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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 18,147

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It's Not Okay.

It's not okay when "they" do it.

It's not okay when "we" do it.

It's not okay when 'you can understand why' someone did it.

It's not okay when 'it was completely unexpected'.

It's not okay when there were "reasons."

It's not okay when it was "without reason."

It's not okay when there's 'background.'

It's not okay 'in context.'


That is all.

About "Bipartisanship"

I believe it is true that "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

I also believe that the overwhelmingly vast majority of human beings are neither entirely 'good' nor entirely 'evil' by inherent nature. We are all human. We are all capable of doing incredible acts of altruism, and we are all capable of acting with tragic selfishness.

I also believe we are almost all capable of learning from our mistakes- although at very different rates, and that capability is much affected by personal, social, and cultural characteristics. But the capacity is there.

Bipartisanship SHOULD be possible.

Why doesn't it happen more often? Especially when we have had such powerful demonstrations of how bad the outcomes can be when we refuse to go there?

There are lot of reasons, I guess.

The most fundamental one starts with semantics: The "bi-" in bipartisanship implies a duality, a spectrum or arc with two endpoints and a middle. It also implies reciprocity and compromise. It rejects the zero-sum model in favor of achieving common good through mutual sacrifice.

Willingness to embrace bipartisan operations relies on both an understanding of the non-zero-sum model, and a minimum level of trust between the parties that the understanding is shared and mutual reciprocity will be forthcoming.

American culture- and the politics that are a product of that culture- has devalued the non-zero-sum model, and profoundly embraced a zero-sum model. This has resulted in the growth of a short-term reward/penalty system based on zero-sum outcomes for almost all of our economic and political operations.

I don't think it's going to change quickly, but it can change with leadership from both sides: Citizens, voters, and party members who are willing to look beyond the zero-sum model and base their support and feedback on more 'reward' than 'punishment,' and leaders, elected officials, and advocates who are willing to take risks and highlight the values of non-zero-sum outcomes and long-term commitment, rather than short-term victory.

It has been a long, strong tide in the wrong direction. But I still hope the shift can happen.

I don't minimize the difficulties, nor the pain of the short-term costs.

But I still hope.


Dear World: Laugh at us some more, please

Dear World,

Don't think I haven't been aware of the sniggers, the sly jokes, the snide remarks about America and Americans that have been gathering steam since early on November 9th, 2016. Intermittently, of course, they change to incredulous gasps, followed by full-throated guffaws and nigh-uncontrollable belly laughs.

Yes, it's humiliating. No, I don't actually enjoy it.

Nevertheless, America merits it for allowing ourselves to be conned into condoning the brazen theft of our democracy by a cabal of ignorant, nihilistic, dick-banging clowns.

And while not all of us went gently into this choking, devastated, tempest-riven night (and indeed, we are fighting, continuing this fight and will NEVER give it up), those of us who had no part in it and continue to resist can handle a little personally-unmerited humiliation and ridicule for the sake of a greater priority: a livable planet for our grandchildren.

Although it's almost impossible to know the operational facts of our particular rake's progress in Washington, it does seem clear that until fairly recently, a final decision about the Paris Accord rested in abeyance. There was real, albeit small, hope that science, expertise, and diplomatic experience might have a chance to prevail. Of course, last week's visit to Taormina and the latest round of carefully diplomatic politesse and carefully-but-thinly-veiled snubs seems to have been the thumb on the wrong side of the scales.

The Bottomless Sinkhole of Ego Fragility, ever-sensitive to the least intimation that the boundless admiration and respect to which He Is Entitled is being withheld, was of course onto y'all in spite of all the formal protocol. The soccer ball pic didn't help, either, but I'm totally not blaming anyone for it. I'll even pretend to believe it had NOTHING to do with the weirdness in Riyadh.

Because, seriously, nothing short of the kind of bizarre all-autocrats-together grotesquerie of excess the Saudis cannily whomped together for him could ever have convinced him otherwise, especially after the extreme awkwardness of the Israel and Rome visits.

To say it bang: He believes you were laughing at him. He suspects you'll keep doing it, even while he finds it utterly incomprehensible that anyone could fail to appreciate his near-superhuman accomplishments in every conceivable area of massive-dick dominance.

And today's Samson-in-the-Temple I SHALL DESTROY YOU ALL HAHAHAHAHAAHHHH!!! stunt is the response. So much so, that he even went off-script, ignoring the teleprompter's carefully-phrased list of disingenuously spinning talking-points, to say so: "At what point do they start laughing at us as a country?"

Well, he's had the uneasy feeling that the answer is "Hell, they've been laughing at us since mid-2016 if not before," and the reptile cortex under that dead opossum has been diligently protecting him from the shameful reality that he's the focal point for much of the humor.

Today's travesty was just that: Another manifestation of the reptile cortex protecting his fragile bottomless sinkhole of low self-esteem from reality.

So, please. I beg you. We have such a small window if time remaining.

Laugh. Tell jokes. Point fingers. Let loose your best and most trenchant comedians, editorial cartoonists, humor writers, and quick wits among the punditry. A hailstorm escalating to a Category Five hurricane of ridicule of America, Americans, and the cognitively-impaired, selfish, tiny-dick goons that reflect all that's worst in us and who've been elevated so far past their level of incompetence that Laurence Peter's spinning a deep-bore tunnel to Antarctica as I write this.





Those of us with the basic maturity and intelligence to have some perception of how the hell we got here, we can take it.

If we're lucky, though, a wave of catastrophic cerebrovascular accidents, childish tantrums, and blatant incompetence might thin the herd to the point where damage control can begin.

So have at it, please. PLEASE. It's time.

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