Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 232
Number of posts: 232
I actually think this might be the last opportunity to work to break the lunatic fringe off from the real Republican Party. I am fundamentally opposed to one-party rule, and the neo-GOP is destroying America's second party--and refusing to consider that possibility. I think the Democrats should propose some RATIONAL legislation that will draw the rational wing away to build a viable second party. Here are two suggested jujitsu issues:
1. States rights for marijuana laws. This is a head splitting issue for a lot of rational Republicans, and will even confuse a lot of the neo-GOP lunatics, while the Libertarians will be glad to go along, and the Democrats should join in as late as possible. The drug laws are fundamentally crazy, but it would be amusing to hear President Obama's explanation as he is "forced" to sign the legislation that lets states legalize marijuana if they want to--and I bet that a LOT of them would want to as soon as that became an option.
2. Normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba. Only the most extreme lunatics can claim that Castro or Cuba poses any existential threat to America, but the rational politicians understand they need to start making nice with the Latinos. Most of them think they're all the same, just like the Asians. Who can tell the Cubans apart from any of the others?
Posted by shanen | Sat Nov 17, 2012, 04:39 AM (1 replies)
I am surprised not to see any discussion of this topic here. I have been thinking about it fairly continuously since the election.
Just because Rove and Romney are pathological liars, that doesn't mean they won't sometimes mix some true words in with their streams of lies. I really think that we should be attempting to consider REALITY, even when parts of it get linked into the right-wing reality distortion field.
Short summary: I think the election never should have been close because President Obama should have pinned Romney against his right-wing nuttiness so strongly that he couldn't pretend to move to the center. As the campaign actually developed, Romney was making a three-week play to the center, and Sandy crushed it. Romney's lie-of-the-week was that Obama was weak, ineffective, and too partisan to lead America. Then Superstom Sandy arrived, and suddenly Obama got a week of free publicity showing him as strong, effective, and quite bipartisan. Obviously the reality had not changed an iota, but Romney didn't have time to create fresh lies and the supporting ads.
My own belief is that Romney had at least a billion dollar advantage over President Obama, though I'm not sure we'll ever get the full tally on those mostly secret funds. However, with the week of free publicity and the loss of airtime for his attack ads, Romney's money advantage was cancelled. I'm not sure if Romney could have bought the election, but I am sure that he thought he had found enough attack-ad-persuadable suckers to swing the deal his way.
My longer rant on the topic:
Posted by shanen | Sun Nov 11, 2012, 02:38 AM (6 replies)
More accurately (because of the title character limit):
If Donald Trump had the brains that god gave a Fig Newton, then he would donate his $5 million to Hurricane Sandy relief. YESTERDAY.
Instead, I suspect that Donald Trump is trying to figure out how to blame President Obama for Hurricane Sandy. His conspiracy nuts are sure that the storm came from Kenya just to give free publicity and offset Romney's money advantage. The problem is explaining why they targeted the Atlantic City casinos so accurately.
Not that the Donald is worth the mention or discussion, but just continuing my angry venting from Twitter. It's really hard to believe that anyone so stupid can still have any money left, on the increasingly strained belief that he does have any assets above his debts.
If the Donald was smart, I expected him to withdraw his endorsement of Romney. He didn't have to go as far as endorsing President Obama, but just withdrawing his endorsement of Trump would have given him a pretense to claim relevance. He could have used the third debate as an excuse, claiming that Romney is now a moderate and not worth his support. If Romney wins, Trump is just another rich stuffed shirt among many, though I'm sure Trump is already being ignored as a stupid annoyance. However, if Obama won after Trump yanked his endorsement, then Trump would still be a hero to the nuts of the far right, while he would also be a kind of weird hero to some people on the left who thought he had that much influence.
Oh yeah, one more thing. Revenge. If the Donald has ever had any business dealings with Romney, I'm sure he got skinned, and badly. Romney did not collect $250 million by being a nice guy.
Posted by shanen | Thu Nov 1, 2012, 03:57 PM (6 replies)
Anyone else having any fresh problems on Twitter? I had noticed a sudden increase in the number of probable trolls, possibly paid, from the Romney supporters, and suddenly my account has been suspended again... I don't think it's a prominent anti-Romney account or anything, just a couple of hundred followers, but I've been trying hard to be a nuisance and deflater of neo-GOP fantasy bubbles.
Posted by shanen | Sun Oct 28, 2012, 06:49 AM (4 replies)
Or can you use "true" in such proximity to "Romney"?
My first candidate movie is "Peter Pan", because it wants you to believe in fairies, and Mormons like Romney hate fairies.
Next we have "The Wizard of Oz", but there are so many thematic elements that it's hard to pick. For example, the Yellow Brick Road will never lead any peasants (from the 47% or 99%) back to any of Romney's homes. Also, Romney is heartless and cowardly, but the heros in the movie earned theirs, unlike Romney. On the brain category, Romney already has the fancy paper, but seems to be losing his brains now. Or should we take the element of the melting of the Wicked Witch, like the melting of Romney's campaign? But let me leave you with the image of Toto on the top of Romney's car after Dorothy surrenders!
Perhaps "The Sting" would be the obvious movie for Romney? Full of lies, and we can put the voters in the roles of the various victims of the various scams.
Obviously I don't see too many movies these days, or maybe I lack the mappings from minor league movie fantasies to Romney's big league of lies. Maybe it should be the movie where that guy is murdered with the explosive light bulb that sets him on fire? Kind of the extreme extension of Romney's pants-on-fire policies?
What movies do you nominate? Why? Any ideas for poisonous anti-Romney movie-related memes for Twitter? I've been dabbling with the #neoGOPfilm tag there...
Posted by shanen | Sat Oct 27, 2012, 09:54 PM (82 replies)
Twitter is not merely anti-democratic, but it actively fosters ignorance and stupidity. It sure would be nice if someone could convince me I'm wrong, but here is my theory of how Twitter actually works:
(1) Person A, an ignorant and intolerant person, tweets a lie.
(2) Person B tweets the truth as a reply to the lie.
(3) Person A and all of his Followers intolerantly Block Person B, whose account is therefore suspended.
(4) Person B and his Followers happily retweet the lie.
The least tolerant opinion wins out. It actually doesn't have to be a lie, but I think that intolerance is most often linked to ignorant people. Still, the bottom line is that the least tolerant opinions will tend to prevail and they tend to be stupid and narrowminded opinions.
I'm not sure how to prove it, but I am convinced. If anyone is interested I can present several kinds of evidence, but I'm mostly interested in being convinced that I'm wrong. Insofar as Twitter has become am extremely large megaphone, the spewing of lies and blather that drowns out rational political discourse... Well, it kind of bothers me. A lot.
Posted by shanen | Sun Sep 16, 2012, 08:27 PM (6 replies)
Recently I started a anti-Romney Twitter account called "RomneyBot_Says". My initial preconception of Twitter was that it was a stupid place for stupid little ideas. Yes, some interesting ideas do have natural forms that are short enough for a tweet, but in general, most complicated ideas are much longer than that. However, after wrestling with the format for a while, I realized a couple of interesting things in favor of Twitter--but I also conclude it is a medium that fundamentally favors narrow-minded neo-GOP supporters.
Perhaps most importantly, I think I now understand the lack of clash in American politics. One side (especially neo-GOP teabaggers) really is focused on short, simple answers. It's great when that works out and the short answer is effective and useful. That's Occam's Razor in action, but most of the time the simple answers they demand are misleading at best and dangerously wrong at worst.
I think the topic of abortion is a good example to start with, and trying to deal with it from the perspective of Twitter helped me understand the issue in a new way. The key question is "What is a human being?" There are a couple of simple answers, but they are quite wrong. The current leader is "a fertilized egg", which is certainly short enough to work into many tweets, but it is also a ridiculously false answer. What human attributes does a fertilized egg have? None. It is not human.
But how are they reasoning to get to this crazy position? I think they believe the DNA is like a tiny blueprint for a human being, and since the fertilized egg has the full set of so-called blueprints, then they think that defines a "unique" human being. Wrong. (This perspective is actually an update of the birth definition, which was also too simplistic, but for different reasons.)
In reality, a completed set of DNA is much more like a recipe book. There are various ingredients and partial combinations and intermediate steps and lots of timing information about how to 'cook a baby', but there is NO unique human being there. If there's nothing fatally wrong with the recipe (which is actually the case about half the time), and everything goes really well (within rather narrow parameters), then way down the line you might get a human being of some sort, but certainly nothing like a unique one. This is still a radical simplification of the complicated reality, but it's already well beyond packaging for Twitter.
Suddenly you realize that the Twitter part doesn't matter. If Romney's neo-GOP fanatics are demanding simplistic answers, then they aren't going to listen to or understand complicated answers, no matter how you present them.
Lack of clash. Ships passing in the night. Rush Limbaugh brainfarts.
I still hope Romney is going to lose, but it isn't the big lie that will carry him, or even the money. If Romney wins, it will be the triumph of lots of stupid little lies (with a few big ones mixed in).
Oh yeah, the other thing I learned from writing for the Twitter format: You really can pack a lot of umph into a short format if you work at it. For example, here is a question I'd like to tweet (if my account hadn't been nuked):
How big a lie would Romney have to tell before you would not vote for him?
Unfortunately, I predict you will get very few sincere or direct responses from Rmoney's RomneyBots. Their answers will be short, to the point, and wrong.
Posted by shanen | Sun Sep 16, 2012, 03:28 AM (2 replies)
(Email I just sent to Twitter
For the last few weeks, I have been running an anti-Romney account called RomneyBot_Says. The account has just been suspended. Do you have any information that you would like to share with me before I start the process to sue you? There is a long list of reasons that you claim as justifications to suspend accounts. All of the ones that appear as possible justifications in my case appear to involve highly subjective judgments on your part. However I think the First Amendment still has a certain bit of status in America, at least until after Romney wins. Or is Twitter already a Chinese company?
Assuming I am sincere in my political views, then I think this looks like a really good opportunity to get some really awkward publicity against Romney, but you might be concerned about your collateral damage.
Constructive suggestion. You should include something about the basis of an account suspension when you do it. I'm going to start the ball rolling now, but I'm going off half-cocked, just like Romney, but it's not like suspending accounts is something you've never done before. You should have a plan, eh?
P.S. Right now I am searching for evidence of any sort of organized campaign of political censorship on Twitter. I have already seen quite a bit of evidence of astroturfing... My evidence is just circumstantial based on my observations, but I bet that your internal records could provide lots of substantiation. Ever heard of "discovery"?
Posted by shanen | Fri Sep 14, 2012, 09:59 PM (13 replies)
Much of what I'm seeing on Twitter makes me think there are a bunch of paid operatives working for Rove and his buddies. Why doesn't someone offer a reward for exposure of such campaigns?
My suggestion would be something like $1,000 for the first person who provides substantive evidence of payments for fake astroturf work, and $500 for the first report of organized astroturf campaigns using volunteers. Maybe half-payments for the second reporters? It should involve campaigns that explicitly tell the people to pretend they are just random people, not working under orders or for money.
Posted by shanen | Mon Sep 10, 2012, 04:19 PM (1 replies)
RomneyBot: I worked hard, though I never had to, but poor people will never work unless we force them to work like slaves.
That's the latest tweet of my RomneyBot. Is it capturing a pearl of wisdom? Actually I kind of think that's closer to how the Ayn-Randian Paul Ryan thinks, but another one of the problems of Twitter is that they evidently want to make it hard to handle more than one identity at a time. I prefer to focus on the RomneyBot, but maybe someone else wants to create a RyanBot?
As regards the analysis of the latest tweet, the ambiguity at the end is deliberate and almost an exploitation of the length limit. Does it mean wage slaves? Is it a reference to racists who wish they still had black slaves?
However, the main theme that was bothering me as I was composing this one was the twisted nature of the neo-GOP projections. They FIERCELY assume their opponents are terrible lazy people, among MANY other horrible traits. However, they also project their OWN worse traits and accuse their opponents of being and doing terrible things. There are so many examples that I don't know where to start, but I think the most dangerous might be "Obama will do ANYTHING to steal this election" while at the same time they are clearly doing anything they can imagine to steal the election. However I feel like going down the list...
Anyway, on the topic of RomneyBots on Twitter, there is another thread that contains a bunch of the tweets, but there was almost no interest in the topic. Is that a rejection of Twitter? Or the single RomneyBot linked to 25 other RomneyBots is just too trivial? So far I haven't managed to revive any of the others, as far as I can tell... It appears that most people who have created a RomneyBot have abandoned it fairly soon...
For whatever it's worth, I think a large number of active and linked RomneyBots could have an influence in the Twitterverse. I don't know if that would matter in the real world of elections bought by the neo-GOP...
Posted by shanen | Mon Sep 3, 2012, 03:44 PM (1 replies)