Friday, November 18, 2016

How bad is the alt-right?

I'm only going to tackle a small piece of this question.

To start, here is David French on the threats he and his wife get daily because he was against Trump. I guess a specialty of some alt-right creeps is to Photoshop his wife's face onto the most disgusting pornographic image they can find and then send her the resulting artwork.

Next, it was instructive to read what Breitbart had to say about the alt-right. Basically, they are currently noisy frat boys, but they're also right:
"In short, they want what every people fighting for self-determination in history have ever wanted, ... — to come out of the woodwork and stand up for their values and culture."
This at the end of an article about the white nationalism, xenophobia, misogyny, and hate in the movement.

A related question is how much Steve Bannon, Trump's chief strategist and adviser, is a fellow of the alt-right. Ben Shapiro, formerly of Breitbart and thus a colleague of Steve Bannon, drops a lot of stories on him. The charges seem fairly specific, but I can't be an unbiased judge.

However, the press isn't finding very horrendous quotes attached to Bannon. Maybe this will change because he had a radio show, and people may need to listen to a lot of it to find the nastiest bits. Stay tuned.

Image: gotnews.com

First post-election post

So, President Trump, huh? I went into the election too comfortable, obviously. Also obvious is that my brother's predictions didn't pan out. Election night wasn't fun, slowly realizing that Clinton wouldn't catch up in Wisconsin, and has had lost the election.

The good news is that we won't have Clinton for president, with her defensiveness, 'safe' rather than bold leadership, and playing for popularity. We also will have so much less sniping at her. I feel a lot of relief about that.

The bad news is that we'll have a lot of unknowns with Trump and whatever gaggle of advisers he'll have.

But I'm not a pessimist because the world has generally turned out better than the worst case scenario, often much better. The US and I have survived so many presidents who were supposed to ruin the country that I just can't muster worry because Trump is expected (by some) to be a hundred times worse.

I'll keep my eyes open for signs of authoritarianism, and fight it strenuously if it happens. But I'm not losing sleep over the possibility until I see actual signs.

Changes I do expect:

  • Planned Parenthood will be defunded. That can't be blocked.
  • ACA changes will happen. I might actually support some of the changes.
  • Conservative nominees to the Supreme Court. 
  • Tax cuts with no sunset dates--hopefully not too large. 
Oh, and if there's a registry for Muslims, I guess I'll be one of many in line, from the sounds of it. Not expecting that though. 

Image: michaelmoore.com

Extras. Reports of harassment in Day 1 of Trump's America. I haven't witnessed any, and I won't stand by if I do witness anything. Revisit Michael Moore's prediction

Monday, November 7, 2016

Sharing predictions

I'm not into the scientific prediction business, so I'm not making my own predictions on the presidential elections. Instead, I'm sharing my brother's predictions. They are worthwhile for these reasons:

  • He's a level-headed business owner with a good track record on numbers and predictions. (You have to trust me on this.)
  • He's gathering hard data on early voting.
He's predicting Florida, North Carolina, and Nevada go for Hillary, and those will be enough to give her the win. He also says that Ohio and Iowa are very close and could go either way.

So that's the word. Hillary will be the next prez. The Donald Danger is averted.

Image: wbtw.com

Anti-Trump conservatives

I've been neglecting this story for too long. Some conservatives, and not the usual suspects, have been clearly against Trump. Eric Erickson of RedState makes an impassioned argument against Trump as a wicked person lacking morals. Another writer at RedState blasts Jerry Falwell Jr for supporting Trump. Glenn Beck is also making a moral argument against Trump.

Image: theinsurgent.com

Related Extras. Erickson tells of Trump supporters harassing him, and the deeply difficult decision not to support Trump at a time of great stress in his family. This article lists several prominent conservatives who are against Trump. However, I will never give Mark Levin credit for his stand because I've never known him to do something for the right reason. He's one of the biggest liars I ever seen, including doctoring evidence.

Unrelated Extras. Unbelievable theory that the Trump video was a fake. Why Trump's charges of voter fraud are unbelievable. A prediction that the GOP will continue on a white nationalist course. Former conservative Andrew Sullivan argues that Trump is a fascist.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Short: FBI against Clinton

I have to make this short because 1) I have to get rid of some of my browser tabs, and 2) I want to surf other stuff that's a lot more fun.

So, there have been seriously bad leaks from the FBI, and also a lot of dissension over FBI Director Comey's decision not to indict Clinton. It seems that some FBI agents are fairly partisan and are extremely upset that Clinton hasn't been locked up. Can't give them credit for professionalism on this one.

Some agents were so unprofessional and partisan that they said a Clinton indictment was imminent, and leaked it to media franchises that just loved to hear it. The result was that Bret Baier had to retract a story to that effect. Strange how the retraction was bigger news on Politico than on Baier's own network, the estimable Fox News.

Image: patriotpost.us

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Short: Lesson on being gracious

From CBS news, here's a hand-written note from George H.W. Bush to Bill Clinton:

Image: cbsnews.com



How should the country prepare for post-election tantrums?

Donald Trump continues to troll the entire country with his ludicrous claim that the only way he'll lose the election is by massive voter fraud. In last night's debate, he pointedly refused to say that he'd be bound by the result. Today, he says he'll accept the result if he wins.

And if he loses, as every reality-based analysis points to, what will he do? I'm not expecting a suddenly humble Donald Trump to make a cordial concession speech. I'll be surprised if he concedes at all. But what I fear most is Trump calling for his followers to resist the results.

I think state and federal emergency planners should be preparing for what might happen. But how do you prepare?

First, emergency planners should consider likely scenarios in their particular regions. Here in Massachusetts, the election results are unlikely to be close, so I doubt people will be storming the town halls to 'guard' the ballots. I don't know what is likely to happen elsewhere--that's the kind of local knowledge I don't have but emergency personnel in each area hopefully will have.

The planning for election day and the days around it should be the sort of thing that is familiar to any police department that's had to deal with a controversial trial. Having plenty of personnel on schedule or on call is a good start. Identifying flashpoints is also important. I can't guess much beyond that because that's never been part of my job. It is part for their job, and it's definitely something police chiefs should have underway. I wouldn't be surprised to hear from some national groups making public service announcements about 'American tradition' and 'safe and respectful voting' and 'listening to the voice and votes of the people.'

I'm glad I don't live in a state where open-carry enthusiasts might converge. Hopefully, planning in Texas is well under way. Philadelphia has already been targeted, so they had better be planning too. Other areas where the danger is higher: Georgia, Arizona, Florida, Ohio, Nevada, and maybe others.

Despite my concerns, I expect a strong and well-planned response by police and government, and minimal trouble with minimal injuries and damage. Not none, but minimal.

Maybe a few days after Election Day, Trump will realize that he can't provoke much reaction anymore, he will good and defeated, and a major threat averted. We shall see, but planning now is important and shouldn't be overlooked.

Image: dreamstime.com