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HassleCat

Profile Information

Member since: Tue Mar 17, 2015, 12:56 PM
Number of posts: 6,409

About Me

I am a disgruntled former DU member. Most people here are fine, but the site is ruined by zealous Hillary supporters. DU took my money and put my account on everlasting review. Cowards. Dishonest cowards.

Journal Archives

An ethics question for ourselves.

For many years, we have accepted large amounts of campaign money from interests the government is supposed to regulate. Some of our candidates are good friends with prominent people who work for those interests: corporate officers, investors, lobbyists, etc. We appoint some of them to important posts in the federal and state governments. We ask them to help us write legislation to regulate their businesses. We goon vacations and fact finding missions with them. We serve on their corporate boards, and they are officers of our foundations and charities. In general, we become very close friends with some of them. We insist this has absolutely no effect on how we govern, where tax breaks go, whose taxes get audited, etc.

Now the incoming president seems to be appointing his friends, based on their loyalty to him, business relationships, and some other criteria we can't quite pin down. Should we be criticizing his appointments on the grounds of financial ties? How is it different when he appoints his foxes to guard the hen house? Is there any difference? Qualitative or quantitative?

Conspiracy theory news from ham radio land.

I am reading my ham radio magazine, and I run across a story about HAARP, the high frequency active auroral research project near Gakona, Alaska. There are many people who believe HAARP is a government weather modification weapon, intended to cause tornadoes and violent weather events.

But a couple of Georgia men, evidently intent on doing the Lord's work, planned to blow up the facility because it was used to capture souls, and those souls needed to be released. I wish I had more details, but I think the story captures the feeling of our times, and it gives us a glimpse of the sort of thinking of that contributes to the success of someone like Donald Trump.

Bernie supporters try to make something of the wreckage.

In my area, Bernie supporters are taking over the party apparatus at the local and county level. They are replacing county central committee members, and running for office. They're working at the grassroots level, so we'll see if they have the patience and perseverance to stick with the process for the years it will take to displace the entrenched party regulars. The real challenge will be trying to disconnect the party from the financial industry, but that may work out OK, since money isn't winning elections for us anymore. Here we go. The revolution is underway, for better or worse.

The Hillary sex crime ring.

If somebody started a similar rumor about Trump, would it be widely circulated? Perhaps right here on DU? We would like to think not, but some of the stuff that gets posted here is pretty wild.

Dueling conspiracy theories.

1. Jill Stein is scamming money from frustrated Democrats. She has no intention of paying for recounts. It's a dirty trick.

2. The people warning against giving money to Jill Stein are just trying to stop the recount. It's a dirty trick.

Trump bubble coming?

The financial markets are booming, probably looking forward to easing of regulations, and the opportunity to create more risky financial instruments. There appears to be another bubble building, based on the same sort of leverage, credit swapping, etc that caused the 2008 depression.

Kanye West said WHAT?

If he had voted, he would have voted for Trump.

I think we're going to be OK, president-wise.

The pundits lie to remind us that Hillary Clinton is sometimes annoying, not able to fire up the crowd, not inspirational, too much of a policy wonk, not always tuned into her audience, etc, etc, etc. Yes, those things are true, to some extent, depending on the context, but this does not make her "not a good candidate," as some of them like to conclude. She's good enough. If you didn't know either candidate, and your first impression of them was the debate last night, how would you vote? Personally, I would not be enormously inspired to vote for either one, but I would resolve not to vote for Trump. I think most reasonable people would reach the same conclusion, assuming their introduction to both candidates was last night.

I hope our candidate puts more emphasis on the "vision thing." This is what emphasizes the difference between her and the other guy. The whole "Make America Great Again" theme implies some sort of plan, program, something to make the dream come true. But Trump's speeches and debate performance reveal it's just a pipe dream, with no substance, no "vision thing." This creates a huge opportunity for Clinton to convince voters her dream is achievable, and will make a difference for them.

Those rebel flags are aimed at you.

You always thought so, of course. Now I can confirm that it's done, at least in my area, to intimidate black people and discourage them from moving to small cities in rural Pennsylvania. That's right, Pennsylvania, not the deep south.

This comes from someone who knows two individuals who display the "Stainless Banner" on their property. They are disturbed by a number of black women who moved to the area recently. Their theory is it's because Section 8 housing is easier to get, and the overall cost of living is lower than in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia. Of course, children, husbands, boyfriends, etc. come along and this creates the impression the area is being flooded with a wave of welfare families. I have no idea if there is even the tiniest grain of truth in all this. My suspicion is, there are a handful of welfare families, and the stereotype is applied as stereotypes always are.

Anyway, the rebel flags are supposed to scare away black people. It's a very specific, if unorganized, campaign to keep black people from moving here. I guess they figure black people have never seen the rebel flag, and will be so overcome by fear they will drive straight back to Pittsburgh. Or something like that.

Here comes the part I probably don't even have to tell you. They're just fine with welfare for themselves, white people. They think it's fine and dandy when the public assistance system picks up the tab for their drug and alcohol rehab, prenatal services, food stamps, WIC checks, and all the rest. They get pissed, really pissed, when I remind them of this, as I was foolish enough to do a couple times. They're different, not just because they're white, although that's the primary reason. Their families have been here a long time. It's the old, "We built this town..." thing.

So that's the news from here.

Donald Trump walks among the ancient Greeks.

Did the ancient Greeks foresee the rise of Donald Trump?

Many of us are familiar with Socrates and Plato, or at least we know they enjoyed hanging out in the public square and deflating fatuous blowhards. But they were not the first. They were preceded by a group of thinkers known as the pre-Socratics, philosophers who planted the first known seeds of what would become western thought. They asked the earliest questions about fields of inquiry that would later become physics, astronomy, cosmology, medicine, politics, justice, ethics, humanism, and much more. Considering they were active 2,600 years ago, some of their observations seem eerily applicable to Donald Trump’s run for the presidency. I guess people like Trump have been around a long time. Either that, or Trump uses a time machine to go back and harangue the Greeks of ancient times.

Heraclitus (550-490 BC) “Let us not make arbitrary conjectures about the greatest matters.” We’re going to build a wall and make the Mexicans pay for it.

“It pertains to all men to know themselves and be temperate.” “Men should speak with rational awareness.” “To extinguish hubris is more needful than to extinguish a fire.”

“Dogs bark at a person whom they do not know.” Trump supporters bark just to be barking.
“Bigotry is the sacred disease.” My favorite, for obvious reasons.

Empedocles (484-424 BC) “Each one forms opinions according to what he has chanced to experience as he drifts about, yet each vainly boasts of knowing the general nature of things.” Vain boasting is an understatement.

“When I enter a flourishing town, with my attendant youths and maidens, I am received with reverence; great throngs of people press upon me, seeking benefits. Some desire a revelation; others, who have long been pierced by various kinds of painful illness, want me to tell them effective remedies.” This may be what motivates Trump to seek high office.

Anaxagoras (500-428 BC) “For how could hair come from what is not hair…?” Ah, yes. The hair. I was delighted to find this quote, but somewhat disappointed there was nothing about small fingers.

Democritus (460-351 BC, 109 years old!) “The man who is enslaved by wealth can never be honest.”
Thrasymachus of Chalcedon, as quoted in Plato’s Republic. “Justice is simply the advantage of the stronger.”

HassleCat of the Olympic Peninsula (1952- AD) “A man with small fingers may also have a small mind. As he discovers his tiny fingers are only capable of grasping small things, he concludes that only small things are meant to be grasped, and he applies this principle to his mind as well as his fingers.” I couldn’t let the fingers go unremarked.
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