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Bernardo de La Paz

Profile Information

Member since: Fri Jul 16, 2004, 11:36 PM
Number of posts: 13,347

About Me

Lived most of my adult life in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Left a piece of my heart there.

Journal Archives

Hotel policies and amenities available at the new Trump Washington DC hotel.

Check your guns at the desk.

Two forms of picture ID required to register. No birth certificates.

No room service for C people (colored).

Women with 36D and up get free pool privileges.

The hotel dick will check your hand size.

RT (Russia Today) channel available in all rooms.

Admire our art work! In the lobby we have a 6 foot portrait and we have an equestrian statue with a bare chested rider.

Are you an Attorney General? You are in luck because your room is on us for a week!

Free inspection of all devices for malware and viruses. Low low rates for 'removal' of any we find.

For your safety and comfort, our food is not inspected by the USDA and our toiletries are not approved by the FDA.

Room security includes a six foot high wall you can lock into position against the door.

To lower room rates but mostly to maximize our profit, maid service and restaurant wait staff are provided by imported workers paid minimum wages.

Take a room for two nights and get a 30% discount on Trump University courses.

We'll leave a dumpster fire burning brightly for you.

(Move or let me know if this belongs in the 2016 forum)
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Fri Sep 16, 2016, 09:38 PM (8 replies)

Why the uneven coverage: Trump intimidates with vexatious litigation. Sues anyone close to secrets

Trump intimidates with vexatious litigation. He sues anyone who gets close to his secrets.

David Cay Johnston interviewed by Amy Goodman


DAVID CAY JOHNSTON: I wrote a piece for Politico magazine back in April about all of Donald Trump’s connections. And Donald finally called me. He’s had my home number for years. He’s called me at home in the past. And he said to me, "Well, you know, you’ve written a lot of things I like. But if I don’t like what you’re writing, I’m going to sue you." I said, "Well, Donald, you’re a public figure." In America, that means that he would have to prove that I deliberately, knowingly told a lie about him. And he said, "I know I’m a public figure, but I’ll sue you anyway." And it’s one of the reasons the news coverage of him has been so soft. He has threatened to sue everybody. That Politico piece that I wrote, I’ve been an investigative reporter for almost 50 years; I’ve never been lawyered like I was for that piece. And it didn’t have anything that hadn’t been published before. He has intimidated the news organizations, and they’re not willing to talk about that.

See also http://billmoyers.com/story/making-donald-trump-told-journalistic-nemesis/

Vindictiveness is a point of pride for Trump, Johnston said. “His personal motto is ‘get revenge,’” said the reporter, who devotes an entire chapter to Trump’s speechifying and writings on the subject. Describing how Trump fired a female employee who, citing ethical qualms, wouldn’t call a banker friend on his behalf, Johnston quotes Trump’s own account from his book, Think Big:

“She ended up losing her home. Her husband, who was only in it for the money, walked out on her and I was glad… I can’t stomach disloyalty…and now I go out of my way to make her life miserable.”
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Mon Sep 5, 2016, 07:23 PM (4 replies)

Trump controls news cycle his way and Democrats need to control it their way. This is fixable.

There is a reason Democrats are asked continually about the emails but Trump is not asked about the tax returns. The reason is that Trump makes the emails current news but the tax returns are old news. Democrats need to make the tax returns current news, on a regular basis.

Trump only knows one thing in politics: the application of shock as an entertainer to grab attention. That's what he does with 3 am Tweets and outrageous speeches. It makes news. So if he alleges that Hillary did something "crooked" with emails, her campaign will get asked about it because it is "in the news".

Hillary is not Trump. (You noticed, hunh?) She must not and does not try to out-Trump tRump.

However, a Democrat or two need to step up and be willing to say something outrageous every third day. That way the Democratic agenda becomes news as much as Trump's agenda.

For example if the D said in a speech or tweet something like "Donald Trump is scared to release his tax returns. He's afraid it will show he cheats. It will show he pays penalties. It will reveal loans from Russian oligarchs. He's a coward. It will show he is worth less than a billion dollars because he is paying so much interest on those loans. He's chicken." (A better writer could make it more attention grabbing, more outrageous, more guaranteed to get into the news). This can be delivered with variations once every 5 to 10 days. Three or four other themes can be woven in (bigotry, recklessness foreign policy, non-payment of contractors, etc.).

Hillary will get asked about it, but she can raise its profile in the news while keeping on the high road like this: "Well, I don't agree with some of what D is saying but on an important thing he has a point. Donald Trump is hiding something very bad, we don't know what, but something very bad in his tax returns. It has to be bad or why does he make such a desperate defense to avoid releasing them?" Kind of good-cop & bad-cop.

Then Trump and his surrogates will get asked about it repeatedly.

But you gotta give the greedy sucker media something to suck on; something juicy and kind of outrageous that makes news and get the topic up near the top. Repeatedly. It's messy but it is very doable.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sun Aug 28, 2016, 09:17 PM (0 replies)

Important issue, but must not confuse cultural participation with appropriation.

Thank you for starting this thread. It is an interesting topic for me, since I have lived on three continents (Africa, North America, Asia) and visited three others. I may not participate much but I hope to follow it.

Yes, it is not right for example for a non-Native American to wear a First Nations headdress without approval or invitation. This is because those headdresses have important ceremonial functions (as one aspect of the issue).

But that does not mean all headdresses are out of bounds. First Nations headdresses can inspire other creative effort.

This is much in the same line as when African Americans took music from Africa and added English / celtic elements and instrumentation to make something new that all Americans and all the world enjoy. That music has in turn inspired enormous creativity around the world in many cultures, including returning to Africa and re-invigorating music there. The guitar owes a great deal to Spanish development. Is King Sunny Ade culturally appropriating the electric guitar?

If blond women and men are disallowed wearing cornrows and braids and dashiki shirts, are African Americans disallowed wearing suits and buzz cuts? No and no.

Cultural participation can be respectful while encouraging the mixing and creativity.

We (the people of the world) can use all elements of all cultures in respectful ways (which means not in all ways or all situations) while maintaining our identities and the identities of other people and other peoples.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Thu Aug 11, 2016, 07:28 AM (1 replies)

The USA will continue for a long time, but there are troubles that can be avoided.

The rise of China and, later, India will challenge American ascendancy. This will be difficult for the Right Wing Authoritarians and RWA Followers to deal with, especially since the latter are dominated by lesser-informed people.

The greatest hope for world peace, and therefore a continuation of the American way of life and the American dream, is to promote world trade and travel, and (not least) education. World peace includes coordinated global action on vital issues such as climate change.

When there are large middle classes (resulting from education) that consume products and services from all over the world, they do not have an interest in disrupting the world with war. This is the positive side of globalism which must not be overlooked.

Education increases awareness of the diversity of human experience and existence. Education grows economies and increases exports, which earns money to buy the best that the world offers.

Nationalism has terrible downsides. When protectionism closes borders to free(r) flow of people, goods, and services, then there is less interest in world peace, less interest in diversity, less interest in acting together on global problems. Nationalism promotes us-versus-them thinking, which also has very negative effects on tolerance and diversity within the borders of nations (including the US). Racism and bigotry against groups such as LGBTQ increases. It creates fertile ground for conflict and war.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Thu Aug 11, 2016, 07:10 AM (0 replies)

Do some research. Forgiveness is for the person forgiving. The forgiven one doesn't have to know.

Forgiveness does not mean forgetting.

You can forgive someone and still prosecute them to the full extent of the law. You can forgive someone and bankrupt them to make an example of them.

You can make a vow to never communicate with someone ever again but still forgive them and keep your vow.

The point of forgiveness is to obtain inner peace.

By forgiving, a person lets go of toxic emotions and returns to a clearer head, one where they can deal with problems and root causes more effectively. Ever heard the expression "blind with rage"?

To expect people to deal with it in a society where the term is 'weak and a pussy' if you seek help, the despair never goes away and every day gets worse.

I never said people should be expected to "deal with it" alone.
I explicitly said "people should be helped...", but perhaps you were too angry to read that.

I never said that society was not a big part of the problem.
I explicitly said anger should be "less respected as an emotion". Perhaps I was not clear enough for you or just not clear enough that therefore society is part of the problem and needs to improve.

A case can be made that society is at the root of the problem.

Anger management is seeing justice done and the bullies and antagonists punished!

Wrong. Anger management is about managing emotions. Seeing justice done is not about revenge or retribution. Right wing authoritarian types think that it is. Law & order campaigners take advantage and whip up those emotions.

But in any case, forgiveness is entirely consistent with seeing justice done and bullies punished. In truth, forgiveness enables a person to do that more clearly and more effectively.

Absolutely true that bullying and oppression starts in on young people at a very early age. But when a person is damaged this way, they can get help to deal with their emotions so they can live a more peaceful life. Doing so does not interfere with "targeting the problem". It helps improve the aim and put more power into the arrow.

Progressives are capable of healing (themselves to some extent and with help and helping others) at the same time as they advance causes to solve root problems. Reactive types only see a problem and one reaction.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Fri Aug 5, 2016, 09:41 AM (0 replies)

He appeals to the Right Wing Authoritarian Follower personality type:

See the research by Robert Altemeyer.


RWA is defined as the convergence of three attitudinal clusters:

Authoritarian submission: A high degree of submission to the authorities who are perceived to be established and legitimate in the society in which one lives.
Authoritarian aggression: A general aggressiveness, directed against various persons, that is perceived to be sanctioned by established authorities.
Conventionalism: A high degree of adherence to the social conventions that are perceived to be endorsed by society and its established authorities.

Table 1: Hostility & Fear Toward Outgroups

RWA's are more likely to:

Weaken constitutional guarantees of liberty, such as the Bill of Rights.
Punish severely `common' criminals in a role-playing situation.
Admit they get personal pleasure from punishing such people.
But go easy on authorities who commit crimes and people who attack minorities.
Be prejudiced against many racial, ethnic, nationalistic, and linguistic minorities.
Be hostile toward homosexuals.
Support `gay-bashing.'
Be hostile toward feminists.
Volunteer to help the government persecute almost anyone.
Be mean-spirited toward those who have made mistakes and suffered.
Be fearful of a dangerous world.

Table 2: Not-So-Healthy Ingroup Cohesion

RWA's are more likely to:

Strongly believe in group cohesiveness and `loyalty.'
Insist on traditional sex roles.
Use religion to erase guilt over their acts and to maintain their self-righteousness.
Be `fundamentalists' and the most prejudiced members of whatever religion they belong to.
Accept unfair and illegal abuses of power by government authorities.
Trust leaders (such as Richard Nixon) who are untrustworthy.

Table 3: Faulty reasoning

RWA's are more likely to:

Make many incorrect inferences from evidence.
Hold contradictory ideas leading them to `speak out of both sides of their mouths.'
Uncritically accept that many problems are `our most serious problem.'
Uncritically accept insufficient evidence that supports their beliefs.
Uncritically trust people who tell them what they want to hear.
Use many double standards in their thinking and judgements.

Table 4: Profound Character Flaws

RWA's are more likely to:

Be dogmatic.
Be zealots.
Be hypocrites.
Be bullies when they have power over others.
Help cause and inflame intergroup conflict.
Seek dominance over others by being competitive and destructive in situations requiring cooperation.

Table 5: Blindness To Own Failings

RWA's are more likely to:

Believe they have no personal failings.
Avoid learning about their personal failings.
Be highly self-righteous.
Use religion to erase guilt over their acts and to maintain their self-righteousness.

Table 6: RWA's Political Tendencies

RWA's are more likely to:

Weaken constitutional guarantees of liberty, such as the Bill of Rights.
Accept unfair and illegal abuses of power by government authorities.
Trust leaders (such as Richard Nixon) who are untrustworthy.
Sometimes join left-wing movements, where their hostility distinguishes them.
But much more typically endorse right-wing political parties.
Be conservative/Reform party (Canada) or Republican Party (United States) lawmakers who
have a conservative economic philosophy;
believe in social dominance;
are ethnocentric;
are highly nationalistic;
oppose abortion;
support capital punishment;
oppose gun-control legislation;
say they value freedom but actually want to undermine the Bill of Rights;
do not value equality very highly and oppose measures to increase it;
are not likely to rise in the Democratic party, but do so among Republicans.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sun Jul 31, 2016, 11:40 PM (1 replies)

To other posters in this thread: before high tech gadgetry get rid of ticket quotas.

Devise other means to measure law enforcement activity than ticket quotas.

Get rid of civil forfeiture. Fundamentally it is ass-backwards to make police forces into revenue agents and to make police forces depend on revenue generation for funding.

But, of course, this is the result of Republican strangulation of government services while at the same time out of the other side of their mouth they are piously saying platitudes about "respect for law and order" and "support our police".

Further, demand accountability from leadership on down, but heaviest on the leadership. Fire chiefs and deputy chiefs if people die for the wrong reasons (police die or black people die or anybody dies from lack of training or greed or whatever).

Use existing tech well: body cams & car cams (front, back, and wide angle) on all the time on duty, no ability to switch off. A malfunctioning body cam means return to station to get fitted with a functioning one just like a radio malfunction or vehicle failure. With regard to privacy issues, independent bodies can review footage for release whenever it is requested (like after incidents) so that sensitivity can be shown (child custody, domestic disturbances, etc.).

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sun Jul 10, 2016, 02:23 PM (0 replies)

Islamophobia is a proxy for Anti-Semitism, since Arabs and Jews are both 'Semites'.

It is more difficult to be overtly against Jews in the US these days, just like it is more difficult to be overtly against african-Americans these days, compared to, say, 60 years ago.

However, it is there, below the surface, and stronger in some segments of the population.

Guess which segments are simultaneously less sensitive to anti-semitism, less respectful of Obama's heritage, less respectful of Jews, and overtly Islamophobic?
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Mon Jul 4, 2016, 06:35 AM (0 replies)

No. Canadians know ten times as much about US as Americans know about Canada.

US cultural imperialism dominates Canadian media, so there are regulations to protect Canadian content. Thus Canada has a thriving music scene.

Canadian news hears about the US election most nights. Most US residents are rarely informed about Canadian politics by US media, since the USA tends to be arrogant and inward-looking. If there were not adults like Obama and (with a touch of luck and GOTV) Hillary Clinton in charge, then Canada-US relations would be badly damaged much like if an elephant blundered around a tiger trapped in a cage with it.

Remember that the USA has a population ten times the size of Canada and an economy at least ten times larger.

But also remember that the USA is only as strong as it is because it has a very friendly polite neighbor and stalwart ally to trade with and be its largest trading partner. Not only that, but the trade relationship is the world's largest.

The Members of Parliament chanted that as the friendliest of jokes because they are also aware that the right wing in the USA has been fomenting lots of conspiracy theories that Obama is a "homosexual marxist Kenyan dictator" who will stage a coup to over-turn the US election system term limit and rule for a third and fourth term as a dictator.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Thu Jun 30, 2016, 12:56 AM (2 replies)
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