Doing Trump Favors and #KatesWall

The jury in the Kate Steinle case might not have thought that’s what they were doing, but that’s the probable outcome. An illegal alien who’d been deported multiple times was released from custody to prevent another deportation (heck of a job sanctuary cities!) and then accidentally shoots and kills a citizen and is found innocent of all but a relatively minor offense.

What this ultimately does is put a human face on Trump’s wall, actually two faces the productive law-abiding citizen adn the criminal illegal alien who got away with killing her. I notice that #KatesWall is already a thing on twitter (though twitter probably hates that). Nothing motivates Americans like individual cases so we’ll see where this goes.

You can argue that a wall wouldn’t have kept out a low life like Garcia and that might be right, but at this moment people are going to be lining up and making a stand behind one of those two faces and it’s not looking for Garcia Zarate’s side. The worst part is the Dreamers would end up as collateral damage and a lot of that will be on those who were more anxious to keep Garcia Zarate in the US, a place he had no legal or ethical right to be in, than in looking out for citizen welfare.

And note that the New York Times (an objectively terrible newspaper by most formal journalism standards) refers to a repeat felon who’d been deported multiple times as an ‘immigrant’. In what universe is this lowlife an immigrant and not a simple illegal alien. Poorly thought through good intentions do a lot of damage. We’ll see how much more damage the good intentioned people (on both sides) do now….


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Discovery and Orville

I used to be a happy Trekkie back in the day. I never went to conventions or wore Klingon costumes or even made any real effort to see the movies. Nevertheless I would happily watch any Star Trek TV show, not in a compulsive way, but kind of the way small children watched Mister Rogers – there would be a low degree of conflict or tension carefully geared to not alarm the audience too much and things would be resolved in a more or less satisfactory way as the Enterprise zoomed on to its next mild confrontation.

I grew up with the original series and despite some initial resistance enjoyed the Next Generation and Deep Space Nine. Moving to Poland (where Star Trek never caught on in any form) made it hard to keep up but the first few seasons of Voyager were shown (dubbed instead of the usual horrible voice over) and I watched some German versions of late NG and DS9 on TV.

I completely missed Enterprise and never felt the lack as I had gotten out of the Star Trek habit.So imagine my surprise when I find out that not only is there a new Star Trek being made but a satiric homage was coming out at the same time.

I’ll probably have more to say about both later, for now I’ll just say…. I’m okay with both of them. Neither knocks me out of my socks but both are watchable and capable of filling my newly awoken Star Trek habit in check.

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Catastrophic Catalonian Cacaphony

Catalonian independence is to political causes what socks-as-a-present are to Christmas. There’s not a single thing they would get form independence that they don’t have now and would probably lose a lot more. Not only would they lose access to the common market after they’re thrown out of the EU, they would have to improvise a currency in a few months, create an army and other national government features from scratch while dealing with capital flight as more businesses relocate to Valencia or the Balearics, a large percentage of the population who would reject local citizenship and probably collapsing tourism and one of their biggest cultural icons (FC Barelona) would likely be changed beyond recognition.

And the band plays on, on the one hand Puigdemont is still suggesting to his befuddled would be citizens that Catalonia would be part of the EU (it won’t) but also suggesting that it should hold a referendum to leave the EU.

By this stage if he isn’t getting money from Putin then he’s an idiot. He’s carrying Putin’s water in trying to make democracy look inherently disruptive (to justify not having it in Russia) and trying to make the EU look as bad as possible because it makes life at times not quite as comfortable as it would be if the EU were to fail.

The best possible result at this stage would be open debate on the real consequences of independence and see what happens. As the old saying goes “Democracies get what they deserve” an electorate foolish enough to still support the independence cause deserves the consequences of that.

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Happy Illusions….

I’m not quite sure what to make of this.

I like and prefer being around women. Not because of attraction, or even friendship or anything quotidian like that, but because the level of misogynistic commentary is reduced to nearly zero. And of course, there is no macho posturing.”

On the one hand, yes, macho posturing and male misogyny that periodically erupts when men are together is truly gross, I mean just disgusting and nasty. On the other hand, I’m not sure if the author realizes that female misogyny is a thing and that when men aren’t around it can erupt and male male misogyny look tame or if he’s just so disgusted by some male behavior (very understandable) that anything else seem okay. Female sexiam and misogyny and intra-sex posturing are not necessarily sexualized or violent, but they are there and can reach dizzying heights of viciousness.

This reminds me of how Florence King once mentioned how frustrating it is when female misogynists tear other women to shreads in mixed company and the men….. DON’T EVEN REALIZE THAT’S WHAT’S GOING ON.

Many years ago I worked in an office where I was the only man, but my desk was kind of cut off from the others and they often forgot I was there…. It was very informational (both on how women tend to talk about other women and about men) and quickly relieved me of lots of lingering illusions. It was very different from the way men interact but it was not what you’d call an edifying experience

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Good Job, Good Intentions!

After WWII Europe accepted a lot of very well-meaning yet unrealistic ideas about how to deal with refugees and has steadfastly stuck by them even as developments such as increased cheap travel and human smuggling networks began overloading the system with non-refugee economic migrants.

The US took on the well-meaning job of deposing Qadaffi in Libya in order to further ‘democracy’ (for some meaning of that word) and the chaos that ensued made it the logical point for African economic migrants to re-route their human products toward the Mediterranean.

NGO’s took it upon themselves to aid and abet the movement of Sub-Saharan African (and some other) migrants across the Mediterranean to Europe expending huge efforts in ‘rescuing’ migrants on unseaworthy ships.

Europe, the US, NGOs and a variety of others had nothing but good intentions and the desire to support and strengthen human rights and human dignity……

And now the result, slave auctions are apparently now a regular occurence in Libya.

Good job, everybody! Keep up those good intentions and the Arab Slave Trade could be revived in full before you know it!


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Who Deserves Apologies?

This is the kind of thing I don’t understand. Why does this author care about the content of public apologies of people who did not assault her? The only people who deserve apologies from Weinstein, Spacey, Louis CK and today’s revelation de jour are those who were actually assaulted by said perps. And they almost certainly won’t get them because apologizing would surely lead to very expensive law suits.

No one else is entitled to any kind of apology and wanting or demanding, not to mention critiquing, ‘public’ apologies is pointless. I can’t help but think that it’s very mentally unhealthy to want people to apologize to you for things they did to other people.

What I think is going on is that the statue moral hysteria of the summer burnt itself out (though the lack of enough statues to topple without causing backlash) long before the moral hysteria that had fueled it had burnt itself out. The revelations of sexual abuse and immorality in the entertainment industry made a convenient new target. Since sexual hypocrisy is close to an unlimited renewable natural resource expressions of moral indignation (the real purpose of the jihad against confederate and then other statues) can continue for as long as needed before people get bored and move onto something else.

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Cheikha and the Groove

I’ve always loved listening to music from different places and cannot for the life of me understand people who think that the best thing to listen to is what 80 milion or more other people like… Youtube has become my music delivery vehicle of choice and I like randomly searchng for music from different places from all over the world.

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Algerian music. In terms of the Arab world I think I find North Africa to be the most interesting culturally and politically. I don’t know enough Arabic of any kind to have any idea what a lot of the music is about but it’s tremendously enjoyable in ways that most Western music has long since lost.

In Algeria the terms cheb/chaba (kid/girl) have long been used as nicknames for singers, especially (mainly? only?) in Raï music from Oran. More senior performers get to use Cheikh/Cheikha.

This song is a new favorite with a hints of Sub-Saharan Africa (that horn section) and her husky voice floats over and through the easy danceable groove, just right for a long wedding party (in the Arabic-speaking world commercial recordings mostly function as advertising for performers who make a living through live appearances, especially at weddings). Raï music is also famously risqué so if you know any Algerian Arabic speaking kids you probably don’t want them listening….

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