And now, the case against

Since everyone is (for some reason) holding forth on this today, allow me to say some very unpopular and uncomfortable things. Donald Trump was elected “fair and square” — which is to say he was elected by the same system that elected the rest of the Presidents who’ve led us. The problem is that system, not Donald Trump.

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Now that we have your attention…

In the last three days or so, we have been subjected to a number of articles from CNN (going after Jimmy Dore in an “exposé” on YouTube advertising), the BBC (against Vanessa Beeley and other bloggers and journalists), and NPR (a smear against Anoa Changa by Atlanta’s NPR affiliate), all concerning alternative theories surrounding what is happening in Syria — or, failing that, simply suggesting that before dropping bombs somewhere as a reaction to an internal chemical weapons attack, perhaps those responding could verify whether or not it was in fact Assad and his forces which did so, or perhaps suggest a motive for those attacks, or perhaps outline a particular overarching strategy whereby those guilty of similar attacks on civilians (such as those in Yemen) would be met with an analogous and morally consistent response.  The Guardian has chimed in about the supposed Pentagon claim of “4000% increase in Russian bot activity” which followed the Syria strikes, and identified one of those Russian bots whose name was Ian and appeared suspiciously human in a follow-up interview on SkyNews.  (Links for these are forthcoming, but I don’t wish to further delay the publishing of this message; all of these are easily found on social media.) Continue reading

The mote in our eye

Ladies and gentlemen, my first blog post in almost four years.  Did I miss anything?

Hopefully you all will not be waiting another four years for the next one.  As you might be able to tell from the content, it was not external political matters which kept me away — although I’ll admit that those have had a toll on my spiritual and mental well-being from time to time.  Please feel free to leave comments, as before.

There’s been a bit of pearl-clutching on this side of the pond over an opposition candidate in the upcoming Russian Presidential election, Alexey Navalny. Navalny is a reformer, and has made combatting corruption the centerpiece of his campaign, with strong and reasoned policy points concerning the economy. Of course, one of the weak points of modern Western democracy is that policy is a very distant concern among observers of his campaign, and many aren’t even looking at it at all. That’s human nature, of course, but it is amplified by media reaction. On that side, Russian media is essentially an arm of the Vladimir Putin campaign and ignores Navalny. They will get around to ridiculing him later, if he gains any traction with his campaign. (This is not a behavior that is confined to Russia, as I’ll discuss later in this article.) To Western media, Navalny has become a cause celebre because he seems to be the only reform-minded candidate running against Putin, and Putin has been transformed into something of a Blofeldian caricature in the U.S. Continue reading