Dear Diary 






The Green Lantern Theory of Political Power

In light of the wild blooming of deranged backseat diplomacy about how US negotiations with Iran SHOULD HAVE ended up, I am reminded of a brilliant piece by Yglesias from nearly a decade ago: The Green Lantern Theory of Geopolitics (emphases mine -V); and as it happens, that time it was also precipitated by insane people talking about Iran.


18:48:36 on 10/08/16 by danilche - Policy -

The real reason to fear 'basic income' (and Bernie Sanders)

Let's get one thing clear from the start:

Communism is coming. Allow me to explain.


07:12:17 on 03/30/16 by danilche - Policy -

The DC governing duopoly is keeping down the common man, denying the common voices and views

There's a common discourse on the far-left:

Dems and GOP are the same, two heads of the governing duopoly, because look! they agree on 90% of the issues, such as capitalism, free trade, etc! And they are also ignoring critical issues like vaccines causing autism and chemtrails being mind control! It's all just a corporatist oligarchy looking to keep down the common man, to deny him his voice!


07:09:39 on 03/30/16 by danilche - Policy -

Presidents, their party, and their effect in US economy

We all know that US economy does better under Dem presidents by virtually any metric: employment, unemployment, GDP growth, stock market, deficit reduction,  etc. Conservatives typically dismiss these facts by asserting that the president has no way to significantly influence the economy.

I had proposed many times that the presidential power of the bully pulpit is very much underappreciated. The common alternative explanation to Dem presidents' overwhelmingly superior economic performance -- that B causes A, that people elect democrats in tough times, which then get better as they always do -- simply doesn't square with the evidence, with the actual timeline of actual elections and recessions.


09:46:47 on 10/27/14 by danilche - Policy -

The Earth is underpopulated

I had previously argued that overpopulation is a myth; but I think a stronger case can be made -- that the Earth is actually underpopulated.


08:18:27 on 08/16/08 by Victor - Policy -

Population density is not the problem

I have more than once seen claims that many of the socioeconomic and environmental problems plaguing Earth are due to overpopulation. I think this is an egregious lie which deserves a thorough dismantling.


10:36:25 on 08/27/07 by Victor - Policy -

Of Jews and Their Lies

Or, Legitimizing the Illegitimate.

We occasionally see people propose ideas of various types of outright batshit-craziness: evil, bigoted, insane, what have you. Very often, the point is not to convince anyone of the idea, but to simply legitimize it, to make it an acceptable option in the range of other acceptable options: paper or plastic? cash or credit? Copenhagen or Many-world interpretation of QM? Evolution or young-earth creationism? Fair-mindedness or bigotry?

It is not enough to prove such ideas wrong (though of course it's the necessary first step). Such ideas must be shown to be illegitimate, to fall so far outside the standards of rational, civilized discourse that no civilized society would seriously entertain them. The alternative — letting such ideas become normalized, just another possible legit POV — seems like the fair option in the short run, but it is anything but.


21:05:57 on 06/21/07 by Victor - Policy -

The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America is a Myth

A new report is out (PDF). It takes who whole rundown by the numbers, over years, as well as looking at the media narrative of such. Some report highlights:


13:07:19 on 06/13/07 by Victor - Policy -

Socialism, capitalism, fascism, and free market

I often see people argue about whether fascism is left or right, and just how horrible socialism is. I think a great deal of conceptual confusion exists about these matters, most importantly that we miss our real Holy Grail -- freedom -- and I hope the following thoughts will offer some alternative perspective.


12:48:00 on 01/17/07 by Victor - Policy -

Democrats are better than GOP for economy

On some political forum somewhere, I have thrown down two challenges recently, one to demonstrate that Dems are better on economy and the other to list many errors and contradictions in the bible. Since on neither topic did any cons actually bite and ask me to support it, I figured I would pick one. I decided on economy, since there's about as much point arguing about the bible as arguing about Superman comics.

So here it is...


13:03:56 on 12/04/06 by Victor - Policy -
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