Posts Tagged ‘Trump’

Trump vs. the Media in the Shadow of Nuclear War

August 10, 2017

I think that North Korea is doing nothing more than trying to act tough, which is why I write this particular post instead of something concerning the upcoming nuclear war.

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard that North Korea threatens to nuke Guam in a show of power and as a demonstration of their nuclear capabilities.

Several commentators have said that the threat, and a nuclear attack would be a “direct result” of Trump’s statements about North Korea.

Did you get that?  A nuclear attack, destroying several US Military installations and killing over 150,000 people by a dictator is the “direct result” of something Trump said?

No.  The phrase “direct result” implies a cause and effect relationship.  Therefore, this implies that a nuclear attack would be BECAUSE of Trump.

I’ve heard stories like this before.  I once had a friend in high school who told us that her bruises were a direct result of her actions; not her boyfriend’s fault.  After all, if she had called on time, she wouldn’t have been hit.

To blame Trump’s words for a nuclear attack is to remove any responsibility from a spoiled dictator, who just said he has no problem murdering 150,000+ people as a demonstration of power.  Furthermore, it is a denial of basic cause-and-effect relationships, and replacing them with the whims of a dictator as a fact of life:  mess with him, and get killed.  It is as if these commentators are saying, “Shouldn’t have messed with him, it’s your fault.”

One thing we have learned from feminism (and I agree, totally), is that it is wrong to blame the victim, be it rape, abuse, or in this case, mass murder.  If a woman drinks too much and is raped, one could say, “if she had not been drinking, this would not have happened,” which may or may not be true, but that does not place the blame on her.  “That’s what she gets for getting drunk,” would be victim blaming, as it implies a 1 to 1 cause and effect relationship:  If she gets drunk, she will get raped, cause and effect.  It implies that she is responsible, not the rapist.

While Trump may not be the direct victim of a nuclear attack, these reporters are placing the blame of a nuclear attack on someone who made some mouth noises versus the wee “man” dictator who launched the missles.

Thank you for reading my post.

 

What Government and Business Have in Common

March 24, 2017

I recently ran across a video explaining why government and business were not compatible, and how a CEO should not become president.  The video itself isn’t worth posting, but I will give you the highlights:  condescending casual businessman-looking jerk talks down to you for five minutes.  The jerkface makes random claims:

1.   CEOs “just” have to make profit, and that is not as complex as running a country.
2.  Presidents are representatives of the people, but CEOs represent themselves.
3.  The government pays for things.

First, the challenge of making a profit is what makes a CEO’s job difficult.  There is no “just” about it.  Whether or not it is as complex as running a country depends entirely on how your mind works.  Really, they are different types of work in some respects, and it is hard to compare them.

Second, a CEO answers to the board of directors.  The board of directors is elected through its share holders.  A president is elected through the electoral college, who base their votes on their state’s popular vote.  So, just as a president must answer to the voters, a CEO must answer to the share holders.

One may argue that a CEO can blow off the concerns of John Q. Shareholder.   We could say the same about any given president.  One could argue that the nominating committee of the corporation determines who gets to run for the board of directors.  One could look at the Democratic Party’s nomination of Hilary Clinton over Bernie Sanders to see the parallel.

Finally, the video argued that services, like the US Postal Service, are required to serve the good, poor people of Bratislavia, Pennsyltucky.  At any cost, Bratislavian people are owed mail service.   He mention how UPS or FedEx neither one will support offices in small towns, and that it was the duty of the USPS to operate in that town so that the people could send mail form that town. He also states that the existence of the USPS keeps the prices of the UPS and FedEx low.   He also speaks of several other govenment services, and how they are required to give people what they need, even though fulfilling needs is not economical.

The big problem with this entire story is that the video assumes that the government just has money.  Where does it come from?  Nobody knows.  The government just has money.  Infinite money to pay for heavily subsidized health care and postal delivery in every town, especially those where industry knows are unable to support such a service.

In the ultimate slap in the face, this money comes from taxes.  Taxes taken from the companies who know it is not economical to run a delivery service to these towns.  Taxes then used to undercut their businesses in towns where there is (or perhaps was) enough customers to support them.

A good CEO president would trim the areas that were not economical to run.  Bratislavia, Pennsyltucky would not have postal service, but they are not owed postal service, either.  And just like towns that do not have a Walmart, UPS or Ford dealership, the residents would either commute to another town, or do without.  People of New York City, or Bratislavia or wherever are not owed postal delivery or health insurance any more than they are owed a Ford Dealership or an In N Out Burger.

That is what this video was missing.  The understanding that the government’s sole purpose is to protect the life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of its residents.  Courts to uphold the law and police to arrest those who choose to violate the rights of others.

The government is not here to supply your needs on any level.

Censorship and the 1st Amendment

January 27, 2017

As many of you have heard, President Donald Trump wrote Executive Orders to keep the National Park Service, the Environmental Protection Agency and several other organizations from making press releases and social media posts.

Many on the left are calling this censorship and a violation of free speech.  Neither of these is true.

Basically, one part of the government has told another part of the government to shut up.  That’s it.  It is no different than what they’ve told folks with a security clearance for years.

Censorship is the act of a government forbidding its citizens from speaking freely.  Like, say, this.

It isn’t a war on science, either.  You can still get these articles from peer-reviwed sources, same as always.  The only difference is that, for the time being, people working for the federal government cannot publish press releases designed to alarm citizens in an effort to get more funding.

As a scientist/engineer, I am sick of seeing awful science published in regular media outlets.   So many of the press releases are done so poorly, they can hardly be called science.  From CNN articles about hurricanes in the Dakotas and blaming every weather disaster on climate change to exaggerated claims about new technological advances, the real science is not featured.

In the end, I really don’t care if the government can’t toot its own horn any more and exaggerate its contributions to science.  How many climate scientists believe in climate change?  How much funding would they receive if they disagreed?  How much would they receive if anthropological climate change wasn’t blamed every time the wind blew?

This isn’t to say that climate change isn’t happening or that government funded research hasn’t led to great discoveries.

I’m done ranting for the evening.  Thank you for reading my post.

When You Can’t Say Something Nice…

October 21, 2016

I dislike both candidates.  And I think deep down, we all do in some ways.  I could write yet another article on how awful either candidate is and how anyone who votes for either of them is a terrible person.  We’ve run out of negative things to say- we have called Clinton a compulsive liar (which is likely true) and called Trump “Hitler” (not quite accurate).  We’ve defriended longtime friends and sworn off speaking to relatives over it.

I’m done with it all.  They are neither one a great choice.  Trump’s “Stop and Frisk” is a gross violation of freedom and his wall is a financial disaster in the making.  Clinton’s socialist policies, shady track record of associates, and anti-gun statements make me want to puke.

Instead of writing another article about it, I will instead answer the debate question that they both sucked at answering.  “What is one thing you admire about the other candidate?”

Trump:   Trump has a certain financial genius.  He borrowed his father’s money and turned it into more money.  Plenty of folks think this was an easy task, and yet there are thousands of lottery winners, and probably millions of folks with large inheritances, and yet, we don’t have millions of Donald Trumps.

Trump also appears unfazed by public opinion.  On one hand you want someone who speaks for the will of the people- but you also want someone who does what is right in any situation, versus someone who bends to whatever popular whim is en vogue at the time.

Both of these qualities are things I’d like to see in a president.

Clinton:  Clinton is tough.  Tough as nails.  This woman went from being first lady, to woman scorned, to thrown under the bus by the press and Obama, only to stand back up and fight again.  Plenty of folks would slip away into a quiet retirement after finding out that their significant other cheated on them with an intern.  Instead, Clinton played on.  When she ran for president in the 2008 primaries, the media and Obama (who was a virtual nobody) had nothing nice to say.  I figured here career was over after she was stepped over for the 2008 Democratic Nominee.  Instead, she dusted herself off, accepted the Secretary of State position with no hard feelings and now runs for president, in spite of it all.

In a world where terrorist acts are becoming the norm, rather than the exception, we do need a leader who is in the fight for the long haul. One who won’t give up when things get tough, and Clinton is certainly tough.

Anyway, both candidates are abominable. I dislike Trump slightly less than Clinton.  I just thought it was time someone had something nice to say about people they didn’t like for a change.

You may resume your circus- er um, debates.

An Open Letter to Ben

October 7, 2016

I ran across this video.  All I have to say is this:

Dear Ben,

I am terribly sorry about your mother’s behavior.  It must be difficult to have such an awful role model in your life, and I cannot imagine what you go through each day.

I cannot imagine what it is like to spend every day with a woman that lives as though everyone is the enemy.  I can’t imagine what it is like when she meets your friends, teachers, and future girlfriends.

Please note that most people in this world are actually good people, regardless of who they vote for.  Most people in this world are not actually jerks- or at least don’t mean to be.

Unlike your mother, who goes out of her way to stop and insult people in their own yard, for minding their own business.

I just want you to know that all of us in the real world are actually friendly and don’t go around antagonizing everyone that might have an opinion different than hers.  Please know that we aren’t all evil.  We welcome you with open arms the second you can escape that house, all of us Trump voters and Clinton voters alike.

Sincerely,

The rest of the world.

Democratic National Convention

July 29, 2016

I could only stomach a few minutes of the Democratic National Convention, but there were a few important takeaways:

1. Bernie Sanders is still far more popular than Hillary Clinton.
2.  Bill Clinton is still more popular than Hillary Clinton.

The big deal with all of this is – how could this be?  How could Hillary be the nominee when she went on stage with two folks who are more popular than her?

As much as I dislike Bernie Sanders, I will say that he did some amazing things with this campaign.  I’m glad he lost, don’t get me wrong.  I think he said that the average campaign contribution was $27…. he had a lot of them to make it as far as he did.

What really came to be during this season of primaries was that a bunch of established politicians got beat out by more popular folks.  Granted, Bernie Sanders was a seasoned politician, but he rose to power by being popular versus actual political pull.
In the case of the republicans, there was no other choice even close to Trump.  In the case of the democrats, I’m not actually sure how Bernie lost out.

An important thing to notice- if this had been Trump vs. Sanders, we would have had two relatively honest politicians squaring off.  One is at least somewhat capitalist versus a true socialist.  We could have seen where the United States stood on free markets during that election.  Instead, we will watch a crooked politician with political pull battle a semi-capitalist, whose mixed premises will paint him as a fortunate rich white guy against a liar, who will say all of the right things.

It’s going to be an interesting couple of months…

Huffington Post Writer Pro-Violence

June 10, 2016

I wrote about this a few weeks ago, but here we go again.  Loser McSucksALot, better known as Jesse Benn wrote an article about how Anti-Trump protesters are justified in their violence.  He sites several historial examples of how violence has changed things for the better, and that we’ve been fed lies about non-violent movements.

Violence has one legitimate purpose- as a defense against those who have directly initiated violence against you.  It has several qualifications:

  1.  As a defense against an IMMEDIATE threat to life, liberty or property.
  2. As a defense against a SPECIFIC threat to life, liberty and property.
  3. As a stop-gap until law enforcement arrives.

Violence as such is immoral, as it is the violation of the individual rights of the person who is being attacked.  Self-defense is moral, as, the attacker has already demonstrated that he or she is willing to violate individual rights, and thus has none him or herself.  Therefore, in preservation of your life (or family/friend/etc.) you are justified in self-defense.

However, self-defense is constrained in time. It is only for the immediate threat, and only until the police, who hold a legal monopoly of force, arrive.  It is never pre-emptive, and is never retaliatory, the former being the judgment of a person before he or she has done anything immoral, and the latter being the purpose of the courts.

Self-defense is also against a specific threat.  Joe Biden’s mindless dribbling about shooting shotguns through doors aside, a criminal in your home is self-defense, as he or she has already violated your right to property by being in there uninvited.  Shooting randomly into a crowd of people who may have taken your wallet is not, as the threat is non-specific, and you are violating the rights of those who did not take your wallet.

Back to Loser McSucksALot.  He advocates violence against people speaking. Really, that’s all that is happening at a presidential candidate’s speech.  Regardless of how you feel about Trump, Sanders or Clinton, that’s all that really happens.  This author calls for violence at any time one of these candidates speaks (not time-limited), and towards ANYONE at the rally (non-specific).

There is no case for self-defense, which is the only time violence is justified.

So then, what kind of person calls for random violence against non-specific targets (those people over there that disagree with me), at non-specific times (any time someone speaks freely)?  I think you know.

Throughout his blog post, he refers to Trump as a fascist.  Yet, when I check   the Merriam-Webster Dictionary for the definition of fascism, I see that it is a government in which, “the people are not allowed to disagree with the government.”  And yet, Loser McSucksALot advocates violence to silence the voices of those who disagree with him.

I guess it’s true that you are the angriest at what you can’t be with in yourself.

The Albuquerque Riots -Just a Rerun

May 28, 2016

As many of you know, Donald Trump spoke in Albuquerque earlier this week.  Outside a “protest” took the form of rioting and setting fires.  Not all protestors were involved or supported these actions, but plenty did.  A quick scan among my Facebook “friends” showed varying degrees of support for these actions.

But where have I seen this before?

Today, I was reading the next chapter in Capitalism:  The Unknown Ideal, by Ayn Rand, and it all made sense.  In this collection of essays and speeches, there is one titled, The Cashing-In:  The Student “Rebellion” that sums up what is happening.  The Student “Rebellion” took place on the UC Berkley campus in the 1960’s, concerning students’ rights and free speech on campus (which included soliciting funds for the Vietcong).  However, what these students were advocating was not free speech, but the “freedom” to speak whatever they wanted regardless of who owned the land.   (Rand, 295) This particular situation was a little bit muddier, as the land was state-owned property.  However, the protesters’ message was clear.

The implications of this are huge. Don’t like interracial couples?  Feel free to protest in their bedrooms.  After all, how dare them try to block your free speech?  This is what happens when we throw away property rights in the false name of “free speech.”

In the middle of this essay, Ayn Rand highlights a few of the points this “rebellion” was actually about, philosophically, and then we’ll compare it to the Trump protest:

“…there is no justification, in a civilized society, for the kind of mass civil disobedience that involves the violation of the rights of others–regardless of whether the demonstrators’ goal is good or evil.  The end does not justify the means.  No one’s rights can be secured by the violation of the rights of others.”  (Rand, 291).

“The forcible occupation [sit-ins] of another man’s property or the obstruction of a public thoroughfare is so blatant a violation of rights that an attempt to justify it becomes an abrogation of morality.  An individual has no right to do a “sit-in” in the home or office of a person he disagrees with–and he does not acquire such a  right by joining a gang.  Rights are not a matter of numbers–and there can be no such thing, in law or in morality as actions forbidden to an individual, but permitted to a mob.”  (Rand, 291)

Another goal is, “To facilitate the acceptance of force, the Berkley rebels attempted to establish a special distinction between force and violence:  force, they claimed explicitly, is a proper form of social action, but violence is not.  Their definition of the terms was as follows:  coercion by means of a literal physical contact is “violence” and is reprehensible; any other way of violating rights is merely “force” and is a legitimate, peaceful method of dealing with opponents.”  (Rand, 292).  “The theoretical purpose of that grotesque absurdity is to establish a moral inversion:  to make the initiation of force moral, and the resistance to force immoral–and thus to obliterate the right of self-defense.”  (Rand, 292-293).

Just a few statements that I agree with, and we’ll apply them to the next Trump protest to see how many of them are violated.

Rand, Ayn.  Capitalism:  The Unknown Ideal.  Signet, New York, 1966.