Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


The one two punch of post-election angst and end-of-term weeds is really something.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

It Was A Dark and Stormy Pitch

Trend analyses are the worst ghost stories you can tell.

Sweet Smell of Liberty

Republicans like to genuflect to the Constitution to better position themselves to wipe their asses with it.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

By the way, if I seem grumpy...

...grading grading grading. Already grading. Still grading. Behind in my grading. Always forever grading. Course after course after course and I'm grading. Two weeks out and more grading. Papers arriving and looming and grading.

Make Them Pay for What They've Done and What He'll Do.

Never say "Our President" or "The President-Elect" or "The American President." Always, always, always say "The Republican President."

Or too much?

All those old straight white dudes watching Nazi documentaries on the History Channel who voted for Trump... did they learn nothing?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Breaking But Not Broken

Long time friend-of-blog "Esebian" posted another provocative comment in the Moot that deserved a post on this long grading day:
I'd be less concerned about the flavours of the imaginary reigns of this or that Democratic candidate and more with the very real possibility America is turned from a (however broken) democracy to a full-fledged autocracy. That's the difference that makes the difference, I believe. 
This feels to me like a rather philosophical formulation, "Esebian" -- tho' I'm prone to misreading things given how raw everything feels now.

Forgive a moment's pedantry, but US Presidents do not have reigns but administrations, and what gets done in them is far from imaginary, which you are the last person to deny I know. I do want to deny, tho', I think, that there really is such a thing as "the" difference that makes "the" difference politically, but insist instead, as usual, there are many differences that make differences. "The" over "a" rationalizes, I fear, too much self-righteous uselessness and unreliability. Is there a connection between these two quibbles I felt in reading your comment?

We usually agree on politics, and where we don't you offer up perspectives I read with benefit, and so don't take the registration of these worries in any kind of personal way if that is possible -- I guess I just don't know on the basis of what criteria you might distinguish presidential "flavors" that don't finally concern you as against the difference of a broken-democracy versus a fully-fledged autocracy?  How much and how many ways can democracy be broken (and mended) before autocracy is fully fledged and don't these degrees and ways of brokenness demand exposure and redress the better to resist the fuller-fledging of autocracy? And won't focusing on these differences that make a difference risk looking dismissably mucked in the weeds of "flavors" of "imaginary reigns" while one awaits the grand confrontation of *the* difference that makes *the* difference, democracy versus autocracy?

Maybe I'm reading too much into your comment -- maybe you just mean that re-litigating the primary isn't likely to be as useful as focusing on younger/better voices who care about equity-in-diversity occupying the Democratic Party and resisting Trumpism-in-action right about now. I certainly agree with that!

It Is Much Too Soon To Give Up

I'm grading papers today, and so I'll upgrade this edited and expanded exchange from the Moot for today's posting.
Jay here. I sincerely doubt that, at this point, there is any value in pointing out the government's outrages. The public is well aware that the government is corrupt. That's why Trump won. I'd have much preferred Bernie. One of the hardest problems in politics is maintaining legitimacy, by which I mean the perception that the government is more or less just even though it inevitably offends every person's personal ethics in many regards. When legitimacy is finally exhausted, we get eras like France in the 1790s and the USSR in the 1990s. I understand your concern that the government may become (more, unacceptably) unjust, but at this moment in history I'm more worried that it will prove too weak to enforce any concept of justice at all. 
Not yet inaugurated and already giving up? I hope not!

Never forget that millions more voted for Clinton than Trump (and even more millions voted for Clinton over her vapid and mediocre primary opponent). This should give pause to those who would offer up simple declaratives to the effect that "Trump won." Republicans certainly never conceded Obama won, despite electoral and popular vote victories dwarfing the palpably unqualified incompetent deceptive corrupt bigoted Trump's unexpected prevalence.

You "sincerely doubt that... there is any value in pointing out the government's outrages." Let me make one thing very clear: There is every reason to expose and decry crimes, corruptions, and abuses of Republican government. This is not only because it is true and it is always right to tell truths, but because it provides an occasion to draw a contrast between the two parties which is the only way we can move forward. Note well that I did not say "crimes, corruptions, and abuses of the government," as you said in your comment (and no wonder, the normalization of an association of corruption with "government-in-general" is one of the key discursive accomplishments of postwar Republicanism), what I specificied was: "Republican government." Republicans obstruct and dismantle and mis-administer government and then rail against government. To decry "the government" risks collaboration in Republican anti-governmentality to the ruin of all. Pointing this out is certainly as valuable now as it ever has been.

You say: "The public is well aware that the government is corrupt. That's why Trump won." Listen to what you are saying! Trump "won" because a Republican cabal in the FBI threatened and then managed illegally to interfere with an election based on their belief in Clinton corruptions described in a discredited mis-informational right-wing hate-tome and because the mainstream media ignored endless obvious Trump conflicts of interest and disqualifying association to focus instead on a Clinton e-mail story that never amounted to anything of substance. Trump "won" because Republican run states disenfranchised enough voters in general that comparatively affluent older white voters fearful and resentful of diversity in their homogeneous rural/exurban bubbles could make more of a difference than recent history prepared the campaign professionals to respond to -- which is indeed their fault, sure, but far from some earth-shattering revelation justifying rejection of the twice-winning still-growing Obama coalition.

In saying all this I am not denying Clinton had historically high negatives going in that Party muckety-mucks should have worried about more (a Biden/Warren ticket looks in retrospect like a winner to me) and that the campaign should have invested more resources in her firewall states and should have focused on energizing base voters rather than peeling off moderates given the base demoralization of the primary (woulda shoulda coulda blah blah blah), but corruption and outrages are the topic at hand and false equivalence on this score is absolutely intolerable.

The people who voted for Trump may say they hoped he would end their pain or drain the swamp -- but Trump IS the swamp, and he has devoted his life to causing others pain for his personal gain while Clinton outlined thousands of pages of proposals to actually help those people and got smeared as corrupt and untrustworthy. Does that sound like being "well aware" to you, truly? There is indeed a value in pointing out deceptions and outrages in the face of such ignorance and mis-information and fear -- because they are true! And there is value in demanding people take fucking sides, because the sides are real even if none of the parties are ideal.

The United States of America is still a diversifying, secularizing, planetizing society in an unfathomably rich continent in the context of a tradition of immigration, a rights culture, a host of professions, and checks and balances that walked wounded out of the Bush administration and its illegal wars and financial catastrophe. Of course, America hasn't yet recovered from Reagan, let alone W. Bush. Trump is going to cause untold mayhem and death. Our norms are in tatters, our institutions are shuddering on the brink, greedy incumbents eager to make a buck are ready to tear down regulations that stand in the way of another economic meltdown, riots in the streets, feudalism ascendent. And greenhouse storms and resource descent forever threaten to end history and the rule of law. The dangers are real but the resources at the disposal of progress are also real. Tell the truth, defend facts, celebrate diversity, decry wrong, assign blame to the reactionaries, accept responsibility to act when you can, do your part to move the world forward.

Democrats should work to make the Republican President a one-term catastrophe, make the Republicans pay for what they have become that they could let him win their primary, resist every day in every way, register millions and millions more voters than they can overcome with their games, tear power from their hands in the mid-terms, wrest control of re-districting and then in power give DC and PR statehood, make voter registration automatic and voting effortless, allow our elections to reflect our real country and our politics to reflect our real shared problems.

You know, if a person of color living under racist profiling and militarized policing and systematic injustice (housing, job, education discrimination among endlessly many other things) were to give up on America or on the very idea of a democratic state that would make a certain sense to me. But it is people of color, and especially women of color, who (in general) fight the hardest to make America work and vote more reliably Democratically than any other constituency and protest most patriotically in the streets. Listen and learn the lessons of their resolve, their principle, their pragmatism. Make them your own.

Obviously I'm as worried as you are right about now, hell, I'm sick with worry, but there are resources for hope if people of courage and conviction take them up and stop with the whiny white guy routine and purity cabaret nonsense and Beautiful Loser chicken little demoralization arias. I'm a white guy myself and I know nothing about you so I trust you will not take that comment personally, but recognize the glaring realities it references in this ruinous moment. If one spots a deception, crime, corruption on the part of a politician one must say so -- or collaborate in it. No more false equivalence, no more refusing to choose sides because the sides are not ideal, no more "I'm not surprised," no more "nothing will change," no more "they always get away with it." If one thinks -- as I do -- that good government is possible and desirable, that public goods require public investments, that freedom depends on the maintenance of a scene of consent secured by social supports and equitable laws -- then say so, make the case, pose the alternative, fill the vacuum, resist the cynics, build the world, fight back!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

My Annual Thanksgiving Day Post

My other Thanksgiving Day tradition used to be posting a clip of Gus Van Sant's video for William Burroughs' Prayer -- but there are a million places to watch that online now. Might just as well watch his Nike commercial.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

My, my, my, I'm just full of helpful little advice and aggressive little admonitions today, aren't I?

It is crucial to expose right-wing crimes and outrages even if you don't happen to think they are "surprising" and even if you don't expect the perpetrators to change just because you expose them. Fighting for change as a Democrat actually isn't about you being entertained every goddamn minute of the day, and your defeatism actually isn't a sign of your seriousness but of your unreliability.

More Rhetoric For Fighting Democrats

A Respect For and Proficiency With Rhetoric Is Indispensable for Fighting Democrats

Grrr, typo.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

"Optimistic" adj.: Hopeful, Panglossian; American Usage: Stupid, Cruel

A new Quinnipiac poll finds American voters say by a 59% to 37% margin that they are “optimistic about the next four years with Donald Trump as president.” That said, by a 52% to 42% they say he is not honest and by 57% to 38% say he is not level-headed.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

During elections, don't just boo, vote. But between elections, boo like hell.

This faggot boos Mike Pence. 
This faggot fuck yous Mike Pence. 
This faggot sees through Mike Pence. 
This faggot's vote will shoo Mike Pence.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Pay Attention

Anyone declaring GOP cheating-ruthlessness-cruelty as hardball-genius-strength is someone you can't trust whatever side they say they're on.

Droll With The Punches

Many who try to be above it will still die beneath it.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

WhyI'mMoaning An Anti-Democratic Senate

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Politics Is:

1 The ongoing reconciliation of the diversity of a polity.
2 Grasping and solving a polity's shared problems.
3 Factions within a polity seeking over the long-term to implement ethical visions in face of its diversity.

It is useful to distinguish these three political registers, despite the fact that the sense of each one is shaped by assumptions and aspirations and experiences arising out of the others and also despite the fact that lived politics is all of a piece. That people who are different from one another in their histories, in their hopes, and in their beings share a time and a place in the world together is both the point of departure for genuine political thinking and conduct as such and is also the abiding reality shaping the specificities of the political in all its dimensions. This is what Hannah Arendt mean when she declared, "Plurality is the law of the earth." It is also what Eve Sedgwick was getting at when she declared "People are different from one another" to be "Axiom One." A strategy that denies or disregards or disavows such differences may sometimes peddle itself as political, but it is probably something else (usually, I find, it is an engineering, moral, or aesthetic viewpoint) and confused about itself in a way that demands clarification from those who are not so confused or it may even be simply actively anti-political.

Walk and chew gum at the same time.

Partisan politics are indispensable but inadequate.
Movement politics are indispensable but inadequate.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Fighting Blind

Trump voters thought they were giving "The Establishment" the finger but they just poked their eyes out with it.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Did Democrats Lose The Election Because The Left Won The Culture Wars?

This post is adapted and enormously expanded from my response to a comment in the Moot to this post. The comment was by my friend and long-time friend-of-blog "jollyspaniard," who said: Dale I beg to differ on your winning the culture wars argument. The old bigotries are back, they never left or were decisively defeated. They were routed and are regrouping in a new package. The conspiracy theory movement/paradigm. These people aren't going to be persuaded by a candidate who tells them to read her policy documents on her website. They've also pulled off a neat trick, convincing people that voting for right wing authoritarians is a subversive, rebellious act. That's an illusion that will become harder to maintain. A lot of them don't really believe it, they're just angry.

Anger is an emotion which, if it could speak, would say something like: "an injustice has been done [usually, but not always, to me]." There are lots of people with more righteous anger at this moment that I care about infinitely more than the stupid angry assholes who enabled Trumpism, but setting that aside for a moment I guess maybe Trump voters might turn their apparently endlessly fascinating and celebrated rage back on Trump and Trumpism (a lying literal-elite billionaire con-man, after all, with a populist message already providing a pretext for the usual Republican privatization and looting and support-dismantlement and wealth-concentration politics) if they come to realize he treated them like chumps.

But of course this can only work so long as the realization that they have been lied to and fucked over doesn't come from what they take to be liberals or "establishment" types gloating or calling them names. And frankly the fragility of these brainless belligerent bigots seems so utterly boundless I honestly don't know how to avoid such accusations without actually indulging in their bigotry and ignorance itself at this point, which I won't do because they are evil and wrong and anyway they are an ever more marginal minority even if apparently still sufficiently large that certain kinds of foolishness on the left can still provide openings for them to prevail in. As a queer who has spent a lifetime (I'm 51, relentlessly queerbashed in Trump states like Kentucky and Indiana growing up, politicized through ACTUP and Queer Nation in Atlanta, trained in critical theory in Berkeley by Judith Butler where I teach as a precarious adjunct today) sparring with evangelicals who regard anything but my closeted terrorized powerlessness as an incivility and an insult to them, I know full well that playing nice is not the way to combat aggressive bigotry of the kind Trump enabled and which has enabled Trumpism.

Realizing the multicultural left won the culture wars directly connects in my view to the facts that Clinton won the popular vote, indeed won more votes than any white male candidate has in history, including the one who prevailed over her, that raising the minimum wage and providing family leave and undermining more of the racist war on drugs via medical and recreational cannabis legalization and the voting of many women of color into high office for the first time also happened in this election, that Trump won fewer votes than Romney did and that slightly depressed turnout in a handful of less-diverse swing states lost her this election. This loss was far from destined and was scarcely a loss for all the reality of the loss of power, hope, progress, decency, standards, sense it will bring on.

It is not to make excuses but to insist on the recognition of facts the widespread denial of which feeds the utterly false conferral of a reactionary mandate on a diversifying, secularizing, planetizing country which actually repudiated this electoral college result that I must now and always and ever point out the following: Clinton's popular victory and only razor-thin electoral loss given her historically high negatives and exploitable narrative associations from the outset, whether fair or not. And this in the context of campaign vicissitudes like the late-breaking irresponsible and possibly illegal FBI-cabal Comey letter debacle. And this in the context of a dying media clutching after profits with false-equivalence and horse-race narratives that misinformed voters and normalized an utterly unqualified dangerously unstable authoritarian bigot candidate. And this in the context of unprecedented daily WikiLeaks poking through her underwear drawer while her opponent broke multi-generational norms for candidate disclosure of assets and associations. And this in the context of explicit voter disenfranchisement after the dismantlement of the Voting Rights Act. And this in the context of unprecedented torrents of unaccountable Citizens United money unleashed down ticket with stealthy reverse coat-tails for Trumpism. And this in the context of general suffering and resentment at the devastatingly slow economic recovery engineered by blanket Republican obstruction of Obama's Jobs Bill proposals, infrastructure spending proposals, minimum wage increase proposals, family leave and pre-K care proposals, efforts to provide a public option as part of the ACA and so much more (of course the beneficiaries of all this political pain were the very Republicans who caused it, knowing full well that this would be the result). And this in the context of gerrymandered House districts that reward polarization and dysfunction. And this in the context of an electoral college in which the votes of unrepresentative rural minorities count decisively more than those of urban and suburban majorities.

I will not call Trump "Our President" -- his campaign was premised on and proceeded with the rejection of too many Americans to pretend his is the same "we" to which I refer by that pronoun -- I will call Trump "the Republican President." I will burn that tie of Trump to the GOP into the American memory as indelibably as I can, and then I will work to see the Republicans pay for what they do. I will not concede Trump or Trumpism a mandate because the election did not confer one and for the same reasons I won't pretend the multicultural left lost the culture wars when I see no sign we did and I think it foolish to relinquish the power that victory might invest the Democratic party with if only we sought to understand it on its actual terms.

The multicultural left won the culture wars -- America is indeed a diversifying, secularizing, planetizing society, and representational practices both cultural and political are inadequately but ever more noticeably reflecting those realities -- and I fear it is the anger of racist whites who lost those culture wars has cost the multicultural left yet another election. Yes, cultural "winners" can readily become political losers if they take the wrong lessons from their victories. During the Obama years, Democrats have lost the House, lost the Senate, lost statehouse after statehouse. This is no less a real reality than that the diverse progressive coalition of the ascendant which twice elected President Obama and grows by the day is the REAL "Real America." Reactionaries repeatedly deceive, divide, disenfranchise, depress the majority then assign false mandates to the resulting prevalent minority. It is bad enough that the majority lets this work, but it would be worse still for the majority to accept the false result and false narrative with which it is pitched.

And don't get me wrong: in politics there are no happy endings, only happy warriors doing the work. No victory is permanent, every accomplishment must be defended, ineradicable wells of hurt, fear, greed, cruelty, rationalization forever reinvigorate old falsehoods and frailties and ferocities. White supremacy, patriarchy, hierarchy are older and deeper than the skirmishes the multicultural left won in the culture wars, and new and renewed culture wars play out even now in immigration and climate change and healthcare policy.

Still, it actually matter that we grasp that the left won the culture wars, if only to grasp clearly the opportunities brought into being by that victory BOTH to the Democratic left and the Republican right.

The multicultural left is of course very much at home in the America of the Obama coalition, and it is prone in its comfort, on the one hand, to a dangerous complacency that dismisses real reactionary political threats of the moment as well as, on the other hand, to an overconfident misreading of the pragmatic possibilities of the moment yielding divisive purity-politics, both of which depress participation, muddle and minimize the voice of the majority.

At the same time, the lived experience for the comparative beneficiaries of long-prevalent white-supremacist patriarchal christianist incumbency of the America of the victorious multicultural left is that of existential threat: It is because they feel like strangers in a strange land over which they long ruled (for all the good that did them) that they indulge in paranoid fantasies that their guns are about to be taken away, and that a democratic government of a We The People that includes them is, to the contrary, the Big Government of the They that is out to get them.

Of course, nobody is out to get them, no one is harmed simply because people different from them or who disagree with them happen to exist in the same world, none of them is threatened except to the extent that the Republicans they support ensure the ongoing neglect of their health problems and job insecurity and failed educations and retirement precarity: It is the sight of a citizen in a hijab in a bus, the sight of two men holding hands in the street, the sight of an interracial couple in a cereal commercial, the sight of a women's health clinic that makes Trump voters want to burn it all down even if the fire takes us all down together, it is the visibility of any emerging equity-in-diversity that provokes Trump voters to accumulate their private arsenals and to drown in hate talk and conspiracy media and that brought them to the voting booth to deregulate and empower the Wall Street they hate, to destroy the systems of social support on which their own lives and communities depend, to accelerate the climate catastrophe that will unleash the pandemics, droughts, famine, greenhouse storms, and resource-descent warlordism in which their own children may well die in tears screaming in the dark.

Make no mistake: Donald Trump is a life-long racist, and he ran for president unambiguously as a racist, and racism won Republicans control of all branches of government. Those who cringe at the recognition that Donald Trump voters are racist (which need not be exactly the same thing as asserting they are all "racists," consciously embracing racist ideology and indulging in assertive racist animus) are denying the plain and repeated racism of his campaign language, are in denial about the real significance of those who decry "political correctness," are in denial or shock at the rise of racist and sexist hate crimes and bullying that saturated the campaign and is exploding into terrifying bloodletting on our streets and on our screens and in our schools already and more, much more, to come. Many voted for Trump because of his racism -- and if you deny this you are lying, possibly also to yourself -- but everybody who voted for Trump did so knowing he was a racist running as a racist, and deciding that this didn't matter or other things mattered more is racism too.

The country has not yet recovered from the social support and labor union dismantlement Reagan years, the country has not yet recovered from the accelerated rollback of the Great Society engineered by the Gingrich Contract on America, the country has far from recovered from the illegal immoral wars and occupation based on lies and Great Recession authored by George W. Bush (with an admitted assist from Clintonian triangulation with a Republican Congress on financial and media deregulation and mass incarceration), and the fragile accomplishments of the Obama administration, miraculously won in the grip of catastrophe and in the face of unprecedented obstruction, are about to be destroyed one after another after another, and with every single act of destruction we will all feel again what we felt when he won the electoral college, we will feel the death of yet another path to a future worth living in, we will feel the foreclosure of more and more futurity capable of sustaining a free people. White supremacy -- and its blood-soaked history of genocide and slavery and their endless re-enactments from Jim Crow terrorism to occupational military policing into the present -- is the original and abiding sin of this country. Far from ending in the Obama Presidency, it may end the country with the Obama Presidency.

I am a democratic eco-socialist feminist anti-racist atheist vegetarian queer academic aesthete. I am a member of the Democratic Party and proud to be a part of the diverse disputatious majority it imperfectly represents. I am a citizen of the great state of California which is the future of America if America is to have a future. I believe that the radical politics we engage on the street, on the page and in the classroom between elections shapes the terrain of the possible and the important within the terms of which the partisan politics we campaign for and vote for play out in elections. I guess I am an angry white guy... who is angry at the angry white guys (and white ladies) who are destroying this country in a fit of pique at the prospect of the loss of white entitlement.

The misery of the sick who lose access to healthcare, the terror of the undocumented who strain to hear the knock on the door, the heartbreak of women with unwanted pregnancies that threaten to blight their plans, the sorrow of the queer or nonchristian child who faces a cruel mob, the hopelessness of the young groaning under the paralyzing weight of debt, these are evils to be resisted even in the midst of this devastating demoralizing distress. I will not give in to this despair, I will not hide in fear from the braying bullies in their armor, I will not be silenced by professional considerations or by the threat of state surveillance, I will not acquiesce and retreat into conspicuous and comfortable consumption or into the self-congratulatory fauxvolutionary radicalism of purity cabaret disdaining the necessarily compromised and pragmatic and incremental imperfections of Democratic Party politics, still the site of the best-organized best-resourced best-available tools on hand with which to defeat Republicans and implement some measure of sustainable equity-in-diversity in this country.

Donald Trump may be President but his bigotry and authoritarianism has disqualified him from the office of the Presidency of a free country and I respect facts too much and civil liberties too much and justice too much and decency too much and progress too much to pretend otherwise. I feel old and tired and hopeless and scared but I will fight. I will fight Donald Trump and the Republican Party and the ignorant fearful bullies who have delivered my tomorrow and my students' tomorrow unto Trumpism.

I Cannot See A Path

It is not easy to pass abruptly from qualified hope to unqualified horror without fainting.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Proud To Be Californian!

Wednesday, November 09, 2016 
SACRAMENTO – California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) released the following statement on the results of the President election:
Today, we woke up feeling like strangers in a foreign land, because yesterday Americans expressed their views on a pluralistic and democratic society that are clearly inconsistent with the values of the people of California.
We have never been more proud to be Californians.
By a margin in the millions, Californians overwhelmingly rejected politics fueled by resentment, bigotry, and misogyny.
The largest state of the union and the strongest driver of our nation’s economy has shown it has its surest conscience as well.
California is – and must always be – a refuge of justice and opportunity for people of all walks, talks, ages and aspirations – regardless of how you look, where you live, what language you speak, or who you love. 
California has long set an example for other states to follow. And California will defend its people and our progress. We are not going to allow one election to reverse generations of progress at the height of our historic diversity, scientific advancement, economic output, and sense of global responsibility.
We will be reaching out to federal, state and local officials to evaluate how a Trump Presidency will potentially impact federal funding of ongoing state programs, job-creating investments reliant on foreign trade, and federal enforcement of laws affecting the rights of people living in our state. We will maximize the time during the presidential transition to defend our accomplishments using every tool at our disposal.
While Donald Trump may have won the presidency, he hasn’t changed our values. America is greater than any one man or party. We will not be dragged back into the past. We will lead the resistance to any effort that would shred our social fabric or our Constitution.
California was not a part of this nation when its history began, but we are clearly now the keeper of its future.
*  *  *

Hoy despertamos sintiéndonos extranjeros en tierra extraña, porque ayer los estadounidenses expresaron sus opiniones sobre una sociedad pluralista y democrática que es claramente inconsistente con los valores de la gente de California.

Nunca nos hemos sentido más orgullosos de ser californianos.

Por un margen de millones de votos, los californianos rechazaron abrumadoramente la política alimentada por el resentimiento, la intolerancia y la misoginia.

El estado más grande de la unión y la locomotora de la economía de nuestra nación ha demostrado que también tiene su conciencia más tranquila.

California es - y debe ser siempre - un refugio de justicia y oportunidades para las personas de todos los orígenes, lenguas, edades, y aspiraciones - independientemente de su apariencia, dónde vivan, qué idioma hablen, o a quiénes amen.

California, por mucho tiempo, ha sido un ejemplo a seguir  para otros estados. Y California defenderá a su gente y nuestro progreso. No vamos a permitir que una elección sea un revés para el progreso de generaciones en la cima de nuestra histórica diversidad, el avance científico, la generación económica y un sentido de responsabilidad global.

Estaremos comunicándonos con los funcionarios federales, estatales y locales para evaluar cómo una Presidencia Trump podría afectar potencialmente los fondos de programas estatales en curso, las inversiones creadoras de empleos que dependen del comercio exterior y la aplicación de las leyes federales que afectan los derechos de las personas que viven en nuestro estado.

Estaremos utilizando al máximo el tiempo durante la transición presidencial para defender nuestros logros, usando cada herramienta a nuestra disposición.

Aunque Donald Trump haya ganado la presidencia, no ha cambiado nuestros valores. Estados Unidos es más grande que cualquier hombre o partido. No seremos arrastrados de vuelta al pasado. Lideraremos la resistencia a cualquier esfuerzo que destruya nuestro tejido social o nuestra Constitución.

California no era una parte de esta nación cuando comenzó su historia, pero ahora somos claramente los encargados de mantener su futuro.


I cannot help but think there is a connection between those who respond to the exposure of dangerous deceptions or proposals with "are you surprised?" and the rise and prevalence of so-called data-driven political journalism competing to prepare us to be less surprised by historical events all the time. Political journalism should contribute to our understanding of events and problems and policy proposals so that we make more informed decisions, it should not merely prepare us to be unsurprised by what happens. And if I or anybody else points out that something appears to be erroneous, deceptive, fraudulent, delusive, or deranging surely it is obvious that what matters is not that it is surprising or not, but that it is dangerous and wrong. History is always surprising. People can always surprise you too. The pose of the unsurprised (and given how often the confident predictions and cynical declarations turn out to be quite wrong after all it is indeed nothing more than a pose) masks what seems to me a sadly futile and usually reactionary terror of the contingency of politics which is both its interminable danger and its very real promise.

Will they find this question smug?

Do people who fling it around so witheringly actually know what the definition of the word "smug" is?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

A Lesson Learned

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

So Low So High

Never has California legalizing recreational cannabis seemed more timely.


Some think they're strong, some think they're smart, 
Like butterflies they're pulled apart. 
America can break your heart. -- Auden

My Fracking Sanity

Election Day needs to be a holiday not only to facilitate democracy but for my sanity... I'm honestly supposed to be lecturing on Cicero at Berkeley this afternoon as polls across the East coast start closing today? Early canary in the coal mine calls in New Hampshire and North Carolina could very well happen while I'm blathering on. Argh.

Closing Time -- The View From California

Monday, November 07, 2016

'Twas The Night Before

I can just tell I won't be able to sleep at all tonight. I'm like a kid waiting for Christmas morning to arrive, so eager to see whether Santa has buried the house in flaming shit.

Sunday, November 06, 2016

The Story So Far

Another consummately professional and rhetorically effective bit of media from the Clinton campaign. Tuesday closes the chapter, fascist takeover averted, and then the next long nightmare of Republican lies, obstruction, and hate from Congress and Statehouses continues on...

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Clinton's Closer

No negativity here, you'll have to watch one of Trump's enraged bedwetting apocalyptic conspiracist harangues for that... She is winning, she has always been winning, she will win, and she deserves to win.

Garbage In, Garbage Out

How many times does a FiveThirtyEight writer say "we'll know more about that later" or "the margin of error makes this unclear" before it just sounds like they're saying, over and over, "go read someone else"?

Friday, November 04, 2016

Love And Kindness -- More of That "Negativity" Pundits Declare Clinton Reduced to Here at the End of the Campaign

A vote is not some kind of selfie.

A vote is an imperfect, inadequate and yet indispensable tool for political problem-solving and change-making.


Thursday, November 03, 2016

Long Teaching Day

Fanon and Mulvey in the morning, Seneca and Suetonius in the evening. Ain't we got fun.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Don't Dream It's Over

Another Good Strong Positive Closer From the Clinton Campaign

That's a relief!

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

One Week Out, A New And Negative Closing Argument

After the outrageous partisan insinuations from Republican FBI Director Comey re-ignited the Clinton damned e-mail story yet again, the Clinton campaign has diverted from its long-planned positive alternative closing argument, the one she previewed a week ago, and has gone full-on negative, a base GOTV anger/fear mobilization and peel off suburban white women from the GOP strategy. It's defensive and ugly and demoralizing, I'm sure it reflects campaign numbers that are more accurate (and probably scarier) than public polling is providing us, and it is a very fitting end for the debased de-professionalized hate-radio/reality-TV/twitter-infantile bigot-rump Trumpmania campaign with which the Republican party has tortured our souls for over a year now. I'm depressed and disgusted, but more scarred than scared.