Stop pretending that it's only the other side's fault. The "system" depends on struggele, not solutions.
Selected parts of my contributions to a comment thread from May 2020."My problem is that we don't have informed science making decisions. We have politicos, none of whom I would trust to give me a straight answer that didn't give them votes. I want to see informed science, but I want to see scientists and statisticians making their best cases. I don't want to see justifications for decisions that have already been made so we can all mutter approvingly about how government has saved us from our own folly."
“Journalism has changed a lot since I first stepped into a newsroom...
I don’t like the direction it is going. ...I’m sure there are other journalists out there who feel the same way”
“We need an open digital commons, where individuals maintain ownership of their own identities and where speech is highly resistant to political pressure.”
One rule of thumb is that all things being equal (which they usually aren't), the side working to control who gets to speak is the one you should worry about.“Thou shalt not dissent” should a be red flag with a siren.
“Much like segregation was legal while being illegal, if the judiciary is wrong or refuses to rule, what barrier is there to tyranny except breaking the law? An eternal constitutional paradox”
“Neither Trump nor Biden is likely to concede, forcing SCOTUS to act.”
“Nestride Yumga experienced real corruption and civil rights abuses in Africa. Then she came to America, the land of opportunity, education, and freedom. So when Black Lives Matter protests declared America guilty of systemic racism and injustice, she knew she had to defend her adoptive country.”
“The documentary "Coup 53" explores how a seemingly easy regime change wrecked U.S. foreign policy for decades.”
“It sounds like Disney and the other theme parks in California have had enough. It sounds like they are starting to put some pressure on the state to get some REAL guidelines for reopening parks. CAPA, an organization representing California theme parks, has sent a formal request for these guidelines so that Disneyland and other parks can prepare for reopening...like nearly everything else in the country.”
“A huge amount of progress has taken place that a lot of people just don't take into account, especially smart people who are attending to the real problems of the world," says Ronald Bailey, Reason's science correspondent and the coauthor, with Marian Tupy of HumanProgress.org, of Ten Global Trends Every Smart Person Should Know: And Many Others You Will Find Interesting.For instance: In 1990, the World Bank estimated that about 1.9 billion people lived in "absolute poverty," defined as surviving on the inflation-adjusted equivalent of $1.90 a day. By 2018, the number had dropped to 650 million, even as global population increased. If current trends continue, less than 5 percent of the planet's population will be in absolute poverty by 2030.Despite ongoing problems in the Amazon and elsewhere, forests are expanding on net across the planet. "If you look broadly across the entire globe," says Bailey, "what you find is forests have expanded since the 1980s to an area that's about the size of Alaska and Montana combined, basically 800,000 square miles of land." And the world is getting safer, too, especially for poor people. "The chance of a person dying from a natural catastrophe—earthquake, flood, drought, storm, wildfire, landslide, or epidemic—has declined by nearly 99 percent since the 1920s and 1930s," write Bailey and Tupy.Other positive trends include continuing economic growth and rising living standards around the globe, far fewer food shortages and famines, a decline in the number of autocratic regimes, and a reduction in major armed conflicts.Bailey tells Reason that this massive ongoing progress is largely ignored because politicians and the media have an interest in foregrounding bad news—and because human beings, at least in the past 200 years, tend to take progress for granted. He says that's a mistake. Progress is the result of implementing better ideas for organizing society. "Basically," he says, "the Enlightenment happened." With that came the rise of representative government, property rights and markets, and especially the free speech and open inquiry that are essential for technological and social innovation.
“Bridget Phetasy on why Trump and Biden fail to inspire and how new media are reshaping politics.Until the Republicans and Democrats start appealing to voters like her, they will have to eke out tighter and tighter victories by scaring partisans with insane claims. Despite that, Phetasy is optimistic because she thinks new media are staging a conversation that speaks to politically homeless independents.”
“It's a scary time in America. In the last few weeks, we've seen police violence, protests, riots, snitch lines... all framed by the backdrop of a viral pandemic. It's not hard to see that a lot of people are hurting and angry. It's also not hard to understand why.
“The vice-presidential candidate opportunistically painted the site's co-founders as villains when they were actually helping law enforcement to catch sex traffickers.”
“Biden picked the only VP candidate whose record on police and criminal justice reform is just as terrible as his own.”
“Oprah Winfrey is a self-made African American woman with a net worth of over $2 billion USD, and she has now taken the opinion that America is best viewed through the lens of a racial caste system. In this understand of America, even the poorest white still has innate white privilege and an advantage over other groups. But is her own success story possible in such an imagined world?”
“As families flock to virtual charter schools and "pandemic pods," California blocks the money from following the child. ”
“The Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act of 2020, also known as the EARN IT Act, is a dangerous bill introduced by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. If it becomes law, it will end private communication on the internet.The EARN IT Act is part of a long history of using sex panics to expand state power. If we fall for it this time we may effectively end freedom of expression and open communication on the internet as we know it.EARN IT threatens website providers’ and other intermediaries’ ability to provide end-to-end encrypted services. End-to-end encryption is critical to ensuring private communication and often personal safety.Like so many of the save-the-children bills before it, EARN IT will not combat child sexual exploitation, but it will be the largest expansion of state surveillance powers in recent history, eliminating private communication on the internet."Tip of the hat to The Honest Courtesan.
“American doctors are holding a “White Coat Summit” in Washington, D.C. to address “a massive disinformation campaign” by the media about coronavirus.
Dr. Stella Immanuel has successfully treated hundreds of COVID-19 patients using Hydroxychloroquine. This broadcast went viral and Facebook DELETED this video off our page. This censorship is out of control!
Watch as Dr. Immanuel tackles the media's narrative about Hydroxychloroquine.”
The Decalogue isn't universal. It never has been. Insisting that it applies to everyone is just another way to control the another's behavior. After all, how can they dare question if it's "God's will?"Adapted from a discussion at another site.
Despite the best of intentions, the U.S. Department of Education is fundamentally illegal.A short one adapted from a discussion at another site.
Funny how all this was predicted in a 2010 Rockefeller Foundation report. It's almost like there is a master plan.
“Breaking it down is very simple to understand.”
“Our lovely and unbiased healthcare professionals are here to explain why your job and family are stupid and not a worthy reason to put lives at risk, but rubbing shoulders with 10,000 strangers to shake signs and burn cars is!”
“Protestors who have formed the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (or CHAZ) in Seattle have released a series of demands, which include, among other things, free housing, college and socialized medicine.”
“His famous line that a "riot is the language of the unheard" is often taken out of context.”
Trouble Won’t Be “Transitory”
“Mounting problems with inflation, the supply chain, and energy shortages are not likely to resolve themselves quickly.”
The new public health despotism
“Draconian rules are suppressing our humanity”
In Major Shift, NIH Admits Funding Risky Virus Research in Wuhan
“A spokesman for Dr. Fauci says he has been “entirely truthful,” but a new letter belatedly acknowledging the National Institutes of Health’s support for virus-enhancing research adds more heat to the ongoing debate over whether a lab leak could have sparked the pandemic.”
Sinema Bent on Destroying Biden Presidency to Keep Taxes on the Wealthy Low
“If this report is true, it would likely be a death blow to Biden’s social agenda. Senate rules require that creating or expanding any social program — health care, child care, education, or anything else — can only be made permanent if it has some funding source. If Sinema refuses to support any tax increases on the wealthy, there’s no financing available to come anywhere close.”
Dems weigh ditching Medicare expansion and paid leave in eleventh hour of social spending talks
“Axing either of the two provisions would infuriate progressives and alienate valuable voting blocs. Yet the party might just have to.”
In praise of William Shatner
“His space trip has exposed the cynicism and miserabilism of the smart set.”
Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Message To Concerned Parents Is Clear: Shut Up Or Else
“The collusion between Biden’s White House, woke school boards, and the DOJ serves one purpose: to intimidate parents into silence.”
EXCLUSIVE: Iconic Target Store on (SF) Mission St to Close Amid Shoplifting Tidal Wave
“SFPD tells Globe Mayor Breed falsely claims it’s not about theft, begs company to stay”