Michigan and Florida

The Clinton campaign has been so dirty that I’m now starting to wonder if the whole point of moving up the Florida and Michigan votes was because to favour Clinton.  Clinton is demanding that the committee make a decision to give all the delegates a vote, which would be an unethical decision because it would give Clinton an unfair advantage. 
 
She’s demanding that something be done that is unethical for her benefit and has done so on the record, whatever the truth of any maneuvers behind the scenes to get states that she expected to win to vote earlier, even if it broke party rules. 
 
If she had taken the high road like her husband always did, I’d still have a positive image of her.   But now…I don’t see any meaningful distinction between her and John McCain.   John McCain has actually done his best to sound reasonable and rational.   There is a great irony here that Hillary Clinton is the remaining candidate of all parties that sounds the least like Bill Clinton.  I won’t be voting for her for president in this or any other election in the future. 
 
While Clinton was playing dirty and tailoring her campaign to cater to the white trash in Kentucky and West Virginia, the national polling showed Obama going to something like 55%-39% vs. Clinton, his biggest lead ever.   That shows the lack of perspective of Clinton and her entire campaign.  If you’re going to win, you have to win the whole country and none of them seem to be able to see past the next primary.  Clinton was always emphasizing that West Virginia was a swing state.  Maybe so.  She sacrificed national support and permanently damaged her credibility so that she could get one swing state, which would probably go the other way in a general election if she lost too much broad support.  Swing states tend to go with the bandwagon effect, which I think is more important than policy in determining votes.   That is a sad reality.  If the people voted with their interests, nobody making under $100,000 net per year would ever vote Republican.  Nobody that cares about whether the environmental damage will ruin the health of them and their children would ever vote Republican.   Unless one is really rich and one’s priorities very narrow (or one has an exception around like Ron Paul), voting against the Republicans is a no-brainer.  That they keep getting elected tells me that the population hasn’t been voting with their interests.
 
Look at Ronald Reagan.  He had one and only one thing in his favour, that he was likeable.  Other than that he was a complete idiot and his brains were already swiss cheese before he took office as president.   The democrats need to learn the value of presentation.  One candidate’s got it.  The other one gets worse every day. 
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Headline: “On policy, Obama breaks little ground”

 
There is a core dilemma in outsider politics that you will never read about in the press.   The dilemma results from a lack of information.  Lacking key information on an issue means that if you overcommit to a course of action that is too specific, later you’re going to have egg on your face.   You may give the illusion of specificity by adopting policies that you will later have to withdraw or grossly modify. 
 
There is also the issue of whether a given policy will require agreement of others.  A new president will be able to handle purely executive powers on his own, but unless you have a bunch of cowards in congress like we’ve had for the past eight years, the president has no control over what congress legislates other than the veto.   Ron Paul has in some ways fallen into this mistake, being vocal about policies that he would never be able to implement regardless of the balance of power in congress, such as repealing all income tax. 
 
One of the most infamous examples of the former mistake is probably when John Chretien first got elected prime minister of Canada.  There were various things that he pledged to do when he got in to office.   He was Canada’s greatest prime minister ever, and so I have to assume that his reasons for not following through with these were sound (although not necessarily correct).   That did do enormous political damage to his credibility though. 
 
There is a psychological trap called "escalation of commitment" that a lot of politicians fall in to.  That is, the more they have committed to something the more difficult it is to back out of it, even when it becomes apparent that the policy ought to be abandoned.   It causes them to put personal political interest ahead of public interest and has an effect something like a compulsive gambler chasing his losses.  Trying to get politicians to be too committal too early is hazardous. 
 
There needs to be a whole new approach to politics.  The old school way of left wing- right wing bickering where each side when in power first decides a policy, usually on the basis of some prejudice such as that business is bad or that people on welfare are bad or some other knee-jerk approach, then the policy is implemented, then all kinds of problems are created, then you come up with some other knee-jerk reaction to try to fix them, resulting in an endless cascade of problems and inefficiency and public disgruntlement. 
 
The key change that needs to be made is about how politics is done.   Politicians that announce a priori how they are going to fix all of the world’s problems are a disaster.  The a priori approach needs to be replaced with empiricism. 
 
Politics also needs to avoid the present binary approach where areas of disagreement are emphasized, in part because that is what helps media sales.    It is very important that politics is seized back from the media, which is becoming the common enemy of politicians and all moderate people.   I saw something odious today, right wing bigot Michelle Malkin made the ridiculous accusation that because Rachael Ray wore a scarf that looks a little like scarves that muslims wear, that she and Dunkin Donuts that used her in a commercial were promoting terrorism. 
 
What I would like to see is Obama, McCain and every other decent person orchestrate a campaign to destroy Michelle Malkin.   She isn’t elected.  She is using her right to free speech to incite racial hatred, equating anything that even looks muslim with support of terrorists.  Decent people should use their first amendment right to free speech to destroy her. 
 
Moderates are less moved to action than extremists, which makes it difficult to dislodge these pondscum that are increasingly taking over our society.  If we do not challenge them with vigour we surrender the field.  What we need right now are ferocious moderates that will attack the extremists in our midst with a determination and a vindictiveness that exceeds theirs such that their power is broken.   The trick is knowing who must be negotiated with, who, although you disagree with, is acting in good faith.  There are many things about which men of education can retain strong differences in good faith even after considerable debate, and in such cases collegiality is appropriate.  There are other cases such as with the palestinian people where grave historical and present wrongs have driven those that would otherwise be like us, to violence.   Even extreme actions do not always show that a person is evil to the core. 
 
It is one of the hardest things to define true evil.  There is imagery from Revelations that I quite like though in this regard.  There is a certain passage in which the beast, the false prophet and the dragon open their mouths and out come unclean spirits, like frogs.  There is definitely something to that.  Sometimes a person says something or does something- not always a big thing- it can tell you enough about them that what they are is no longer in doubt.   The saviour figure on the other hand is said to be somebody with a two-edged sword coming out of his mouth.  That suggests to me somebody that fights with words.  Two edged, meaning that it cuts in both directions- if you have decided that you are the chosen people or the chosen religion and thereby will be immune from criticism you will be sadly mistaken. 
 
The general concept of proportionality also does need to be considered.  An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, those who kill by the sword shall die by the sword, those who lead into captivity shall go into captivity, etc.   It is a principle, a concept, and of course has to be updated for modern issues, but as a concept it is liberal.  And in that context I see no reason that we should not be intolerant to the intolerant and turn their bitterness upon them. 
 
It is important that politicians seize back control of debates from the media as otherwise they are not leading but following.  To do this you must cooperate.  There may be the opportunity to seize a temporary advantage when the media are unreasonable to one’s opponent, but that is the opportunity to defend one’s opponent from the unjust attack and thereby change the standards.   The media wait for the politicians to feed them scraps but the media is a dog that will always bite its’ master.   An honourable opponent will always be more trustworthy than the media and it is wiser to rest one’s hopes with that which is honourable than that which is dishonourable.
 
What needs changing in this society is old news.  All the ideas being batted around these days seem to be different version of the same old ideas that have been batted around for the past 150 years or so.   I don’t see change as being embodied in policies.  Having the tenth prototype of some old idea isn’t exactly change. 
 
The change that most people sense that we need has to be about how we do politics.   If we do it the same way we will fail the same way and rehashing policies isn’t going to change anything.   If we carry on with left wing knee-jerk reactions vs. right wing knee-jerk reactions with the media inciting people to commit to policies as early as possible and encouraging politics to be as divisive as possible, there won’t be any change regardless of who takes office, unless it is change for the worse. 
The US is set on a course for self destruction right now, and it’s close, and we no longer have the luxury as we once did of having a leadership structure that is little more than pro-wrestling in suits. 
 
 

Talking about Unhappy Endings: Worst Series Finales Ever

 

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Unhappy Endings: Worst Series Finales Ever
How not to end a television series

Sounds to me like the Sopranos finale was the right one to me.  If it were a morality play Tony Soprano wouldn’t have made it through the first season.  Why expect it to end with a cliche?  If the idea was to promote realism, why not a mundane ending?  Real life is banal and to a certain extent random.  Sometimes people get what’s coming to them and sometimes they get what they don’t deserve. 

In a way, programs that promote cliches do society a disservice because they create a magical version of reality where good always prevails and the bad guys always die regardless of the odds, usually by improbable coincidences.  They teach that justice will just fall into your lap and you don’t have to push for it.   They teach that good intentions will be enough and that isn’t always true. 

Here’s a movie I’d like to see: Doc Halliday’s life.  It has to be one of the most ironic stories in all of history.  He starts as a dentist and gets tuberculosis, a virtual death sentence at the time.  So he heads into drier territory to dry out his lungs and lives hard, expecting that he’s going to die anyways.  He spends 20 years trying to get himself killed and serving the good guys including the incident at the OK corral.   Eventually he dies of tuberculosis.  He doesn’t die from the violent lifestyle, nor is he spared his death by natural causes because he worked for the good guys.  One of the most ironic tales in all of history. 

Talking about Male circumcision gains ground in AIDS fight – AIDS- msnbc.com

 

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Male circumcision gains ground in AIDS fight – AIDS- msnbc.com

Who would fund research to prove that circumcision staves off disease?  One has to suspect that the study was intended to prove something from the outset.

Considering the manner in which AIDS is transmitted, circumcision of males would be one of the last places that one would look to check for a possible benefit. 

If there is anything to it at all, consider that circumcised communities tend to be apart from uncircumcised communities and that whichever community was more ravaged by AIDS would show a correlation whether circumcized or not and the correlation could just as easily have been the other way.

One also wonders how many of these studies were performed in different areas of the world until they got the result that they wanted.

There may also be the factor that circumcision generally goes with a certain religious persuasion in which promiscuity is generally not acceptable and the correlation may in fact be with fidelity reducing the spread of AIDS.

Of course if adults choose to get themselves circumsized knowing all of the risks that go with it, that is their business.  But the thrust of the study of course is that the inhuman cruelty of circumsizing infants should continue, when it should not.   Originally it was done as a mark of allegiance to Melchizedek, the devil, and while somebody not intending to show such allegiance can hardly be damned for it, the procedure should always be taken in the context of the evil that spawned it.

 

Talking about ‘Sleeper cell’ case tests Bush powers – Security- msnbc.com

 

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‘Sleeper cell’ case tests Bush powers – Security- msnbc.com

There is a reason there is a constitution.  That’s so that congress and a dangerous president like the present one can never repeal certain rights based on some momentary fad.  Broad support and a time consuming process are required. 

As the person in question is a foreign national I frankly can’t see the dilemma.  There is no live issue that the person in question is an American citizen.  He has no right per se to be there.  Doesn’t sound like he has actually committed an offence.  Sending him home is their remedy. 

If you want to get somebody for a real offense, how about this: in 2001, 5 people were murdered by US military anthrax.  The perpetrators appear to have high up protection and the motive appears to have been to justify a war against Iraq, which was incorrectly said to have anthrax at that time.   The targets appear to have been exclusively liberal, very curious if done by arabs that the people most likely to oppose a war on arabs were targeted. 

In that case, we know that a crime was committed and the profile is clearly that of a right wing nut that wanted a war on Iraq, with an extremely high clearance.   He wouldn’t target other right wingers even to make the attack more credible and didn’t know enough about microbiology to know that a good microbiologist could prove that the anthrax was from the US military.   Somebody with access but probably lacking the technical skill, with somebody directing their actions who knew that at that time any excuse for an attack on Iraq was wanted. 

Until the faction in the US government that will say or do anything to create the appearance of a threat to justify their continued military and "intelligence" operations is rooted out and tried and executed for treason and murder, grabbing random arabs off the street and torturing them until they "confess" is going to be even more suspect and there will be the ongoing suspicion that any "evidence" against them is concocted, just like the anthrax attacks, to justify whatever that faction wants to do.   People that will kill their own countrymen with anthrax in order to justify an attack on another country are capable of absolutely anything. Nothing is beneath them.   

And then there is the issue that immediately following the said attacks, world class microbiologists started dropping like flies to murders and supposed suicides and accidents, something that still has not been properly investigated.

O yes, there is a great evil out there that needs to be brought to justice, but most of it is within. 

Talking about Pastor to Catholics: ‘Great whore’ no more – Faith- msnbc.com

 

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Pastor to Catholics: ‘Great whore’ no more – Faith- msnbc.com

The doctorine of the apostate church has a certain irony to it in that the global competition to be the dominant religion flies in the face of this doctorine.   That is, if the apostate church will be the last church standing at the end, then if you are successful in becoming the last church standing at the end, you will have become the apostate church. 

The prospect of complete dominion over all is temptation for those for whom power and control over others is more important to them then their faith, a sort of unholy grail for evil, and while I do not agree with the doctorine of the apostate church, if any church were successful in being the last one on earth, it would without question be an apostate church. 

In any event, you can have unity in the ways that matter without anybody having undo power and control over anybody else.

The problem of religion and religious conflicts is mostly one of making things that are really simple really complicated.   The golden rule is the general rule but it is kind of vague so there is a list of specifics.   Apart from the first three commandments (using the original version), there are seven key principles there to guide you.   The key ones are don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t commit adultery, don’t bear false witness, don’t desire anything that doesn’t belong to you, everybody is entitled to a day of rest one day in seven, and the curious "honour thy father and mother".

The first five mentioned are obvious.  The last two get confusing.  The right to a day of rest is a individual’s right, as noted by Jesus, and is not for god but for man.  The individual has a right to waive it, but only of his own free will.  Technically, and ironically, forcing anybody to go to the church on the sabbath against their will is a violation of the sabbath.  This principle, like the others, is about what you may not do to others.

The last mentioned is the most interesting because it doesn’t appear to belong with the rest, but it is ranked up near the top.  The original intent and meaning to the people that made it may be lost, but I have some idea of it’s nature. 

The commandments are a series of rules that are something of a benchmark which churches and possibly other organizations as well as people can be measured against. 

One of the hallmarks of the greatest evils of the 20th century, Nazism and Stalinism, as well as of many evil religions, is that they attempt to turn the children against the parents, such that a person’s loyalties are made to be to a state, political group or religious group and all natural loyalties are cast aside in the name of expedience.   The commandment would make sense in that context, as well as its’ placement in the commandment hierarchy. 

Both the sabbath and the rule to honour thy parents is ranked higher in priority than "thou shalt not kill".  Why?  Lots of cultures that have not gone totally off the rails have irresponsibly caused people to be killed.  It is a strong danger sign when there is killing in the name of expedience but it does not mean that the evil has totally taken hold. 

But when the people are enslaved and friend is turned against friend, neighbour against neighbour, and families against each other on a large scale, everybody becomes an informer against everybody else, then evil has taken a virtual stranglehold on society. 

I would add that, further to the original book of Enoch, creating such an environment in which everybody eventually turns on everybody else is the job of Gabriel.  The bible itself does not mention much of either Michael/Melchizedek or Gabriel, but based on all the materials including other scriptures not included in the bible, Michael/ Melchizedek is the devil and Gabriel is Satan.  That is, Satan is an emissary of the false god/ false prophet, not of the transcendental one.  Hence the book of Job.   The writer of Enoch 2 was well aware of this and put it quite cleverly- the person (!) in the throne referred to as God says to Enoch, "Enoch, come sit on my left with Gabriel".  The writer had to know what he was saying.  To sit on the left of god means to be in error; the man on the throne was inviting Enoch to join Gabriel in error and evil.   I would add that the later writer who altered the original text of Revelations, adding paragraphs in which it was stated that the devil, Satan and the dragon are the same person is in error, they refer to three different personalities.   The so-called "Great Whore" of revelations that deceives the nations is a reference to the race of men pretending to be gods or emissaries of god at different times, known variously as the Elohim or the Angels.  It isn’t a reference to a church.

But apart from these niceties which may be a matter for debate, the commandments keep things really simple if you keep to the commandments.  To the extent that any church elevates itself above the commandments, it would elevate itself above god, and has to that degree made itself an apostate church.  Most churches that achieve any power have at least one dark phase where this will occur.  If this is understood, it makes unity much easier. 

For if you understand the importance of the commandments, you understand that next to these all else is window dressing.  The emphasis is also important.  I don’t agree with those who say that there are five positive and five negative commandments.  I see them as being all at the root about what one shall not do.   What one shall do- well that’s pretty wide open.  Keeping with the spirit of the commandments and the golden rule is even better if that can be done, but still leaves a lot of open territory.   Agree on the core principles and what is really important will fall into place.

Talking about Clinton to Obama: There’s no nominee yet – Hillary Clinton News- msnbc.com

 

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Clinton to Obama: There’s no nominee yet – Hillary Clinton News- msnbc.com
 

The more I see Hillary stick to this campaign when she can only damage Obama’s election chances, the more I wonder about the role of Doug Coe, the preacher that tells various politicians, mostly right wing nuts, what their role is in what Coe sees as "God’s Plan".   A curious exception to his right wing diet is the Clintons.

When I see somebody doing something that doesn’t make any sense, I have to wonder why that is.  Does she see her role to win, or her role to throw the election?    Doug Coe really worries me with his influence. 

I also am deeply troubled by some of the things that Clinton has said in this campaign that are distinctly authoritarian in tone.  It doesn’t matter how many votes or delegates you get?  That’s an odd statement in a democracy.   That statement about obliterating Iran is deeply troubling. 

I’m not sure that I trust Hillary Clinton to ever be in charge of nuclear weapons. 

The Clinton campaign has been increasingly shrill and stupid and seeking to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

If she keeps up, she’ll be a liability as a VP candidate if she isn’t already.  It’s getting increasingly difficult to believe that she cares about anything but herself. 

Now, Obama won’t be the greatest president ever but he’s not the kind of antichrist type material that you would pull out all of the stops to prevent from taking the presidency.  I am starting to wonder if that concern might apply to Clinton though. 

There is the matter of that fiasco with the Florida and Michigan primaries but there is nothing to be done about it now.  Clinton sought to get victories there although they violated party rules about the timing of the primaries.  Everybody but Clinton removed their names from the Michigan ballot.  She kept her name on, possibly intending to try to use that later. 

Personally I think that the Florida and Michigan decisions were a serious mistake by a party brass that was more concerned with emphasizing who was in charge than with the party’s credibility.  That being said, the damage is done.   If new primaries are held because Clinton thinks that she can win, there will be a perception of favoritism for Clinton and even if she won the nomination through this trickery, she would lose the general election because she would be tainted.  Even if Obama won both states in a further vote, the flip-flop would probably damage the Democratic party.   There may be an issue, if public polling officials were used, of whether the state will fund a second vote. 

If the Florida and Michigan delegates were allowed to vote, the fiasco would be even greater as everybody but Clinton followed the party rules and stayed out of it. 

So the party brass have to live with their dumb decision.  The time for Clinton to be protesting that decision this vigorously was in advance, not waiting to confirm that she won in those states that were supposed to be uncontested and then holding it in her pocket for later.  Probably what ought to be done in the future is clumping states together Super Tuesday style, breaking Super Tuesday into a smaller portion and have the campaign end with something like a Super Tuesday event in April or March with all the remaining states in.  Have 7-10 voting clumps and to avoid states like Florida and Michigan chomping at the bit, maybe having placement assigned by lot for each election might be better.