Days of Change

The Way They Were

February 27, 2017
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During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump made what might be considered a smart but calculated decision to say he didn’t care who used what bathroom in response to questions about Obama federally mandating that a kid in a school could use whatever bathroom he or she identified with. In typical word salad fashion, Trump expressed that things should stay the way they are, not defined by law like in North Carolina.

Trump rescinded the Obama order about bathrooms last week, letting state laws dictate the rules. Unsurprisingly, he went against the objections of his newly confirmed Secretary of Education. This action does leave things “the way they were before Obama made the rules. It also falls more in line with what the 40% of Trump supporters in the general population prefer.

The problem with the slippery slope is that stopping becomes very difficult. The worst part about being gay in the past would seem to be the possibility for blackmail and the threat of public humiliation, let alone the legal danger. Then again, lots of sex stuff was under the RADAR.

However, once we truly don’t care what two (or more) people do in private, why do we need public policy? Do we define gay by engaging in gay sex acts? If we do, how do we classify bisexuals or straight people who experiment? Then there’s gender identity? How does a man know they feel like they’re a woman? How does a child know they’re the “wrong” gender? How do we legally quantify something that is dictated by psychology?

I see the world in terms of humans who are straight and gendered. At the same time, we all have different aspects of our self-identity and sexual preferences that are unique, or part of a spectrum. Is there a difference between a gay man and a straight man who is sexually attracted to men? One seems to want a label and permission, the other just wants to have sex with dudes.

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The Child Molester That Wasn’t

February 20, 2017
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Trumpy Twitter went crazy last night over Milo Yiannopoulos. First, he was invited to speak at CPAC. Other conservatives responded by posting clips of Milo joking about the advantages of gay men and “boys” in sexual relationships. Trump supporters were conflicted because in their world, Big Brother can’t be ungood.

Not being immersed in either side, I took what Milo said for what it probably was, Milo saying outrageous things to get attention. Yeah, he’s gay and multicultural and is into Black guys, but he’s a creeper like Mike Cernovich and other Trump worshipers, much like Donald Trump himself.

Over a matter of hours, I watched with bemusement as Trumpers reevaluated their initial gut reactions, aided by Trumpers who use social media to spread confirmation bias. Eventually, they saw a way to believe Milo was not only innocent of supporting child molestation, but was framed by evil anti-Trump forces. Milo lost the CPAC speaking gig and a book deal.

I already wrote about sexuality, but I never got around to writing about creepers on the Trump Train. That’s how I view Milo Yiannopoulos. You can be cool with gay people and find his particular brand of outrageousness gross. I sure do.

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Team Trump and Everyone Else

February 19, 2017
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For the 99.99% of the population that does not read Archie Comics, their reboot series revealed Archie’s pal Jughead as asexual. The faint praise of that news was followed by louder complaints that the new CW series about Riverdale may show Jughead Jones dating human females.

I decided to look up what asexual means and why anyone cares. Instead, I had enough of this. When you get to this “interest group” which is seventh in the LGBTQIA description, it basically involves things like awareness and acceptance.

Let’s go back to real discrimination based on race and gender. These people were identified on sight and laws were written to restrict their rights. Sometimes these people tried to “pass” in order to gain rights. Sexual orientation and expression is activity-based, even if the drive to engage in activity is natural for them. One can pass for long periods of time by not making their sexual activity known.

Sexuality is a dumb thing to use to define one’s self. This is an enlightened enough society to know that these orientations are not a series of buckets one falls into. It’s a spectrum. Some never stray from the shallow end of the pool, some experiment and some never find one place to be. Polite society used to use the buckets, now the snowflakes who want to be special use them.

For years, Democrats and the Left have been trying to convince everyone who wasn’t a White male that the federal government could force normalization against everyone who made them feel bad. Originally, they would just target those groups. Eventually, the groups got strong enough that Democrats had to cater to them. Being White, male or both was bad and the only way to be good was to denounce your own identity.

Calling Trump supporters White Nationalists is both accurate and an attempt to socially ostracize them. Many White Trump supporters are nationalists. They prefer America. They don’t minimize American exceptionalism like Barack Obama did. They also won’t be shamed because they probably gave up on the people who would shame them long ago.

That’s how Trump won. This is how he can lose.

Back in 2009, the GOP was dead. For the most part, it’s still dead. The Tea Party came about and represented everything Pat Buchanan stood for in 1992 and Trump talked about in 2016. The Democrats can retool in the next 18 months, even if their movement is more AstroTurf than grass roots. I’m kind of apolitical about it.

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Watching and Waiting

February 18, 2017
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I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

-Ecclesiastes 9:11

Politico is engaged in Plan B of stopping President Trump, driving a wedge between Trump supporters and Republicans who don’t find Trump very conservative or presidential. They posted a profile Friday of Mark Sanford, a man who left office after being discovered having an affair. Sanford has moved from the South Carolina Governor’s mansion to a seat in Congress, with the possibility of running for Senate. He’s also not a fan of Donald Trump.

Most of the standard Trump criticisms don’t necessarily apply to Sanford. He is neither a “loser” nor “failing.” Sanford never lost an election. He may be sad, but only about the people he’s hurt. Sanford had an affair. Trump had an affair and a child out of wedlock. Sanford dropped out of politics. Trump lost a billion dollars.

The reason Obama had almost unlimited authority in 2009 was because the 50 state strategy had put about 60 Democrats in the Senate and 255 in the House. Obama then proceeded to destroy the reelection chances of every conservative Democrats and erode his party until they lost majorities in both houses and a good number of governorships. Trump has 52 Republicans in the Senate and berates the party when it suits him. The 2018 election season has already begun.

Republicans saw what happened to the Democrats from contested districts who supported an unpopular law (Obamacare) at election time. The Trump agenda is only as viable as Trump’s ability to keep Congress members in office. Cabinet appointments are one thing, but there are about a half dozen Republican Senators who would be better off if Trump had to slink away to obscurity in the next 18 months. Antagonistic press conferences will keep Trump supporters calling and harassing RINOs, but it won’t help the politician whose already on Trump’s enemies list.

Time is not on Trump’s side. Not only has a plan not been started, but impotent bluster just highlights how long the Trump administration has been making the same mistakes and not actually done anything.

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February 13, 2017

When the first Tea Party inklings started just about 8 years ago, the left ignored them, mocked them and quickly tried to copy them. There was the Coffee Party, Occupy and ultimately, Bernie Sanders. They learned that the only way to use the Tea Party method was to recreate the conditions. The first protests just a day after Donald Trump’s inauguration were when I saw this happening. In true liberal fashion, they are organized, but unlike Occupy, they have a manifesto.

What’s ironic about this guide is that it pretty much debunks the idea that the Tea Party was AstroTurf while explaining how to mimic a locally-focused plan of resistance and criticism. Obviously, this plan of action is worthy of mockery and some of the agitators are either professional protesters or paid day players. However, that defense won’t end their agenda.

My concern can be seen as concern-trolling, but there are some differences between now and 2009 that make even a fake protest movement effective enough.

  1. Trump won with 46% of the vote. The White House is set for the next 4 years, but seats in Congress have to deal with a president who broke 50% in about half the states and a president who has shown no interest in helping anyone in a contested district.
  2. Employment is a lagging indicator. The companies who committed to hire thousands of employees are under no legal obligation to do so. Even if they do, those jobs may not be filled for years.
  3. Cheap foreign oil beats expensive domestic coal. Dropping EPA regulations on coal mining and gas exploration will not have much of an impact for years. Saudi Arabia has shut down the fracking industry by overproducing. A free market means that the US can’t simply pay more for domestic energy for a decade until the Middle East learns a lesson.
  4. Trump would rather be adored by a few than favorably tolerated by many. Whenever Trump is confronted with red meat statements that are nearly impossible to implement, he doubles down. The president not only fights Democrats, but he offered little in olive branches to Republicans who weren’t on the Trump Train. They could stay home in 2018.

For the record, I don’t want Hillary Clinton to “win” and the way to do that is solidify a slightly larger Republican base and for Trump to listen to people not named Steve once in a while. Trump is getting big things done, but he’s also focusing on petty issues. He’s on a hot streak, but they’re all hot streaks until they end.

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February 3, 2017
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Donald Trump has been president for two weeks and the push back is yuge.

Federal judges have issued more and more specific and wide-ranging rulings on the travel ban as they were being ignored by the administration. The guy running the justice department today is going to have to get a stay on the restraining order that is already letting the “banned” people with Visas onto planes headed for the US.

This does, however, reduce the necessity for pro-Trump blogs to even bring up the mess in Yemen this week where a plan rejected by Obama was green-lit by Trump, Bannon and whoever else was at the situation room dinner at the time.

And yes, I am blaming this on Trump. Did he really think the minority of people who voted for him was going to turn around the whole country on a ridiculous bit of security theater? If you want to cut out the heart of the left, you take their money. That’s what Scott Walker did in Wisconsin.

The cracks are starting to appear and it took a whole fortnight.

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