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flight and shadow

Saturday, April 2, 2016

The tao of dinosaurs

Would like to make a brief comment without getting drawn in too deep. I am a political taoist. When the conservatives are in power, I tend towards the liberal and vice versa.

We need both liberalism and conservatism in this country to check each other,  left unfettered either would bring a total welfare state or a return to a calvinistic serfdom.

Having said that, it also seems like we have an awful lot of entrenchment on both sides that has little to do with political philosophy, not to mention a whole bunch of hypocrisy.

The Republican party is in shambles. They have lost the idea war. The establishment is about as popular as a fart in church. Their current candidates are perfect products of a fractured base. A xenophobic deal maker is exploiting the most base fears of a very frightened segment of voters in order to seize power. His number one challenger is almost worst, an evangelical ideologue who has done nothing but obstruct governance and alienate his own colleagues in his Senatorial position.

The species once known as Republican moderate or centrist is now extinct and the establishment has been repudiated by an angry base. Is the Grand Old Party doing a slow slog towards extinction?

It is sad to think that this is the best that the party of Lincoln can do, or should I say, have represent their party. Neither Trump nor Cruz stand a rat's chance of winning a national election and the question is how much that will affect the downstream races.

More and more it is looking like Republicans are on the wrong and losing side of history on so many issues, coal, global warming, environmentalism, choice, tolerance, so called "religious liberty" to name a few.

 It is clear that their message is stale and does not resonate with the great majority of the younger generation, who are remarkably free of the racist and orientation biases of their forbearers. The party of old ideas.

We are experiencing a paradigm shift. Sometimes political movement is slow and steady and there are other times in which we reach a sort of Gladwellian tipping point and things start to move very fast. The reflexive move at that point is to bunker down, retrench and regress into the comfortable past and sometimes we do that without thinking.



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A case in point is Tesla. Tesla is rewriting (or should I say rebooting) the paradigm for selling cars, direct to consumers, perhaps one day large Amazon drones will drop them right on your lawn like christmas presents.

Yet in six states, it is actually illegal to sell Tesla's cars directly to consumers without an intermediary.

Now they can tell you a lot of hogwash about protecting consumers, but the real reason is money. Car dealers tend to be conservative Republicans and the states that don't allow Tesla are mostly red, Arizona, Michigan, Texas, Connecticut, Utah and West Virginia. Detroit and the traditional car makers are plainly scared of the feisty little upstart with its revolutionary technology. Look ma, no engine.

Tesla has been legally proactive, they upset a General Motors backed ban in Indiana in 2014. You can now buy a car directly from Tesla in 21 states.


A 2013 Federal Appeals court ruling on coffin manufacturing may put the final nail in the troglodyte states positions' on the matter.

I am excited about the new Tesla, a $35,000 car that was just rolled out. I think that the company is revolutionizing the car business. And I think that the opposition to its method is old fashioned protectionism at its worst. Sort of like keeping a dirty, filthy beast like the coal industry alive, a technology which is clearly past its time, environmentally reprehensible and on life support.

Are you on the side of progress or are you going to cast your lot with the dinosaurs?

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Interesting case east of us over there in Arizona. Republicans claim to be for less government and less regulation. More hogwash.

They claim to be interested in the health of women but in reality they are trying to enforce their moral vision. Fine. Liberals do that too. But this one is so blatant and deceptive.

Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey announced on Thursday that he had signed three bills targeting abortion providers. One of those required them to follow outdated federal guidelines for the most common abortion drug, RU-486 and prescribe it at much higher doses than needed.
The signing of the bill, Senate Bill 1324, is likely to jump-start a federal court case that had blocked a previous version of the legislation. The bill bars doctors from prescribing the drug commonly known as RU-486 after seven weeks of pregnancy and requires it to be taken only at Food and Drug Administration-approved doses in effect until this week. It also requires the two doses of the drug to be taken at a clinic, while providers now send the patient home with the second pill to be taken days after the first.
On Wednesday the FDA  adopted an evidence-based protocol for RU-486, formally called Mifeprex. This boosted the time it can be taken to 10 weeks' pregnancy and cut the required dosage. Several states, including Arizona, have taken steps to require that it be used at doses adopted in 2000, even though the science for that dosage has been debunked.
"I think they realized that the original label was being used as a way to make it harder for women to get abortions," Liggett said. "It was not about health care at all. It was about creating barriers for women to get this kind of abortion care." 
Donald Trump merely peeled the curtain back on conservative hypocrisy. A majority of Americans support the right of a woman to make her own reproductive health decisions, whether you agree with them or not. To pass laws like these, ostensibly to promote women's health, are a mockery and fail to obscure their real purpose, to control women and to deny them that personal right to choose.

All of these admitting privilege requirements in the red states, the onerous obstacles obliquely erected to halt abortion, really fail to fool anybody. Its not about the health of women, its about Roe v. Wade. Trump's initial position on putting women abortion recipients and their doctors in jail was at least honest.

It is not about protecting women, it is about enforcing a moral agenda, which has been consistently voted down by the American public and a Supreme Court that made the once back alley procedure legal and available.

No one wants to abort a child, and the idea that all of these women were coerced by evil doctors and parts sellers is both wrong and repugnant.

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Which makes Tennessee GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn's latest witch hunt at several universities including UCSD, even more disgusting. She wants names and she is issuing subpoenas.
Already, said Larry Goldstein, the research director for a California regenerative medicine group, the political attacks on the field have caused a freeze in the supply of fetal tissue available to researchers. The halt represents a threat to his research into advances for the treatment of severe spinal cord injury – and a broader field of medicine involved in finding solutions for patients suffering from degenerative diseases and ways to combat the Zika virus.
“The whole focus of the research in my lab is to improve the lives of premature babies that I take care in the hospital basically right across the street,” said Robin Ohls, a neonatologist at the University of Mexico who has been caught in the House dragnet.
Of particular concern to those receiving subpoenas is the request for the names of every researcher with even a tangential connection to the controversial research, as well as support staff.
“How deep does that go?” asked Alta Charo, a University of Wisconsin School of Law bioethicist who has been vocal on the need for fetal tissue research. “You’ve got students who volunteer in the labs to wash bottles. Students who did research that involves cell lines from fetal tissue we received years ago.”
Charo and others said it’s not clear how sharing the names of every one of their researchers or support staff would aid the investigation.
Are we going to allow these ignorant and misguided people to stop lifesaving research in this country, under the guise of helping women, when their true aim is merely to enforce their own moral imperative on the rest of society?

Joe and Roy
The hew and cry over a lame duck President appointing a Supreme Curt justice is especially duplicitous considering many of these Senators are lame ducks themselves. There are so many open Federal judgeships now that Roberts himself says that we are in emergency mode. We have had seven years of do nothing political gamesmanship from the GOP, who decided not to cooperate with Obama early on in hopes of getting back in the driver's seat some day.

But the real idiocy is them claiming that Scalia has to be replaced with an equally conservative justice. Shows what a bunch of hypocrites they really are. Because the Dems did their duty and confirmed Clarence Thomas to take Thurgood Marshall's seat knowing full well that it would upset the ideological balance of the court. But they did the right thing, tough as it was and acted like grownups. I guess it is too much to ask the Republicans to play equally fair.

So if Hillary wins, are they going to stall for another four years? One hell of a way to run a government. Republicanus Stegasori


2 comments:

Jon Harwood said...

Lots of topics, one article--Confucius. I'll stick to one topic--Alfred E. Neuman. Conservatism is redefining itself but so far that process is no where near completion. Perhaps a huge electoral implosion in November will enhance the process. So far the implosion accompanied by potential loss of the Senate and or house looks likely. Who can tell? I can't, not in this incredibly entertaining election cycle. A Sanders v Trump rumble would be really interesting but that doesn't look so likely. Hillary will probably and boringly pull ahead and win the Dem. nod. We may hardly notice her nomination as the mushroom cloud over the GOP convention is liable to be quite distracting.

Anonymous said...

Trenchant to say the very least and and incredibly balanced. The conundrum that mystifies me and leaks into the land of Freudian analysis is as follows. Color me "pro-life": Thus:.Name me a war I have never given support too and those who oppose the killing are unpatriotic. In addition back a foreign policy of $elling $25 billion in weapons-- "pass the napalm" to the world at large. Which of course underwrites killing and in some instances murder.
I believe the fetus deserves unconditional protection, however once born this same fetus is not entitled to universal Heath care as a human being.
In fact let's shut down the U.S.government (subversion) to repeal Obama care and deny 22 million the health care that now exist.
Global warming is a conspiracy thus under my pro-life rubric let life on earth
come under attack and destruction by our mismanagement of resources.
I oppose contraception which is the ultimate manner to avoid an abortion.
Oppose stem cell research which leads to the enrichment and saving of lives.
Last but not least the puritanical repression of sexual pleasure unless imprisoned in repression and sin.
P.s. the indiscriminate utilization of water boarding and torture.
This is an inescapable concatenation of the themes indelibly suffused in all these people. "Paradoxically" for a large majority fortified by their "savior" and his indelible humanity...