Saturday, January 23, 2016

Garbage In, Garbage Out

From Digby this morning:

...Thomas Sowell, who in 2007 wrote in National Review: “When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia, I can’t help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup.”

In the “Against Trump” symposium, Sowell makes this outlandish comparison: “The actual track record of crowd pleasers, whether Juan Perón in Argentina, Obama in America, or Hitler in Germany, is very sobering, if not painfully depressing.” Is there any rhetorical overkill Trump has been guilty of that is worse than this?

Sowell’s belief that a coup could be good for America and that Obama can be fairly compared to Hitler gives lie to the argument, made repeatedly by writers in the National Review symposium, that Trump is not a true conservative. For there is very little that Trump has said or done that can’t find prior sanction in National Review, be it racism, anti-immigrant nativism, or sexism. In the last debate, in response to an attack on his “New York values,” Trump noted that conservatives do come from New York and cited William F. Buckley. It is fair to see Trump’s version of white identity politics as firmly in the tradition of Buckley and his magazine.

Go back in the time machine (Youtube) and watch Buckley debating James Baldwin. QED.


Here in the Chatham County woods, there's a hard crusty snow on the ground you can walk on top of. I got one vehicle up the hill and pointed towards the paved road yesterday morning. It took two tries! The trick with the old S-10 (the truck of choice, picked because I'd just changed the oil and filled her up, and as opposed to the old Toyota Tacoma, or the ancient F-150), is to shift into 2nd as you start climbing. Usually that keeps the revvs within reason on the tach, and spares the tires, and you don't simply stall half way up, spinning for nothing and no chicks in sight. I was still spinning pretty good, but I made it to the flat at the top of the hill, then over the top and pointed down hill. The road, at 8 AM, was white. If we get out to the cat food store tomorrow I'll be kinda surprised. It'll depend on some significant warming. These are the days, now and again, when the idea of something with four-wheel drive makes fantastic sense. The other 352 days a year, not so much. So the years pass, the trucks get older, the new trucks meanwhile getting up to a stratosphere beyond a modest family Mercedes Benz, according at least to the current vehicle ads from Detroit with their complex offers of 20% off if you act now. Like the guy sitting on the nail keg at the Silk Hope store said, you could buy a house. So a lot more folks are sleeping in their cars these days. There's a logic.

We're good on our firewood, but there's a ways to go till the end of this. I'm keeping the saw warm inside. The chain is sharp. I guess that's the next project. We were lucky as we didn't lose power. For some reason we stayed just on the cold side, and it sleeted and snowed, but I never saw freezing rain or any build up of ice on the trees. Losing power in the country sucks. It means shortly you have no water. There are other things of course, but no water is the worst in short order. I filled the kettle yesterday, and ground up one extra grinder of coffee. We have a lot of water containers filled up. Most likely we would have endured till the lights flickered back on, and of course they still might go, although I'm thinking that at 11 am Saturday morning we might have escaped that feature of the blizzard. Hopefully the folks in the cities are hanging in there.

I did happen to notice, on my morning walk to the firewood stack, that the light had gone out in the pump house. I'm still not sure why that happened, but it took switching out the light fixture and several bulbs before it came back to life. Also took some wet knees, and more melting snow on the floor than I'd like, though the wood stove will have the puddles evaporating. Country dehumidification I guess.

The photo comes from the WRAL website. They invite viewers to send in pics. The houdahenians all gathered in front of the slider to watch similar sparrows scratching for food in the leaves as it snowed yesterday. Cat TV.


Between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders, I'll take the Democrat who wins the primaries. If the American voters can't see what's happened to the other party, it's blind leading the blind, and I guess we'll all march over the cliff. Digby has a number of good posts about the horror of this campaign season, if you were interested at all in the Republican choice. Driftglass has been clear-eyed for decades. The country has lost, for the most part, a "mainstream" media willing to tell political truth, somebody on some channel who could say "wait a minute, that's out and out fascism." Decades back, Murdoch crafted a counter-weight to approximate truth, and the right more generally has been doing that in various venues, be it science, law, or even simple fairness.

We are nonetheless moving inexorably towards February, and the days are growing longer. Might be the year to plant some taters and turnips and all the rest.


Then there's this, from the blog Balkanization:

Of course Cruz has aimed to deflect Trump's questioning of his legal status re becoming President as just more partisan politics. But as you can see in this brief post from the balkin blog, there are precedents to the issue stretching back to times when Cruz wasn't yet born. Briefly, his status as a naturalized American citizen is a problem. Legally, and with precedents. Cruz, when he confidently brushes aside these issues as being somehow "settled," merely illustrates his ability to lie with the best of 'em.

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