Saturday, February 18, 2017

Who Will Watch the Agents Watching Our Borders? - The New York Times

My response to the NYT article Who Will Watch the Agents Watching Our Borders?:
The attack dogs are quite happy to have unfettered access to fresh meat. Restraining them, so that they would be fair and humane, and maybe even useful, runs counter to the savage mentality they embody. We have all read how immigration is actually a benefit, reducing crime, increasing salaries, improving the lives of immigrants as well as their surroundings. What would an animal like that attack dog about value or humanity, since it only wants more fresh meat, with comfort in knowing that they won't be restrained in the future...

A Response to Why More Democrats Are Now Embracing Conspiracy Theories

I wrote a few responses to an article, Why More Democrats Are Now Embracing Conspiracy Theories in the The New York Times, first here and then here.

The text of the first:
If nothing else, conspiracy theories allude to things, while not absolutely true, are certainly possible, or hint at things that, while not an outright takeover, are concerns.
  • Trump only needs an excuse, a terrorist incident, a violent leftist response, to initiate quasi-fascist control, a reduction in rights, harsh military responses to protests, increased surveillance, etc.
  • His coziness with Russia, if not quite indicating a puppet-in-chief, indicates a lack of wariness that might be necessary when Russia does decide to invade another Eastern European country, or say, deploy military that threatens Europe.
  • The fact that his advisors are all financial people, military hawks, with a [secretary] of state from Exxon, point to a possible war. A conspiracy theory would be that they are there to create a war, affecting the price of oil, forcing defense expenditure increases, with profiteers at the ready to make money. In truth, I can still see how the tendencies of those in power could lead to war, and while not quite intentional, could occur regardless.
  • Considering Trump's dark triad (narcissism, psychopathy, machiavellian) tendencies, and the what history has taught us about prior demigogs, we need to be wary.
The text of the second:
Although I am certainly aware of the concerns, of individuals seeing controlled plans where a more subtle analysis is required, of unconnected actors and actions are at play, I do believe you are engaging in a false equivalence.

Obama was a not secret Muslim Nazi about to take away Republicans' guns, and was, in fact, quite the opposite. Obama could not reasonably be likened to a Hitler or a Pinochet. On the other hand, Trump does seem like the kind of individual prone to authoritarianism and is compromised, with his obvious allusions and connections to Russia.
  • Is he Putin's puppet. Likely no, but is he someone that might be prepared to respond well to Russian aggression?
  • Will in implement martial law? No, he will slowly destroy as many protections against state overreach as he, and the Republicans can.
  • Will he force women to conform to an outdated role, e.g., wear burkas, or the modern equivalent, lipstick and dresses? No, but will women's rights and freedoms be eroded, will their quality life be diminished. I'd bet yes.
  • The Koch brothers and ALEC are perfect examples of a nefarious groups manipulating our lives and our legislature.

Disabled, Shunned and Silenced in Trump’s America - The New York Times

My response to Disabled, Shunned and Silenced in Trump’s America in the The New York Times:
Thank you for this article. I had not read that the buffoon had removed the Disabilities section. It foreshadows what we know to come, hatred, ignorance, and abuse of the idiot in chief...

A Journey — if You Dare — Into the Minds of Silicon Valley Programmers

My responses in a NY Times comment section for the book, Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson ...