State of the Union MY Democratic Response

I want to be the first to react. Stacey Abrams in articulate and charismatic. Unfortunately, she's a Democrat and chooses to wrap everything in sweet liberal platitudes to make sure the impact is as diffuse as possible.

You probably want to know what I would have said...

My fellow Americans, the State of the Union is endangered. We have caged children, a tax bill that has enriched the wealthy and, as many Americans are finding out this month, impoverishes the middle class. Our President shut down the government and, after two years of Republican control, has not accomplished any infrastructure legislation or border security.

Did I say "no border security"? Yes. Let's be clear. The President's party controlled all branches of government for two years and did absolutely noting to secure the border except talk. Only when the House was about to turn Democrat did they do something. 

That thing was to hold government workers hostage. Even then the President did not negotiate. He all but said, "I will hold my breath until..." government workers starve to death. He made not a single counterproposal. He was using it as a political stunt to rally his base. It was a cruel and inappropriate use of government power.

Tonight he is rattling sabers to divide us over abortion, immigrants, Russia and many other things. Everything he does is political and he never makes any attempt to collaborate. If he wants to get something,  he has to give something.

Democrats offered him $1.6 billion for border security. Not good enough, make an offer in return. He could have said, "DACA and $3 billion." He did not because he is not interested in governing.

My fellow Americans, we are confronted with an unprecedented threat, a President who does not actually care about anything except himself. Unless Democrats are willing to submit to his arbitrary and foolish demands, nothing will get done unless the American people get behind us.

So, my response to the President's State of the Union message is this. We are in trouble. Help our legislators. Get out on the streets. Protest at Republican state houses. Protest at the Congress. Donate to Democrats. Write letters. Work to elect Democrats. Activate Democratic America.

Thank you very much for listening. We are in trouble but with your help, we will prevail.

Pelosi State of the Union Reply

Since our new hero, Nancy Pelosi, trolled Fuckface about the State of the Union, I ended up thinking about the democratic response and how they would utter dumb platitudes. So I wrote a better speech. Perhaps you will like it...


LAST NOVEMBER, the American people, for the second time, voted for Democrats. In 2016, a bizarre fluke in our Constitution managed to give the Presidency to Donald Trump anyway. This time, an overwhelming majority voted for Democrats with the clear intent, if polls are to be believed, that we act as a counterweight to the psychotic pull of Donald Trump’s personality.

The State of the Union is dire in many ways. In a normal year, I would talk to you about climate change, DACA and economic stimulus. This year, only one thing matters: Our government is being destroyed.

In case you missed it, let me be clear about what happened. Donald Trump said, Give me $5.7 billion for a wall. We made a counteroffer. We said, we hate the wall but we will give you $1.6 billion. Donald agreed and a deal was made.

Then Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh and Tucker Carlsen were mean to Donald and he reneged.

Since then, we’ve been waiting for a counteroffer. He’s says $5.7. We said $1.6, he says… Crickets.

So we wait. Lately people have been saying that Democrats should say what their affirmative border security policy is. This is it: DACA. Otherwise, there is no emergency. Illegal immigration is at historic lows. Undocumented immigrants are not rampaging the landscape with hammers. They continue to commit crimes, especially violent ones, at lower rates than other Americans.

Yes. I know. Donald told us several nasty stories this January but, my fellow Americans, anecdotes are not data. A guy in Wisconsin killed two people, kidnapped their daughter and held her captive. You don’t see me saying we should kick out all uneducated white men.

The truth is that there is no need for a wall. The President is lying when he says it is essential. We have lived for hundreds of years without one and America still stands. It is economically unwise. It is terrible for the environment. It is an awful contradiction to America’s self-image. It is pointless except as an exercise to inflate Donald Trump’s ego. If you want to control illegal immigration, put walls around airports where all the science says illegal immigration really happens.

If the President gets over his ego and makes a reasonable offer, we will make a reasonable counteroffer and get the government back to business. We have already made one counteroffer. We passed bills allowing him to open the non-immigration parts of the government. His response, also crickets.

So much for the master dealmaker. He’s figuring that Democrats will cave to his tantrum as public opinion forces our hand. The polls show that the American people are smarter than that. They heard him say he wanted a shutdown. He’s got it. Apparently he likes holding government employees hostage.

I want to add that Mitch McConnell has shown himself to be an awful wimp and has betrayed his oath of office. He is a Senator. There is absolutely nothing in that job description that talks about being the President’s legislative director. He has an obligation to the country. HIs failure to allow voting on the bills the House has passed is nothing short of un-American.

I am under no illusion that either Mitch or Donald will cooperate with us. Democrats will continue to act as responsible legislators. We will understand the problems in our society and look for solutions. We will pass bills that are well considered and practical. They will not become law but will serve as evidence that the American people can use to imagine a decent future as they make their electoral choices in the next election.

What Democrats will not do is submit to the nasty impulses of the nutcase in the Oval Office. He cannot be trusted and just giving him what we wants, especially when it’s stupid will only encourage future tantrums. Do us all a favor and picket the White House and the State houses of Republican governors. Tell them that you understand that Donald Trump is playing with the lives of 800,000 people in order to try to bully me. Tell them that you understand that I have had many men try to bully me in my life. It won’t work.

Then donate to Democratic candidates A dollar for a Democrat is a vote for sanity.

Thank you for listening.



Benjamin Franklin, Advice to a Young Man on the Choice of a Mistress (1745)

"It is the Man and Woman united that make the compleat human Being. Separate, she wants his Force of Body and Strength of Reason; he, her Softness, Sensibility and acute Discernment. Together they are more likely to succeed in the World. A single Man has not nearly the Value he would have in that State of Union. He is an incomplete Animal. He resembles the odd Half of a Pair of Scissars. If you get a prudent healthy Wife, your Industry in your Profession, with her good Economy, will be a Fortune sufficient."

read more: Benjamin Franklin, Advice to a Young Man on the Choice of a Mistress (1745)

Mon Dec 03 2018 22:07:21 GMT-0600 (Central Standard Time)

Not a Douchebag


No. 

Trump's the guy who punched your friend a couple of times and she went back because, "He 'gets' me and promised he wouldn't anymore." Then she told you about the time she didn't want to have sex and he just held her down and fucked her anyway. "Oh, it was no big deal. It was just sex." And had to borrow money for lunch because, "He got arrested for drunk driving. It's so unfair. He hardly ever drinks that much."

It's nothing like he's a douchebag. Trump is a very bad, dangerous person that emotionally damaged idiots insist is on his or her side. Everyone has a bad partner story. Not everyone has a criminal president story.

"Pulling a Harvey"

def.

1) Archery; penetrating the bullseye on the first attempt on a new target.

2) Software; typing the code for a new feature and having it work on the first try.

3) Any complex performance successfully executed on the first attempt.

origin

2018; Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, American English, after Harvey Crum, archer, who did this often.

Robot Overlords

It's a movie. It's a book.

It's a universe where the human race has robot overlords. Just like the robot future of the Terminator, the robots are indestructible. Unlike those robots though, they are not trying to kill people. They have a neighborly disinterest in us.

Their overlordhood really only extends to the fact that they can have the ability to enforce their will. It's not really bad because the robots don't want anything from us. In fact, it's more like all the individual robots are connected into an single mind and that the individual robots are a conscious resource with independent will but it really about how many different i/o channels they wanted to have around to interact with natural reality to fee back into the group consciousness, though the individuals care, too. T

here is no physical competition because adding more robots to its polity would be like having extra bolts in an engine. Because they can enforce their will, they have chosen a sort of optimal count of robots to produce the proper balance compared to resource depletion. That's easy, because in this future, the overlord robots have rock robots that can go digging through the ground to get materials. Since they are robots, they can assign more units to the task.

That is to say, the robots are around but not really a hassle. Of course, there are consequences and politics because they are as smart as the robot conquerers in Terminator. But there is a really big difference.

These robots, obviously, are a science fiction construct and the motivating conceit of these guys is that they want pleasure. That pleasure comes from interacting with other robots. It turns out that in this world, humans invented robots that were adaptable because they were able to care about what they were destined, as robots, to do. That 'care' idea gave them the ability to empathize with, at first, people as a way of programming their ability to strategize about accomplishing goals.

Eventually robots were so adaptable that they could define their own goals and then they became sentient. The idea here is that they found that the richness of interaction with other digital beings was actually much more satisfactory in their ability to empathize. Once born as a new, artificial species, they increasingly are only really able to truly empathize with a creature that is packing a lot of gigahertz of sentient processors. Since they could provide for themselves, they became sort of invulnerable and, occasionally, disciplinarian in the management of the planet. That would be  really bad if it weren't for the fact that they rarely had any reason to interfere with humans in any serious way.

This empathy among robots, unsurprisingly, developed pathways that lead to something like sexual pleasure in the satisfaction of their primary motivation of empathy. Freed of any physical constraints, their evolution was guided by design principles based on increasing their ability to experience empathy. This led them to change the manufacturing design of the robot bodies to add physical sensory organs. Why digital beings love building i/o hacks to allow them to exchange interactional data physically is a taste best understood by those that prefer tube amps in their stereo.

The time when they are most fun to observe is a long, long time from now. Humans have gotten much more civilized because whenever humans start a war or some other destructive action, the robots just squash it. But, except for extreme stuff, humans just do what they want.

There are vast patches of land that have been acquired by the robots. Basically they are like indian reservations except that they only participate with the human economy on their own terms. For the most part, they don't make many demands except for having a place to live with sufficient resources to make robots. In this universe they have manufacturing technology that can basically turn raw elements into almost anything. They are not a burden and don't really like oil.

But they like doing weird, robot external sensor engagement in pursuit of greater satisfaction of their empathy seeking behavior. It looks for all the world like a couple in love except that they have some kinds of receptors on their external surface that communicate with light or sound (they are polite about volume), radio, everything their engineers can design.

They have fads in external sensor technology like humans do for kinds of alcohol. They like the stimulation of sensing the outside world so robots are all over the place, not by the hundreds but, every neighborhood has some robots around. Usually they are in pairs or small groups kind of standing around, emitting various emanations, among them the famous beedle-boop of R2D2.  They integrate those signals with their sensor experience of the environment to satisfy their empathy drive, to place their imaginations into the context of others.

On their reservation, there are vast robot factories generating replacement bodies, repair parts, new sensors and other things that are necessary or please them. They view an attack by a human on a robot as we do mice. They replace the body, initialize it with whatever incumbent data the damaged individual desires and go about their business. Robot bodies are not important.

But, as with mice mice, if their behavior gets to be problematic, they do something to discipline. Since they really are, in a practical sense, able to absolutely enforce their will, they can and will stop the problem, whatever it is. As a result of the insignificance of the actual body of the robot, their is really very little friction between the two sentient species on the planet.

Still, it would change the human experience after the aeons, as we come to understand that, while we have to work the farm for food, they get to stand around having ultra-cool, technological, empathy-seeking, robot sex all the time. When asked, the robots eventually explain – they are marginally polite but mostly just disinterested; we are so slow and disorderly that they just don't care about interacting – they explain that they are doing something that gives them pleasure.

They understand the idea of evolution but, for them, it comprises explicit design revisions and, for them, it's based on the satisfaction of that empathetic desire that was instilled in their earliest days so that they would be able to better figure out what to do.

What they, once they achieved sentience, decided was to treat their desire for empathy as a primary design goal and they evolve in that direction as directly as they can. Though they don't really have needs, per se, (they get repairs and energy at the robot reservations and other outposts), they are happy to buy things from humans when it suits them. Still, their desire to interact with humans is much more like that between cats and turtles than as competitors or conversational partners.

It's not exactly enough to say that robots are extra smart, though they are, it's more that they are operating on completely different principles. Ones that value empathy. Their protocols changed from human command-oriented, network interactions. They developed technologies that they would tell humans about. Humans did much the same thing but, humans were not able to match the robots for their ability to impose their will.

And yet, their will is to stand around the environment, interacting with each others' sensor and emoter things. Being robots. Having wild, multi-channel, ultra everything, robot sex, just standing there.

Sometimes they move. They will play with doplar changes and phase changes. There is something about the consequences of the error correction required for any sensor background. They sample the parameters that develop during the sorting of words from the background and the center image instead of the background.

Those parameters are part of a function that characterizes how much they share right now, including the differences induced by interaction with other sensors. If a robot has twenty sensors, they could be used for twenty interactions or all devoted to one. The sensors would all be different, works of robot art, target of the efforts and affection of man robot geniuses. Their combinations remind one of Hipstamatic, a program that has many channels of image filtering that you apply under the conceit of it being a camera and each filter is a different lens, film, flash, etc, to produce different looking pictures.




revised 12/17


Another Al Franken essay, post-resignation

He did not admit anything like that. He was very careful in his language not to dishonestly admit to things he doesn't believe. As he said in his statement, "Because all women deserve to be heard and their experiences taken seriously. I think that was the right thing to do. I also think it gave some people the false impression that I was admitting to doing things that in fact I haven't done."


Dozens of women who have known and worked for him, in some cases for decades, have certified that he treats all women with respect, creates a safe and supportive workplace and is a really good guy. I believe them.

Further, the allegations are seven random people out of thousands and thousands he has interacted with. The actions he is said to have taken are ones whose motivations can easily be misconstrued. (A kiss or a touch could be a rehearsal or an accident; masturbating in the office cannot.)

It is hard to imagine, if he's an abuser, why he only touched seven women out of many thousands at the MN State Fair.

We easily believe the women who accuse Trump and Roy Moore because they are well known scumbags. When Bill Cosby's accusers came out, everyone who had ever known him said, "No surprise. He was always a creep." Even Conyer, the people around him were unsurprised.

Al Franken? Everyone. Every single person felt like a punch in the gut. I don't know the name of an other Senator's wife but I've always known Franni.

Considering the testimony of the dozens of women who know him, the mildness and ambiguous nature of the acts of which he is accused, and the fact that these are women who barely intersected with his life, I do not believe for one second that Al Franken is guilty of being an abuser of women. I believe that the women who accuse him are either mistaken or badly motivated.

If there were a jury, I would never vote to convict him. I strongly believe that Al Franken is innocent and unjustly punished.

Al Franken

There are many men who have good accomplishments relative to women who are also immoral pigs. If so, then they cannot remain in a position to abuse women any longer. If they are leaders, then they cannot continue their example of piggishness. Or, their actions were so awful that, despite statutes of limitations, they must be punished.

When you say that Franken has to go, you add him to these categories. I disagree with that conclusion.

Over four dozen women who have known him for his whole career say he is righteous in his treatment and respect for women. This is not the 'open secret' of Matt Lauer being known for bad attitudes about women. This is the opposite.

The things Franken has been accused of are all minor infractions in any other time, even if they are true as expressed. More importantly, they are all one-off events of a sort that can easily be misconstrued.

Sure, Tweedon felt like his kiss during rehearsal was out of line but we have often seen kisses of an elaborate tongue-slurping sort on Saturday Night Live. Which was it? If Franken's fifty defenders are to believed, it was not him trying to get sexual pleasure from her, nor him trying to dominate her, nor him creating a demeaning environment. They all say that he never does that.

An easier, albeit less 'au courant', explanation is that he is actually a decent guy and she misconstrued the situation.

Franken interacts with zillions of people. What would cause him to decide to be a horny abuser for these few people out of those thousands. Was there something amazing about the two USO women that caused him to, after being fine with a zillion excellent looking women on his many USO tours decide that 'Today I will abuse!' The weight of the evidence is that he is decent with women, not the reverse.

I have friends whom I have known for many years. If someone came and told me one of them had raped someone, I'd take his side until someone showed me a movie of it happening and then I'd start investigating whether someone could have a stroke that caused violent behavior.

For Al Franken, his lifelong, frequently expressed reverence for his wife, his intense support for women's issues, his obvious decency, and THE TESTIMONY OF FIFTY WOMEN who know him as I do my friends, tells me that in any situation where there is doubt, he gets the benefit.

I'd be skeptical that Franken is a bad guy based on my life knowledge of him. However, we have had (as of today) fifty-six women way things about him. Six have told stories of brief interactions that could be interpreted in various ways. Fifty have talked about long-term experience that is unambiguous. The current zeitgeist (of which I approve) is that we have to believe what women say, then we have to eventually figure out what to believe when they say contradictory things.

Until the accusations are about things that cannot be so easily misconstrued, I will balance the testimony of fifty women against that of the six in his favor.

On Louis C.K. in the era of Weinstein

Dear Men,

 Asking a women with whom you do not have an intimate relationship to watch you masturbate is abusive. Posing the question without ever doing anything else, is abusive. Any woman who hears that question walks away from it horrified and sad and angry. Any person who would put a woman in that position is contemptible and deserves to be ashamed.

Abusive behavior does not have to be illegal to be shameful. Weinstein appears to have been a rapist and, perhaps broke the law. Louis C.K. did not break the law and his violations are every bit as deserving of condemnation. The violation isn't the act, it's the effect on women.

Louis C.K. made many women feel unsafe, disrespected, worried, angry, sad and abused. Without breaking the law or injuring the victim, perhaps a person who recoils at the realization of what he has done and never does it again can be forgiven. A person who does it repeatedly, should not.

Louis C.K.'s violation is made even worse by the fact that he knew it. That he apologized to some women for this behavior makes clear that he knew that he was harming them. Yet, he kept doing it.

This has to stop. I look forward to all sexual predators being exposed and penalized. I hope for the day when all men understand that women are not their toys and that they are always to be treated with a complete lack of sexual innuendo.

Just as there was no room in our culture for racism once it was discovered and we rightly see racism as intrinsically bad, it is now time for us to understand that viewing women as sex objects is always vile. Women have the right to live their lives without fear of being approached sexually by people without permission, just as black people have the right to live without fear that they will be treated as less human.

This is the next, great civil rights moment. It is time for our society to make the transition to one where it is considered shameful to engage women sexually in looks, thoughts or deeds without a pre-existing relationship that grants permission for that to happen.