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gulliver's Journal
gulliver's Journal
October 8, 2023

The Hamas attack means we should double support for Ukraine

Israel's got this when it comes to Hamas. But if we want to disempower Iran and Hamas, we need to take Putin out of the picture, imo. The best way to do that is with a Ukranian victory.

I googled "Putin condemns Hamas attack," and I was unsurprised to find...nothing. But here's a Russian grift against U.S. foreign policy I did find.

"Instead of actively working on a Palestinian-Israeli settlement, these idiots have crept into our country and are helping neo-Nazis with all their might, pitting two close peoples against each other," Medvedev said.


Which beckons the question: Just how stupid does Putin think the Republicans are?

October 6, 2023

Serving at the pleasure of the voters

One thing I often see is that people oppose a position by saying, "Well, your position creates danger or discomfort for XYZ subset of other citizens." That's a strong argument for you to make, but your argument doesn't need to be strong if you are in the majority. The government serves at the pleasure of the voters within the framework of the Constitution.

If you, for example, prefer that we order sub sandwiches for lunch, and I prefer that we order pizza, you don't have to argue that pizza will give someone in the group indigestion. You only have to say you would rather have subs. If the majority agree with you, and we're only ordering from one place, subs it is. That's despite the fact that pizza is better.

September 30, 2023

Maher is back: Outstanding and stupid

So glad Maher is back. It's hard to deal with Maher being back (beyond being grateful he is).

The guest list was completely amazing. I was astonished how great it was. Seriously, the best TV I've seen in months.

Worth watching.

The stupid part is the usual stupid part, real world versus the world that we have in our imagination. It's incredible to me we can live in a world where we can make decisions based on something that exists in reality versus that something that exists only in our minds. A 30-year-old Biden? Of course! I take that in a minute! Okay, but here we are in the real world. We have a Biden and, what?

So, Maher, whose show tonight so was remarkable, confronts us with this absurd conflict between reality and what we wish was true. Great stuff!

September 27, 2023

Tossing the Republicans an anchor wrt Trump rather than a life preserver

One thing about Trump's grifting, country-forsaking utterances is that our side might somehow think it means we can allow more foolishness on "our side." Trump says something ridiculous; therefore, somebody who decides to call themselves "left" can say something ridiculous too.

We shouldn't let that happen. We don't have one vote to spare. Trump can definitely win in 2024. Trump's rottenness doesn't give us a "wrongheadedness budget." It creates no slack for us to allow "someone on our side" to be an idiot.

We should not take Trump's rottenness as a free pass to let unrepresentative, self-elected "hangers-on of the left" go haywire. Moreover, we shouldn't let Republicans cherry pick a few haywire voices to represent us without saying, "Nope, don't know who that is. Don't care. That's not us." Toss an anchor to the Republican Party caught in riptide Trump, not a life preserver, in other words. Republicans will thank us for it later.

September 16, 2023

Neutralizing the southern border issue by making Mr. Hyde's head hurt

It's far from clear, Hyde, that waves of migrants crossing the border on the south are "destroying our country." Not sure if you actually think that, Hyde, or if you're just selling. Really it could be either. Everyone knows you're a slick SOB. That's one of the things we like about you.

Sure, sure, the migrants are going to be "happier" here, Hyde, so that's a downside. But don't you get something out of it too?

I mean, these are (let's be honest) not all going to be drug smuggling, terrorist monsters. Maybe not even most of them will be that. Maybe less than half of them are really terrible. Possibly only a minority of them are. Maybe a small minority. Maybe practically none of them are.

Mr. Hyde, I mean, your mouthy mouthpiece has been saying these migrants are really bad people. So bad we need a wall! And you apparently like the idea, even when you're not drunk. But, have you really thought about it?

Have you and Dr. Jekyll talked this over with Reverend Wallet?

What if one or two of the migrants are honest people who are interested in doing work, buying things, contributing to Social Security, etc.? You see where I'm going with this, right Hyde? It's just...not...clear. It's complicated, but worth thinking about because...money.

Anyway, sorry for messing with your certainty! But there you are. You'll thank me later when you're raking in all that dough.

September 4, 2023

Who gets to decide for kids?

It's obviously agreed that kids can't just do whatever they want. Your toddler doesn't have the right to toddle out the door and play in the traffic. If you stop them and plop them in a playpen, you're not kidnapping and unlawfully restraining them. Indeed, if you didn't stop them and plop them in a playpen (or something), you, as a parent, would end up plopped in a playpen.

So, it's almost certainly agreed by sufficient numbers of people that parents have wide authority over their kids under democratic, one-person-one-vote rules. Where is the line drawn? That's a matter for the democracy. I believe in it.

As a parent, I would be completely against the idea that an institution of any kind would presume to keep anything whatsoever about my child to itself. That's just not what I would call cooperation between the institution and the parent. It shows a lack of trust in parents that I don't think is in any way fair or in the best interest of the child. Unfortunately, there are unusual circumstances where it might be wise, but those, as always, need to be case-by-case. Rules are for the usual case. Well-administered, discretionary accommodations for the unusual.

But let's see what the democracy makes of it.

And, of course, on edit: These yahoos speaking for God and apologizing for slavery are pretty ridiculous.

September 3, 2023

I tend to agree with these rock stars on this issue

They show cooperation with and compassion for the predicament of someone who so feels they can't live with their physical sex that they must change it. I would guess that many, probably most Democrats feel exactly as these three men do. I'd be interested in an authoritative poll or to hear the opinion of someone with data and (democratic) standing to speak for any of the interested stakeholders. (Or to offer their opinion as an individual.)

Parents, teachers, doctors, preachers, scout leaders, etc., have traditionally been given a lot of leeway and authority when it comes to screwing up the lives of children. (And oh how they've exercised it.) We could all probably think of one or two mistakes our parents made with us and mistakes we made with our kids. One or two.

Parents, teachers, doctors, preachers, scout leaders, etc., have traditionally been given a lot of leeway and authority when it comes to keeping the lives of children from being screwed up. (And oh how they've exercised it.) We could all probably think of one or two good things our parents did and things we did with our kids that were good. One or two.

A couple of questions currently help me clarify the issue for myself. I remember being a kid, and I know that particular kid extremely well.

1) Do I wish someone had asked me as a kid whether I wanted to be a boy or girl? My answer, No. Unless "current me" could be there to make sure the someone who asked the question seemed like a Solomon/Einstein type and not a run-of-the-mill whoever.

2) Do I wish someone had assured me it's possible for me to become a boy or girl and that it is within my own decision-making power and within the ability of the current technology of medical science to make that change? My answer would be Yes, if there were complete reliability. Unfortunately, I know of no such assurance of complete reliability. So my answer, based on currently available information, would be No.

Do I think adults should be allowed to make the decision to undergo treatments offered by the medical industry intended to make people feel better about themselves and their lives? Well, yes, of course. We are where we are in terms of technology and trust in industries for good products and services. Let the buyer beware. Then, buy a medical course of treatment if you wish or save your money...for cigarettes or a motorcycle.

September 2, 2023

Men, we like you, Buddies!

I think a lot of times you have to tell people things directly. That's especially important if there is ambiguous "subtext."

I don't think it's silly to think that a lot of working- and middle-class men simply need to hear that the Dem Party likes them. Or at least they need to hear it more often. We can't let some J-random, off-the-wall someone talk about "toxic masculinity," for example, and then be silent with the obvious, necessary, counterbalancing, "but most Dems think that's dumb and ignore the people who say it." If we don't say that, out loud, we leave the all-important "Dem personality subtext" to whoever self-elects themselves to be a rude loudmouth.

We could get droves of men, good, solid people, back to voting for bread-and-butter issues with the Dems with a fairly simple appeal, imo. "Tell him about it!" (Apologies to Mr. Billy Joel.)

August 26, 2023

I challenged my grocery store's decision to charge me for groceries (gofund me)

It's a nightmare. Please help!!!

I went to the store to buy some Panko to make onion rings. On my way out, when I got to the door, some guy from the store asks me if I "paid for that Panko."

So, naturally, I said, "No," and kept walking.

And the guy's all, "Well, you're supposed to pay." And I'm all, "I actually own the Panko. I happen to believe that. Now be off, swine."

And he's all, "I don't appreciate that language, Sir," and "Are you nuts, Sir?" Etc.

So naturally, I walked out with my Panko. It's mine. I believe that. In my heart. So, yeah, that means I can do anything I want.

Anyhoo, I get to my car and up pulls this corrupt "police car." The "cop" is like, "Did you pay for those groceries, Sir?" And I'm like, "What this? I own this." And the cop is like, "Well, did you pay for it? With money?" And I'm like, "I don't have to pay for something I own. Did the Democrat Party send you?" And the "cop" is like, "Can I have your identification please?"


So here I am now on my phone. Could someone please, please set up a gofundme for me? I need to fight this charge.

August 19, 2023

Keeping fringe ideas at a volume commensurate with their representation

There's a great article in the Atlantic now: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2023/08/donald-trump-constitutionally-prohibited-presidency/675048/?utm_campaign=the-atlantic&utm_content=true-anthem&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.

The argument is great. Trump's not eligible to run for President at all, thanks to the 14th Amendment. The United States didn't want Confederate, insurrectionist jerks running for President, so they put that in the 14th Amendment. Sucks to be Trump.

But here's the thing. The article points out that well-respected legal scholars have concluded that Trump is right in the sweet spot of exactly the kind of dirtball the 14th Amendment was designed to protect the nation from. Great. But what are the poor lost Trumpies going to say? "Well, legal scholars are woke now, so who cares what they think?"

That's why idea representation needs to be commensurate with its democratic consent. It's not, "everyone gets to be believed and respected." It's everyone gets their say, and everyone gets their listen. And everyone gets their judgment of what they heard. It's all of those at once.

It's not whoever is most passionate gets the mic. Anyone who wants the mic is probably a fool. The burden is on them to prove otherwise. And no, crying and raging isn't proof. It has its place, but it's usually more like disproof, more like backfire, more like self-owning.

Put the people at the mic who are wise and correctly and proportionately represent the consent and preference of the majority on a one-person-one-vote basis. Then, all folks will start to respect people such as legal scholars again. And other institutions too.

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