Facebook Friendships are Fickle Indeed

May 22nd, 2013 No comments

I have not used this blog for a long time but none of my other webspaces are appropriate to post something of this personal a nature, so here we are.

As a preface, let me note that I have a lot of online friends, almost none of whom agree with me on politics. Anarchists, socialists, conservatives, liberals, even some weirder belief systems; I know a Red Tory from Seattle, for example. That’s a conservative, ultra-small government belief system based on redistributing work rather than wealth; he and I don’t agree on much of anything. But we get along just the same, and that’s true of the overwhelming majority of people I interact with online.

Yet, of all of them, of all time, I have only had one online acquaintance who ever told me that I was unwelcome unless I agreed with everything they said. This is actually not the first time they’ve blown up at me, in public or private, for disagreeing, but it seems like it will be the last. As we have a lot of personal friends, and as I’m now blocked from seeing any of their Facebook comments, I feel the need to protect my reputation from any further, secretive reprisals, so I’m posting the entire disagreement here as a public record.

It started when they supported a petition castigating a judge in a controversial legal case…


I actually read the petition, and some of the highly biased, inflammatory article; as one might expect, I was primarily interested in the legal arguments, not the grisly details of the crime in question. In a nutshell, some wackos liked to make videos about stomping on animals; instead of the local DA pursuing an open-and-shut animal cruelty case, they dropped charges and handed it off to the US Attorney, who wanted to pursue a highly political defense of a law banning so-called ‘Crush’ videos, which involve, well, crushing animals, mostly. This was a highly dodgy legal move because the Supreme Court struck down a very similar law 3 years ago.

The petition goes after the judge in the case, who basically followed Supreme Court precedent (whatever you think of that precedent), and refused to make new law (as trial judges aren’t supposed to do anyway). It seemed very unfair to me to go after the guy, and I said as much in a couple of comments. I actually revised them at least three times to make them sound less confrontational and more polite, and to scrupulously avoid any potential name-calling or other immaturity:


I was actually trying to be conciliatory here, because I don’t disagree that this is a terrible outcome for the public at large. I just don’t agree that blame should fall on the judge following the law for the awful tactical decisions of a prosecutor seeking glory on the legal battlefield.

This didn’t go over well at all, and I was told, once and for all it seems, that if I can’t agree with Nathan, I should remain forever silent to spare him having to hear or acknowledge that differing opinions exist.


I meant what I said too; I really don’t have time for people who only want to hear me sucking up to them, who want praise without criticism, fawning instead of actual discussion.

But fortunately, Nathan saved me a click on the Unfriend option with a message shortly thereafter:


One might take this message a bit more seriously if Nathan hadn’t ragequit the conversation by unfriending me immediately after sending it, so that I can’t even send a response. I guess seeing that would also offend Nathan’s fragile sensibilities.

To the fullest extent possible, I mean no ill-will here. If I can’t comment on someone’s posts I don’t need them cluttering up my Facebook feed. But at the same time, given this childish, highly emotional, namecalling response, I also don’t trust Nathan to represent this final disagreement between us fairly, so I’m posting it up, unedited, so that everyone can see the truth. If, after all the cursing, petulance, and personal insults, anyone feels I’m in the wrong, they’re welcome to say so. I won’t ban anyone simply for disagreeing with me.

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The Next Four Years (A Rough Guide)

November 7th, 2012 No comments

On this election eve I fired up the old on-semi-permanent-hiatus page as a place to park some general predictions about the next four years.

0) Obama is going to win. I mean seriously. Romney was perhaps the worst candidate in modern history. This result was more or less foretold before the nomination.

Now for the real predictions:

Domestic Policy:

1) Obama will cut Social Security and Medicare. He’s been pushing for a ‘Grand Bargain’ on ‘Entitlements’ for most of his first term. As a second-term incumbent he doesn’t have to worry about re-election, so this time he’ll make it happen.

2) Watch the Lame Duck Session. This ‘fiscal cliff’ thing that has so many liberals betting on Obama? He’ll use it to betray them instead. Watch for massive cuts to social spending to preserve the Pentagon budget as much as possible.

3) More fracking, more drilling, more carbon. The next four years will see a massive increase in all the dirty fossil fuels Obama can help yank out of the ground. ‘Clean’ coal, fracked natural gas, oil drilling, especially offshore. No action whatsoever will be taken on global warming. Which brings us to…

4) Keystone XL. The Obama admin wants it, the environmental lobby hates it. He won’t need them anymore, starting November 7th.

5) The ACA will fail. The parts that deployed early already have, like the high risk pools. It will only get worse once the Exchanges come online. Now that the Supreme Court cleared the way for states NOT to expand Medicaid, all you really get is a mandate to buy lousy insurance from the same murderous companies that sold lousy insurance you couldn’t afford before. Only the government will pay for some of the premiums. Wheee!

How will it fail? Two possibilities. 5a: It will be extensively revised to try and make it look like a success. Probably by dramatically cutting its scope. or 5b: It will not be modified, and become so hideously unpopular that it will be repealed.

6) Marijuana. Obama will fight tooth and nail to block either expansion of medical marijuana or legalization. More raids on dispensaries, more families destroyed.

7) Immigration. Obama has ramped up the rate of deportations far beyond Bush, and this will continue.

Foreign Policy

9) Undeclared Wars will continue in Obama’s second term. We already have them in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia. We’re still digging out of the mess in Libya. Mali’s coming soon, but first…

10) Iran. Our crippling sanctions have already deprived millions of Iranians of life-saving medicine, but in his second term, Obama will escalate. We’re already conducting terrorist bombings and cyberwar, a real hot war can’t be too far behind. Israel may do it for us, with tacit permission. Or maybe we’ll just starve them into submission, but I’m guessing actual bombs will fall.

11) Ecuador. We’ll find a way to make them pay if they don’t hand over Julian Assange. Guaranteed.

12) South America in General. Might not happen in the next four years, but the US is going to punish South America for voting actual leftists into power.

13) The Drug War. Tens of thousands dead in Mexico won’t stop us from fueling the hemisphere wide conflict with guns and money.

14) Drones. The be-all and end-all of the Obama foreign policy, the apotheosis of technocratic power. Murderous sky-robots flown by ‘pilots’ using PS2 graphics. These will be escalated dramatically, and other countries will rush to get their own flying. It’s a brave new era of civilian massacres.

That’s enough for now. Happy Election Day!

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Permanent Hiatus

December 22nd, 2011 No comments

I keep not wanting to admit it, but I don’t want to come back to this blog. Not now, anyway.

It’s just too depressing! Politics and the stuff I’m interested in, and the online Liberal blogosphere, it’s all too depressing to write about regularly.

I’d rather do something else, meaningful. And I’m working on that, and some of it’s going quite well.

For now though, no more political bloggery. I’ll eventually retool this site and space for something brand-new. Probably take most of this blog down, let Internet Archive keep the memories alive.

If anyone needs political news, my advice is: don’t read the big Lefty blogs. They’re pretty useless or self-involved. I’ve given up on almost all of them. FDL especially.

Instead, if you want to hear about politics, get on Twitter. Oddly, that’s where the real news is, especially the stuff about Occupy Wall Street.

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