Showing posts from August 14, 2017

Today's Trumpery

[Welcome to the monkey house. A daily pastiche of Trumpisms and responses thereto. "I saw the bodies of my fellow protesters - the brave, smiling, resolute comrades with whom I'd marched and sung and shared candy - fly through the air like shrapnel. I saw his car smash directly into a woman in a blue and green striped top, with blonde curls the same colour as my own; her body flew upwards against the windshield before sliding off. Directly below her, between the murderer's car and the plum-coloured vehicle it rear-ended, another woman struggled to free herself, her small body contorted. The humid air that had only moments before crackled with energy and solidarity was now filled with screams." *RON*]

Under pressure, Trump condemns neo-Nazis, supremacists and KKK: 'Racism is evil’, National Post
Trump faces pressure over indecisive response to Charlottesville clashes, Christian Science Monitor
World leaders condemn ‘racism’ and ‘hatred’ after Charlottesville protests

Partisan Shifts in Views of the Nation, but Overall Opinions Remain Negative

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[The electorate was relatively unhappy under Obama, and it is relatively unhappy under Trump. All that has happened is that somewhat even numbers have shifted from happy to unhappy and vice versa. *RON*]
Pew Research Center, 4 August 2017

Just 26% say ‘their side’ wins more often than it loses in politics

Republicans have become far more upbeat about the country and its future since before Donald Trump’s election victory. By contrast, Democrats have become much less positive. As a result, opinions among the public overall have shown little change – and remain about as negative they were in Barack Obama’s final year in office.

This is the case on several different opinions: about whether life in the U.S. has gotten better or worse for “people like you” over the past 50 years; prospects for the next generation of Americans; and views of current national conditions.

In addition, just 26% of the public say that, on the issues that matter to them, thei…

The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

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["Prince Philip to European aristocracy is what Donald Trump is to American liberal democracy: an embarrassment - the men who flaunt the ugly truth from under the thin veneer of their bourgeois etiquette.... To be tolerant today means we are convinced by the superiority of our own beliefs but out of the generosity of our spirit and goodness of our heart and the superiority of our civilisation we put up with you, for we have no choice." *RON*]

Hamid Dabashi, Al Jazeera, 13 August 2017

"Prince Philip carries out final official engagement," the BBC informed the world on August 2, 2017. "The Duke of Edinburgh met Royal Marines in his final solo public engagement before he retires from royal duties."

There is an air of historic solemnity in the tone of the BBC. "The 96-year-old announced his retirement in May, after decades of supporting the Queen as well as attending events for his own charities and organisations. P…

ICBC is 'on the path to insolvency' and there's no clear fix

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[Recent report concluded rates must rise by 30% in next 2 years to cover costs. Fine, but where were our oh-so-unbiased mainstream media during the eleven years that the liberals plundered ICBC, thus creating this mess? *RON*]

Geordon Omand, Canadian Press / CBC, 13 August 2017
British Columbia's once-celebrated public auto insurer has become a financial train wreck, its critics say, as studies into the beleaguered Crown corporation call for dramatic rate hikes and drastic structural changes to save it from ruin.

But while everyone appears to agree the system is broken, there is disagreement over how the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia went off the rails in the first place and what must be done to fix it.

The crisis at ICBC is shaping up to be the first major financial hurdle for B.C.'s new NDP government.

Attorney General David Eby, who is also the minister responsible for ICBC, blames the previous Liberal government for problems …

Our Hackable Democracy

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[Of course this is a big topic today. Equally, though, there have been accounts of voter fraud since the days of ancient Greece. *RON*
Sue Halpern, New York Review of Books, 10 August 2017
The recent news that thirty electronic voting machines of five different types had been hacked for sport at the Def Con hackers’ conference in Las Vegas, some in a matter of minutes, should not have been news at all. Since computerized voting was introduced more than two decades ago, it has been shown again and again to have significant vulnerabilities that put a central tenet of American democracy—free and fair elections—at risk.

The Def Con hacks underscored this. So did the 2016 presidential election, in which the voter databases of at least twenty-one and possibly thirty-nine states, and one voting services vendor, came under attack from what were apparently Russian hackers. Last September, then-FBI Director James Comey vowed to get to the bottom of “just …