You couldn't be here if stars hadn't exploded.
To the question, “Why me?” the cosmos barely bothers to return the reply, “Why not?”
Atheist: Natural Morals, Real Meaning, Credible Truth

20 April, 2018

Slander becomes the tool of the loser?




"When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser" -Socrates
Let’s disassemble this.
1. There is no evidence of this being a quote of Socrates. It has been attributed to him in various social media since 2008 but no scholarly source has it as a quote. But then experts.

2. Since it isn’t a quote, I’ll call it a phrase and we can parse it out.
“When the debate is lost” – What debate is that? Our Presidential election was a debate?  In the context of this posting that seems to be it.  So how was the debate lost? Trump didn’t have a landslide win despite what people tell him and he believes. 46th out of 56 elections, since Kennedy in 1960 his win is better than only Carter’s and the two GW Bush elections and only 48% of the vote.  An election isn’t a debate in any case. It is a battle between competing ideologies and policies. The “winner” gets to try to implement their ideologies, that doesn’t mean in any way they are correct or that the “losers” are wrong.  That is a false dichotomy logical fallacy. But then logic.

3. “slander becomes the tool of the loser.”  slan . der  noun   the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person's reputation.  So who’s reputation are false, damaging statements being made against? Trump’s? Maybe his policies or those of the GOP? First there is an assumption here that false statements are being made.  What would those be? That Trump’s campaign personnel talked with Russians before the election and lied about it? That Trump has made many trips to Russia over the last few years with no deals made and lied about it? That he owes millions to Germany’s Duetche Bank which has been fined 100’s of millions for illegal laundering of Russian criminal money. That Trump is making money personally from his being President, in direct violation of the Constitution? There are so many. Are any of them false? There are a lot of investigations ongoing that seem to be finding evidence. Any of this slander? They are valid questions, more valid than questioning Obama’s US citizenship for which “Slander! Slander!” was not cried. To say Trump is a child molester could be slander because there is… oops, there is evidence of that.  To say Trump was born in Peru of Peruvian parents would be slander.  But then Kenya.

4. The insidious part of this phrase is that it implies that the winner is right, the loser is wrong, and that the loser is lying. Not just lying, committing slander in a legal sense. To be shut up in a legal sense. This is fundamentally un-Constitutional and un-American, directly violates the First Amendment. If acted upon by the government, fascist. The first amendment establishes free speech against the government. Trump is the government now. He is in the big boy game now, not his New York real estate wheeling and dealing bullshit life. Slander is off the table for him and his supporters now. But then World War II.

5. But then emails!

21 July, 2017

Initiative

It appeared the light at the construction site between 236 and 35 was stuck this morning.  I came up on it and there were five or six cars there in front of me, I had let most if not all of them by me at the 9/236 intersection. Ok, it should change soon. We waited. Cars behind me beyond the curve.  We waited.  A car came through from the other direction.  We waited. Another truck came through.  This is wrong. The road workers were out of sight. I thought I could pull off to the right and find one to kick the lights. But someone honked behind me. Shit. I’ll just go and flag off any oncoming cars until this gathering passed through.  I pulled left, no one coming (I could see, I was in my Jeep and tall enough) and I passed the six in front of me. 
As soon as I passed the second car in line the light turned green!
Woo hoo!  I’m in front of an angry crowd on Hwy9 in my slow and poorly handling Jeep!
I suspect I kicked the motion sensor at our end into wakefulness.
Lesson: If it seem you aren’t getting through… maybe move forward a little to wake up the sensor.  The people up front seemed content to wait forever.

30 January, 2017

Immigration Ban

Fought with conservatives about Trump’s Holocaust Remembrance Day immigration ban.  Why is it that conservatives don’t get that ethnic, religious, sexual discrimination is unconstitutional? What is so incomprehensible about it?

How is it a good idea to ban immigration from these countries at all anyway?  What threat does refugees from here pose? No terrorist attack in this country has been committed by a refugee from these countries. Instead our troops are at higher risk because we are reneging on hope and promises for those in the region that they can escape in return for the help they gave us.  People are getting screwed, it could be people die.  So the question is, how many more terrorists did Trump create with this ban?  Nothing new here.  Our name is further trashed internationally.  Russia laughs at us.  Who knows what China is thinking?

What a fuck up Trump is.

One web site I read thinks this is all testing of the waters for a coup d'├ętat in US government, where would resistance come from, give an idea who would support such a thing.  I think that’s farfetched but the testing goes on.  Is the administration going to back down in the face of court orders?  Trump fucking better. What is disturbing is that the Department of Homeland Security seems to be following unconstitutional orders without question.

26 January, 2017

Fascism Short Description

Fascism doesn't play by the rules. It subverts them to gain power and then eliminates them completely. There's no freedom of speech under fascism, there's no democratic process, no freedom of press, no politely disagreeing about political views...
Fascism abuses our cherished and most fundamental values and turns them into fatal flaws. If you play by the rules against fascism, you die by the rules.
Fascism is also inherently violent.

Actions to take against Trump

Join (Organization who will go to court or help elect who you want.)

-          Planned Parenthood - https://www.plannedparenthood.org/

-          American Civil Liberties Union https://www.aclu.org/

-          Union of Concerned Scientists http://www.ucsusa.org/

-          Southern Poverty Law Center (good civil rights org but they pissed me off)

-          Emily’s List http://www.emilyslist.org/

-          Freedom From Religion Foundation  https://ffrf.org/

 

Subscribe (A free press supported by readers is needed to keep tabs on Trump.)

-          Washington Post - https://www.washingtonpost.com/

-          The Guardian - https://www.theguardian.com/us-news

-          Slate - http://www.slate.com/

 

Call (Tell your congress person what you think, what you want.)

-          Senator Feinstein and Harris - https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?State=CA

-          House Representative - http://www.house.gov/representatives/#state_ca

-          (Calling is easy… State one sentence of what you want, they’ll ask you your zip code and maybe name.)

-          (“Hi, I’d like to register my opposition to Senator Sessions being confirmed as Attorney General.” They ask your name and zip. Done)

 

There’s more…

Follow activists on Twitter and Facebook

Comment on Facebook and Twitter, don’t be silent.

Comment on news articles. You’ll get criticized and called names but f—k them.

March. Trumpie didn’t like the bigger crowd after his big day.

There is a March for Science coming up soon.

There will be immigration marches.

 

25 January, 2017

Thoughts on 25 January 2017

President Tr…. erp…  gulp… <gag> … Tru… <cough> <gag> <cough>

I can’t say it. The baby handed manbaby took the oath of office last Friday and the real horror show has begun.  EPA scientists silenced. A wall has been ordered. Extreme vetting discussed. Funding for any organization that is connected or mentions abortion is banned. The killing of women has begun. The martial speech was horrifying. Somehow crime will now end. ISIS will now somehow be destroyed.

And all the news about Putin’s influence has disappeared for the moment. The DNC has no leadership. 

The fascism of this administration is hardly hidden anymore.

The whining about how bigly his inauguration crowd was compared to 2009 Obama’s. The man is a child. The lying continues, the sheep are lapping it up.

The Supreme Court pick is coming out next week. I can’t imagine what this horror is going to bring. It may be good that I watch zombie shows and movies, I’m somewhat prepared for dystopia.

 

The day after the inauguration Liz and I marched with 30,000 other people in San Jose. A couple of million around the world. That was good. The things to do in response to this cluster fuck are: Join ACLU, UCS, Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List.  Subscribe to good journalism because we need that more than ever now; Slate, NYTimes, Washington Post, The Guardian, NPR.

 

The rage at this isn’t going away. Rage at the DNC and Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, Sanders supporters, Sanders, Clintons, Lynch, Comey, Assuange/Putin/Wikileaks.  All still there. I can’t believe this happened.

11 November, 2016

Angry

I am so fucking angry.
At myself for allowing myself to be swayed by polls in an unconventional election.
At pollsters being so sure of themselves in an unconventional election.
At the third party voters who needed to make a point.
At all who could have voted and didn't.
At Putin or whoever was feeding Assange his bullshit.
At Assange for fucking with our election with bullshit that DOESN'T FUCKING MATTER for his personal gain and ego.
At FBI Director Comey for whatever the fuck he thought he was doing.
At Clinton for being uninspiring to too many in the south, especially Florida where she had to win.
At whites across the country voting out of fear and greed for a rapist, lying, fraud who doesn't give a flying fuck about anybody but himself.
At the GOP who are going to use their power to try to fuck over millions of people on health care, civil rights, and a future of climate change disasters to support greed, fear, and religious bullshit. 


What I expected:
 

20 October, 2016

Found on Facebook

"Bill Clinton cheats on his wife. Impeach him. Trump proudly brags about sexual assault (and has cheated on his wives). Elect him. Hillary oversaw the department of state while 4 people died in an embassy attack. Put her in jail. 2 Republicans were in office while over 200 people died in embassy attacks. No problem. Immigrants don't pay taxes. Round them up and kick them out. Trump doesn't pay taxes. He's a business genius. Hillary's foundation only spent 87% of their donations helping people. She's a crook. Trumps foundation paid off his debts, bought sculptures of him, and made political donations to avoid investigations while using less than 5% of funds for charity (and he got shut down by NY State). So savvy... Put him in the white house. Trump made 4 billion dollars in 40 years, when an index fund started at the same time with the same "small loans" he received would be worth $12 billion today... without a trail of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits and burned small business owners. He's a real business whiz. Hillary took a loss of $700k. She's a criminal. Trump is the first candidate in the modern era not to release his tax returns, and took a billion dollar loss in 1 year. Genius. Hillary takes responsibility for private email servers and apologizes. Not credible. Trump denies saying things (on the record) he actually said (on the record), he's just telling it like it is.

Your arguments are thin. Your ignorance of reality is shocking. Your double-standards are offensive, and your willingness to blindly support him and recycle the rhetoric is absurd. Your opinion is not fact. Your memes are not news articles. And your hypocrisy is not a platform."
- Alex Schiller

06 October, 2016

Republican Disrespect



History will look back and note that Republicans in Congress treated President Obama with unprecedented disrespect.
President Obama is the first president to be asked to show his birth certificate.
President Obama is the first president to face over 500 filibusters in the Senate.
President Obama is the first President to be denied a hearing on his budget.
President Obama is the first president to be denied a hearing on his Supreme Court nominee.
Barack Obama is a very good man. He deserved better than the unprecedented disrespect Republicans have shown him.
- Harry Reid, US Senator, 29 September 2016  @SenatorReid
 Senator Harry Reid

31 July, 2016

Choices

It is a hard choice that has thousands of people starving and suffering at your border fence because of the probability that some small fraction of them would turn on you if allowed in and creating more people who will turn on you in the future. It is difficult to determine if this is objectively the correct choice. The US is making this choice. Germany did not. In my opinion Germany made the right choice.

The other choice is to allow in the refugees, build communities with them, develop trust with them. The community will help with security fears.  If they can't be allowed in, help them where they are, real actual help that works, to help them adapt and move on.

I think things are going to get a lot worse with climate change, learning this now will make the future less bleak.

26 July, 2016

Why I will vote for Hillary Clinton, without qualm

1. The email “scandal” is not an issue. She has admitted the private server was a mistake. The FBI had no indication that she intended to compromise classified information. Intent is 9/10ths of that law. By Presidential decree in 2009, the heads of the State Dept, Defense Dept, and CIA define what is and isn’t classified in their departments. As Secretary of State, by definition, anything she wrote unclassified is by definition unclassified. Conflict with other departments to be adjudicated by the President. Fact. That’s the way classified information works. The FBI’s opinion on the subject stopped at opinion. They had no evidence of a crime. Unintentional negligence is not a crime.

2. She has the experience required to be President acquired as Secretary of State, US Senator, and even as First Lady. She is qualified.

3. Her policies as Secretary of State more closely correspond to my own. Combating terrorism requires thoughtful and coordinated response. Open indiscriminate warfare against terrorism will not end it, it will breed more, as has been demonstrated by decades of Israeli/Palestinian conflict as only one example.

4. She has reversed position on TPP. That means she can listen to dissent, to the other side of argument, make reasoned positions and correct them when necessary.

5. She recognizes that tax cuts for the wealthy and spending cuts that cost jobs do not create jobs. People with money to spend do, particularly a healthy middle class.

6. She is pro-choice.

7. She objects to the Hobby Lobby decision that says religious corporations can avoid paying health care insurance costs.

8. She objects to the decision that removed voting rights protections.

9. She objects to the Citizens United decision that makes unrestrained spending of money on elections free speech.

10. She supports the marriage equality decision and objects to the other “religious freedom” bigotry sweeping through local governments.

11. She recognizes the need for national gun control laws and regulation.

12. She will likely be in position to select three Supreme Court justices. Her selections will better align with my views and the views of the majority of the people of this country.

13. Benghazi is not an issue. There was no “stand down” order. That was established through millions of dollars of Congressional investigation.

14. She has the personality to remain calm, to assess, and to respond intelligently to crisis.

15. People say she is a genuinely nice person one-on-one.

16. She is not running for President for personal glory.

Sure, she isn’t perfect. Her laugh makes me cringe sometimes but this isn’t a personality contest.

Nearly every one of these points is counter to Trump/Pence.

Voting for Hillary is easy for me.