Sunday, January 21, 2018

Jell-O Man: Trump Pinned to the Wall

Chuck Schumer is what we've got for the face of Democrats in the Senate, which is one reason the Republicans control the government, but finally Schumer fastened on something which might be useful.

"Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) on Saturday blasted President Trump as an unreliable negotiating partner, fuming that working with him is “like negotiating with Jell-O" after a failure to secure a deal to avert a government shutdown."
--The Hill

Jell-O man! Better than Rocketman. Better than Little Marco. Jell-O man. It sticks because it carries embedded in it a ring of truth. The man who was once solidly pro-choice and is now solidly anti-abortion;the man who was for a Dreamer policy "with heart" who is now against putting dreamers ahead of Norwegians. Oh, it fits!

We have Jell-O man!

Now, if we can just get a few Democrats to sing in the chorus.
You can shape it into any form you want. You can color it any color you like. It's cheap. It's non nutritive, but it tastes pretty good going down. It's the sort of stuff you can eat when you are down with the viral crude, and if you throw it up, it's not all that bad coming back. When you try to pin it to the wall, it just oozes down. Can't pin it down. 
You can't live off it, but for a short while, it sort of hits the spot. 
It's the man, in a single image.

Jell-O man!
We can throw it at his limousine when it comes up to a rally.
We can eat a big bowl of it at the podium, with a smile.
We can hold it up and point to it.

It's what we need now.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Post, The Movie

When exactly they decided to make "The Post" I do not know, but Wikipedia suggests the script was bought before Donald Trump won the Presidency.  

In light of Trump's attacks on the press it seems to be a film about the importance of that fourth estate which Trump attacks as an enemy of the people and an enemy of the truth, "just such horrible, dishonest people."

This movie will not persuade many Trump-holes that the press is a noble thing, the guardian of the people, but it is worth seeing.

Yes, it's a movie about the press and the pursuit of the truth, but it's just as much a movie about what America was like 40-50 years ago, when women were not supposed to have important careers or even important opinions. 

Along the way the cozy relations between Ben Bradlee  and Kennedy are mentioned. They have Bradlee admitting because he was so charmed by Kennedy, he did not do his job as a newspaperman and he was seduced into Kennedy fandom. 

Kay Graham's decision to risk it all and publish the Pentagon Papers becomes the classic worm turns story, as she is treated as some dull witted child who has no business running the paper her father gave to her husband to run, but you can see her gradually growing a spine, and when she finally confronts her good friend, Robert MacNamara she does it on a personal level: Her own son had gone to Vietnam and MacNamara knew even then the war was simply unwinnable and the only reason to continue was to avoid humiliation for American politicians. 

The most interesting character in this movie is actually given only brief screen time, namely Daniel Ellsberg, the guy who worked on the 7,000 page report which MacNamara commissioned and which detailed how American involvement began, was sustained and ultimately at what point it became evident there was no way the Vietnamese would lose that war. 

If you read about Ellsberg on Wikipedia, there is a scene where Ellsberg, who has done 2 tours in Vietnam, listens to a man who is going to prison for refusing to go to Vietnam, and it finally dawns on him this guy is a true patriot for refusing to go, and all the fools who got sucked in and sent over were simply tools of a malevolent government. 

If Ellsberg had read Thoreau in high school, as I had, he would have known "the true patriot serves his country with his mind, not with his body, marching off to war like some wooden soldier." But Ellsberg did not have Ms. Johnson for high school English; he only had two degrees from Harvard and one from Cambridge.

Reading about that revelation in Ellsberg's life reminded me of the time they called a meeting for seniors in my college and they had a Marine sergeant, in dress uniform, explain that each of us were obligated to serve in the United States armed forces until we were 36 years old and were eligible for the draft that whole time, plus a year for each year of college deferment which meant we could be drafted to age 40.

There was a guy on stage,  who had graduated a year earlier, who had fled to Canada, and was now a Canadian citizen. Canada was not actually all that welcoming. He had got in because he had a degree in engineering. 

There was another guy who was about to be sentenced to prison for refusing to go.

And then there was this other guy who spoke soberly, but very respectfully to us, who said what we were all thinking: None of these options looked good. Going to prison sounded like no fun at all. Canada would mean, well, not being an American any more. That would seem to be pretty easy--after all, the Canadians are just like us, aren't they? But somehow, when you really have to decide, you realize just how deeply ingrained being an American is part of you.

But then, this guy nodded to the Sergeant and said, "But then, there's that other option." 

The guy who was talking was named Tom Hayden and he impressed me deeply. I wrote my parents about him.

What made the Pentagon Papers important, which is alluded to in the film, is the difference in the way most Americans perceived their government. Kay Graham explains to her daughter she went on Air Force One with LBJ to go visit at his ranch because, "When the President tell you to do something, it's hard to say no."

Of course, now we are all much more jaded about our political leaders, but not then.

And the effect of the Pentagon Papers was aptly summarized by one of Nixon's lieutenants, H.R. Haldeman: To the ordinary guy, all this is a bunch of gobbledygook. But out of the gobbledygook comes a very clear thing.... You can't trust the government; you can't believe what they say; and you can't rely on their judgment; and the -- the implicit infallibility of presidents, which has been an accepted thing in America, is badly hurt by this, because It shows that people do things the president wants to do even though it's wrong, and the president can be wrong.[16]

Friday, January 19, 2018

Victims, Me Too, Bernie Sanders and the Losing Coalition

The "Me Too" movement and all the ripples outward from that on Twitter and elsewhere have caught my attention as an example of why Democrats will not be successful in winning office or even shaping discussion for the foreseeable future. They simply are too fractured an amalgam of ideas and half formed thoughts and raw emotions.

Part of the problem is their embrace of "victimhood."

The best analysis I've seen of this is an old piece now, written in 1989 by a man named Joseph Epstein, who was fired from his post as editor of "The American Scholar" for being too politically incorrect. If I could get him on the phone or get his email address I'd surely try to contact him and ask what he thinks of "Me Too" and other similar "movements" or modes of thought.

His piece, in the NYT deserves some attention:

Ann Richards, the Texas State Treasurer, completed her strong keynote speech, the commentator on the television network I was watching remarked (as near as I can recall), ''Ann Richards is a divorced mother of four who has undergone rehabilitation for an alcohol problem.'' Earlier in the campaign, Kitty Dukakis had announced that she had undergone treatment for an addiction she had to diet pills. During his speech at the convention, Jesse Jackson, in speaking of his own origins, declared that he was an illegitimate child, and then he wove a speech around the metaphor of the Democratic Party being a quilt both made by and supplying warmth to all those elements in American life - minority groups, homosexuals, American Indians (or Native Americans, as they're now known), welfare families, and many others - who, in Mr. Jackson's reading, were America's victims. Eight and even four years earlier, the Democratic Party had advertised itself as the party of concern. Last summer, though, the Democratic Party seemed to have cut out the middleman and gone from ''caring persons'' straight to victims. The logic of the convention seemed to call for Michael Dukakis, on the night of his nomination, to arrive in an iron lung and announce that he was a lesbian mother.

Oh, how politically incorrect!  I stood up and cheered! Finally!

God, how tired I am of all the sad eyed wailing from self dramatizing people for whom victimhood is the most accessible status to advance themselves.
I'm a journalist. Why do men hit on me?

Epstein continues:
Victims have never been in short supply in the world, but the rush to identify oneself as a victim is rather a new feature of modern life. Why this should be so isn't very complicated: to position oneself as a victim is to position oneself for sympathy, special treatment, even victory.
But then, Epstein notes, the strategy of claiming victim status is not confined to individuals, but can accrue to causes:
It's not only individuals who benefit. In international politics, one sees the deliberate strategy of positioning for victimhood played out in the Middle East. Although Israel is a country of fewer than four million Jewish people surrounded by Arab nations numbering some 200 million people, very few of whom mean the Israelis well, the Arabs have somehow been able to make themselves - or at least the Palestinians as their representatives - seem the great victims in the Middle East. Every time a woman or a small child is injured in the organized riots known as the intifada - one might ask why small children are allowed anywhere near such danger - the victimhood of the Palestinians is reinforced and their cause, as victims, made all the stronger.
Real victim

Gandhi was the great teacher of the art of victimhood, of setting one's victimization on full public display. Part of the genius of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was to recognize the value of Gandhi's lessons for the American civil rights movement, and most especially the lesson of nonviolent resistance, which not only highlights victimhood but gives it, in a good cause, a genuinely moral aura. Their moral and physical courage lent civil rights workers in the South an appeal that was irresistible to all but the most hard-hearted of segregationists. Americans, all of whose families began in this country as immigrants, have a built-in tradition of having known victimhood, at least historically, and hence a strong tendency toward sympathy for victims.
Yet it was the civil rights movement, by my reckoning, that changed the tenor, the quality, the very nature of victimhood in the United States. I happened to be living in the South in the early 1960's, working as a director of the antipoverty program in Little Rock, Ark., while the civil rights movement was under way in full earnest. What I saw was a number of bad laws called into question and ultimately removed by acts of courage and wise restraint on the part of the victims of those laws. One really had to have nailed shut the shutters to one's heart not to have been moved by the spectacle of men and women risking everything to gain only what in fairness was coming to them. It was immensely impressive, on every level. Why? Because the early civil rights movement's appeal was unmistakably not to the guilt but to the conscience of the nation.

Wannabe victims

He goes on to see the positive value of using the status as victim in some instances:
An appeal to conscience is an appeal to one's ethical nature, to one's sense of fair play; it is fundamentally an appeal to act upon the best that is in one. An appeal to guilt is almost entirely negative; rather than awaken the best in one, it reminds one what a dog one is. Conscience seeks its outlet in action, or right conduct; guilt seeks assuagement, or to find a way to be let off the hook.
The civil rights movement, like a spiritual oil spill, left a vast residue of guilt in its wake. Suddenly, if you were white you couldn't possibly be in the right. Such civil rights figures as Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown - and not they alone -were endlessly reminding everyone that their forebears were brought to this country against their will in chains by our forebears. (That my forebears themselves fled a 25-year conscription in the czar's army and your forebears fled the peril of another potato famine was judged beside the point.) This abundant stirring up of guilt may have produced little in the way of direct social change, but it did without doubt strike its target - so profoundly that social scientists began to write about a ''culture of guilt.'' The guilt that was loosed, moreover, was of a kind that had no outlet.

And then he nails the whole Black reparation for slavery thing, which has always struck me as not just patently absurd, but destructive of ends. Do these reparation urgers not understand Lincoln's "every drop of blood drawn by the lash paid by one drawn by the sword" remark?  Legions of young white men died in reparation for slavery. And they were not even the slave owners.
real reparations; paid by the sword

What are you supposed to do, after all, if someone blames you for slavery, a hideous institution, to be sure, but one defunct for more than a century? Say you are sorry it ever happened? Should you clear your throat and announce that there are historical reasons for some of these things
 It soon began to seem as if there wasn't anyone in American life who couldn't find grounds for claiming to be a victim.

Then he gets down to the nub of the psychology of the victim mongers:
Small wonder, too, for victimhood has not only its privileges but its pleasures. To begin with, it allows one to save one's greatest sympathy for that most sympathetic of characters -oneself. Of the various kinds and degrees of pity, easily the most vigilant is self-pity. To stake out one's own territory as a victim, or member of a victim group, also allows one to cut the moral ground out from under others who make an appeal on the basis of their victimhood - to go off singing, as it were, ''You've got your troubles, I've got mine.''
THE PLEASURES OF VICTIM-hood include imbuing one's life with a sense of drama. The drama of daily life is greatly heightened if one feels that society is organized against one.
. Excluded, set apart, alienated, the victim begins to sound like no one so much as the modern artist.
Artists have for some while now liked to think of themselves as victims. Whole books - usually overwrought, rather boring books - have been written about the alienation of the artist in modern society.
 It reminded me of H. L. Mencken's remark that whenever he heard writers complain about the loneliness of their work he recommended that they spend a few days on the assembly line, where they would have plenty of opportunities for camaraderie with their mates.
A victim, especially a professional victim, must at all times be angry, suspicious, above all progress-denying. He or she is ever on the lookout for that touch of racism, sexism, or homophobia that might show up in a stray opinion, an odd locution, an uninformed misnomer. With victims everywhere, life becomes a minefield in a cow pasture - no matter where you step, you are in trouble.

And here, I have in fact, seen this very thing on Twitter: the ambulance chaser victims' advocates:
As if all this isn't nervous-making enough, there has come into being a large number of people, many of them in universities, who, if not victims themselves, wish to speak for victims or rouse other people to a sense of their injury as victims. They are the intellectual equivalent of ambulance chasers.
All hammer cheerfully away at revealing what a perfect hell life has been, and continues to be, for almost everyone in the world. And yet they all seem so happy in their work:
One might conceivably be a victim if one works in a coal mine or a steel mill or in the fields as a sharecropper, but no one who works as a teacher in a university, or for that matter is a student there, is a victim. To have a teaching job in a university is to work roughly seven months a year in a generally Edenic setting at intellectual tasks largely of one's own choosing. Relativity of relativities, a victim among university teachers is someone who isn't permitted to teach the Shakespeare course, or who feels he has stupid students, or whose office is drafty, or who doesn't get tenure (which is lifetime security in the job) and therefore must find another job within (usually) the next 16 months. These are not exactly the kinds of problem faced by, say, boat people fleeing Cambodia.

Oh, and here he gets going on the college crowd, the Victim Lit thing:
Yet an increasing number of university teachers nowadays teach one or another branch of victimology -what might not unfairly be called Victim Lit. Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford and other only scarcely less august institutions compete among themselves lest they be caught without a goodly supply of angry teachers of victimological subjects.
Irony of ironies, nuttiness of nuttinesses, the scene thus presented is that of the fortunate teaching the privileged that the world is by and large divided between the oppressed and the oppressors, victims and executioners, and that the former are inevitably morally superior.
No dogs chewing on them

And then there are the demographics of victimhood:
Such a situation could never have come about without certain fundamental confusions having been firmly established, and these begin with language itself. Victims have traditionally been minority groups, but in fact women, who in the United States are a slight majority, have been deemed victims, whereas the Jews and the Chinese in America, though clearly minorities (and vastly less numerous than blacks or Hispanic people), are not usually counted as victims and thus rarely get included in affirmative action or other quota favoritism programs. A victim, then, is someone who insistently declares himself a victim.

Can the victims play a role in their own victimization?
People who count and call themselves victims never blame themselves for their condition. They therefore have to find enemies. Forces high and low block their progress: society is organized against them; history is not on their side; the malevolent, who are always in ample supply, conspire to keep them down. Asked by an interviewer in Time magazine about violence in schools that are all-black -that is, violence by blacks against blacks - the novelist Toni Morrison replies, ''None of those things can take place, you know, without the complicity of the people who run the schools and the city.''

For victimhood to be taken seriously, there has to be a core of substance to the victim's complaints. Blacks were discriminated against, de facto and de jure, in this country for a very long while. Women were paid lower wages for doing the same work as men and they were indubitably excluded from jobs they were perfectly capable of performing. Mexican-Americans often worked under deplorable conditions. A case for victimhood cannot simply be invented, though some people try. I recall some time ago watching a television program that stressed the problems of the unwed teen-age father. Greatly gripping though they doubtless were, I remember muttering to myself: the unwed father, another victim group - who'd've thunk it?

When the victim becomes the bully. Sound familiar?
Even when there is a core of substance to the victims' complaints, they tend to push it. A subtle shift takes place, and suddenly the victim is no longer making appeals but demands. The terms lady and homosexual are out; it's only woman and gay that are acceptable. Public pronouncements from victims take on a slightly menacing quality, in which, somehow, the line between victim and bully seems to blur. At some point, one gets the sense that the victims actively enjoy their victimhood - enjoy the moral vantage point it gives them to tell off the rest of the country, to overstate their case, to absolve themselves from all responsibility for their condition, to ask the impossible and then demonstrate outrage when it isn't delivered.

Moral superiority of the victim:
Although it was never their intention to do so, they make the contemporary joys of victimhood -the assumption of moral superiority, the spread of guilt and bad feeling, the shifting of responsibility for one's own destiny onto others or the ''system'' or society at large - seem rather dreary, if not pathetic. They also remind the rest of us that the most efficient way to become truly a victim is to think and act like a victim.
It's all here, but you'll never get elected if you agree with this.
Trouble is, on some level, the core Trump acolytes know this and this is a core reason they resent so many Democrats. Trumpers talk about how they like the testosterone and the straight talk coming from Trump. I think this is what they are really talking about. They can't abide the whining. They want someone to stand up and be fierce.

What Democrat--apart from perhaps Bernie Sanders--does that?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

No, Elizabeth, Trump is Not a Racist

Hear ye, Hear ye: I do not know Donald Trump.

Never met the guy.
Never had beers with him.
Never played baseball with him.
Never even watched his TV show.

So I am willing to take his son's assessment on face value: The man is not a racist. The only color he sees is green.

That fits what I have seen of him.

He's got nothing against Black people or Arabs or Jews. All he cares about is money.
So the main crime, the major offense of all those SHC's is they are filled with poor people and the countries themselves are poor.

In this, he is not far from the core sentiment of the Republican party.

He is not far from Andrew Undershaft, that "hero" of "Major Barbara" who provides an affluent living for his workers, for all the people in the company town he presides over, a town which makes weapons of mass destruction, a town which thrives on killing people from other towns.

He doesn't want to allow poor people into the United States.

In that, he is not too far from the Downton Abbey crowd. They lived in the ultimate walled community, free from interaction with the lower classes, except of course, for the servant class, who they try their best to ignore.

Republicans, Trump included, fit that world view which is best exemplified by the charming, pretty Southern lady I met at a barbecue some years ago who was talking about why she hated the whole idea of welfare, public assistance, public housing, Social Security, anything which established mechanisms for the government to help the poor.  "It's like we always say down home: Don't feed the stray dogs--they'll follow you home."

She was wearing upon her ample, pink bosom a gold cross, simple, elegant, understated.

And she wanted nothing to do with stray dogs.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Catherine Deneuve and Me Too

Catherine Deneuve, the French actress and others signed a letter, for which she has now partially apologized.

I'm still trying to figure out why she apologized.
She said so much more clearly what I have been trying to say:

PARIS — Rape is a crime. But trying to pick up someone, however persistently or clumsily, is not — nor is gallantry an attack of machismo.

The Harvey Weinstein scandal sparked a legitimate awakening about the sexual violence that women are subjected to, particularly in their professional lives, where some men abuse their power. This was necessary. But what was supposed to liberate voices has now been turned on its head: We are being told what is proper to say and what we must stay silent about — and the women who refuse to fall into line are considered traitors, accomplices!

Just like in the good old witch-hunt days, what we are once again witnessing here is puritanism in the name of a so-called greater good, claiming to promote the liberation and protection of women, only to enslave them to a status of eternal victim and reduce them to defenseless preys of male chauvinist demons.

Ratting out and calling out
In fact, #MeToo has led to a campaign, in the press and on social media, of public accusations and indictments against individuals who, without being given a chance to respond or defend themselves, are put in the exact same category as sex offenders. This summary justice has already had its victims: men who’ve been disciplined in the workplace, forced to resign, and so on., when their only crime was to touch a woman’s knee, try to steal a kiss, talk about "intimate" things during a work meal, or send sexually-charged messages to women who did not return their interest.
This frenzy for sending the "pigs" to the slaughterhouse, far from helping women empower themselves, actually serves the interests of the enemies of sexual freedom, the religious extremists, the reactionaries and those who believe — in their righteousness and the Victorian moral outlook that goes with it — that women are a species "apart," children with adult faces who demand to be protected.
Men, for their part, are called on to embrace their guilt and rack their brains for "inappropriate behavior" that they engaged in 10, 20 or 30 years earlier, and for which they must now repent. These public confessions, and the foray into the private sphere or self-proclaimed prosecutors, have led to a climate of totalitarian society.

The purging wave seems to know no bounds. The poster of an Egon Schiele nude is censored; calls are made for the removal of a Balthus painting from a museum on grounds that it’s an apology for pedophilia; unable to distinguish between the man and his work, Cinémathèque Française is told not to hold a Roman Polanski retrospective and another for Jean-Claude Brisseau is blocked. A university judges the film Blow-Up, by Michelangelo Antonioni, to be "misogynist" and "unacceptable." In light of this revisionism, even John Ford (The Searchers) and Nicolas Poussin (The Abduction of the Sabine Women) are at risk.
Already, editors are asking some of us to make our masculine characters less "sexist" and more restrained in how they talk about sexuality and love, or to make it so that the "traumas experienced by female characters" be more evident! Bordering on ridiculous, in Sweden a bill was presented that calls for explicit consent before any sexual relations! Next we’ll have a smartphone app that adults who want to sleep together will have to use to check precisely which sex acts the other does or does not accept.

The essential freedom to offend
Philosopher Ruwen Ogien defended the freedom to offend as essential to artistic creation. In the same way, we defend a freedom to bother as indispensable to sexual freedom.
Today we are educated enough to understand that sexual impulses are, by nature, offensive and primitive — but we are also able to tell the difference between an awkward attempt to pick someone up and what constitutes a sexual assault.

Above all, we are aware that the human being is not a monolith: A woman can, in the same day, lead a professional team and enjoy being a man’s sexual object, without being a "whore" or a vile accomplice of the patriarchy. She can make sure that her wages are equal to a man’s but not feel forever traumatized by a man who rubs himself against her in the subway, even if that is regarded as an offense. She can even consider this act as the expression of a great sexual deprivation, or even as a non-event.

As women, we don’t recognize ourselves in this feminism that, beyond the denunciation of abuses of power, takes the face of a hatred of men and sexuality. We believe that the freedom to say "no" to a sexual proposition cannot exist without the freedom to bother. And we consider that one must know how to respond to this freedom to bother in ways other than by closing ourselves off in the role of the prey.
For those of us who decided to have children, we think that it is wiser to raise our daughters in a way that they may be sufficiently informed and aware to fully live their lives without being intimidated or blamed.
Incidents that can affect a woman’s body do not necessarily affect her dignity and must not, as difficult as they can be, necessarily make her a perpetual victim. Because we are not reducible to our bodies. Our inner freedom is inviolable. And this freedom that we cherish is not without risks and responsibilities.

*The letter was co-written by five French women: Sarah Chiche (writer/psychoanalyst), Catherine Millet (author/art critic), Catherine Robbe-Grillet (actress/writer), Peggy Sastre (author/journalist) and Abnousse Shalmani (writer/journalist). It was signed by some 100 others. See the full list of signatories.

Trump In the Blue Wall States: Cutting Into the Buboes

When Alexandre Yersin arrived in Hong Kong in 1898 to investigate the outbreak of Black Plague there, he was a shabby looking French speaker who was shoved aside by the proper British authorities, who had invited some very high profile, famous microbiologist from Japan to help them with the crisis.

Yersin managed to see some of the autopsies the Japanese were doing on victims and he was astonished that they never cut into the buboes, the swollen lymph nodes which gave the disease it's name: Bubonic plague. The famous Japanese pathologist examined and sampled liver, lung, spleen but not the buboes, which Yersin went right for, when he acquired a few bodies to examine in his bamboo hut and in the buboes was the answer: they were swimming with plague bacilli.
The Japanese identified the wrong bacteria, accepted the glory and gratitude from the Brits and went home.
Yersin identified the real culprit, the true cause of the plague, and he went back to his base in French Indochina and sent off his report to Louis Pasteur, his mentor in Paris, having named the bug, "Pasturella pestis" and Pasteur promptly renamed it "Yersinia pestis," and after 500 years of pestilence, the causative agent was finally known to mankind.
That led to an antiserum, which Yersin raised in cattle back in Indochina and when plague hit there, he was ready to save the locals. He is still revered in Vietnam for his work there.

Mad Dog suspects something of the same thing is happening now, in the wake of the 2016 Presidential election. Pundits are focusing their lights on everything from Steve Bannon to Russia to gerrymandering, but they are not cutting into the buboes: The buboes in this case are those Blue Wall states, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and all those counties therein which voted Obama twice before voting Trump.

It's got to be there the answer to Trump must lie. It's got to be those counties swimming with the causative agents.

And its to whatever the pestilence is found there, the anti serum must be raised.

Mad Dog has been ruminating, more or less incoherently for the past few posts about the failure of the powers that be, and how those at the bottom of the pay scale, at the bottom of the SES scale have reacted.

Mad Dog told stories about how it felt to be a grunt in the war on cancer, and he alluded to the grunts in the trenches of fighting crime in Baltimore (as seen in "The Wire") and in a variety of other settings. The people down below eventually get angry and come to hate in an unfocused way all authority and then a guy who promises to disrupt the hold the ruling elites have comes across with great appeal.

That is why Bernie appealed to the same group.
That is why Hillary was doomed even before she opened her mouth.
We call that a "change election," but even today the liberal half is clueless; read Twitter, Facebook and the same bromides, the same old same old is washing out of the same old faucets, about how hurt people are by the offensive Trump and all who sail with him, but what they do not see is that is exactly what those folks in those flipped counties want. They want those feminists, globalists, well educated on the top of the pile Leave It To Beaver types to feel hurt.

Until the Democrats come up with an answer to all that, Trump is safe and will be re elected and the Senate and House will remain in GOP hands.

The pestilence will continue.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Immigration and the Starship Enterprise

Never much into Star trek,  but I vaguely remembered the image of the crew of the Enterprise being very multi racial, which in the 1960's and 1970's seemed pretty unusual and cool--everyone seemed to function smoothly and to accept one another. Looking at images of the crew now, it looks pretty tame and you can see more variety at my office today.
Very Diverse, for their day.

Nevertheless, I always liked the idea of a melange of people in America, strength through diversity.

How we could get there, seemed pretty clearly, immigration, but I have not been able to get my head around where all the people have come from, are coming from. Seems like for the past decade most of our immigrants are from South of the border, but then there's Africa and the Middle East.

One thing which the numbers show is the porportion of the nation which is immigrant, i.e. not born here is not at an all time high, but it is hovering around the vicinity where we've been at peak immigrant decades, roughly 13%. When I was a kid it was in the 6% range, which might be one reason I thought I was living in Leave It to Beaver land, and everyone was White.

I do know that between 1890 and 1965 the policy of the United States was to restrict the largest number to specific countries, so people from England and Germany and Scandinavia were preferred and the rationale was mostly racial: We Whites settled this continent (ignoring those non White folks who were here before them) and we want to keep our country looking just like us.  Then, the Italians and Southern Europeans got in, then some Jews, then some Poles and Slavs. 
Ideal Immigrant. We need more of these. Or from Norway

But then in 1965, Congress decided to give preference to people who already had relatives living in the USA, the idea being we could say we just were pro family, but the real idea was if you had mostly White families here, then the folks allowed in would also be mostly White. 

Didn't work that way.

So what do the numbers show?
click to enlarge

Here are a few graphs. The best visual is the link showing where people came from over the decades and usually, they seemed to come from places where wars or famines or other disasters motivated people to leave their SHC's and gamble on a future in the USA.

click to enlarge
Here's a very cool link which shows the sort of dynamic ebb and flow and notice where the immigrants come from tend to be from where on the planet the greatest trouble has been fomenting: