[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Tuesday, 2020-05-19

In the country of the blind

Filed under: Politics,Society — bblackmoor @ 14:19

I made a “Republican party platform” image a while back. I update the death toll numbers on it once in a while. It’s gotten so that any time anyone shares anything about the President or the other Republicans, I just want to reply with that image. Because I really don’t think anything else needs to be said.

I’m not sharing it here, because it hasn’t gone viral (despite my sharing it on Facebook … a lot), which says to me that most people don’t see the Republicans that way. And that makes me sad.

Because they are that way.

Saturday, 2020-04-18

Trump is a symptom

Filed under: Politics,Society — bblackmoor @ 12:33

Focusing on Trump but ignoring Republicans is like thinking that cough syrup will cure COVID-19.

Wednesday, 2020-04-15

Long, tedious political post

Filed under: Politics — bblackmoor @ 08:34

(This was a response I wrote to someone who declared their intent to vote for a Libertarian for President in 2020, to “send a message” to Democrats. I spent a fair amount of time writing it, so I wanted to preserve it in case I had occasion to use it again.)

Just FYI, I voted Libertarian for a decade or so. ( https://www.blackgate.net/blog/the-problem-with-libertarians/ ) I’ll point out a couple of things that you might or might not have realized.

1) You aren’t influencing anyone with your throwaway vote. With the exception of Gary Johnson in 2016 (more about that in a moment), Libertarians have been lucky to get 1% of the vote — and in most Presidential elections in the past 50 years, they haven’t gotten anywhere near 1%. No one cares about your protest vote: definitely not Democrats.

2) The fact Gary Johnson got 3% in 2016 is, frankly, amazing, but it has less to do with Libertarians than it does with Republicans. Republicans like Rand Paul and Paul Ryan promoted their supposedly libertarian leanings (which was a blatant lie, like everything Republicans say), giving big-L Libertarians a huge amount of publicity in the process. But have you seen Republicans promoting libertarianism recently? Aside from a few breakaways like Amash, no, they haven’t. I am not a gambler, but I am confident that you won’t see the Libertarian candidate break 1.5% in 2020. (See also: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/03/30/republicans-may-finally-be-socially-distancing-themselves-libertarianism/ )

3) Your vote does matter, but only if you use it. We are suffering under the heel of the Republican death cult right now for two reasons (other than the fact that a third of the USA is overtly evil). 1) People who threw their vote away in 2016 rather than using it intelligently, and 2) voters who stayed home. Those people, just as much as the benighted Republican death cultists, are to blame for the fact that the Supreme Court will be dragging us backward for the next 30 years.

4) The establishment Democrats will support the changes that the USA has needed for the past four decades — but not any time soon. Bill Clinton was basically a Republican (what they were before the whole party went batshit crazy). Obama was a little better, and if Hilary Clinton had won in 2016, it would have gotten another tiny amount better (or at least no worse). The mainstream Democrats are conservative. However, the younger Democrats are pushing a progressive agenda that is slowly growing in that party. Change is slow, but it is happening.

Jesus, this is long. One last thing.

5) Libertarianism sounds great. “Pro choice on everything.” “No initiation of force.” etc. etc. It all sounds lovely… in theory. Because that’s all it is. How would a Libertarian administration overhaul our despicable profit-based prison system? How would a Libertarian administration respond to a pandemic? How would a Libertarian administration address the vast and growing income inequality in this country before that inequality leads to chubby bourgeoisie like myself finding our heads in baskets? The answer is either “poorly” or “not at all”, because while Libertarianism is great at sound bites, it is absolutely terrible at addressing systemic problems which history shows result in chaos and death. (See also: https://prospect.org/power/libertarian-delusion/ )

Utopia is not an option. You are never going to get exactly what you want. What you can do is nudge things in a marginally better direction, or stand aside while the Republican death cult drags us all over a cliff. This is the real world, and those are your choices.

P.S. Our antiquated voting system creates a de-facto two party system. Until that voting system changes, voting for a third party is no different than not voting at all. In a time period when the dominant party is deliberately dismantling and pillaging public services, while undermining basic civil rights for a generation to come, there is no reasonable excuse for that.

Monday, 2020-04-13

Republican Party platform: Lies, Hatred, and Death

Filed under: Politics — bblackmoor @ 13:23
Republican Party platform: Lies, Hatred, and Death
Republican Party platform: Lies, Hatred, and Death

Thursday, 2020-02-20

The real cost of “Medicare for all”

Filed under: Fine Living,Health,Politics — bblackmoor @ 20:15

Taking into account both the costs of coverage expansion and the savings that would be achieved through the Medicare for All Act, we calculate that a single-payer, universal health-care system is likely to lead to a 13% savings in national health-care expenditure, equivalent to more than US$450 billion annually (based on the value of the US$ in 2017). The entire system could be funded with less financial outlay than is incurred by employers and households paying for health-care premiums combined with existing government allocations. This shift to single-payer health care would provide the greatest relief to lower-income households. Furthermore, we estimate that ensuring health-care access for all Americans would save more than 68,000 lives and 1.73 million life-years every year compared with the status quo.

“The Lancet”, Volume 395, ISSUE 10223, P524-533, February 15, 2020

Tuesday, 2019-12-31

Refusing to vote is a statement

Filed under: Philosophy,Politics,Society — bblackmoor @ 12:06

People who are fine with white nationalism will be voting.

People who are OK with kids in cages will be voting.

People who are good with Kurds being murdered will be voting.

People who are terrified of LGBTQ people will be voting.

People who believe FoxNews is objective truth will be voting.

People who think Trump was sent by God will be voting.

Politicians are NOT all “just as bad”. If you don’t vote, you are standing aside while the worst of them take your silence as consent to screw over you and your children and every living thing on the planet.

If you refuse to vote, you are making a statement. That statement is, “Do what you want with me, and my friends, and my family, and every helpless person at your mercy. I will not lift a finger to stop you.”

Republican party platform: lies, hatred, and death

Monday, 2019-12-23

White Evangelicals Want Christian Supremacy, Not “Religious Freedom”

Filed under: Civil Rights,Mythology,Philosophy,Politics,Society — bblackmoor @ 18:51

Conservative Christians believe their rights are in peril partly because that’s what they’re hearing, quite explicitly, from conservative media, religious elites, partisan commentators and some politicians, including the president. The survey evidence suggests another reason, too. Their fear comes from an inverted golden rule: Expect from others what you would do unto them. White evangelical Protestants express low levels of tolerance for atheists, which leads them to expect intolerance from atheists in return. That perception surely bolsters their support for Trump. They believe their freedom depends on keeping Trump and his party in power.

White evangelicals fear atheists and Democrats would strip away their rights. Why?, By Paul A. Djupe

To summarize, among atheists who said they loathed Christian fundamentalists more than any other religious group, 65% still said they would be perfectly fine with those Christians having the same rights as everyone else. But among white evangelicals who hated atheists the most — even more than “white supremacists” — only 32% would say the same.

This is a core difference between the two groups and it illustrates why the “both sides are the same” argument is ridiculous. We’re not equally dogmatic but on opposite sides of the spectrum. In fact, these results just emphasize a point I’ve made repeatedly on this site: Atheists fight for religious neutrality, while white evangelicals fight for Christian supremacy.

Study Shows White Evangelicals Want Christian Supremacy, Not “Religious Freedom”, By Hemant Mehta

“You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’ “

— Matthew 15:7-9

Thursday, 2019-09-12

The Electoral College

Filed under: Politics — bblackmoor @ 12:31

Everything in the way the US government is organized is a compromise. From the two chambers of the US legislature, to the Bill Of Rights, to the Electoral College, literally every sentence in our founding documents is a compromise between competing interests (that is a thing that Americans used to be able to do).

The Electoral College was a compromise which was appropriate for its time. In the 1700s, the federal government was weak, the President was little more than a figurehead, and the states were de facto each an individual country.

The question we should ask today is, does the Electoral College do more good than harm for the 21st century USA? It clearly disenfranchises people. The votes of millions of California Republicans, for example, mean absolutely nothing in a Presidential election. They may as well not even be counted. Is that the way things should be?

Wednesday, 2019-05-29

What do you call a Christian without love or mercy?

Filed under: Civil Rights,Philosophy,Politics — bblackmoor @ 09:27

American “Christians” are funny. It’s like they don’t even know the New Testament exists. Their god died for them so that they could love and be loved unconditionally, but they turn their backs on that so that they can continue to indulge their hate.

They should call themselves “Antichristians”. Everything Jesus said to do, they do the opposite.

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

Galatians 5:14

“Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

Matthew 7:1

Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.

1 John 2:4

“You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you:
‘These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’ ”

Matthew 15:7-9

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

He answered, ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ “

“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

In reply Jesus said: “A transgendered man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the transgendered man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the transgendered man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the transgendered man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the transgendered man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.

Friday, 2018-12-07

The problem with libertarians

Filed under: Philosophy,Politics — bblackmoor @ 10:40

I was a capital-L Libertarian for a decade or so. The thing is, they are absolutely opposed to the initiation of physical force, because it’s the single greatest infringement of another person’s liberty. I think this is a good thing. For one thing, it would make the USA far less of an analogue of the Empire in Star Wars.

Gadsden flag

There are, unfortunately, two rather significant problems with libertarians. First, although they are opposed to the initiation of force, far too many of them fetishize the idea of retaliation. Once you do that, it becomes very easy to rationalize any violence or atrocity, because after all, “they started it”. You’ve seen the Gadsden flag, I assume, the one with the snake? “Don’t tread on me”? That’s not a celebration of living in peace and harmony: it’s a fetish symbol for someone who wants the opportunity to use violence and is looking for an excuse.

The second major problem with libertarians is that they are purposefully blind to the fact that physical violence is not the only form of coercion. A libertarian is perfectly fine with a single company buying all of the patents on a life-saving drug and then demanding your life savings for a dose of it, because that’s not physical violence — but it is obviously a direct “your money or your life” form of coercion, to everyone not blinded by their religious fervor. And it is a religious fervor, make no mistake. When you adhere to a creed or philosophy in defiance of the clear and measurable harm that philosophy causes, you have become a religious zealot — a fanatic.

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