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gulliver's Journal
gulliver's Journal
October 24, 2018

We need someone to "call the rumble."

Trump has called a rumble against us. He's lying his ass off and ridiculing us, and it's making his voters want to pound us at the polls. Trump and his Republicans want us crying the day after the election--so bad they can taste it.

We need to feel exactly that same feeling, only a hell of a lot stronger. Trump and his Republicans need to lose. Hard. We need to administer some punishment at the polls. If we do that, when the votes are all counted, it's their folks who will go home crying, not us. We will go home having whipped their asses and having set them straight about us. Think how great that would feel. Wouldn't it be great?

October 21, 2018

Tao Te Ching Chapter 18: When people are unsettled, loyal ministers arise.

When the great Way is abandoned,
Benevolence and righteousness arise.
When wisdom and knowledge appear,
Great pretense arises.
When family ties are disturbed,
Devoted children arise.
When people are unsettled,
Loyal ministers arise.


I think this applies very much to our current situation. Anyway, worth a read, imo. Any discussion welcomed.

October 7, 2018

Unity/altruism appeal ads that ask people to help us and others and vote for us.

One thing I really never see is messages in which well known leaders in the Dem party (particularly people like Obama, Clinton, Sanders, etc.) all speak together and simply ask people to help us by voting.

Anyway, it's a different communications world out there now, and we can actually define ourselves better by speaking up frequently from a unified, central source. That makes it harder for others to define us. Trump, of all people, is demonstrating this. Trump uses Twitter and televised rallies to lie and manipulate "directly from the horse's mouth." In today's communication environment, that is apparently exceptionally effective. It gives Trump huge rhetorical mindshare traction even against colossal (in terms of reliability and credibility) fact sources like NYT and WashPo.

We need to steal a page or two from that playbook—not the lying and manipulation, of course, the direct communication. We need to directly communicate (and frequently) that we are good people. Otherwise we are vulnerable to outside reputation manipulation against us. If Trump effectively disputes fact-oriented, rational sources like NYT and WashPo with help from Fox News and Russia, we can effectively dispute Fox News and Russia with the help of fact-oriented, rational sources like NYT and WashPo.

Finally, persuasion by logical and even impassioned rhetoric alone is very difficult when people don't know who to trust and are being messaged as if they are hearing only from "what's in it for me" and "who should I dislike" perspectives. If we address them only from those perspectives, that will strengthen only those perspectives. Here I am talking about ads that say, "women, you should be angry...sick and old people, you should be afraid because you're going to lose out." Those messages are both true (in my opinion) and important, of course.

But the other side of the coin is that people like to help other people whom they like and whose ideas they agree with, whether they, themselves, get personal benefit or not. A lot of people, particularly of our Dem/left leaning variety respond to true altruism in other words. Therefore, the message, "help us please," is important. Even if someone isn't a woman or old or sick, the message "you can vote and help women, the old, and the sick," is an important message.

We're good people. We're together. We want to do x, y, and z. We need your help. Please vote for us in November. Please visit xyz.com for the names of the candidates we are running on your local ballots or text "link" to 555555 for a link to be sent to your phone. We promise we won't pester you. I nominate Sarah Silverman to write and direct.

October 6, 2018

"He said, she said" and "I believe her" are both wrong.

Both sides are oversimplifying the situation. Just because a witness is uncorroborated and lacks physical evidence, it doesn't mean you can't act on their information. Of course you can. If you are hiring a babysitter and your friend tells you that their kid saw the sitter drinking booze on the job, you can refuse to hire the sitter. Not only that, you should refuse.

But isn't the sitter entitled to the presumption of innocence? If the kid's story can't be corroborated, doesn't that mean you are forced to hire the sitter in order to be fair? One person's word against the other means you have no actionable information?

Of course not. That's ridiculous. It seems ridiculous, because it is ridiculous.

So the people who mouth "he said, she said" when talking about uncorroborated accusations of sexual assault are wrong at best. Yet we hear that all the time, and that hugely wrong idea is often taken for granted as right, even common sense. People who think they are being neutral will say (incorrectly), "it's a he said, she said situation." But it's not neutral. It's a gross misstatement about our prerogative to actually think about the full context of the case and judge accordingly.

On the other hand, no, of course you don't have to "believe" the accuser. You get to take into account a whole bunch of things, including the accuser's character and past history. You get to take into account motive. There's no presumption of truth on the part of the accuser, but you can choose to believe or disbelieve them to whatever degree you feel the available evidence supports. And you can then act on that choice.

So Ford, having no motive to lie and charging Kavanaugh with something it was highly unlikely for her to have forgotten, was easily believable enough to keep Kavanaugh off the court. The only reason that argument fails is because it isn't used. Instead, one side says it's "he said, she said" hands down, while the other says "we believe her (and not him) completely no matter what." Both sides think the other is unreasonable, and both sides are right about that. That's one way the action taken ends up being a simple party line vote. Thinking failed.

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