The Chancellor of a Germany warns incoming U.S. President to respect human rights.

“Germany and America are bound together by values: democracy, freedom, respect of law and respect of people regardless of their origin, the colour of their skin, their religion, gender, sexual orientation or their political beliefs. On the basis of these values I I am offering to work closely with the future President of the United States, Donald Trump.”

If you don’t thing that things can change completely in one lifetime let this be a lesson to you. 

Trump Wins in 2020

I love maps and I love the way that they should stay constant but don’t seem to obey that rule. The 2016 election in the US has been fascinating and I’ve learned a lot about the geography of the US.

Hows this for a scenario. Trump loses Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Michigan and wins in 2020?

Here’s how things stand in 2016.







Then imagine by 2018, California exists the Union.







Then in 2020, things look like this. Oregon and Hawaii join with California and Minnesota cedes to Canada as a result of a popular vote.







Seems far fetched but it’s an indication on how differently the various parts of the states think that there’s even a movement for it.

As usual, I’m probably completely wrong.

The Cinemax Theory of Racism

I love the explanation in this blog about whan happens when you vote. When candidates offer up their policies, it’s a package. When you vote, you are endorsing the whole package. You may only want a bit of it but when you vote, your signal to the provider (candidate) isn’t the bit that you want, it’s that you support the whole package.

Source: The Cinemax Theory of Racism

A vote for simplicity

I’m as surprised by the outcome of the U.S. election as anyone. I wondered what happened and how a person with such simplistic and flawed (and vague) policies could have been elected. The policies that he did have were crude and simple for problems that are long standing and complex.

Then it hit me. Much of the appeal would be the simplicity. We are overloaded as a society and many of the problems we face are complex and require a strong focus, expertise and ongoing monitoring and adjustment to move in the right direction much less solve.

What Trump had was simplicity.

  • Want to stem illegal immigration: Build a wall
  • Want to deal with the large number of undocumented overstayers: Deport them
  • What to deal with ISIS: Bomb them
  • Don’t like the previous healthcare: Repeal it

All dead simple solutions. All unlikely to resolve anything but at least iof people understand the response, they can feel like something is being done about it.

Personally, I think it was a popular vote for simplicity. These problems aren’t simple. What is heartening is that it seems Trump is listening.

Car Control

This is a topic I’ve wanted to talk about for some time but haven’t found the right way to approach it. This issue of car ownership.  

Modern technological advances have given people access to more and more powerful forms of technology.  Perhaps the most powerful of these that can routinely fall into the hands of individuals is the car. This is a powerful piece of technology that in the right hands is extremely useful. However, it is a piece of technology powerful enough that car accidents injure, maim and kill thousands of people every year. This excludes those cases where a car has been used deliberately as a weapon. We need to do a better job of protecting ourselves.  

Firstly, I advocate that we need appropriate car ownership laws. At a minimum, people intending to own and use cars need minimum training on how to use it and to ensure that they stay current. We need a licensing system so that we can tell if a person is currently licenced for the car they have in their possession. I would expect that this should at a minimum consist of a written test and a common, government issued certificate of a robust enough nature that it can be used to confirm the identity of the owner. 

As for the cars themselves, I advocate for strong regulation there. For a start I would expect a system that classifies cars and accepts them into the market to ensure that:

1. The car is safe and does not contain flaws the makes it dangerous for the user or other members of the public. 

2. The car is appropriate for use, in particular I have concerns about the proliferation of ex military cars amongst the wider population.  

3. That registers each car to am owner. Where the car is found abandoned or used in the commission of a crime, then it can be traced back. I understand that some cars may be stolen and used in the commission of crimes but I believe that a system of reporting stolen cars with thr police would protect the owners from prosecution.

I believe that such a system would make cars much much safer than they could be if unregulated.  The final element is that car owners should be liable for the damage that they cause whether through accident or intention. With a bit of encouragement, the insurance industry could step in here. Owners would be rewarded for safe practices through reduced premiums. 

Overall, I see this as a reasonable and workable system and I would hope that most people would agree.

Now, replace the word car with gun and read it again.

The soft bigotry of Trumpian expectations

I liked this comment, that the media judged Trump to have won the debate before it started. May represent a very low bar, “managed to get to the venue in time” or “did not fuck it up completely.” From the rest of the world, please, those in the US, please actually listen to what your candidates are really saying before you vote.

Sarah Kendzior

More on the presidential debate for Quartz:

That is the difference between skepticism and nihilism. The latter is what some elite journalists did by declaring Trump the winner before he opened his mouth. That is a capitulation to incompetence, the bestowing of a free pass to man known for bigotry and hate-mongering, and a show of naiveté toward Trump’s mastery of spin, which he wields as staunchly as Clinton does facts. Reactions like Todd’s and Brooks’ show that Trump has not lost his touch, as they responded by pandering to the standard of expectations set in part by Trump’s own campaign.

Trump did, however, lose the debate. Because the debate existed in its own realm, free from selective edits and crowd feedback, divorced—in the moment at least—from “post-fact” punditry manipulation. The candidates had to speak candidly. They had to react on the spot. They had to argue their case on…

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Ways to Concede Defeat

Trump has taken to calling the electoral system rigged.  Looking at the guy, he seems to be determined to project an image of being a winner. If he loses, therefore, it’s got to be something external, something unfair. A rigged election is a good excuse. Personally, I take this as evidence that Trump knows he’s lost. 

What I don’t know is if this excuse of rigged elections are to convince us or himself. 

Things will never be the same…

For centuries, we have labored under a polite fiction, the fiction that political candidates win over the electorate with rational policies and arguments. This has been proved massively untrue by the events in the U.S. where a come from nowhere demagogue has used pretty much raw personality  to become one of the two main contenders.

Initially Trump ranked tenth with only 3% of the votes but through sheer force of personality, and unrealistic populist policies such as a ban on Muslims and a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, backed by numerous policy flip-flops he is now the Republican Party Presidential Candidate.

The genie is out of the bottle. Where Sarah Palin peeked under the carpet, Trump strips off the veneer and exposes the awful truth, that politics is just like anythings else, won by soundbites and emotion.

Perhaps this is the beginning of the end. As politicians absorb the lessons from this election, expects things to head in a new direction. Perhaps politics will start to use some of the same tricks used in other industries such as the fast food industry.

We may get an election or perhaps two based on the current fiction, but in 2028, will the winning candidate be endorsed by a line of bikini clad models? The only one who can stop this is you, the voters, by caring and listening and thinking things through. There’s never been a more important time to be a voter and protect your democracy.

Writing Inspiration: Isn’t allowing the most colourful and engaging candidate with the best sound bites win, the same as voting at random.