Friday, May 6, 2016

I won a bet I did not want to win


There are times when events in the society at large overshadow everything. In US politics, Donald Trump just cleared his last hurdle to win the republican nomination. Last September I made a bet for a 6 pack of beer with a colleague that Trump will win the nomination. This was not a crazy bet on my part but it came from witnessing the dirty politics in Romania after the collapse of communism and drawing the parallel. I other words I have seen this movie played out before and I also recognized the complete lack of antibodies in US society to react to the kind of evil represented by Trump and his allies. The level of outrageous, disgusting, and blatant lies I see on TV from the so-called "Trump supporters" like Jeffrey Lord match or exceed the lies from former communists right after the collapse of communism in 1989. 

Both republicans and democrats in US are now reaping what they sow. 

On the republican side, you have an elite in bed with big business who polished the science of fear-mongering to whip up a base of losers left in the cold by globalization. It is this base who provided Trump with his victory. This mob does not practice reason and is only aroused by blind emotions. In the 20th century there were two evil utopias: fascism and communism. Fascism slogan is: you are the best, while communism proclaims: we are all the same. When you are hurting economically it is hard not to fall pray to those utopias. Trump is basically a proto-fascist dictator in the making who vows to "make America great again" but so far managed to "make America hate again". Trump cynically said that he could shot someone on 5th avenue in New York and still not lose a single vote. I think he was actually right. The rational voices like Mitt Romney or John McCain were soundly defeated, while the only serious challenge to Trump came from the half-asleep charlatan Ben Carson or "Lucifer in the flesh" Ted Cruz. Carson stated for example that the pyramids in Egypt were built to store the grains according to the biblical story of Joseph in Genesis (Ben Carson voters: people know how to read hieroglyphs for quite some time and we know the story of the ancient Egyptians and of the pyramids by reading the hieroglyphs).


The situation on the democratic side is not rosy either. Hillary Clinton is just as dishonest as her husband (remember "wiping the server with a cloth?") and she cynically rose to the current position starting with her disgusting defense of Bill in the days of the Lewinsky affair. She planned all her actions step by step over the years. For example in Virginia-a key state in the general election, she planted as governor a slimy ally who almost lost his election because of his untrustworthiness when democrats should have won in a landslide following the corruption scandal of the prior republican governor.

So what can we choose in a general election? A narcissistic bully endorsed by the KKK who will make a prostitute the first lady (just google Melania Trump's "supermodel" photos in GQ - I will not post her naked photos here), or a person rotten to the core? Democrats are right now drinking the cool aid of thinking that Hillary will win in a landslide. I predict that the general election will be very close and of low turnout. On the democratic side Hillary has the appeal of broccoli to a kid who hates vegetables, and on the republican side you got  people who would not vote for Trump.

Trump only speaks stupid things because he is playing to his base, but he is very sharp and shrewd and he should not be underestimated. Never Trump should be the motto of all sane people. To appreciate how bad the situation is, a former recent CIA director threatened Trump publicly with mutiny of the arm forces and given who said this, it basically amounted to a treat of a military coup. Can you picture Trump with his finger on the nuclear button? I can't.

19 comments:

  1. Could you please be more coherent about what you're actually afraid of in Trump? I think that this tirade about fascism made no sense at all. Every candidate has been saying something like "Americans are greatest". Hillary is saying "America already is great". And they have been also selling themselves. What's so different about Trump in these respects?

    He just has different politics than the degenerated "all parties are the same" postmodern PC setup we've seen in recent years - and I think it's likely that this radical enough departure could be a net benefit.

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  2. "it's likely that this radical enough departure could be a net benefit."

    you are kidding right? The guy does not believe in anything but himself and he is just playing the mob.

    Is hard to explain in US Romanian politics and the parallels I draw between the two, and is hard to explain in Europe the usual US politics. Also I know very little of Czech politics. Bit don't take my word for it. It's obvious the democrats hate Trump, so I'll concentrate on the republican side.

    The speaker of the House-a republican- does not endorse Trump. The last republican candidate for the White House spoke out against him calling him a con artist. The last 2 republican presidents in US are against Trump. A former CIA director threatened Trump with a military coup and he would not come out with it if he did not have the broad support of the top military and intelligence leadership. In US society is now neighbor vs neighbor in support/opposition for Trump.

    Trump defenders in the media are at the level of Comical Ali in the last days of Saddam Hussein.

    At best a president Trump would be like Silvio Berlusconi.

    On flip-flops, Trump is the king: changed his stance on abortion 5 times in 3 days. He simply do not believe in anything but himself: a narcissistic mad man who does not stop at anything to get his way.

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    1. I do follow it closely. There are lots of "Republicans" who are actually pathetic left-wingers themselves. Their criticism largely shows that much of the establishment GOP has become the same PC garbage as the Democratic Party and indeed, Donald Trump wants to clean America from this garbage, too.

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  3. Long story short, Trump will not bring change but chaos and destruction. Think "Trump university".

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    1. "I will make America great again," or as a a line in this song has it, "Do you want Britannia to rule again?"

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD_vgqT_QPo

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  4. Donald Trump has done us a great favor actually. He has clearly demonstrated that the right wing is about authoritarian power. All the claims about being for freedom and liberty by the Republican voters have been banished. In the end the conservative voter wants the big boss at the top who will kick ass. Sorry for the crass word, but it makes the point.

    Is Donald Trump a fascist? It is clear form his past that he is a big beluga who likes to push his weight around. He loves to be in a position of command and authority. I will also way he likes to do this with as many cameras possible pointed at him, which with other things suggests he has a narcissistic personality disorder. However, I would say the only thing that Donald Trump believes in is, well..., Donald Trump. He does not have a well defined political ideology other than "I should be the supreme boss." He wants to apply that to the United States as a whole and not just to his real estate and business ventures that largely have been failures. He pulled some shady strings to avoid complete chapter 7 bankruptcy in 1998 or so. He would be far wealthier if he had taken Daddy Trumps money and put it into mutual funds and sat on them.

    Trump has some features of fascism. Umberto Eco wrote an essay on "Ur-Fascism" or 14 ways to look at a black shirt

    http://www.pegc.us/archive/Articles/eco_ur-fascism.pdf

    He makes the point that one does not have to be a member of a fascist party to be an essential or "eternal" fascist. If somebody upholds a fair number of the 14 points in Eco's essay then they are in effect fascist or fascistic.

    The worrisome thing is not so much whether Trump is a fascist, but that a significant percentage of the American public have adopted a number of Eco's points. The danger is not Trump, it is the people. That is the most unfortunate state of affairs. Trump is a marketer and he knows how to appeal to a market or set of constituents. He knows the "pulse" of the crowd and he is playing that ticket. Further, American political discourse is on about an 8th grade level, and Trump has ratcheted this down to the 6th grade level.

    As a side comment there is reason to think that Trump never graduated from college, but rather paid somebody to do his classwork and earn the grades so he could collect the diploma.

    That Motl is defending Trump is not surprising. On his blog he has voiced positive opinions about national front parties in Europe, which are for all purposes fascist parties. He is in the Eco scheme essentially a fascist. His blog is worth looking at for things going on in physics. I ignore his political and anti-climate change gibberish.

    The even greater danger is that about every 100 to 120 years the world seems to boil over into chaos. There is a sort of mid-beat to this as well. From 1815 to 1914 you had a comparative period of peace, but with a semi-major change in the Franco-Prussian war. From 1945 to now we have had comparative peace, at least no world wars, but a political shift with the fall of the USSR. We seem then to be coming due for the next grand upheaval. With Putin in Russia, the Chinese starting to flex their military muscles and politics in the US starting to go completely off the rails, it looks like we might be in a dress rehearsal for the next great global disaster.

    Finally with each of these global periods of chaos the body count for the last few centuries has multiplied by about 10. The last great upheaval cost 100 million lives.

    LC

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    1. The claim that the UKIP, National Front, Alternative für Deutschland, PiS, Fidesz, or other parties in Europe are "fascist" parties is just a piece of propaganda dirt designed for the least demanding audiences such as you, much like similar low-brow libelous comments about Trump.

      They're the same kind of standard parties in the nation states that has existed for more than a century.

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    2. Of course these far right parties are not officially fascist. I don't think any group, other than the most deranged groups like Aryan Nations, would consider themselves fascist or Nazi-esque. These National Front and other parties have though ideology that is of a fascistic nature. The inability to see this may lie with familiarity. One's own feces tend not to smell as bad as those from other people. If one is sufficiently marinated in this sort of ideology then it becomes “normal.” Of course no political party or politician that is serious about running for office is going to label themselves with something from the Axis Powers of WWII. That does not mean they still in fact can't hold ideals that are common to fascism.

      There is a lot of information about Donald Trump that illustrates his real incompetence and his dishonesty. His casino failures, his business failures like Trump Air, and that he has actually lost real ownership of most of his Manhattan real estate. Things that bear his name, such as Trump Towers, are not his. Most of his ventures were money losers. He also in the 1970s had close association with organized crime figures, which in that day was pretty common for people wanting to make big property investments in New York.

      The rise of Donald Trump is happening for reasons also very similar to why there was a rise of fascism in Europe in the 1920-30 time frame. People were unemployed and there was a rise in the politics of desperation as a result. This can be applied to France in the 1780s as well, the losing fortunes of the bourgeois and the increased isolation of the Bourbon nobility. Compare this to the trend for multi-millionaires and billionaires to live in gated (even armed) communities so they do not have to touch the “dirty averaged” out there in the world. The politics of desperation is clearly on the rise, and if Trump loses this election I am sure he will not be the last of this sort of thing. The economic trajectory has thrown a growing percentage of people out into “economic Siberia,” and I am certain that Trump has sent a very powerful signal to the most power hungry sociopaths on how the future of politics is to be done. Those with real economic power will in time co-opt this trend as well, as they did with Mussolini and the Nazis. As Ernst Krupp said, “We put Mr. Hitler on the payroll.”

      LC

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    3. OK, it's complete bullšit. The unemployment in the U.S. is lowest since 1973. The economy works fine. There is absolutely no analogy between the state of the economy in 2016 and in Germany of the early 1930s. If tons of people are dissatisfied with something, it's that the political establishment has treated them like the fascists treated the inconvenient groups.

      You are just another demagogue who thinks that it's always perfectly OK to lie if the conclusion of the lie is politically convenient. The ends always justify the means for you. But you know, other people don't like your goals, and that *strengthens* their ability to see that your way of argumentation is demagogic and full of lies. They don't care whether you call their preferred politician fascist. They know what they don't want in politics and you may personify it. You are the fascist when it comes to things that these people care about. Your frantic desire to turn all the tables upside down may only impressed people who have already been perverted and who see the world upside down, but not most Trump's voters.

      Not all Trump businesses were spectacular successes but one may still compare him with almost everyone else in politics and in that comparison, his business activity has been an unusual success. I am saying it despite the fact that I don't really like his economic policies too much. I don't like his attitude to free trade or his recent comments about the higher taxation for the wealthy (although it may be ultimately desirable, anyway). But I can still see when someone or his voters is being treated absolutely unfairly.

      I have lived in a system that was treating the opposition in this way. I don't want this stuff to return. By the way, Florin has lived in a similar system. The difference between the two of us is that I was a hero in the fight against this left-wing dirt while Florin was a part of that left-wing dirt. My soulmates ultimately executed his favorite leader Ceaucescu and his wife in late 1989.

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    4. The economy is great for those in the higher echelons. It is not so great for the average, and for many there has been a loss of decent jobs, particularly in the manufacturing area, where many now work minimum wage. Now there is talk about automatic fast food work, which will put more out of work. Increasingly we also have the “Uber economy,” where you work for the App, and have no actual employment status. Also how unemployment is tallied up people unemployed for more than a year in effect drop off the accounting, or the first level, and if you are unemployed for more that about 3 years you in effect disappear in an economic sense.

      Your arguments here are typical straw man arguments that you make. They also have the message that anyone who disagrees with you is evil or morally corrupt. Anyone left of Genghis Khan is somehow a Stalinist. You even apply this with physics. I do not uphold the LQG, though I think that it does not work might be telling us something very deep. Yet you excoriate LQG people as villains. The reasoning is about the same as saying, “Because you clothing is out of style clearly you can't ride a bicycle.” It makes no sense.

      This sort of absolute white vs black thinking is symptomatic of a borderline personality disorder (BPD). Such people will not argue against somebody they disagree with by laying down reasons. Even if they give reasons they go further and accuse the person they disagree with as having moral turpitude. I happen to know a bit about BPD having been married to somebody with this. I can clock BPD in other people, and it is more common than one might think.

      LC

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  5. Just like in string theory there is the T-duality, communism and fascism are dual too: if we are all special, we must be equal too; if we are all equal we must be special as well.

    The mechanism of Trump rising to power is similar with the mechanism of a hurricane. In a hurricane the waters of the ocean are slightly warmer and when a circular motion randomly forms, the increase in evaporation starts a positive feedback loop which ends up creating a hurricane. Similarly Trump helped the release of small angers and frustrations feeding a reinforcing loop ending up with a mass movement of brainwashed followers happy that he speaks his mind and not paying any attention to the actual content of his message.

    Now Lubos is not like Trump, although he was called the Trump of physics and I hear many people referring to him as "a nazi". Trump is "the wind" who simply helps unleashing people's anger and frustrations for his own personal gains, he is an opportunistic amoral bastard. Lubos is like "the warm water", a frustrated person who swallowed hook, line, and sinker Trump's message. Lubos is more like Sarah Palin, in this case a foot soldier mesmerized by the utopia of fighting the "root of all evil" - political correctness.

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  6. Political ideologies are really nothing more than secular forms of religion or theology. People who become very determined in their belief, whether a religion or a politics, tend to become very rigid in their thinking. With religion you have this extreme resistance of the theory of evolution. It is inconvenient to their theology. In the case of far right winged politics there is this resistance to the growing scientific evidence for CO_2 heating of the climate. It is inconvenient to their secular theology of the free market, which really involves massively subsidized energy companies.

    Lubos has I think a far more detailed mental scheme than Trump has. I am not out to in any way change his mind. One never tries to teach a pig to sing; you just get all muddy and really piss off a pig. Lubos might be advised to "take a bath," or do a sort of mental reboot. That of course will not happen. Trump on the other hand is more of a PT Barnum figure who is a media hound for attention to himself. He is just a hustler and opportunist taking advantage of the growing rage and desperation out there.

    It is always interesting how far right politics is often about "cleaning up the country from XYZ." XYZ can be a people, such as Judenrein by the Nazis or other forms of ethnic cleansing, or it can be gays (heard recently a Latin American compare killing gays to cleaning pig sties), or more innocuous things like getting rid of literature, print etc that are "objectionable," and so forth.

    I think we humans have cycles of gregarious behavior, just as other animals go through events of mass stampeding, swarming or collective suicide or cannibalism. We do this with episodes of mass genocide and war, and what usually precedes these events are the politics of extremism and desperation. It all appears that we are heading into the next grand episode of global ghastliness.

    LC

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    1. I think the right expression is: "never wrestle with a pig": http://www.amazon.com/Never-Wrestle-Ninety-Business-Career/dp/0141002085

      By the way, this book is actually very good.

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    2. I have heard it both ways. In this case the word "teaching" is appropriate.

      To be honest far right or left politics is a sort of mind trap that gets people's brains executing a sort of loop of increasingly obsessive thoughts. I think it is mentally unhealthy.

      LC

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  7. http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/03/30/trump-and-the-liberal-intelligentsia-a-view-from-europe/

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    1. Interesting argument except that at the end is said: "A French version of this article appeared on RT."

      So this is a propaganda piece from Russia Today.

      Dear Anonymous, sign your post and I'll rebut the article point for point.

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  8. I posted it because I agree with its content, and also because it is signed by Jean Bricmont. The fact that was published by RT doesn't mean anything, people should read all information from all sources, and judge by themselves. Thanks for answer; no need to publish my reply.

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    1. Touche. It does not mean I agree with the article.

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