Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Crazy Ideas

I'm old enough to remember when there would have been a lot of eye rolling and scorn directed at a woman who ran for president. Whoa there, little lady, getting a bit too big for your britches?? And then when there would have been a little less eye rolling and scorn. And now there isn't really any. Sure it probably took a unique woman in a somewhat unique position in life to actually make it happen (to get this far, at least), and I'm not denying the reality of still-existing misogyny, but it's no longer a crazy idea. Still crazy to some, sure, just not generally. The barriers and difficulties of achieving that level of success are still there for women, but it's not longer fantastical. It's a thing that can happen, if still much less likely for women.

Back in 1984 or so, a woman running for president and achieving some success in the attempt would probably have inspired every mainstream news magazine to run some version of a "Can A Woman Be President?" cover. Just asking, of course. The answer in the articles probably would have been "yes," but just by asking in such a fashion the point would have been made that, no, a woman can't. Or shouldn't, anyway.

Always two steps forward and 1.99 steps backwards on this stuff, but we do move forward...

Wednesday Morning

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tuesday Late Night

Start rockin'.

Tuesday Night

Finally we know who won the primary!

Vote For Whoever The Hell You Want

Back before the dawn of time, or maybe it was the 90s, there was briefly a movement to put "none of the above" on the ballot. That'll show'em, people thought! None of the above wins! Well, gets 10% anyway! That'll change things! They'll have to listen to "us" (whoever "us" is) now!

I'm glad that's no longer a movement, as I think if I read more than one "Why I'm Voting for NOTA" essay on the internet the law would not hold me responsible for my subsequent actions.

Don't vote if you don't want to. Vote for your cat if you want to. Unlike some people, I don't think it really matters much. Your vote is not actually going to sway the election, and I doubt your "Who I Am Voting For" or similar essay is going to sway it either. The people running for office to win (there are other reasons to run) do have a task. That task is assembling a coalition of people who will vote for them in enough numbers in the right states. They might not actually care about your vote! Probably not enough to make a personal phone call to you in order to ask for it, anyway, or to implement your 15 point plan verbatim. That coalition might not include you because, frankly, the SUPERTRAIN coalition is probably pretty small.

Sure it's fun pointing out how all the sheeple are voting for the wrong person, that damn MONORAIL supporter, or making sure that everybody knows about the purity of your essences. If that's your hobby, have fun! Just don't kid yourself that the purity of your essences are going to change the world. They aren't. Most of the things any of us do aren't going to change the world, from our individual vote to our exciting arguments with strangers on the internet. Some people do work hard to change the world, and have an impact (often a very bad impact). Most of us, not so much.

This isn't an argument against voting. Vote! It's just that whether you vote for Clinton, Stein, Trump, Kang, Kodos, your cat, Gary Busey, whoever, voting is really the bare minimum that you and a couple of hundred million or so other people can choose to do. Don't think it makes you special, or that you're such a special snowflake that the reasons for your vote must be shared with the world. Who cares. It's boring.

The Truth

I weirdly don't get nearly as much hate mail as I did years ago (hate communications generally). I do occasionally get a bit. Roughly I can divide them into 2 categories. The first involves people getting really really angry about things that I would have thought would be the least anger-inducing. That's what set you off? Really? OK I guess. I'm not going to tell you what to get mad about, but that?

The second is people who send me The Truth, deep bits of wisdom and knowledge that only they have access to and which couldn't have possibly occurred to me before. Some of these people are very interesting, and if they had newsletters I would surely subscribe to them. I might even read their blogs!

Lunch Thread

Not really participating in any of the main events this week, but lots of side distractions. Suckier blogging than usual...

Trump or Bust

Back in the great and glorious era of Emperor George W. "Bunnypants" Bush, I used to joke about the 27%, which seemed to be the absolute bottom of any approval poll for Bush and symbolized the proportion of people who would vote Republican no matter what. Or, more specifically, the worse a Republican was, the happier they were. I think Trump was a bit of a Mule in this primary, so it's hard to see exactly where he fits in with the 27th. Absent Trump I'd think of them as Cruz voters in this year, but 27% of all voters=54% of Republican voters (roughly, of course), which is enough to win the Republican primary.

But the dust is settling a bit and Trump is doing well in national polls. Those polls don't really tell us much about the general election, but they do tell us something about the people of the greatest country on Earth that we have to make great again. A lot of them like Trump.

Trump voters include the 27 percenters, but there are more than that at the moment who say they want to vote for him. I guess my big question is... are the ranks of the 27 percenters really expanding or is Trump just a bit of a wildcard who has expanded his support by appealing to different groups of voters for different reasons?

The Morning After Day 1

I have the convention speeches dvr'ed and will watch later today.

No spoilers, please!

Heh, just kidding. I hear it was a kick ass evening. Congratulations Democrats.

Monday, July 25, 2016

More Thread

Better thread than dead.

Monday Night

I hear some ladies are speaking tonight? Get your fashion criticisms ready!

Monday Evening

Almost Monday Night!!!

Afternoon Thread

Looks like rain.

They Won't Work

I find the safety obsession with self-driving cars to be amusing. Safety is the easy part. I'm sure they'll be able to make cars which drive themselves on highways and have as good or better safety records as humans in similar driving conditions. Programming them to not hit things and to avoid being hit by things is, I would guess, the simplest challenge right now. But, hey, build a test site. Preferably with lots of public money. Program them not to play bumper cars. They still won't work in the way that's being sold to people. Besides, automobiles are a 19th century technology.

Unity, My Way

I hate talks of "unity" especially by people in power. If it actually has a meaning, it's something like "smile and clap for me, citizen." I don't think politicians who say it are actually thinking, "be excellent to each other on twitter." They're thinking "I wish the proles would just STFU for a change.

And when unity just means "unite behind me," then the peddler of the unity utopia is just using it as a cynical tool to get people to line up behind them. After all, they aren't much interested in unity if it means they don't get what they want.
“It came down to the fact that the president didn’t want the hassle of getting rid of Debbie,” said a former top Obama adviser. “It’s been a huge problem for the Clintons, but the president just didn’t want the headache of Debbie bad-mouthing him. … It was a huge pain in the ass.”



One thing which I think causes people who are in general terms "on the same side" to talk past each other in politics is the failure to understand that people just have different priorities from each other. "We" might all agree on 10 issues that are important, but we don't rank them all the same away. I don't really expect that everyone thinks that SUPERTRAINS are the most important policy issue (not that I do either), but I might have some good reasons for thinking they are nonetheless.

Also, too, some people just like to be assholes on the internet. We all need a hobby.

Morning Thread

Really big thunderstorm just passed through. Hope it cools things down for the visitors to Philly.

Sunday, July 24, 2016


The things that happen when you're out.
PHILADELPHIA — Democrats arrived at their nominating convention on Sunday under a cloud of discord as Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, abruptly said she was resigning after a trove of leaked emails showed party officials conspiring to sabotage the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Anyway, DWS is horrible aside from whatever the specifics of her role in the primary stuff were. She should never have had the job, and certainly should not have had it for this long.

Sunday Night

Old. No closing down bars for me anymore, even with other loser libs.

So Close And Yet So Far

My house is filled with a bunch of liberal losers so I'm staying in my "old" neighborhood, all of 1.5 or so miles away. It isn't that I never get here otherwise, but surprisingly rarely. And things do change there, if fairly slowly.

Things elsewhere have changed since I lived there, too. I don't remember anyone involved in Lefty politics back in the day who didn't come at it with a healthy dose of skepticism of those in power, including the powerful of the minority party. For a lot of people, now, that skepticism is unwelcome.

Then, as now, a lot of people just liked to pee in the punchbowl for fun. Not everything changes.

Afternoon Thread

Saw my first live delegate in the wild.

Go Away

I was pretty shocked by the behavior of DWS's DNC during the primary. It was a "not even trying to hide it" kind of thing going on, and then people were all confused (or pretended to be) when Bernie was pissed. He had reasons, and they were rather obvious. There were beats to sweeten, because there's nothing like a beat so sweet.

Still it's all that commie Putin's fault.