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gulliver's Journal
gulliver's Journal
December 26, 2022

Gotta keep the lights on

Sure, Abbott is a worthless jerk. But you do have to keep the lights on. Beto would also be doing whatever it takes for that if he were governor.

The challenge of climate change needs people to work together. It's why I'm so strongly in favor of strong democracy. The 95% of voices (on any given issue) get 95% of the power. The remaining 5% ahead-of-their-time geniuses, saints, provocateurs, zealots, and fraudsters get their say, but get 5% of people's attention, no more.

December 23, 2022

Fairly dividing the political spoils of a MAGA collapse

The collapse of MAGA—which I sincerely hope is coming—could result in a leftward shift. In fact, I think it already has if we look at the results of the recent election. Losses in influence by the so-called "far right," however, shouldn't be hogged as gains solely by the so-called "far left." All folks to the left of MAGA should share equally on a one-person-one-vote basis. A vote against the so-called "Oath Keepers" is not a vote for so-called "Antifa." There's a line at the buffet.

December 18, 2022

I was worried it was going to make Trump a lot of money

But I'm feeling better. Trump's name is well known, but it's also mud. Who would want to money launder using something connected with Trump? Who would want to speculate?

December 17, 2022

It's money laundering and crypto grift in one. He's going to make a lot of dough

I hope not, but it could be the best financial play he has ever made. And he could capitalize on a win from it to improve his political standing.

He makes money on market fluctuations in an asset he made up out of thin air. Yes, it's just another NFT, but Trump's infamy gives it a "trading card" flavor that raises its profile as a playing field for speculation. I wouldn't be surprised if he cleared billions by the time it runs its course. Someone talk me down!

December 4, 2022

The party of Pizzagate, QAnon, and Donald Trump wonders why their laptop story didn't take off

Once again, I'm mystified. Republicans have embraced lying and the lying liars who lie (apologies to Al Franken). Yet here we are. Ridiculously, Republicans are in high dudgeon that their laptop story didn't leap to the front pages of the legitimate media.

Here's a clue, Republicans. It was you. No legitimate news outlet would believe anything you say, because you have earned a reputation for lying. You've more than earned it.

Elon Musk has been talking about increasing the signal-to-noise ratio of Twitter. That's great. Can't wait. But I haven't seen Musk talking about the extremely low ratio that was emanating from Republicans—Donald Trump, Giuliani, QAnon, and the servile Republican leadership—when this supposedly "suppressed" laptop story was being "suppressed."

Is Musk suppressing that context? The context of Republican lying leading people to ignore them? Seems like it to me.

November 5, 2022

Arguing for bedrock values, not just using them to argue for us

I see a lot of folks from our side and in the media making arguments against the Republican strategy founded on what are assumed to be bedrock values. Those values include ethical behavior and commitment to truth, but they also include many other ideas such as respect for democracy and near-taboos against violence. Showing that someone's behavior or philosophy falls short in any of those areas is assumed to "defeat" that someone. Anything else would be an outrage.

The trouble with relying on "bedrocks" is that those bedrocks can be dismissed. The value of truth, for example, isn't final. It depends on a tacit acceptance that truth, in most circumstances, is "required policy." If truth is required, then proving someone to be a liar would be devastating to them. Lightning bolts would strike them. The evidence of Trump and, now, his many imitators in the Republican Party is that that's not the case.

In my opinion, we shouldn't solely resort to wielding bedrock values to defend our positions. If anything, it weakens those values to have an untrusted or even despised source (as seen from the Republican perspective) argue on their behalf. Instead, at least sometimes, we should support and pay homage to the bedrock values themselves instead of merely using them to support us.

A good example, as usual, came from President Biden in his recent speech. He did argue that the "election deniers" were a threat to democracy. But he didn't stop there. He further argued that their intended destruction of our democracy was un-American, unlawful, and a "path to chaos." He buttressed the value of the democracy bedrock by mooring it to other bedrocks. In other words, he made a case for democracy in addition to shining the spotlight on democracy's underminers.

November 5, 2022

One crucial thing Maher brought up last night about Dems and Republicans

In New Rules, Maher said of the Dem and Republican predicament, "It's like trying to win an argument in a marriage. Even when you're right, it still gets you nothing." I don't think it's the first time that analogy has been made, of course, so it really doesn't matter that it was Maher saying it. In fact, he's not married and never has been, so I'm not sure he's an authority on marriage arguments. But I have been both married and divorced, and his point does seem to me to have the ring of truth.

"What can we do to make (or keep) this right?" That's a question I've come to think bears keeping in mind when there is friction in a relationship, be it with a friend, spouse, parent, child, or co-citizen. I speak from painful experience. I can think of a lot of cases where I wish I had asked (or had been asked), "What can we do to make this right?"

We fight too much. We resent too much. We trust and respect too little. I sure hope we can get a handle on this.

October 9, 2022

What are the rules for weaponized phone cameras?

Here's a scenario. An old man is approaching a time when he should perhaps be thinking about surrendering his driver's license. He accidentally pulls out in front of a carful of young men. It's not a seriously dangerous move. The driver of the other car simply has to brake and slow down. But he's irritated that his legal right of way was infringed upon. The other young men in the car are pissed too. One of them spilled his coffee.

The young men start to yell at and curse the old man. They give him the one-finger salute from all four windows. Then, one of the young men decides to take it farther. He grabs the side of the open window and pulls his whole upper body through it. He shouts insults at the old man and gives him the finger.

The old man is now afraid. He sees his phone next to him on the car seat. The only thing he can think to do is point it at the young men and take a video of them, or at least pretend to. So, he does that.

Instantly, the young man whose upper body was outside the car sees the camera and pulls himself back into the car. The one-finger salutes disappear. The driver is now freaking out, because he was in a car with a bunch of young men who were arguably threatening an old man. He doesn't have video of the old man's stupid driving move, and, anyway, threatening an old man is not a good look.

The young men turn at the next signal and speed off. At a minimum, their time together was spoiled for a while. The driver is now worried, possibly for days, that his license plate will be turned over to the cops or the whole video could go viral.

Everyone knows that cameras are now weaponized. The old man was "in the wrong" in pulling in front of the young men. They were "in the right" until they decided to hassle and frighten the old man. The old man pulled a camera on them. Was he in the wrong?

What are the rules for weaponized cameras?

September 18, 2022

DeSantis and Abbott pump lifesaving liberal tears into Republican political gas tanks


Master liberal tear production wildcatters, Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott announced they had far exceeded third quarter production goals.

"For the price of a few bus and plane tickets," a jubilant DeSantis announced, "Greg and I have single-handedly doubled liberal tear production. Immigration fracking is the future."

Asked if DeSantis believed the liberal tear flood would arrive in time to help Republicans drown out the Democrats' advantages on choice and the preservation of American Democracy, DeSantis chuckled, "It's a little early to tell, but our numbers are looking good."

September 16, 2022

Seems like DeSantis and Abbott might be doing the migrants a favor

The migrants I have read about get to be with family or are treated well in their northern destinations. And it seems to me they might be more likely to be able to get jobs and maybe even more likely to win asylum. Indeed, if word gets around that DeSantis and Abbott are using their state's tax money to provide free transportation for migrants to cities of their choice, more migrants might decide to head north and cross the border.

Thanks, DeSantis and Abbott! You just improved the lives of migrants, cost your taxpayers money, and probably increased net successful immigration and border crossings! And you did it while exposing yourselves as jerks who try to use other people as political pawns. So smart!

On edit: Here's a WaPo link that is on point, imo. https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/09/07/migrants-dc-buses-texas/

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