where and when limits apply and testing only when it seems reasonable to expect a payoff, taking advantage of the odd bit of luck here and there, and accepting that you’re not guaranteed to win and will have to make compromises and trade-offs. It’s hard to tell from your writing if you mean this or if you somehow seriously believe human beings are nigh-omnipotent magicians and technological juggernauts.
that will solve the problems we do have, is the sure recipe for disaster.
This kind of stifling is pretty much what’s been going on in the case of the climate change issue, from outright denialism to the increasing lack of coverage in mainstream media to the sheer weaksauce response of politicians and electorates over the last two or three decades. More specifically, most environmentally safer and less dangerous proposals for other energy sources and farming and materials management have met with limited success, despite the fact that many renewables and some forms of nuclear power have been economically viable for a long time. So, in a very unfortunate sense, you’re correct.
We need to retain some oil for non energy use/producing purposes
For example almost all types of plastics and foams are derived from petrochemicals, and numerous other everyday products including nylon, clothing, upholstery, carpet, insulation, paint and dyes, soap, cleaning products, ammonia, creams and some medicines including aspirin, antiseptics, cosmetics, lubricants, refrigerant and antifreeze. So modern civilisation depends on oil quite apart from any application that produces C02 and thats what we should be saving it for.
The serious problem is not “… the terminal decline of industrial civilization due to resource depletion and environmental degradation.” Malthusians with this kind of chicken little worry have been shown up as fools since Malthus himself, and there have been many. Human ingenuity has always overcome these dire predictions.
Actually this is the real problem.
All that social democracy welfare state stuff in Europe and New Deal redistributive policies in the USA during the 20th century?
Those were partly concessions to the working classes made out of fear of a revolution because of the presence of a strong ideological alternative in the middle of the century.
But they also happened because the pie was growing rapidly and thus there was enough to redistribute.
And the pie was growing rapidly because the oil age was in full swing.
You know when America stopped being great? When it hit peak oil in the early 1970s. It is no coincidence that it was after that monumental but forgotten event that the New Deal started gradually being rolled back. And you cannot understand what happened in American society, politics and economy after that unless you look at the issues from that perspective.
The tiny problem we have now is that while when the US hit Peak Oil around 1970, the world as a whole kept expanding production. But we are now a decade past the worldwide peak in conventional oil. Total liquids have expanded a little but that is because of nonconventional oil. Net energy is down though.
You wonder why the global economy has not really recovered since the crash? You cannot understand it outside of that context.
the global economy also changed because of stagflation caused by the failure (as the post war economy grew)of the gold pegged US dollar. Various other currency blocks (e.g. Pound)started to fail. Nixon eventually floated it partially 1969 and fully 1971. As economy grew the need for liquid finance grew This allowed eventually for development, post end of cold war of derivatives and all sorts of instruments – ever more sophisticated virtual money packaging and hedge funds. Investment needs money so its difficult but post cold war its got fairly out of hand.
Growth also meant manufacturing trade competition with non western countries even by 70s and this was another factor. During WW1 allied powers got into huge debt to pay for the war (little known, tend to just emphasise Germany, whose reparations were waived after 2 years, after which it spent so much on preparing clandestinely and not so clandestinely for the next war – yes even the Weimar republic govt – that it brought on a currency meltdown when the Depression hit.
Part of the reason for WW2 was the Germans wanted secure access to coal and iron in Europe to continue to fuel their industrial economy – thats why predecessor of EEC formed with France and a few other countries immediately after the war. Trade gives access to resources you don’t have. Protectionism and trading blocks also blocked Japan off from global trade/financial system and was one of the factors encouraging it to go to war. America was dragged into war twice in 20th C because of Germans attacking its ships in the Atlantic and Japanese bombing pearl harbour.
The European powers and the US went into trade protectionist mode to protect their empires and this and the debt (and the poor wages and conditions of workers affected by unequal labour capital relations even as ruled by the US Supreme court of the time) led to the banking crisis of the Great Depression – not enough liquidity and not enough trade. Hence post WW2 Keynesian system of he United nations (designed by him) included the GATT (international trade organs), fiscal policy aimed at encouraging consumer spending of the ordinary people, and government spending on the people – to keep money flowing in the economy but also to encourage global trade.
Protectionism and trading blocks
At any rate, enjoy Planet of the Apes
Reagan v2.0? A lot of the reactions here mirror the ones to this original post:
Thanks for posting that. “They want his face on a stamp so they can lick his backside.”
apes selecting the most dominant ape, what’s so surprising about that ? You of all people should know how apes conduct themselves, evolution is a b**h !
Apes are in small groups, humans have some ape features but way more extensive and sophisiticated sociability, language, ability to plan into the future and solve logical problems. Also, as that study Jerry put up a few weeks ago found, about 4x less violent than apes (except say, bonobos). Humans can actually amend their environment to alter some of the reproductive constraints (very high infant mortality) and now chemically control reproduction for harsh circumstances. So there is hope. We have to know about the real physical world (religion or extreme ideologies like communism, fascism don’t help), we have to value the most humane outcomes for each set of realistic constraints and opportunities. We have to cooperate and we also have to be realistic about what factors hinder the spread or security of humane values or good physical conditions of life, as free as possible from oppression.
Your answer shows the dilemma apes like us face, complex.
Mostly, there are no words. But, maybe there are a few. Here’s Garrison Keillor’s take:
Thanks, good read. I especially liked this graf:
To all the patronizing B.S. we’ve read about Trump expressing the white working-class’s displacement and loss of the American Dream, I say, “Feh!” — go put your head under cold water. Resentment is no excuse for bald-faced stupidity. America is still the land where the waitress’s kids can grow up to become physicists and novelists and pediatricians, but it helps a lot if the waitress and her husband encourage good habits and the ambition to use your God-given talents and the kids aren’t plugged into electronics day and night. Whooping it up for the candidate of cruelty and ignorance does less than nothing for your kids.
I liked that passage too.
Steve Bells Cartoon in the Guardian.
Exactly. How to say it when there indeed are no words…
Keep your eye on the face of Trump’s youngest child, Baron, as he gives his president-elect acceptance speech. Just when Trump says, “You’ll be so proud of your president — you’ll be so proud!”, the sleepy boy’s face comes alive just enough to roll his eyes. It’s perfect!
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