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Bernie bros: It’s over. Really. He will vote for Clinton

Opera fat lady. It's over

If I see one more reality-challenged post about how Bernie just flipped a county in California and, woo-hoo, the White House totally is a certainty now, I think I’m gonna scream. Look, flipping a county in Cali means Sanders picked up precisely one more delegate in a state where Clinton trounced him, and that’s all it means. Ditto for breathless articles about how a noted statistician (their friend Fred who dropped out of high school) has rigorously examined random data he found on the net and concluded Hillary just totally stole votes in every district in every state. Really? If she’s that all-powerful, then why doesn’t she just declare herself Empress and be done with all this tedious election foolishness?

I was a Sanders delegate in Nevada. Clinton won the nomination because she got more votes than Sanders. Really. That’s what happened. Deal with it.

Whether Sanders formally endorses Clinton is irrelevant. He has already said he will support and campaign for her and reinforces that in saying he will vote for her. Sanders has pushed the party to the left. Whether it stays that way is up to the rest of us. Hillary is hardly my first choice. However she will be the candidate and against Trump, it’s a no-brainer for me. I will vote for her. She is who she is and she is who we got.

Mr. Sanders again said he’ll do whatever he can to defeat presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump — a line he has repeated in recent weeks in response to calls for him to drop out of the race and help unify the Democratic Party around Mrs. Clinton.

When asked Friday if his refusal to withdraw from the race is leading to disunity in the party, Mr. Sanders said, “You talk about disunity, I talk about involving the American people in the political process and wanting to have a government and a party that represents all of us.”

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Nevada PBS dumps Jon Ralston because donors deeply concerned

Jon Ralson. PBS. Adelson

In a genuinely craven and stomach-turning move, Nevada PBS dumped Jon Ralston and his superb news show, then clutched its pearls, saying darn they just can’t afford him anymore and besides, he just wasn’t “neutral” enough. Well, here’s a tip for craven PBS management; real journalists are supposed to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. It’s what they do. But oh goodness, shriek, shriek, they simply can’t be allowed to do that if upsets donors. That would just be horrid. Better the stations air noncontroversial vaguely liberal pablum instead.

Inquiring minds want to know if PBS started having their change of heart about the time Raltson interviewed Jay Rosen about Sheldon Adelson’s purchase of the Review-Journal. Rosen, professor of journalism at Columbia and noted media critic, said it was one of the best interviews anyone has ever done with him. Since the purchase, the Review-Journal is being dumbed down and more than a few reporters have left.  Now this at PBS. There’s a pattern, and it’s running counter to press freedom.

Yes, this is the same Ralston who questioned what Bernie supporters were doing at the Nevada Democratic Convention. He also asks hard questions to Hillary supporters and most everyone else. That’s what actual journalists do.

Ralston says he will be back after this stealth attack on open reporting. let’s hope so. He’s a treasure.

Gutless weasel from PBS attempts to defend the indefensible.

In an interview with the Review-Journal, Axtell said Ralston provided shows with thoughtful dialogue, but didn’t always fit the PBS mold that viewers and contributors expect of a neutral host. Noting that Ralston wasn’t a “softball interviewer” and asked tough questions, Axtell said: “He had a show that was really thoughtful, but he also really expressed an opinion.”

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Self-driving trucks and 3.5 million unemployed pissed-off truckers

Silicon Valley is practically wetting itself in excitement over the possibility of self-driving trucks and self-driving cars. Yes, they say, let’s eliminate all those tedious carbon-based life forms who currently drive for a living and who insist upon livable wages, breaks for eating, and crazy stuff like that. Uber in particular is salivating about replacing their human drivers (who don’t stick around long, no doubt due to terrible work conditions) with automated cars. Hey, no driverless Uber car ever assaulted a female passenger or sued the company. Woo-hoo.

Truckers are seriously under threat. The change is coming. Self-driving trucks in Nevada are already doing regular routes. Europe has tested convoys of driverless trucks. Sooner, rather than later, millions of truckers and those in businesses supporting trucking will be under-employed or unemployed. I’m guessing they will not go quietly.

It is slowly dawning on our wannabe tech overlords that such unemployment and resulting social unrest could make things a bit dicey for them, so they plan to toss some crumbs (universal basic income) to the prole rabble and which will then force the rabble to move someplace far away from them where they can actually exist on that meager income. No word yet on how this will be financed. Such details will be left to be figured out by those icky intrusive governments that so annoy Silicon Valley.

“From a business person’s perspective it’s about risk management. Do you want to ride around in an armored car and have guards with you? Do you want the Hunger Games? Or do you want a more fair and just society?” says Stern.

Goodbye truckers…

In San Francisco, former Googlers have launched a startup called Otto, which promises to retrofit vehicles with driverless capabilities for just $30,000. The average trucker’s wage is around $40,000 per year.

Where does this leave the 3.5 million truckers whose livelihoods depend on the need for a human behind the wheel? And what of the millions more whose livelihoods depend on the truckers coming up and down the country, stopping for food, drinks and sleep? “It’s going to be a huge problem,” says Stern, pointing out that unlike the steel and automotive industries, trucking is not concentrated to a few regions. “It’s the largest job in 29 states.”

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Living in an Age of Outrage and Wolf Den Politics

Wolves

So, something upsets you, eh? Well then, go search the internet for like-minded folks and you will almost certainly find them. It’s the Age of Outrage. You will discover that whatever your lunacy, there is an online champion to defend it. Giant spider creatures secretly control the Pentagon? There’s a Facebook group for that! Unfortunately, nasty, virulent beliefs can also be reinforced on the net, as true believers join together in wolf den politics.

So, instead of discussing the giant spiders, the group plots about how to kill Jews who secretly control the banks or infidels who are stopping the Caliphate from forming. The crucial point here is they may have no direct contact with their mothership except via websites, because they don’t need it. The memes can spread without direct interpersonal contact. That what makes the internet so simultaneously wonderful and dangerous. Ideas and ideologies spread quickly. Toss in mentally unbalanced people like Dylann Roof and the Orlando shooter into the mix and the result can be catastrophic.

The Orlando shooter was influenced by jihadist ideas. It matters not if jihad groups had actual contact with him or even knew he existed. Ditto for Roof and white supremacist groups.

It is crucial to not burrow deeper and deeper into ours own reality tunnel, only reading news that agrees with our points of view. I deliberately follow people and websites I don’t usually agree with just so my views don’t get calcified. (And yes, sometimes they have good ideas too!) Being outraged can be great fun and is indeed addictive, but can lead to joining wolf dens, some of which are seriously deranged and dangerous. And that’s not so fun. The self-radicalizing / recruitment process can happen so stealthily the person may not even be aware of it, and then they think, well of course giant spider creatures control the Pentagon, how could anyone believe otherwise?

Combine an age of outrage with the internet and you can get virulent wolf den politics. Click To Tweet

Wolf dens:

Reuters review of the approximately 90 Islamic State court cases brought by the Department of Justice since 2014 found that three-quarters of those charged were alleged to be part of a group of anywhere from two to more than 10 co-conspirators who met in person to discuss their plans.

Even in those cases that did not involve in-person meetings, defendants were almost always in contact with other sympathizers, whether via text message, email or networking websites, according to court documents. Fewer than 10 cases involved someone accused of acting entirely alone.

Mark Mason on being addicted to outrage.

Most people believe that people are becoming more polarized. According to the data, this is actually not true. People’s political beliefs are not that different than they were a few decades ago. What is changing, the data indicates, is how we deal with the viewpoints that make us uncomfortable.

It isn’t that our beliefs have changed, it’s that the way we feel about people we disagree with has changed.

In short, people have become less tolerant of opposing opinions. And their reactions to those opinions has become more emotional and outrageous.

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Guns and extremism in the United States

automatic weapon. blood stains

The violence problem here in the US, as my friend John Wight points out, is due to guns and extremism. A friend who lives in Florida says maybe he needs to start carrying a gun too, since there seem to be serious numbers of crazies out there. I understand his concern. However, will more guns help? Do we really want a society where everyone is packing all the time?

The US was founded in violent revolution. Our ethos of the Wild West Lone Gunman Coming In To Clean Up The Town persists. It’s questionable whether such resolutely moral gunmen ever existed as portrayed and if they did, if you’d want to live next to them. The ethos lives on in movies today about cops and citizens going outside the law to stop killers and cartels. Hey, I like James Bond and Jason Bourne movies as much as anyone, but they’re stone cold killers, aren’t they?

Wyatt Earp never smiled or laughed, pistol whipped citizens regularly because he was a lawman and thus could do so without fear of consequences. He became a vigilante killer after one brother was shot and another murdered, almost went to prison, and later fixed a boxing match. Is Wyatt Earp a good role model. I think not.

Guns and extremism. Our Wild West ethos. But Wyatt Earl never smiled, was vigilante. A bad role model Click To Tweet

I don’t know what the answer is. Becoming ever-more heavily-armed, suspicious, and scared probably isn’t going to help, arguably will make things worse, and probably just lead to more violence. We as a country need to figure out why violence seems so attractive to us, and is often offered as a first solution.

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