Dembasses

Best line about Democrats and their relation to Obama:

I suspect that the only thing in their heads when they think of Barack Obama is an image of how warm and fuzzy his victory made them feel in 2008.

Dammit why can’t I think of all the great lines? I demand a recount.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to link directly to a comment in the shitheap that is Blogger, but the thread is here.

Shiftiness

Humorists have to be keen observers. Otherwise, they have nothing to write about. So I was glad to see Dave Barry spare some lines for the head-snappingly swift narrative shift that occurred after Clinton’s “sure” victory turned to defeat.

As Election Day approaches, a consensus forms among the experts in the media/political complex, based on a vast array of demographic and scientific polling data evaluated with sophisticated analytical tools. These experts, who have made lucrative careers out of going on TV and explaining America to Americans, overwhelmingly agree that Hillary Clinton will win, possibly in a landslide, and this could very well mean the end of the Republican Party. The Explainers are very sure of this, nodding in unison while smiling in bemusement at the pathetic delusions of the Trump people.

What makes this unusual is that typically narratives are shaped and shifted, massaged and manipulated, over months of propaganda pushes and media barrages. This time, though, it went from most pollsters and pundits calling it in advance for Clinton to mere days later the retconning of reality to the position that the polls and their analyses were actually right and like Yogi Berra, they didn’t say all those things they said.

This denial and de facto repudiation of prior sureties offered a much more real-time glimpse into how our reality is managed by those with the power to do so, and also demonstrated how many are willing to go along with the hocus pocus with no further thought.

It’s been a really instructive year as I’ve pointed out before. So much unprecedented has happened in so little time that it has required the media to switch propaganda horses in media res more than once, making it much more discernible and to require much less evidence-gathering to demonstrate it.

The polls are a prime example of this, but there are a few others Barry touches on in the piece as well.

Mimesis

Why do so many scientists deny that cultural inheritance occurs just because there is no definitive discrete unit of cultural inheritance and evolution as there is for genetic inheritance, with the gene?

Quantification is good, but when it becomes an obsession that prevents learning and is a knowledge inhibitor (as it has become in too much of modern science) then it needs to be re-examined.

Fare well welfare

It is extremely disingenuous bordering on outright deceitful for people like Kevin Drum to claim that “welfare spending has gone up greatly since the 1970s” when his “welfare” includes the mortgage interest tax credit, greater Social Security spending due to an aging population, veterans’ benefits and the like.

Also, if welfare spending had gone up to match the actual inflation present in the categories where it’s most needed, it would have more than trebled or quadrupled — health care costs are up (all inflation-adjusted) 800% since the late 1960s. Education is up 500%. Housing is up 300-800% depending on your zip code.

So the story isn’t that welfare spending broadly defined has increased,* rather it’s that welfare even if you exclude the disastrous Clinton reforms has not nearly kept up with the areas where it is most vital — just as with wages for most people.

We really need a better Left, one less full of dissembling double-crossing neoliberal shills like Drum.

*Also, welfare has transitioned from direct cash payments to indirect transfers which is less useful to most people, and far more costly to administer.

Topical

Listening to Rihanna, ZZ Top and Cris Stapleton to drive the vapidity and jejuneness of modern liberal discourse from my brain.

I don’t know why that particular combo works, but it really does right now.

Clowns all around

Just want to record some of the utter stupidity for posterity still occurring among the Democrats — just like the Dem claims that no one ever said something like “Get your government hands off my Medicare*,” it’s being claimed simultaneously with its actual occurrence that no Dem claims that Hillary “really won” due to her taking the popular vote.

But here you go.

I was dealing with a “You’re why Clinton lost” guy the other night. I’ve dealt with them before. My usual go-tos have been “What exactly do you mean by lost, given the popular vote?” and pointing out that this isn’t supported by the data we have so far.

Hey, who do you think is going to be inaugurated on January 20? Is it Clinton? Is it? Think about that then tell me who won. There are no wrong answers — only really stupid-ass ones.

What a bunch of witless intellectually bankrupt fucksticks.

And nope, I didn’t support Trump, didn’t support Sanders (though I think he could’ve won the general). Trump is a misogynist clown and Sanders was not nearly radical enough for me.

Class solidarity is identity politics.

Wrong. Class solidarity and identity politics are explicitly and implicitly diametrically opposed. Someone needs to read some goddamn history. Fuck. I guess you can use words however you want to, but denotational specificity is pretty vital to communication. (In my new lexicon, “Clinton” now means “complete failure who everyone claims is a triumph of unparalleled glistening victory.”)

Amazing how many people I’ve stopped reading due to this election, and for good reason. I don’t want to exist in an echo chamber, but I also don’t need to listen to a bunch of worthless patter of the self-deluding.

*I saw someone with my own eyes in St. Peterburg, FL, at a protest with a sign that read: “No GOV’T in MY MEDICARE.” So yes, it did happen.

Sourcing

In my experience, outsourcing doesn’t really save any money and often costs quite a lot.

What usually ends up occurring is that it takes three overseas staff to mostly sort of replace one local person, quality suffers, customers depart in anger, and in IT at least, more critical outages occur.

So the end state is that the few higher-level, experienced local staff remaining start doing most of the work of the supposed same-level “colleagues” overseas and management thinks all is well — looks good on paper, after all! All the while not realizing that not only have they achieved 1/2 the work with four times the staff, all the best local people are on the way out the door, too, and existing customers are saying to prospects, “They used to be really good but have gone to hell since they shipped all the jobs overseas.”

Seen it so many times now.

Eschatological urges

Just realized that a lot of the Left’s desire to have their own civil and social world overturned by refugees is not just the neoliberal urge to lower wages and create societal instability in service of weakening worker protections and social cohesion. That bit is just the wish of the panjandrums, like Merkel, not of the general Open Borders crowd.

Before we get to the main event though, let’s talk about the Right. On that side, you have the Christian dominionists who believe that the return of Jesus to earth is nigh. Further, they believe that this event requires an apocalypse — one they are happy to help create in many cases.

That’s the Right’s preferred apocalypse. Let’s talk about the Left now.

The Left has its own unique apocalyptic urges that are not so codified in thousands of years of religious thought and doctrine, but that are present nonetheless.

This Left-y version of cataclysmic ecstasy involves assuaging their omnipresent white guilt by the “evil” mostly-white body politic being overrun and overturned by refugees with their more authentic cultures and the migrants’ deeper (to them) connections to some tradition whose beliefs are unequivocal, uncompromising and unsullied by ratiocination. It’s a variant of the pernicious noble savage ideas, but in this case the nobility of the supposed savage distills from the ability through violence and debasement (particularly of women) to purge all that pent-up white guilt through blood sacrifice and destruction of cultural institutions and mores that nominally once oppressed the refugee.

In other words, like all apocalyptic fantasies and ideation, the refugee becomes an instrument of redemption, cast as both a villain and savior at once — sent by fate and one’s own actions, like Jesus, to expurgate past sins and to build something new from the destruction.

And like all apocalyptic fantasies, it is a childish one that relies on some external transformative agent both by ruination and reduction to reveal who we truly are. In reality, though, who we are is what we do with each day we live.

Phobic

If it is Islamophobic to disdain and despise an ideology for harming and oppressing millions and millions of women around the world, then yes I am Islamophobic and proud to be.

Just as I am proud to be a misandrist if that means that I support feminism and women having the most freedom and equality possible.

I am overjoyed to be both Islamophobic and misandrist. Sound good to me. I would join a club for both, but I don’t join clubs.

Intelligence and its drawbacks

About the post below, and just in general, I’ve been thinking about how intelligence is absolutely no armor against making absurdly moronic, counterproductive decisions.

Part of it is just the Peter Principle in action: people really do rise to their level of incompetence.

But it is more than that. Intelligence seems to coagulate and actually constrain thinking in many cases — increasing its rigidity and fixedness rather than expanding the ability to explore a larger problem space and find potential solutions there.

This can be seen of late with the Mozilla Foundation and the Democratic party. Loads of intelligent people work for both organizations, but the decisions which emerge just could not be more harmful even to their own stated goals and ideals.

In both cases please note that it is not lack of knowledge of what is likely to occur as a result these terrible decisions. The DNC and the Mozilla Foundation was warned well in advance by many knowledgeable people about likely outcomes, and both did chose and have chosen to ignore, minimize, shout down and blackball dissenters.

Lack of intelligence leads to many limited stupid decisions; with intelligence, however, one has the power to make large-scale doltish decisions that harm millions and millions of people.