Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Is it true what they say about Catherine the Great?

From the BBC:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said there was no allegation that any American was "a knowing participant in this illegal activity" nor was it alleged that the meddling altered the election outcome.

Three of the people named have also been accused of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five have been accused of aggravated identity theft. Three companies have also been charged.
Amusingly, one of the allegations is "Promoted information that disparaged Hillary Clinton".

As if anyone needed the Russians for that one! The next quote sounds like duopoly sour grapes:
"They engaged in operations primarily to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump."
Bernie was supported by small donors: shitloads of them. He was pretty much outraising her until HER campaign pulled the dirty tricks. Remember how the primaries were called for Clinton before they had been held?

Who said "It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS"? (Hint: not the Russians).

Somebody get these people a couple of the Class Action Lawsuit against the DNC and point them to democraticautopsy.org.

The Russians didn't have as much influence on the whole mess as did internal forces who are enjoying having everyone look everywhere besides where the real problems lie.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Marinus van der Lubbe is long dead.

It had to happen.
I have to point out there are things on my blog like:
Green Parties World Wide: Hey, it's nice to finally know what I am politically!
Sorry, but it wasn't the Russians that influenced my vote: look at the Duopoly for the real culprits.

Not to mention the Electoral College. Or is it true what they say about Catherine the Great?

Thursday, February 8, 2018

America Deserves Donald trump

Don't let the title cause you to think that I approve of the current US president. No, this is an affirmation that a nation gets the government it deserves.

And the US deserves Donald Trump for all its failing to properly address the issues that it faces. In particular, the failings of its rigged political system. But that is a symptom of something much larger. I would say that the anti-intellectualism which is a feature of US society is another contributing factor.

What really pissed me off isn't the election of Donald Trump and the failure to properly address the cause, but an ignorant statement made by someone in authority about US immigration. Although, not sure how much “authority" can be given to someone who is director of the US tenement museum. The comment was along the lines of people whose ancestors came here and became citizens somehow are similar to the "dreamers" of today.

Part of this was based on the fact that immigration laws weren't that strict up until the late 19th-early 20th Century; however there were still immigration laws.  That is a flawed argument for a myriad of reasons: the basic one being that laws change.  You can't legally try a case which happened in the past using current law or judge a modern case by outdated law.

Another issue at work here is the national myth that people came here for a better life, which wasn't always true.  The US needs to get in touch with its convict immigrant heritage since, besides slaves, not everyone came here for a better life.

Prior to the US War for Independence, the US was the dumping ground for England's convicts:
As the 17th century drew to a close, lawmakers sought a less harsh punishment that might still deter potential offenders; penal transportation with a term of indentured servitude became the more common punishment. This trend was continued by the Transportation Act 1717 (16 Geo. 3 c.43), which regulated and subsidized the practice, until its use was suspended by the Criminal Law Act 1776. With the American Colonies already in active rebellion, parliament claimed its continuance "is found to be attended with various inconveniences, particularly by depriving this kingdom of many subjects whose labour might be useful to the community, and who, by proper care and correction, might be reclaimed from their evil course". This law would become known as the Hard Labour act and the Hulks act for both its purpose and its result. With the removal of the important transportation alternative to the death penalty, it would in part prompt the use of prisons for punishment and the start of prison building programs. (source)
Of course, the situation here was solved by Australia, but that is an aside. The term "indentured servant" sounds a lot better than convict. it also plays into the aspirational aspect of the US myth: "your ancestors came to America as a Servant in hopes of a better life."

That plays out a lot better than your ancestors were shipped to the colonies to escape the noose.

Of course, it also puts a different light on early American immigration in that blacks weren't the only people shipped to the Colonies against their will.  And do some research into indentured servitude in the Early North American Colonies if you are going to try and argue that it wasn't as bad as being a slave.

Of course, trying to draw a distinction between slavery and indentured servitude is useful if you want to divide people up by race. Add "Bacons Rebellion" in Virginia to the reading list.

But the real issue here isn't slavery or race as much as it is the aspirational aspect of immigration. As long as the myth is that people came here for a better life, one might "forgive" a person for breaking the law because they want a better life for their family.  On the other hand, Australia used to have cheap fares for immigrants up until recently, but now has incredibly strict immigration laws. Is there a lesson to be learned here?

Personally, I don't think an unlawfully present person's life happens to be better since they know they can be deported. The "dream" if there really is one is that people will someone ignore that the unlawfully present person is violating immigration law: even if it doesn't come with strong penalties.

But the real upshot here is that the US deserves a president who gives the appearance of possibly being much more affluent than he really is (isn't that the real issue with his tax returns?).  One doesn't need tax returns since there are multiple bankruptcies and other evidence his "wealth" has not been beneficial to those around him.

But the bottom line is all about the dream.  Maybe it's time for a strong dose of reality.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Poor deluded racists

Just think of people who believe Europeans were white skinned, blue eyes, and blonde haired.

Too bad that isn't true.

Scientists have reconstructed his appearance based on 3D scans of the skull and information from the man's DNA and came up with the above image.

This changes this beliefs about Early Europeans:
It was initially assumed that Cheddar Man had pale skin and fair hair, but his DNA paints a different picture, strongly suggesting he had blue eyes, a very dark brown to black complexion and dark curly hair.

The discovery shows that the genes for lighter skin became widespread in European populations far later than originally thought – and that skin colour was not always a proxy for geographic origin in the way it is often seen to be today.
The Money Shot here:
Tom Booth, an archaeologist at the Natural History Museum who worked on the project, said: “It really shows up that these imaginary racial categories that we have are really very modern constructions, or very recent constructions, that really are not applicable to the past at all.”
Yoan Diekmann, a computational biologist at University College London and another member of the project’s team, agreed, saying the connection often drawn between Britishness and whiteness was “not an immutable truth. It has always changed and will change”.

I really wish Pioneer Little Britain Europe hadn't banned me from their face book pages because I would post this every place I could.

See also: