Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Monday, December 5, 2016

Ted Rall on a Clinton Victory

Ted Rall writes about something I considered composing, and comes up with pretty much what I would have. (Just with more details.)

"Hillary's Lost: Should We Care?"

Here's some highlights:

The Cabinet: ... Hillary Clinton’s cabinet would have been composed of the neoliberal militarists who’ve been running things for Obama.
Taxes and the Economy: Clinton proposed a slightly more progressive tax structure during the campaign. She only wanted a $12/hour minimum wage — less than many states and cities. Even though NAFTA and trade were her Achilles’ heels, she didn’t propose a job retraining program or welfare plan for workers displaced by globalization. Largely, she pledged to continue the gradual Obama recovery, which has left most workers behind. 
Privacy and the NSA: Even in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations (when she called the whistleblower a traitor), Clinton stridently defended the government’s illegal spying against every American.
Healthcare: Obamacare would have remained in place in its present form. A few vague promises to add a “public option” do not amount to a pledge to spend political capital to get it past Congressional Republicans. But premiums are skyrocketing, so Hillarian inaction might have led to wider calls for ACA repeal, a big step backward. (No one knows what Trump will do. Not even him.)
War and Peace: Hillary has a long history of hawkishness. She didn’t push through any peace deals as Secretary of State. During the campaign, she called for a no-fly zone over Syria, a tactic designed to provoke hostilities. And her hot rhetoric so freaked out the government of Russia that Kremlin military analysts worried about World War III if she won. Trump is a hothead. But Hillary might have been more likely to start a war.
And in 2020, we’d be right back where we are now. Four years into President Hillary, the anger that unleashed Trumpism would turn into boiling rage.

So, to summarize: A Cabinet full of right-wing, neo-liberal militarists. Continuance of the economic policies that have impoverished millions and grotesquely reward a tiny few. Expansion of the surveillance state.

About ObamaCare: As I understand it, the ACA denied blood-sucking insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, ... BUT, ... being the pro-market piece-of-shit that it is, the ACA does nothing from allowing the capitalist scum to raise their premiums on everybody to compensate them for having to insure sick people. So, while Hillary-bot, Democratic die-hards are bloviating about how Trump is going to take away their insurance, Obamacare was going to make it unaffordable for a lot of people anyway.

So, I really have to stop and point out the obvious hypocrisy and derangement of Hillary supporters: She did not have ordinary people's best interests at heart. She, like Obama, was a servant of Wall Street. Both parties are. Both parties grovel before the plutocrats for donations.

All of a sudden, because of Donald Trump, progressives think the economy has been doing great under Barack Obama. It hasn't. Wages have stagnated for years. Wall Street engaged in criminal behaviour that almost tanked the global economy were it not for trillions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, and yet Obama protected the banksters and illegally assisted in the destruction of the Occupy Movement that protested this criminality. As a result, 95% of the economic growth since 2008 has gone to the wealthiest 1%.

Democrats delude themselves that this is all the fault of Republican obstructionism. But time and time again, Obama has shown himself unwilling to press hard against them. When he isn't offering them "grand bargains" he's supporting "Blue Dog" Democrats against progressive challengers.

Stop fooling yourselves.

And listen: Yes, the Koch brothers funded the Tea Party. But they Tea Party members have minds (such as they are) of their own. That's why the were able to take down Eric Cantor. That's why the whole Repugnican establishment was shocked and appalled about Trump. Trump was promising to bring back factories by reversing free trade. He was going to force the pharmaceutical companies to bargain with the federal government, rather than just get the taxpayers to sign a blank cheque. He was going to get rid of Obamacare, which, however much liberals might like Obama, was making health care more expensive for people.

Now, I always thought Trump was a con-man. I never supported him. But he was saying things that ordinary US-Americans liked. Because they were and are hurting. And no matter how much deluded, simpering liberal fuck-faces want to believe it; Obama has not been their friend, he has not tried to help them; the capitalist system is still corrupt and inhuman and a failure. (I knew how extensive Trump derangement syndrome can get when I read Antonia Zerbisias praising NAFTA and getting a quote from elitist prick Mickey Cohen, just because Trump says he'll repudiate it.)

Listen: Hillary "won" the popular vote. But people knew the Electoral College existed before the 2016 election. Hillary's people encouraged the Trump candidacy because they thought she'd trounce him easily. Because (as they still refuse to admit) she's actually a really shitty person with a horrible record.

It turns out that Trump isn't going to pursue better relationships with nuclear powered Russia. But liberals wanted us to vote for a candidate who said straight-out that she'd pursue policies that could lead to goddamned fucking war with Russia. The depths of liberal insanity and delusion! Un-fuck you all you insane sons of bitches!

"Lesser evil"? I'm sure the degree of "lesser" is irrelevant to the dead and traumatized across the Middle East and in much of the rest of the Global South as well.

So Trump conned people. Some of them were salt-of-the-earth racists. Some of them just wanted job
opportunities and didn't care about the racism.

GASP!

Yeah. Just like you fucking Hillary-bots don't care about her victims. The homeless refugees being attacked by neo-Nazis in Europe. The Libyans living under the nut-bar jihaadists Clinton backed in that country's uprising.

Just like we all type on lap-tops powered with raw materials mined by African child-slaves and assembled in Chinese hell-holes that have suicide nets around them to save the trouble of cleaning up the corpses of employees seeking an end to their miserable existences.

The Tea Party is angry. They lash out stupidly because they're stupid and they don't understand the system that's ensnared them. But more and more I have to ask if they're any more stupid that the liberals who delude themselves that Hillary Rodham Clinton was a brilliant humanitarian and not a racist, elitist, corrupt, mass-murderer.

And the people who stayed home? Who didn't vote? Well, maybe they looked at their miserable existences, the falseness of the "hope and change" that the cynical Obama campaign sold to them back in 2008 and decided it simply wasn't worth it. Things are going to suck under Trump and they sucked under Obama and they would have sucked under Clinton.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Both Trump & Hillary Supporters Are Stupid



I really don't want to start blogging again. But the US election farce is finally over and I've had some thoughts and sharing bits of them with one or two friends just isn't enough. So I'll express myself here and then quit for a while.

The whole response to this travesty has ratcheted up my misanthropy levels.

Hillary supporters deluding themselves that Trump voters have rejected the way of light and truth and goodness by rejecting Hillary.

No.

Hillary Clinton has blood on her hands. She is evil. She is a servant of an evil ruling class. Same with Obama. If you believe their lies about how they want to help you, then you're a chump.

Clinton-Bots shouted down Sanders supporters (the poor deluded putz's) who shouted "No more war!" at the Democratic National Convention with chants of "USA! USA! USA!" When Sanders folded without even a vote, the Hillary-bots condescendingly told the Sandernistas: "Hey. You're candidate lost. Suck it up, buttercups." Then we find out that the primaries were rigged. (Not really a surprise.) Then Hillary gave a big "fuck you!" to the progressive-left by picking a right-wing, anti-choice, pro-TPP Tim Kaine as her running mate. Essentially telling the Democratic left-wing to go vote Green for all she fucking cares. She'll have the majority (?) of Democrats and disaffected Repugs, thank you very much.

And now, it's the Hillary-bots out wailing in the streets about unfair processes.

And then there's the Trump supporters gleefully mocking the "whiners" and "cry-babies" and "sore-losers" ... as if these assholes didn't reject Obama from day one, deny he was a US-American citizen ("he ain't white after all"), and show up at his events with loaded guns and signs about "the blood of tyrants."

As if these Repug scum and imbeciles aren't the biggest fucking whining cry-babies on the planet.

"The system is rigged! (Unless we win.)"

[They're just like the ass-wipe right-wingers up here. The ones who tried to make us believe that corrupt coward stephen harper was the greatest, bravest prime minister EVAH!!! Or the right-wing assholes in Alberta, pretending that decades of pro-business government hadn't left Alberta with almost nothing after years of plunder and that it was the Alberta NDP that was "ruining" the economy.]

The partisan delusion and hypocrisy coming at me from all sides is a little hard to take.

Here's some links:

First, ... one of the best looks at the people who elected Trump (and why). Some of what they say is infuriating stupid garbage. Some of it should make honest people understand how right-wing Democrats failed to get enough votes (almost 47% of the electorate stayed home) to trash the rapist con-man.

Two looks at how deluded liberal hypocrites enabled Obama's expansion of bush II's torture/surveillance state (which Trump now gets to inherit):

"Obama went unchallenged: Now Trump will have a 'kill list'"

and:

"Trump will have vast powers. He can thank Democrats for them"

Oh yeah. One last thing. Some people, whether in total sincerity or just casting around desperately to condemn people for not voting for their scum-bag Hillary Clinton are saying: "You say you're not racist. Fine. You're just saying racism is not a deal-breaker for you."

Right. And those millions of Syrian and Libyan refugees created by Hillary and Obama aren't deal-breakers for you then, right? The millions impoverished and incarcerated by Bill and Hillary aren't deal-breakers? The people made homeless and bankrupt by the whole rotten Wall Street/Insurance Industry atrocities, ... not deal breakers?

And on and on it goes.

If "leftists" mainly rally to preserve the chances of monsters like the current Democratic Party leadership, then it's all pointless and fuck it all.





Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Racist, Rapist Won

How stupid and/or ignorant would you have to be to vote for a piece-of-shit like Donald Trump?  As stupid as a Canadian "Blogging Tory." As stupid as Davis Aurini. And these people aren't just stupid and/or ignorant. A lot of them are deplorable. (The opposite of "adorable.") We're in for a rough ride world.

But, unlike those self-described "progressives" who turned their brains to shit so that they could endorse a mass-murdering scum-bag like Hillary Clinton, I'm not totally surprised at this result. Nor am I all that bent out of shape about it. Because, unlike them, I saw Hillary Clinton for the rotten candidate she was. Just like I see Barack Obama for the monster that he is. Contrary to their idiot, ignorant, ass-hat delusions, it was Hillary who was the bigger threat for starting World War III.

Trump, being an ignoramus, doesn't know that arming and funding nation-destroying Islamic terrorists is official US state policy. He thinks it's a genuine struggle. As such, he sees Russia's Putin smashing the terrorists in Syria and he says the US should work with him. Or, even allow Putin to do the job by himself. "What do we care?" Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton destroyed Libya and turned the whole place over to the terrorists. If that were really important, there'd have been no way she could have even gotten close to being nominated. But it's all bullshit. So she did.

Trump won in place that voted for Obama by wide margins in past elections. Did they all turn racist inside of four years? Or were these ignorant, deluded, desperate people who saw the Democrats protect Wall Street criminals, sign "free-trade" deals that export jobs (and promise more such job destruction in the future), and continue the useless, expensive wars in the Middle East rather than fix real problems at home. (Again, why these people think a con-artist buffoon like Trump will really help them is beyond me.)

The thing is, I know that I can't reason with most Trump supporters. The ones who like to talk politics are shameless about their own vileness and hypocrisy. I have more in common with liberals. And liberals, those among you not blinded by partisanship, please learn from this debacle.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Both Clinton and Trump Are Unacceptable

Keeping in mind my earlier assertions that the Left's inability to fight back makes any idea of resistance null and void, I am changing my advice for US-Americans from "don't vote for either of the two rotten front-runners" to "oppose the system that gave you two such rotten candidates."

That is the proper position for non-US-American progressives as well.

Yes. Donald Trump is a nasty man. A rapist. A racist. Corrupt. Insane. And many of his supporters are deplorable neo-Nazi, misogynist idiots. But stop debasing yourselves into saying how Hillary Clinton is the "lesser evil."

In the first place; just because Hillary doesn't burp and fart and scratch her crotch on stage, and (being a woman) tends not to sexually assault people, it doesn't mean she isn't thoroughly vile. US-American liberals (like Canadian liberals) are often seemingly intelligent, decent people. But these people are blinded by partisanship into excusing Obama's professed legal power to assassinate US-American citizens. They call Edward Snowden a traitor to his country for revealing Obama's illegal mass-surveillance of everyone on the face of the planet. Obama's slavish devotion to the 1% is obvious for all to see. He illegally crushed the Occupy movement. He's done nothing to rein-in murderously racist police forces. (Could he at least halt the military's program of giving surplus war toys to urban police?) He's done next to nothing on global warming. He's prolonged and expanded the slaughter in the Middle East. On and on I could go. But it is suffice to say that he's a monster.

And now, US and Canadian liberals are uniting in trying to convince themselves and everyone else that Hillary Clinton isn't a monster too. In fact, for all his killing, Obama showed himself to be less bellicose than Clinton when she was his secretary of state. Obama negotiated a very harsh treaty with Iran whereas Clinton wants to destroy Iran. It was Hillary who pushed for the destruction of Libya. Hillary Clinton has an insane level of animus towards Russia's Vladimir Putin. She's talking like a mad woman about imposing a no-fly zone in Syria, whether Russia likes it or not. People talk with some justification about an unstable idiot like Trump with his hands on the nuclear button. But given that Trump has said (among other things) that he thinks it's stupid for the USA to be antagonizing nuclear-armed Russia and China, how can we pretend that he is the greater threat than Hillary? If anything, it will be Hillary Rodham Clinton, the first female US president, who is likelier to get you and all your loved ones vaporized.

How insane our political culture is that we sincerely see a lunatic like Hillary Clinton as the "lesser evil" to Donald Trump!

Who are Donald Trump's supporters? Mostly stupid, and/or ignorant people. Most of them are "deplorable." Progressive, anti-Hillary writers would do well not to downplay this reality and ascribe criticisms of Trump's base to elitism and snobbery. They really are noxious. Take, for example, the babbling idiot neo-nazi Davis Aurini. A complete moron. An utter incompetent at the role he's chosen for himself; that of film-maker. A stupid, nasty, racist, sexist piece of sludge. This is the sort of intellectual excrement that Trump attracts. Giving them a victory would be horrible.

What would a Trump presidency be like? Trump, not being beholden to anyone, says whatever he thinks. When he first started this process, apparently he got some people to find out what the Republican base was all fired-up about. (Besides his own "birther" activism about Obama being a Kenyan usurper.) He found out that ordinary Republicans are angry about losing manufacturing jobs to other countries. They're angry about stagnant wages. They're angry about Wall Street corruption. They're angry about the excesses of for-profit health care.

Of course, being ignorant and/or stupid, they blame much of their predicament on poor people, immigrants, Jews, Blacks (who they deem to have jumped ahead of them in the line-up for the "American Dream") and a whole host of other things, including attacks on their brainless, "social conservative" hypocrisies.

But regardless, Trump decided to pander to that. I don't think he had any real hopes of winning at first. Unfortunately for the world, the USA's culture has been debased for decades by right-wing garbage culture like FOX News and the vapid, celebrity-worshipping mentality of the mainstream corporate media in general. Trump is a rich, white man who had his own television show and he's speaking in ways that line-up with their thinking, so despite that he's actually a full-time con-man, they gravitated to him like moths to a flame.

When he won the Republican candidacy, Trump realized he'd need more resources to actually win. Now, being a huge egotist, Trump can't bring himself to lose to a WOMAN. So, he gets funding from other scum-bags like Sheldon Addison, and there goes whatever reasonable stuff he'd said about Israel. Thankfully for his nazi supporters, Trump still says enough nasty things about Blacks and Latinos that they (being imbeciles) can overlook his new pandering to Israel and delude themselves that he'll still go after "the Jews" once he's president.

Trump will probably abandon any pretences about controlling the avariciousness of corporate America if faced with their genuine opposition. He'll only be allowed to retain those policies that benefit capitalists or those to which they are indifferent too. This means his mass deportations, police harassment of Blacks, slashing taxes, and generally making the world safe for billionaires.

Make no mistake about it; a Trump presidency will be horrible. His racist, drooling moronic followers will revel in their moment and all sorts of abuses will result. Given the fact that they're all staggeringly ignorant of how the world works, they'll also push for he most idiotic, counter-productive policies to be imposed upon ordinary people. When these cause the economic misery that they inevitably will, the Trump-fans will blame it all on feminists and minorities and atheists (who bring down he wrath of god upon the earth).

But a Clinton presidency will be horrible too. Because her husband's was horrible. ("Three Strikes You're Out" prison policy, "Ending Welfare As We Know It," de-regulating the financial sector "Financial Modernization Act," and one corporate rights "free trade" deal after another.) Obama's presidency has been a failure. And Hillary's will be even worse. Because unlike Obama, Hillary is psychotically obsessed with using the military against other countries.

Hillary will mean more war, more corporate free trade deals, more profit-friendly health care, more coddling of the rich and corrupt. And more of the stuff that makes Trump's angry, ignorant, bigoted followers angry. Here's the thing about stupid people: Don't make them angry. For reasons known only to themselves, when corporate America takes their jobs away from them, they lash-out at immigrants and GLBT people.

We on the left have to articulate an actual program that makes everyone's lives better, sensible and stupid alike. And cravenly cozying-up to corrupt, psychotic monsters such as are offered by the Democratic Party USA (or the Liberal Party of Canada) is the exact opposite of that. A vote for Hillary or an endorsement of Hillary is an endorsement of mass-murder. It means support for the policies that have created millions of miserable refugees. It means support for the bloody coup in Honduras.

Canadian and US liberals; please, at long last, pull your fucking heads out of your asses and realize that people like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Justin Trudeau, Paul Martin, Dalton McGuinty, Kathleen Wynne, are the scum of the earth and that association with them is defiling.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Damn!

Damn this is a beautiful movie!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_467324&feature=iv&index=10&list=PLHLYMMYCXqijkZCTVfmyhOlpABxXNuTlu&src_vid=TgLB08lTxM4&v=CctH0iAyqYs

(It's a link to Iggy Pop's scene in the movie "Dead Man.")

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Two Books I'm Reading

I feel like blogging about two books that I'm currently reading. The first one is Volume One of Ray Monk's biography of Bertrand Russell: Spirit of Solitude. I'm glad I check it out of the library.

I knew that Bertrand Russell had been an atheist, an opponent of the Vietnam War and even a vocal opponent of World War One. I'd read several of his essays and bits and pieces of his History of Western Philosophy. His "A Free Man's Worship" was a big influence on me. I also know he'd written a huge book on mathematics Principia Mathematica that is famous for being so widely known but so little read. I was a big fan of his political philosophy, especially "Proposed Roads To Freedom" and "Power: A New Social Analysis." Oh yeah. I had a house-mate from China who told me that Russell was a big deal over there due to a famous visit in the 1920s. And, finally, I was impressed and delighted that my home town's university, McMaster, possessed the Russell Archives.

But I didn't know much about him as a person. What did he do in China? Why did he protest against war? Why was he an atheist? Monk's beautifully written book tells the story of the development of Russell as a man, a philosopher and an activist. I've a couple of chapters left to go but I can't wait to read more.

Russell, disappointingly, was highly unstable. His mathematical philosophy and his philosophy of logic appear to have been half-baked semantic arguments. He had a terribly repressed childhood, treated women abominably (even while fighting for their right to vote) and was, in my estimation, highly immature and selfish.

But here and there, often in fact, the brilliant mind does something amazing.


The other book is Martine Rothblatt's Virtually Human: The Promise - And The Peril - Of Digital Immortality. It's a big disappointment. I'm one of those people who believes that human beings are going to start altering our bodies in major ways. I think we're going to combine DNA alteration, nanotechnology and robotics and become mutant cyborgs. I also believe that the brain, being a combination of chemicals and electricity can be replicated by powerful enough computers. We could transfer this activity to a computer and "live" enormous lifespans.

Rothblatt's book was supposed to discuss the social and ethical implications of one aspect of this process, as well as the technological feasibility of it. Sadly, the book is a repetitive set of assertions about how this will all be technologically possible in coming decades, combined with very brief discussions of very deep topics about the Mind, personal identity and human rights.

Essentially, we will upload photos, writing, social media presences, and other information into a computer program and it will create a "clone" of our personalities that will interact with us as a "Max Headroom" kind of avatar. After we die, our families can talk to our clone instead of looking at pictures of us.

That's it. That's the entire description of the mind-clone. How does all this work? What happens to the mind-clone after you've died and your children and grand-children have died? Do we really expect four generations from now, people are going to want to spend a lot of time with this mind-clone? What will it be doing for all eternity? Rothblatt has established that being sentient, and human, it will have rights. It can't just be turned-off because that would be murder. So, what?

I'm on page 153 of a 310 page book and I have no clue as to what exactly is supposed to happen. She's just finished saying that our mind clones will learn new languages and that, as a result, "we" will be multilingual. (And won't that be nice?) But why would "I" be multilingual because a computerized facsimile of my personality is? Rothblatt manages to point out that the question of personal identity is a vague, incoherent concept and that, at root, we are all stardust. Fine and dandy. But to leap from there to assert that our mind clones are therefore "us" is not justified. If we don't know who "we" really are and we're all related as the stuff of the universe, what's the point of pursuing "immortality" via a "mind clone"?

I'm so bored I'm thinking of giving up and returning it to the library half unread.

But I do want to share something funny. In a section about whether these computerized humans will go rogue and (somehow or other) attack us, Rothblatt says:

There are sure to be rogue "evil genius" mindclones and bemans, just as there is no shortage of rogue human bad guys. These mindclones are as smart as us, or much smarter. While good social policy would be to identify and fix their problems early with cybertherapeutics, this will not always work and some will fall through the cracks. But these anti-human mindclones are a job for law enforcement, not a reason to ban all virtual humans. Society will have plenty of tools at its disposal for tracking down fleshophobic vitology, including legions of citizen mindclones as adept in the vitological niche as were the cavalry's Native American guides on America's Wild West frontier. (Italics added.)

Given the fact that it's been four decades since we've admitted that the Wild West and "settling the frontier" involved the brutal displacement of the First Nations people, in some cases reaching levels of extermination and genocide, I found it a bit odd to seeing that metaphor of the Native American guides assisting the US cavalry in such a fashion. Then, on the very next page, in a discussion about how the mindclones' humanity and morality will help to check potential anti-social behaviour, Rothblatt admits that humans are not always humane and moral:

It is of course true that spouses kill each other. Hatfields kill McCoys and people who are "folk" one day, like German Christians and German Jews, or Rawandan Hutus and Rawandan Tutsis, can rapidly be deemed nonfamily vermin. Yet these situations are exceptions rather than the rule. They startle us because they are exceptions. These killings occur because of an abandonment of reason, or faulty reason, rather than an exercise of sound reasons. Proof of that is the outcome: The Nazis committed millions of indescribable atrocities and attempted to put its boot on the throat of civilization, yet they lasted barely a decade, and the Rawandan genocidaires shorter than that. Killing is a noproductive strategy. It does not advance our prospects for life, but only appears to, in an illusory fashion, when assessed over a very short period of time.

Amazing ain't it? Rothblatt uses a metaphor involving a process of genocide, to assert that we'll be protected against rogue mindclones, and then on the very next page refers self-righteously to the failure of other cultures' genocidal acts to show how rare such occurrences are! I'd say the USA has profited immensely from exterminating so many Native Americans and stealing their land and resources. Such ignorant and superficial arguments from one of the leading proponents for the creation of digital sentient minds is troubling.

I'm still not sure HOW a mind clone could attack us anyway. What does it DO? Surfs the net for its own amusement and talk to us about what it has found out? Does it set the thermostat in our homes for us? Will it yell at us? (Couldn't we just turn down its volume control?) It's so vague it's absurd.

Rothblatt is right to say these computer programs are inevitable. Indeed, she's helping to make it so. But here we see a case of scientists forging ever ahead with no real understanding of the implications or the purpose.