The shutdown is more strategic malice than incompetence

I’m having trouble buying that the shutdown is a result of incompetence.   The GOP has shown us that they want to destroy the government’s ability to perform certain functions. Those functions mostly consist of pro-social programs. As part of their strategy, they try to reduce the population’s faith in the ability of the state in general. To do this, they do what they can … Continue reading The shutdown is more strategic malice than incompetence

We need to figure out what parties are supposed to be

This article really, indirectly, highlights a fundamental disagreement about the role of parties in US politics. The side the article is on sees the parties as these independent groups that back people running for office. Which is descriptively true. That’s what they are. Private clubs that try to get people into political offices. The other side sees them more for their functional role in the … Continue reading We need to figure out what parties are supposed to be

Trump and friends are sweeping a terrorist under the rug because he’s white

So, given the usual response of some people labeling any act of violence by certain racial (or religious) groups as terrorism, and the frequent response of a generally different group of people acting why acts of mass violence (that don’t fit the technical definition of terrorism) by whites are not labelled terrorism, it’s interesting to see what happens when the DOJ actually does nab a … Continue reading Trump and friends are sweeping a terrorist under the rug because he’s white

Another obnoxious argument: refutation of criticism via the option to ignore the object of criticism

That NYT did a poor job of interviewing Trump is making the rounds. One response comes in the particularly obnoxious form of: Argument A made by critic C criticizes object O. C has the option to not consume O. So, dismiss A and criticize C. Now, this could be made formally valid by adding a hypothetical that gives you 3 from 1 and 2, and it’s … Continue reading Another obnoxious argument: refutation of criticism via the option to ignore the object of criticism

Ignoring values (is silly)

A certain article on the Huffington Post is making the rounds on Facebook among those opposed to the current actions of the GOP regarding healthcare. The main point is that the author cannot argue for caring about other people on the basis of their being people. This cuts right to a common problem in popular discussions about most political problems right now: we have lots … Continue reading Ignoring values (is silly)

The Lengthening yet Dying Consumerist Christmas Season (I find it surprisingly saddening)

This year I saw Christmas decorations before even Halloween and Black Friday setup at Walmart early Thanksgiving with signs saying not to touch until 6 pm. A few friends went out to shop at midnight and found out most places were closed, the whole thing happened on Thanksgiving evening without much notice. We’re already two months into the Christmas selling season and there’s not much … Continue reading The Lengthening yet Dying Consumerist Christmas Season (I find it surprisingly saddening)