"How fortunate for governments
that the people they administer don't think."
"Only two things are
infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the
What's the societal purpose
of the news and does the reporting that most of the news does fulfill it?
The reason they have constitutional protections is probably because of
their unwritten mandate to check those in power (4th estate). There's a
lot of other stuff they do, though, that's just about keeping people up
to date on what's going on in the country/community. Overall I think their
function isn't well defined within the newsroom and, as a result, they
end up chasing a lot of things that aren't all that valuable to society.
Shock stories, over-reacting to tweets, over-reporting on Trump, etc. Education
remains my number one issue and the media aren't holding up their end of
the bargain very well (overall).
Something that seems to
be lost in the discussion about gender equality is that men make up not
only the top of the income bracket, but also the bottom. They're more likely
to be CEOs than women, and also more likely to be homeless or in jail.
And it's not even really close. Of course the easy retort to that is that
they commit more crime than women, which is true. But it's odd that if
you used that comment when talking about the higher rate of incarceration
of black men, then you would instantly get push back and equivocation.
I think the average "woke" person would easily fall into thinking that
men are naturally more prone to criminal behavior (biological essentialism)
and they would justify the unequal rate of incarceration of men in this
way. But if you were to apply the same reason to black people then any
discussion of biological essentialism would be clearly racist.
I bring this up not to
show that race is so important, and I don't even bring it up to question
the biological essentialism argument that finds men vastly over-represented
in prisons. I bring it up to point out that there are naturally going to
be times when certain groups are over-represented in certain areas. As
a man, I could say that it's a societal failure that 90%+
of federal prison inmates are men. "This could only be the result of
a sexist society!" But I think this is largely incorrect. I think men commit
more crimes and deserve to be in prison at a greater rate than women. Now,
you could envision some theoretical world where crimes of manipulation
are prosecuted or where holding out sex for money is considered a crime
or and perhaps that would close the gender gap. But this is mostly ridiculous
and would never bring the gender gap in incarceration to 0. I could complain
that men are over-represented as bad guys in movies and point to that as
a problem. "Shouldn't we aspire to bring equity to our prison population?
Perhaps we should encourage a 50/50 representation of men and women as
villains in movies. If men see that being a bad guy isn't just a male pattern,
then maybe young men will change their thinking." If I think long enough
about this I could probably come up with all sorts of wacky ideas.
No matter how I work the
gender and race stuff around in my head I can't get over the fact that
the most important thing is the individual. That's one advantage of the
individual-centered mindset over the collectivist one. It's a lot easier
to judge people based upon their behavior as an individual when you think
of society as a group of individuals. When you think about groups as the
predominate organizing unit, though, then you're probably much more likely
to get swept into thinking about those groups - whether it be race, gender,
caste, or whatever your society is fixated on. It matters very little to
a white guy in West Virginia who makes $7/hr that he has the genital and
melanin makeup of 90% (?) of Fortune 500 CEOs. It conveys no extra pep
in his step or money in his wallet. And yet, to the group thinking person,
this is a defining characteristic. It's a very odd way of thinking, imo.
So Trump is pulling troops
out of Syria and the Kurds are feeling left behind. I don't fully understand
the situation, but from what I can gather...Turkey is going nuts and all
the right thinking intelligencia is pissed off about this. To me this is
a really baffling turn of events. For 40 years I've heard from the intellgencia
folks...all the elites and right thinking people, that America is a colonial
power spreading its imperialism wherever it goes. The American military
is evil and shouldn't be allowed anywhere. "US out of North America" as
the bumper sticker says. The implication being that the US is so evil and
imperialistic it should leave its own land because the US doesn't even
have any rightful land. Okay, so that's been the story my entire life from
the likes of the NYT and its ilk - American military bad.
Then Trump pulls troops
out and the NYT podcast "The Daily" says "It's almost impossible to understand
unless bringing troops home is the highest good." They went on to say that
it was entirely baffling and bad for the region in every way (that was
the gist). I just don't understand how these people make sense of the world.
Now all of a sudden there's some gradations in their thinking on the American
military. The liberals who were disappointed by Obama's failure to adequately
retreat from Afghanistan and Iraq are now seemingly coming to Jesus on
the usefulness of the American military. This stuff is just crazy to me.
For my part I would rather
have the world's best military than have another country have it so I don't
get too bent out of shape by the spending we do in that arena. It's probably
twice what it should be, but it's not a huge issue for me. However, I would
like to see us pull out of military entanglements. Keeping strategic bases
in Germany, Korea, etc. seems to make sense. I would also like the countries
that benefit from our presence to pay us since we're doing unpaid security
for them. As far as Syria or other situations like that go...if the international
community (with an emphasis on countries in the region) can agree that
American muscle should be used to stabilize a situation AND if it's in
our interests (peacekeeping, direct security interests, etc.) then I'm
fine with us using our muscle in that way. But if other countries aren't
on board or don't have skin in the game (they have to pony up some troops
or hardware or money), then we don't need to be there. Since I don't think
Syria fits those criteria, I don't have a problem with us pulling out.
If things change and Germany and Iraq and a majority of other UN nations
say we should have some peacekeeping troops in Syria to help the Kurds
(or diminish the regional power of Russia, if that's what you're thinking),
then I'm fine with it.
The older I get the more
I see the benefits of organized religion. It's certainly not for me and
I used to be pretty against it. I thought it a stupid thing to think of
a man in the sky. I thought of the multiple down sides like the crusades
or the Catholic Church's pedophilia problems. I thought it was an easy
way to control the masses and provide simple answers for simple people.
I still agree with all of that, at least to a great extent, but I also
now see some of the benefits. Controlling the simple masses is actually
a benefit as well as a negative. But I see a lot of problems with today's
society like those discussed in "Bowling
Alone" - the loss of community, the isolation of individuals (especially
in today's technological society). These things are discussed by left and
right alike and yet only some on the right are aware of the role that church
once played in helping develop community. Of course this can be a double
edged sword if misapplied (southern baptists looking down their nose at
Catholics or whatever), but the problem there doesn't need to be religion,
per se, it could be the misapplication thereof. Does religion necessarily
lead to tribalism and is the cost of a low level of tribalism bearable
because the benefit of increased community outweighs it?
The church community has
also long been a social safety net that has been largely supplanted by
government. It used to be that the church would step up and help out the
members of the church. Today government and family are largely the ones
who bear that burden. Of course government doesn't discriminate (a church
might only help Christians, for example).
Then there's the obvious
moral code that comes with religions. Typically they set forth some decent
moral codes that have the extra benefit of being enforced by an omnipotent
being (as opposed to the State, which only puts you in jail if you're caught).
God always knows if you've sinned so there's extra incentive to stay true
to the moral code.
Another recent-ish fad
is meditation and there's an increased emphasis on setting your intentions
for the day, mindfulness, quiet reflection, etc. All these things were
probably once fulfilled through daily prayer. Thinking about your day,
your desires for the future, the desires of your loved ones, etc....all
that is what prayer is/was.
All this is to say that
religion isn't all bad. It'll never be for me, but it's probably good that
it's for some people and hopefully they can improve upon it and retain
its positive attributes and lose the tribal aspects, the power structures
(in the case of the Catholic church in particular), and some of the other
If you remember the debate
about the confederate flag you'll remember that the nut jobs on the right
claimed that the confederate flag wasn't about slavery - it was about culture.
And that the civil war itself wasn't about slavery - it was about state
sovereignty. This was derrided by all on the left. But recently I heard
an interview on the Ezra Klein with race writer and leftist media darling
Nikole Hannah-Jones who was talking about the 1619 project that she put
together for the NYT, she claimed that the civil war wasn't about slavery
- "the truth is this war was about power and representation and disproportionate
power the south got, it ws about whether we were going to keep expanding
slavery at the cost of free white labor into the west, about wanting the
west to be free white man's country...and to some degree about the immorality
of the system of slavery, but not, not really." Of course her spin on this
was to point out how racist the country is. The North was also super racist
and they weren't fighting the civil war because of slavery, because they
didn't really care about it that much anyway (including Lincoln, according
to her). This is the kind of nutty bullshit that you get from the extremes
and it's why the "horse
shoe" theory of the political spectrum exists. If you visualize a horse
shoe the ends of the shoe are actually closer together than the middle
is - and thus it is sometimes true with politics as well. If you go far
enough to the right you get nuts saying the civil war was about states
rights. If you go far enough left you get Nikole Hannah-Jones being unquestioned
by Ezra Klein and getting the NYT to put out her 1619 project wherein she
apparently claims that the civil war wasn't about slavery. Listen to the
podcast with a critical ear. Plenty of interesting stuff in there.
Another thing she said,
and this has been said plenty before, is that if the natural outcome of
a thing is that it negatively affects black people then you don't need
to prove that a person intended to be racist - if the end result is predictably
going to affect blacks negatively then the person is racist. This is a
compelling argument in some ways. It looks solely at results instead of
relying on what people claim they intended. I like results oriented stuff
in general so it appeals to me. The only trouble comes when you start applying
this kind of logic evenly. This is always an interesting exercise and one
that I think is somehow often forgotten. People apply logic to a particular
case because it benefits their view and they don't look much past it. So,
if a policy of perpetual war inevitably and predictably leads to the mass
slaughter of young men, then obviously this policy is anti-man...right?
This kind of policy can only come from a government that hates young men,
especially lower class young white men. Just think about any policy that
consistently cuts one way and I guess you have to figure that the people
applying that policy are pro or anti whatever group it positively or negatively
Not a lot of bands that
could do as something as rawkus and rock and roll as "From the Muddy Banks
of the Wishkah" while also pulling off a total classic unplugged album
like "Unplugged in New York." Both are live albums and Nirvana had 4 years
(3 albums from 1989-93) where they were probably the best rock band on
the planet in part because they had the range of a legit punk album like
From the Muddy Banks and a somber and pensive album like Unplugged in New
I've also recently been
revisiting Alice in Chains. Couple good albums.
How many people a year
die from medical accidents? 250k a year. It's the 3rd leading cause of
death in the U.S. Homicide by gun is about 15k and flu is about 55k, just
for some perspective.
It sure would be nice if
the coverage of issues matched the actual level of the problem. Terrorism
would barely get any coverage and we'd probably be more scared of sitting
at our desks all day than school shootings. Doesn't exactly sell newspapers.
It's amazing how much Bill
Maher and others talk about Fox News. They think it's an existential threat
to the country. Fox has 2.4 million viewers. What's the big deal? Fact
check them and move on. They're idiots and you're wasting your time worrying
Interest rates in some
Euro countries are now negative and have been for a while. This is just
crazy to me. What this means is that they will charge you to save your
money. So, what do you do? You either keep it under your mattress or invest
it somewhere or spend it. They don't want money sitting in the banks anymore.
Totally crazy. I remember growing up and being taught that you should save
you rmoney for a rainy day. That paradigm has been completely overturned.
Spend it while you have it. Leverage your house so you can spend even more.
Spend money on a house and get bailed out. Spend money on your education
and get bailed out. Don't save for retirement because the government will
take care of you. Meanwhile, the government (under Modern
Monetary Theory) basically doesn't care about deficits or debt anymore.
We could be $100T in debt and it wouldn't matter to them. On the one hand
I think this whole thing has to collapse at some point. On the other hand
I think I should just join in and spend it while I have it and join the
masses and hope the government will help me out if there's any kind of
recession or collapse.
MMT allows the government
to print money without regard to debt. It makes money and spends it however
it wants and to whatever extent it wants. This only becomes a problem if
inflation gets out of control. Since inflation seems to be fixed at 2%
no matter what we do, this means that we can spend infinitely. I don't
think it really makes sense, at the very least because I don't really believe
the official inflation numbers. It's like the Groucho Marx line "who are
you going to believe - me or your own eyes?" G says inflation is 2% (or
close) and has been for a while. Yet everyone looks around and sees prices
of big things like housing and healthcare increasing at a great rate.
Regardless of what you
think about MMT, it looks like it's probably here to stay unless it proves
to be incorrect (likely, imo). Republicans have proven that they don't
actually care about deficits and Democrats have always wanted to spend
money on their pet projects, so MMT will probably be a good excuse for
both parties to spend on whatever they want.
The Epstein thing is kinda
interesting. Haven't done much research, but, just on its face, it looks
really shady. The guy is accused of trafficking young women and has flown
all sorts of celebrity types all over the world on his private jet. He
gets busted and decides to kill himself. There's a serious incentive to
a lot of powerful people for him to be permanently silenced, so it really
does reek of a hit job.
Climate refugees are another
example of global warming being used to sell another agenda.
Jane Coaston (who I find
to be really annoying on a variety of topics) explicitly said that the
best way to get action on global warming is to relate it to various other
issues. This is exactly what I was talking about in my previous post, and
what I naively missed 10 years ago. Global warming is a great way for people
to shoehorn in a variety of agendas (agendum?).
Republicans really are
holding the country back in so many ways. They don't even present a reasonable
reaction or counterpoint to the Democrats. The Dems are so loopy on some
issues that it would be nice to have some reasonable alternative, but there
really isn't one. So, we get Bernie who just doesn't even care about math
and he's one of the top 4 Dems in the presidential race. Even honest left-leaning
pundits will tell you that Bernie basically is just all about writing the
biggest possible checks for any pet cause the left comes across. Global
warming? Let's do the most ambitious state-run thing possible. Healthcare?
Let's get rid of the private sector altogether and pay for everyone to
get everything. "College debt"? Let's forgive it all.
The college debt issue
is interesting as well. On the one hand it's an easy argument to say "hey
you bailed out the banks, why can't you bail out lower and middle class
college students who are being crushed by trillions in college debt?" On
the other hand, it's kind of a middle finger to anyone who played by the
rules, saved their money, went to a community college and then transferred
to a good school to save money, worked while studying, etc. Ryan went to
a community college, transferred to Cal after a couple years, and got a
degree from Cal. This is way smarter than the way most people do it. People
should do this a lot more if they want to save money, or aren't sure what
they want to study, or can't get into the school they really want to go
to, or probably lots of other reasons. But the people who do that are basically
suckers under any bail out.
The other issue is that
college debt isn't just tuition debt - it's the debt incurred while in
college. I don't see a great reason why rent should be paid for by the
Lastly, much of the college
debt issue is thanks to the government. Just look into the causes of this.
The rollback of grants and scholarships in favor of loans. The exemption
of college debt from bankruptcy. The subsidization of college tuition (which
drove prices up). And probably a lot more. Of course the schools are to
blame as well. Malcolm Gladwell has made this a pet cause of his...excessive
spending on food, buildings, athletics, etc. They claims it's because they
need to compete for students, but I'm not so sure.
On a local note, OUSD (oakland
unified school district) has
decided in their infinite wisdom to close even more schools. I don't
remember the exact numbers, but they've lost like half their students in
the last 10 years or so. It's basically a shit show. They've been under
state receivership because they can't manage their money. An independent
audit concluded that it was because of the gross mismanagement of the board
that the district hasn't been able to balance its books. Now they have
decided to close the elementary school that Zoe goes to. So, next year
Zoe will have to find a new school. It's totally fucked.
This is a classic example
of all that is wrong with government, and a good example of why I've grown
less and less "liberal" (as in predisposed to wanting government to solve
problems) over the last few years. I'd have to be insane to expect different
results from the same inputs, right? OUSD has had chronic and deeply systemic
problems for at least the last decade. I wish I kept some of my research
on this, but you can do your own. Suffice it to say that enrollment has
gone to shit, charter schools have increased a lot (but this isn't really
the scapegoat that people make it to be), teacher retention is shit, and
quality is in the shitter in all but a few schools at the elementary level
and maybe one or two middle and high schools. They lose a lot of enrollment
to private schools because parents can afford it and because the public
options are such shit.
I've gone to a few of the
board meetings and it shows they really don't have a grasp on common sense.
They don't even understand the rationale for their own plans. Or they do
and they're just feeding us lies in place of their actual rationale. Because
the reasons they give don't add up to the decisions they make....and this
isn't only an observation made by me.
There's a common refrain
you will see if you follow the link above. That's the video where they
start talking about closing Zoe's school. A good deal of the discussion
revolves around demographics. This might be the most depressing part of
the whole thing. So many people talk about black students, gay students,
etc. Each side thinks they're helping black students by voting their way
they're voting. It's amazing how much race and identity has become front
and center in every political debate we have now. It really seems like
we've gone so far backwards. To be clear, the question of whether or not
to close a school is talked about like this: "This school is a mostly black
school that doesn't get proper funding. This school is the 5th most diverse
school in Oakland so you shouldn't close it. Why aren't you talking about
closing this other school that's mostly white?"
Beyond the race stuff (check
out Hodge talking around 5:14 into the linked video, for example), the
board is just completely inept and untrustworthy. Jumoke
Hinton Hodge was caught on tape choking a teacher and yet she's still on
the board. President Eng lied a few times during the meeting - even
about simple things like not being able to control the fans in the room
or the length of a recess. The entire board and superintendent lied consistently
throughout the process. Hinton Hodge is legitimately nuts.
What you miss in the video
is after the vote (about 5:58 in) the crowd went nuts and started yelling
at the board and basically losing their shit. It was interesting to observe.
More race talk, more yelling, more anger. The whole thing was such a shit
show. It's interesting because I think the President Eng knew where things
were going and so she called the meeting into recess knowing that the cameras
would go off at that point. It's interesting to see these tactics employed
at the local level by women and men of color. There's not a single white
man on the board and yet the same tactics you see from our presidents are
being employed by the local school board. It's evidence to me that this
isn't an issue of Trump or Bush or Republicans. It's an issue with people
in power. Here we have women and people of color who are crafting a narrative,
lying about their intentions, making up alternative facts, playing to the
cameras, playing to the most base emotions, etc. I don't know how you can
see a bunch of people who want more government in charge of the government
and doing a shitty job and think this is the way to run anything. Republicans
don't believe in government and basically want it to fail on the federal
level. Democrats love government and suck at making it work at every level
(other than a few basic low level things and writing checks).
The other thing I've noted
is that the teachers, and their union, are really insistent that we all
fall in line with them and are in solidarity with them. Understandable
on some level, but it's really transparent that they want to control the
narrative, the information, and the response to the closing. The way each
entity seeks to control everything is super transparent to me, but I think
I probably have an above average radar on this kind of thing since I've
been following politics for so long.
The whole debacle was a
really depressing exercise in local politics. Check back in 5 years and
we'll see how things go. I'm guessing nothing will change.
Oakland needs some diversity
of managing style because it's really gone off the reservation. Need a
couple people in there who care about financial stability and aren't race-obsessed
to help clean things up. This city's government is shit.
cannabis use has been linked to psychosis according to psychiatrists at
UCB and Yale. this comes as no surprise to me. I remember being at
Venice Beach when I was a teenager and the pro-pot crowd was out there
all the time arguing for legalization and talking about how it's just a
plant and all that. This seems to be a common argument. It's natural so
it's fine. Then again so is dog shit and tobacco and opium, but not many
people are interested in smoking those things. So there's that. Then there's
the common sense approach that says all things in moderation. The studies
are finding that heavy or consistent use is the problem. Though, if you
listen to the podcast I linked, you'll find that the doctors would like
more study on where the line should be drawn. Lastly, we have to take into
account that today's pot just isn't "natural" in the usual sense of the
word. It's been so modified and bred for potency that the majority of it
doesn't resemble the pot that was growing in the wild 100 years ago.
Berkeley has voted to eliminate
all natural gas in new buildings. This is a classic Berkeley move. Not
a carrot approach of incentivizing electric only buildings or solar panels.
Not requiring more stringent leak testing or any number of other ways of
mitigating the effects of natural gas on the envirornment...just outright
banning. They have a hammer so everything looks like a nail and they don't
care about choice. As dumb a choice as this is for residential buildings,
it's even worse for restaurants. Proponents will bring up induction cooking,
which is nice enough in my experience, but it doesn't work on copper pans
or aluminum cookware and I can't imagine it works well on a wok or other
oddly shaped cookware. Berkeley is anti-Chinese restaurant it would appear.
This kind of knee jerk closing off of options/freedom is something I hate
more and more every year.
Cypress Mandela training
center is a vocational training place in Oakland that supposedly takes
young people and trains them for the trades. I'm looking to hire so I tried
going to their website to look into getting someone from their program.
They have a page that says "hire our graduates" and it talks about how
they train people, but doesn't give any link for actually contacting them
about hiring their grads. So, I went to the contact us part of the page
and told them I'm interested in hiring someone for the building trades.
Never heard back from them. I've done the same at Laney college carpentry
program. I've done the same at Civic Corps. I've also had two cold calls
(emails, actually) from people looking for work. In both cases I responded
within an hour with follow up questions about the type of work they want
and what their skills are. In every single case I've listed I haven't heard
back from these people. What conclusion should a person reach after all
this? That these training programs are serious about helping their students
succeed at the next level? That people who apply for work are actually
interested in working and finding a career?
These experiences are the
kinds of experiences that harden a person. My general outlook is that we
should give people a chance and that if you give people a chance they will
seize the opportunity and make their lives better. It's a liberal inclination,
I think; and it's a good one. However, when life experience teaches you
otherwise you either have to bury your head in the sand or change your
worldview. In my case my worldview has changed. Some people want opportunity
and some people are willing to work hard when given the opportunity to
better their lives. But the percentage of people who are willing to do
that is a lot lower than I thought before, and a lot lower than I would
like. It's also a lot lower than a society would need in order to sustain
any kind of socialism or communism.
I really underestimated
the power of an issue like global warming for people to argue for grabbing
power in all sorts of ways. on 2/2/7 I wrote about a local radio station
talking about global warming as a leftist plot to grab power and make money
on solar panels or something. It seemed ridiculous at the time, but the
power grab element is an actual possibility. Global warming is being used
as a cudgel to attack all sorts of things and argue for even more. The
green new deal comes with all sorts of race related elements. "Environmental
racism" is a buzzy term that is being thrown around a lot lately. Global
warming is a threat to the entire human race and so it carries with it
a lot of weight with the people who agree that it could mean an apocalypse.
I'm not saying that global warming is a hoax. I'm not saying that most
of these responses to it are pure power grabs. However, it has surprised
me quite a bit how much people can use it to argue for all sorts of things
they want. And I definitely see the potential for it to be used to argue
for some really radical things in the future....
For example, the Amazon
is burning now and people are talking about how awful that is for the global
environment. If there's a leftist version of Trump I could easily see them
seizing on this moment to take some sovereignty away from Brazil since
their inaction on the fire or deforestation in general, is a threat to
us all. Of course in this case Europe would be in support of the president
(instead of opposing them as they do Trump - which thankfully keeps him
in check a bit) which would make it all the more powerful. There are just
so many examples of how global warming can be used as justification for
sweeping changes. I didn't believe it 12 years ago, but, if you keep your
eyes open, you'll see how often the apocalyptic threat of global warming
is invoked to argue for the curtailment of someone's freedom. It's the
left-wing equivalent of terrorism under Bush.
"The child who is not embraced
by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth."
There's a consistent theme
amongst the liberal intelligencia and that is that whites lack culture.
The Daily (NY Times) podcast had a story the other day about music on the
campaign trail and they basically derided the music of Trump as just blaring
Americana whereas everyone else has this really cultured and interesting
music that embraced the struggle of being a woman or being a POC. I used
to buy into this canard as well that white people don't really have culture.
Salt Lake City would be a perfect example of a place that would get sneered
at by the coastal elites as being devoid of culture. The truth is that
white people have as much culture as everyone else. Same with Mormons.
It may not be as interesting to you and you might not like parts of it
as much, but it's really off-putting to say that a place like SLC or white
people in general "lack culture." This is the kind of thing that a lot
of smart media people just don't get and it's the kind of thing that slowly
eats away at whites to the point where they feel under attack and it makes
way for Trump.
Liberal elites only understand
the rest of the country in as much as JD Vance has explained it to them.
They all seem to have read his book and that's their only touchstone for
understanding white rural culture. It would be like me reading Invisible
Man and referring to black people only in terms of that single book. It's
pathetic. There needs to be a lot more understanding going around or we're
not going to get out of this shit.
it would be interesting
to see if the media is more likely to report on the race of a shooter if
he (usually a man) is white or other. for example, the shooting
at a high school football game in AL was by a black guy, but NPR didn't
specify his race. but, on the same date, there was a story
on the Odessa shooting and they specified the shooter as a white male.
two stories within 3 hours of each other and the race is inconsistently
mentioned or not. i don't think this is just and innocent inconsistency.
i think the media is reluctant to mention the race of perpetrators nowadays.
perhaps that's a welcome reprieve from the times when the news reported
black crime more than white crime. that may actually still be the case
in local news, but it definitely doesn't seem like it's the case in national
news. i suspect there's also a difference between local TV and local newspapers,
with the TV probably being more racist against blacks than newspapers.
and national left of center outlets like NPR being the most unlikely to
call out non-whites. just guesses based upon my observations, though. no
now that the Mueller report
attacks have proven to be fruitless (i.e., lacking traction with the average
voter), the new anti-Trump narrative that has cropped up is calling him
out on his trade war with China. i guess it's as good a strategy as any.
it's funny how transparently the media attacks politicians on the same
issues all at once. it's called pack journalism and it's alive and well
in the mainstream press. what the elites don't understand about this is
that the average American doesn't really care about prices of plastic shit
going up in the abstract as a result of the tariffs. just like they don't
care about the fact that they benefit in the abstract from low trade barriers
that supposedly help the entire country. if joe bob loses his job to a
Mexican factory worker he's just not all that interested in the fact that
his neighbors are creating more jobs with the lower cost of goods as a
result of NAFTA. average people care that China is pulling one over on
us. even the Europeans know this and i think they are secretly happy with
some of the hard nosed tactics Trump is employing. overall they definitely
disagree with his tactics, but everyone pretty much acknowledges that China
needs to be knocked down a peg or two. that's what the average Americans
understand with regards to China and trade. beyond that it's a lot of elite
talk about stuff they don't get or don't care about. China isn't dealing
straight, they're being smarter and tougher, and we don't like it. as smart
as the elites are, it's always funny to me that they don't understand the
simplest of arguments.
all that isn't to say that
i endorse the position of anyone involved, but i do understand the position
the average American holds. i also understand that the Europeans are going
to hurt more than we are because of this trade war. i also think it's time
to play hardball instead of tip toeing around the tulips with China.
i'm calling "pimple
popper MD" on firefighters. while i have a great deal of respect for
the hard work they do, i also think they're overrated. the chicks all love
them and society in general is all over their nut sack. most of the time
they're polishing the chrome on the fire trucks, not saving lives. they
make EMT calls and that's nice, but actual fire fighting is few and far
between. when you take into account the fact that they're consistently
among the highest paid city employees making in the mid-six figures in
cities like Oakland, it really pushes them into the realm of the overrated.
total compensation for a lot of these fire chief types is $400k+ which
is just crazy when you consider that you could get 4 teachers for that
price. just not worth it.
the latest example
of the stupid Democrat party trying to socially engineer outcomes to stupid
results is in the way they made the candidates get a minimum number of
donations in order to be on the debate stage. each candidate needed to
get at least 65,000 unique donors in order to appear on the second debate.
in some cases, this meant spending as much as $35 through advertising to
get a $1 donation. the idea was that they wanted the candidates to have
broad support. the reality is that candidates have been wasting Democratic
dollars on reaching this arbitrary threshold. it's the law of unintended
consequences and it's a law that every technocrat and social engineer thinks
they can think their way out of. they never can. this doesn't mean you
shouldn't ever try to engineer things, but it does mean you should be very
selective. "am i engineering something that is worth the inevitable and
unforeseeable unintended consequences?" or is this just something i'm trying
to do to make our party look like we care about the little people?