Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for September 2019

And Trump puts his foot deeper into his mouth

with 39 comments

Actually, yes, Representatives are allowed to give opinionated speeches on the House floor which includes biased paraphrasing of documents. Is he not aware of the Speech or Debate Clause?

If there was ever any doubt that Democrats would vote to impeach, remove all doubt.

At least half of Republicans would vote to replace Trump with President Pence if they didn’t have to face the wrath of primary voters. Trump can definitely push them in the direction of “let’s just do it quickly and hope for the best.”

* * *

At Predictit.org, the chance of Trump being impeached before the end of 2019 is now up to 60%.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 30, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Politics

My thoughts about Impeachment

with 52 comments

The way Trump sees things, the U.S. government, in coordination with a bunch of mysterious foreigners (such as Joseph Mifsud, Christopher Steele, and Alexander Downer), started investigating him and his associates while Obama was still President, and the investigation kept going on, with at least two people associated with him, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, getting serious time in prison. And poor Michael Flynn losing all of his life savings in legal fees and still at risk of prison.

So why shouldn’t Trump do the same trick that worked so well for Obama?

My own opinion is that it’s a very bad thing for American Democracy that we now seem to have a new norm that political candidates who lose get investigated by the government and put in prison. Or in the case of Trump’s people, they get put in prison even though they were on the team that on the surface appeared to win.

Trump shouldn’t have done his “lock her up” bit, it set a very bad precedent, even though no one was supposed to take it seriously except for the dumb proles who enjoyed chanting it. But it seems that the only people who get locked up are people who are perceived as having helped Trump get elected.

I think that Trump is justified in trying to do to Joe Biden what Democrats did to him. Trump’s most fervent supporters would no doubt say that this is a good quality of Trump. That unlike those “Republicucks,” Trump fights the same dirty game that the Democrats have always fought, and that’s what we need.

But the problem for Trump is that he is spectacularly bad at fighting the dirty game. Part of this is because of Trump’s personality flaws and his ignorance of how the government works, and the other part because the deck is stacked in favor of Democrats and against Trump. The mainstream media acts more like the propaganda wing of the Democratic Party rather than an independent reporter of facts and investigator of truth. And the executive branch of government, which on paper Trump is in charge of, is in reality full of people who can’t be fired and many in their ranks do everything possible to thwart Trump. Call that the “Deep State” if you will.

Before Trump, the President most-hated by the modern Deep State was Nixon. Unlike Trump, Nixon understood how government works and he understood the limitations of his powers as President and was careful not to say anything outside of the Overton window, at least not in public. Nixon was also more in charge of the federal government than Trump. In so many ways Trump acts like he’s not the President of the United State. The notorious Ukraine phone call is another example of that. Begging the President of another country to investigate Crowdstrike for him (and it’s not even clear to me that Crowdstrike is associated with the Ukraine), when theoretically Trump is supposed to be the boss of the FBI, one of the world’s most powerful investigative agencies. Nixon wouldn’t have done something like that.

Yet Nixon still managed to get caught up in Watergate. They say that Nixon was paranoid. But it’s not paranoia if everyone really is out to get you, it’s just a factual observation. Nevertheless, the pressure got to poor Nixon.

But Obama. Obama could do anything. He was truly in charge. The media and the Deep State were on his side. Are still on his side. While the mainstream media freaks out about the long forgotten “Emoluments Clause” every time someone stays at one of Trump’s hotels (paying the the normal price for a room), Obama has quietly amassed a nine-figure fortune since leaving office and no one in the mainstream media is the least concerned that there’s anything improper about a former President becoming extremely rich after he leaves office, as long as he’s a Democrat.

My advice for Republicans in Congress is to remember 1998. The Democrats didn’t vote against their President just because he was guilty of lying at a deposition, suborning perjury from Monica Lewinsky, lying to the American people, and lying at a grand jury. Actually, I have a little bit of sympathy for Clinton regarding the grand jury testimony. That was a perjury trap. Clinton couldn’t resist bullshitting the grand jury, and then Ken Starr considered that bullshit to be perjury. Clinton should have taken the Fifth. But the other stuff, he was definitely guilty. Plus all the other stuff Clinton was probably guilty of, but for which there was no smoking gun, or rather no semen-stained dress. Truly, without the semen-stained dress, the mainstream media would have stuck with the story that Monica Lewinsky is lying crazy woman who can’t keep her story straight and Clinton is the innocent victim of a vast right-wing conspiracy.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 30, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Politics

Pharaoh, value transference, and Mencius Moldbug

with 26 comments

In 2010, I wrote the following blog post:

Pharaoh and value transference

Pharaoh was the Carlos Slim of ancient Egypt. All of the wealth of the entire nation belonged to Pharaoh. Other members of the value transference class included the priests and the warriors. These guys didn’t do any value-producing labor.

Of course it’s obvious to us that Pharaoh didn’t do anything to deserve to use massive amounts of slave labor to build himself a huge pyramid to be buried in. But if you asked someone in ancient Egypt, they would have justified the situation (especially if they were a member of the lesser value-transference classes such as the priesthood). “Pharaoh is a god, and without a god to watch over us, evil spirits would destroy everything! Without Pharaoh, we’d be doomed, so of course he’s entitled to such a large share of Egypt’s value. Without Pharaoh there’d be no value produced at all.” The modern-day libertarian economist will make a similar argument about how Bill Gates deserves to be a decabillionaire.

The lesson here is that, in every society that ever existed, there was a value transference class, and that class justified their existence with an argument that at least a plurality of the people believed, even though looking back we can see how they were obviously wrong.

The story in the book of Exodus is really about one of the very first revolutions against value transference. According to Exodus, Pharaoh enslaved the Hebrews and made them build his cities and monuments. But the Jews decided they had enough, and not only did they escape, they slew every firstborn Egyptian male and destroyed all of Pharaoh’s army in the process. This was proper and just punishment for value transference.

The blogger formerly known as Mencius Moldbug has turned my short blog post into a very long essay, minus the part about value transference. Moldbug is more interested in the narratives that keep our politicians in power rather than the narratives that keep our billionaires rich.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 30, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Libertarianism

Safety Dance

with 36 comments

Great one-hit-wonder 80s music! Strange music video.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 28, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Music videos

iPhone 11 review

with 51 comments

This thing is yuuuge.

The screen has that wonderful new-iPhone feel, before the nice coating wears off after just a few months.

I miss the home button. Swiping up is a pain in the ass and sometimes it doesn’t work. What was Apple thinking? (OK, they were thinking more screen and less wasted non-screen space.)

Apps that were slow as molasses on the iPhone 6, like the NY Times app and my employer’s crappy app, are way faster on the iPhone 11.

Transferring settings from the old iPhone to the new iPhone happened automatically by just leaving the two device next to each other. Easiest setup ever for a new device.

There’s a very useful feature that let’s you silence any phone calls that aren’t on your contacts list. Bye-bye robocallers! This is really a feature of iOS 13 rather than the iPhone 11. There was a workaround on previous iOS versions, but with the new feature you can still get alerts for other notifications like text messages and emails.

That’s it.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 26, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Technology

Captain Kirk’s potbelly

with 72 comments

Dave Marinaccio, author of All I Really Need to Know I Learned from Watching Star Trek, writes:

James T. Kirk is the model ship’s captain. He’s always in fighting shape. He has to be to handle the 2.5 fights per episode. Yet, there it is right in front of us. And right in front of him. A potbelly. Not your five nights a week at Dunkin’ Donuts New York City Police Department potbelly. But a very comfortable, let’s not push back from the table just yet potbelly.

O.K., on Kirk it looks good. Of course on Kirk everything looks good. From the pointy sideburns to the uniform to the pointy-toed boots. But the potbelly is special. NO question about it, it belongs there. Apparently, in the twenty-third century people will be at ease with their bodies.

I get a little bit of a gay vibe from that (not that there’s anything wrong with being gay), but according to his Wikipedia entry, “In the book, he explains how he is able to date hot young women by using the lesson he learned from Captain Kirk,” and that sounds pretty hetero to me.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 26, 2019 at EDT am

President Pence

with 106 comments

It needs to be pointed out, once again, that “impeachment” is only a simple majority vote in the House of Representatives which is controlled by Democrats (who hate Trump far more than Republicans hated Clinton in 1998). Impeachment does not remove Trump from office.

It’s unlikely that Trump will be removed from office. Just as Democrats stuck together in 1999, so, probably, will Republicans.

I use the word “probably,” because I am sure that there are a lot of Republican Senators who would prefer President Pence to President Trump, but the problem for those Republicans is that the Republican primary voters love Trump and would vote them out of office in the next primary. Few Republican Senators would care to give up their jobs just to get a year of President Pence.

Senator Mitt Romney will definitely vote against Trump. In Utah, he’s like the second coming of Joseph Smith, so he doesn’t have to worry about being voted out of office, and he HATES Trump. (Assuming he even wants to run again in 2024 when he’ll be 77 years old, although there have been older Senators. Strom Thurmond held on until he was 100, so we could have another 28 years of Mitt.)

* * *

“theantignostic” writes in a comment:

Mormons suck.

They literally do not suck. The LDS church has explicitly banned oral sex even for married couples.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 25, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Politics

Thoughts about impeachment

with 49 comments

I did predict impeachment back in February, but I thought it would be caused by the Russia stuff and not a completely new allegation. But nevertheless it has finally started.

Regarding corruption: the Democrats are more corrupt than Republicans in general or Trump specifically. Even in Ukraine. Democrats previously pressured the Ukranian government not to prosecute organizations favored by liberals and Democrats, including the gas company that pays Joe Biden’s son $600,000/year for doing nothing, and they pressured Ukraine to investigate Paul Manafort.

But the Democrats know how to be corrupt in a way that’s technically legal or not called out by the fakestream media. The Clintons making more than $100 million from giving “speeches” to organizations and countries they had power over doesn’t sound above-board to me, but the fakestream media doesn’t care about it.

Partially, this is because Democrats have lots of loyal underlings and lawyers to do the dirty work. Obama would never personally talk about this stuff with a foreign leader. If there was any quid pro quo with respect to all of those Clinton speeches, it’s not something Bill or Hillary discussed personally with anyone. Trump, on the other hand, doesn’t know the rules, plus he doesn’t have any loyal underlings in politics (maybe he had some loyal underlings in real estate).

And, of course, partially because the fakestream media is the propaganda wing for Democrats and liberals. There mission is to run cover for Democrats and liberals, not expose their corruption.

* * *

Some commenters say something like “no way will Democrats really impeach him.”

To that, I say, “yes, way.” If Republicans could impeach Clinton for lying under oath about whom he had sex with, then Democrats can impeach Trump because they HATE, HATE, HATE him, and to get revenge against Republicans for impeaching Bill Clinton, even though under the current mode of #metoo thinking, Clinton was an evil misogynist rapist.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 25, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Politics

Parents who indoctrinate their children with climate change alarmism

with 146 comments

Parents have always indoctrinated their children with their stupid religious beliefs, and as I’ve stated many times, climate change alarmism is a religion like Christianity and Islam, so it’s not very surprising.

Anyone who has sent their own kids to religious school has no call to criticize climate change alarmists for doing something similar. It would be the pot calling the kettle black.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 22, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Religion

Remember when people used to worry about nuclear war?

If you’re not old enough to at least remember the 1980s, the answer is probably “no.”

The end of people worrying about nuclear war was a necessary precursor to people worrying about “climate change.” People’s brains only have so much bandwidth allocated for worrying about stuff like that, and at the same time, there’s a void there that needs to be filled with something to worry about.

Nuclear war seems to me like a much more sensible thing to worry about than “climate change.” Nuclear weapons are a real thing, as the Japanese certainly know, and the amount of mass destruction that a global nuclear war might cause could be pretty catastrophic. “Climate change” is just bogus pseudoscience.

Click to link to view the Google Ngram Viewer

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 20, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Science

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