Dec 13, 2016
commented on Trump Names Walter White Head of the DEA on This Week's SNL
Actually, this makes perfect sense in an awful kind of way. It's what the "Republicans" have been doing for years, Trump's just being way more blatant about it.
The first thing you have to understand is that these people aren't "Republicans" in the sense that Eisenhower or even Nixon were. They are anarcho-capitalists and their goal is to have as close to no government as possible.
Now, in order for them to get to their goal they have to massively erode trust in the government's ability to be effective. Once they undermine this authority they forward the idea of having private enterprise doing whatever it was the government was doing.
In the past this was done by an indirect sort of monkeywrenching(hobbling regulations, defunding the ability of agencies to do their job, etc) but with Trump he's being pretty direct about it. Appointing people who hate the agencies they are going to run is a surefire way to make sure those agencies are poorly run. Once the agencies crash and burn the "Republicans" can point to the wreckage and say how awful government is and maybe we should just hire Raytheon instead to do what the agency failed at.
And that is how they turn the USA into a sort of Randian anarcho-capitalist utopia.
Dec 7, 2016
commented on Dear Amy Sherman-Palladino: Get it Together. Gilmore Girls is Not a Gritty Cable Drama.
The thing that is interesting to me about all this is how people have been reacting to Gilmore Girls.
There's this article, the other review on Slog, and the first thing Slog put out that I now use as an example of "we aren't taking about XYZ anymore, are we?" in our current cultural climate.
Not to mention the Rune Soup blog post where the author talks about how the Gilmore Girls reboot is an example of good nostalgia.
Considering that I didn't like the show the first time(it felt very "not for me" in a way that is difficult for me to put my finger on) I don't really have a dog in the fight.
Dec 1, 2016
commented on The Morning News:Washingtonians Fleeing Seattle, Oregon Schools Ban Santa, Tacoma Cop Killed
Re; "Three Reasons"
Your blithe dismissal of people's reasons for moving would be fine except it comes in the context of The Stranger's pretty blatant narrative that the cities are the only progressive hope against the backwards rednecks of the rest of the nation.
So, if people don't like crowds, if they don't like the constant noise of construction, and/or, if they like the stability of having the same neighborhood cafe/grocery store/etc for longer than two years, they aren't urban and if they aren't urban they aren't really progressive.
No thank you, sir. No thank you.
Dec 1, 2016
commented on This Week on the Blabbermouth Podcast: Jill Stein and the DEMONocracy
I didn't think one of my comments would get read on the air. Even though I'm a guy, Ms. Groover can read my comments any time.
For those who would be interested in learning more about what I'm talking about, here are some good resources.
"Everybody wins, except for most of us" by Josh Bivens
This book goes into great detail(just the summary on the EPI web page is really helpful) on how globalization is actually a mixed blessing.
"The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies" by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee: This is a really good book that will give you a basic idea about the problems we are dealing with.
Now, if you aren't interested in reading, there is a podcast called "Team Human" that's really good. In particular, the latest episode is called the “Future of Work” with Natalie Foster really has a lot of interesting stuff on the topic.
Nov 25, 2016
commented on This Week on the Blabbermouth Podcast: Speaking Truth to Rural Power
I'm sorry to be a pain here but you are getting it wrong again.
First, living in the city, much like living in the country, is a particular taste that not every progressive shares. I volunteered for Mrs Clinton, have a long and varied history of working for progressive causes and whenever I go into New York City for anything I live in a low level panic attack because everyone is so damned bunched in together.
Second, we need, NEED to have serious conversations about globalization and automation. It is a fact that both disproportionately affect rural populations who tend to depend on a single industry or in many cases a single factory in order to exist. Telling them to just suck it up and move into the cities won't solve your problems as most of those who have any ability to do so already have. The ones you have left are people like me who(for whatever reason) simply aren't able to move to a city. This, by the way, won't deal with every single Trump voter. It will, however, deal with the people in the "rust belt" who switched from Obama to Trump and those are the people we need to get voting Democratic again.
Nov 23, 2016
commented on Savage Love Letter of the Day: Dear Old—Really Old—Mom and Dad
Here's the deal. When you get upwards of 60 million people you are dealing with a very large data set. When you are dealing with a large data set it is EXTREMELY unwise to generalize across the entire set.
For example. It is most likely not true that 100% of Trump voters agreed with Stormfront. I'd be amazed if more than 5% of Trump voters even know what Stormfront is(for those playing the home game, Stormfront is an insanely racist web site that caters to neo-Nazis and similar types of people).
That said, it is not only possible, but likely, that a significant portion of Trump voters are ardent racists. It's also likely that another significant portion of Trump supports would be "Yellow Dog Republicans", meaning they would vote for a yellow dog if the Republicans put one up as a candidate. I don't think we will get through to those people.
The Trump voters that really interest me are the ones in the midwest that voted for Obama in past elections and switched to Trump. They were the ones that lost Clinton the election and they are the ones that we need to get back. I think that we can get them back if we acknowledge globalization and automation are mixed blessings whose downsides disproportionately fall on areas that depend on a single factory or industry and try to figure out ways that people can continue to live a rural life like they have for generations.
Now, you might say that those people should just suck it up and move to cities.
This is the part where I'm going to have to say some super unpopular stuff.
Not everyone likes living in cities and of those people, not all of them are backward/racist/sexist/homophobic/awful. Everyone on Slog seems to gloss over the fact that cities are expensive, crowded, and move at a very fast pace.
You can be a good person and not want to spend $1,000/month on a postage stamp sized studio.
You can be agoraphobic but not homophobic.
You can be socially progressive and not want to move at a speed such that it feels like you blink twice and you're 50.
Just like rural life isn't good for everyone, neither is urban life.
Nov 11, 2016
commented on This Week on the Blabbermouth Podcast: What Do We Do Now?
Yeah, that's kind of what I noticed. When Sydney tried to justify past fights and pick a new fight with Dan, I could almost feel the other people in the room staring at her wordlessly saying, "WTF is wrong with you?"
I would be willing to bet you $50 right now that if you asked her about the negative effects of globalization and where they are concentrated or about the opioid addiction epidemic and where it is concentrated she'll just stare blankly.
I'll give you a hint on both of them. It's where people voted for Obama in 2012 and voted for Trump this time around.
Nov 9, 2016
commented on Good Morning, America. Welcome To Your White Supremacy
For those frequent readers, don't worry, this will be the last time I post this.
Below is what I have been telling people who ask me what happened in regards to Trump, why he won.
The racism, sexism, homophobia, etc,. isn't primary for most people. It's a knock off effect.
In order to understand what happened you have to understand something about the democratic party throughout the 20th and 21st century.
For most of that time the Democrats were the party of minorities and labor. However, as of around 20 or 30 years ago the Democrats shifted away from labor and towards dot com types. App developers, that sort of thing. The problem was that labor was a HUGE constituency that nobody was speaking to.
Another factor is that globalization was routinely marketed as having no real downside for decades, all the way back to NAFTA. The problem is that globalization actually does have a negative impact that is disproportionately felt by, you guessed it, labor, in particular labor in rural areas because most small towns depend on a single industry or institution unlike cities which, due to trade and a higher population, can absorb the impact of losing a factory.
Now, there are two more things on top of that.
The third thing is that around the late 90's there was a massive campaign on the part of drug manufacturers to market a new brand of pain medication, marketing it as non-addictive directly to doctors. Through a tragic set of circumstances that created an epidemic of opioid addiction that more often affects, you guessed it, white working class men in rural areas.
The last, and this is frankly the weakest reason, was the loss of respect. Most rural labor has felt disrespected and(honestly) kind of freaked out for decades now.
All of this has two effects.
The first is that non-college educated white men are dying deaths of despair at a rapid and increasing rate.
The second, is Trump.
Links available upon request.