Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ruminations on Yesterday

Yesterday's political events stirred up a number of thoughts and questions in my mind, the answers to which may be obvious to those readers with more bountiful intellectual gifts than I possess, but I'll share them anyway.
  • How could people listen to some of the speeches last night and not laugh out loud? There, for instance, was Michelle Obama lecturing her audience to not let anyone tell them this country isn't great. This despite the fact that her husband has for his entire life been telling us that this country needs to be fundamentally transformed.

    It's her husband who has been telling us that America is racist, that we're going to suffer a self-inflicted eco-catastrophe soon, that the principles on which it was founded need to be revised. This is the woman, moreover, who eight years ago told us that until her husband had been nominated she had never been proud of this country, and now she's telling us this is a great country?

  • Then there were Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who have spent most of their lives condemning the wealthy 1%, economic inequality, crony capitalism, the political corruption big money fosters, and calling for government regulation or even a takeover of the financial sector, throwing their support behind a woman who is the embodiment of all of the things they despise.

    Bernie Sanders, the man who for a year and a half has led a "revolution" that would wrest control of the country from the hands of the wealthy, who was undercut by the supposedly neutral Democratic National Committee (DNC), surely with the knowledge, if not the connivance, of Ms Clinton, now comes out and asks his supporters, who invested so much time, energy, treasure, and hope in his cause, to vote for the very woman who is the antithesis of everything he stands for. It's breathtaking.

  • Why is it that now, whenever there's a terrorist attack, the news media keeps asking whether ISIS was behind it? To repeat a famous question, what difference, at this point, does it make? Why the fascination with ISIS? It's as if the people reporting on these things somehow think the victims are less dead if ISIS wasn't involved. Or is it that they think that if the terrorists aren't affiliated with, or influenced by, ISIS then there's no reason to think that their religion had anything to do with their crimes.

    Perhaps by focusing on whether the perpetrator was associated in some way with ISIS they can elide mention of the things these terrorists all have in common. They're all relatively young Muslim males. Whether they're influenced by ISIS or not is irrelevant.

  • Why are the Democrats and their media spokespersons so eager to implant the idea in the national consciousness that the DNC emails were hacked by the Russians? A tranche of emails were released by Wikileaks a few days ago showing collusion between the DNC and the media to sabotage the Sanders campaign. It would seem that the salient questions would not be who hacked them but what they say and whether the emails were genuine, which no one is disputing and which is why Debbie Wasserman Schultz was ousted as the chair of the party.

    For some reason, though, the media seems to want us to focus on the fact that it was the big, bad Russians who hacked them, probably to help Trump, they're saying, instead of having us focus on the corruption in the Democratic party and in some precincts of the media which, according to the emails, are populated by servile lackeys of the Democratic party.

A couple of concluding thoughts. Why isn't the media focusing on this question: Do we really want to put in charge of our nation's security people who can't be bothered to secure their own email communications? Shouldn't we be having that conversation, especially in light of Clinton's reckless use of electronic communications? I hope our CIA is as good at hacking the emails of our adversaries as the Russians apparently are and as the Chinese doubtless are, but I doubt that either the Russians or the Chinese are as complacent about security as the Democrats have shown themselves to be.