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|Thursday, May 5th, 2016|
|Obama Uses Yom HaShoah Address Worth Reading For Several Reasons
Obama Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Rememberance Day) address is important for many reasons. I link here
. I will quote in entirety below the cut.
But here are the key points that are worth observing.
1. Obama structures this respectfully so as to accomplish 2 goals, to show appropriate rememberance for the actual victims of the Holocaust and respect it as a uniquely Jewish tragedy, while also generalizing out the lesson as relevant to everyone. Which is the point. Judiasm has a bunch of memorials and days where we remember devestating holocausts. (It says alot about our history that we have a whole bunch of rememberances and customs around this.) But the destruction of the Temple, the massacre and enslavement of Jews by Romans following the Bar Kochba Revolt, the crusades, Tach-v'Tat, etc. are not of particular interest to the world because they are not nearly as generalizable.
What makes the Holocaust worthy of rememberance and study by more than just those directly impacted was the way in which a supposedly modern state, with no de jur
discrimination against Jews and where Jews had integrated and assimilated into the local population for nearly a century, could revert relatively quickly to a regime that not merely dsicriminated, but developed a formal extermination program executed with rigorous efficiency.
Obama in his remarks starts with the very specific tragedy of the Holocaust, generalizes to Jews suffering anti-Semitism today, then expands to everyone to feel solidarity. This style mirrors what is so great about the Gettysburg address. Lincoln starts with honoring the dead, then brings it back to "us, the living."
2. Obama raises awareness of the rise in anti-semitism in the EU and the US. This is real, and continues to grow. At the same time, note that Obama stears clear of any linkage with the Israel/Palestine conflict. This is as it should be. Political conflict invariably gives rise to religious and/or ethnic hate. It is the responsibility of us all to separate the two. ( Collapse )
|Wednesday, May 4th, 2016|
|Link Harvest: Nate Confesses Error On Republicans, Democratic Recanting still needed
One reason I like Nate Silver is he does come out and admit when he got stuff totally wrong, and actually tries to figure out why.http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-republican-voters-decided-on-trump/
But none of the folks who are asking why they got the Republican nomination so wrong are asking themselves why they also seem to have gotten the Democratic nomination wrong in terms of everything but the ultimate outcome.
i have really got to write up my demographic snake thing so I can explain to these folks why their assumptions no longer hold. Frankly, it looks more like the last 40 years of politics are an outlier, but they happen to form the basis of most hardcore statistical analysis in political science because we have much better survey data and the dominance of a fairly homogenized demographic group made things look very predictable.
|A few random reflections on Indiana Primary
I decided to take a long vacay from FB mostly because the primary seems to bring out the worst in people. In some ways, that's a backhanded compliment on reality -- people are taking things very seriously and feel passionately about them rather than disengaged. Even the cynical people I know who would like to stay cynical and disengaged are annoyed because they are finding it harder to stay properly cynically aloof.
But, like any addict, I can't help but make some random observations.( Collapse )
|Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016|
|Movie Review: Keanu
I'm a fan of Key & Peele, so when I heard they were teaming with an adorable kitten to make a movie, I decided it was a must see.
If you meet these qualifications, being a fan of Key and Peele and adorable kittens, then you will indeed love this movie. If you do not live these things, I feel very sorry for you. But see Keanu anyway, because you might discover you like Key & Peele.
Might be a little spolier-ish.( Collapse )
So I recommend Keanu. It is not high cinema by any means. It's basically a series of Key & Peele sketch comedies held together by a plot thread chased by an adorable kitten. But Key & Peele execute beautifully, and Keanu is adorable.
3.5 purrs out of 4.
|Tuesday, April 19th, 2016|
|Wednesday, April 13th, 2016|
|Monday, April 4th, 2016|
|Monday, March 21st, 2016|
|Wednesday, March 16th, 2016|
|Link Harvest: The Ideological Difference Between Progressive and Centrist Dems
This article talks about the ideological dffrence between Sanders and Clinton in terms of governing philsophy. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/benjamin-studebaker/bernie-vs-hillary-matters-more-than-people-think_b_9209940.html
I am less convinced that Clinton personally is as committed neoliberalism as she was before the 2008 recession and the Wall St. freak out over even modest reforms. But it is certainly the case that these are the conflicts in philosophy that drive the vehement vitriol on either side of the campaign. Progressives view Clinton's legislative record as Senator form NY and her publc statements as FLOTUS as being part of the overall neoliberal philosophy that has created a revolving door between Wall St and Washington. Things like Hillarycare and CHIP are regarded as not sufficient to address the reality that it is the existing system of financial and business regulation that creates the social and income inequality that drives what is wrng with America.
For Clinton supprters who regard themselves as centrists, this is what makes Sanders not merely crazy, but dangerous. If you believe that future economic growth and general ecnomic prosperity depend on minimizing the burdens on capital markets, business formation, and other "free market" values, Sanders assertion that markets cannot be trusted and inherently produce inequality (unless regulated) threatens to undermine the whole future of the economy.
This also, incidentally, is one of the contributing factors to the "do you focus on economic inequality v. racial inequality/gender inequality." The argument of socialists (and economic progressives) since the 19th Century is that it is the economic inequality that reenfrces racial and gender inequality. It is therefore impossible to genuinely address issues of racial and gender inequality in any meanigful way without addressing the overall economic inequality. Neo-liberals are ideologically wedded to the conclusion that racial and gender inequality are distinct and *must* be addressed seperately. (I say "ideologically wedded" because, as discussed above, neoliberalism views unregulated capitalism as inherently positive, with regulation needed only to address market failure and consumer protection. By contrast, economic progressivism can be quite racist and sexist. Huey Long, for example, was an economic progressive to the left of FDR and a total racist.)
As with all stark philosphical schools, you will find a range of folks and plenty of "yes, but . . ." arguments. You will also find lots of folks in the electrate who don't fit either philosophy and like a candidate for an unrelated reason ("Honesty," "gets things done," "cares about people like me," etc.) But the article linked to above is extremely useful in understanding why so many people who are eyeball deep in the policy fights care so deeply and vehemently about the election outcome.
|Tuesday, March 15th, 2016|
|Sunday, March 13th, 2016|
|A Meditation on Bereisheit and Politics
We are seeing a great deal of hate bubbling through the world right now. It should be recalled that the world before creation is described in Genesis not as dark, or empty, but as "to hu va vo hu," a bubbling chaos. The first creation of God was to bring light and darkness in their proper order. Indeed, the darkness comes first. "For it was evening and morning of the First day."
The enemy of light is not dark. Day follows the night, and the night is not always evil. If the light is love, the dark is not hate, but grief. Grief is part of life, and makes us appreciate the light all the more. "For the light is sweet, and it is good to see the Sun."
It is in the bubbling chaos that we revert to the state of godlessness Neither the joy of the light or the grief of the dark, the bubbling chaos of rage and hate is without form or substance. It strikes out at whatever it touches, heedless of the damage it does even to itself. But even in such times, "the Spirit of the Lord hovers upon the face of the waters."
We are made in God's image. We have within us the breath of the Divine. We can in our own little way, create a world of joy and love, punctuated in the proper time by loss and grief. Or we can return the universe to rage and chaos. We are blessed, or cursed, to live in a time when these choices are set forth fairly starkly. We can see millions of people choosing one way or the other. Make your own choice wisely -- and own it as your own.
Coming up this week for the Dems: Was Michigan a fluke? Can we even tell from such majorly different states as Ohio, Ill. and Florida? Each one of these states has a set of demographics that makes it very difficult to call. Any wobbles in the polling could be due to a variety of factors.
Keep in mind that what I am looking at has much less to do with ultimate winner as with the state of polling and whether candidates are significantly over or under performing their polls. We are now in primaries using exit polling, so responses are considered more reliable than to entrance polling in caucus states.
( Collapse )
Polling numbers here are from the most recent NBC/Wall St. J. polling, which is pretty much in synch with what RCP has been showing for the last few days. (MO was from the Kansas City, MO local paper).
So it will be interesting Tuesday night one way or the other. Unfortunately, we are unlikely to know if we are still dealing with a systemic problem in the polling models or not. Too many unique factors in the key states.
|Friday, March 11th, 2016|
|Tuesday, March 1st, 2016|
|Friday, February 26th, 2016|
|Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016|
|How The Political Revolution Works: The Current Democratic Primary Race
Dear Hillary Supporters and Bernie Supporters:
Saw y'all remember back last year when "the plan" was that Bernie was going to run to push Hillary to the left, and while Bernie supporters wanted Bernie to win they would rather vote for Hillary than any Republican?
So, with the hot breath of competition in the last two weeks we have.
Hillary adds web page tab and bigger plank on racial justice:
Hillary revives support for public option: http://qz.com/…/can-hillary-clinton-really-cover-the-last-…/
See, *this* is how the political revolution works.( Collapse )
I will close with a thought from Lois Bujold (bonus points for naming the book first). "The key to strategy, little man, is not just one path to victory, but so that all paths lead to some kind of victory." Mind you, for that to work, you have to keep your eyes on where you are going and not get so wound up in your strategy tree that you lose sight of the here and now.
|Monday, February 22nd, 2016|
|I Like This Quote From Federalist No. 76
This supposition of universal venality in human nature is little less an error in political reasoning, than the supposition of universal rectitude. The institution of delegated power implies, that there is a portion of virtue and honor among mankind, which may be a reasonable foundation of confidence; and experience justifies the theory. It has been found to exist in the most corrupt periods of the most corrupt governments. The venality of the British House of Commons has been long a topic of accusation against that body, in the country to which they belong as well as in this; and it cannot be doubted that the charge is, to a considerable extent, well founded. But it is as little to be doubted, that there is always a large proportion of the body, which consists of independent and public-spirited men, who have an influential weight in the councils of the nation. Hence it is (the present reign not excepted) that the sense of that body is often seen to control the inclinations of the monarch, both with regard to men and to measures. Though it might therefore be allowable to suppose that the Executive might occasionally influence some individuals in the Senate, yet the supposition, that he could in general purchase the integrity of the whole body, would be forced and improbable. A man disposed to view human nature as it is, without either flattering its virtues or exaggerating its vices, will see sufficient ground of confidence in the probity of the Senate, to rest satisfied, not only that it will be impracticable to the Executive to corrupt or seduce a majority of its members, but that the necessity of its co-operation, in the business of appointments, will be a considerable and salutary restraint upon the conduct of that magistrate. Nor is the integrity of the Senate the only reliance. The Constitution has provided some important guards against the danger of executive influence upon the legislative body: it declares that "No senator or representative shall during the time FOR WHICH HE WAS ELECTED, be appointed to any civil office under the United States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased, during such time; and no person, holding any office under the United States, shall be a member of either house during his continuance in office."
Unfortunately, Hamilton neglected to take into account what his superior, Washngton, would later loudly condemn as the loyalty of Party over loyalty to the public interest.
|Wednesday, February 17th, 2016|
|I give birth to a Privacy White Paper
Attached please find links to our exciting new White Paper "Everything You Wanted To Know About the FCC, the FTC and Privacy Except Your Eyes Kept Glazing Over."
That's not actually the official title.
As explained at length, the FTC and the FCC have enjoyed a complementary relationship in the realm of consumer protection for more than 80 years. Nor is the FCC unique in this. Indeed, the FTC generally sits at the center of a "hub and spoke" system where specialized agencies handling unique sectors of the economy (e.g., FDA, CFPB, HHS for HIPPA, numerous financial regulators, FERC (power grid), Transportation (DoT)) which require specifically tailored oversight in addition to the FTC's role.
Accordingly, while Congress should expand the FTC's powers to address the increasing threats to consumer privacy, the FCC can, and should, continue to play an important complimentary role -- beginning with the long-promised ruleamaking on broadband privacy. In accordance with the legislative intent of Section 222, the FCC must protect both consumer privacy and OTT competitors.
We conclude with some details about the current practices (and potential practices) of broadband access providers, and recommendations for the FCC's upcoming rulemaking.
Press Release on White Paper:
Direct Link to 80+ page White Paper:
I find the creative prcess this intense (I've been working on this for the last several weeks) is like giving birth. Ecept when you're finished you look down at you're adorable newborn, smile benignly, then toss it to the assembled crowd jump and say: "OK, time to make another baby."
|Thursday, February 11th, 2016|