Nov 20

Ate Us

This blog will is on hiatus as I gallivant about the land on a much-needed vacation. Expect posting to resume in approximately two weeks.

Nov 19

The real reason Dems lost

I think now examining the data and how people mostly react economically in elections that this was what really lost it for the Dems, though it’ll never be discussed because the Dem diktat is that Obamacare is unblemished, almost a miraculous, glorious triumph.

And not the failure it actually is.

2. The Obamacare Disaster. This was nearly as influential as Clinton’s reckless militarism. Most of the people I know who voted for Trump make too much money to qualify for a significant federal subsidy, and too little to be able to cover the endlessly rising cost of insurance under the absurdly misnamed “Affordable Care Act.” They recalled, rather too clearly for the electoral prospects of the Democrats, how Obama assured them that the price of health insurance would go down, that they would be able to keep their existing plans and doctors, and so on through all the other broken promises that surrounded Obamacare before it took effect.

It was bad enough that so few of those promises were kept. The real deal-breaker, though, was the last round of double- or triple-digit annual increase in premiums announced this November, on top of increases nearly as drastic a year previously. Even among those who could still afford the new premiums, the writing was on the wall: sooner or later, unless something changed, a lot of people were going to have to choose between losing their health care and being driven into destitution—and then there were the pundits who insisted that everything would be fine, if only the penalties for not getting insurance were raised to equal the cost of insurance! Faced with that, it’s not surprising that a great many people went out and voted for the one candidate who said he’d get rid of Obamacare.

I understand why as formulated the individual mandate needed to exist. However, it was a terrible, ridiculous and punitive idea that has harmed more people than the ACA has helped and soured many people on the ACA who would’ve otherwise supported it.

Well, that and the double-digit premium increases and the giveaway to the insurance companies.

Forget Comey, forget the faux-whitelash and forget misogyny — my contention is that the Dems lost mainly because of the ACA and its harmful effects, and particularly that a large percentage of people who could least afford it received notice of large premium increases right before the election.

This is something Democrats will never discuss because the official wisdom is that the ACA is a huge win.

Nov 18

We’ve lost

And I’m not talking about the election.

With and other sites now shut down, the information genie has now been stuffed back into the lamp never to emerge again in our lifetimes.

I haven’t used in many years, but it was often the only place to find albums that were no longer for sale at any price — even used. It was an invaluable contribution to culture and to the world, destroyed for no real reason other than control rather than any true profit motive.

I’m actually kind of impressed at the Machiavellian efficiency with which media companies and the copyright lobby have successfully made the internet into cable TV, re-possessed and sold us back at a high price our own culture, suppressed dissent and convinced the ignorant masses that DRM is a good thing or at least the only way to do things.

It turns out that humanity is just not smart enough collectively to allow such unalloyed good to exist in the world.

Nov 16

No Fate

If I hadn’t joined the military right out of high school, I likely never would’ve had quite enough money to feel safe moving out of Lake City, FL. Probable that I’d still be there now, possibly in prison or also likely dead.

I don’t even know why I joined the military, meaning at the time that it wasn’t a fully conscious choice. It was this frenzied desire to flee at all costs, to put the expectations and pain of my youth behind me with all the haste my situation allowed me. And it cost me a lot; the army is difficult and I made it even more so by joining tough units. I’m not at all social and I don’t like being around people and of course I generally don’t like men — but the army is all of these things and more.

There’s this phrase “of two minds” that is bandied about. The only time I’ve ever really felt that way was driving to and walking into the recruiter’s office. It’s not true to say that I joined the military on a lark; however, it’s also not true to say it was a well-considered decision. It was as if I was watching myself from above signing the paperwork and getting the details, all the while with a chant echoing through my head of, “What the fuck are you doing? You will fail.”

I didn’t fail, though. Probably the single best decision I’ve ever made in my life as none of the rest of my life would’ve happened without it.

There’s no single truth, nor single path, but the passage out of where I grew up for someone like me was narrow and risky and I’m still surprised I was able to walk it.

Nov 14

Larry, Larry

And now Larry Lessig is attempting to start a civil war. Awesome.

It’s been supremely disappointing watching the Dems choose a bad candidate, fall behind her like snuffling puppy dogs, and then attempt to avoid the consequences of their own inadvisable and kooky choices.

The election was conducted by the candidates with the rules as laid out. If the rules and expectations had been different, both would’ve run much different campaigns. It was no mystery that we had this thing called an “Electoral College” beforehand nor why there was a really high chance that Hillary Clinton would lose there while possibly winning the popular vote. Hell, this is why I said this and many other did too before the election — her strong areas in the primaries were precisely the ones where she had little chance of winning.

I am disappointed and saddened that Trump won. He’s not someone I ever would vote for.

However, I am even more disappointed and saddened that members of the Democratic party are now just as howling at the moon delusional and redistributive of blame as the worst of the right wing conspiracy theorists. It’s been at a remove sociologically interesting to watch how the narrative has shifted in mere days to some small measure of blame-taking to “We did nothing wrong and neither did the media! It was those rednecks and misogynist Nazis, including all the Dems who did not show up to vote for the most uninspiring, neoliberal candidate since ever! Nazis all!”

This means that nothing will change.

Good luck with starting that civil war, Larry. What the fuck.

Nov 13

Gestalt fault

So the Democrats are going to spend all their time searching for (IMO dubious) proximate causes of Hillary’s loss and instead not face that fact that the reason they actually lost was that they nominated a candidate reviled by extremely large percentages of the population, who had historically high negatives (even among those who had voted for Obama in the previous two elections), and who was a Wall Street insider about as charismatic as a boiled lamprey. And that all of this was known well before her nomination and presumed coronation.

Fucking ridiculous. Means they will likely repeat the same mistake again in 2020 and we’ll get Trump — again.

Why Clinton was hated in this context does not matter. The fact is that the DNC and dumbo-Dems chose a bad candidate about whom many people knew the truth: she could not beat Trump and was historically weak even against such an inferior candidate.

But sure, blame it on Comey. Couldn’t have been poor decision-making, shouting down of allies, the nomination of a Wall Street toadie, the accusations of racism, misogyny and Nazism if you did not jingoistically support Clinton, nor the fact that she called roughly half of America a “basket of deplorables.”

Certainly those things had nothing to do with it!

Nov 13

Blip bleep

I’ve seen this weird usage error a number of times now:


A “blimp” on the radar. The radar footprint of a blimp is enormous, so this means the opposite of what is intended.

Has “blip” become an uncommon word? I guess it is not used that often except in this idiomatic phrase.

Nov 12


Taibbi said it best, as he often does.

The Democratic Party’s failure to keep Donald Trump out of the White House in 2016 will go down as one of the all-time examples of insular arrogance. The party not only spent most of the past two years ignoring the warning signs of the Trump rebellion, but vilifying anyone who tried to point them out. It denounced all rumors of its creeping unpopularity as vulgar lies and bullied anyone who dared question its campaign strategy by calling them racists, sexists and agents of Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

How’d that work out for ya?