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JHan's Journal
JHan's Journal
December 2, 2016

Trump's "trolling" serves a purpose

To destroy truth and "fact" and ,to paraphrase HRC ,"Create his own reality"

""When politics becomes fundamentally unreal, the nature of political decision-making changes. Everything is fiction, so voters can only choose the fiction that best suits their taste and aligns with their self-image. Thus politics becomes devoured entirely by personal aesthetics. It’s the final triumph of what Carl Schmitt called political romanticism, or what Christopher Lasch might call political narcissism: politics as self-expression and nothing else.

It’s no coincidence that authoritarians are the driving force behind this development. The suspension of reality lends itself to authoritarian politics because it makes liberal democracy impossible. Without any sort of fixed reality, we have no shared reference point we can use for political deliberation; and when my policy preferences are rooted entirely in what I conceive of as my self, there is no room for compromise.""

December 1, 2016

Double Standards : Cheating men and Cheating women.

"Cheating Men Get a Second Life in Politics, Cheating Women Get a Scarlet Letter"

On December 15, 2011, four male Minnesota state senators called a press conference. Its purpose was to issue a moral rebuke to a woman who wasn’t there, over an extramarital affair she’d had with a colleague. In the ensuing weeks, the four men would force the woman, the state’s first ever female majority leader, to move to an office far from theirs, on a different floor. Nobody would move into her vacant office before the end of the term, after which the woman would pack her things and leave the home she had shared with her husband of 18 years to move back in with her parents. Weeks later, the woman’s 64-year-old mother would die of breast cancer, only four months after her diagnosis.

Amy Koch still feels the echoes of the day of that press conference in her life. “People called it ‘The Scarlet Letter award ceremony,’” she tells The Daily Beast. “I didn’t watch it. I’ll never watch it.”

That was the day that news of Koch’s affair with a male senate staffer went public, that her colleagues turned on her, that Koch resigned from her leadership position among state senate Republicans and announced she wouldn’t seek reelection. The damage to her life and career felt complete, the shame all-consuming.

The 2016 election has offered America a crash course in double standards when it comes to how men and women in the public eye are treated. If Donald Trump were a woman, for example, a 70-year-old obese woman with a sexual obsession with her adult son and the vocabulary of an elementary-school bully, would she have been the presidential nominee of this country’s conservative party? If somebody named Donna Trump had bragged about sexually assaulting men, would she be the president today? Would a woman who famously cheated on her husband be given a second chance in politics right away? We have our answer to the last question.

Trump himself has a colorful history with infidelity. His image of a “playboy” was so important to the president-elect in the 1980’s and 90’s that rumor has it he’d pose as his own spokesperson to plant stories about his sexual exploits in tabloids (acting in a way that would get one labeled a slut if one were female, turns out, is beneficial for men). He left his first wife and the mother of three of his children for his mistress amid a flurry of tabloid coverage. In 2005, he famously bragged to Billy Bush about grabbing women “by the pussy.” In December of that year, People Magazine writer Natasha Stoynoff alleges she was grabbed and forcibly kissed by Trump when she was at Mar-a-Lago to interview him for a story. During a presidential debate this year, Trump says he hasn’t even apologized to his wife. He hadn’t done anything.

Trump’s inner circle is lousy with men who have done worse than Amy Koch, and not suffered nearly the professional consequences. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, currently lobbying hard to be made Secretary of State, married his second cousin and began dating his second wife before he and his first wife divorced. While he was still married to his second wife (not to be confused with his second cousin), Giuliani allegedly carried on a long affair with his press secretary. In the late 1990’s, Giuliani met a woman named Judith (a new one, not the press secretary. Keep up.), and used his publicly-funded NYPD security detail to escort him to and from liaisons with the woman who would turn out to be his future third wife. He announced his separation to the public and to his second wife simultaneously, with a press conference.

David Petraeus, another rumored Secretary of State candidate, carried on a years-long affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell that was only discovered in 2012, the year after he was appointed head of the CIA. Broadwell and Petraeus had been exchanging love notes over unencrypted channels that were discovered by the FBI after Broadwell began cyberstalking a socialite named Jill Kelley. In 2015, Petraeus pled guilty to mishandling classified information with Broadwell, a misdemeanor that resulted in two years’ probation and a $100,000 fine. If he’s selected as Secretary of State, Petraeus will still be on probation when Trump is inaugurated on January 20, 2017, and will continue to be on probation for the first three months of his theoretical tenure as the person fourth in line to the Presidency.

Amy Koch did not mishandle classified information like David Petraeus. She did not obscure the use of public funds from taxpayers to hide her affair from the public, like Rudy Giuliani. She didn’t use prostitutes like David Vitter, or send suggestive pictures to a handful of people over and over again like Anthony Weiner. She didn’t get oral sex from a 22-year-old intern in the Oval Office like Bill Clinton. “Mine was kind of boring by comparison,” she says. “It was just an affair.”

Koch wonders if men who have been able to pick themselves from scandals like hers were able to do so because they blame themselves less for what happens to them, if they feel less shame in the aftermath than she did. “It took at least two years before I wasn’t just broken down about it,” she says. “Before I could talk about it without being sad and embarrassed. And a lot of that came from just being in the bar, being in the bowling alley, talking to people. Having good friends.”


December 1, 2016

Trump will never stop grandstanding..

And as Obama was often blamed for the effects of the economic doldrums of the Bush Years, Trump will capitalize and try to take credit for whatever economic gains come to fruition as a result of the Obama years. If he doesn't mess up he could ride out two terms on those economic gains. We have to consistently defend the track record of ALL our stalwarts, where justified, to counter this.

November 30, 2016

When I'm supposed to finish a paper but checking DU every minute..

...... It's happened. I'm addicted!

my newest excuse to procrastinate

November 29, 2016

A Minority President: Why the Polls Failed, And What the Majority Can Do

by George Lakoff

(A provocative piece, too many good quotes, so I'll just post his conclusion

(his previous points address in great detail #WhyTrumpWon )

"What a Strict Father Cannot Be

There are certain things that strict fathers cannot be: A Loser, Corrupt, and especially not a Betrayer of Trust.

Trump lost the popular vote. To the American majority, he is a Loser, a minority president. It needs to be said and repeated.

Above all, Trump is a Betrayer of Trust. He is acting like a dictator, and is even supporting Putin’s anti-American policies.

He is betraying trust is a direct way, by refusing to put his business interests in a blind trust. By doing so, and by insisting on his children both running the business and getting classified information, he is using the presidency to make himself incredibly wealthy — just as Putin has. This is Corruption of the highest and most blatant level. Can the media say the words: Corruption, Betrayal of Trust? He ran on a promise to end corruption, to “drain the swamp” in Washington. Instead, he has brought a new and much bigger swamp with him — lobbyists put in charge of one government agency after another, using public funds and the power of the government to serve corporate greed. And the biggest crock in the swamp is Trump himself!

The Trump administration will wreak havoc on the very people who voted for him in those small towns — disaster after disaster. It will be a huge betrayal. The $500 billion in infrastructure — roads and bridges, airports, sewers, eliminating lead water pipes — will probably not make it to those thousands of small rural towns with in-group nurturance for the townspeople. How many factories with good-paying jobs can be brought to such towns? Not thousands. Many of those who voted for Trump will inevitably be among the 20 million who will lose their health care. And they will become even further victims of corporate greed — more profits going to the top one percent and more national corporations, say, fast food and big-box stores paying low wages and offering demeaning jobs will continue to wipe out local businesses. Will this be reported? Will it even be said? And if so, how will it be said in a way that doesn’t wind up promoting Trump?

The American majority must create an online citizen communication network — or multiple networks — to spread its positive American values and truths as antidotes to those small towns with in-group nurturance as the Trump swamp swamps them!

The message is not merely negative, they are being betrayed. That’s the Don’t Think of an Elephant! trap. Rather it is that the town’s in-group nurturance is nurturance. It works because care is morally right.

Right now the majority is fighting back, pointing out what is wrong with Trump day after day. In many cases, they are missing the message of Don’t Think of an Elephant! By fighting against Trump, many protesters are just showcasing Trump, keeping him in the limelight, rather than highlighting the majority’s positive moral view and viewing the problem with Trump from within the majority’s positive worldview frame. To effectively fight for what is right, you have to first say what is right and why."


November 29, 2016

"what if jobs are not the solution but the problem?"

I took the title from an article I read today which got me thinking about the election, so I'll frame it as such.

Much of the discussion on "why we lost" is centered on the Democrats not effectively selling our jobs strategy to the rust belt. I'll put aside my skepticism that this is the singular reason that cost us under 100,000 votes across the states in question because I want to keep focus on Jobs.

Even though we are better off in many respects compared to our grandparents , we feel more stressed, bummed out and aeither angry or apathetic. Many of us reserve our most volatile feelings for the "elites" who changed the world, supposedly to line their pockets and while this isn't completely true, we believe it to be absolutely true.

Globalization brought great opportunities and wealth, but as with any change in the economy, it also had its victims. The Free Market will always have its victims, and the arrogance of the elites in their failure to mitigate harmful effects has many railing against the establishment today. Free market advocates rub salt into the wound by callously blaming victims for their predicament, as if in an unpredictable economy things don't happen beyond anyone's control. So many feel irrelevant, left out and their concerns ignored because of reasons which aren't entirely their own.

We had the bailout which was the ultimate hand out, with few conditions attached. Rampant consolidation/ merging of companies rendered large corporations "Too big to fail" and almost impossible to efficiently regulate. The public perceived that the Elites got us into trouble and the bailout offended us. We ignored that we may have been complicit in our spending practices but the rage was justified for those of us who work hard, get hounded to pay our taxes or get judged for being on Government Assistance.

So 8 years later, 2016 became the year to really attack the "establishment"- And what is the establishment? A consortium of high powered players who control every aspect of our lives? Cynical congressmen and women? Cynical bureaucrats? Or .. <insert whatever group you're most pissed off at who makes a lot of money> ?

To frame the disappointment of many Americans in the Elites, a narrative of Nostalgia emerged - Wouldn't you like to go back to the days when ---- you could get a good education and be sure to get a decent job? when debt didn't eat you alive? when everyone spoke english and didn't have to walk on eggshells all the time? When campus "free speech" was really "free speech" ? When you could worship Jesus openly and good Christian values were promoted? When our schools were better ( supposedly)? When a good American could get a good job and retire prosperously , and able to afford the occasional vacation in the tropics?

For many Americans, any one or all of these odes to Nostalgia, are important. And of course much of it is a lie, - America was never perfect and good however the feeling and sense of something precious, now lost, prevails. We've seen numerous theories about the thing that was lost- white privilege vis a vis identity conflicts and issues? Jobs? Economic opportunities? Integrity in our Institutions? Functioning Government?

So it should come as no surprise, with this wave of nostalgia, that the political figures who dominated this election cycle - Bernie, HRC and Trump - are all baby boomers.

( Well it's not surprising to me at least.).

All three were born at a time when America was the only country with a roof left on her head during and after WW2. They grew up in an America burgeoning with promise. Economic prosperity and dominance lends itself to myth making, and those looking back on those halcyon days may forget little details such as the fact that we've always had an elite wielding heavy influence in politics, that we have a history of favoring immigration restrictions, that there was segregation, redlining and so on and so on.

When Donald Trump speaks of "Making America Great Again" , he's thinking of the 50's- Donald "the 50's guy" (thanks Bill Maher!) . Bernie similarly wants to turn back the hands of time , but uses for his inspiration, the Scandinavian Model- Unfortunately he doesn't seem to get that many of his policy positions conflict with Scandinavian principles on trade and the economy. But he yearns of yesteryear too, before everyone was too greedy , before "neo-liberalism". He speaks of a reality that could be if only we had the guts to grasp it, even if (from my perspective,) he hasn't been able to properly articulate it himself . And as for HRC, her support for trade deals in the past gets her a lot of flack but she is consistent and her views are framed with worker's rights in mind but there too, is an ode to the past - her ideas about worker's rights are absolute, which blinds her to the reality of the job market today which is so flexible because of automation that assuming change in the status of a worker is solely because of the unscrupulousness of employers is myopic.

It's hard to accept that Jobs will continue to become scarce. Yearning for a yesteryear where jobs will once again be plentiful is a fool's errand. There's no way to reverse this trend. And instead of fighting against it, let's embrace it. Why support obsolete industries which will disappear in 10 years time? Why do we persist to keep the status quo?

And I feel this is where democrats can lead the conversation- it's risky, but if not now then when?

A Universal Income:

Throughout human history we've been working. As part of tribe to survive. As laborers, as slaves, as servants. In spite of labor laws, human beings across this planet find themselves resorting to demeaning work just to survive and just barely. How much of this can humans take? The "lower classes" can only be subjected to unfairness for so long before the seeds of revolution sprout and stability, the foundation of civilization, succumbs to violence and volatility. Perhaps , the 21st century will be the time we break this cycle of abject poverty, exploitation, revolution, stability - rinse and repeat.

As technology looms large with AI and Robots, this is an opportunity to end the trend of back breaking labor, demeaning labor and to free ourselves of our outdated concepts of "jobs" and "work" . As we leave it to the machines to do the heavy work, humans get a universal income, and are free to pursue our own endeavors , not pressured by market forces or desperation. These same market pressures are responsible for a ...

"definition of ourselves (which) entails the principle of productivity – from each according to his abilities, to each according to his creation of real value through work – and commits us to the inane idea that we’re worth only as much as the labour market can register, as a price. By now we must also know that this principle plots a certain course to endless growth and its faithful attendant, environmental degradation."

Ask yourself - Should a human being work long hours in a chicken factory, on their feet, hurting their backs? Should a human being spend hours driving ? Should a human be trapped in a cubicle, in an unending cycle of monotony - -- , what else could that human being be doing - bonding with family perhaps? Pursuing a hobby? Starting a new business? doing something he or she actually enjoys instead of the monotony of the same job everyday- wouldn't this freedom be a spring board for innovation ? If all of us could do what we want to do instead of what we HAVE to do and are required to do to make a living?

This could be the future for us - it's scary because it is potentially our next great evolutionary step -- but I'm ready to embrace it .
The article that inspired these thoughts is here:


November 28, 2016

We can find a balance, so in the spirit of honesty..

..here goes.

an analysis of all the thingzz..

Hillary Herself:

I worried about a Hillary run. Not because I didn't believe she would be a competent, or even great President, but because I knew many people don't *get* her and that she is subversive.Subversive in the sense that she is not your typical charismatic politician. One of the supposedly damaging wikileaks wall street excerpts is her saying she doesn't like promising more than she can deliver - she damned near endeared me to her for life with that - it is rare for a politician to admit that, but throughout her life, Hillary has been a straight shooter, and overtime hides this, learning that there is a price to pay for being blunt, especially if you're a woman. Still she needed to be in I don't give a fuck mode this election, and drop it. Trump got away with it, why not her? Instead she came across as too scripted, too predictable. And this is not who she truly is - I give the DNC and the Clinton Camp a solid "F" for manufacturing her image to the teeth. To Hillary's credit she admitted she was out of touch, and her campaign needed to focus on "Optics". Optics is all fluff but it matters and in August it mattered. Right after the convention, the very last thing Hillary should have contemplated was conventionality. Sure , August is the month when presidential candidates have their fund raisers - but cloistering with private donors with no invitation to the press - this was pure tone-deafness. She needed to ride the wave from the high of the DNC convention and rally hard without waiting for Trump to fuck up.So the overall perception of her was that she was a creature of the donor class, someone who didn't *get* it even though her policies screamed how well she DID get it.

... Hillary's scandals a.k.a a bunch of bullshit.

As much as I admire Hillary's attitude of "fuck it they're gonna attack me anyway" - not everyone appreciates that in a politician. She doesn't handle scandal well, she is not teflon. Benghazi was a Witch Hunt, the Email crap was some overwrought nonsense with as much intrigue as a dead horse, which republicans and their circus monkeys in the media beat to a pulp. Hillary needed to own up to it early on, her first explanations were torturous. She just needed to say "Look I messed up, my bad" - instead, like white water, it became a long drawn year long obsession which needed to be nipped in the bud.

Bernie Himself:

Yes Bernie is part of this tragedy. As I said elsewhere today:

Bernie supporters need to own up to him dividing the party.

There are ways to do things, and ways not to do things - he chose the latter.

If Bernie really wanted to sway Democrats he needed to pay his dues and show loyalty to the party - any organization would demand this including the libertarians and green party.

He needed to join the Dems in 2012, instead of threatening to primary Obama - work on making his case among the rank and file Dems. Ally himself with other progressive groups, work on establishing coalitions. Put a laser focus on recapturing the house, and hone a group of 30 progressives to capture districts held by moderate Republicans or even take the risk and aim for more right leaning districts. He also needed to out-manoeuvre his critics by showing he's serious through sound policy proposals - which would require he make more refined and detailed arguments instead of going on and on about "The billionaire class" The best way to shut down your critics is show you understand their views and predicaments better than they even do, and counter their claims. There were other things he could have done - and of course HRC needed to take all that advice as well.

But Bernie did none of this. He decided he and his cause were more important than the party - this is just a failure of politics on his part. His establishment arguments were slogans, his economic arguments and analogies made no sense didn't add up, especially for someone like me who hungers for detail from politicians. And after the dust was settled, Trump had a smorgasbord of criticisms to aim at HRC and the Dems, courtesy Sanders himself. I am not saying he is a bad man, I'm saying he did not approach this strategically, and unwittingly made it more difficult for Democrats who historically find it tough to recapture the Presidency in an incumbent year.

HOWEVER, I am thankful to Bernie for sparkling life into the party, we now have a grassroots movement we can capitalize on, we just need to be armed to the teeth with better ideas and better solutions and better ARGUMENTS than the republicans are offering. He also made me realise that I shouldn't feel the right has a monopoly on stupid, nutjob conspiracy theorists - I'm looking at you CounterPunch and JPR (or whatever they're called).

The DNC.

It was unnecessary for the DNC to play favorites. Yes, in light of all I just said about Bernie coming in like a wrecking ball, HRC was a strong candidate, a woman who gave her life to the Dems for 30 years of her life so why play favorites - it was bound to look bad , especially to my fellow millennials, who all loved the SEEMING sincerity and honesty of Sanders. It was just unnecessary politricking.

That said, the collusion between SOME in the media and DNC operatives is nothing new - and will continue between members of ALL parties. Nothing with change after this. Politics folks.

EDIT: Frazzled and I engaged on this favoritism argument- check reply #7. I note Eichenwald's piece but maintain perception is reality - even if perception is based on falsehoods ( for the most part)

The Hillary Platform

I have few complaints. She needed to run more jobs ads but overall, few complaints from me. Hillary had a diverse team, a ridiculously inclusive platform. Her utilitarian speech at the DNC convention was her trying to satisfy everyone - what more do you want people? Blood?

Dumbass Media .

that's all I have to say , WaPo you tried your best though.

EDIT: No wait I will say more - Grading the Orange Idiot on a curve, dragging Hillary down to his level because you want a horse race, covering his rallies to the exclusion of other candidates giving policy speeches ( CANDIDATES WHO BOTHERED TO BE COHERENT) , refusing to understand or expend intellectual energy into understanding why the fuck "Goddamn" emails were a thing - I'm looking at you Joe Scarborough for subjecting me to your idiocy all year- I tried to avoid you, but wherever I happened to be on a morning, some establishment would have you and Mica on TV with your nonsense analysis, proving beyond a doubt that there is a divine reason I avoid Cable News Media. And overall failing at being the Fourth Estate, the guardians, the ones to tell us what is bullshit and what is not, and instead opting to react to Trump's foolishness thereby normalizing him instead of dissecting his shit.



- Russian Fuckeries - How is this not a thing? Why aren't Americans fucking enraged?
- Assange and his fuckery. Where Julian turned Wiki into a Trump super-pac. Wikileaks basically became the NY Post.
- FBI fuckery. Really Comey? REALLY? REALLY???
- Sexist Bullshit

How she pulled off a pop vote in spite of all these assorted fuckeries is miraculous.


I reserve my greatest anger and frustration with voters.

Yes, sometimes the "people" get the government they deserve.

Dear Voter:

you need to give a fuck about policy, you need to understand the economy, you need to read, and you need to question your own assumptions about the world by subjecting those assumptions to debate and exposing yourself to different views and perspectives.

you need to question and challenge what politicians tell you, even if they seem "nice" and "sincere", and the moment they offer milk and honey IS THE MOMENT YOU GET SUSPICIOUS.

you need to vote strategically. No one survives in politics with clean hands - there is always a story of collusion or a stench of favoritism - the point is STRATEGY. Republican voters understand this, largely because core Republican demographics are staunchly fundamentalist. They understood this year that the Supreme Court was important, that undoing Obama's awful (in their eyes) executive orders was important ( for them) - and some who voted Trump were so focused on God and Guns, they forgot their healthcare coverage could end up being on the line. Meanwhile progressives were caught up in purity politics - we always end up doing this - and many of my peers were consumed with ideas of perfection in a candidate -

---The perfect candidate is a pink tailed UNICORN found at the edge of a rainbow - they don't exist and if they do , they're in a parallel universe. Not even Obama was perfect.

And when Trump's populist economic ideas take root and we suffer the effects, voters need to look themselves in the mirror and blame themselves for their apathy , their complacency and their shortsightedness.

Politicians cannot do everything for you. No one can save you but yourself.

November 6, 2016

HRC and the Media

We all know that Comey's announcement today won't get as much play as his letter last week - A week of absolute bullshit speculation and suspect leaks.

Anyone who actually believes HRC has the media on her side is in denial.

November 6, 2016

So the Brexiters forgot Britain is a Parliamentary Democracy..

Cameron took an irresponsible risk with the referendum. Might possibly go down as the worst PM in History for this alone..


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Gender: Female
Member since: Sun Sep 11, 2016, 01:18 AM
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About JHan

Be true, be brave, stand. All the rest is darkness.
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