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Bernardo de La Paz

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Member since: Fri Jul 16, 2004, 11:36 PM
Number of posts: 25,465

About Me

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

Journal Archives

Purism leads to powerlessness. The perfect is the enemy of the good. What-about-ism suffocation.


Everytime somebody says something good or does something good, there is always a naysayer who pops up and says "What about this awful thing that happened? They are forever tainted and I won't listen and they can do no good. Cover my ears. La-la-la-la-la"

Such what-about-ism is the suffocation and strangulation of important messages that need to be heard, such as the OP editorial.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Wed Aug 15, 2018, 08:51 PM (0 replies)

The two actions are not equivalent, of course. But here is how to refute attempts like that


1) Trump's campaign coordinated with the Russians via WikiLeaks, Guccifer, Stone, Carter Page, possibly Manafort, etc., including a public call from a rally podium.

2) Trump offered quid pro quo (sanctions relief, better relations).

3) Trump family and Trump campaign chief met with Russian agents in June 2016, at Trump Tower, yards away from Trump who was also in the Tower at the time and may have been listening in on speaker phone.

4) Clinton did not seek info from the Russians. Her campaign (or DNC maybe?) got a law firm to do research. The firm contracted with a research company (Fusion GPS). That company hired a company in the UK (Steele). Steele asked his contacts in Russia and Russian influenced areas. They were not Russian agents and were four steps or more removed from Hillary.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Wed Aug 1, 2018, 11:47 AM (0 replies)

Not scared. As we say, a big tent. But some districts need different candidates than others to win.

Fight the label and candidate battles in the primaries.

Unite for the election behind whoever is the Democratic candidate and their platform. If you don't like a piece of it, don't mention it until after the election. Present a unified front against all opposition in order to win the election.

Push the policies you desire after the election. Shape policy then. Promote members from within then.

It is much easier to push a Democratic elected politician toward your desired policies than a Republican elected politician. Period.

(note: This post and my previous one do not mention one or another position on the spectra, nor labels either.)
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sun Jul 29, 2018, 09:27 AM (1 replies)

Yo! Wobbly "Independents": That's Not Very Pretty!




Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Tue Jul 24, 2018, 08:06 PM (4 replies)

Why the NRA is so politically aggressive


Household gun ownership:



Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sun May 20, 2018, 11:20 AM (14 replies)

EMBRACE Progessive (very socially liberal and medium socialist) economics and social policies.

Refund public education and pay public school teachers high salaries such as professionals entrusted with the future of our children and grandchildren deserve.

Climate Change: re-join the World. Foster sustainability and the jobs of the future. (hint: China and Europe are busting a gut developing green technology.)

Health Care: Single Payer, Choose Your Own Doctor, Allow doctors to charge above Single Payer fee, but all people in any area should have the lowest fee for that are met (nobody but nobody should lack for preventive, remedial, or palliative health care).

Reinstate and extend equal rights for LGBTQAU throughout society.

Gun Control: Extend background checks to ALL sales, even private sales. No sales of assault-rifle mass-killer type weapons (existing ones can be kept and maybe even resold until a way can be found to take them out of circulations without "grabbing" them, perhaps buyback from agency whenever an owner dies or wishes to get rid of one).

Increased intake of refugees commensurate with international responsibilities: 44 so far this year is ridiculous.

Livable minimum wage: Raise to $15 one dollar a year if not faster.

Cooperative non-belligerent foreign policy: no more MAGA: Make America Go Alone.

Secure the election systems from top to bottom, which may require some level of enforced federal control or at least standards. Get rid of Gerrymandering, Voter Suppression, and dirty tricks.

Fact & Science & Evidence based policy making and legislative standards. Reinstate scientific freedom to speak out. Reinstate multiple scientific studies. Refund NOAA and other agencies.

Look into Basic Income and Basic Housing free for all who need. It works wonders and cost less in every jurisdiction that has tried it.

So much more.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sun Apr 29, 2018, 03:41 PM (1 replies)

Yes, prepare yourself, there will lots of sturm &drang & some violence, but we will emerge stronger

There is a big boil on the American body politic and Mueller along with journalists is working hard to lance it. The first aid, remediation and long term healing will be difficult but ultimately confidence in the system will be restored. I think that will happen by the 2030s and in time for the US to provide a stable counterbalance to China or with China.

I expect Mueller will make a report presenting Obstruction of Justice against tRump in the next few months. I'm sure he will release a second report, perhaps a few months later, detailing the Conspiracy against the USA (commonly called "collusion" ). I think both reports have already been written more or less and are being constantly updated and refined as more details accumulate and are discovered. I think Mueller probably has a "dead-hand" switch in place so that if he is fired then both reports will be released and all the sealed indictments will be unsealed.

As Davidson says, the information will come out. The corruption is so large it can't be hidden. It won't be pretty.

It could lead to the collapse of the Republicon Party. Certainly Democrats have an opportunity and duty to keep the Trump and Republican/GOP brands glued and welded together as they actually are. Ryan is leaving now for good reason. He would be smart to hand over the Speaker's gavel now and go silent and fade away, unless or until he is hauled into court, which he may be.

McCONnell is probably guilty as sin of heavy duty crimes because he knew the fix was in when he blocked Merrick Garland from the SCotUS, AND when he refused to warn the states' electoral commissions by telling Obama he would lie if Obama did so himself.

Participants like Sessions, Priebus, Cohen, Manafort, and probably Pence will be completely and utterly disgraced and should get jail time if there is justice, though they will always have believers who to proclaim they are pure as the driven snow.

People like Pruitt, Mnuchin, and Carson are trying to make their ride as cushy as they can for as long as they can. They won't be implicated so much but won't have much of a career afterwards. Ideologues like deVos and Perry will end up being judged stupid.

Mueller will probably increasingly hand off to District offices side crimes that are discovered, particularly business crimes like Michael Cohen's taxi business and Trump's business mess. There will be economic repercussions when tRump's empire crumbles, but the direct effects are likely to be small. Of larger consequence is the stock market which I think has begun a major correction that has a substantial way to go down yet. Trump's family will never be poor but will not be in the 0.01% they think they are entitled to be in.

The most committed ignorant Trump supporters will resort to some violence which may ripple out for a few years after. Part of this may be as a consequence of anger against damage to the NRA gun runners and part will be racism and bigotry that they will be unable to suppress any longer.

This is no time to be complacent, of course.


Prepare yourselves. Winning the Blue Wave of 2018 is top priority for the foreseeable near and medium term. Higher priorities could take center stage for periods on the road to Nov. 2018.

Maintain a calm poised stance and work to advance Democratic power and American democracy whenever possible.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Sat Apr 14, 2018, 06:28 PM (1 replies)

Trump better watch out. He'll end up like Senator Brazeau who got PULPED


Six years ago, March 2012, Justin Trudeau handily defeated Senator Brazeau in a boxing match.

Five Years Ago Today, Justin Trudeau Beat the Shit Out of a Senator
March 31, 2017

That's right, non-Canadian readership, five years ago today, then-Liberal MP Justin Trudeau clobbered Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau in a charity boxing match that put the victor on the path to the prime minister's office and left the loser's career in tatters.

At the time, the perception of Trudeau, the eldest son of Canada's most charismatic but divisive prime minister, was that he was a bit of a lightweight. OK, that perception still largely exists in some circles, but dude was really just a famous mid-level player in Canada's third-ranking political party in early 2012. Compared to the solidly entrenched then-prime minister Stephen Harper or the recently-deceased Jack Layton, Trudeau was neither nationally beloved nor taken seriously as a political player.

...


Trudeau, basically a 6'2 beanpole, wasn't given much of a puncher's shot at beating Brazeau, who was a couple inches shorter, but heavier, barrel-chested and as the Sun News commentary team pointed out, more "tatted."

"I think he's been in more fights in a month than Trudeau has been in a life," future Rebel Commander Ezra Levant (who draws heavily from the Jerry Lawler school of commentary) said as Brazeau made his way to the ring. (Surely, I don't need to make mention that there's a problematic assumption there from Mr. Levant, whose co-commenter also adds the Algonquin senator comes from a "tougher neighbourhood" than Trudeau.)

...

The fight ended moments later, with the ref calling it as Brazeau—nose bleeding/legs weak/mom's spaghetti—was completely unable to defend himself any longer. "Not even close," a clearly bummed out Levant said.

So, that's the time Justin Trudeau beat the shit out of a senator. Six months later, Trudeau announced he was running for Liberal leadership, and three and-a-half years later, he beat the shit out of Stephen Harper at the polls, took over the prime minister's office, and stole the world's heart with his mighty handshake.



https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/nz9wpd/the-definitive-analysis-of-the-handshake-between-donald-trump-and-justin-trudeau
...

The car door opens. This is it. It's go time. Trudeau steps out of the car and glides into Trump's outstretched hand. He quickly braces himself on the president's shoulder, establishing an indomitable centre of gravity. He is going fucking Super Saiyan on this handshake. But Trump will not be deterred. He ratchets up the pressure and tries to pull this punk kid in. There is a tug of war. Trudeau is not moving. His hand is too strong. Their forearms are jerking around with electrical power and neither of them were ready for this to happen.

He can barely believe it himself and he has to look down at his own hands to make sure that this is really happening that, yes, he is not broken. He raises his head again to meet Trump's gaze with blazing eyes that scream SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS but also AINSI TOUJOURS AUX TYRANS because bilingualism. Utterly destroyed but wanting to be cool about it, Trump gestures at the cameras before leading Justin into his den of lies. He cannot hide the look of absolute mystification on his face.

...

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Thu Mar 22, 2018, 08:15 AM (2 replies)

Wrong wrong wrong.

The most charitable view of your statement is that it suffers from binary thinking tunnel vision.

It is a narrow-minded fallacy to think that capitalism can only be parasitical. Robber baron capitalism is parasitical. The tremendous wealth & income inequality we have in the US and some other countries now (getting worse) is parasitical and unsustainable. The US system is not the only system of capitalism in the world.

Capitalism is very efficient at creating jobs and employing people and advancing many aspects of society. Capitalism is very efficient at distributing goods and resources to where they are needed. Command economies fail. Communism fails since "from each according to ability and to each according to need" fails to provide adequate incentives for advancement.

DU is capitalist (private and owned) and employs several people. It is good.

The problem with capitalism-on-steroids is that it over-rewards the top 1% and 0.01%, people who don't need extra incentive, at the expense of the bottom 47% who are people who need support and incentives. Therefore capitalism must be well-regulated, well-monitored, subject to progressive social goals, and operating under progressive tax regimes. Byzantine tax systems need to be truly simplified by turning amorphous invisible tax breaks into publicly visible subsidies.

On the side of socialism, more and more studies are showing that if you provide people with guaranteed housing, guaranteed basic income, and guaranteed health care, then the outcome actually saves money and makes the society much more productive and harmonious. People with an address (not homeless) are much more likely to find work. People use less emergency services. There is a reduction in the cost of policy and a reduction in crime (poor/homeless people are also likely to be victims of crime). People have better health and that means there is less drag on the economy for health care and they are more productive and more able to help each other (the elderly and disabled for example). Note: guaranteed basic income subsumes social security and welfare.

Pure systems of any kind are bad, be it capitalism (robber baron capitalism), socialism (communism when purest), fascism (corporate-statist-bureaucratic elitism), dictatorship (of despots or proletariat or peasants or monarchs or whatever) or anarchism (dog eat dog).

A hybrid of capitalism and socialism is the only way to go. At least until humanity is so highly developed that something approaching nearly pure enlightened self-interest is feasible (community and socially and globally connected).

When all is said, Stephen Hawking's point about the distribution of benefits is very much correct.
Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Fri Mar 16, 2018, 10:09 AM (1 replies)

Wilbur Ross used deceitful deceptive argument to defend Trump Tariff

CommSec Ross said there are 2/10 cent steel in a soup can and 3/10 cent aluminum in a coke can.

“All this hysteria is a lot to do about nothing,” he said. The cost of items such as Campbell’s Soup cans and Coke cans will increase by less than a cent, he added.


The cost of the can won't change much, but the PRICE on the shelf will go up noticeably.

The machinery that makes the cans and fills them will cost more. The machinery that prints the labels will cost more.

The farm machinery that plants and harvests the food materials will cost more.

The trucks that move the cans will cost more because of steel costs.

The tools that fix all that machinery will cost more.

The steel shelves will cost more.

The steel in the construction of the packing houses, the food factories, the distribution warehouses, and the supermarkets will cost more.

By time you dial in all the costs going into the products and getting them through the manufacturing and supply chains, the PRICE will add up because it is multiplicative, not merely additive. When the food is more expensive to produce, the food cost goes up which raises the cost from the food factory to the distributor by a percentage because it costs and prices and profits are calculated on dollar volumes, not unit counts. The cost to the retailer goes up when the distributor raises prices.

Until proven otherwise, we have to take the position that Ross knows this and was deceiving the public and using the taxpayers' dimes to do so while being paid salary.

Posted by Bernardo de La Paz | Fri Mar 2, 2018, 10:44 PM (1 replies)
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