Saturday, June 25, 2016

Populist Wave


Sanders stays in running for Democratic nomination; won't concede. This article leans heavily on the FBI criminal investigation of Clinton, and predicts indictment before the Democratic convention next month, and predicts that Sanders will become the nominee. It's plausible, but I've seen more convincing arguments that Obama told Sanders that Clinton gets it, when Sanders visited the White House a few weeks ago. Obama endorsed Clinton right after that.
I do wonder if Soros, who adeptly shifted his investments ahead of the Brexit vote, and kept speaking against it, might be playing a similar game with Clinton and Sanders. There is a suppressed and ignored surge for all candidates advocating populist change, and Clinton sure ain't that. Soros is very good at placing his big bets at the right place and time to make them win. He pushes what is about to fall. We won't have to wait long to see how this plays out, a month.

David Stockman sees a tidal wave of popular sentiment driving political change, from Brexit across the western world, this summer and fall. (I hope he's right.)

"First the UK, then Scotland, then Texas" is a sort of dramatic headline, but this article looks at ideal-sizing of government, and bigger is often worse in a lot of ways, certainly costlier and more cumbersome, and less agile.

Driverless Cars, Who gets Protected? It's difficult. We all want the most people protected and accidents can't all be avoided. We want the fewest people hurt in any accident, but if it's our car, we want nobody hurt in our car first and foremost. These are divergent parameters; no common ground. Will there be ethical settings on the robot cars? (What if we don't own them, if they are public transit? Then they can all have the same setting.)

Google is the world's biggest censor, already, and this is a huge growth industry. Once there is an acceptance of censorship at the edges, it can follow the money and power, wherever that leads.

Google and Facebook block Extremist Videos. (I find the Theory of Evolution to be pretty extreme, myself, as do many Texans. How about y'all? How about not supporting our soldiers and sailors overseas? <sarc>)

Modern civilization is driving mass microbial extinctions, especially in our guts. This is actually serious. Thanks Bill.

Archaeologists uncovering 2500 year old Athenian naval base reveal a fair amount about the development of Greek democracy. All citizens rowed and fought on the triremes. All. Not just poor. Not just slaves. They were successful.



  1. John,

    Since you asked: "I find the Theory of Evolution to be pretty extreme, myself, as do many Texans. How about y'all? How about not supporting our soldiers and sailors overseas?"

    I'm surprised a medical doctor of all people would view evolution as being extreme. Unless I'm misreading you, you seem to be leaning toward some other theory? Say it isn't so. Evolution is real. Creationism is crap. Intelligent Design has been shown to be Creationism crap with con man tricks.

    All one has to do to understand that evolution is real and important is to read the medical literature on the evolution of bacteria into forms that are about to defeat our best anti-biotic weapons. That's evolution right before our very eyes.

    I'm completely in favor of the views of someone like Richard Dawkins on this topic.

    As to supporting "our soldiers and sailors overseas", I am sorry to suggest but you have already fallen victim to what Noam Chomsky calls "manufacturing consent". How can we we not support the troops without being traitors? By dropping this dreadful meme and stating more abstractly but with force: "AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY IS BULLSHIT". It's bullshit that we send our thugs, mercenaries and mob bosses across the planet for the sake of the financial elite. Recall Lt. Gen. Smedley Butler's book, "War Is A Racket"

    Remember the way the conniving and self-dealing Dulles Brothers used the CIA and the military in the 1950s to help themselves as shareholders in United Fruit in overthrowing the government of Guatemala. Or helped BP with the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran.

    Bill Blum provides a long list of military and covert interventions by the U.S. government in "Killing Hope".

    What are they putting in your water down in Texas? You let fly two completely preposterous propositions in this blog entry. The stupidity of these questions begs answers. I got plenty more.

    The best argument though, that there is no evolutionary progress for Americans is the fact that Donald Trump is one election away from sitting in the Oval Office. By this standard, evolution is working in reverse. We are becoming more ape-like and evolving into jack-asses every month in 2016.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I was being facetious in my statement that I find the theory of evolution "extreme". I meant to point out that some very common beliefs are also commonly disagreed upon, and commonly called "extreme".
      I coupled that common Christian-fundamentalist view of evolutionary theory, with a view commonly held by some of the same folks that "supporting our soldiers and sailors overseas" is done by supporting America's foreign wars.
      I meant to infer more that was effectively communicated.
      Sorry for my miscommunication of intent.
      I mean that censorship based on an adjective like "extreme", knows no bounds, once it begins.

    3. Whew! Glad we cleared that up.

      About those soldiers we're supposed to get on our knees to adore, there's been a recent death in the family. I have to admit to knowing absolutely nothing about him, but the Esquire Magazine's correspondent in Viet Nam during the American atrocities was Michael Herr. He passed on the 23rd of this month. Checking his Wikipedia page, we have this high praise:

      The book was called the best "to have been written about the Vietnam War" by The New York Times Book Review; novelist John le Carré called it "the best book I have ever read on men and war in our time."
      [END QUOTE]

      So, I'm looking forward to reading (or at least skimming) "Dispatches". Based not on the NY Times praise which I couldn't care less about, but rather because John Le Carre is an absolute hero and I have the highest regard for his intelligence and opinion.