Monday, October 8, 2018

(#2)Fruits of our Failures to Engage, Sen. McConnell thanks "women clowns" - Kavanaugh debacle

At the previously mentioned dialogue over at ATTP the following article was introduced with: 
Can better communication move people from a state of apathy to action on man-made climate change, or will it take a catastrophic Black Swan climate event* to do so?  For more about the apathy problem, read…
It struck me as ironic coming on the heels of yet another profoundly damaging Democratic Party failure.  That is their inability to stop the GOP Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination atrocity against democracy.  It serves as yet another example of avoiding the real issue and talking past each other.  So I selected the following quotes before trying to enunciate what’s missing. 

"Climate change apathy, not denial, is the biggest threat to our planet”
By Leo Barasi, Oct 5, 2018, The Guardian

The easy way to cut emissions – closing coal power stations – is exhausted. Now the public has to be convinced to make sacrifices

“Partisanship is a problem, too. Arguments about climate change are often polarised between left and right, and the public widely see it as a left issue. This is a problem because people are more likely to believe what they hear from those they identify with, and to reject what they hear from others. …”
“And there are more psychological barriers. Cutting emissions requires people to trust authorities to be competent, honest and fair – a tall order at a time when only a third of people say they trust government. …”
“Yet, daunting though these barriers are, they can be beaten with political leadership and honesty. …” (nice, a wave in the general direction of the need for truthfulness, but it still misses the boat)
Begs the question how many ‘Black Swan’ events do we want.  Have you checked in on the running tally over at the Understanding Climate Change channel lately?  *

Regarding Senator McConnell gloating: “Mitch McConnell thanks ‘these clowns’ (aka rape victims) for protesting Kavanaugh”  by Kaiser,  October 08, 2018

*Okay, that's just a tally of significantly destructive weather events, "black swan event" is of another order of intensity (see Chris Mooney's article, ).  The bad joke there, by the time we get to the truly hyper-storm stage, you can be sure society will have already been knocked resoundingly on its pins.  Consider the tempo of extended droughts, torrential rains, destructive winds, rising sea levels and cyclone intensity storm driven waves - that's not slowing down baby.

Personally I have a weather/climate baseline set in the 1960s and '70s, I remember getting dismissed (in the '70s, '80s, and since) for being into Earth sciences and climate science and concerned about stuff like increasing our atmospheric insulation and the fearful cascading consequences of the resulting global warming.  We first learned about the obvious, melting ice caps, shifting climate zones, weather disruption, worse storms based on commonsense physics.  

Still the fundamental physics driving all this was thoroughly understood that's to US Air Force scientists.  Its true that specific mechanisms were far from well understood.  But, please we knew about the fundamentals physics driving the show.  Warm a closed system, it's going to increase activity.  

Any fundamental appreciation for our biosphere and society's complexities makes it obvious that this is a lose lose situation for humanity and our individual lives, no matter where on the economic scale you stand.

But tragically back then society was too busy learning how to dance to the new Reaganomics' siren song, Greed Is Good, Too Much Is Never Enough, Maximize Profits-Minimize Expenditures and Externalities.  Endless economic growth was the promise most everyone bought into.  Encourage corporations to gobble up each other in a ruthless drive for personal enrichment, until they are big enough to buy up and privatize our US government.  

What's most galling is how little appreciation people have for the complexities of society and business and transportation and communication.  Everyone seems to be taking it all for granted as they run around chasing entertainment.  and so on and so forth. (10/22/2018)


My response:
I read Barasi’s article, can’t disagree with a thing. Although lets be honest that article was simply a repackaging of what’s been written many times, for decades now. It’s as ‘right on’ now as it was in the 90s, the problem is with its omissions.

I could not find a thing addressing the influence of lavishly funded and very methodical, strategic attacks based on deliberately dishonest media campaigns, intent on sowing confusion rather than constructive debate and learning.

You know, all those deliberate campaigns to lie about the facts, all intended to confuse an under-informed and rather apathetic public.  Instead, I’m told to look on the bright side.

I’m told that it would be impolite and only a jerk would dare actually talk right into contrarian faces and directly at their lies. 

Only a jerk would make a point of explaining God is in our minds and hearts and is profoundly personal; that no human has a one on one relationship with god, not now, not ever! That what we have is ego and personal drive to do better and have more. That what we need is each other to keep ourselves honest and moral.

Nope instead I’m told keep it polite, don’t ruffle any feathers. I’m wondering should my example be those old white men/women sitting on the Judiciary Committee who keep within everyone’s comfort zone. 

Even if it meant being incapable of exposing Kavanaugh’s rabid partisanship, which was on full display, threatening promises and all. Then standing up to demand that we recognize that in America, such behavior disqualified a person from judgeship, before anything else is even considered!! But no, our Democrat leaders fold yet again.

The precedent has been set and the GOP blood lust has been invigorated to a degree that no Democratic leader dare recognize or address.  Unfortunately.

Now I sit here processing the passing of yet another grievous tipping point which will help make our country’s future worse than we can imagine today. 

All the while, back in the world of Earth’s physical reality, climate communicators continue believing they just need to do a better job of what they been doing for decades.

Excuse my bitter honestly, but I seem to have matriculated from wannabe networking activist to social critic and impotent witness to this slow motion train wreck society is creating for itself.  Now its just basket weaving to help me cope and enjoy my own days as well as possible.

For further thoughts on the meaning of this latest self-inflicted American disaster I’ll let Peter Baker and Nicholas Fandos take it from here.

Show How You Feel, Kavanaugh Was Told, 
and a Nomination Was Saved

By Peter Baker and Nicholas Fandos, October 6, 2018

WASHINGTON — Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh sat in the anteroom of Room 216 in the Hart Senate Office Building, a sterile, living-room-like space with a couch and a couple of armchairs and a large television on the wall. His chances of joining the Supreme Court seemed to be vanishing. “Disaster,” read the text message from one Republican.

Christine Blasey Ford had just finished testifying that he had tried to force himself on her as a teenager, and nearly everyone in both camps found her credible, sincere and sympathetic. President Trump called Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, and they agreed she was impressive. “We’re only at halftime,” Mr. McConnell said, trying to be reassuring.

Mr. Trump thought it was time to bring in the F.B.I. to investigate, as many opponents of Judge Kavanaugh had urged, but when he called the Hart Building, Donald F. McGahn II, his White House counsel, refused to take the call. Instead, Mr. McGahn cleared the room and sat down with Judge Kavanaugh and his wife, Ashley Kavanaugh. 

The only way to save his nomination, Mr. McGahn said, was to show the senators how he really felt, to channel his outrage and indignation at the charges he had denied.

Judge Kavanaugh did not need convincing. He was brimming with rage and resentment, so when he went before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he did not hold back. His fire-and-fury performance — “you have replaced ‘advice and consent’ with search and destroy” — suddenly turned the tables. 

While Democrats thought he went too far (BUT WERE INCAPABLE OF ARTICULATING IT!), demoralized Republicans were emboldened again. In their war room, White House aides watching on television cheered and pumped their fists. …

Sunday, October 7, 2018 I had to write to help me process this latest disaster for America’s democracy and our future.   A bit rough and I’ve run out of time to work with it, but still feel like sharing.  Might as well exercise our freedom of speech so long as we still have it.

This weekend will go down as another profoundly damaging tipping point thanks to Democratic Party complacency.  Consider, the utter failure of Democratic Senators to expose Kavanaugh's extreme partisanship that spilled over into conspiracy theories, hatred, and threats, appallingly displayed in front of the nation.  Rather than highlighting the disqualifying inappropriateness, our Democratic Senators helped normalize it.

For me, yet another heartbreaking hit to absorb.  Our future has gotten a bit uglier and make no mistake, this is a big victory for the forces that want to see another civil war in this country.  People this isn’t like your video games where we can press reset.  

Kavanaugh’s naked extreme partisanship, paranoid conspiratorial machinations, self-control issues, dishonest recollections and omissions, the very rushed nomination process with an utterly ruthlessly self-interested political agenda at play.  Yet our Democratic Senators couldn't expose it.

Best imagine it's going to play out worse than we can imagine.

Democratic Party complacency and insistence on remaining in our comfort zones and talking past our opponents is self-destructive at every turn.  This weekend I can’t help recalling past profoundly awful moments for a healthy American and world future.

For instance, allowing Reagan to get away with the dirty tricks that made him president (here, here, here). 
Then sleeping through the GOP’s marriage with Faith shackled evangelical power interests - and recognizing the dangerous anti-democratic religious takeover plan they hatched (here, here, here, here, here).  
Faith became a foil to justify people disregarding physical facts and fabricating personal hatreds towards ‘others’ - but did Democrats talk about it (here, here)?  
Nah, we went along with the delusion, forgetting that god and faith is a matter of the heart, each and everyone of our individual hearts.  None of us is wiser than the other in regards to the real God of light and time, life and love (here).  
God is too big for any humans to presume to own.  Yet that is exactly we’ve allowed the Republicans with their brainwashed masses to do to our neighbors.  With the help of slick evangelical con-artists (here).
By and by, happy days, we’re back in the White House.  But, Clinton is too full of himself to take his job, or national interest, seriously enough to keep his dick in his pants (here, here).
Gore/DNC not only failed to gather overwhelming victory, they then rolled over for the GOP’s bullying the Supreme Court's millionaires club into handing them the presidency (here, here, here, here)
 { Did it matter?  Consider. }
Then Cheney/Bush spent a year ignored their national security team’s pleas while 9/11 unfolded ( here, here, here
Democratic Party jumping on board GOP opportunism and allowed Cheney/Bush to derail the nation towards attacking a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11 attacks and every informed person knew it, admitting it out loud is what the countless cowards couldn’t get themselves to do;
Bush/Cheney’s Shock'n Awe WAR OF CONVENIENCE & PROFITS, rather than hunting down the perpetrators of 9/11 attacks (with the world on our side), we created thousands of blown up families and untold vengeance lust, but everyone was too busy waving flags and loving our American way, to bother giving it a thought.
By and by, happy days Obama.  What happens?  DNC with their rosy spectacle remained steadfastly oblivious to the extremism his black presence was cultivating with the help of Russian internet media efforts, thus doing nothing about it.  
Losing statehouses and governorships without even noticing - Democratic grassroots efforts and outreach was abysmal.  Same scripts repeated like broken records.
Rolling over, for over a year, on the Merrick Garland Supreme Court Justice nomination, rather than trying to invigorate and engage their public into imaginative persuasive powerful direct action appeals.   
DNC neglecting to cultivate the Obama team.  Then picked the nation's most divisive and passionately hated politician to run for President.   
Laughing at Trump rather than taking that thug and particularly the deep pocketed long strategizing extreme right wing machine behind him seriously.
Mrs. Clinton being incapable of acknowledging or speaking to her opponents talking points - thus never connecting with regular people and never giving her many wannabe supporters what they needed to hear.  Once again, all we heard were broken records, nothing that grip anyone’s imagination.
Now pissed off Kavanaugh - oh, and where the hell was President Obama this time?  I thought he was in this with us?
(perhaps I'll get back to finding interesting supporting stories for the entire list.)

Still, please don’t get me wrong, 
voting third party remains the way of delusionals, now more than ever.  

It would only play right into the GOP's absolutist (if not totalitarian) assault on America’s government.   Yes math matters in a Democracy and election day pragmatic considerations must carry the day.  Especially when in a national emergency.

Citizens need to engage and change the DNC from within.  The Democratic Party for better or worse is the only viable player on the side of America’s pluralistic government Of the People, By the People, For the People; 
serious science, fact-based dialogue, courage in facing facts; 
respect for down to Earth physical processes that we depend on; 
respect for humanity's diversity, personal dignity, diverse communities;  
enlightened self-interest as opposed to ME FIRST's short-sighted self destructiveness.  Republicans have totally abandoned all that in favor of Me First thinking.

Republicans have their self-certain faith that they are better than everyone else and that they have a one on one relationship with the God of light and time, life and love - though they don’t know a thing about God’s ongoing Creation, this Earth (who created us and all we enjoy and need).  

Such God is on My side thinking is the height of blasphemy if you think about it.  The holy books reminds us all, God is beyond our human understanding - so why do we allow people to tell us they are God’s only true children and that they are doing God’s Will, so we’d better get out of their way?

Republicans number one priority is self-interest with profits being more important than people.

Their leaders lives are driven by singleminded dedication to the most profits, for the least effort and too much is never enough.  Honesty, truth, dignity are rejected old fashioned notions and damned be all who stand in their way.  

Beware citizens and make no mistake Trump’s Republicans are absolutists with dreams of totalitarian control and every time we avoid those truths, we lose a bit more of this race to save America’s democratic way of governing.  Sure be cynical and laugh, “we don’t have a true democracy now!”  fool.  Wait till you taste their alt-right theocracy.

1 comment:

Peter Miesler said...

On the way home today I heard an interview that reminded of the theme of the moment. Imagine, it’s going to be worse than you can imagine. Avaricious ruthless minds, meet artificial intelligence, meets social media.

The 'Weaponization' Of Social Media — And Its Real-World Consequences
P. W. Singer and Emerson T. Brooking authors of “Like War - The weaponizing of social media” 405 pages

October 9, 2018
Heard on Fresh Air

P.W. Singer and Emerson Brooking say social media has been manipulated to fuel popular uprisings and affect the course of military and political campaigns. Their new book is LikeWar.

Of course, there’s also the proposition that hope is a survival strategy in hopeless times, and it ain’t over till it’s over. We have one month to try and engage our neighbors to vote.

CNN Poll puts first crack in Conventional Wisdom that Democratic enthusiasm gap vanished
Kerry Eleveld  - Daily Kos Staff