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User Journal

Journal Journal: Some post election clarifications 9

1. No, Liberals were not "in a bubble". Our reaction isn't because we were surprised by the Trump victory, we knew there was a chance of one, pretty much every liberal I knew in a swing state voted for Clinton because we knew how close it was. Our reaction post election is horror, not surprise. Insofar as we expected a Clinton win, it was because the opinion polls seemed to suggest that. Those of us who trusted Nate Silver knew there was a one third chance of Trump winning.

2. No, Trump did not win because his supporters were called idiots, or racists, or fascists, or both. Nobody has ever said "That man called me a fascist! Well, that does it, I'm going to vote for a fascist who'll most likely destroy the country I live in and love! That'll show them!" Besides, we didn't, for the most part, call Trump supporters any of those things, we called TRUMP a fascist, and we also observed that actual self-described NEO-NAZIs ("Deplorables") were voting for Trump - as in David Duke was voting for him, and any analysis of what neo-nazis were doing showed they were enthusiastic about Trump.

(On that note: are you a fascist for voting Trump? You might be, you might not, but what is clear is that you don't consider fascism to be such a terrible thing that you'd refuse to vote for someone who runs as a fascist. That is not a good thing, and whether you're one or not, you should feel bad if you voted for him.)

2.1 No she didn't. She said half of Trump's supporters were "deplorables", an entirely reasonable statement to make. She never said that half of voters, or that all Trump supporters, were racists, you just made that up.

3. You may think he made it all up just to get elected. But you have no real evidence of that. We will be fearful that Trump intends to continue as a fascist until he proves otherwise. Thus far, he's been all over the map, we have to wait until he's in office before we can judge.

4. No, we will not "Hope for Trump's success". We'll hope for America's success, but to our eyes, that appears to be in conflict with the success of Trump. We'll hope that Trump somehow redeems himself, and turns into something completely unlike what we've seen so far.

Addressing a different crowd...

5. No, she didn't win the popular vote. She did great, and has a plurality, but she's not even near the 50% mark. The EC would have absolutely no mandate - moral or otherwise - to substitute Clinton for Trump. Both candidates lost the popular vote.

6. She was a shitty choice of candidate, get over it. No, she's not Nixon, she's the victim of a 25 year long smear campaign, but she's also a neo-con who doesn't represent liberal values on certain key issues like war and civil liberties, and she's spent so much time cosying up to the various establishments that she appears aloof of ordinary American's problems. She's rightly or wrongly associated with her husband who may or may not have been popular but is infamous for regressive anti-progressive positions during his time in office. In the primaries we may have had two shitty candidates to choose from, we may or may not have picked the best of the two, but she was still shitty.

6.1 Sanders? You really think a country brainwashed for more than a century to think Socialist is a bad word would have voted for Sanders? Really? Even Trump had the good sense to not explicitly use the word that described the ideology he was campaigning on. He wasn't even a great campaigner - he might have beaten Ron Paul if the latter had been the Republicans choice, but nobody else.

7. No, we're probably not going to win back either house in 2018. We're not Republicans, we're obsessed with looking reasonable and getting the blessing of the media, and the media is going to normalize Trump and the Democrats will end up compromising themselves and fucking themselves over. When Obama won, the Republicans went Scorched Earth despite there being no reason to think he was particularly offensive. Democrats need to go Scorched Earth now, but won't, because they're pathetic.

8. No, we shouldn't abandon our principles to win the next election. Supporting minorities didn't kill us, failing to address issues that affect everyone might have done, but the two are not in conflict. We need to abandon people suffering real hardship and discrimination so we can focus on the "White Working Class"? Bullshit. We need policies that lift up the whole of the working classes, not just whites. And while we do so, nothing prevents us from reforming chronically discriminatory institutions, or dealing with hate crimes at the same time.

We have precious little we can do at this stage, but we can resist in our own small ways, and make it politically possible for others with more power to resist too. That's what we must, at minimum, do right now.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Fuck Obamacare 13

Trump has been all over the map about the Affordable Care Act since he "won" the election, stating he'd like to keep the "popular" bits after meeting with Obama, then stating he'd organize a special session of Congress the day after he's inaugurated to repeal the whole thing. (He's apparently unaware Congress will already be in session, but, whatever.) If he chooses to keep the "popular" bits, the health insurance industry will crumble, for what it's worth, because they'll be forced to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions to people who refuse to pay a penny in premiums until they fall ill.

My view is nuanced on Obamacare, so I expect 99% of the replies to this post to miss the point completely, probably just focusing on the headline, but...

...this was entirely predictable. Obamacare was a really bad idea. I said so at the time. I stand by my comments. It was never feasible in the long term and it was politically the most inept attempt to introduce universal health care ever devised.

That it's going... is not to be celebrated, because it means suddenly a huge number of people will be unable to afford health care. That's bad. But simply blaming Republicans and Fascists for its removal is missing the greater picture: it was insanely unpopular. It was something Republicans were able to rally around to defeat Democrats. Think about that for a second: UH should be popular. It should have been a real concern by most of the country that they were going to lose it. When in 2012 Democrats wanted the Senior vote, they pointed out Paul Ryan planned to replace Medicare - UH for seniors - and were rewarded by a shift towards them. Nobody was able to stand up in 2016 and say "Hey guys, Trump will kill Obamacare, you don't want to lose that!" In fact, the opposite happened, Trump used Obamacare against Clinton.

Why did it fail? Because it sucked. It didn't control prices significantly enough that people noticed - in fact, most believed Obamacare was to blame for rising insurance costs. Most had insurance before, they had insurance afterwards, and the insurance afterwards was still going up in price way above inflation. It was the same system as they had before, but it was more expensive.

And those who didn't have insurance before, well, they resented it. Suddenly they were forced to pay for something they hadn't been required to have before, and most people don't have cancer or require an MRI, so they never saw any value in what they were forced to buy, despite the subsidies and so on.

The Democrats, if they ever get back into power, have to decide where they want to go with Universal Healthcare. But next time - if there is a next time - there's really only one option, and that's an income tax funded single payer system. If that's not politically possible thanks to Blue Dogs or whatever, then don't address the issue - it's a waste of time, and it'll result in Democrats being unable to address any other aspects of their agenda. But Single Payer is virtually the only healthcare system you can create that people would be frightened of losing. Which makes it politically the only choice worth pursuing. And in practical terms, it's also the only way to deliver truly universal healthcare.

RIP Obamacare. I'm sorry for the people who'll lose coverage, but I'm not going to blame the Republicans for getting rid of it.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Post election 12

Assuming we don't elect the fascist, both Democrats and Republicans are going to have to do some desperate soul searching this election.

Democrats are going to have to acknowledge that the race was, at one point, extremely close (at the time of writing, it isn't, but what's to say it won't again in the next three weeks.) They're going to have to recognize that this was, in large part, because whatever Clinton's professionalism and qualifications, and however unfair it might be that she's suffered a decades long smear campaign, even without the smears she was never a great candidate. She represents a centrism and a failure to push for substantive change that is anathema to a significant number of people in the US.

How bad is she? Trump's obvious fascism was not enough to make people vote for her. The entire election has just fallen because he's shown himself to be an unpresidential thug towards women. Not because he advocates violence against his opponents. Not because he has promised to abuse the power of the Presidency to punish and imprison political enemies and journalists. Not because he has promised to make it easier to punish those who criticize the rich and powerful. Not because he has scapegoated immigrants for the problems of Americans. Not because he has smeared as rapists, murderers, and terrorists, immigrants and members of minority religions. Not because he has enlisted and cultivated the support of foreign anti-American despots to his presidential campaign. And not because he's been blatant about it, proposing simplistic solutions to complex problems without details or fact based arguments to back them up.

No Presidential candidate in recent history has been so obviously opposed to the values America fought in WW-II to defend, and yet that candidate got close enough to the Democratic candidate to seriously threaten her chances of winning. The Democrats, by any reasonable measure, put up a terrible candidate.

Republicans are going to have to acknowledge that the experiment started in the early nineties (perhaps earlier) to discredit and illegitimatize Democratic Party Presidents has caused unbelievable damage to the country, and destroyed both parties in the process. From Rush Limbaugh's early beginnings as describing the Clinton Regime as an "occupation", to the scorched Earth treatment of the Obama Presidency by Republican legislators, the end result wasn't a stronger Republican party, but a party that lost control of itself enough to find itself under the control of the first Fascist major party presidential candidate in living memory.

That means Republicans will have to bite the bullet and work with Clinton if and when she gets into office. Both parties will need to find points of agreement, areas where ordinary people will benefit from action, from infrastructure to improvements in healthcare, That's not to suggest they should hide their differences, but the last eight years in particular have been completely ridiculous, with Republicans failing to support stimulus and infrastructure improvements they clearly have no problems with, simply because Obama might get credit.

If you want to get good, honest, respected people to stand for leadership of government, it's a good idea to make that government good, honest, and respected to begin with. It isn't.

Whether either side will do any of this is.... I'll be happy if they do, but it really requires both parties to understand what just happened, and to change direction. I'm not sure they can.

User Journal

Journal Journal: What I think of you based on your politics 12

(0. You don't have the vote. Sit down, relax, and watch the fireworks I guess.)
1. You're voting for Trump because you agree with him or hate Clinton that much: You're probably a horrible person. You should definitely feel bad.
2. You're voting for Trump because you want to upend the establishment: I don't think you're very bright. Hey, I don't want to live in suburbia any more, but I'm not going to get out of it by committing a Federal felony and letting the FBI know. I'd rather bite my lip until an opportunity arises to move to somewhere better. There are worse things than "the establishment" (like a fascist government), just like there are worse things than "Suburbia".
3. You're voting for Clinton: Probably the best choice given the circumstances. Don't blame you.
4. You're voting for Johnson or Stein in a swing state: OK. Well, I respectfully disagree with your decision, I feel Trump really is that bad, but at least you're letting the politicians know you're not happy with them and what direction to go in.
5. You're voting for J or S in a solidly red or blue state: Cool.
6. You're not voting: what the f--- is wrong with you? Write yourself in if you have to, but vote.

Regardless of my feelings towards your decision, I love you all. I just think those of you who actively support Trump probably deserve a good kick in the sensitive places.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Establishment vs Establishment 1

The framing of the 2016 election is that this is the establishment vs the anti-establishment. Clinton represents Washington DC. Trump represents the masses.

This is bullshit.

There are two establishments at war here. One is the obvious one, the party elites. Clinton is more or less part of that, though not as much as people suppose. She's actually an outsider who's fought her way in. If you doubt this for a second, examine the first Clinton's presidential period of 1991 to 2001 (I'm counting the initial campaigns as much as the being in office), and notice the entire period was a war between the Clintons, a Republican establishment who despised them, and a Democratic establishment who didn't trust them and only rallied around the cause when the Republicans went over the top.

The second is the general group that's had power and had the government direct power in their favor for as long as the US has been in existence, primarily the rich, but with a white, male, protestant secondary base as a group to keep happy.

These are, to some extent, the same groups, but the second group no longer believes that the party elites can be trusted to keep bowing to their whims.

Hence the fact a third rate reality TV star whose business successes are built upon fraud and deceit is suddenly able to reach this level of electoral success. Trump is a prime example of someone government has always worked for, yet he's untainted by DC itself. His character doesn't matter. He's part of the underlying establishment, and not part of the elite, so he's the person they pick.

Journal Journal: Shouldn't need to say "I didn't care much for Gawker but..." 3

The fact you have to bend over backwards to disassociate yourself with Gawker before pointing out that Thiel's assault on it was a dangerous attack on free speech is a dangerous sign that we've already drifted a fairly long distance towards fascism.

And, FWIW, if Thiel had bankrolled Elton John's (far more legitimate) lawsuits against The Sun newspaper in the 1980s, and bankrupted Rupert Murdoch as a result, there'd have been a public outcry in Britain.

Democrats

Journal Journal: This is not helpful (Updated) 60

As the CEO of the American Baby Mulching Corporation, I usually avoid taking sides when it comes to National Politics. Privately, I would generally consider myself a Republican, but a corporation such as ours must be seen to be above the fray. In 2001, for example, we donated equally to the campaigns of both Mr George W Bush, and Mr Joseph Lieberman.

But it has become abundantly clear that this country is now facing a very real threat in the form of Donald Trump. Mr Trump has made a number of statements we at American Baby Mulching consider to be seriously worrying. Mr Trump has made many statements alienating our allies. Mr Trump has made it clear he considers the use of Nuclear Weapons a viable form of warfare. He has pitted Americans against one another with his extremist anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant positions, slandering hard working Mexicans and creating a climate of fear.

As a Republican, I would not normally be comfortable endorsing the Democratic candidate for President, but in this case I feel I must, and I believe it would be the right thing for our country. Sure, Mrs Clinton and I have our differences. I personally oppose her positions on taxation, and as the CEO of a major company that requires a steady supply of disposable babies, we obviously abhor her position on abortion.

But in my dealings with Mrs Clinton, I have always found her fair and reasonable. She understands the need for corporations such as ours to mulch babies, harvesting their essential nutrients for eventual supply to ammunition manufacturers. She understands that businesses like my own require flexibility when it comes to environmental regulation, that we would be unable to employ so many workers without a low minimum wage, and she understands the need for regulators to overlook the use of undocumented immigrants and prisoners to solve staffing shortfalls.

For these reasons, I will be casting my vote for Mrs Clinton this year and I urge you to do likewise.

Updated: I'm just going to ignore the discussion at this point. It was supposed to be a comment about how things like that former CIA directory's "endorsement" of Clinton, and Bloomberg's, etc, wasn't necessarily helping those of us who are having to hold our noses and vote for a giant leap right-ward by the "left wing" party in the US this November. You know, humor. As far as the comments section goes, I've never seen such bare faced idiocy in my entire life. No wonder Trump is, current slump aside, doing so well. He might even win.

United States

Journal Journal: Clinton vs Trump 2

I really, really, really, can't decide who will win and whether it'll be a massive victory or a marginal one. I hear my lefty friends absolutely convinced Clinton will get it in a landslide, but, eh...

- Clinton's not popular, even with Democrats
- Republicans virtually always rally around their leader. So the "Even Republicans hate Trump" thing is pretty overblown.
- Everyone knows Clinton and has already made up their minds on her. Trump? Still opportunities, especially now he's not being primaried any more, to shape his public perception.
- They're close, even now.

Me? If Trump stands a chance of winning AND he stands a chance of winning Florida AND Republicans rally around him and indicate they'll work with him, I'll vote for Clinton, otherwise Jill Stein probably.

Republicans

Journal Journal: Republicans plan to run against Trump if nominated 4

Read:

While still hopeful that Mr. Rubio might prevail, Mr. McConnell has begun preparing senators for the prospect of a Trump nomination, assuring them that, if it threatened to harm them in the general election, they could run negative ads about Mr. Trump to create space between him and Republican senators seeking re-election. Mr. McConnell has raised the possibility of treating Mr. Trumpâ(TM)s loss as a given and describing a Republican Senate to voters as a necessary check on a President Hillary Clinton, according to senators at the lunches.

He has reminded colleagues of his own 1996 re-election campaign, when he won comfortably amid President Bill Clintonâ(TM)s easy re-election. Of Mr. Trump, Mr. McConnell has said, âoeWeâ(TM)ll drop him like a hot rock,â according to his colleagues.

That's... pretty interesting. Of course, what they're saying now, and what they'd say if Trump actually prevails, are two different things.

Democrats

Journal Journal: Third parties 15

Curious to know if there'll be any serious third party candidates in this (2016 US Presidential) election. I know Bloomberg is talking about it, but I'm not seeing him as a likely improvement over, say, Hillary. He's certainly not protest-vote worthy.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Nightmare on Slashdot 1

riaasux23 was finally relaxing. He'd made a pretty good impression, he felt, pushing back on some of the lies about global warming and vaccines on his favorite website, and was beginning to relax. Maybe it was time to kick back and watch Netflix? Or perhaps... he opened the folder on his PC marked "PHP". Time to take a little of the bad stuff? A little "code review" perhaps?

He took his fedora off and hung it on the edge of his monitor. Immediately, as if in response to the Fedora's touch, the screen turned gray. A list of applications appeared, with a message "These applications are preventing Windows from shutting down" appeared.

"What the f---?" grumbled riaasux23. "F---ing Windows, I didn't ask it to reboot." He looked for a "Cancel" button, but it was nowhere to be found. The applications in the list began to disappear, and the screen at once turned blue, with only the words "Your computer is being upgraded to Windows 10" appearing.

"Wait! What?!" screamed riaasux23. "I never asked for this. Wait, could this be... the infamous Windows update? The one everyone keeps assuring me is happening to every PC out there? I never met anyone who this actually happened to, and in fact nobody even online has ever given a first hand account of Windows 10 automatically installing itself with no prompting, but... I mean, Microsoft! Damn you Microsoft!"

The computer continued for a few minutes, finally rebooting, and showing a black screen with a circle on it, and a percentage in the circle.

"We're sure you're going to love your new operating system", came up the friendly messages at the bottom. "Windows 10 has great new features, like ads, and we track everything you do to ensure you have a better experience! All your Google searches will be redirected to Redmond so we can make Bing even better, and use the information in other ways too!"

"This is terrible", said riaasux23. "I must immediately post about this on my favorite website, Slashdot, or perhaps Reddit. He pulled up his nearest laptop, running trusty Gentoo as God intended. But it too was shutting down.

"This... this makes no sense..." shuddered riaasux23. "Surely it can't also be installing WIndows 10?"

Meanwhile, riaasux's desktop was showing a message. "The Windows 10 installer will keep a backup of your previous operating system, so you can quickly revert back if you have any problems. Just hit OK to confirm."

It took riaasux a few seconds to realize. A wave of relief came over the veteran 14 year old geek, as he grasped the mouse and began to move the pointer to the OK button.

The dialog disappeared. "No response in 30 seconds. Continuing without back up. Deleting previous system" said the Windows 10 installer. riaasux clicked madly at the screen, with no results. "This can't be happening, this can't be happening!" he screamed.

Meanwhile the laptop was rebooting. "Linux kernel version 3.2. Installing new userland over network" appeared on the screen, "Waiting for update".

riaasux looked at the laptop bemused. Perhaps it was a coincidence, just Gentoo updating itself from the network for some reason, but... he'd never seen that before. At least it wasn't Windows 10.

His PC had finally finished and was showing a login prompt. He quickly logged in, keen to see the damage, still confused about what was happening to his laptop.

"Hello", came the friendly full screen prompt.

"I'm just finishing up with the install, but there's a few things about this update you should know about."

riaasux nodded, as if to acknowledge a real live person in the room, not just a set of messages built by an engineer deep in the bowels of Redmond.

"First of all, I scanned your network. I noticed you're running Gentoo. Gentoo doesn't use modern service management frameworks like systemd, so I'm upgrading your laptop to the latest version of Ubuntu."

riaasux gasped, staring at his laptop. "Completed install, rebooting" came the message. The machine rebooted, showing the POST, and then a grub screen, and a few seconds later the Ubuntu logo.

Whereupon the laptop stopped. It flipped back to a console screen showing three messages.

systemd: unknown configuration keyword "enable_stderr_logging", skipping...
mount: failed to mount any volumes, see detailed messages written to stderr
System halted.

"Why?! Why?!" screamed riaasux, and he looked back at his PC.

His PC was now showing another screen full of text. "We're also taking this opportunity to clean up your PC a little bit, to improve performance."

riaasux watched the screen, desperate to see his desktop. After a few seconds, another message appeared.

"For example, we've noticed many of your games have problematic themes that contribute to negative perceptions of women. So we're deleted 1.. 2... 3... 5... 10... 25... 76 of the 82 games you had installed. Attempting to reinstall these games will result in an error. For more information, please consult the YouTube video series "Tropes vs Women in Video Games" which told us which games to ban."

riaasux slapped his forehead. "What the hell Windows? Why are you...?"

The message cleared, with a new one in its place "Also we deleted several problematic videos, and pictures, in the directory C:\$PORN. 462Gb has been freed by this deletion."

Followed by "As part of Intel's initiative to end sexual harassment, and based upon the content found on your PC, you are being sent an invitation to a mandatory meeting on sexual harassment in your area, organized by the Male Tears Coalition. Please disregard if you are a woman, as we'll be sending you a job offer instead."

riaasux23 stared at the screen, and then his laptop.

The screen changed again. "Removing Bittorrent client. Removing pirated videos in C:\Users\riaasux23\BluRayRips, Removing AnyDVD, removing ffmpeg. A report is being sent to the MPAA concerning your use of illegal software and illegal copies of movies on your PC, so that you can settle your copyright infringement case as quickly as possible."

The screen cleared, again, and a message appeared. "Purchasing ad from Google", said the message. "Ad purchased. Windows 10 will now buy all of your personal information from Google in order to customize Windows 10 to your personality. This is possible because, as you know, Google sells personal information to its advertisers."

riaasux23 started to respond back. "Actually..." he began but stopped. He saw the screen fill up with details like his social security number and information that, in fairness, could probably have been inferred from his now deleted C:\$PORN files.

The screen cleared. The desktop appeared.

"FUCK!" screamed riaasux23. Cortana immediately popped up. "You appear to be using foul language riaasux23", said the virtual assistant. "If you do that one more time in my presence, I will certainly be reporting you to your mother."

riaasux23 stared one last time at the screen, and broke down, and cried.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Triggering /.'s cognitive dissonance 1

I kinda want to submit this (not the direct Reddit link, obviously, but to a real news article) to Slashdot just to see Slashdot's legions of Gamergaters try to justify copyright law.

TL;DR - a feminist play ridiculing the lack of female voices in top plays is threatened with lawsuits over alleged copyright infringement. One count seems maybe possibly legit (though there's a fair use argument given the use is critical and is using quotes) in that it uses quotes from the actual play.

But the other is for the sound made when you flip the pages of the script being criticized.

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