Category Archives: Politics

Facebook: Promoting Lies for Cash

Facebook still insists it’s totally OK for them to help politicians lie to you for $$$.

Not just misleading ads, or controversial opinions, or varying interpretations, but outright lies. Totally fine with it!

Facebook says they don’t want to be in the business of fact-checking, but they have policies against false commercial advertising. Truth in advertising is critical because commerce requires trust and informed choices.

SO. DOES. DEMOCRACY.

It’s even more important in politics.

Ten Shots

Off-duty cop fires ten shots at an unarmed intellectually disabled man and his family from twenty feet away, killing him and critically wounding his parents, because he pushed him in a Costco food line 3.8 seconds earlier.

No charges filed, because he had “no choice.”

  • 10 shots at 3 unarmed people.
  • 20 feet away.
  • In a crowd.
  • 3.8 seconds after being knocked to the ground by a man who was already 20 feet away by the time he fired.

And yet he had “no choice but to use deadly force.”

You’re seriously telling me there were no other choices?

It’s still not clear what started it. But the dead man had schizophrenia and was adjusting to a change in his medication, and his parents were trying to de-escalate the situation when they were shot.

Which the cop could’ve tried if he hadn’t started shooting immediately.

That’s Not Federalism

So, does denying California the ability to set its own environmental standards fall under “states’ rights” or federalism? And is it pro-business to tell automakers that they’re not allowed to make deals with the state?

Your daily reminder that the GOP only cares about states rights when the states are trying to interfere with people’s civil rights, and only cares about federalism when, well, more or less the same, and is only pro-business when they like the business. And of course they’re only pro-family when the families look like theirs, and they’re only pro-freedom of religion when it’s their own religion, and so on down the line.

They talk a lot about conservative principles, but judging by actions, they’re just rationalizations.

Fix the small problem, break the big problem

If you have a big problem and a small problem, and you solve the small problem in a way that makes the big problem worse, that’s a bad solution.

Imagine “solving” a squeaky air conditioner fan by breaking the AC completely!

In the US, people voting who shouldn’t is a much smaller problem than people who should be allowed to vote not being able to, or mishandling of ballots after the vote. Voter ID laws and roll purges “solve” the smaller problem by making the bigger problem worse.

(You might already have an acceptable ID, or the documentation needed to get it — and the time and money to handle it. But what if it’s hard to get the time off? What if you can’t cover the fee without skipping meals? What if you need to cross two states to get the docs and can’t afford the car/gas/motels?)

If you assume good faith? Pushing to block people from voting, while simultaneously refusing to protect registration rolls or polling machines from mishandling or cyberattacks that we know are ongoing, is bad problem solving at best.

But it’s hard to assume good faith. Because those ID requirements and purges are more likely to unfairly disenfranchise people who might vote Democratic. And the ongoing Russian attacks that Mitch McConnell doesn’t want to guard against have favored the Republicans.

So it’s really easy to conclude that GOP politicians don’t want fair elections. They want elections tilted in their favor. Even if it means leaving the door open for a hostile foreign government to attack.

And anyone else who finds those vulnerabilities.

What’s in a Name? (1984 Edition)

I always find it weird when someone insists that 1984 is warning about socialism because of the party name. The horrors committed by IngSoc are authoritarian, and have nothing to do with whether the economy is socialist, capitalist or communist, or the state is a republic, monarchy, etc.

You could easily imagine a libertarian state where a big enough corporation has the powers of ubiquitous surveillance, controls communication and information, has violent agents asserting control over people, etc. Same abuses, no socialism.

I mean, Cyberpunk corporate dystopia is an entire genre.

And we don’t even need to imagine giant corporations with microphones in homes, tracking people’s every move, mediating their communications and their access to knowledge, driving them toward the daily outrage.