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11 January 2021

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English Outsider

Walrus. Great article. And also of course the comments. I'd have refuted them all a decade or so ago simply by saying "What are you worried about? You have the vote, don't you? Why not use it?"

Can one say that any more? I've tried every diabolus advocatus argument I can think of - there are very many, especially in this time of Covid - and cannot avoid the conclusion that the recent American vote was dubious. And now, very reluctantly, am forced to the conclusion that we'll never know how dubious. Never mind those voting machines. The postal vote is not safe.

Nor is the more old fashioned system we have in England. The postal vote is the weak point here too. And creeping in - to a negligible extent so far, I believe, but it happens apparently - is the practice of photographing one's completed ballot paper. So even in the privacy of the voting booth there's a way of checking that the vote that's been paid for or forced has been cast as promised.

And even ten years ago my argument - that we have the vote so why don't we use it - would have been naive in any case. The politicians know as well as we do that the solid blocks on either side of any argument aren't going to be shifted whatever nonsense they put out. But there's a segment in between who vote pretty well on a whim. The show the politicians and the media put on is directed at that segment. We get the politicians that easily influencable segment decides we get.

Fiddling around with voting systems isn't the solution. Proportional representation or first past the post doesn't do much in the face of election fraud or heavy duty media persuasion of the undecided.

Then there's the simple arithmetic of voting in a society split many ways. In a homogenous society the result of an election is the sum of a host of disparate decisions on disparate issues. My farmer friends and neighbours will choose a party that promises them viable farming. My prog friends and neighbours - yes, I have many. White Flight is not only an American phenomenon - will vote on quite different considerations. It's a free for all jumble and from that emerges a decision we are pleased to call democratic.

Put in the middle of that a solid minority bloc that votes almost exclusively on one issue and the result of the free for all jumble is determined by those often quite small minorities. A group that only votes one way will determine the result when in among a group that votes all ways.

So for all these various reasons voting no longer answers the question of how "We the people" can control those who govern us. Maybe it never really did, but we were happy in the belief it did even if that belief was always mostly illusion.

That illusion stripped away, what is the answer? I don't believe insurrection or mob violence is. Even if it were to be possible in today's heavily controlled society it always ends up with worse than one started with. Nor is retreating to some safe hideaway, Tyler style. There aren't any.

A comment here recently posited that there was no answer. We are condemned to further travel on the road downhill until, finally, we reach the bottom. Maybe build something from the ruins. Don't like that answer much either. I expect a better life for my children. Not more of the same until it all collapses.

So, Walrus, I'm forced back to that old con, the vote. In 2016, in England and in the States, there were votes that said as clearly as votes can "We're not having it any more." Both votes now seemingly rubbed out of history. But only seemingly. Did we expect victory with the first engagement?

JM Gavin

Walrus,
I have no idea what book you are talking about, and I'm not interested in playing games about your national origin. You've exhausted my limited patience and interest in you.

JMG

dsrcwt

I see two problems with the Silicon Valley hype. This data was supposed to allow advertisers and political parties to provide tailored messages to move the electorate. They couldn't move at least 75 million smellies, even with the msm casting aside all pretense of objectivity. If I were an advertiser paying big bucks to Google and Facebook, I would seriously wonder if I was getting anything for my money.

Now they are throwing the smellies off their platforms, so how are they going to monitor/nudge them.

Deap

A very early internet saying stuck with me - a warning from posters who could retaliate with flame wars ...back then in the web's first trial-run days. Circa 1990's.

Do not poke sticks at dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup. A more poetic expression of censorship, but censorship none the less. Circa 1990's.

Same as today- censorship using the threat of violence. Same protection-extortion racket third level gangsters so fondly use. Or the gun-slingers at the OK Corral. Fight back or fight forward. Are they our only two choices?

Barbara Ann

Walrus

I'm confident the spirit of the other George will win the day, so I'll happily take your bet. What use would my money be anyhow in the dystopian Hell you describe?


TTG/crash_1nterupt

"Luckily for her..". You don't think Parler was a honey pot for Right-wing refugees from other SM all along? This 'hack' seems to have been a highly effective way to both identify and 'incriminate' a whole lot of Trumpists in one go. I looked at Parler myself, but got no farther than them asking for my phone number.

srw

Here's a thought after watching the mob storming the Capital. If they had tried that at Offutt AFB near me they would most likely have been shot as has happened in the past. Why the difference? Are planes more important than the members of Congress?

Deap

Parler demands a cell phone number - that rules me out. No cell phone. I had no intention of using their site, just a protest sign-up to increase their numbers.

Mark K Logan

Walrus,

My selection for dystopian fantasy is Vonnegut's "Player Piano". Seems significantly more plausible. Trump as the one thing standing between "1984" and us? No. We must find a new Messiah.

turcopolier

srw

C'mon man! The military does not secure the Capitol.

A. Pols

@Walrus
The American people will just roll over? Maybe they will, but their having done so to date probably has much to do with their having received sufficient swag to keep their grumbling down to a low rumble. But we did have a peek this summer at what could happen. The riots, though ostensibly all about BLM, were more Antifa using BLM as a pretext to run wild in the streets and had among them many disaffected white punks (the 3 punks shot by Rittenhouse were all convicted felons, convicted of antisocial crimes) and generally unattractive women who have in common a general tendency towards resentment and antisocial attitudes and behaviors. let the flow of money dry up and general upheaval may come to pass and it won't be in the service of positive change. That much I'm sure of. By the way I really appreciate your posts on this blog.

The Twisted Genius

Fred,

Parler depended on a free trial version of Okta's user authentication platform. That was a monumentally stupid move. They had no contract to be breached. Okta shut off access to this trial version of their service as soon as they found out on Saturday. This was their announcement:

"We were notified that Parler was using a free trial of Okta’s product and we have terminated Parler’s access to the Okta platform. While we support organizations across the political spectrum, our platform will not be used for threats of violence and illegal activity."

Barbara Ann,

I doubt Parler was a honeypot. If it was set up as one, that means John Matze, Rebekah Mercer and Dan Bongino are undercover libs out to destroy Trump, the Trumpers and the Q freaks. You best not trust anybody in a MAGA hat. They're probably all out to get you.

Jim Buck

Maybe the future always belongs to the omega types, rather than the alphas? The Drake Equation posits a evolutionary sieve which winnows out armed and manly civilisations, before such hombres can shoot-up the rest of the cosmos. Perhaps the rest of the cosmos is like everything we here hate: latte drinking, effete anthropologists, into probing prohibited parts of the body. Abductee reports seem to bear that out: greyish skin, puny torsos, over-amped foreheads, probes.
Could it be that those guys don’t just cut through our skies, but also interfere in politics down here? Skinny, nerdy, bastards may be trying to engineer us into some kind of socialist space federation:

https://science.thewire.in/spaceflight/j-posadas-communism-intergalactic-ufo-trotsky/

Other dupes of these critters may be on our side, yet not realise how the they are being manipulated:

https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/11/11/20882005/accelerationism-white-supremacy-christchurch?fbclid=IwAR1UMman2cEbMG_DUqQlM1v_2FrCJR4fsTBjDRnktb1D28aE_CnjoKP0CkQ

Fred

TTG,

So they won't have a contract suit in that matter. That does not negate the fact that once the monopolists got going they coereced all the suppliers of Parler to cancel service to them. That's the power of monopolies. They are crushing people by political viewpoint, the politicians are happy to let corportations do what government is forbidden to do. They will come for them last - Trump is jsut the first of many politicians who had better toe the Comucapitalist line or else. Just ask Jack Ma.

turcopolier

walrus

"When you masturbated watching targeting videos of drone strikes on Afghans." Got any proof of that?

Walrus

Col. Lang, No, breathless hyperbole, but I have had to coax a naked recruit with his loaded rifle off his barracks roof in the middle of the night. He was one of those "I didn't join to learn military discipline, I joined to kill people!" types that the Psychs normally weed out.

There are such things as military onanists. They often fantasize about being in the services and sometimes act out or pretend to have been places and done things. It seems to be a teenage or young adult thing. Mostly harmless.

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