Sunday, July 24, 2016

Odds and Ends

I am afraid my posting has been pretty inconsistent, and for that I apologize, but I want to put up a few bits and pieces that came to mind today. Once I do that, perhaps I will find some time to actually finish one of my planned more substantive posts.

First, I know I generally avoid current events and thus have not written a lot on the Trump campaign (aka The Cult of the Orange God with the Albino Roadkill Hat), but I made a post today on another site that I thought worth reposting here.
He's a third world dictator of our very own. Look at the traits:

1. He trusts only his family
2. He would do anything to avenge himself for any slight
3. He is convinced he is smarter than everyone else
4. He resents any restraint on his power
5. Money is the measure of influence, if they pay, he supports them.
6. He has established a cult of personality
7. He will not hesitate to ask his followers to exert extra-judicial force to get his way
8. He makes confused and bizarre pronouncements and expect others to praise their brilliance
9. He has a terribly shallow understanding of politics, economics, diplomacy and so on, yet will not trust others to give him advice
10. He feels the need to build up himself and all associated with him as the best, greatest, most wonderful ever, etc
11. He pretends to be diplomatic and magnanimous, but can't help including a few jabs at enemies while doing so, ruining the masquerade
12. He changes position constantly, yet pretends he has always believed whatever the current position is

He is our Marcos, our Ceausescu, our Amin, our Pol Pot. Hurrah! Thank you Trumpkins!
Of course, it is nothing new, and I am sure someone else preceded me with a similar thought, but, since one day this will be far enough back in memory that we will have forgotten how bad Trump was, I want to record it as a reminder should we even again plan to nominate another populist type.

Second, I would like to record, just for the records, my thoughts on the Republican party, voting and the future.

As I recorded before, I am no longer a member of the Republican party. After 28 years I have left thanks to the Trump campaign. As I wrote elsewhere, I believe this is, among other things, a power play by the paleocon, nativist, nationalist wing of the party to redefine the party agenda and reassert their version of conservatism over the small government, free market, largely libertarian version that has held sway overt he party since Reagan

Given that, I do not hold out much hope for the Republicans. Since the convention has certainly alienated a lot of conservatives, it seems likely, even if Trump loses, the party is not going back to a more conservative position. They will not blame the loss on the Trump faction, but on the NeverTrump movement and conservatives in general. So there is no reason to imagine returning to the party, as it will not be the same party I once joined.

The publci will also be more unfriendly to conservatism in general, and Republicans in particular. Since Trump confirms in the public mind all those charges liberals made -- that conservatives are racist, sexist, hateful bullies -- conservatism will have a hard time winning over converts in the future.

Thus, I see our only hope to be both creating a viable third party and renaming our movement. If we present ourselves as federalists, or minimalists or anything other than conservative, and keep our distance from the Republicans, maybe be can avoid the stigma of Trump. Even if we keep the conservative label, but push away from the Republicans, maybe that will be enough.

Finally, the touchy subject of elections. I know a lot of conservatives are either writing in Cruz or just leaving the top slot blank and voting Republican down ticket, or maybe voting for conservative Republicans only. I oppose such a policy. I am refusing to vote for any Republican ever again, for two reasons. First, to make it perfectly clear to all that Trump lost, not because of "traitorous NeverTrump" but because the Republicans alienated their most loyal, largest contributing and most politically supportive faction. Second, so long as being a Republican pays off in financial support and votes, there is no reason for the remaining real conservatives to leave the party. I want to make being a Republican uncomfortable to help speed a third party's creation. And so, though it pains me to let the Democrats walk into office, I am going to avoid all Republicans like the plague.

Lastly, on a more silly note, I am going to  revive an old topic. It is a really small gripe, but one I feel I must make from time to time. Why do we still have daylight savings time? We no longer operate on a strict 9 to 5 schedule, we have more than enough artificial light, A lot of us have flexibility in scheduling, and, if we really see a benefit in doing things an hour earlier or later, we could just change schedules and not clocks.

There are good reasons to stop this absurd ritual. First, it is a nightmare for computer professionals. When the starting date changed int he 90s, we had to patch every single computer in a data center housing several thousand, all so we would have the "right" time. It also means anything that logs in local time will have at least two times a year when the logs are garbage. And, quite honestly, many of us suffer for several days after the shift. It is only an hour, but it is enough that some of us feel like we have jet lag for a while after.

And last, but not least, I have a very personal reason. The government is already arrogant enough. They believe the average person cannot run his life on his own, but being elected suddenly makes them not just competent to run all our lives, but experts in economics, military, foreign affairs, science, art and education, among other fields. But that is just not enough for them. It is not enough that they live like royalty in a supposed egalitarian state, that they exempt themselves from many of the burdensome laws they force on us. No, not content with all that, they invent daylight savings time, claiming it "creates more daylight". In other words, despite all evidence, they want to claim they can control time itself. And, in the end, allowing them to believe that is just too much for me.

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