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February 25, 2020



Dreams are really weird. (potato peeling security force!)

(I am so sick of the illegal shenanigans and the people defending them. What is so difficult about "obeying the law" and "removing a president who does not obey the law"?)


KC - we need to clean the shenanigans out of our own house too. And as I typed that Bloomberg just accused Bernie of Shenanigans. It’s everywhere.


Oh, absolutely; I find it disgusting that the DNC refused to sign off on not using even just a few limited types of deception in advertising ( https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2020/03/the-2020-disinformation-war/605530/ ).

But just because both sides are doing things they *really should not* does not mean they're both equally doing things they should not; yes, Bobby should not be throwing mud, but Billy should not be throwing rocks? (Although I suppose which does more damage would depend on the environment - library books would likely be affected more by mud than by rocks - but generally, 1. the degree of lies has been different and 2. the frequency is also different, and it's important to not reduce it to a false equivalence - but yes, *also* very important to not let people off the hook.) (but I think it's reasonable to observe, for instance, that one individual has repeatedly committed sexual assault and boasted about it without needing to caveat that with "but his competitors have sometimes said inappropriate things" - unless we mention the sexual assault in such a way that it sounds like his competitors are squeaky-clean on misogyny, somehow!)

(that said, if the Democratic candidates have used their official positions and federal funds to solicit the production of information damaging to their opponents from foreign governments, then, uh, yes, that is a closer-to-equal problem to that specific WH problem; I'm not aware of anything remotely like that, though, and there are rather a lot of additional WH problems - I can't, off-hand, think of anything that a current Democratic candidate has been plausibly accused of which has not been matched-or-beaten by the WH.) (I mean, aside from "pro-abortion!" or "socialist!" accusations.)


KC - I wasn’t even thinking of Intra-country battles - I was thinking about the times we probably meddled in elections in other countries. Heaven knows if there was a dictator we didn’t like we never hesitated to arm the rebels. If we did that, It seems more than likely we meddled in elections too.


I am not entirely sure; rebellions against dictators are seen as very early-American or good ("increasing democracy around the world!" or "we're helping them have [putatively] representative government!"). But assassinations of national government traditionally isn't favored, and the... stronger forms... of election-meddling (changing vote counts; destroying bags of votes from adverse districts, armed force) aren't.

(but yes, surreptitiously increasing someone's advertising-and-such budget and giving the right people endorsements [potentially whether the right people are "the people we want to get the job, and the citizens will like our endorsement" or "the people we want to *not* get this job and in this case the citizens 100% do not trust us and will vote for whoever we don't endorse"]... well, that seems probable. And that someone in some of those locations *might* use some of their advertising budget for machine-gun-armed people near polling places: also very plausible. I am not sure about hacking to find/manufacture mostly-irrelevant "dirt" on someone; it probably depends on whether they thought they could get away with it without anyone "relevant" finding out and/or whether it could possibly be cast as "noble" or whether it would definitely look as slimy as it is.)


KC - and then, after supporting them, they turn out the be Manuel Noriega. Not ever a good idea.


Yeah, our history of picking winners at doing democracy well and ethically is... not 100%, shall we say. Probably partly because that's not the winner-picking criteria...

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