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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 18,906

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A) "Why" Trump is going to Mexico- and B) what it'll do to his campaign

There's been a lot of speculation, gleeful or otherwise, that this impulsive trip will somehow backfire on Trump, that it will result in terrible publicity, humiliating treatment by Mexican leaders, etc., that will cream him in the polls, yadayadayada...

Y'all are not getting it.

Stupid? Well, yes, in the objective sense of the term, the Nuclear Cheeto is definitely "intellectually challenged."


There is one thing he knows better than anyone/anything else, and that is, how the brains of the 34% work, and how to toss them the cookies that make them salivate.

And that's all he really cares about- keeping the adoring crowds adoring.

So: WHY is he going to Mexico?

It's very, very simple: So he can say that he went.

And when he comes back, no matter what the media coverage says, the Human Hindenburg will tell his acolytes what they want to hear about what he did/said while he was there, and he'll burnish those fantasies with the credibility that having "been there" makes what he's bloviating a) important; b) TRUE! or c) YOOOOOOOGE!

And then he and his surrogates will "Trump"et his Incredible Foreign Policy Experience, because, 'trip to Mexico!'

And in the debates, he'll endlessly assert 'truths' and 'realities' based on what he did/found/etc. during his Major Foreign Policy Swing through the entire Central/South American region, and claim that his 'experience' Trumps all other sources of factual information.

And the 34% will suck it up and drool it back out and magnify his claims and beg for more.

He's gonna get a YOOOOOOOGE return on this little investment, believe me!


I think our own DemoTex is one of these "freaks on the peaks," yes?

'Freaks on the peaks': the lonely lives of the last remaining forest fire lookouts

Dozens more like him do the same across the US every summer, perched in 15ft by 15ft wooden cabins atop remote towers with sweeping panoramas, a low-tech, very human first line of defense against conflagrations. They are known, unofficially, as the “freaks on the peaks”.

The nickname is affectionate, not derogatory. It recognizes certain qualities needed to operate in lonely eyries – an embrace of nature, solitude and disconnectedness. And an ability to shift mental gears and respond when tempests and fires interrupt serene observation of cloud and canopy.

But yanno, I think DemoTex's posts here are even better than the nice Guardian article. Here's a few for those (like me) who count ourselves fans of the "eyes above" who keep us safe in fire-prone country.

"Earth, Wind and Fire (and Smoke, Lots of Smoke)"

"The Emmy landed at Lemmon Rock fire lookout today - incredible!"

"Bye Bye Birdie"

Maybe it does take a very special few to be the "eyes on high" or the "freaks on the peaks," but all of us who live in fire country can appreciate them!

Thanks, DemoTex and all of you Eyes on High!


Political Correctness vs Legal or Regulatory Action: Where does "real change" come from?

The "PC is a waste of time" argument is made here: The Culture Of The Smug White Liberal

Before you decide, read this one, too: Waitress stunned by cruel message diners left on receipt instead of giving a tip

This is not our first time through this cycle. I remember listening to arguments about whether it's worthwhile to "force" people to conceal their racism and bigotry by eliminating the n-word from circulation, back when.

The arguments took several tacks, one of which was "they're gonna be bigots anyway, showing their ugliness in public hurts their own cause." Another was "we have better things to do, like pushing anti-redlining regulations in the mortgage industry (or other 'actual action.')"

There's always been a school of thought that dismissed the importance of semantics and social disincentives focused on bigotry, cruelty, and oppression, in favor of structural redirection via legal and/or regulatory action.

Sometimes it's been argued that "enforcing political correctness" has the paradoxical effect of exciting oppositional defiance and actually encouraging the tendencies such enforcement is focused on limiting. Lord knows, the cussedness of human nature certainly validates that in individual cases.

And sometimes it's argued social engineering via 'pc enforcement' runs counter to liberal/progressive core ideology itself, if not the actual First Amendment of the Bill of Rights. After all, people SHOULD be free to express repugnant beliefs.

They are, of course. "PC enforcement" via the application of social incentives and disincentives is not the same thing as legal/regulatory action. It's focused not on what people have legal sanction to do, but on what they have social sanction to express.

I will defend to the death your right to hold repugnant, bigoted views and beliefs, but that doesn't mean you have a right to make me listen to them or validate them.

I remember listening to a clueless racist from my own family, back when I was a youngster, arguing that "desegregation won't help" against racism, and that busing laws were the wrong way to go about it.

They certainly aren't magic, solve-it-all-permanently-in-one-go bullet solutions.

We thought at one point that the Voting Rights Act would be such a magic bullet solution, and how tragically wrong history has proven us in this era of diligent voter suppression.

I don't think it's an "either/or" choice.

Research validates that not only can you make people change their behavior by changing their beliefs, but you can make people change their beliefs by changing their behavior.

In other words, "acting as if" can powerfully change your thinking, just as changes in your thinking affect how you act.

Here's what I wonder: What made the person who wrote that disgusting message believe it was OKAY to do that? And with the belief that it's okay to treat someone that way based on what you assume about them, how and where will they next act on that belief?

If we want real change, I firmly believe that we MUST work both ends against the middle, consistently, thoughtfully, incrementally, and for the long, long haul.

There will always be backlashes against change, from one direction or another. Attempts to roll back progress, by playing one end against the other.

Only by working BOTH ends against the middle: pushing for changes in thoughts and actions and belief via social incentive/disincentive, AND pushing for changes in actions, systems, and structures via legal and regulatory means, can we continue the journey in the direction of human evolution.



They all seem to be either a) curled into a fetal position rocking themselves gently and moaning; b) standing around with deer-in-headlights looks and rigid pasted-on smiles; or c) diving behind doors and muttering 'no comment!'

They have what may be the single best (and maybe ONLY) chance to salvage the party's chance to boost down-ticket races, and they're blowing it, JUST TO SPITE OBAMA!

Let's see if we can break this down into really simple concepts, like GOPpie voters need, okay?

1. Zika virus is in Florida, which is IN THE U.S.

2. The worst damage Zika virus does is profound damage to gestating embryos, resulting in severely malformed fetuses.

3. Profoundly damaged embryos and severely deformed fetuses generally RAISE THE ABORTION RATE.

4. The GOP has staked a massive percentage of its political capital, for DECADES, on preventing abortions in America.

5. President Obama has requested Congress to allocate $1.9 billion in emergency funding to keep the Zika virus from spreading and producing a virulent epidemic.

6. Which would, if successful, prevent abortions, save babies and moms, and generally be a public health triumph.

And Congress first whinged about grabbing money away from other important programs to provide pathetically smaller amounts of emergency funding, and then tabled the WHOLE FUCKING THING until after their summer vacation????

With MORE Zika cases emerging?

Guys, guys, guys.... THINK!!!

WHAT does it cost you, Paul Ryan, to holla "OKAY, everybody back to Washington by 9 am Monday, we are GONNA SAVE BABIES, NOW!"


Oh... I see. Y'all only wanna save babies when Obama isn't involved, izzat it?

Or... or... maybe y'all are just so effing paralyzed by the looming Orange Dumpster Fire about to engulf your party that you can't even raise a finger to save yourselves?

You're denying the 247 GOPpie Congresscritters running for re-election the opportunity to stand up at their town halls and look stern and noble and say "We made an extraordinary commitment to save babies, because we believe in that."

Because Obama had something to do with it?

Or because you've just already given up and are mewling helplessly trying to drag yourselves out of the radius of total destruction by the Nuclear Cheeto?

Which is it?

Just curious...

(Oh, and BTW, do you know how much each and every microcephalic baby costs? Fo' shizzle, dudes... ask any health economist. $1.9 billion to keep it from happening is the CHEAP route.)


If you think the pre-election misogyny is bad...

Someone in another threat asked "Is there a rational explanation for the virulence of Hillary-hatred?"

Well, several. Starting with the one unforgivable sin in the eyes of the GOP, that applies regardless of gender, ethnicity, skin color, etc.-- WINNING. She was already tainted by association with Bill Clinton, who'd committed the Unforgivable Sin of denying the head of the Bush Crime Family a second term. Then she won the NY Senate seat. Then she just would NOT give up and take her shellackings in the media, crumble under all those Congressional investigations, etc.

That's all pretty unforgivable in GOP eyes, irrespective of demographics.

But I'm remembering back to 2008, when America nominated its first non-white major party candidate for President. I honestly felt, back then, as though it was a sign of progress in the generations-long fight against racism.

Not a victory, no. I wasn't THAT naive. But the nomination itself, followed by the victory (and a fairly decisive victory, at that,) convinced me that we'd come further along the path than in fact we had.

The roseate glow of that victory dissipated quickly, of course. The festering wound of racism hadn't really healed much at all, if any, and that election simply ripped the scab off and let forth a flow of putrescent manifestations of racism beyond anything I'd imagined or feared.

Now I watch the misogyny, overt or thinly-veiled, or even heavily-cloaked and dog-whistled, in the coverage of and responses to Hillary Clinton's campaign, and I wonder what we're in for, should she win the Presidency.

Buckle up, my friends.

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