Tags: politics

cass, can you not

Uncomfortably accurate

An interesting observation from Hamlet in Purgatory is how totalitarian power seems to have a knack of infiltrating and corrupting the dreams of its victims, while at the same time giving to real life something of the quality of nightmares — not just the awfulness, but the feeling of powerlessness, the sometimes literal and always emotional sensation of walking under water, of the very fabric and mechanism of things being against us.

The causality is plausible, and of course the examples aren't hard to find (the book mentions a couple of dreams from Nazi Germany), but I vaguely feel it extends beyond the traumatic nature of living in a society that's totalitarian or becoming so; not metaphor, but isomorphism.

(Ditto, and not unrelated, for the relationship between abusive familiar environments and totalitarian societies; I would be surprised if, say, brain scans didn't show similar (dis)functional patterns in people interacting with either.)

(Chronic cortisol levels and class structure. Surveillance and introjected abuse. It's easy to oversimplify, and I tend to see politics through the lens of non-cooperative game theory, but there's something to be said, if nothing else poetically, for the old school view of societies "going crazy" in an almost Freudian way. Political systems have to be stable strategic equilibria in order to exist, but perhaps there's also something of the oniric in them, for good but most often for ill.)
cass, can you not

Re: Charlotteville

A facile, if perhaps not necessarily untrue, reading would be that this kind of thing has always been going on, it's just that once again they feel they can be honest about why. Doesn't make it any less scary, and if it's scary from over here, I can't quite imagine how it feels over there.

Our thoughts are with you. Sometimes, granted, those thoughts are variants of "oh god what are they doing now."
cass, can you not

Still thinking about whether I'll stop cross-posting to DW

Deleting my journal won't remove information from backups and so on; on the other hand, no information is secure, you just try to make it more expensive to acquire than it'd be worth. Other than that, at worst I could get my account closed on account of sexual and political deviance. It's people living in the Russian sphere of influence who have a very clear and present need to run the heck away from LJ ASAP.

But it does feel a bit uncomfortable.
cass, can you not

US political humor rec

If you haven't seen it, The Trump Leaks is something of a masterpiece of very-long-form tweetstorm humor. More than a thousand tweets and counting of dialog (mostly) between Donald Trump and other people in his campaign. At points it veers on Night Vale surrealism (explicitly so in the Roger Ailes subplot), but in general it's just Donald Trump and the people around him. You'll learn the origin of Christie's nickname, the hellish landscape of Paul Ryan's life, and what Trump had to promise Ann Coulter for her "most magnificent speech ever given" tweet.

There's a couple of storify "archives" at the top of the page, I suggest beginning there.
cass, can you not


Within the universe of realistically electable politicians in the U.S. -and actually stretching it quite a bit via charisma, organization and timing-, I think Obama is a good choice for President, and I'm glad Americans chose him.

That said, and echoing The Onion: if this is how bad things have to get before Americans elect a marginally competent-looking President, then we are all still in a deep hole. Racism, religious hatred, discrimination against gay couples, political ignorance (Nb: Obama might stand to the left of McCain, but he's *far* to the right of any socialist), and, gods save us, middle names are still issues. Last night, forty-eight percent of the American population was OK with the thought of Sarah Palin as VP; I couldn't make up stuff like this if I tried. Should anything particularly bad happen during the next four years -and it's not a terribly unlikely possibility, considering the current state of the world and the mounting challenges we face-, I fear to think what could happen in 2012.

This is a good first step. Celebrate, you've earned it. Keep going. Let us know how we can help.

PS: Not that other countries are that much better at choosing leaders (when they can), mind you.

PS2: On a lighter note, loved this video from The Onion.
cass, can you not

No. Hey. Wait!

NCIS 3x19 - Iced.

Let me see if I got it right (without spoiling too much). Marine group in Iraq. One of its members was killed by a gang while on leave in the US. NCIS has to solve it before they bring the Marines back home, because otherwise they might go out for revenge.

Wait. What? That is so late-Republican Rome that I can barely deal. I know (assume) that's not how things are actually going, but the fact that a very rah-rah-usa-#1 show like NCIS went there... (ETA: And without nobody *batting a damn eye*, I might add.)

And then, Tony yapped about the origin of the name César, and how he was named Anthony, and I was just WAY TO GO WITH THE SUBTLE THERE.

Unless it was all a coincidence, because "We might be overmilitarizing our country to a dangerous point, cf Rome kthxbye" doesn't match the politics of the show. To say the least.
cass, can you not

But, of course, not big, expensive, useless weapons platforms

Warning: American politics (pretty much "R, disturbing, sillyfic, dark, character death, AU, etc")
Spoiler Warning.

A threat is now building in the House of Representatives: some lawmakers are pushing legislation that would force all federal programs--from Head Start to Even Start; from EPA to OSHA; and from urban development to rural healthcare--to defend themselves before an unelected commission.

This one "sunset commission" would make recommendations to kill, consolidate, or "realign" all programs (with rare exception), and would have the power to force its recommendations through Congress, limiting your representatives' ability to save important programs from the chopping block.

People who rely on these services and the nonprofit organizations that provide them could be left completely in the dark, with no way of knowing whether their programs are on the chopping block and no way to save them.

Link to OMB Watch page

Caveat: I'm an old-style liberal; I like balanced budgets, international trade, and relatively little government intervention. But with discretionary non-military expenses being the small part of the US budget that they are (and, by and large, really necessary - you can't tell me women's shelters and educational aid to the poor aren't government duties), this proposed measure is not about fiscal responsibility, but about looking fiscally reponsible, preserving the pork barrels, and going on with the "only billonaires deserve government protection" neo-social-darwinian program of the crazy wing of the Republican party.