Friday, August 18, 2017

How Would The Omnivore Know?

The Omnivore really shouldn't have to write this.

An Omni-Friend (who, to be fair, may no longer consider himself such) who voted for Trump, sent The Omnivore a hard-to-follow email that, as far as The Omnivore can tell (and this is honest--no snark) boiled down to this:

Paraphrase: The Left's "rent-seeking" led to Trump. That "rent-seeking behavior" is exemplified in refusal to acknowledge that a person believes that black lives matter unless they say it in exactly the right way. This demand, (which he described as bullying) is pervasive with the left.
Is this a good point? Well, if black lives matter is a valid sentiment how about white lives mattering too? It would seem to be logical, right?
These Guys Think So

Okay, okay--White Lives Matter might be going a bit too far, yeah? How about the saintly "All Lives Matter"? Shouldn't black people be okay with that?

Huhh. Okay--but who is this guy? Let's look.
Yeah--so, maybe All Lives Matter and White Lives Matter have some really, really obvious associations? Maybe?

When the Omni-Friend expressed his distaste with rent-seeking and accused The Omnivore of ignoring his arguments, The Omnivore asked him: "Do you think black lives matter? How would I know?"

How Would The Omnivore Know?

He hasn't responded. Maybe because he's busy. Maybe because he's pissed. The Omnivore wouldn't blame him for either. You see, he thinks The Omnivore shouldn't be asking that question--he's a good guy (and he is!). He wouldn't let a black guy drown if he was walking by the lake and saw him in distress.

He (probably) gives to charities. He doesn't call black people racist names--he even (probably) voted for Obama. Of course he fucking thinks black lives matter--and he shouldn't have to say it in Just That Way for people to know.

The Omnivore even bets he's got black friends.

So sure--this guy isn't a Kloset Klansman--but let The Omnivore pretend to ask him what he thinks about Philando Castile.

Philando Castile was a black man who was shot in Minnesota in 2016. There was a traffic-stop because the cop thought he looked like a suspect. Philando was in the passenger seat, a three-year-old girl in the back--and, when the officer approached, Philando told him that he was a Concealed Carry Permit holder and had a gun.

In case anyone is not aware--this is what you're supposed to do. Philando was ordered to hand over his Id (he wasn't driving) and when he reached for it, the officer shot him and killed him. It was captured live. If not, the officer would probably not have gotten off.

The officer got off anyway.

Let's look at the National Rifle Association's statement on that acquittal--the NRA is one of the biggest proponents of Concealed Carry in the world. They defend--and seek to expand--those rights. They point out, relentlessly, that CC-permit holders are one of the least likely demographics to commit a crime.

Here is their fiery statement on the officer's acquittal

I don't agree with every single decision that comes out from courtrooms of America. There are a lot of variables in this particular case, and there were a lot of things that I wish would have been done differently. Do I believe that Philando Castile deserved to lose his life over his [traffic] stop? I absolutely do not. I also think that this is why we have things like NRA Carry Guard, not only to reach out to the citizens to go over what to do during stops like this, but also to work with law enforcement so that they understand what citizens are experiencing when they go through stops like this.
Reason Magazine notes:

Although Loesch goes further than that, she is careful not to take a position on whether Yanez should have been acquitted. She says she sometimes disagrees with decisions reached by juries but does not say whether this is one of those times.
Surely The Omnivore is nit-picking here? One could almost think the life of a black-man is worth less to the NRA's philosophy than their signaling to their base. Let's take another shooting in the same general area.

Justin Ruszczyk, a 40 year old yoga instructor in her pajamas, called the police to report a potential sexual assault. One of the police officers was allegedly startled and shot her, killing her. Here's a reporter from the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

So, yeah--there seems to be a difference. Could it be--might it be--that black lives matter less than some other lives?

Perish the thought.

The Omnivore doesn't know if the Omni-Friend considers BLM a terrorist organization--chanting about killing cops and ambushing and shooting five police officers in Dallas. The Omnivore is going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he doesn't believe those things--but who knows.

Maybe he's a big, even-handed, both-sides guy?

Or maybe he's not that well read? (He is). But here's the thing--if he really resents not being able to say All Lives Matter--or White Lives Matter--how is The Omnivore to know what he would do if, say, one of The Omnivore's black children was killed in a traffic stop like Castile? Would he be outraged? Or just kind of shrug?

How would The Omnivore know?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Omni-Splaining: Holy Crap Was Trump Defending Racists

The Omnivore should not have to write this.

Yesterday Trump gave a free-wheeling, off-the-rails, and combative press conference with reporters about his responses to the violence in Charlottesville. Most observers who were not in the Nazi-camp were horrified--but a few, some Trump Supporters--came to his defense. So The Omnivore, sadly, does need to write this.

What Was The Problem With Yesterday's Speech?

The Trump-Supporter in question feels that Trump was pretty even-handed. There was violence on both sides. The ACLU, in fact, defended the white nationalist's right to protest on the grounds when the city tried to move them further away for security reasons. Notably, the city didn't try to move the counter-protesters (perhaps because they wanted the groups separated?). Anyway, the ACLU successfully intervened, the protest and the counter-protest happened at the same time--and, well, a woman died when a white nationalist who had been in attendance on the Nazi-side rammed his car into a bunch of people, killing one and badly wounding many others.

This came in a climate where there was intense clashes all around the park as the Nazi-protesters emptied out into the general street. These clashes were between the Nazis (and other affiliated groups) and the counter-protesters--and looking at the video it's sometimes hard to know who is who--and who started what.

So, when Trump described "both sides" as bearing blame, well, isn't he kind of right?

No--and he's not just not-kind-of-right. He's horribly, horribly wrong.

Before we go any further, we should note that Trump is really explicit about his judo-grip on the facts of the case:

Okay--he's got the facts. Now what?

Trump Was Horribly Wrong

The Omnivore is going to Omni-splain on two basic fronts. Neither of these is going to "defend antifa"--we can talk about antifa after. No--this is going to hinge on the fact that:

  1. Trump defended torch-carrying Nazi-chanters in a fully and knowingly disingenuous way (for someone who had "all the facts"). There was no reason to do this--it's immaterial to a discussion of blame for Saturday's violence.
  2. Trump is creates a group, the alt-left (which is, itself, white-nationalist language) to be his counter-balance. This creation is a smokescreen that helps no one but the Nazis.
  3. The Nazis were, unabashedly, pro-Trump. This, alone, should concern him more than counter-protesters who were anti-Trump. They are doing their race-hatred bearing his name.

The Tiki-Nazis

Here is Trump:

Ok--so here we have an assertion--that the group above--the torch-carrying Nazis had some "very fine people" in the group--as well as some "very bad people." The very-fine people (who, The Omnivore asserts, the Trump-supporter in question can not pick out of the crowd) were there, presumably to protest the taking down of a Confederate statue.

If they were there for Heritage-not-Hate, that might not be so bad, right?

Here's what they were there for:

Does this really look like a march to save a goddamn statue? 

Look at that guy who got top billing: Mike Enoch. He hosts a show The Daily Shoah.

You, Trump-Supporter, don't know who Mike Enoch is. And you also, in your goddamn comfy chair at your computer don't know what "Shoah" means. So you feel just fine assuming that this is about Heritage-Not-Hate and there probably were good people there.

Shoah is the Jewish word for Holocaust. The guy getting top billing hosts a radio show called the Daily Holocaust. Is that okay?

Do those eagles look familiar? Maybe naziriffic? Yes--yes they do. 


Do good people attend a Nazi rally? Even for Heritage (not Hate).

Sure they do.

Let's keep going. Trump doesn't just leave it at that--he doubles down--in case there is any question, talking about the "very quiet protesters." They don't have the "rough, bad people."

Very quiet:
The protest of the statue included chants like:

"Blood and Soil"--a literal Nazi slogan. Also "Jews (or You) Will Not Replace Us." These were shouted slogans as they encircled the non-violent counter-protesters around the statue.

That's who Trump was defending.

Let the Omnivore make a final point here: How do we know there were no "good people" out there with the Tiki-Nazis? Because good people don't march with Nazis.

Full Stop.

Point 2 - The Creation of the Alt-Left

Trump could have said "antifa"--he has all the facts. He knows who is who and what is what. If he meant antifa, he could have said that. He didn't. He said "alt-left." Why does this matter? Well, it matters because Trump is doing the same rhetorical sleight-of-hand magic trick that the Nazi-guys are doing. He's doing it right in front of you and you're falling for it.

For starters: there is no alt-left. The Alt-Right is something people claim to actually belong to. It has at least loose precepts. The Alt-Left is a term that the Alt-Right Nazis lump people into who they don't like. Is it violent Antifa thugs? Sure. How about Black Lives Matter people? Of course (the person who was killed was, according to the Trump Supporter, a Black Lives Matter person--so maybe Trump thinks she had in commin'? The Klan is certainly glad she died.

So we don't know who is in this group and who is out of it.

Ahh--but Trump is just attacking the violent ones, right?

We're sure it's not these counter-protesters there without a permit?

Here we go--here are some BLM guys engaged in violence--trying to stop white nationalists from passing them. These people could certainly get counted, right? Looks violent?

The fact here, though is that the Nazi side knew there would be violence and came ready to fight. Look at their hands--see that? Wrapped for fighting.
So one side has a legal permit, fights to stay in a more-dangerous area, and comes ready to rumble? Generally it is considered that if someone rolls up on your town, looking for trouble? They started it.

Now--none of this gets to antifa. Does antifa have any legal or moral right to engage violently with Nazis? In other words, could they be right to punch a Nazi?

Legally? No.


Nazis--literal Nazis--are the closest thing to an Army of Darkness that the world has ever known. When people fly their flag--when they throw their salute--when they march under the banner of the death-camps? Well, you can certainly condemn antifa for starting fires at Berkeley, causing property damage to stop Milo from speaking. Beating up people with bike-locks who are there to provoke.

You can--and The Omnivore does.

But people marching under a literal swastika flag and chanting Nazi slogans?

If you are going to strongly condemn violence against those guys, well, that's your right--but by the time we've set the dials to literal praise of genocidal evil appearing in an American town, in force? Both-sidsing it is moral cowardice.


3. They Did It In Trump's Name

The  marchers were, in some cases, explicit:

When you are carrying out your Nazi Marchers wearing the banner of Trump--and chanting his name--you would expect that if he didn't like it, he might tell you to stop.

Try using the Trump name or logo in your business venture without his permission and see what happens. In this case? Nothing--no comment about his name showing up on these guys.

What would you, Trump-Voter, have done if Communist were marching and committing violence with Obama-logo shirts on? Given him a pass? The Omnivore doesn't think so.

We know, Google. We know.


People were aghast yesterday when Trump, off-script and unfiltered came out in a stunning defense of the hate-group that descended on Charlottesville--unquestionably empowered by his election. They were right to be: it's being done, literally under the banner of the Swastika--and in Trump's Name.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Omni-Splainer: How To Denounce A Nazi

Apparently it's harder than you think.

There are several common errors people make when trying to denounce Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and affiliated right-wing hate-groups. These are simple mistakes that anyone could make--but given the current climate, it's probably necessary that we explain the proper way to denounce or otherwise discuss Nazis.

Let's Start With the Pitfalls First

Let us be frank: Denouncing Nazis is deceptively difficult. Well meaning people are often caught in the crosshairs of political correctness for a simple slip of the tongue or the use of "problematic" language when discussing modern Nazism. It's sad that our country has become so divided that well-meaning attempts to decry an ideology that exterminated millions of people does, itself, draw criticism if not phrased exactly right.

To this end, this special Omni-Splainer covers what not to do when discussing how bad Nazis are.

A Note: For purposes of this Omni-Splainer, the term "Nazi" will not solely refer to swastika-bearing, goose-stepping, Seig Heil salute-throwing white (Aryan) supremacists--but, for simplicity's sake, a larger umbrella of the various white-nationalist hate groups we are now seeing gaining prominence in America.

1. Nazis Are Pretty Singular -- Try To Keep Them That Way

Black Lives Matter is a terrorist hate-group**. We can all agree--but they haven't killed several million people, waged a World War, or herded Jews into extermination camps. In fact, as an organization, they haven't killed anybody. So while we understand that you must discuss BLM, it is of key importance that when discussing Nazis and right-wing hate groups, you keep BLM out of the discussion.

We understand the extreme difficulty there--but it's one of the things you must do to properly denounce a Nazi.

Note 1: Stalinism killed more people than Nazis and did it during peace-time. So you would think you could use the left's love of Communism to bring them in for criticism in the same breath with decrying Nazism. This sounds logical (and it is)--but it is a bad move. In order to do this, you can't "move first." You must let your lefty-audience first invoke Soviet Communism and then pounce. We understand that this is going to be very, very hard for you--but to bring in communist iconography when discussing Nazis is simply going to make you look like some kind of body-count fetishists (or, worse, a crypto-Nazi defender!).

Remember: Wait for them to bring in Soviet Communism first. This is an "advanced move."

Note 2: If you are more-clever than the people you are denouncing Nazis to, you might, sometimes, be able to get away with claiming the Dallas Police Shooter was a member of BLM or that various marchers with kill-cops signs are part of BLM (despite their coming out later in the day in many cases). This is fine--but be aware that if you are denouncing Nazis to someone familiar with BLM, you can easily get tripped up. Again, we would stay away from this altogether, as hard as that is.

Note 3: Do not confuse Black Lives Matter with the Bureau of Land Management. They share an acronym and the hostility of the right--but it's a newbie mistake.

2. Start and Stop At Nazis -- Try To Avoid "Antifa"

This is probably the hardest part--but it is also the most important. When denouncing Nazis, limit yourself to the far-right White Nationalist ideologies. Yes, Antifa-goons are just as bad. Yes, they are even worse. That is true--however, when trying to denounce Nazis, when you bring in Antifa, it winds up looking to casual observers like a defense of Nazis.

No, this doesn't make any sense--and yes, refusing to condemn Antifa just 'feels wrong.' We know--the act of condemning Nazis without also blaming the left leaves a sour taste in one's mouth--but it is necessary. When condemning Nazis stick to Nazis.

3. Don't Fall In To the "Alt-Right Trap"

There are many different types of Nazis and they have gradients of adherence in behavior to the classic Nazi ideology--but it's a mistake to try and divide them up when denouncing Nazis. Saying that "you hate Nazis--but those Alt Right guys are okay" inevitably ends in the guys you said were "okay" standing next to a literal Nazi and laughing at Jewish-Globalist jokes. It is better and safe to class everyone who is marching with, standing with, and fighting with a Nazi as a Nazi.

We understand that this is painful--and, in many cases, might even include you--but it's necessary if you are going to denounce Nazis.

Note: While it is tempting to dismiss Tiki-Torch carrying Nazis as LARPER kids (whatever that means), it is a mistake. While there is no doubt that many of the current Nazis are soft-handed mommas boys, the act of denouncing Nazism requires that you treat them as you would want to be treated: with respect. Doing otherwise all too often comes off sounding like an excuse for the Nazis and that will limit the power of your denunciation. 

4. Be Careful About Defending Trump and Republicans When Denouncing Nazis

Nazis, almost singularly in American politics, wear Donald Trump clothing when doing their Nazi-ing. They, again, pretty much singularly in American politics, have endorsed Trump in print and speech. Now, we all know that Black Lives Matter loved Obama--but the footage of them shouting his name and throwing Black-Power "Obama Salutes" doesn't seem to exist (we presume it is being suppressed by the leftist media).

That said, until it surfaces, you have a problem: Trump has found himself, through no fault of his own, linked to Nazis and has had a very hard time denouncing it. As Trump is not a politician, it takes him--like it takes you--several attempts to get it right. He doesn't know how to do it forcefully. He isn't aware that he should call out the use of his name in White Nationalist slogans or publications.

This is stuff that many Americans understand--but Trump is new to all of this.

As such, we understand your wish to defend him.

It is also true that the Republican party voted something like 98% with Trump--even though links to Nazis and far-right / alt-right ideology were clear and irrefutable (his chief strategist called his news outlet the "platform of the alt-right," after all). To many this feels like "guilt by association."

Of course it isn't. Trump can't control who wears his hats. He cannot be logically expected to ask Nazis to take his hats off--Trump knows there's no such thing as bad advertising! He's a business man--that's why America elected him.

However, as tempting as it is, when denouncing Nazis don't try to do so in the context of defending Trump or Republicans. Instead just hope your audience understands that in order to create a winning coalition to Make America Great Again, Mr. Trump needs every vote he can get.

However he gets it.

** They are NOT a terrorist group. This is just what people who have difficulty denouncing Nazis usually believe.

Monday, August 14, 2017

How Nice Should We Be To Nazis?

Here is a reporter on the ground talking about what went on in Charlottesville this weekend. Notably:

  1. The Nazis came ready for battle.
  2. Antifa (and others) showed up and engaged them.
  3. There were some milita types--heavily armed (3%-ers) who were kinda trying to keep the peace.
So The Omnivore got a question: Does us "dehumanizing" our enemies (such as the Nazis, to be clear) feed into their bad behavior? Does someone fighting with a Nazi just add to the problem?

First, Let's Get Some Bullshit Off The Table

Let's be clear about a few things here--just in case anyone is dedicated to hiding behind some flimsy-but-common rhetoric.
  1. Black Lives Matter isn't a domestic terrorist organization  - Oh, a lot of people want it to be. For sure. And there is certainly some stuff to cherry pick. But the fact is that BLM is two things--a loose organization protesting police killings and a slogan that a bunch of people shot. Deftly conflating them for rhetorical points is easy if people don't do any research.
  2. Antifa / Black Bloc are assholes - There are real anarchists or angry momma's boys or whatever who are out there to smash windows and set things on fire. These people are bad--they're violent for the sake of being violent. We should condemn them.
  3. Clenched Fists Of Communism Have A Bad History Too - Modern socialists are pussycats compared to the Cold War KGB--but anyone wrapping themselves in Stalinist flags is doing a version of what the guys with Nazi flags are. Even if they're chanting "Health Care for Everyone," doing it under a banner of millions of innocents dead isn't right either.
So while there were, in fact, several "Sides" in attendance, (1) they are not all created equal. (2) A comparatively small number were Antifa. (3) The Nazis (et. al.) showed up looking for a fight and got one. Without the Nazis there would have been no fight.

If the communists hold a march, spoiling for a fight, under a Stalinist flag, you can condemn them first and foremost too. But that's not happening today (you can see Sheriff Clarke's description of the Women's March in DC as, literally, a "Woman's Riot" if you want to understand how you look talking about Communism in reference to Charlottesville).

So we're clear: The violence came to town because of, and intentionally on the part of, the Nazis. If you say "He started it" doesn't count in grade-school fights . . . you're right.

On the other hand "He started it" is a perfectly moral and legal defense for killing someone in a home invasion.

You will need to decide for yourself where Charlottesville lies. But don't worry too much: The Omnivore gonna help you out there too.

If A Nazi Comes Along, You Must Punch Him! (to the tune of 'Whip It')

The Omnivore will not condemn you for punching a Nazi. 

Where did the Nazi march fall on the scale of escalating threat of real violence to you? Huh--we just don't know, do we? The Omnivore means, it could just be some angry preppies in golf shirts, right? Nothing to be concerned about, right? Right? HOW COULD WE KNOW WHERE THIS COULD GO?
The above is Madison Square Garden, 1939.

You knew that, right? You knew that, didn't you? Okay--so, The Omnivore will credit you with knowing what happened after that. There was this big war that encompassed kinda the whole world. Maybe you heard about it in school.

So--the guys marching this weekend in Charlottesville? Couldn't happen in America? It almost did. They don't really wanna do the ovens thing? Chances are? Yes, yes they do. If they could.

They'll never amount to much if we just don't engage with them? They're in the fucking White House, son. They scored a bigger victory than those guys in the black and white photo up there ever did.

So tell The Omnivore again how you shouldn't "de-humanize" these people? Or punch them? How you should not objectify them Because they literally made soap out of their victims (at least experimentally--but still, being turned into an object is literal objectification).

One Last Thing

The point here is that once someone has sworn in with the Nazis--for real--for sure--out and proud--you can then treat them like a Nazi. If punching is across your personal line? Cool. If you are okay with Captain America punching Hitler? Be inspired. It's all good.

But what if they're only 50% Nazi? Or they're kinda-cadgily being "Alt-Right" or whatever? Well, when those people march in to my town, armed for a fight, talking hate--even if they use the Odin Symbol so as to be Nazi--but--Not Nazi Enough?

Real-Talk 1: When you come looking for a fight. Spoiling for one--and you get one--The Omnivore isn't gonna feel sympathy. That also goes for the antifa girl who was crowing about punching Nazis and found out they could punch better than she could. You bring it--okay--it's brung.

Real-Talk 2: When someone is marching for "free speech" in the service of a regime that would execute or exile various races (and certainly limit free speech) there is a moral disconnect that should make it apparent that they are trying to con you. They want a legal defense for their advocacy of violence--but they won't extend that to you when they have the chance (they want a white ethnostate). They want a legal defense of speech--but will close your mouth with a cudgel when they get the chance.

Why would you give these people the benefit of the doubt? Any benefit of the doubt? This isn't literally a home-invasion--but The Omnivore asserts that when they are marching on your street . . . it's functionally pretty damn close to one.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Omni-splains -- Why Couldn't They Repeal Obamacare?

The Omnivore has written on this--and should not have to write it again--but an Omnivore Twitter friend who frankly should know better has asserted that the reason the GOP could not repeal O-care is because it was an entitlement--and an entitlement, once given, cannot be retracted!

Is this right? Wrong? Stupid? What?

The Chain of "Logic"

In this guy's mind it STARTED like this.

  1. Obama creates Ocare to help poor (black?) people at the expense of the middle class.
  2. Ocare passes and immediately wrecks health care in America.
    • The good people (him) lose their doctors and their good plans.
    • The bad people (poor people) wind up with horrible, too-expensive insurance.
    • The whole industry goes into a death spiral.
  3. The GOP wins election!! OUR SALVATION!!
  4. The GOP performs an epic face-plant.
  5. Trump decides that maybe he'll suspend payments to try to make Ocare die faster.
In this view of the world, Obamacare is bad for everyone. But, of course, that doesn't explain #4--if everyone hates Ocare, why not just repeal it and go back to it like it was before?

Seems simple, right?

You Can't Repeal An Entitlement!

It should have been simple. If the above was true then complete repeal would work. Right? But it turns out that #2 isn't actually true. O-care certainly shook things up--and it did make some things worse--but it also made a lot of things better

In fact, it looks more like this!
  1. Ocare passes in order to improve coverage--both of the poor and people who have traditionally been unable to access the healthcare market.
  2. It passes and, hey, it does that. The medicaid expansion works for the poor. The O-care regulations allow people with pre-existing conditions or kids just out of college to get covered!
    • OMG! People like that!!
    • It's disruptive--Yes, and Obama knew it was coming too. He did lie. Doctors get unkept. Plans get changed. Now: there was always some churn--and this continues--and a lot of it was blamed on O-care--but let's not pretend that O-care didn't cause a lot more change than "doing nothing would have."
    • Some people--such as this guy, who REALLY wanted to keep his specific doctor--were badly hurt. They hates O-care like Gollum hates hobbitses. That's fair.
    • Despite the benefits being popular, people are caught up on the individual mandate and, well, "Obama"--and it remains unpopular.
  3. THE GOP runs on Ocare and WINS! SALVATION IS AT HAND!
  4. The GOP has pledged to provide healthcare--'just like it used to be'--but much cheaper! Even for pre-existing conditions. This is impossible, but people believed it. They epically faceplant trying to provide it.
  5. Trump, not really understanding what went wrong--and the GOP, in general--unwilling to explain to their constituents that what they were distinctly promised is, in fact, impossible, spin out of control. Trump decides that if he kills O-care maybe it will become unpopular enough that it could be repealed.
Now, our guy understands the logic here. If most people are actually liking what it does then it can't be that it just totally sucks for everyone. So . . .

It's Too Expensive--And Failing!!

He recalibrates. The problem isn't the O-care benefits--those are an entitlement people actually want. The problem is the huge tax-burden on the middle class--and, oh, that it's failing!!

In this chain of logic:
  1. Obama passes O-care delivering stuff people want with some stuff (the mandate, new taxes) people don't.
    • BUT--it is too expensive!! 
    • And it is DESTINED TO FAIL!!
  2. More people like what they're getting (or don't care much what has changed). It remains unpopular until people are given an actual list of alternatives.
  3. The GOP, pushed to the wall by their victory, suddenly have to deliver the LIST OF PARTICULARS.
  4. The GOP prays that someone--anyone--will take the blame for it not passing and throws their hands up.
    • They are okay with blowing the budget for a wall or something--but not for health care.
    • Also, what they really want to do is cut 880MM taxes on the 1% that O-care imposes.
    • A lot of projections show that O-care can, in fact, continue--especially if there is less uncertainty around the political future of the bill.
  5. Instead of trying to save it, Trump and the GOP realize "it cannot be saved" and, instead, try to kill it more quickly in order to try to make some other alternative look better.
At this point, what the guy's logic must mean is that the law is literally unsalvageable. That it could not be fixed in any meaningful way for any reasonable cost (and remember, this is a GOP that is willing to blow a trillion dollar hole in the budget for their other priorities).

Now, he knows that's not logically true. He's even been told (correctly) that other entitlements (Medicare, Medicaid) had similar problems during their roll-outs but they got fixed by congress.

So why is he clinging to this nonsense?

Because the alternative is horrible.

The Real Reason They Couldn't Repeal Obamacare

The reason the GOP couldn't repeal and replace O-care is because it's a conservative solution to start with. You will use healthcare at some time in your life. Making you pay in advance is legit. At least that's what Romney and the Heritage Foundation thought (and this guy considers Romney a great man--so, you know).

Now, O-care DID add some libby stuff in, like making sure they couldn't sell you junk insurance. Ayn Rand is rolling over in her grave, yo. But still--the problem is that the GOP doesn't have a solution that fits their needs because their isn't one.

What they were responding to is a base that desperately wanted to erase every possible legacy of Obama for, uhm, "partisan reasons" (and by "partisan reasons," The Omnivore points you to Mr. Trump refusing to denounce white supremacists at yesterday's Unite the Right march). But you won't hear that on Fox & Friends.

When forced to combine their base's unspeakable (literally--like, you can't say that) with the reality of the impact on their voting populace, they failed utterly.

And what's worse: they can't even explain it to people who don't know.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

If There's A Time To Stand Behind Trump, It's Now

The Omnivore might piss off a bunch of his readers--but here goes.

  1. North Korea Has Always Been A Bad Scenario: Ever since there was a North Korea, Seoul has been in-range of a ton of conventional artillery. The price for attacking North Korea was never worth Seoul--and today, the math is still catastrophic.
  2. North Korea Has Always Been A Bad Actor: Nork had a deal under Clinton. They broke it (started nuke development)--and basically said "Go ahead, make my day." We let them. Bush let them. No one in charge has ever decided that stopping NK was worth millions dead in South Korea.
  3. It's About To Get A Whole Lot Worse: We are about to see a massive step-up in Nork capability. A nuke that can reach Tokyo or San Francisco is far, far worse than a conventional warhead that could do the same. Given that NK's history has been toxic since the start, it seems foolish to live them maturing their nuclear capacity. And even if you think that's okay--what happens when Iran sees this--and goes with their sprint for the bomb?

Why Stand With Trump On This?

The Omnivore is sure you can come up with many reasons not to--but consider this: (a) if we have to do something we should all do it together and (b) if we could get an ounce of national unity out of this . . . might that be worth going for?

Look--whatever you think of him, he's not going to be impeached in the next 10 days. Even if you think someone else might have a better chance of negotiating with NK, Team Trump is what we've got.

There is a chance that millions of people could die.

That number--that number is monstrous. Yes: you might not fucking know any South Koreans--but trust The Omnivore, if this goes down, a best case exchange scenario (if we obliterate them and take no loses, hey!)--is tens of thousands dead. It's probably way worse.

So in light of that? Why not, back the US government--and its head of state?

What The Government Needs To Do

This is the time to behave in a completely even and sober manner (no, we can't turn back the clock--but we can start now). We need our allies on-board. We need to be fundamentally clear about what we're heading towards. We need to ensure that we have maximal credibility with the rest of the world--and our own people.

If there was ever a time for a president to seek a declaration of war from congress? This is it. We need to have foreign aid lined up. There will be massive civilian causalities if things go the way rolling-back North Korea's capability is likely to go. We want help from the world community lined up--behind us--since we'll be the ones "breaking it."

We need to make sure our regional allies are onboard. They will suffer the primary damage. They have the most skin in the game. We need to make sure that whatever the deal--we all agree. Our geopolitical foes, China and Russia will move quickly to place most of the moral blame on us. We need to be ready for that--both in the UN and the world at large.

Finally, if we act, we must act decisively. That doesn't mean using nukes--but it does mean attacking in a way, The Omnivore asserts, we have never attacked--nobody has ever attacked--in history.

It's a terrible, sobering situation--but it seems to only get worse from here on out.

The Earnest Terror of the Bio-Right (Google Firing)

In the aftermath of the Google Manifesto guy's firing (the guy wrote and, apparently, distributed a 10-page manifesto about the gender-differences and their impact on work at Google--and got fired for it) some voices on the right have, you may be astonished to learn, complained. There are several venues of complaint:

  1. The Manifesto Is Real: This complaint is straightforward--the guy spoke the Truth(TM) and was punished for it. This is the alt-right position (Human Bio-Diversity) when it comes to race (very iffy). It is more reasonable when applied to gender (where it looks like research shows distinct differences in populations as a whole--but not in relation to individual Google engineers). This position isn't of interest to The Omnivore for this post.
  2. The SJW-Inquisition Notched Another Win: This complaint is that the SJW-Left wants to get people fired for wrong-think and, so they did. Just like they got the CTO of FireFox and that football guy who sat through the National Anthem. This position isn't of interest to The Omnivore for this post.
  3. But The Guy Was So LEFTY About It: This is the interesting one. In this complaint the guy was fired even though he said he was pro-diversity. This is the position that The Omnivore is interested in for this post.

The Baying Of The Bio-Right

Here is Erick Ericson, who believes it is biological science that men should dominate in a family, complaining about just how, well, agreeable, the Manifesto-Googler was being:

The firing feels rather Orwellian. Damore agrees with diversity. Damore admits and acknowledges that there is a gender and race diversity problem, and he shared his employers’ desires to fix it. But he wanted to caution the company not to perpetuate sex or race-based programs that do not fix the problems. He likewise dared to suggest that intellectual diversity was as important as skin color and gender diversity.

In this telling the manifesto, which, no matter how nicely, suggested that women aren't as well suited to do jobs they in fact do every day at Google, should have been acceptable because it was "lefty enough"--it agreed with enough of the slogans--to be given a pass. Erickson also couches his fear that leftists at Google will silence the voices on the right with their powerful algorithms.

One is reminded of the conservative group that went to Facebook demanding what Glenn Beck called "Affirmative Action for Conservatives"--holding that Facebook should hire more (diverse) conservative voices and protect con-speech, and so on. In fact, it's almost like this is all just a tug-of-war over power and representation of one's cultural currency and the breathless claims of moral principle are window-dressing.

In fact, it's exactly like that--which is why #3 is interesting--it goes straight to the window dressing without worrying about what was actually being done.

What's REALLY Going On?

There are a few things you need to understand (and all these guys totally do) to put what happened in context. The First: Once Manifesto-guy distributed his payload he was a mega-liability bomb waiting to go off. He basically ensured that he would be fired. If you want to be metaphorical about it, intentionally or not, he martyred himself. The scientific or pro-diversity trappings of his action don't mitigate the HR threat at all--and Google, right now, is involved in diversity-centric lawsuits.

So that's the first thing.

The Second Thing: What's called HBD (Human Bio-Diversity) is a muddy and politically fraught discussion and has been for a long, long time (remember Eugenics?). Yes, you may feel you have a death grip on the Truth--that Men are really different from girls because [ Stats ]. Oh, and blacks are less intelligent than whites because [ stats ]. There's some super-predator genes in there too [ stats ]. And so the sexual revolution and contraception degraded and destroyed society.

Huh? Well, look--there's science and stats--and The Omnivore is not an expert in either--but there's also the way that these arguments are tied into rhetorical knots and bound together. In case you are pretending not to be aware of this, it goes (in simplified version) like this:

  1. Men and Women (and the races--white, black, and yellow) have different roles and attributes. Not just in major physical terms--but in subtle and important psychological ones (blacks are genetically typically less intelligent, women are more submissive, Asians are smarter).
  2. The implications of these inclinations are scientific justification for various policies that discriminate (more blacks in prison? Why, yes--they're more criminal! Fewer girls in science? Well, sure--they play with dolls while boys build with blocks!).
  3. The (complicated) science is then used as a defensive coating for various policies that, it turns out, were already in place! The magic-trick is that no one decides that women are better at some male-dominated job and so should be moved in to it. Usually the best that happens is "Women, okay, could be good at law--but not at mathematics!" 
  4. The interconnection between biological arguments using gender and biological arguments using race is nearly absolute from the racial perspective (almost no one believes that blacks are biologically less intelligent than whites--but that men and women are psychologically identical).

In other words, from a utility-of-the-argument perspective, Googler-Manifesto wades in to all kinds of highly questionable and super-charged waters. He may not have known it--but he did--and his coating of "pro-diversity" doesn't change that. Not one bit. 

The key to the Second Thing, in case it's not clear, is that the people above who are lamenting his treatment? They all do know about the connections. They're just choosing to ignore them. The fact that he doesn't say anything about race doesn't mean that the same argumentation--in the same sphere of thinking--is used relentlessly in racial discussions.  

So here's the Third Thing: the idea that he should be given a "pass" for his pro-diversity position is also based on the idea that the objections to what he was saying were, in fact, solely partisan. That is: "I can't disagree with your facts--but I don't like the side you're on--so I'm going to attack you."

In this view, the fact that he signaled he was "on their side" is distressing because he got attacked anyway. To the person who views the issue as purely my-side-your-side partisan this looks like LESS-THAN-ZERO-TOLERANCE. Coming from a Tumbr social-lefty-group, well we expect that.

Coming from Google, though? Well, The Omnivore sees how that could look disturbing.

But that's not what happened--at all (see Thing 1 and Thing 2!). Google had to do what it did, and a 10-page manifesto, distributed to co-workers, about gender-differences--no matter how well footnoted--is going directly into a space well inhabited by White Supremacists--on their side. 

So what this really shows, for the people complaining about how badly he was treated despite his defense of diversity--despite his not being alt-righty--for the people with the back of their hand being held to their forehead lamenting his being fired for asking people to be treated as individuals

That's how they see things--that if yous say you're on a given side--make the right noises around your policy description--then it doesn't matter what the policy is. You're on their side. That's good enough.