Archive for the ‘ Political comment ’ Category

Starbucks Responds to Trump’s Immigration Ban With a Controversial Move


The last time I was in the States, visiting my cousin, who lives in the DC area – we visited a local Starbucks, at my insistence. I wanted to taste their latest coffee blend. I liked it, because it had a distinctive taste.

My cousin took an instant dislike to the place – it was too elitist for his taste. And not really American. He bought his coffee next door at a fast-food drivein. He got a lot of coffee for his money, and he didn’t have to get out of his truck.

Testing Everything

I am still taking a MOOC about User Interface (UX) Design. The instructor is saying things that could easily be expanded to include the Whole World – not just the Computer World.

The basic idea is – try something out to see how well it works.

For Computers – design a product that meets the user’s needs – that he doesn’t know he has. You can tell he has these needs, by watching him in action.

In Politics – devise a solution to a problem, try it for awhile – evaluate the results, and come up with an improvement.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But, as always – the Devil is in the Details. And people can easily deceive themselves into believing almost anything.

You need an objective viewer, standing outside of what is going on, able to see what is really going on – and able to evaluate it.

Such observers do not exist.

Trump is a Typical American

And we can learn a lot about how Americans really are by watching him.

What Americans really were had been carefully hidden from everyone – including themselves. But Trump brings this out in the open – and this is why Americans elected him to represent them. He is them.

Or at least the majority of them – and in a democracy, the majority rules. And Americans have no intention of changing how this works. The Tyranny of the Majority is exactly what they want.

Take his attitude towards Mexicans – he hates them, makes no secret of this, and is out to make them suffer. Is he a typical American this way?

All we have to do is watch the reaction of the majority of Americans to his Anti-Mexican proposals. What are they saying about them? Nothing much.

They are supporting him – by doing nothing against him.

It’s Not Working Because They Don’t Want It To Work

These words came out of someplace in my subconscious.

This part of my mind can use language, and can think. But the rest of my mind runs on emotions, much like that of any other animal. Getting these two parts to work together is a job – and the most important job that any individual, or any society, has.

A job that we have failed at.

Which failure we are aware of, deep in our minds – and have concluded that we are defective, and must be destroyed.

There you have, for free – my analysis of the world situation.

Is the situation hopeless? No – all we have to do is change some attitudes in our collective consciousness. Attitudes toward ourselves.

A sister of mine was part of the Women’s March on Washington, yesterday. They had a good time, she said. I have nothing against people having a good time – but I am asking them “Did you learn anything, or decide to do anything differently?”

She might have said “Maybe,” And I would have to agree with her. The March may be part of a larger trend – that may become important, or may not.

But I would have prefered that those women had made some conscious, written decisions. There are huge advantages to having something written down.

Trying to do this. would reveal that their movement is composed of many movements – some of them in violent conflict with each other. About abortion, for example. Ignoring these differences, is not going to make them go away.

We must be realistic – and see our situation for what it really is.

He Knows the March is Against Him

I don’t have to tell you who He is or what the March is.

I have a sister right now, in the Woman’s March on Washington. If He was smart, he would send his wife to be part of the March (modestly dressed, of course) – and give her lots of publicity. With a Secret Service detail to keep her safe.

Making People Able to Think Again

I am reading Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future – where he talks about solving some problems that we have not even thought about before.

But he is ignoring problems that have existed for a very long time – perhaps forever.

How are people going to live together successfully?

No one has ever figured this one out – and no one ever will.

It involves:

  • Many social situations
  • Many solutions for each of these
  • Many judgements about how successful each of these is

Many, many, many. This is too much to think about – but that has never stopped people from doing something about them.

Usually unsuccessfully.

Saving Liberalism

Foreign Affairs

One way to understand last year’s events is through a theory in social psychology known as “othering.” It explains how identity formation, as well as group cohesion, is facilitated in part by distinguishing oneself from those viewed as different.

Trump worked the othering tendencies of both parties to his advantage. His victory is often explained as a product of racism and anti-immigrant nativism, but it is not as though the American electorate suddenly became more racist than ever before. Indeed, Americans are, on average, more racially tolerant than ever. What changed is that Trump took a longstanding Republican narrative about smug elites one step further. Vulgar “political incorrectness” was a badge of honor to be worn in protest of Washington elites—embodied by his rival Hillary Clinton. Even if many Trump voters did not like his racist or sexist views, they loved his willingness to tweak the noses of polite society. Othering was part of what allowed a billionaire to portray himself as a man of the people.

This article is an example of how easy it is to be a blogger – you just scan through the stuff that crowds into your inbox – and then post a link to the good stuff.

This is good stuff.