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Silent3's Journal
Silent3's Journal
September 22, 2022

The Leticia James lawsuit, happy as I am to see it, does more to confirm my cynical view...

...of our so-called "justice" system than to improve it.

Look at how egregious Trump's criminality had to be before action was taken.

Look at how much Trump had to brazenly call attention to himself in order to be investigated - in James' own words, it was Michael Cohen's testimony in Congress that sparked the NYAG's investigation, despite that fact that Trump's cheating ways had been an open secret for decades.

Look at how much time and effort this took. Three years was spent putting together the case against the Trump organization. If the violations of law were so blatant and flagrant, it seems to me only the fear of failure in court, which is clearly far more acute when going against prominent people than the average citizen, would make people work so hard for so long to nail a case down so completely before daring to move forward.

Think of how much shit other rich and powerful people are getting away with if this is what it took to go after Trump. Think of how little capacity our legal system has to pursue wrongdoing among the elite when prosecutors are afraid to go after the elite without devoting an enormous portion of that capacity to each case.

Leticia James stated very clearly what she though about there being two tiers in our legal system, and how she wasn't going to let that inequality favor Trump.

That's a good and gratifying start. But it's also makes it clear that there is so much further to go.

July 9, 2022

I hate the way the media thinks it's their job to channel stupid people

Our news media should inform AND ENLIGHTEN.

It's bad enough a great deal of the media falsely confuses (and in many cases, perhaps I'm being overly generous attributing this problem to mere confusion) fairness with both-siderism. While the media should, of course, strive to be objective and neutral, a free press needs to be very partisan about being pro-democracy. Without democracy and basic liberties, their mission to inform is doomed.

On top of the both-siderism, however, the media are constantly framing political stories in terms of how a fairly ignorant, not-very-analytical, not-very-engaged public will react to the dribbles of information they receive, often misunderstand, and often forget in ridiculously short periods of time.

In this framing, politicians, their actions, and their policies, are primarily judged not on their inherent merits, but how what they do will be perceived by an ignorant, disengaged public. It's much more important, apparently, to spend the most time talking about whether people will notice or care that a policy is good for them, rather than discussing if it is good for them.

This idea that "perception is everything" becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Our press should being doing more explaining, more enlightening, should be doing their best to drag people out of their ignorance and disinterest, rather than treating the ability of politicians to hammer through or work around that ignorance and disinterest as the gold standard of good politics and good policy.

February 12, 2022

Any solid statistical analysis of the apparent huge increase in people acting like dicks?

I'm pretty certain that it's a real phenomena at some level, and that a big part of it is that Trump gave an awful lot of somewhat quietly reserved but inwardly nasty people the feeling of freedom they craved to let their asshole flags fly high and proud.

Some specific things, like unruly airline passengers, are well-documented. 2021 had a 600% increase in incidents over the previous year.

I'm not sure how well other things are tracked, on the whole spectrum from adults throwing loud and childish temper tantrums all the way up to unhinged, violent assaults triggered by petty annoyances like a fast-food employee forgetting to put pickles on a burger. It would be interesting to further to separate out non-COVID-related dickishness from the maskholes and the belligerent anti-vaxxers.

As a non-COVID example, a video someone posted earlier today on DU, where a woman was freaking out because there weren't any yachts available for her to rent. (Talk about zero-eth world problems.)

The ubiquity of cellphones both captures a lot of this bullshit, but distorts how much there is at the same time. We can all be sure, for instance, that police abuse of power has had a long and inglorious history going well back before video cameras, and then cellphones, helped reveal what had long been hiding in the shadows.

So where are we really at? 10% more dickishness? 50%, 300% more? I really have no idea. My almost certainly distorted media impression feels like 1000-1500% more. For what I encounter in real life personally, it's more like the 10% range. The truth is probably somewhere in that wide swath of uncertainty in between.

February 10, 2022

If I were caught with a couple of kilos of cocaine, the police wouldn't simply confiscate...

...the drugs and get back to me some time a year or so later after pondering long and hard about what charges, if any, to bring against me. I'd immediately be going on a little ride down to the police station -- either that, or possibly a ride to a hospital or the morgue if, you know, I twitched slightly the wrong way after the police bashed down my door, shooting first and asking questions later.

So why doesn't it work that way when you're in illegal possession of stolen government documents, some of which are apparently classified?

January 13, 2022

People should be deliriously happy for just the simple fact that Biden isn't Trump

I don't understand the low poll numbers for Biden. Or perhaps I do understand, in a way, but that just makes me angrier.

We collectively dodged a fucking bullet when Trump lost, but the stupid, ignorant masses don't on the whole realize this. They don't care how so many of the problems we currently face, including inflation and ongoing COVID strife, are the aftermath of the mess Trump created, and that Biden has done very well given the hand he was dealt. They further ignore all the good news in the economy.

Instead of appreciating what Biden has accomplished with the slimmest of margins in Congress, and seeing that the answer to getting more out of Congress is adding MORE Democrats, they're quite willing to blindly hand control right back to Republicans again, no matter how much they've lied about the last election, no matter how unprincipled Republicans have proven themselves to be, no matter how cravenly they've debased themselves to curry favor from their ignorant, sniveling narcissist king, no matter how brazenly they work to rig the next election in their favor.

The public certainly doesn't appreciate enough the basic decency of Biden, even when held up against the so-recent example of the childish, petulant, empathy-lacking, constantly-gaslighting inhumanity of Trump.

How is it that we even have to use the expression "memory hole" to describe what happens all the time in our politics, when voters either literally forget things that happened mere months ago, or at least forget they might have cared, and then vote as if a dull, uninformed, and probably distorted impression of current circumstances, all credited or blamed on the party of the current President, is all that matters.

I fully understand what Churchill meant when he said democracy is the worst possible system of government... except compared to all of the others we've tried.

I'd never make it in politics or punditry because I have very little respect for voters in general. At best they are a notch above dictators, not a leap above, and sometimes they're so stupid they'll gladly vote to put dictators in power, giving their own power and freedom away.

Messaging? Democrats aren't good enough at messaging? Do you know what messaging is?

It's the process of treating voters like stupid, ignorant children while praising their non-existent wisdom at the same time. It's fighting to turn complex, nuanced policy into bumper-sticker slogans digestible by tiny, distracted minds. It's sometime sacrificing good policy for mediocre policy because the mediocre policy is easier to package and sell.

I'm sick of it. I want to live in a country, or on a planet, where we can expect and demand more out of the voters themselves instead of constantly blaming politicians for not meeting voters on their simplistic, ignorant, short-sighted level.

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: New Hampshire
Home country: USA
Member since: Sun Oct 3, 2004, 04:16 PM
Number of posts: 15,603
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