Tag Archives: politics

“Refuting the conservative straw man that the left has no new ideas”

As a side note, I’m tired of the boring refrain implicit in centrist and conservative articles that “the left has no new ideas,” when there are way more competing ideas to explore on the left. I like to agree with this article that Trump’s actions to expand government spending will make Republican moderates more willing to explore leftist ideas of government action which make more sense than government actions on the right.

https://www.the-american-interest.com/2018/07/03/the-rights-straw-left/

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Hey conservatives, stop telling liberals they’re not liberals

(Note this is not my post, but it’s worth saving. It came from a response to another conservative who thought we need to bring the word liberal back to meaning the ideas of classical liberal.)

 

Both ‘liberal’ and ‘libertarian’ mean approximately the same thing, being the rejection of their diametric opposite authoritarianism.

But that’s the label for an entire spectrum of political ideologies from the right wing Libertarians to the left wing Liberal Progressives to centrists and it comes in degrees.

 

“Liberal” is not very descriptive, as it tells you very little about what a person actually wants to accomplish. There are liberals who don’t support marijuana legalization, who love guns, who are on the fence about abortion. There are those who insist they hate liberals yet want single payer health care. When you get down to it, there are no clean labels that can be used to decide who the good guys or bad guys are, and as frustrating as it is we should stick to defining and discussing issues rather than labels.

 

If you want to know what my opinion on the kinds of ‘liberals’ you’re making comments about, though, I know this may sound like a No True Scotsman, but anyone who wants to dismantle freedom of expression is literally not a liberal, they’re an authoritarian. Richard Spencer is a nob goblin and literally promotes Nazi ideology, but I’m disgusted and horrified by the vapid morons who celebrated his unwarranted public assault. “See a Nazi, punch a Nazi” is the rallying cry of idiots and I’ll never support that mentality, not when I have the much superior “I disapprove of what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” And I always add “and my right to call you a bleating fuckwit.” but I think that’s implied by the original.

 

I don’t feel that the term liberal needs any rehabilitation. It, like other vague political terms of art, are becoming less important than what people actually say. Lifelong Democrats voted for Trump. Lifelong Republicans wrote in for Bernie Sanders. It’s why Hillary couldn’t win just by showing up with the tags “liberal, progressive, woman, Democrat”. Her message was weak and her actions speak of corruption. Trump is so much worse, but he had a message that spoke about change in an environment when many working class voters were feeling betrayed, their jobs shipped over seas. The Democrats thought they had an automatic victory because they were up against a xenophobic sexist reality TV buffoon, but they forgot the parts where he said he’d fight for the little guy and oppose TPP.

 

Many Americans may disdain the liberal label, especially as it is abused by the Marxist campus activists and the neoliberal Democrats, but broken down issue by issue, the American people are more liberal than they know. Universal healthcare wins in polls. publicly funded college wins in polls. Increasing taxes for the rich, increasing the minimum wage, guaranteeing paid parental leave, stopping armed interventions in other countries and stopping the ‘war on drugs’ are all popular liberal left ideas. Let’s not become too entrenched in any particular ideology. Rather, let’s try to actually make this country great again.

 

 

PS:

 

 

“Equal rights for all. Good.
Forcing everyone to Like you and support your ideals. Bad.

 

 

You see this with the gay rights movement. If someone were to say they arnt for gay marriage and voted against it. Instantly that person is a bigot and a homophobe and all these bad horrible things just for not agreeing with it. That’s not freedom of choice. That is force…
Liberals quite literally walk step by step the exact path they preach about being wrong and repressive and that they say they are against.”

 

 

This is a self-contradicting example. Either equal rights for all is good, or being forced to capitulate to the ideal of equality for all is bad.

I’m not trying to misrepresent what you said, but given the total message it does seem that you don’t actually think equal rights for all = good.

Municipalism in Barcelona

https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/barcelonas-experiment-in-radical-democracy

I think I would support aspects of this this new ideology if it were in my city. It seems like decentralization, and I would love the idea of increasing the amount of public space in the city. Some people want to tear down parks that are underused but that require high maintenance, but I don’t think we have that problem here. (I don’t like adding the word feminization though, that sounds divisive and very id-pol.)

Here is another new word:
cognitariat

Chomsky idiocy: He once claimed that the Nazis were trying to export Western Christian civilization into Russia

“Chomsky once claimed that the Nazis were trying to export Western Christian civilization into Russia. So, in the field of wrong interpretations of Nazism, JBP is not even in the top 5.”

‘It is also a fact that Hitler’s invasion of Eastern Europe was a blatant imperialist and colonialist and genocidal enterprise not a “civilizing” one.’

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/samharris/comments/94auvc/how_often_does_jordan_peterson_not_know_what_he/

Trump meets Putin and doesn’t criticize him, apathy reigns, and I’m not really am American

Does anyone realy think Trump is loyal to the USA rather than incentive structures and Russia? Nevermind, I already know Trumpers can’t move past talking about Hillary, uranium and whataboutism.

 

I feel like screaming today. Once again I don’t feel like an American. I’m so fed up with the way people think here, and how stupid the news is, and how everyone thinks like a theist preceding to talk about what they want to believe over what is apparent.But there isn’t a country in the world for me right now. I am from am era just a little bit further ahead of this one.

 

Ah, sometimes It’s a little stressful. At times I envy the simple life of those who are born without no responsibilities–cats mainly, and also anyone “lucky” enough to be born to the position of a dumb whore, for whom life is an amazingly simple flash of hedonism. Such a person can more easily trust the judgement of average people, and doesn’t have to think about anything more than self-preservation and self-gratification.

 

But then again, no matter where I am born I would always want to know more. Circumstances have put me slightly ahead of the people of the time and era where I happen to be, so there are few people who will agree to have open arguments with me, fewer I can have productive arguments with, and far fewer I can agree with. Moreover, as long as I stay in America I will always hit a brick wall because there will always be a perspective shift I’ll struggle to rise above as my mind calcifies with old age.

 

Like I said I want to scream and runaway from this mad country where every one pretends this is just politics as usual. I want to live in a country where we can solve problems rather than hoping that in 20 years we’ll get political parties that can repair the rot they are currently causing.

 

I want to live in a country where there are recycling bins on public corners, and where 30 billion dollar subway tunnels are built l the equivalent distsnce of of New Jersey yo New York without falling into a game of infrastructure brinksmanship. Scratch that. I WANT FASTER MAGLEV TRAINS.

 

I want a society where people care about each other without going to church or any other cults. One where people value each other as individuals, as the citizens in Athens apparently did, and without forcing dumb nationalism. A world without war or heresy trials. A world of progressive taxation and labor saving technology. A society where pacs can’t hide their coorporate doners (be they Russian or any other billionaires.)

 

I not even asking to live in Utopia (or a pastoral Eden), I just want a much more advanced society than the one I inherited, and yet no one gives a fuck. Not even the millennials, who are caught up in saving and making ends meet thanks to the slave mentality.

 

And I’m fairly sure we’ll evolve that way too. I know progress and desire appear to br unlimited, but It’s hard to argue thst we couldn’t easily have a much better world if people would just argue a hell of a lot more and come to agreement in areas of shared concern. Those areas of shared concern are so basic that I can point at them without saying I was born much further in the future.  And yet I’m part of the 10% of the population who don’t believe in religion, or about 3% who call themselves atheists. Of those, I’m one of the atheists who actually wants to have debates, and who has a few progressive insights others haven’t reached yet. It’s frustrating.

A few years ago I stopped thinking if myself as American, then I rethought that as I embraced Hitchens internationalism and Thomas Jefferson’s secular vision of an enlightened government that stamps out monarchies clergy,  and swears hostility on every form of tyranny on the hearts of men.  The idea that the American revolution never ended is alluring,  although it’s not true. Now once again,  I feel a bit adrift from all the countries and their silly conflicts and power struggles. I don’t care about faux change. I want to live in a city of light where we agree to stop living hand to mouth,  and where we cooperate to accelerate the development of solutions to our world, familial,  and individualist problems.

I don’t know what year I’m from but it’s not here.

Kyle Kulinski’s Secular Talk podcasts

I have mixed feelings about Kyle Kulinski’s Secular Talk. He sometimes leans in directions I’m often not comfortable with, and as Sam Harris pointed out, he sometimes invites people onto his show who are dishonest and doesn’t push-back enough. Maybe he’ll get better when he’s older.

Anyway, between Kyle Kulinski and Joe Rogan, I think the people who call themselves anti-establishment social libertarians tend to believe in a lot of ungrounded conspiratorial speculation which make me uncomfortable. I don’t like how Kyle Kulinski downplays Russia’s interference in our elections, and the attacks on our intelligence agencies. I also think he’ll waste 9 minutes rambling because he wants to have it both ways, and on a lot of issues he hedges his bets, perhaps to avoid criticism.

I also disagree with Kyle’s views on foreign policy, since he calls Hitchens his least favorite author among the atheist writers, and then says, “He lost his mind and went full neocon.” He also thought Galloway won his debates versus Hitchens, while I ended up agreeing with Hitchens after I watched that debate. Galloway is an Anti-American apologist for Muslims and dictators. I really wish Kyle will someday grow up and embrace Hitchens views about bringing democracy to the world–this is something the establishment is often right about, and something Steven Pinker would be more likely to support. You can believe that the Iraqi war was justified while wanting more social democracy.

Kyle’s podcast isn’t useless, can have insights, and his pantomiming can be entertaining, but I wish he would stop harping about our need to pull out of the all foreign wars in every single episode. He’s actually too nativist for me, and I care about what happens beyond our borders. You might disagree with how the Iraq or Afghanistan wars were conducted, but attacking those autocratic countries was infinitely better than doing nothing and letting them stay regressive shit-holes. Afghanistan launched terrorist attacks, and Iraq murdered its own people, but Kyle just wanted to sit back and watch. He has an insane level of moral blindness.

 

Incidentally,  I can understand why someone like Dave Rubin would leave TYT once he realized they had gone SJW, but it’s insanely illiberal to support Trump and Rubin had she would support him over Sanders in 2020. He just went from one extreme to the other and has created another stupid conservative talk radio agenda of putting on conservatives,  and not pushing back against them. Why is he considered part of this intellectual dark web, and why are they are left hating centrists and crazy conservatives who forgive Trump? I think Rubin is taking advantage of Harris to gain credibility for putting on a few center lefts, and to expand his base.

Today’s news from social media (6/25/2018)

On social media Glenn Beck just walked off CNN interview, and then did a turn and “kind of” apologized to Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz on twitter today. Though a preliminary check of Rational Wiki revealed that he spent many years going crazy with conspiracy theories and partisan bullshit, when he had a program on Fox news, and as the owner of “the Blaze,” (a conservative news aggregator.) He was also a rodeo clown and is still a Mormon. So I’m not sure if it’s an act as he tries to associate himself with the “intellectual dark web,” or if he has seen some error in his needlessly incendiary ways in the era of Trump, and has decided he wants to moderate himself a little better. Judging by his one-sided incendiary Twitter attacks on liberals,  I think he’s lying again like a sociopath trying to save his popularity and his failing company.

Anyway it’s strange to read his twitter and see the right is demanding civility even though they voted for a guy who used so many nicknames you can’t even screen cap it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nicknames_used_by_Donald_Trump

Meanwhile on Fox news, Trump’s campaign manager told a black man “You’re out of your cotton picking mind!” If that isn’t a racist dog whistle then I don’t know what is, but somehow the Trumpers will defend this even though so many of the people he employs are low class bigots. (And in defending it, they’ll show they’re comfortable with racism and racist epithets, which is fortunate as it makes it easy for liberals to identify our worst enemies.)

More importantly, Sam Harris had an influential debate with Jordan Peterson, on an important panel that I look forward to seeing. His term, “The intellectual dark web” is catchy and promises to reverberate for years. Perhaps it’ll be even more significant than the new atheism label has been, as a term that encourages rationality, openminededness and debate.

 

Good cafes for Sarah Huckabee

Here’s a list of restaurants Sarah can go to:

  • Pizza Gate Hut
  • Chili’s – “I want my baby back baby back baby back, no my actual baby back.”
  • Whites Only Castle
  • Ben and Gerrymandering’s
  • Wendy’s Kids Gonna Be Reunited?
  • Traitor Joe’s
  • The Russian Tearoom, of course
  • Irrational House of Propaganda
  • Drama Queen
  • Birther King, Home of the Whopper
  • The No One With Olive Skin Garden
  • Red Mobster
  • Woolworths Lunch Counter
    Selma, Alabama
    Circa 1963
  • WhataboutObamaburger

Source: Dale Pickard’s comment on whyevolutionistrue.com

Yes, I know liberals think we should always play fair and stick with our principles of equality, and not act like a certain breed of leftists. They think we should never give ammo to the right, and that this will be cited someday, because when the Republicans do it they’ll claim liberals did it first, but honestly it’s still cathartic. How much bullshit can we collectively take from the populist right, before we give up the high road and fight back with the same petty tactics? I imagine a lot of disgruntled liberals and Mexicans worked in the kitchen at that restaurant, and can’t really blame the employer for letting them snub such a prominent public figure. It’s only human.

In ordinary times, if it were an ordinary Republican who cared about telling the truth as much as any politician is able, then it would be a disproportionate reaction and wouldn’t be acceptable. Professionalism would matter, but you can’t say this administration even tries to be professional.

These aren’t ordinary times, and refusing service has become an act of political speech. If you’re a politician and say that you won’t treat people with dignity, then don’t expect it to be handed to you in your every day life? Isn’t this a form of resistance, or defiance? Isn’t it a great wake up call when ordinary people hate you that muchContinue reading Good cafes for Sarah Huckabee

It isn’t all fake news

I think we should we share the names of trusted periodicals which are trustworthy sources rather than fake news.

Back when I was studying business some respected sources of authority were the Wall Street Journal, (and its cousin the Financial Times if you live in the UK), and the Harvard Business Review. It’s not fake news and there’s a major new corporate scandal or two every week, which might turn you away from the deregulation consensus. Or more likely, it might turn you into a selfish sociopath, but at least it’s not full of fake news.

(Just ignore the op-eds because that part can be as biased as Fox News or the Economist, and you might end up blaming Obama for everything that has gone wrong in the past 9 years. To confirm that for yourself, I invite you to get an online subscription and check what 98% of the other subscribers are saying when they leave partisan and moronic comments on those op-eds. I do think if you don’t have critical thinking and read those op-eds every day and associate with sociopaths every day, then you will become a brainwashed deregulation zombie or a sociopath. Of course not all business owners and managers are that way though a lot of them are!)

I started this thread because I might have found an equivalent source of authority in politics.

Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy are both US magazines that don’t focus on news so much as argument and analysis of US foreign policy. I look at the names and I see editorials from people with credentials like Jack Sullivan (the former NSA adviser to vice president Joe Biden.) They contain a diversity of opinions by elites from the political realm, and should not be dismissed as biased political rags. I wouldn’t call anything I’ve read uninformed or fake news.

For daily news you can avoid most of the bullshit ans partisan bias at the cost of losing some of the story by reading Reuters of the Associated Press which are the source of most reporting anyway.
(Since I think liberals are more right than wrong, I am also thinking of eventually subscribing to the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Atlantic, except there’s no hurry because the public library shares these for free.)

Of course, remember that most of these papers are owned by billionaires and neo-liberalism is definitely the voice of the establishment. If you have some little contrarian socialist magazine or a rationalist/philosophy magazine that is an authority in its field you can share it here, but mark it as what it is. (I.e. Reason.com is libertarian think tank propaganda.) I hope this thread might help people who try to understand things outside of their area of study, or who never were taught in school about where to find trusted sources. Uneducated people have a tendency to accidentally mislabel everything as fake news like sophists.

Should we just reoccupy Africa?

 Should we just reoccupy Africa?

There are no countries in Latin America that are poorer than 5,000 GDP per capita and you get the sense Latin America is in general pulling itself up. You can’t say that for Africa (or the Middle East.)

Sierra Leone has a GDP per capita of about $500, Guinea and Liberia are about the same. It’s pathetic and international loans haven’t helped because the corrupt governments keep squandering foreign aid. Africa has low education, gender discrimination, water scarcity, HIV and other epidemics, race wars/ethnic cleansing, religious conflicts, tribalism/disharmony, and increasingly autocratic governments. Their economies are so stagnant because they have failed to have an industrial revolution anywhere.

Moreover, it was hoped South Africa would lead the way for the rest of Africa, but even there they can’t stop blaming the white man for the past, and keep kicking the most qualified and educated white people out of their jobs even if it will plunge the country into the same mess the rest of Africa is in. Their GDP per capita hasn’t much improved in 20 years. Also South Africa is too remote to be an affordable trading partner for international companies anyway. The point is there is honestly no country that is a shining gem in Africa, and contrary to the propaganda there is just no immediate hope of seeing Wakanda.

If this continues the disparity between stagnant Africa and the countries who have resources will be so great that someone will probably have to disregard their sovereignty/nationalism/self-determination, and just invade and build infrastructure and fix things including the self-destructive culture. Maybe in 50-100 years superpower China will be ready to take over eastern Africa and will disregard all their complaints and actually build irrigation, paved roads, schools and factories, and provide the stability native governments in Africa have failed to provide.

——————–

Footnote: By “we” I am referring to the western world, and mainly Europe since they are the most experienced at running Africa. If “we” had a 2nd chance, “we” could actually succeed in fixing more of Africa’s problems. Give us control of those countries for another 50 years, and then they might have a better shot at getting working democracies with industrialized economies than if we do nothing but watch. (Or if we watch Africa fail, and instead just trade with African warlords for the cheapest blood diamonds.)

I think the trend of passively accepting colonial guilt is an obstacle to progress, because that was generations ago. New European leaders might actually be able to learn from past mistakes, give those tribes and warring races a modern nation-state identity this time, and fix the rest of their pressing problems.

Africa really has to stop scapegoating evil white men who died generations ago, and more reasonably blame the failed local governments and take personal responsibility as Africans for their own problems. Most of Africa has been decolonized for 50 years and yet has become less democratic and more unstable during that time under their own leaders. Meanwhile African nationalism continues to cause tons of problems and obscure progress. If your country is behind the world, then it’s probably time to act as Japan did and copy other advanced countries and learn from their examples. Instead Africa is increasingly rejecting other cultures/the Enlightenment/science, scapegoating the white man, praising its own traditions and myths, and talking pridefully about a technologically backward past. Progress doesn’t come from talking about “the way we were.” It won’t come from emphasizing racial identity, or shunning foreign investment and trade because white men can’t be trusted and must be devils offering a Trojan horse.

 

Supposing I live another 50 years, I wonder where Africa will be if they’re left to their own devices? The way things are going, widespread poverty will continue–GDP per capita isn’t really going up, and their mineral resources will be more exhausted without more infrastructure or education. I wonder if at that point it will still be popular to proclaim in Guinea that independence from Europe was so valuable even if the country’s GDP per capita is still $500-$1000 (when adjusted for inflation), and there are still the same dismal statistics for life-span, education, and quality of life.

 

I wonder if in another 50 years Africans will still parrot the same prevalent nationalistic slogans and refuse European guidance? I can just see them blaming the evil European white men for not doing more to help out as they do currently, just the same as they’ll mock and blame those evil white men and accuse them of selfishness if they do actually intervene more (as they have done before.) It’s a Catch 22, and they’ll damn you if you help, and damn you if you don’t.

“Africa über alles,” so goes the average drone in Africa.